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Rated show changes arena/footing last minute, should they offer refunds?

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  • Rated show changes arena/footing last minute, should they offer refunds?

    I wasn't quite sure how to word the title of this thread so it would make sense.

    The scenario is the show is tomorrow and we are having unseasonal rain for this time of year. Due to the amount of rainfall, the dressage court cannot be used because it is soaked and has puddles and won't drain in time.

    So the show management decided to make a dressage court in a grass polo field that has slightly uneven footing. More rain is expected tonight. The footing changes were not announced to the competitors, but there was a post made on their Facebook page saying competition would be on the polo field.

    Word is getting out and people are scratching because they don't want to risk riding on uneven footing that could potentially be wet as well. Registration was already low due to the EHV 1 scare.

    Many people were hoping the show would be cancelled due to the odd circumstances but apparently "the show must go on".

    Should the show offer refunds to people who don't want to take a chance on riding in an arena they weren't expecting to ride in? Should the show managers have sent an email out to the competitors letting them know of the last minute footing change?

    The classes range from Intro A to Prix St. George.

  • #2
    If you scratch after the closing date then the show does not have to refund your money (in full or partial)--whether it be a health issue or weather related (act of God).

    If you are concerned about the footing and do not trust the footing, then do not go and do not expect a refund of any amount. You have to look out for the best interest of your horse.

    Comment


    • #3
      If the show moved the arena from sand to grass then I would assume the grass is safer to ride on then the sand. Dressage people seem to have a complex about riding on grass for some reason.
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      • #4
        If your horse is pretty much only used to training and schooling on manicured footing and is a *stall bunny*, then yes, I would scratch.

        However, the dressage arena technically is a *testing* arena, and horses that aren't schooled over varied terrain at home are really at a much higher risk of injury over the course of their lifetime than horses that school on/over a variety of footing every day.

        You should be able to ride a test on any reasonable footing, even wet clay IF that type of footing is indiginous to your horse's environment. Normally the horses won't carry themselves as *openly* as they would on dry ground, and the extensions won't be as good (self preservation on the horses part), but a *weather savvy horse* will be just fine and if you are serious about riding every day and developing a well rounded horse that can handle himself without risk of injury then it should not be a problem.

        A polo field should be fine.

        Comment


        • #5
          One show I manage has a statement each year in the prize list stating "an additional ring on grass footing may be used if necessary" for exactly this reason. If you switch to grass footing and it isn't listed as a possibility in the prize list, you can run into issues as you are *required* to state the type of footing in the prize list. I would think there would be some kind of compliance issue with switching to grass if it isn't listed as a possibility in the prize list.

          On the other hand, you *can* make changes to the prize list if you attempt to make these changes known to potential competitors, and in this case if they typically communicate regularly to competitors about the show on their Facebook, that would be one venue for them to announce the change. I would think they would also email competitors or something, however, particularly this close to the show.

          Also, another consideration is that the prize list for the show is considered a binding legal document with respect to the shows, so if it was changed in a material respect after the closing date there could be an issue. Maybe check with USEF on this one?

          Spectrum.

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          • #6
            If you switch to grass footing and it isn't listed as a possibility in the prize list, you can run into issues as you are *required* to state the type of footing in the prize list. I would think there would be some kind of compliance issue with switching to grass if it isn't listed as a possibility in the prize list.

            Not everyone uses Facebook, so I would not think that is a great way to comunicate changes. E-mail or phone, maybe, but shouldn't it be something that can be employed by/to every competitor in order to be fair?

            Agree that the option for rain changes should have been listed in the original prize list.

            Comment


            • #7
              Unfortunately, dressage shows cannot afford to offer refunds. They still have to pay to rent the grounds, for tents, porta potties, etc regardless of the rain. I have heard of some kind show managers refunding $ from time to time, but I am not sure that that is not horse show myth. It has never happened in my personal experience.

              You should see some of the footing that has to be dealt with at upper level competitions. Riders at Devon and Gladstone have to contend with absolute slop at the FEI levels when the rain kicks in. And the grass GP field for Athens was (rumored to be) so bad they wrecked a couple of horses on it. (My understanding is the turf was 'new' thus not mature with well developed roots thus kind of sucky)

              So yeah, you will have to deal with pretty tricky footing conditions at horse shows. Best advice is to get plenty of practice over varied terrain at home. Someone is going to show up and get the Championship. In the case of this show, the 'hardy' survivor types have the odds in their favor !
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              • #8
                I would show. Riding on grass doesn't bother me.
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                • #9
                  I guess I would want more information about the grass. Well, I guess if it is a polo field then it is used to handling horse traffic. Unless it is a polo field that is only used in the summer and you're in California where it doesn't rain in the summer so the grass can be very well-managed (thinking Menlo here) for moisture content. Some grasses may be ok in the wet, some may not. What is the underlying dirt like? If it is clay then it could be quite slippery. If it is sandy, then it could have nice cush and be lovely footing.

                  While I condition my horses in different arenas and out on the trails so they are accustomed to working in different footing, if I were worried about the footing I wouldn't go. I also wouldn't expect my money back.
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                  "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jcotton View Post
                    If you are concerned about the footing and do not trust the footing, then do not go and do not expect a refund of any amount. You have to look out for the best interest of your horse.
                    Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                    If the show moved the arena from sand to grass then I would assume the grass is safer to ride on then the sand. Dressage people seem to have a complex about riding on grass for some reason.
                    Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
                    If your horse is pretty much only used to training and schooling on manicured footing and is a *stall bunny*, then yes, I would scratch.

                    However, the dressage arena technically is a *testing* arena, and horses that aren't schooled over varied terrain at home are really at a much higher risk of injury over the course of their lifetime than horses that school on/over a variety of footing every day.
                    .
                    Originally posted by Pocket Pony View Post
                    I guess I would want more information about the grass. Well, I guess if it is a polo field then it is used to handling horse traffic. Unless it is a polo field that is only used in the summer and you're in California where it doesn't rain in the summer so the grass can be very well-managed (thinking Menlo here) for moisture content. Some grasses may be ok in the wet, some may not. What is the underlying dirt like? If it is clay then it could be quite slippery.
                    I scratched from the show before the closing date for other reasons, so I'm not worried about the refund. However, many of the riders board at the facility where the show is to be held and felt the polo field was unsafe not only because the footing would be slippery if wet, but also because there were holes in the field that had not been filled.

                    There were really no "stall bunnies" in this show, the facility is quite rustic and has access to trails, so people are used to riding their horses on varied terrain. It wasn't the fact it was moved to a polo field that had people concerned, it was just THAT particular field since people are familiar with it and don't feel it's safe. I'm not sure it's still used for polo and it's no where near the condition the well manicured polo fields of the Menlo Circus Club.

                    The riders that had the most issues are the ones that board at this facility since they are so familiar with the footing.

                    It's highly unusual to have a lot of rain here in June, so there really would be no reason for the prize list to state there may be an arena change, although I bet they will change it for future shows!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      does the dressage court just have puddles or is the footing deep?

                      while the grass might be better overall, i board at a dressage barn in the NW (i'm one of the few non-dressage riders there) and i don't think any of them have stud holes.

                      over the last couple weeks, shows have canceled due to EHV-1, but none because of footing.

                      if the show is smaller now, can they use an indoor?
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                      • #12
                        Are you at Webb? Isn't the indoor big enough? (It's been a long time since I've been there but I thought they re-did the footing in the indoor and that it was a large arena, but I could be mistaken). Although I guess that wouldn't account for a warm-up area.

                        Sigh. We've had a horrible "spring" in NorCal. I'm guessing it is summer somewhere, but not here! I'm sick of the rain!
                        My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

                        "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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                        • #13
                          So they are saying you will be riding on wet grass?
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                          ---
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                            So they are saying you will be riding on wet grass?
                            Egads....wet grass!!!!! What were they thinking.......
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                            • #15
                              Egads....wet grass!!!!! What were they thinking.......
                              Slip ... boom ... splat Stall Bunny, Stall Bunny ...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                actually I ride on grass, wet grass, dry grass, lush grass, sparse slick grass, all the time.

                                But I am aware that when I ride on wet grass (or any other potentially slippery surface) that my horses will be more careful about their footing. A really good extension could result in an event resembling a slip-n-slide instead of dressage.

                                So I would not expect the best from my horses on wet grass, no. I would not want to show on it, since the point is to show... Show off
                                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                ---
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  If there is a show scheduled, you ride the elements. Everyone is on equal footing.

                                  That doesn't mean you won't fall if your horse doesn't know how to keep his legs under him, but if he/she is well schooled then everyone sees how to ride correctly on tricky footing. It should be part of everyone's long term every day regime.

                                  Show that.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Interesting thought, I would have never looked at it that way... Thanks
                                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                    ---
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Your extensions won't and shouldn't be very extended on bad footing, and depending on the horse, maybe just a *medium* trot. But I think the way a horse rebalances on bad footing actually looks kind of cool in it's own right and it will teach them to engage and focus.

                                      The rider actually has to *listen* to the horse through their seat. No *overriding*.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I would not go. If the footing is not good, (holes, bumps, or ride on wet grass)
                                        You should not risk sliding and having your horse twist their leg and get injured.

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