(Borrowing an alter from a friend...does this make me the ultimate house-guest/sybil?)
Posting anonymously to protect myself and those involved...
Recently judged at a smaller A show in my area. Had a kid in one of my medium pony classes that was wearing short boots, garters, braids with bows and a GPA First Lady. Kid had a super nice pony and I ended up placing her pretty high in all three classes. However, I was so distracted the entire time by what looked like a martian helmet on her head that it was almost enough for me to penalize her for it. There's nothing more distracting/odd looking than a teeny kid on a teeny pony with a massive helmet with braids flying out the back, going every which way.
Someone please tell me that this is not the new trend for the 12 and under crowd...as a judge, would you go so far as to consider this "unconventional"?
At least she's wearing a helmet. I personally find all of those horrible show bows SO distracting and tacky. If I had a child (female), I would NEVER let her wear them, I don't care how much she begged! Those braids with show bows are ten times worse than a martian helmet.
I hope this isn't the new trend, but again, at least she's wearing a helmet. I'm not sure how small the First Lady helmets go, but I hope it fit properly.
FWIW, when I was in the medium ponies, I wore some kind of CO (I remember it being the very classic kind, with the tan leather harness, I guess similar to the Hampton, if not that exact model) and field boots. And my hair was IN my helmet.
Isn't this what people said about all GPAs when they first came out? Now only a minority of people wear velvet helmets.
There are certain pieces of attire that only belong on people of under certain age; like garters and bows. But IMHO safety equipment just doesn't fall in that category. If she had worn a cheap plastic helmet with a velvet cover would you have considered penalizing her for it? Because at an A show, a velvet helmet cover is pretty unconventional. And in view of that consideration, the First Lady isn't unconventional when an adult wears it, so I don't really see why it's unconventional when a kid wears it.
Maybe the parents of the child in question are really concerned with sun damage (the big brim is to keep the sun off the face, right?) Or perhaps that particular helmet fits the kid really well.
As much as we all like to stay on trend, I firmly believe that the question of attire should not factor into the judge's decision unless there is something REALLY wrong with the ensemble. I personally believe that legal, well-adjusted, conservatively colored helmet doesn't earn a second glance from any judge.
Meh. I think it looks shoddy esp. on little kids. I can understand it on the JRs who ride horses and catch ride/ school/ whatever a pony here and there, but for the little kids, I much prefer the classic look or at the very most a CO
but that is purely esthetic and I think it would be totally wrong to penalize the kid for wearing it when it is in all actuality totally acceptable.
I'd call that bad judging. There are always bad judges.Lets say a good judge isn't going to mark you down. Get over the kid's head attire and just be grateful that kids even want to put in the work to ride anymore.Our sport is quickly becoming obsolete. Better make it fun or that will happen faster.
I would never mark a rider down for a helmet that fits (I did have to speak to the parent of a child who kept having to take her hand off the reins to adjust her helmet and I told him that I wouldn't allow her to compete at the next show until she had one that fit properly). That said, for purely aesthetic reasons, I don't find the First Lady to be an attractive or flattering helmet.
Years ago, back in the days of the clear-harness Internationals, Addie Phillips wore one of the early bucket-head helmets (the precursor of today's CO and GPA). It wasn't particularly attractive, but I'd say she pinned okay.
If a helmet does not fit a rider and is clearly presenting a safety hazard- for instance it is too big and is falling over the rider's eyes- does the judge have grounds to eliminate or penalize that exhibitor on the grounds of safety?
I ask because the most charitable explanation I can think of for you to have wanted to penalize a kid wearing ASTM-approved headwear is if the helmet didn't fit and was a safety hazard for the rider.
Last edited by Renn/aissance; Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:17 AM.
Reason: Conflated two threads and mis-identified level of the child. Still doesn't matter what she's wearing.
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
Some people have heads that fit COs. Some people have heads that fit GPAs. Obviously this kid has a GPA head. Why penalize her for having the same helmet as a large number of people who show, especially on the A circuit?
I would say penalize/stop the kid if the helmet doesn't FIT or is so loose it's falling in their eyes, sliding around, otherwise creating a safety hazard. If it's ugly..well, lots of current helmets are ugly. Not supposed to matter.
To the poster who made the comment about "lead liner"; the medium pony division at a A show is a long, long, way from a lead liner.
Also, the OP clearly stated she pinned the kid according to the quality of her very creditable trips, so I think some posters need to relocate their undergarments to a more comfortable part of their anatomy.
For clarification, a GPA First Lady is a $700 helmet. The kid was showing in paddock boots and garters. The conventional argument for paddocks and garters is that it's too expensive to outfit a pony jock in tall boots while they're growing. A $700 helmet on a pony jock with tall boots and a hair net would not raise eyebrows, on a child in garters, is ....odd.
However, I think the OP's reaction to this sight in her ring is simple curiousity. I had the same reaction, back in the day, to the first time I saw a rider in a small pony hunter stake class in shad belly and tall boots...."Is the circus in town?"
The trip is still everything.
However, if you send a kid into the ring in paddock boots and a $700 helmet, I HOPE they lay down a heckuva trip, otherwise people are gonna talk.