I've only had it happen with three (really obvious at preliminary) stops at a single fence and a TE (which I had no idea about until the TD told me at the end of the course, but I did finish - http://seema-thefloridachronicles.bl...-horses-i.html). I can certainly understand when riders don't keep track of four on course or aren't sure if it was one or two at water or smaller fences, we're doing enough out there, but do be polite to the volunteers and remember it is not unauthorized assistance to ask if you had a refusal (for example when you take out the flag and aren't sure if you really jumped the corner) and also to politely ask the fence judge to take time and call the TD over if there is some question.
The sport of eventing takes so many volunteers to run the show. If we had to pay for qualified jump judges our entry fees would be astronomical and in this economy it would not serve well for most venues. So we ask for volunteers who sometimes really have not clue. I remember being at a show once where a judge said nothing to a BNR who actually dismounted in the water and walked their horse through the jump. I called the TD and said we have an issue here that needs immediate tending to. I can completely understand those new to the sport that need the miles to figure out the game. However, with the new set of rules in place as of 2002, by the time you are competing at Preliminary, you had better know what you are doing!
I think that it is important to remember that it is a competition, and as concerned as you are about your horse's experiences on a cross-country course (that you've paid a hefty entry fee to ride over) ... there are other factors.
The rules are the rules to protect us all. They help the landowner, the organizer, the officials, the volunteer jump judges, and the other competitors and keep the sport fair. There is NOTHING worse to me as a jump judge than someone who argues about getting off the course, or wants to continue on when clearly their horse is distraught, unhappy, fearful, and they just want to keep on spurring and kicking because "they are in the zone". I want to just SLAP them. It is not about YOU. It is about your poor horse who is not wanting to play today.
Your horse is there to compete, not to school. He should be trained enough to have the idea that he needs to be in front of your leg when presented with a strange obstacle. Your trust and his trust in you need to be solid when you walk into the start box, because it's a test - a test of your training progress, a test of your partnership. I'm not always perfectly, 100 percent certain of my horse in the start box but usually as I jump the first fence or two, I get the feel for the day right away.
Most of the time I feel we are confident to get around, but many times I also allow the competition to "grow" the young horses, and you can't keep them totally in front of your leg all the time! hey, glance-offs, and shuffle-steps happen, drive-bys, runouts, flat out stops and looky-loos, standing jumps, all sorts of physical efforts to either not get over or get over something at the last minute. Hey, you ride as well as you can but you can't be perfect! it's hard, that's why it's great. I sincerely hope that I am never so "in the zone" that I can't count to three and stop for the day for the sake of my horse.
Most organizers I know will make sure that the water - or any other known bogey fence - gets the most experienced jump judge they have. In addition, if a particular fence looks to be causing trouble, it should attract the attention of the TD and/or judge PDQ. One reason I do not like "area" jump stewarding (where any penalties go through a group leader) is that it often masks a problem fence until it's too late.
Brock n. (Anglo-Saxon) badger as in Brockenhurst, Brocklebank etc www.area35.us
I had the unfortunate luck, as a jump judge, to have to radio in that someone was eliminated for not going through the flags at the water complex even though I wasn't jump judging that jump! I had a better line of sight to see both the flags for the water entrance and realized after she popped over mine (directly out of the water) that red was most certainly NOT on right. The rider did end up finishing the course before we could flag her down and, I think, since it was just rider error and not a horse having a bad trip, the TPTB weren't as adamant of stopping her on course. AFAIK, the rider didn't contest the TE.
As a jump judge, if anything "hinky" happens at your fence, make notes!! Or diagrams!! Be very specific about the horse and colors, so in case someone contests that no way in heck was that me, the TD has some better evidence than "rider 203 had one refusal at fence 7."
But I do agree that it can be difficult to know as a rider what is counted as a refusal at the water/ditch elements. However, if stopped, I would remain polite and courteous no matter how POd at myself. I was eliminated once xc after I was allowed to go xc after being eliminated on sj (missed a fence!), but was only allowed 1 stop before I was pulled up. Unfortunately, the horse still was green at the water and we were pulled up. You could tell everyone around the water wanted us to continue, but I said my thanks and walked off the course.
Thank you for supporting the volunteers, Seema! In the case of the 4 stops on course rule, we usually don't know how many stops you've had on course because we're concentrating on the fence we've been assigned to. We want to give you the best judgement we can offer at OUR assigned fence. If Control or the TD radios us to stop you, we will do what we're told. Questions are for the TD to mediate. Don't yell at the JJ in the heat of the moment! We feel bad for you too!
"Imma snap youuuu! - with a shout out to Wildlifer
I got the big "E" in s/j at Kelly's Ford last year. I'm still not totally sure why, except maybe we took too many steps back from that wretched fence #3 that was pointed towards the pasture full of horse eating demon cows. I didn't even bother thinking about contesting or asking why. I knew it was not going to be a happy day when the High Queen did not want to go in to the dressage arena. She had never done that before. So I was disappointed but felt it was the best choice that day, and was thankful that I had help making it. I probably would have ended up in the water jump watching my mare racehorse it back to the trailer.
"But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost
I got a TE last Feb for missing a fence at Pine Top. It was almost the same course as when I was there the Nov before, but with an extra fence. Of course, I was in first place (novice) and my parents had driven about 2 hours to come surprise me! I didn't find out until I was through the finish flags. Definitely burst into tears.
On the up side, it was the best xc run we had that season. We definitely made time...
Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)
Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010
Timely thread for me. This has happened to me twice.
First was at Maui Jim in 2009 at the CIC*. Skippped a gallop fence near the end, they let me finish. Had no clue I'd been eliminated until my barn mate mentioned it.
Second was actually two weekends at Waredaca in the Intermediate. Was having a fantastic go, jumped great through the angles at five. Six was a trakehne, with a similar looking trakehner for prelim right next to it. Well out, maybe thirty strides, I called heads up to some course walkers. I must have zoned in on the wrong fence after, jumped it, and headed onwards with no idea. Judge and TD caught me after 10, and were very apologetic about needing to pull me up. They also complimented my ride at five, which did actually make me feel better.