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  1. #1
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    Oct. 30, 2008
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    Default Proposed USHJA rule change STINKS

    Last weekend was the Vermont Hunter Jumper Association (VHJA) annual meeting. One interesting outcome of the meeting was a call to oppose a new USHJA proposed rule change that would effectively end equitation qualifying classes at our local VHJA "C" rated shows.

    Here's what the proposal says: "Qualifying classes for the Finals of the USEF Hunter Seat Medal, USEF Pony Medal, USEF Adult Medal, ASPCA Maclay, USEF Talent Search and WIHS Equitation may not be held at USEF Local rated competitions."

    The stated intent of the proposed rule change?
    "To insure that classes qualifying for the major Hunter Seat Equitation finals are held at rated competitions. This will assist developing grass roots equitation classes that can be held at the local level." Here's a link to the complete proposed rule change.

    http://www.usef.org/documents/ruleChanges/289-09.pdf

    Gee, that's nice. So you want us to host and plan our own equitation classes and finals, pay dues to you, and travel hundreds of miles so our kids can qualify for the Maclay, USEF and other national medal finals? Thanks so much! And oh, by the way, we already have outstanding local equitation classes and finals, see: New England Medal Finals. So, if I read you correctly, USHJA, you're saying: thanks, but why don't you just stay home and let the big kids play at the national finals?

    Fran Dotoli, USEF judge, and committee member of the USEF and USHJA Licensed Officials Education, Zone 1, is proposing a tea party of protest.

    Fran Dotoli has penned a letter to Bill Moroney, of USHJA, and proposer (is that a word?) of the rule change. She states what she assumes to be the objectives of the proposed rule change: (1) Continue to upgrade and standardize show classifications, and (2) Decrease the number of equitation exhibitors, especially at the USEF Medal at Harrisburg.

    According to VHJA, the proposed rule change is seen as beneficial in the wider national perspective, but there are other proposals on the table that would accomplish these goals without having an adverse effect on Local Member shows. I'm not clear on the "wider national perspective," but I'm all ears if anyone would like to enlighten me.

    Fran Dotoli recommends emailing Bill Moroney of USHJA (send a copy Pam Hunt, Chairwoman of the USHJA for Zone 1) before the USHJA Dec. 8 meeting on the proposed rule change. Also, mail a hard copy.

    Mr. Bill Moroney: Bill2760@aol.com
    Ms. Pam Hunt: huntpm@aol.com

    Mr. Bill Moroney
    USHJA
    3870 Cigar Lane
    Lexington, KY 40511

    Here are some ideas about what to write:

    PARENTS OF A RIDER: We will bear the brunt of cost and time burdens if our kids can't qualify for medal finals at Local Member shows. Send an email letting USHJA know that this is unacceptable.

    RIDERS: Send an email stating your objection to these proposed rule changes. Tell Bill and Pam how you got to the Maclays, or were able to compete in the USEF Medal and/or the USEF Talent Search and why it would have been difficult for you to do so if you had not been able to qualify at Local Member shows. (Driving distance? Cost?) As you know, it is difficult to achieve the high number of qualifying points during our short show season, when compared to Florida or California. Local Member shows have allowed many of you to pick up those last needed points.

    TRAINERS: How would this affect you? Obviously, fewer of your riders would qualify and it would unfairly discriminate against riders short of the necessary funds for multiple out of town shows.

    SHOW MANAGERS: Without qualifying equitation classes, all but a very few current Local Member shows would become unrated resulting in a considerable loss in revenue from both show management and exhibitor fees to the association. Many out-of-state riders come to Vermont to pick up those last needed points to qualify; the winner of the ASPCA Maclay Finals at Syracuse on 11/7/09, ZaZou Hoffman, used the Local Member show system to get those last few needed points.

    Vermont can't be the only small state that will be negatively impacted if this passes.......

    Elizabeth
    She Rides, I Pay
    www.sheridesIpay.com



  2. #2
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    Apr. 28, 2006
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    Default

    hmm, many may not agree with me, but having been showing at the "local" one day shows, and even some of the rated, I can definately see what they are doing. There are way too many kids qualifying that don't belong at the regionals/finals. I'm not trying to be mean, but it's reality. I can count on one hand the shows we went to over the winters that actually held the Medal/Maclay at a true 3'6", and even the USET with some of the jumps at 3'9". So kids qualify, then get to the real deal, and fall flat. You mention NEHC, same thing, hardly see it at 3'3". I once asked why the jumps were low, and was told it was so the classes would fill?? Which sure you want them to fill, but what is that teaching the kids?

    So maybe instead of changing the rule, maybe they should change it to ensure that the classes are held at the correct heights. Which would help lower numbers at the regionals/finals if that is what they are trying to do.



  3. #3
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    Mar. 22, 2005
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    I'm with hjmom. Every year there are tons of kids who get to regionals/finals and fail miserably. I think a lot of it is due to the fact that you can get qualified at shows that set the classes small so that they will fill. I filled the Medal/Maclay at a 1 day on a large pony and the jumps were no bigger than 3'. Same thing with the NEHC, but it was maybe 2'6''.
    Perhaps this is not the best way to weed out who really should be at finals and who isn't ready yet, but I think it's a step in the right direction. Flame suit on.



  4. #4
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    Feb. 10, 2004
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    To the best of my knowledge, they are only proposing not allowing the big eq at LOCAL shows. B/C shows would not be effected.
    The reason for this proposal, I believe, is one VERY BIG NAME TRAINER. He runs multiple LOCAL rated shows at his farm, with only the big eq, so his LARGE group of junior riders never have a problem qualifying.



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 111 View Post
    To the best of my knowledge, they are only proposing not allowing the big eq at LOCAL shows. B/C shows would not be effected.
    The reason for this proposal, I believe, is one VERY BIG NAME TRAINER. He runs multiple LOCAL rated shows at his farm, with only the big eq, so his LARGE group of junior riders never have a problem qualifying.
    That may be, but his kids never have any trouble qualifying anyway, if we are thinking of the same person



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by supershorty628 View Post
    I'm with hjmom. Every year there are tons of kids who get to regionals/finals and fail miserably. I think a lot of it is due to the fact that you can get qualified at shows that set the classes small so that they will fill. I filled the Medal/Maclay at a 1 day on a large pony and the jumps were no bigger than 3'. Same thing with the NEHC, but it was maybe 2'6''.
    Perhaps this is not the best way to weed out who really should be at finals and who isn't ready yet, but I think it's a step in the right direction. Flame suit on.
    I have to agree as well. Our 'local' H/J shows (non-rated) always have a handful of shows where they offer the one day with the Medal, and there are usually several kids that qualify by only competing in those Medal classes without ever going to a rated show. Then they get to Harrisburg and are usually lucky to even get around, because they and their horse have never competed in a true 3'6" equitation class at a rated show over that type of challenging course. Even after the changes in qualifying points there are still too many riders that qualify, and still too many riders that are not ready for that level of competition. JMO but I don't really see the problem with the proposed rule (and there should be an addition to the rule that the fences MUST be set at regulation height as well).



  7. #7
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    The Big Eq classes at our local rateds are HUGE income producers for the show management - I think taking them away will be a big financial burden. Wouldn't it make more sense to just *require* that each show set a true equitation course with the jumps set at regulation height? Perhaps with monetary penalties if they do not comply?



  8. #8
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    I like that proposed rule change! Show against "the big kids" to qualify, or you don't belong at finals anyway.



  9. #9
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    Perhaps another solution would be to have Eq classes at "Local" rated shows count half as much as Eq classes at "Rated" shows.

    Also, it is far from clear to me how this fits in with the proposed switch from "A, B, C" (based on classes, divisons and money offered) to "A, AA, and AAA" which appear to be based entirely on facilities, and not on the classes and divisions offered.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  10. #10
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    We are in Zone 4 and NONE of our local shows have big eq classes, so we are already doing what the rule proposes.

    We only have locals, A, AA shows once or twice a year you'll see several C rated shows. And I haven't been to the C shows to know whether or not they have the eq classes.

    However, we can show year around Unlike Vermont, so I don't think they should change their rules, FWIW.



  11. #11
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    Sadly, those riders with national experience are the riders that will not only qualify but make the cuts. I cannot think of one single rider who qualified locally that has even made a cut. The riders with the most mileage (read $$ if you want) are the ones who float to the top of the eq finals. They have the mileage, the horses, and the training to bring them to the winners circle. That is just the way it is. I feel badly for the kids that squeak in via the "local" route and then get hammered in the ring at the finals. Huge waste of parents $$ and not a positive or building experience. Is it fair? Probably not but then life isn't fair.
    The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumphigh83 View Post
    Sadly, those riders with national experience are the riders that will not only qualify but make the cuts. I cannot think of one single rider who qualified locally that has even made a cut. The riders with the most mileage (read $$ if you want) are the ones who float to the top of the eq finals. They have the mileage, the horses, and the training to bring them to the winners circle. That is just the way it is. I feel badly for the kids that squeak in via the "local" route and then get hammered in the ring at the finals. Huge waste of parents $$ and not a positive or building experience. Is it fair? Probably not but then life isn't fair.
    Agreed completely. Where were you when I was saying this is the B/C rated shows thread?!



  13. #13
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    I was absent that day. I believe this applies to the B and C shows too, since they are so so so close to "local" that there is very little differentiation. Just saying. Sorry I didn't get ALL the terminology correct, the sentiment is still the same....
    The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.



  14. #14
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    Sep. 13, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by supershorty628 View Post
    I'm with hjmom. Every year there are tons of kids who get to regionals/finals and fail miserably. I think a lot of it is due to the fact that you can get qualified at shows that set the classes small so that they will fill. I filled the Medal/Maclay at a 1 day on a large pony and the jumps were no bigger than 3'. Same thing with the NEHC, but it was maybe 2'6''.
    Perhaps this is not the best way to weed out who really should be at finals and who isn't ready yet, but I think it's a step in the right direction. Flame suit on.
    Actually, the NEHC rules state that the jr medal can run at 3'. Only time it 'must' be 3'3 is finals.
    But you're right, I have seen many jrs compete in the medal/maclay at small shows over the SAME course as my adult medals- no height difference! Then they get to finals and say 'it's not fair- they have all the money so they have nice horses'- true, BUT they've also been competing over 3'6 courses all year...not 3'.



  15. #15
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    Jun. 23, 2004
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    I think it is an outrageous proposal and particularly poor given the current economic climate. Who is running the USEF, Marie Antoinette?

    A real benefit of the equitation division is that it offers junior riders who perhaps cannot afford the fanciest horse a chance to compete and receive recognition for their riding skill - ultimately on a national level. It tends to be considerably less costly to compete in that division than in the rated hunter and jumper divisions, in large part because one can compete and even qualify for finals without traveling to a major show and perhaps having to compete over several days. Many, many of our top junior riders - a number of whom are now BNT and Olympic riders - historically showed primarily at these local shows and MAYBE saved one win in order to compete at Devon or another high profile venue to be seen (in the days when you needed 4 medal and 4 maclay wins to qualify for finals in the most competitive regions).

    If there is a problem with too many riders qualifying for finals, there are ways to handle that without this draconian change. I personally think that given the amount of time, money, and effort that these kids, their trainers, and parents put in all year, people can bloody suck it up and have one day a year where there is a large finals class. God knows they sit through hour after hour of boring classes at shows throughout the year. I don't really see the difference. Overall, the quality of riding at the finals is fairly high. I did not see a number of riders who were overfaced or outclassed.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 111 View Post
    To the best of my knowledge, they are only proposing not allowing the big eq at LOCAL shows. B/C shows would not be effected.
    The reason for this proposal, I believe, is one VERY BIG NAME TRAINER. He runs multiple LOCAL rated shows at his farm, with only the big eq, so his LARGE group of junior riders never have a problem qualifying.
    So? Aren't the shows open to other riders also?

    I rode at Coker Farm as a junior. They had shows all winter during the Florida circuit that offered primarily BigEq classes (they might have had a couple of schooling jumper classes but I think at least some were PHA, Medal, Maclay, and then-USET only). Juniors who did not go to Florida showed in them. You know, people like Andre Dignelli and Francesca Mazella, who ultimately won Finals.

    If that is the problem, then why not make a rule limiting the number of Medal/Maclay classes a particular venue may offer each year? I don't really think they should do that, either, but at least such a rule more reasonably addresses the supposed "problem."



  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by 111 View Post
    To the best of my knowledge, they are only proposing not allowing the big eq at LOCAL shows. B/C shows would not be effected.
    The reason for this proposal, I believe, is one VERY BIG NAME TRAINER. He runs multiple LOCAL rated shows at his farm, with only the big eq, so his LARGE group of junior riders never have a problem qualifying.
    initials of BNT wouldnt be AD?



  18. #18
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    I was at Coker and I don't remember ANY shows being held there. I remember one but Judy had nothing to do with it, just let them use the grounds.



  19. #19
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    The local circuit in Albany area NEVER has the jumps set to the correct height and it is carnage when the kids who qualify have to jump 3'6" at the finals. So yea, I guess they do get recognition just don't think it is the kind they were looking for!



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by toomanyponies View Post
    initials of BNT wouldnt be AD?
    That's the one I was thinking of



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