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Young Horse Program

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  • Young Horse Program

    What are everyones thoughts on the Central Selection Trials? I think they are a little early. This is why some of the numbers may be low at this particular venue. Worried they may not continue if they are not more supported. It would be a loss to our part of the Country.

  • #2
    The WBFSH sets the deadline by when the USEF has to have their list of participating horses. This is calculated backwards from the date of the show in Verden, plus allowing for travel time etc. So USEF gets locked into a date range from the getgo. Plus USEF desires to have the show on consecutive weekends and to repeat 2 of the same judges at each selection trial to ensure a concensus of judging and opinion. So that leaves region 2 with only the other possible date of June 11/12 weekend -and that is Waterloo. Then Waterloo would have had to apply to host the selection trial. Did they?

    I don't think the possible date can be pushed any later due to the above criteria.
    RoseLane Sportponies
    Golden State - 2012 Bundeschampion & 2014 USDF Horse of the Year
    Golden West - 2014 & 2015 Bundeschampion Pony Stallion
    Petit Marc Aurel- FEI Dressage Pony Stallion

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Yes I understand the timing. Just wondering why the Central Selection is so early. It is the part of the country where the weather is so much cooler and wet than the Western and Eastern Selection Trials. If you do not go to Florida it is sometimes also the first show of the year. Why could it not be after Raleigh? Maybe more people would attend. I know the numbers attending this year was down.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am guessing that Lamplight was the only show that applied to host that fit with the timeframe. But that is just a guess. They hold the shows on back to back weekends and Raleigh and Flintridge dates are locked in several years in advance. So they could only push the Central trials to After Raleigh - and that only leaves Waterloo the next weekend as a possiblity. Don't know if Waterloo applied or not. I am guessing USEF probably can't push it any further into June than that and meet the WBSFH needs.

        DO you know of any big shows in Region 2 in later June that applied?

        What is a shame is that due to the WEG the USA Finals are 2 weeks before Verden (when they are normally 2-3 weeks after). So, in all likelihood, the top 5yo and 6yos (who get to go to Verden) will NOT be able to do the USA championships. That is too close in time to make the trip and have the horse properly rested.
        RoseLane Sportponies
        Golden State - 2012 Bundeschampion & 2014 USDF Horse of the Year
        Golden West - 2014 & 2015 Bundeschampion Pony Stallion
        Petit Marc Aurel- FEI Dressage Pony Stallion

        Comment


        • #5
          Well considering that no US-based horse qualified for Verden last year, and only 1(? I think) the year before, the fact that verden and the US finals are so close is probably not an issue. And its (presumably) a 1-year deal due to WEG.

          I think the biggest stumbling block for the US young horse program is that the judging is VERY inconsistent. I've seen similar rides with the same horse and rider score radically different marks from different sets of judges. The problem is that (at least in my understanding, I'm not heavily involved in the program just like to watch the classes cause you can hear the judges feedback ) THERE ARE NO CLEAR standards as to what judges are supposed to be looking for just a rather vague idea of application of the training scale and potential for upper levels. The typical dressage tests are way more consistent between judges - because, hey, we train the judges very consistently and thoroughly. In the out loud comments following young horse tests, you hear a lot more of "I like to see..." or "I would prefer..." opinion on where a judge feels a 4/5/6 yo should be. A handful of US judges have been specifically trained for young horse classes (presumably these are the ones doing the selection trials?), but even they don't have that much experience because the program is still very small so they don't see a bunch of young horses at once. I think it would be a really good idea, especially for the Verden qualifiers, but maybe for the US National YH championships as well, to fly in some of the judges who judge young horses all the time in Europe. They have much more education and experience, being at shows with dozens of young horses at once than US based judges who see a handful here and there. Then we'd have a better sense of how our horses stacked up internationally, with much lower costs than shipping horses to Europe!
          Last edited by Applecore; Aug. 31, 2009, 06:33 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            For Verden next year -
            in the 2010 6yo division - I would think that Selten and San Shivago (both out of california) will do the Flintridge trials and have a shot for Verden.

            in the 2010 5yo division the top 3 horses were midatlantic based - so guessing they will do Raleigh. And my #4 horse is California based so we will do Flintridge.

            Not sure who would do the 5yo/6yos at Lamplight for Verden next year. But then again there are always new ones coming in......
            RoseLane Sportponies
            Golden State - 2012 Bundeschampion & 2014 USDF Horse of the Year
            Golden West - 2014 & 2015 Bundeschampion Pony Stallion
            Petit Marc Aurel- FEI Dressage Pony Stallion

            Comment


            • #7
              Applecore, they're trying to get judges with more experience.

              Several American judges have judged at Verden: Hilda Gurney, M. Poulin and this year Linda Zang. The best Americans have done in Verden is when Hilda was judging. No Americans for Linda to judge though....

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Applecore View Post
                I think it would be a really good idea, especially for the Verden qualifiers, but maybe for the US National YH championships as well, to fly in some of the judges who judge young horses all the time in Europe. They have much more education and experience, being at shows with dozens of young horses at once than US based judges who see a handful here and there. Then we'd have a better sense of how our horses stacked up internationally, with much lower costs than shipping horses to Europe!

                I couldn't agree more!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree that it would be a good idea to have some European judges for the qualifiers and the US National Championships. This could then be a training opportunity for US judges.

                  What I noticed this year at the Championships was that two horses would get the exact same comments on the trot, for example, and then the first would get a score of 8.2 for that gait and the second a 7.4! Why?

                  Also, one of the riders had a comment on his/her written score - "dull and boring"!! Is that really necessary?
                  Siegi Belz
                  www.stalleuropa.com
                  2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                  Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One thing that really bothered me in 2008 is the horses bridle numbers were the number that they were ranked going into the Championships...so the judges already already knew which horses were the top going in...so the horses that may have had qualifying scores from early in the year and were ranked lower had a lower bridle number....they should all come in and be judged with a blank slate.

                    Also, the judges on the second day continually would refer to how the final test compared to the practice test from the day before! I was under the impression that they weren't supposed to compare the 2 tests and they were only supposed to go off of the final day's test.

                    I would think it would be tremendously beneficial to have some European judges who are more familiar with the YH judging be involved.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here's another vote for inviting European judges to officiate at both the Selection trials and the Nationals - it would even be nice to see a few at the "regular" qualifying shows throughout the season, although undoubtedly this would be cost-prohibitive. At any level, however, the inclusion of such judges could only be an asset to the program.

                      eks, regarding the National Championship judging and the references to the previous day's tests: In the 4YO division, there is a "warm-up" or practice test the day before, and then the championship test the next day. In that case, I suppose the 4YO horses should come into the ring for their championship test with a "blank slate" - no need to reference what they did the day before.

                      However, in the 5Y0 and 6YO divisions, there is no "practice" or "warm-up" test. The championship is a two-phase competition, with the preliminary test the first day counting 40% of the score and the final test the second day counting 60% of the score. Since the performances in the two tests are both weighted to determine the final outcome, I think judges' references to the work the day before aren't out of line - they just provide spectators an insight into why the judges scores/comments on a specific horse might differ from "yesterday" to "today."
                      Winter Mill Farm
                      www.wintermillfarm.com

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Anyone out there aiming to go to the Central Selection Trial at Lamplight next year??

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          we've done that before..

                          I remember in Raleigh one year (I think it was 2001), Christoph Hess was one of the judges in the YH classes: the horse he put 1st, the other 4 judges (yes there were 5) put dead last. It was scored like a regular FEI dressage test with judges all around the arena. Dummy that I am, I tried to tell them how it was done in Europe. At least they fixed it the next year.

                          Christoph judged in Verden that year btw.

                          Another year (maybe 2002?) we used Volker Moritz in the Central qualifier. He also judged in Verden that year and they placed the American horse he had already seen in the top 10. My friends in Europe tell me that most of the horses in Verden have been 'campaigning' in Europe long before the WM. They tell me that the judges know most of the horses before they ever get to Verden and that there's a rough idea of who's going to do well.

                          So, it would seem a good idea for us to have some European judges at our regional WM qualifiers. I'm not sure why we stopped.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Bottom line to qualify for Verden, you need a horse with three gaits for 8.5 plus, which carries itself uphill, swings, covers ground and looks like it it easy for it to do so. These horses do not come along every day.

                            I had two horses compete this year at the Young Horse Championships at Lamplight. Full brothers that placed third and fifth respectively in the Four Year Old and Five Year Old Classes. They are super horses for the future. The Grand Prix riders I sat next to liked them for future upper level horses, but they do not have the extravagant gaits for Verden.

                            That being said, I do own a couple other young prospects that have the extraordinary gaits that might make them competitive for Verden? We will have to see them under saddle next year and the year after. One I might send over next year because I believe she very talented but she would stay for more than the Young Horse Classes. Will get her started early 2010 then decide.

                            There are some very successful young horses from these classes that continue on to GP and those that never do. But the Young Horse Classes are fun and I hope more people support them in the future.
                            I agree judging can be erratic, and I felt very sorry for a couple of the horse/rider combination's that were put through to the finals and then insulted for being there. So agree the judging leading up to the Finals need to be more consistent across the board.
                            Last edited by Crosiadore Farm; Sep. 2, 2009, 07:48 AM.
                            Nancy Holowesko

                            www.crosiadorefarm.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Over the last few years I have ridden 3 of my horses in the Young Horse Championships - 2 of them are now competing at GP, one was sold to a YR who considers him her dreamhorse.

                              As I stated before, I think highly of these Young Horse classes ( as well as the Developing Horse classes) and the Championships, as they are the logical extension of Material/Suitability classes. They give all of us - breeders, riders and trainers an opportunity to showcase our young horses.

                              Having said that, I usually take the comments from the judges more as advice then anything else. My goal is to produce a happy, confident FEI horse via the Young Horse program and if any of these horses do well (or win) in the Young Horse classes - great, if not - that's ok, too.

                              As others have stated, many of the Young Horse 'ubermovers' never make it to GP, while the 'good ole boy' who won't 'see land' in these classes just keeps learning and turns into a solid FEI horse.

                              Competing at the World Championship in Verden is a goal for many, but as Crosiadore Farm said - you better bring a horse able to score 8.5 - 9.0 for gaits and they are few and far between - anywhere. Personally, I can't wait for an American bred horse with such scores to go to Verden and kick some .... !

                              Now, my question is - could we suggest to the managers/secretaries of the individual Selection Trials to invite former judges of the World Championship to judge. Their insight would be invaluable to all of us.
                              Last edited by elly; Sep. 1, 2009, 09:37 PM. Reason: Grammar - what can I say !
                              Perfection is not attainable, but when we chase perfection, we can catch excellence - Vince Lombardi

                              www.thehomestedt.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I had a Young horse in the Championships this year and I have to say that I thought the judging was very consistent and accurate in the classes I watched--4,5,6 and developing horse. I agree however that the juding at the qualifying shows seems to be very erratic. I saw more than a few horses who were ranked highly coming in that showed a real lack of strength and were not able to complete basic counter canter, or changes etc that are part of their FEI tests.

                                THe other comment I'll make is that I think there are some judges who award points to horses who can show lots of expression in the movements but who may not be as through as they should be in the bridle or as obedient as they should be. There is a natural desire--even with judges--to see something flashy and I think this sometimes overrides proper scoring. As a result I think there are more than a few horses that are pushed to be extravagant movers as young horses that later on develop tension that is hard to undo when it comes time to train the FEI movements because they are never trained to be properly through in the connection--they can fling their legs around. Allowing the horses to push into the bridle and remain relaxed and supple does not always produce this animation that the YH judges seem to want but the relaxed young horse will probably produce a more willing and supple and elegant GP horse.

                                The top three horses coming into the show in each division pretty much played out as the final three but the rest of the spots were up for grabs and there was a great deal of change on who ended up placing where when you looked at where they were ranked coming in. So that tells me that the judging at the qualifying shows needs some more consistency.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Crosiadore Farm View Post
                                  I had two horses compete this year at the Young Horse Championships at Lamplight. Full brothers that placed third and fifth respectively in the Four Year Old and Five Year Old Classes.
                                  can someone explain the young horse championships? i see its held in Illinois and its for young horses and i see congrats for the winner, but i am curious what it is all about?
                                  i read somewhere i think dressage today that one has to decide to train for the young horse championships or start at training and first level. so are these tests very different from the tests you see when climbing up the levels. how do you qualify? and it seems that the horses are pretty well trained for these championships but is it alot on the young horses since they are young? just really curious what this is all about!
                                  thanks in advance!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by TSWJB View Post
                                    can someone explain the young horse championships? i see its held in Illinois and its for young horses and i see congrats for the winner, but i am curious what it is all about?
                                    i read somewhere i think dressage today that one has to decide to train for the young horse championships or start at training and first level. so are these tests very different from the tests you see when climbing up the levels. how do you qualify? and it seems that the horses are pretty well trained for these championships but is it alot on the young horses since they are young? just really curious what this is all about!
                                    thanks in advance!
                                    So, as I understand it, the young horse championship program is designed to identify the top tier of 4-6 year olds with the potential for FEI in the US (or world, as with the Verden World Championships in Germany). The tests themselves are very much like a typical dressage test. The 4yo test is almost exactly 1st 1, the 5 yo test is equivalent to 2nd 1 or so (counter canter, mediums, some lateral work) and the 6 yo test equivalent to 3rd level (flying changes, half pass). The scoring, however, is very different than a typical test. Instead of getting a score for each movement, there are 5 collective marks for the whole test - quality of the walk, trot and canter, submissiveness and overall impression. That's it. It's designed to give the young horses some 'wiggle room' for baby errors - a quick loss of submission because a trash can fell over will hardly be reflected, but more systematic errors on movements that demonstrate their FEI potential/ability at this level (eg the flying changes for the 6yos, the simple changes for the 5yos) will have a much bigger reduction than it might on a regular dressage test.

                                    As far as training horses for it - the young horses have to be fit, talented and well ridden but it's not a huge burden when those criteria are met. Some talented horses are slow maturers physically/mentally and aren't a good fit for the young horse program, but as long as the trainers keep in mind the long term goal (FEI level horse) rather than the short term goal (YH wins) and know when to push and when not to push, it's fine. I know a horse locally who was broken fall of his 3 yo year, turned out in the winter, came back to work in April and got good (7.2-7.6) 4yo scores at his first shows in July, and he wasn't super fancy horse. The very top horses, I would guess, are probably worked year-round but it certainly needn't be a big burden for the right combinations.

                                    Qualifying for the national championship I'll let someone else describe. I know there are certain shows in each region you can qualify at, but that's about it.

                                    Comment

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