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Stoneleigh Burnham No Longer Hosting USEA Recognized Events

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  • Stoneleigh Burnham No Longer Hosting USEA Recognized Events

    http://useventing.com/news/stoneleig...d-horse-trials

    Very sad, another event from A1 gone. SB was my first recognized event. Absolutely wonderful people and I am very sad to see this chapter close.

    On the plus side, it does look like they will continue to host unrecognized events..
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

  • #2
    Bummer, but it’s probably even worse to repeatedly organize an event then have to cancel it for weather or footing reasons. Just in fees alone it’s cheaper to organize an unrecognized event and it opens up more date choices.
    Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
    you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

    Comment


    • #3
      such sad news-so many great memories there! Glad to hear they will be continuing schooling events though!

      Comment


      • #4
        This is such a bummer... i love the secretary (Erin), it was a nice easy drive for me, the people were just SO nice there.... Great Vista is another, great location, lovely people and i guess last year was their last year.

        I dont know about SBS, but Great Vista always struggled for entries, and I will forever miss Stuart Horse Trials. I'm at least happy to say Larkin was full this June!

        I really hope more people come to GVRDC as well - a lot of attention is taken to footing, course designer is great. I don't really understand why people are so against driving out this way, I hate to see the community get smaller and smaller.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by EventingJ View Post
          This is such a bummer... i love the secretary (Erin), it was a nice easy drive for me, the people were just SO nice there.... Great Vista is another, great location, lovely people and i guess last year was their last year.

          I dont know about SBS, but Great Vista always struggled for entries, and I will forever miss Stuart Horse Trials. I'm at least happy to say Larkin was full this June!

          I really hope more people come to GVRDC as well - a lot of attention is taken to footing, course designer is great. I don't really understand why people are so against driving out this way, I hate to see the community get smaller and smaller.
          I love the people too! Erin and Mina were some of the best organizers, my two cents. I'm so glad the venue will at least remain open through schooling shows.. and I assume schooling..

          Re: Organizing and cancelling.. part of SBS' issue was that it was always between two big destination events in my opinion; my barnmates would always have to pick between the two rather than run back-to-back - that, and, (this is no fault of SBS') the weather and the footing as a result is very unpredictable.

          SBS was always an old-time event to me. I don't mind the less than stellar footing or the mud, but some eventers certainly are used to a certain standard of footing... especially when they go south for the winter, where there is no such thing as mud.

          Reminiscing a bit, thinking of one of my favorite SBS memories... we had one year it was unusually rainy and the event was not cancelled. Everyone was slogging through dressage in pastern-deep mud - a lot of very tight, sticky rides.. I remember I was holding my horse together in a class that really struggled due to the footing - it was his moment to shine, though, he was turf-bred and had no problem with the muck - except he cleared (as in cleared!) the back water crossing and skated several feet on landing We were going at a nice canter towards the crossing, I said "go through" and he said "nope, going over!" - there were many comments on it once we passed the finish flags!

          I always liked the woods portion; many people I knew complained it was tight and hairy, but I always got the feel I was riding a course the way it ought to be.

          Great Vista is a big distance for a lot of people, but so worth the drive. They had the year end championships there many years back, and it was a gorgeous setting. I have a picture framed of my late gelding, taken at GV.

          I will miss Stuart HT too. I never got to compete there, but spent many hours as a groom.

          Our sport is certainly getting thinner. The events we have at our fingertips is dwindling.
          AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

          Comment


          • #6
            1st- Erin is a BEAST!! I feel such relief whenever I enter an event she's the secretary for. She's just incredible.

            2nd- I wonder if there were any discussions with SBS about what could be done to keep them on the docket. UNH used to host a 1-day HT in early July and Valinor used to host a second event in late August. Both of those would be better from a rain perspective and might be better for entries? I don't know, I'm not involved in the scheduling and organization, all I know is it's a real shame to lose yet another great venue in Area 1.

            3rd- Valinor and Course Brook have both been investing a lot in their courses and facilities. If we want to make sure quality events continue to exist, we must support places like that that are putting in the dollars and sweat equity!
            "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Reading the reactions one would think the venue is closing when it is only changing the orientation of the event. Personally, if I was living there, I'd be happy, because it might mean a reduction in costs to attend and the potential for more show opportunities. I imagine they will keep up the quality of the venue as best they can.

              Much of the grass roots of Eventing is getting priced out by the USEA. This sport *needs* more non-USEA events held to perhaps slow the movement away from the sport.

              Thankfully here in Area III we have enough non-USEA events available that are both affordable and still well put on. For someone in my position, lost confidence, am building it up slowly again, I appreciate a place where I can go and perhaps say 'Nope, not ready' and not lose the shirt off my back in fees.

              I wish Stoneleigh Burnham the best on this new path.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by JP60 View Post
                Reading the reactions one would think the venue is closing when it is only changing the orientation of the event. Personally, if I was living there, I'd be happy, because it might mean a reduction in costs to attend and the potential for more show opportunities. I imagine they will keep up the quality of the venue as best they can.

                Much of the grass roots of Eventing is getting priced out by the USEA. This sport *needs* more non-USEA events held to perhaps slow the movement away from the sport.

                Thankfully here in Area III we have enough non-USEA events available that are both affordable and still well put on. For someone in my position, lost confidence, am building it up slowly again, I appreciate a place where I can go and perhaps say 'Nope, not ready' and not lose the shirt off my back in fees.

                I wish Stoneleigh Burnham the best on this new path.
                It's a step in that direction.. There are not many Area 1 recognized events left. So, to lose even one is troubling- and we've lost many over the last decade.

                AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by beowulf View Post

                  It's a step in that direction.. There are not many Area 1 recognized events left. So, to lose even one is troubling- and we've lost many over the last decade.
                  So to understand, there are venues in and around Area I, but more and more are going non-USEA. I could see how this would impact riders trying to work up to the FEI level, but does it have an impact on those who stay below that line?

                  From my fuzzy memory, USEA sanctioned events mainly got you access to the AECs, recognition's on best scores, horses etc, but mainly established "rules" for both moving up and/or down which is not (well) enforced in non-USEA events. With show costs topping $500 at times, the AEC over $800 last I went, USEA is not doing much to help "grow the sport" when they start to price the main attraction out of the middle class.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There are plenty of riders who compete strictly at the lower levels that like to do USEA recognizes events, though. Don’t get me wrong, unrecognized are great to have ... they’re a low-key, affordable way to introduce green horses and riders to the sport, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to stick to unrecognized events as long as you don’t plan to compete above Novice or maybe Training.

                    But (as a competitor) with the higher prices of recognized events, you do get clearly defined rules and trained officials to ensure they are followed; a safe, professionally designed XC course that meets the specifications of the level; licensed judges; and many other benefits that unrecognized events aren’t guaranteed to offer.

                    Of course unrecognized events are less expensive and easier for the organizer, but there is a use and need for recognized events and it’s not just upper level riders that benefit from them... so while it’s understandable from the organizers’ point of view, it’s still a shame for all riders when more and more venues will hold unrecognized events only.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sticky Situation View Post
                      But (as a competitor) with the higher prices of recognized events, you do get clearly defined rules and trained officials to ensure they are followed; a safe, professionally designed XC course that meets the specifications of the level; licensed judges; and many other benefits that unrecognized events aren’t guaranteed to offer.
                      This, 100%!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So sorry to see this. Really liked competing at SBS.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JP60 View Post

                          So to understand, there are venues in and around Area I, but more and more are going non-USEA. I could see how this would impact riders trying to work up to the FEI level, but does it have an impact on those who stay below that line?
                          Not all schooling 3-phases offer a training level and above x-country course, at least not that I'm aware of that are close enough to me or for that matter, even a novice level course. Then there are those that only hold them during the week, I work during the week and have a long commute so I can't even truck out to do anything after work.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm not saying it's a good thing to lose another venue, but this particular one is A) very expensive compared to all the others in Area 1 and B) Cancels their shows at the sight of the first rain drop. I long since stopped entering their spring schooling show (which is awesome when they actually have it) because they have a habit of cancelling the morning of the show.

                            I get that they don't want the XC course torn up, but there was no reason they could not have just dropped XC and still run a combined for the riders who showed up which is pretty much all of them since they gave such late notice. It would not have taken much effort to move dressage inside. Considering how much people paid to attend that show, it's the least they could have done.

                            There's nothing like taking a day off work, getting up at 5:00am driving 90 minutes, only to hear "Oh it's been cancelled but you don't get your money back." Sorry but they are the venue who cried wolf.
                            Last edited by tbchick84; Aug. 10, 2018, 10:44 PM.
                            "Do what you can't do"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sticky Situation View Post
                              There are plenty of riders who compete strictly at the lower levels that like to do USEA recognizes events, though. Don’t get me wrong, unrecognized are great to have ... they’re a low-key, affordable way to introduce green horses and riders to the sport, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to stick to unrecognized events as long as you don’t plan to compete above Novice or maybe Training.

                              But (as a competitor) with the higher prices of recognized events, you do get clearly defined rules and trained officials to ensure they are followed; a safe, professionally designed XC course that meets the specifications of the level; licensed judges; and many other benefits that unrecognized events aren’t guaranteed to offer.

                              Of course unrecognized events are less expensive and easier for the organizer, but there is a use and need for recognized events and it’s not just upper level riders that benefit from them... so while it’s understandable from the organizers’ point of view, it’s still a shame for all riders when more and more venues will hold unrecognized events only.
                              Valid points, but the only direction pricing is going for USEA events is up. it would be interesting to see a study of enrollment numbers over the years against costs, but from comments I've read here, there indicates a downward trend with the result of having venues close for lack of participants.

                              We could argue that it is because less people are wanting to do Eventing, but then can we ask the question why is that? I'd posit that COE, Cost Of Entry, is reaching a point where the average rider, young or adult takes a serious look at the RIO, Return On Investment, and says, it is not worth it when I can play in local jumpers, dressage, or just play. Perhaps it is a Chicken and Egg thing, but if USEA is not interested in looking at why we might have falling numbers then it would strike me that their real focus is not in saving venues, but promoting the destination ones they got left for those who can pay to play (and professionals).

                              (disclosure, I've no been a fan of USEA for a bit now).

                              At last I read, USEA had close to 85% of their members at Training and below so if venues got smart, they could drop USEA expensive officials, drop Above Prelim, reduce the cost of fences by not making them look fancy and still put on a great show at a cost that invites people to come out and play.

                              Whatever floats people's boats, but for me personally, I'll take that one day schooling show over a full weekend show that may cost twice as much simply because USEA gives a stamp of approval. Somewhere in this forum is a thread of two riders that got injured at a USEA sanctioned event on fences that many comment are not needed. Given the slow speed in responding to such situations, I'm not all there on USEA = Safe. Perhaps a non-USEA venue would pull tables as a precaution and put in place a fair, but tough question instead. I would, because I'd not be trying to please the FEI and USET, but trying to create an enjoyable time for all the amateurs who come out to ride.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by JP60 View Post

                                Valid points, but the only direction pricing is going for USEA events is up. it would be interesting to see a study of enrollment numbers over the years against costs, but from comments I've read here, there indicates a downward trend with the result of having venues close for lack of participants.
                                It's a really good point. I started doing the math a few years ago on entry into an event for 5 minutes of cross country versus hunt membership for 2-3 hours of XC.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  It’s true that USEA entry fees are expensive and only getting more so, but for someone like me who lives at least a couple hours from just about every event, recognized or unrecognized, that’s honestly about the only difference in price between the two types. Either way I’m generally hauling, stabling and staying overnight so I’m out a few hundred bucks.

                                  I stand by what I said about the courses, though (I’m not talking about the safety concerns at the upper levels of USEA/FEI eventing ... that isn’t really relevant to unrecognized events since they don’t offer those levels). While poor course and fence design usually doesn’t cause major accidents at the lowest levels because the fences are very small and therefore the margin for error is very large, it doesn’t do horses or riders any favors. Sure, there are many unrecognized events that have great, safe, well built and well designed courses ... but often that is because those organizing the event and designing the course have also been involved in organizing USEA events and have applied the basic standards to their unrecognized events as well.

                                  Maybe an unrecognized event would remove all the tables ... but I’m doubtful that removing tables at BN will tell us much about making Advanced safer, since horse falls occur extremely infrequently at BN already at both recognized and unrecognized events. And from looking at the FEI data which someone linked to on the Millbrook falls thread, flat-topped tables (“square spreads”) are one of the most dangerous fences but sloped/ramped tables (“ascending spreads”) are one of the safest ... which would tell me that tables need to be not necessarily eliminated, just always built with as ascending face.

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