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Show managers - why not separate AA from open?

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  • Show managers - why not separate AA from open?

    This is not a complaint but a true question.

    As an AA I have competed in 2 different regions, in one of those regions the show managers seem to always separate the AA's from the open classes, even if it means one of the classes only has 1 or a small # of entries. In the other region it seems that the classes are rarely split even if the classes are largish (comparatively speaking) with maybe 4 or more AA's and 4 or more opens. I know that ribbons are very inexpensive (I've had to buy them for an event), and the shows that I've been to do not give extravagant prizes to winners, so why not split the classes? Is it that much more work? I've volunteered at many shows but never managed one so I'm really curious - what's the reasoning behind making amateurs compete against professionals?

  • #2
    Originally posted by cuatx67 View Post
    This is not a complaint but a true question.

    As an AA I have competed in 2 different regions, in one of those regions the show managers seem to always separate the AA's from the open classes, even if it means one of the classes only has 1 or a small # of entries. In the other region it seems that the classes are rarely split even if the classes are largish (comparatively speaking) with maybe 4 or more AA's and 4 or more opens. I know that ribbons are very inexpensive (I've had to buy them for an event), and the shows that I've been to do not give extravagant prizes to winners, so why not split the classes? Is it that much more work? I've volunteered at many shows but never managed one so I'm really curious - what's the reasoning behind making amateurs compete against professionals?
    Our area makes this decision based on size of class and level. We split all classes Second and lower, regardless of class size. From 3rd up, there has to be three or more from a group, ie Jr, AA, Open, to split the class. Our rationale being that by the time someone is showing 3rd, they are less concerned about who else is in the class.

    Comment


    • #3
      If that happened at a show here, there would be open revolt. I've never been to a USDF sanctioned show in this region where ammys competed against pros. If there's any combining of classes to be done, the juniors are grouped with the open riders; the ammys are always separate, even if there's only one per class, even above 3rd level.

      I thought the USDF had rules about this. Anyone know?
      In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
      A life lived by example, done too soon.
      www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

      Comment


      • #4
        Bronte what your area does makes a lot of sense to me, but as an AA showing 3rd I'd rather not compete against professionals.

        It is surprising that there is such a variation between areas and show management. I'm also curious if there are USDF rules about it.

        Comment


        • #5
          When I moved from Region 1 to Texas, I was pretty surprised at how they divided every single class into AA, Open, and Jr. When I was in Region 1, usually they might designate one class of the level as AA or Jr/YR and then they would pin the class twice - first for all (open) and then second you'd get a ribbon based on your AA placing.

          I think it is pretty silly the way it is done here, especially since everyone does it as schooling shows as well. It is ridiculous to take 1 class with 4 people and divide it into 3 classes. Are we all really that desperate for a ribbon?

          I agree, though, that there would be a revolt if it changed! The people here in TX seem to like the divided classes very much.

          ETA: USDF doesn't make rules, USEF does, and I'm pretty sure the only rules surrounding dividing classes are going to be for championships. For open, regular shows, it is going to be at the discretion of management.

          Under DR126 it says "When entries warrant competitions are encouraged
          to split classes for Adult Amateurs and Junior/Young Riders. "

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          • #6
            Here the Jr's usually get lumped in the with AA's, which at the lower levels is grossly unfair to the AAs. Leave us a little dignity please! (ok, kidding. Sort of.)
            "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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            • #7
              I'm in Houston in Region 9. We are considering having some one-ring schooling shows here and are in planning stages. Our thought has been to divide by junior and amateur, but have pros ride HC only. That way the amateurs don't have to compete against them and the pros are usually there only for mileage on a young horse or practice with a horse before moving up a level. I'd think they'd be satisfied with getting a score and critique and wouldn't care about a 50 cent ribbon.

              What do you other Region 9ers think? ESG? Fshgordon?
              Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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              • #8
                Hi Sonesta -

                I see your point about pros riding HC, but if the ribbons are only 50 cents (or close) why not just separate the classes and let everyone get their little mementos even if they only hang it on their stall for a day? There is something fun about picking up a blue with your test. There is also something fun at looking at the ribbons your group has accumulated over a weekend hanging on a stall.

                When I show I go into the ring with a personal goal in mind. I want to ride the test a certain way and hope to end up with a certain score. I usually don't care who is in my class with me because I'm riding for myself - but it is nice to win when I do achieve my goals, and my goals are probably less aspiring than a professionals. Why not keep the playing field even and just separate the classes?

                Again, I think the way Bronte described how they handle classes in her area makes sense - I'm talking about bigger classes, not those with just a few entries.

                Comment


                • #9
                  In Colorado, most of the shows offer each class with an AA, Jr, Open option. You specify the division when you enter (and provide AA cards if that is your division).

                  The classes are pretty much run all at once with AA, JR, Open intermingled so timing becomes not such a factor. The office then places each division. So, an AA might follow an Open ride. An Open ride might follow a JR ride.

                  It does not HURT anyone to offer prizes for each division. And it certainly promotes good will between the show management and the exhibitors.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sonesta View Post
                    I'm in Houston in Region 9. We are considering having some one-ring schooling shows here and are in planning stages. Our thought has been to divide by junior and amateur, but have pros ride HC only. That way the amateurs don't have to compete against them and the pros are usually there only for mileage on a young horse or practice with a horse before moving up a level. I'd think they'd be satisfied with getting a score and critique and wouldn't care about a 50 cent ribbon.

                    What do you other Region 9ers think? ESG? Fshgordon?
                    The only thing I would wonder about is that pros are often riding horses owned by their clients in schooling shows and the clients very often want the memento of their horse's performance. If you are already dividing the classes by JR and AA, no reason not to have an Open class as well. All the DDC schooling shows have classes divided that way, as do the schooling shows where I board.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ok, I see your points. My thinking was that most pros don't want the embarrassment of NOT doing well with a youngster and riding HC is face-saving. Thus, in our area, VERY FEW pros show in the schooling shows.

                      I'd love to hear more input on this.
                      Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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                      • #12
                        Up here I typically see the Jr, AA, and Open all riding in the same block/class, and the results are put up with all three divisions on the same list, but ribbons and championships are presented for each category. I think this is a good way to do it, as you can see how you stacked up for the class overall, but get the ribbons/points for your classification.
                        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sonesta View Post
                          Ok, I see your points. My thinking was that most pros don't want the embarrassment of NOT doing well with a youngster and riding HC is face-saving. Thus, in our area, VERY FEW pros show in the schooling shows.

                          I'd love to hear more input on this.
                          You can always offer ribbons for all three divisions.

                          Around here we have some pros that are known for bringing along young horses and/or inexperienced riders. And they do come to the schooling shows. Rated shows not so much.

                          No, we don't see many. But we do like to encourage all to participate.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ok, I'm convinced. Ribbons for all.
                            Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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                            • #15
                              I always crack up when people talk about "50 cent ribbons." Have you bought ribbons lately? Think $4-8 each. www.hodgesbadge.com Not that that is a compelling reason not to split classes, but just FYI from a manager's POV.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Yes, they are quite expensive - especially when you consider that most people (especially pros) just toss them after a show.
                                Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Sonesta - Pros can always enter HC if they are worried about their score being "embarrassing" so I would definitely leave it up to them and run open classes the same as others. And I agree with the poster who said pros are often riding a client's horse and the client will probably want a ribbon.

                                  Heck, I had NO IDEA what to expect first time I showed Dubonnet (I had only owned her 3 months and she can be hot) so I entered a schooling show HC just to take any pressure off me. So, if people want a true schooling experience, there is nothing stopping them from deciding to enter HC.

                                  And yes, as an AA in Region 9, I would be upset if I had to show 3rd level against the pros at Recognized shows (I don't really care about schooling shows because I am usually there just for the experience. Lord knows, I need lots of practice to get good at showing at this level.) I am glad our classes are split.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I would treat the open divisions the same as you treat JR and ammy. Whenever you take a client's horse to a show, that client wants the ribbons, believe me. Sort of like justification for the money they spent, I think. In fact, I had a client get downright p!$$ed when I won both my Training level classes on her horse and should have gotten a championship ribbon, only to find that the show wasn't awarding championships in the open division.
                                    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                                    A life lived by example, done too soon.
                                    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have worked shows that did and shows that did not (But could have). It is basically the manager's decision. I think it is silly not to split if the entries are sufficient. Let's more folks take home a ribbon, have happy memories and gives you free advertising!!! After all, your show name is on the ribbon. Pennywise and pound foolish not to split, imho.
                                      Appy Trails,
                                      Kathy, Cadet & CCS Silinde
                                      member VADANoVA www.vadanova.org

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Ibex View Post
                                        Here the Jr's usually get lumped in the with AA's, which at the lower levels is grossly unfair to the AAs. Leave us a little dignity please! (ok, kidding. Sort of.)

                                        I agree. Or maybe give us a "Mature Class" ???
                                        We do not have an overpopulation of dogs, we have an under population of responsible dog owners!!!

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