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It's time for a new location for USDF finals

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  • #21
    "I recall seeing once that there are more horses per capita in San Diego County than elsewhere (I admit, I can't site my source either)." That's funny, because for years I've heard that about Snohomish County, WA. I too would be hard pressed to find a source though.

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    • #22
      Back in the 80s there was east and west coast finals
      _\\]
      -- * > hoopoe
      Procrastinate NOW
      Introverted Since 1957

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      • #23
        Originally posted by hoopoe View Post
        Back in the 80s there was east and west coast finals
        I think this actually sounds like a pretty fair solution!

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        • #24
          Originally posted by rothmpp View Post
          I'm going to wager a guess that OP is from Florida. .
          Not necessarily. Even when I lived in Lexington I thought it was stupid to schedule big equine events at the KHP at this time of year.

          There are many better options. There are places farther south where you have a better chance of having decent weather and there are places farther north where they're better set up for handling cold weather. Lexington is in a weird zone where they do indeed have miserable freezing weather, ice, and snow, but because it isn't a constant thing during the winter months, they refuse to take actions to actually cope with it and be able to continue to function normally.

          "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
          that's even remotely true."

          Homer Simpson

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          • #25
            A championship in California will get a lot of pushback from people in New England and the Mid Atlantic who also winter in Florida. It takes 4-5 days to ship a horse from Maryland to California, so if people are shipping a horse from the east coast to the west coast in early November, stay 3-4 days to compete, ship another 4-5 days home, that's 11-14 days on the road. And then there is another 4-6 weeks before everyone has to pack up again and go to Wellington. That's a royal pain. And then consider the holidays in the middle of that, and the other logistical problems if people have kids to care for- those kids will undoubtedly have recitals and their own sports championships that parents [or even aunts] really ought to attend. If those same people could get to champs in a 6-10 hour drive, they's be much more willing to do it. Flying to California is an option, but it is extremely expensive, and some people on the east coast are still going to be 4,5,6 hours from an airport that can do it. AND lots of people feel funny about doing putting horses on airplanes.

            The trade off is, while KHP is awfully far from San Diego, San Diego has beautiful winters. People can ride, train and compete on most of the west coast through the winter months. And of course the CDS is the biggest GMO- California is huge. GMO's on the east coast are typically smaller and aren't statewide-my state has at least two. But if you add up all the membership of those smaller GMO's, the CDS wouldn't have much leverage.

            The truth is, fall is a hard time to host a championship of any kind. Pushing it out to the spring or have spilt champs with the same judges are probably the best compromises we are going to come up with.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Mondo View Post
              I don't think there is a way to make it 100% fair until we perfect teleportation. In the meantime, I wonder if maybe having two championships (one east/one west), would be easier on a lot of folks. East could be in FL, west could be in CA. Have the same judges at both - a week apart (because as someone pointed out upthread, we northern folks have very short show seasons). Then, the scores from each show are compared and declare champions based on the scores. If it's the same judges...should be fair? What do you think?
              I think this is a fair solution. I agree we cant make everyone happy, but as a West Coaster, I'd be interested in a split final.

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              • #27
                The weather in KY has been awful with great regularity. I have a friend who traveled there with a young horse. Her very first class was her championship class. It was held outside in sleet. Her horse was miserable, and kept trying to turn his butt to the wind, and boom, all that time and money wasted because of terrible weather. Where was the rider from? Maine. Pretty used to cold weather, but of course, she wisely rides in an indoor.
                I know many people, myself included, who have qualified for the Nationals, and won't go due to the conditions.
                This is seen as a show for amateurs. Its unrealistic to expect them to spend the $ and the time to travel across our huge country. Let's split it. Even with the same judges, it won't be the same as head-to-head competition, but I bet you'll have much happier riders. Now, there's a concept--make the riders happy!
                By the way, back in the olden days, the regional finals were all judged by the same judges. (Just a little trivia, there.)

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                • #28

                  Here's my thing... In Arabians, there is not a "surprise" qualification. You know exactly what is needed to do to qualify, and you do it. Same with Morgans. The fact that you don't really know whether or not to budget/plan on USDF nationals is a problem. Do you request the time off work just in case? What if you don't qualify, but already requested the time off that you could have used for that family vacation? It's set up poorly for exhibitors to know what to plan for, so I definitely agree that having a little more time between regionals and nationals would be wise.

                  I get why the qualification system is the way it is, but it really does put exhibitors in kind of a crappy spot for planning.

                  Also, with the timing? Late October, there were two really ugly wrecks in WY for people coming back from Arabian Nationals due to the weather. For those who qualify from the NW or Mountain West... You need to cross MT or WY, and while I can't speak for MT, WY is scary in bad weather. I got caught in snow on 80 in late May, and it iced over FAST. Well before I would have expected it to, and there's nowhere to pull over (plus dropoffs on either side of the freeway, so if you slide you're really in trouble). Snow starts hitting in these areas in October. If you go south and take 70, you're having to deal with the pass at Vail. CA folks are risking Donner in that weather.

                  Showing in rain is one thing. But sleet is ridiculous. You can't expect amateurs to pay this much money to go and compete in crappy conditions. Most people care too much to risk their horses over crappy travel and competition conditions. I care less about the rotation, what really matters to me is the competition facility being up to snuff and able to handle the weather expected for that time of the year and safe to travel to.

                  Now, I realize this is kinda a wild suggestion... But in Arabians, qualifications are good for two years. This allows people to save up, or if your horse gets injured before nationals like mine did, your qualifications being good that second year allow for your horse to really have the recovery time it needs rather than stress over qualifying.
                  Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                    Sometimes you ride in crappy weather. I'm not sure how one crappy weather show has you wanting to pack up and go elsewhere. If it was 60 you wouldn't have started this post.
                    It's not about riding in bad weather. It's about the horses. As athletes they should be housed safe, warm, and dry conditions. ALL of them should, not just those fortunate to be in the indoor barn area. From the OP's description, the weather caused poor stabling in the outside barns which no owner should have to tolerate. Kentucky can have cold weather in the fall; the average temps for early November are mid 50's with lows in the 40's. It's not exactly tourist season.


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                    • #30
                      On today's agenda at the USDF Convention in Savannah:
                      US Dressage Finals Open Forum - 3:30-4:30.

                      It is probably too late to express your concerns to your USDF Regional Director or any of your GMO reps that may be there, but I am guessing the discussion about this year's weather will be lively.

                      Also, FWIW--the USEF Hunter Breeding Championships take place in two locations (East Coast and West Coast). I believe when they first started, they also had a Central championship, but they dropped that one due to lack of entries. The two championships are held a few days apart and use the same judges, which helps give some measure of consistency in judging. Overall Championships are determined afterwards.by comparison of scores (I assume they score them).

                      USDF *could* consider the same type of format although it would be much more expensive for the organization because of increased travel costs for the judges. OTOH, the entry at each championship will be smaller, so they won't need as many judges. Of course, there is no way to make everything 100% equal for the competitors, but it's one idea to consider.

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by DownYonder View Post
                        On today's agenda at the USDF Convention in Savannah:
                        US Dressage Finals Open Forum - 3:30-4:30.

                        It is probably too late to express your concerns to your USDF Regional Director or any of your GMO reps that may be there, but I am guessing the discussion about this year's weather will be lively.

                        Also, FWIW--the USEF Hunter Breeding Championships take place in two locations (East Coast and West Coast). I believe when they first started, they also had a Central championship, but they dropped that one due to lack of entries. The two championships are held a few days apart and use the same judges, which helps give some measure of consistency in judging. Overall Championships are determined afterwards.by comparison of scores (I assume they score them).

                        USDF *could* consider the same type of format although it would be much more expensive for the organization because of increased travel costs for the judges. OTOH, the entry at each championship will be smaller, so they won't need as many judges. Of course, there is no way to make everything 100% equal for the competitors, but it's one idea to consider.
                        I was just coming on here to ask why people don't raise their concerns to USDF. Coming to COTH and grumbling isn't the path to change. I am completely unfamiliar with how issues are raised at the USDF meeting, but I know in the Arab world we have a process for bringing issues forward at the annual meeting and voting on them. I have to assume that the same is true for USDF. As it will be a cold day in hell (or Lexington LOL!) that I would qualify for USDF finals, the location is not a major concern for me but for you more serious folk, make your voices heard by USDF.

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                        • #32
                          Isn't California's fire season in the fall ?
                          ... _. ._ .._. .._

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                          • #33
                            Taking this from a H/J prospective... folks travel all the time to the year-end finals at Capital Challenge, Harrisburg, New York, and the National horse show in KY. People from the west coast travel all the time with limited complaints. Why is dressage land different?

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                            • #34
                              There's never going to be a perfect place for everyone, and I agree with the people complaining about the KHP in November. I would be horrified to spend as much money as it costs to go to Finals and have frozen pipes and frozen arenas!

                              There has to be another solution, and I think there's been some good ideas proposed.

                              I do wonder if they could move the dates, too. So, for example, they have it at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds (which IS in the center of the US) after finding an open weekend in the spring -- ie you qualify October 2018-October 2019, but the show itself isn't held til April 2020.

                              But my beef is with the double layer of qualifying. I find the regional championship qualifying requirements to be an obscene demand on those of us with time and financial constraints.

                              First you have to qualify for regionals by showing at regular shows. THEN you have to enter, take a week off work, haul and compete in the regional championship -- which costs as much as a championship show -- just to potentially qualify -- THEN you have to enter the Finals, and (often with only a few weeks' notice) ask for another week off work, pay another championship cost, and haul another long distance.

                              To me the solution to this is to cut regional championships out AS A QUALIFYING REQUIREMENT FOR FINALS (you could still have them for people who don't want to travel out of their region).

                              If we know the size of Finals they can handle (X rides), then they take the regions and say Y number of riders at Z level will be invited to total up to X. Then just do the normal rankings in each region, based on average percentage (something they already do for their usual programs, like All-Breeds). So all the riders know where they rank, and can go out and show more if they want to raise their percentage, but they can also plan ("They're taking 6 riders in my category, and I'm 3d, so I know I'll get to go.") At the end of the qualifying period, ie October 31, invitation emails for those Y riders are sent out, and those folks are invited to Finals. If any choose not to accept, you just continue down the lists til you get all the Y spots filled.

                              Thus you're still doing a good qualification system, you've got the show limited to what can be handled, but you're helping the adult ammies save significant costs.

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by oldernewbie View Post

                                I was just coming on here to ask why people don't raise their concerns to USDF. Coming to COTH and grumbling isn't the path to change. I am completely unfamiliar with how issues are raised at the USDF meeting, but I know in the Arab world we have a process for bringing issues forward at the annual meeting and voting on them. I have to assume that the same is true for USDF. As it will be a cold day in hell (or Lexington LOL!) that I would qualify for USDF finals, the location is not a major concern for me but for you more serious folk, make your voices heard by USDF.
                                What I noticed with the Arab people were that the loudest voices online about changing locations not only didn't have horses at Nationals that year, but hadn't had horses at Nationals in several years, and weren't even close to being qualified.
                                http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Mondo View Post
                                  "I recall seeing once that there are more horses per capita in San Diego County than elsewhere (I admit, I can't site my source either)." That's funny, because for years I've heard that about Snohomish County, WA. I too would be hard pressed to find a source though.
                                  As a numbers person, I am not sure we are looking at a meaningful statistic I think the issue here is "per capita". That means PER PERSON. And I suspect there are probably more horses per capita in KY OR somewhere in Texas then anywhere else. Total horses - race horses, etc - KY probably wins the race. But there are some remote places in the mid-West and West where ranchers still have a lot of horses, so per capita, they may win.

                                  A more meaningful number would be the total number of DRESSAGE riders - and I suspect San Diego County ranks pretty high here. I suspect several places in SoCal rank highest in total number of dressage riders (such as Ventura county with Moorpark which is pretty dressage intensive, or greater LA basic which has some pretty dressage intensive areas) - . And there are a few regions in NorCal (such as the greater Bay Area) that are also going to rank pretty high in total riders.

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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Can'tFindMyWhip View Post
                                    A championship in California will get a lot of pushback from people in New England and the Mid Atlantic who also winter in Florida. It takes 4-5 days to ship a horse from Maryland to California, so if people are shipping a horse from the east coast to the west coast in early November, stay 3-4 days to compete, ship another 4-5 days home, that's 11-14 days on the road. And then there is another 4-6 weeks before everyone has to pack up again and go to Wellington. That's a royal pain. .
                                    You DO realize that is exactly why the West Coast riders have a problem with the KY location, don't you? It is EXACTLY what we have to do to participate in KY. I know a few people who have done it - and they have to FLY their horses, then the poor horses and riders have to acclimate (in a few days) to horribly different weather. That is why you seldom see the top ranked CA (and OR and WA) riders in KY.

                                    Originally posted by oldernewbie View Post

                                    I was just coming on here to ask why people don't raise their concerns to USDF. Coming to COTH and grumbling isn't the path to change. I am completely unfamiliar with how issues are raised at the USDF meeting, but I know in the Arab world we have a process for bringing issues forward at the annual meeting and voting on them. I have to assume that the same is true for USDF. As it will be a cold day in hell (or Lexington LOL!) that I would qualify for USDF finals, the location is not a major concern for me but for you more serious folk, make your voices heard by USDF.
                                    People HAVE raised their concerns with USDF. OVER and OVER and OVER. But you can NOT expect every person to attend the USDF convention - which is on the other side of the country. In fact, conveniently - it is almost next door to KY! The voices of the West GMOs will be very limited. AND requiring attendance at the USDF convention to have voices heard just means only those who can AFFORD to pay for the convention will be heard.

                                    Originally posted by Eventer2483 View Post
                                    Taking this from a H/J prospective... folks travel all the time to the year-end finals at Capital Challenge, Harrisburg, New York, and the National horse show in KY. People from the west coast travel all the time with limited complaints. Why is dressage land different?
                                    Because there are more middle class (aka not as wealthy) riders in dressage?

                                    Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                                    Isn't California's fire season in the fall ?
                                    You do realize this is a HUGE state - the entire state is actually not on fire? We don't shut down in the Fall?

                                    Originally posted by Mardi View Post

                                    It's not about riding in bad weather. It's about the horses. As athletes they should be housed safe, warm, and dry conditions. ALL of them should, not just those fortunate to be in the indoor barn area. From the OP's description, the weather caused poor stabling in the outside barns which no owner should have to tolerate. Kentucky can have cold weather in the fall; the average temps for early November are mid 50's with lows in the 40's. It's not exactly tourist season.
                                    Exactly - and not just the horses, the horses AND riders. Both are athletes, and both are subjected to unfair conditions. If you aren't in the heated barn, you are suffering -ridiculous treatment of both horses and riders!
                                    Originally posted by Mondo View Post
                                    I don't think there is a way to make it 100% fair until we perfect teleportation. In the meantime, I wonder if maybe having two championships (one east/one west), would be easier on a lot of folks. East could be in FL, west could be in CA. Have the same judges at both - a week apart (because as someone pointed out upthread, we northern folks have very short show seasons). Then, the scores from each show are compared and declare champions based on the scores. If it's the same judges...should be fair? What do you think?
                                    I absolutely agree, and this has been proposed. USDF pushes back because it will cost more. And, I think, because they don't WANT to do anything on the West Coast. Look at all the programs they (and USEF) run - all are held in the Eastern half of the US. At some point, maybe we need to just create two different organizations, and split the country in half, seriously... Or our national organizations need to start to recognize equity - and that seems doubtful.

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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post

                                      As a numbers person, I am not sure we are looking at a meaningful statistic I think the issue here is "per capita". That means PER PERSON. And I suspect there are probably more horses per capita in KY OR somewhere in Texas then anywhere else. Total horses - race horses, etc - KY probably wins the race. But there are some remote places in the mid-West and West where ranchers still have a lot of horses, so per capita, they may win.

                                      A more meaningful number would be the total number of DRESSAGE riders - and I suspect San Diego County ranks pretty high here. I suspect several places in SoCal rank highest in total number of dressage riders (such as Ventura county with Moorpark which is pretty dressage intensive, or greater LA basic which has some pretty dressage intensive areas) - . And there are a few regions in NorCal (such as the greater Bay Area) that are also going to rank pretty high in total riders.
                                      Totally agree that additional population differentiation is needed.

                                      BTW: in my 3 minute Google search on this topic, I saw that Texas has more horses than any other state, and CA was second.

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                                      • #39
                                        I liked the notion mentioned above that one of the breed championships holds your qualification for 2 years. I'd think alternating championships each year in KY and CA and having your qualification good for 2 years would allow a lot more people to attend.

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                                        • #40
                                          I also think the idea of either a two-year qualification and alternating between west/east coast, or having two separate championships and then combining scores, would be a great idea...
                                          "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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