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National Dressage Finals

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  • National Dressage Finals

    I just finished reading that the new USDF National Dressage Finals are going to be held in KY for the first one and then will be moving from east to west coast every three years.

    To me, this is a HUGE mistake. KY has the perfect venue and is more centrally located. Also, if you look at the incredibly successful national championship shows for the major breed shows in this country, they have them stay in one location all the time. It makes it much easier for people to plan to attend. They can book hotels years in advance. They can always know that they need to shop for airfare to the same place. They can always plan that same travel expense for shipping their horse to that location. (While going all the way east or west can become outrageous, and if it's in, say CA or NY, the expense of travel, hotel, stall fees, etc can be amazingly prohibitive compared to KY.)

    I think this is where they're going to lose attendance. Especially with our current economy. Having it stay, as with all the big shows that people plan to attend either with a horse or without, in a country this large is just going to be a major mistake.

    I hope they rethink that one piece before it becomes too late.
    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

  • #2
    RE: Kentucky being CENTRALLY located.

    I figure you must be from the East coast.


    Kentucky is central to those east of the Mississippi. Not so much from those farther west. A good 24 hours from Denver. Twice that from the left coast.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      And yet, it has the PERFECT venue and isn't as far to travel to as, say NY, FL, etc. if you come from the west.
      "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

      Comment


      • #4
        Depends on from where in the west you come, really.

        I know the ship has sailed on this and it's been in the works for around a decade, but it seems to be a move in the opposite direction of making showing accessible and cheap for amateurs. Again, the discretionary income wins the day.

        The eventers have been doing it with great success for years, I understand, so maybe my apprehension is misplaced.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mjhco View Post
          RE: Kentucky being CENTRALLY located.

          I figure you must be from the East coast.


          Kentucky is central to those east of the Mississippi. Not so much from those farther west. A good 24 hours from Denver. Twice that from the left coast.
          My thoughts too! If you really want to talk Central, why not do it in Minnesota? That is central!

          KY is not such a bargain - I've stayed in plenty of So-Cal hotels (I travel for work) for $80/night, and they aren't dives. My vet just visited KY and it was expensive!

          I think rotating makes sense, but I think they should add a 3rd location - the true central states. Reality is, many won't make the trip, no matter where it is.

          cnm, I totally agree, this is just one more example of a program for the $$$ contingency.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            KY has the best facilities. If you get down to brass tacks. FL is okay, but KY was built for horses and the USEF and USDF are right there.
            "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

            Comment


            • #7
              Fortunately for me, It's doubtful I'd ever qualify for national championships, so planning for Kentucky or one of the coasts is not a problem.

              This is a big country. I think we should have stuck with regional championships. Regions are more akin to the European countries in terms of size. Doable for more ammies and low-level pros like my clients and me.

              Oh, well. I'm hoping this experiment is a huge failure. It's sure not going to do much for the majority of ammy riders. Who can take that much time off from work to travel and compete?

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree that KY isn't truly central, but that is very hard to come by in this country. Kansas City is probably the closest we could come. Frankly, in our sport we shouldn't truly need head to head competition to grade our top riders. An average of the year's rides would be a true comparison.

                I'd rather see a month set aside in four zones with the same judges doing four weekends in a row for this type of comparison. Highest score of all shows win. Just hate hauling the horses around so much. But then the top horses will do it anyway.

                Comment


                • #9
                  There are great venues many places, not quite on a par with KY maybe, but nice enough to handle National Champs. As one who has qualified a few times, I won't go to KY (NOT AT ALL CENTRAL), but would go if I qualify in a year that it is held in the west. Would consider it if it was truly central as well. Unfortunately as a full time working AA, I would probably not be able to get the time off. I'm not sure the concept will fly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Didn't they used to be in Oklahoma or some place like that?

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by out west View Post
                      There are great venues many places, not quite on a par with KY maybe, but nice enough to handle National Champs. As one who has qualified a few times, I won't go to KY (NOT AT ALL CENTRAL), but would go if I qualify in a year that it is held in the west. Would consider it if it was truly central as well. Unfortunately as a full time working AA, I would probably not be able to get the time off. I'm not sure the concept will fly.
                      The problem with this thinking is that if everyone feels this way and only goes when it's close to home--it then becomes a local championship.
                      "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ThreeFigs View Post
                        Fortunately for me, It's doubtful I'd ever qualify for national championships, so planning for Kentucky or one of the coasts is not a problem.

                        This is a big country. I think we should have stuck with regional championships. Regions are more akin to the European countries in terms of size. Doable for more ammies and low-level pros like my clients and me.

                        Oh, well. I'm hoping this experiment is a huge failure. It's sure not going to do much for the majority of ammy riders. Who can take that much time off from work to travel and compete?
                        They are not doing away with regional championships.

                        I certainly would not argue that Kentucky is not as central as some would like to believe. But with the size of the country, there are always going to be people unhappy with the location.

                        The problem with sending judges around, or video rides, or even score averaging, is that there is not any semblance of level playing field. No matter how it is argued, there are more generous scoring judges. There will be riders that will gravitate to those judges and skew the scores a bit. There is not a month during the year where we get similar weather across the country, so a good chance of substantial advantages or disadvantages.

                        I have no dog in this fight, as I don't ever expect to qualify for this championship, but I don't understand why there is such resistance to this program. I could easily argue that Junior/Young Riders championship are insanily beyond the financial reach of most of the young riders in the USDF. I don't hear a battlecry to end that championship.

                        This is where they are starting. In Kentucky. Just because it is currently written that they will be there for three years and then rotate doesn't mean that won't get altered to something viewed as more palatable.

                        The reality in my mind is that this championship is going to be beyond the reach of 99% of the people unhappy about it. And I don't mean financially. You're going to have to be first or second in your regional championship to even qualify (and yes I do realize it may reach deeper than that depending on the opt-outs, but you get my drift). How many people bitching about this have placed first or second in a regional championship?

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Wow. Um, not a single person on this topic is "bitching" except you. We were having a civil discussion without a need for swearing.

                          As for YR's having big expenses, most are sponsored. Either individually, or as a team. Often by their region and local clubs.
                          "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            While I doubt I will ever actually qualify, if I did qualify for the National Championships, I would go. I guess I may be in the minority here. I live in Ohio, if the championships were in California, I would save all my pennies to be able to attend.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Velvet, I had no argument with you. I actually agree with you that they should pick one location and stick with it. Why you feel the need to take exception with my take, I don't really know. This is exactly the same topic you started a year ago and I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish with it this time around. You might not like my contribution, or my tone, but the underlying tone of some posters was certainly in the "bitching" zone.

                              My point was that there are tons of programs that the USDF funds/runs/etc... that many members will never benefit from. In the case of YRs, maybe there is *some* funding for the championships, but you'd better have pretty deep pockets to get to that point. Breed shows could be left to the individual registries. For that matter, why do we need regional championships? Just place regional championships based on qualifying scores. Why are my dues being used to help fund trainer clinics? My trainer does not attend those clinics. I get no benefit, The list goes on and on.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Yes, it takes a special venue to host any show of substantial size and caliber, however KY does not have a monopoly on that. While we're on that subject, why Chicago for the Young Horse championships??

                                Should I be able to qualify for a national championship, it's highly unlikely that I would travel much past Denver starting as I am on the West Coast. Why? I work full time and would like to retire eventually so money spent on a big horsey trip east would do me more good in my retirement fund.

                                Is there any compelling reason for a national championship in addition to the HOY awards?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Years (and years and years) ago that is what was done...east coast/west coast (for the dressage medal class...yes there was one) and very little shipping (except for hunter medals).

                                  Then there was three separate attempts to have head to head finals (at all levels), (held in the midwest_. The best 'solution' was to have three finals, with the same judges in the same seats, and then the winners of the national titles were those with the highest scores. Otherwise, the regional qualifers who went to nationals had to take more time off work (and not everyone has that luxury), and it was late in the year (hence problems with snow/etc). But at least the mileage was paid (albeit at about half the going per mile rate). So, it becomes more and more a province of those with $$$$. And to ship nationally for lower level horses can be risky and stressful.
                                  I.D.E.A. yoda

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    The way I see it, they're never going to host finals where I live currently (western PA), nor where I'm likely to move for my job (Houston). The regional champs I took this guy to this past year cost me >$1500 for a weekend. And that's only a 6hr drive away. If I have to go across the country for a longer show, it's easily $5K. Easily.

                                    Now, woe is me woe is me, but I feel like I could be semi-competitive (or at least not severely embarrass myself and maybe end up in the middle of the class) at my level in my division, but I see my odds of attendance as extremely low. Not while I'm making the money I make and only have 2 weeks of vacation for the whole year.

                                    So if I'm the target audience for this program, there'll be disappointment everywhere. Since I'm likely not the target audience, I imagine the show will go on without me.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Idea, I don't recall that. I only recall AHSA zone awards. Must have been before my time!
                                      "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Have you seen the class prices? It could be next door and I don't think I'll pay $100 per class.
                                        From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.

                                        Comment

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