Yes, that's the point of it, IMO, I find it kind of silly and exclusionary. The A/Os around here sometimes don't have a lot of people as it is. I'd love to see a stepping stone that's open to more folks, as there's nowhere for folks that can't afford to own a horse to move up unless they want to go pro.
It's a great division to move a horse or rider up or down, or to take a step back and regroup a 3'6" horse. I used it this year to start a horse back that had had a year off after doing just part of its first year. It was nice to have a way to get it in the ring, and to acclimate it to the handies, before putting it back in the 3'6". Very useful, and the fact that it offers prize money is also encouraging adults to move up so they can offset some expenses.
It's a good stepping stone for those of us who tend to take baby steps. It doesn't make sense, but the move from 3' to 3'6" looks much more formidable than the move from 2'6" to 3'. Maybe it's the spread on the oxers? I'm glad there's a 3'3" division now. I like the A/O part because the A/A's can have some very good ammy riders showing some fantastic barn or sale horses. The trainers I've talked to seem more comfortable with it too. Maybe more inclined to let someone try it, than they would be to just let them try 3'6".
I think it's great.......I've always been told the "biggest move is from 3' to 3'6".....so this is a stepping stone for those on their way up, but needing a little more confidence! (or those on their way down too!!)
Didn't we always have a 3'3" called A/O Modifieds?
Funny thing happened at my new barn the other day re: this stuff. Mind you, I don't know these people well, with their luscious looking Euro horses and saddles. Some ammy told me she did the modifieds with her nice-looking gelding and was looking to move up. I assumed 3'3" to 3'6." Apparently that was 2'6" version of some other division.
I think it is a great way for an ammy to move up to 3'6", but then why aren't we doing this for the children's on their way to juniors? My child just sat out her last children's year because there is now way our horse can do 3'6". If you do it for the adults, why not for the childrens?
Some of the shows out here do have a Jr/Am modified division set at 3'3". Guess the kids have smalls and larges and now the adults have modifieds?
I was hoping that the new 3'3" division was going to be AA not AO to give some of the bored-at-3' AA's a place to go. Eventually segueing to making the 3'6" divisions also AA, but no such luck. And not b/c I show other people's horses all that often--just seems more fair to those who do.
I think it is a great addition as a stepping stone to the elusive 3'6". I too however wish it was open to AA's as well as A'O's, (but I guess the Modified division fits that bill too), since it would be a another option as a step up for the AA's that have the 3 foot mastered. There has been pretty good interest in our area and mainly is done by the same people that do the Modified division, which gives them two 3'3" divisions.