I have a basic questions. At a schooling show if the course maps say that a combination will be turned into a single fence for a certain level and below, but that doesn't happen when they change the course and the division starts, how is that handled? The jumping course diagrams said that the combination would be out, but it was left in. The division started before I noticed. I knew my riders would be okay, but one of them asked me what kind of rules there were to handle a situation like that. I didn't have an answer, so I thought I would ask here.
If you notice something like that, speak politely to the nearest official, steward, or volunteer who can radio in the question to the relevant official. (TD or PoGJ) It would kind of be up to the rider to pay attention to their course, but I'm not sure what rules apply if the rider should happen to have started on course before noticing an error in course construction! Good question--there are a bunch of rules gurus and TDs here; I hope they will share the answer!
It looks like it is against the rules to have a different Course Plan posted than what is run - but the CP has to be given just a half hour before the beginning of the competition.
EV147 Course Plan.
1. A plan showing accurately all the details of the course must be posted as
close as possible to the entrance of the arena, at least half an hour before the
beginning of each competition. An identical copy must be given to the Ground
2. The obstacles are numbered consecutively in the order in which they must be
3. Combination obstacles carry only a single number. This number may be
repeated at each element for the benefit of the Ground Jury and competitors. In
this case, distinguishing letters will be added (for example: 8A, 8B, 8C etc).
4. The plan must indicate the following:
a. The position of the starting and finishing lines.
b. The relative position, type (spread or vertical obstacle, triple bar) numbering
U.S. EQUESTRIAN FEDERATION RULES FOR EVENTING
and lettering of obstacles.
c. The track to be followed by competitors marked by a series of arrows showing
the direction in which each obstacle must be jumped.
d. The time allowed and time limit.
e. All decisions and/or modifications made by the Ground Jury in regard to the
I was at a starter trials where this happened-- triple was left up in stadium for novice-- and I believe they just waived any penalties that occurred at that fence (luckily there were no eliminations.)
I have also been at recognized and starter events where the course map was inaccurate or the course was changed after the map was made/ most riders had walked the course, in this case it was announced over the loudspeaker and the steward at the xc warmup, and the starter, both made a point of making sure that riders knew about the change.
In this case, the course map was given out on the website for the event 2 days prior to the event. The course map posted at the gate was the same as on the website. The division had already started before our riders went in. Luckily our riders didn't have any problems with the combination, but I guess the question is, what if they did have problems?
The course wasn't built illegally (I don't think there are any governing rules for maiden level), so it was more that the course just didn't match the course map.
I think i am going to get up with a local TD and ask them the question. I want to provide my student with the answer, but frankly its a really good question.
If it's a schooling show, it's up to the competitors & their supporters to politely handle this with the organizer and whatever judges and officials the organizer has appointed. If the show is not affiliated with any organization, there is no oversight, as it were. If the organizer cares about doing things properly and about feedback from those paying for entries, I'm sure they will handle the situation or take it into consideration for next time.
If the show is recognized by a non-USEA regional/local association, perhaps they have some input or some rules about how schooling shows must be run in order to be sanctioned by their organization. However, a local org may not have such requirements. It's up to the org what role they play.
If there is no affiliation with a governing organization, and an organizer does not care to address the situation, I think the ultimate oversight will be the willingness of whoever is paying the entry fees to continue to patronize future schooling shows at that venue.
It's up to the competitors and their connections to speak up to the organizer. Many a show loses entries and never knows why, because no one told them what the common problems were and the organizer doesn't know how to find that out themselves.
I think your best bet is to talk to the organizer (since you did not bring it up to the TD or other officials at the time.) Hopefully it was an oversight or misunderstanding by a volunteer, and the organizer will apologize and make an effort to see that it doesn't happen again. If they are unpleasant or indifferent about it than you will have to make decision about whether you continue to go to their events.
The thing to do is to speak up...and let the judge know then and there. It sounds like it was a mistake. But if it was me...since schooling HTs are for schooling....I might have been happy to school a harder fence.
** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **
I did bring it to the attention of the jump judge. The jump judge didn't really seem to care (she actually radioed to the ring steward that I was "complaining"). I decided to let it go because I wasn't worried about our horses (I was a little worried that my riders might have gotten disturbed by it, it was their first competition) and I was being rushed by the ring steward to get my students going, even though there was 10 minutes before their assigned jump times. There was another trainer standing next to me when I brought the issue to the attention of the jump judge and she said that since the division already started it wouldn't be fair to take out the combination (of course, she had riders that had already gone in the division).
Anyway, if I had been really concerned about the combination I would have made a bigger issue with the jump judge. I plan on bringing the issue to the organizers attention, so maybe it can be learned from in the future.
Your colleague was right that it poses a fairness issue to change the course partway through a division. I would think this would only be done if the error was really causing crashes and was a safety issue.
Otherwise, you do take your chances a bit at an unrecognized. If you are not happy with how it was run I would make sure the organizer knew what your complaint was, and maybe think twice about coming back.