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It's time for a new location for USDF finals

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    #61
    Great SW Equestrian Center near Houston TX: Sitting on 65 acres in the Cinco Ranch area of Katy, TX; the equestrian center offers six barns with 650 permanent stalls and space for an additional 500 temporary stalls, three covered arenas, three covered warm-up/schooling rings, two lunging pads and four outdoor arenas. Three of the four outdoor arenas have world-class ESI and Otto Sport footing.

    Rancho Murietta near Sacramento CA:
    • Five Indoor Arenas
    • Cattle Facilities
    • 10 Outdoor Arenas
    • Two Cutting Arenas
    • 900 Stalls
    • 3000 Bleacher Seats
    • VIP Seating

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      #62
      Originally posted by kelo View Post
      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).
      The major problem with eliminating Regionals is that for some people, Regionals (and not the National show) is the end goal. And in that regard, Regionals solves the distance problem.

      I do like the idea of East and West Coast championships. Maybe then the winners of that could come together in KY for a National Championship. It would mean way fewer horses - maybe few enough to fit in the heated barn and all classes could be done in the Alltech.

      Comment


        #63
        I doubt the WEC would want Finals as their H/J fall/winter circuits are already going.

        Comment


          #64
          Originally posted by xQHDQ View Post

          The major problem with eliminating Regionals is that for some people, Regionals (and not the National show) is the end goal. And in that regard, Regionals solves the distance problem.

          I do like the idea of East and West Coast championships. Maybe then the winners of that could come together in KY for a National Championship. It would mean way fewer horses - maybe few enough to fit in the heated barn and all classes could be done in the Alltech.

          The problem with a smaller show is that it isn't always financially feasible. You need a certain number of entries just to cover expenses, and I'm really not cool with my membership money going to cover a shortfall there.
          Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

          Comment


            #65
            Originally posted by xQHDQ View Post

            The major problem with eliminating Regionals is that for some people, Regionals (and not the National show) is the end goal. And in that regard, Regionals solves the distance problem.
            I may not have been sufficiently clear -- you can still have Regionals for those who want them. Just eliminate it as a requirement to qualifying for Finals.


            Comment


              #66
              Originally posted by kelo View Post

              I may not have been sufficiently clear -- you can still have Regionals for those who want them. Just eliminate it as a requirement to qualifying for Finals.

              That's kind of what the eventers do. I understand it, but it isn't truly a regional IMO.

              Eventers have the AEC's and while the organization of that competition is also not perfect, their system allows people to plan better. You qualify for the AEC's by having enough high placings- its not based on scores, and the qualifying period is a year and a half. So if you won a horse trial in June of 2019, you have 14 or 15 months to decide if you want to go in 2020 and how you want to get there.
              https://useventing.com/events-compet...qualifications

              It looks like eventers do Area championships as well, but I don't know what kind of stock people put in them, or if people set a goal to get there like dressage riders do. The AEC's were also rotating locations for a while, but I know they ran into problems because the facilities equipped to host an event that large are even more limited than venues that can host a show as large as USDF finals. I also think that the dates change based on location (I could be wrong though). The 2020 dates are late in August, but I swear when the event was in Texas, the event was in October. And that makes good sense because who the heck wants to go to ride in Texas in August? Although Texas is still rough in October.

              Comment


                #67
                How big is USDF finals? How many horses, and how many rings are needed?
                Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                Comment


                  #68
                  Originally posted by SerenaGinger View Post

                  I don't know the OP, but yes, I am from (south) Florida, and yes, I have complained about the weather at Finals here on COTH and to anyone in person who has asked about my experience there.

                  My horse competed in 85 degree weather at Regionals during his 3:15 pm test, then two weeks later in 32 degree weather at 8:30 am in Kentucky. We live close enough to the ocean that we do not experience crazy temperature swings, and it just never gets below 40. Forget about having to clip a horse for one show, we had to buy $$$$$ gear to try to stay warm outdoors for both my horse, myself, and my daughter who now owns a "Kentucky jacket!"

                  I am not the only one from Florida who has qualified for Finals through a first place finish, went to Finals, and said, "No way, never again!" The people I know personally who will not return because of the weather have made more gracious public comments about why they aren't going, like the horse is young, it's a big atmosphere, too much travel for the horse, ect.

                  So my two cents is that the USDF should see that there is this "standard complaint," apparently not just from us wusses from Florida! Finals may not longer exist in the not so distant future if *something* doesn't change. What can be done, I don't know since I am not privileged to know all the logistics required to hold Finals.

                  I did have a lengthy discussion with a show manager about Finals and she said other areas cannot hold their Regionals earlier, not only due to a short summer show season, but also because there are several long-standing shows too close to the end of season. Show managers own the rights to hold a show "on the third week of October" (for example) and they can't just change the date as they please.

                  There probably isn't any one location where the weather is likely to be ideal in early November, is located somewhere that enough people can travel to (because, hey, Hawaii is pretty nice in November!), the facilities are adequate to host a large dressage competition, and the venue isn't already booked in perpetuity.

                  The concept of east coast and west coast championships a week apart with the same judges seems worthwhile to investigate. If the classes were placed like regular championship classes so the riders can experience a victory lap and their horse wear a sash, it would still be fun. The maybe have a national champion, reserve champion, and do like the breed shows and have the next 8 horses get National Top Ten which would feel different than the placing at the actual show, and still feel like an honor.

                  Also, I don't know any specifics, but the new facility in Ocala is gigantic, will have lots of indoor riding, and possibly won't be booked already for November? It is a very long haul for most of the east coast, but it sounds like it will be set up for riding to continue on regardless of the weather. It's too bad something like this doesn't exist in a more central/northern location, with one facility on each side of the Rockies!
                  West World in Scottsdale checks the boxes. Probably could have every ring either indoors or covered, too. No brainer.
                  LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

                  Comment


                    #69
                    It sounds like there are multiple places around the country that tick most boxes but there are several big issues that complicate the matter. Availability is of course the primary issue--if those places are already booked for early November, then they can't be in the running for Dressage Finals unless the dates are changed.

                    Another very big issue is the need for a large and experienced volunteer base that live close enough to the venue to not need housing. KHP draws on a very large pool of experienced horse people who live in the Lexington area and are very familiar with the facility and with dressage in general. Additionally, a pretty good number of USDF staff usually work at finals, and they would need transportation and housing if finals are moved from Lexington.

                    And although splitting the championships into East/West venues may in fact be the best option, folks in PA or NJ or MA or VT are as likely to be as po'd about having to go to Ocala or Houston or Tryon as FL folks are about having to go to KY or OH or somewhere in the NE. On the other hand, they may be more willing to make the trek if they are guaranteed to not have to deal with freezing temperatures, sleet, etc.

                    There is no easy solution and I will be interested to hear about discussions at the convention this week.

                    Comment


                      #70
                      Well doesn’t sound like from this article any of those issues were discussed or addressed.

                      “Otherwise, it was a fairly quiet first day. A US Dressage Finals open forum drew mostly kudos for the seventh edition of the championships, held last month at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, and excitement is building for the planned addition of junior/young rider championships for Training through Fourth Levels in 2021, according to USDF president Lisa Gorretta.”

                      I didn’t realize adding in the Jr/Yr was in the future plans. Don’t they already have their own championships besides Regionals? I guess that is the incentive to get more Pro’s to come out if they have a larger student base to coach.

                      Personally I don’t have a thought either way as Nationals is not a goal of mine, Regionals is quite enough of a trek and pom and circumstance show for me.

                      If I remember correctly part of the issue of rotating venues every other year is with the venues. They want permanent dates not one year here and one year there. They can’t save a date where they could otherwise have an event making them money. I understand that but it certainly would be nice if it did move or perhaps 2 nationals East and West with the scores compared to award the “Grand National Champ” or some such.
                      Story and photos by Jennifer O. Bryant Sue Bender was determined to inject a note of fun into a convention agenda that’s become a grueling schedule of meetings, meetings, educational sessions, and more meetings. As the director of USDF Region 3, host region of the 2019 Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention, which officially kicked off today in…

                      Comment


                        #71
                        Originally posted by right horse at the right time View Post

                        West World in Scottsdale checks the boxes. Probably could have every ring either indoors or covered, too. No brainer.
                        WestWorld footing is not good.

                        Comment


                          #72
                          Originally posted by AZ TD View Post

                          WestWorld footing is not good.
                          Not for nothing - but this is a whole other consideration when it comes to hosting a major dressage show. if Finals run at a location that doesn't normally run a multi ring dressage show it could be cost prohibitive to get the footing to be acceptable.

                          A quick glance at the results list looks to be about 350 horses this year and they used 6 rings Thursday through Saturday, went down to 4 rings on Sunday. Since they are adding youth division in 2021, it's probably going to up the number of rings necessary.

                          Comment


                            #73
                            The Finals, as they are currently set up in Lexington, also include an open show that runs concurrently. Dressage in the Bluegrass.

                            So that is part of the consideration in needing the six rings, more days, and even more judges, etc. If another host site opted not to also run an open show, it might cut back slightly on the number of rings and other needs.

                            BUT, then you risk having competitors upset that they can't show in as many warm up classes outside the champs classes, and also, unable to earn scores toward the next season. Both those things are possible as it is managed now with Dressage in the Bluegrass.

                            Regarding Westworld, In addition to having inadequate footing for serious dressage shows, isn't it also incredibly difficult to book? I believe that is why we keep having Regionals in CO, instead of it rotating from year to year between AZ and CO the way they used to.

                            There are no matching Fall dates free in Scottsdale for the number of rings needed for our Regionals. Or so I have been told.

                            Comment


                              #74
                              WestWorld: probably could get in on ADA fall show dates. The open show helps pay for National since it requires only one judge per arena. However, the footing is totally inadequate.

                              Comment


                                #75
                                Originally posted by Silverbridge View Post
                                The Finals, as they are currently set up in Lexington, also include an open show that runs concurrently. Dressage in the Bluegrass.

                                So that is part of the consideration in needing the six rings, more days, and even more judges, etc. If another host site opted not to also run an open show, it might cut back slightly on the number of rings and other needs.

                                BUT, then you risk having competitors upset that they can't show in as many warm up classes outside the champs classes, and also, unable to earn scores toward the next season. Both those things are possible as it is managed now with Dressage in the Bluegrass.
                                The CDS “Annual Show” (CDS Horse of the Year Championships & USDF Region 7 Championships) could be a model for this. It’s a stand alone show, but offers warmup classes at each level so that everyone can do a warmup before their championship class if they want. It has a true championship feel, as everyone there has qualified & there’s no open show.

                                Comment


                                  #76
                                  Originally posted by vagabondrider View Post

                                  The CDS “Annual Show” (CDS Horse of the Year Championships & USDF Region 7 Championships) could be a model for this. It’s a stand alone show, but offers warmup classes at each level so that everyone can do a warmup before their championship class if they want. It has a true championship feel, as everyone there has qualified & there’s no open show.
                                  It's tricky, though.

                                  The year I competed at Region 7 Finals at LAEC, mngmt wouldn't allow any riding in the warmup arenas for people who weren't in an upcoming class. My Freestyle Champs was on Thursday, and my First Level Championship class was on Saturday. The only First Level Warmup class in the Prizelist was also on Thursday, so I signed up for the Freestyle championship and not that First Level test.

                                  There was nothing I could sign up to ride on Friday. No open first level test of any kind that day. And I also wasn't allowed to do a coached ride in any of the warmup rings, until after the show ended (5:30 - 6pm). They were checking numbers and noticing attire and if people weren't in a class, they sent them back to the barns. We had three horses at that show from our training barn and two of us had to do our rides then, after the show ended that evening. It was a long day at a show without showing or riding, and it pushed dinner back for everybody in the group.

                                  I do understand if there isn't enough room at the facility to accommodate workouts for the non-showing horses a day earlier than they compete, but it would have been better for me to have been able to ride a test on Friday. So I like the KY Finals format, with the open show at the same time, much better. It's also how Region 5 always does it for its Regionals whether they're in AZ or CO.

                                  Comment


                                    #77
                                    Region 2 finals are often large (depending on the location) and they also always run a open show concurrently.

                                    I'm not sure a show the logistical challenges that the finals create - the three judges for every championship class alone are super expensive - can make it financially if they do not also offer a open show at the same time. I've often had a day between my championship classes and if I could not ride until the show day was over, that would be a real problem.

                                    I'm onboard with the warmup rings next the competition rings being limited to those in the next hour doing prep work, but if that is what is going to happen, the show needs to provide a schooling area separate from that during the day. But then that has to be staffed/monitored. Then you need yet more staff.

                                    Anybody who has ever had to navigate the upper warm up/schooling ring next to the competition rings at Lamplight knows what a sh*tshow that can be on a busy afternoon.

                                    Comment


                                      #78
                                      So quick questions from someone late to the party.

                                      So an agreement about rotation was made but has yet to be honored? If so, why are any West Coasters supporting this At All?

                                      Second, I watched the Arabian Sporthorse folks try to get venues with an every other year contract. It's tough. But I will say that the West Coast facility in Nampa, ID could handle the USDF championships (freight trains notwithstanding). There's a ton of room there and the facility's staff are hard working and very friendly. I haven't felt so welcome and well cared for at a horse show in a long, long time.
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

                                      Comment


                                        #79
                                        Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                        So quick questions from someone late to the party.

                                        So an agreement about rotation was made but has yet to be honored? If so, why are any West Coasters supporting this At All?

                                        Long story short - yes, it has not yet been honored. it was supposed to be a three year rotation - I think partly based on at the time, show licenses were approved on a 3 year basis. The original "story" was that there was not a sufficient bid for a west coast location. I was not involved the bid review so I don't know if the powers that be were looking for any excuse to not move it from KHP or if there really wasn't a sufficient bid.

                                        There definitely has been some concerns voiced from the west coast people, but there is enough support and entries from the east coast to drown out the west coast concerns up to this point.

                                        Comment


                                          #80
                                          I have attended Nationals for the past 7 years. The first 5 years as a competitor and the past 2 as a spectator. If either of the past 2 years had been a year I was going to ride I don't know if I would have gone back. There was cold weather the first 5 years but it did not in any way compare to the past 2.

                                          It is a long drive and I have to take off unpaid for the week I attend. I have been lucky enough to be in the indoor heated barns and I just can't imagine being in the outdoor ones. They really need to update them from a safety standpoint.

                                          The charm of going to Nationals has mostly worn off and now with a youth option available I can't imagine where they are going to stable the additional horses or how they are going to get all the classes finished in the same time frame.

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