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  1. #1
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    Default Judging question...

    Today I watched a hunter round in Vermont. The girl trotted into the ring then stopped. Apparently her stirrup leather came off the saddle she managed to get it back on then picked up her canter and laid down a really lovely trip. I have no idea how she placed but am wondering how a round like that would be judged. I have never seen it happen before and am wondering if a good round is a good round or would the "tack malfunction" disqualify her. I guess it would be up to the judges discretion but am wondering if any of you had seen it happen and the results or how a judge (if there are any r judges on here (I'm new sorry!)) would score the round.

    Looking forward to hear what others think
    Diane



  2. #2
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    I'm a judge and can probably answer the question for you. When the class is held in a ring, the performance starts as the competitor enters and ends when he leaves. When the class is held outside, the performance starts at any spot designated by competition management and ends at any spot so designated. If the start and finish are not clearly set forth, it is suggested that a judge consider the start approximately 50' before the first obstacle and the finish approximately 50' after the last. This is Rule HU134.2 in the USEF rulebook.

    For most judges, once a horse is approaching the first fence, all gloves are off and the round is being judged.

    IF her stirrup had come off during the course (meaning, she already started jumping), the competitor may either continue without penalty or stop and correct the problem. If the competitor stops and corrects the problem, they are to be penalized as if they had a refusal.
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  3. #3
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    Welcome to the BB!

    I haven't seen that exact thing happen, but I guess I would say if the horse came to a full stop, I would probably score it like any other loss of forward motion, as a refusal. If you keep walking as you pull your girth up a hole, you might squeak by with some judges (though you shouldn't make a habit of it), but if the horse actually stops while you make a tack adjustment of any kind, that would count as a refusal to me.



  4. #4
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    Thanks!
    Well it was interesting it was in her opening circle she trotted in went down to her walk (whether this was planned or because the leather came off the bar I'm not sure.) while she walked you could see her fiddling with it. Her trainer asked her what happened and she laughed and told her her stirrup leather came off but managed to fix it. She then took another circle although small when she picked up her canter and then put in a really nice round. It was just so interesting! I was impressed how she kept her composure! I would have fallen apart!!



  5. #5
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    For sure, making two circles before the first jump would count as a refusal for me.

    The rules clearly state you may circle once before the first jump, and once after the last jump. Any extra circles should be scored as refusals.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MHM View Post
    For sure, making two circles before the first jump would count as a refusal for me.

    The rules clearly state you may circle once before the first jump, and once after the last jump. Any extra circles should be scored as refusals.
    Yeah, I would have to agree with you MHM. It's one thing if she trotted in a few steps and stopped to fix her stirrup...as opposed to already starting on her circle and then having to do another one - it would be marked down as a refusal.
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  7. #7
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    The two circles issue is obvious, but I don't think that is the real question of interest here. I actually think that you would find most judges to be fairly lenient about a few seconds to correct an obvious equipment issue. Particularly as this could have involved a safety issue. From the description it didn't take long to correct and she had no outside assistance and stayed in the arena. Under that described scenario I doubt that she would have been penalized on most score cards.
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  8. #8
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    She should not have made the second circle...it should have been considered a refusal.
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  9. #9
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    Well, not counting the extra circle which is indeed a "refusal" I don't think trotting then walking with some quick (under 7 seconds maybe) fiddling with an obvious issue would be counted down. May make the judge watch you more closely, but most judges are human too. Its perfectly acceptable to trot in, walk, and then canter, so minus the circle that is basically what she did.

    Like said above, if it occurred on course, that is covered directly in the rule book. Once you canter, you need to keep canter until a trot fence or until after being on the correct lead after the last fence.

    So, yes, once entering the ring you are being judged, but that is not the same as "on course" which is often defined as picking up the canter. If it was, everyone that trotted into the ring would get an automatic 40



  10. #10
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    Silly question that may sidetrack the whole thing, but--why would a second circle as directed by the rider, done as a result of fixing what is clearly a safety issue, be penalized in exactly the same way as a horse slamming on the brakes as he's being ridden to a fence? Especially in a class ostensibly being judged on the horse's suitability as a hunter/jumper--he's not being disobedient and she's not sneaking him extra looks at the jumps, he stopped because his rider told him to so she could correct a problem that could have caused a dangerous situation if she tried to ride through it. It wasn't an error or disobedience on the horse's part, it wasn't the rider taking extra time to give herself an advantage. How is an equipment failure the equivalent of disobedience?



  11. #11
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    [quote=PonyLady29;5018488]...it was in her opening circle she trotted in went down to her walk ...She then took another circle although small when she picked up her canter and then put in a really nice round.
    [quote]


    Ummmm as I read this, she walked in, picked up a trot but then came back to a walk and did not get to the courtesy circle??? Like less then 30 seconds from entering the ring??

    I'd call that a do over because she did not even get into a canter let alone complete that opening circle. If she had cantered that first circle, headed to the fence and then stopped? I'd count that as a refusal.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Silly question that may sidetrack the whole thing, but--why would a second circle as directed by the rider, done as a result of fixing what is clearly a safety issue, be penalized in exactly the same way as a horse slamming on the brakes as he's being ridden to a fence?
    Because under USEF rules, a rider is only allowed to do ONE circle before starting their course and one circle on completing their course.

    Originally, the OP was a bit vague on what happened and made it sound like she simply trotted in a few strides, stopped and fixed her stirrup and then started on her course. But one of her posts later on mentioned the rider doing TWO circles.

    At the end of the day, you likely had to be there and see it and it would be up to the discretion of the judge.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyracing View Post

    So, yes, once entering the ring you are being judged, but that is not the same as "on course" which is often defined as picking up the canter. If it was, everyone that trotted into the ring would get an automatic 40
    Well, actually, anyone who trotted *into* the ring should receive an automatic score of 0, since it is against USEF rules to trot or canter into or out of the ring in hunters and equitation.



  14. #14
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    I would hope the judge would differentiate. Otherwise by that logic, it's better to not stop once you've started circling and hope you don't get hurt if you completely lose the stirrup or whatever's broken.

    I mean, geez, even at the Olympics most sports don't make stopping because of a hazard the same penalty as making an error. Err on the side of caution, indeed.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    I would hope the judge would differentiate. Otherwise by that logic, it's better to not stop once you've started circling and hope you don't get hurt if you completely lose the stirrup or whatever's broken.
    You can stop and regroup anytime you want. You just don't get the same score as somebody who didn't have to stop and regroup. That's why you check your tack before you walk in the ring.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    I would hope the judge would differentiate. Otherwise by that logic, it's better to not stop once you've started circling and hope you don't get hurt if you completely lose the stirrup or whatever's broken.

    I mean, geez, even at the Olympics most sports don't make stopping because of a hazard the same penalty as making an error. Err on the side of caution, indeed.
    Sure it's better to stop, but you know that you're out of the class. Just the way it is...and there's nothing wrong with that.

    McLain Ward didn't get a do-over when his bit broke in Athens.

    Was it William Fox-Pitt or Phillip Dutton who broke a stirrup leather on XC and continued? He had no other choice...it was keep going or retire.

    Equipment failure is not the show's fault. Even if there is something that is the show's fault, there are rules about how it can be rectified. For example: I believe if there is a funky distance on course, it cannot be changed if three riders have already competed. Everyone else needs to compensate.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RugBug View Post
    Was it William Fox-Pitt or Phillip Dutton who broke a stirrup leather on XC and continued? He had no other choice...it was keep going or retire.
    It was Mark Todd at Badminton. Rode the rest of the cross country with only one stirrup.



  18. #18
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    But, again, all these examples were mid course, not right after they walked on the course, before any whistle blew or the judge even looked up from marking their card on the previous round.

    I still am not sure if this gal ever actually did the first circle and it sure sounds like she never even got into a canter before she pulled up. That would infuence what a judge decides. From the OPs description, I just don't know for sure and it makes a big difference in how to see this.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAC View Post
    It was Mark Todd at Badminton. Rode the rest of the cross country with only one stirrup.
    Holy cow!

    How far into the course did that happen??



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAC View Post
    It was Mark Todd at Badminton. Rode the rest of the cross country with only one stirrup.
    I could've sworn it was one of the others I mentioned. Maybe it happened to them too.

    Findeight: my examples were addressing danceronice's safety issues/Olympics statement, NOT the situation for the OP. That's kind of why I quoted DOI.

    As for the situation in the OP, coming down to a walk, no biggie, happens all the time. Quick and unobtrusive fidding with stirrup, no biggie (to me). Circling twice, biggie.
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