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SHAME ON POPLAR FOR USING LOWER RINGS WITH UNSUITABLE FOOTING

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  • SHAME ON POPLAR FOR USING LOWER RINGS WITH UNSUITABLE FOOTING

    Who else got to experience the treacherously deep footing in the lower arenas at Poplar this past weekend? A friend of mine showed me a picture of her daughter's horse in Ring 5 taken just before lunch and the footing was so deep it covered the lower part of the cannon bone. It certainly didn't improve in the next 4 hours of use! Everyone involved knew the footing was terrible (that is why they haven't used the rings in years), but they didn't care. They just assigned the lower levels to ride there since they don't matter anyway. They moved Ring 4 to the grass at lunchtime and said #5 was better but it wasn't. They even had to close the warm-up ring after lunch. They knew the footing wouldn't hold up which is why they were advising people to use the upper warm up ring first thing in the morning. I think it was a shameful situation. What is going to happen when they host Area III championships?

  • #2
    Well, I basically quit competing (and paying my dues) after I felt like I needed to have a well-conditioned endurance horse just to ensure that I could ride a correct test and be prepared for footing that was usually very expensive, but frustratingly improperly designed , among other things.

    Comment


    • #3
      and did your friend complain to the TD? Fill out an evaluation form? Choose not to ride because she/he thought the footing was unsuitable?

      Comment


      • #4
        Toughen up cupcake
        Even duct tape can't fix stupid

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        • #5
          Everyone you know who felt the same way needs to get it in writing to the appropriate person or persons - including the organizer, but also in USEA officialdom. Silence to the principals is consent. That's just a natural law of humanity. IMO it is also fine that you came to this forum and alerted other LL's that you are unhappy with the venue, and why. :yes

          LL's can only be treated badly if they (we) allow it, time after time. If that makes sense. LL's do represent 85% of the sport, although you can't always tell that by the way they are treated.

          Comment


          • #6
            OP:

            I DID ride in that ring on Friday, and made my thoughts known to the appropriate people. I am hoping that your friend did likewise.

            My reply was not meant to be snarky - but did your friend do any of those things?

            I'm not really sure what could have been done - there was no more room, and dressage already ran past 6pm...

            Comment


            • #7
              Those arenas had not been used in recent years not because "they knew it was bad" but because it wasn't ready and needed to cure. The footing had been tested by riders before the event, but it obviously didn't hold up after so many horses rode over the same track. Ring 4 couldn't be moved until the end of the division for fairness. Besides that, there just wasn't any more room.

              Those lower arenas do not have a solid base, which was part of the problem and will be remedied. Just like with the fences removed from the Advanced water on cross-country, sometimes you just don't know how it will go until you get there. Be happy Poplar was willing to accommodate such a large group of competitors, and at least are big enough to admit mistakes and fix it for next time.

              If you don't like it, just don't go back. Simple as that.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by FlightCheck View Post
                OP:

                I DID ride in that ring on Friday, and made my thoughts known to the appropriate people. I am hoping that your friend did likewise.

                My reply was not meant to be snarky - but did your friend do any of those things?

                I'm not really sure what could have been done - there was no more room, and dressage already ran past 6pm...
                Yes. My friend did speak to the owner. They could have moved #5 to the grass also.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shortstroke View Post
                  What is going to happen when they host Area III championships?
                  our may isn't usually rainy like march, and so deep, yucky footing shouldn't be a problem for Area III's. the tsunami this past weekend is something that happens occaisonally... no ones outdoor arenas were great. Poplar is one of the best facilities in the Area.

                  Hindsight is always 20/20. If you write Donna, I'm sure she would explain all of the decision making factors.

                  C'est la vie. torrential downpours are part of GA spring.
                  proud momma of an evil grey QH/Arab who can jump the moon... and he stole my heart

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    It isn't clear in my original post that I also showed in Ring #5 toward the end of Fri afternoon. So I know exactly how unsuitable it was. I do not agree that objecting to bad footing = cupcake. And yes, I did enter the ring and complete the test because until I was in there I did not realize how deep it actually was and I trusted management who said, when they moved #4 to the grass, that #5 was better. Well, as I found out, it wasn't. And yes, I am completing the Evaluation Form. I compete at Training and this is my first complaint ever. I am not a whiner. The footing was truly shameful.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Area III Championships

                      The sand arenas will not be used for the Area III Championships. Grass arenas will be used if addiitional arenas are needed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Three new world class dressage rings at a new venue in Texas .... twelve hours of rain .... enter at C ... halt at X .... sink half way up to your cannon bones engineers

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          i agree with flight check

                          does not much good to commiserate on the board.
                          so hope op let organizers know as well.
                          indeed my pony was not happy at all with the footing as she sank down. but we muddled through.

                          footing in xcountry warm up sunday not so great either, but so it goes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            While I completely understand the ire of trotting down centerline with your horse/pony sinking up to its pasterns, please keep this in mind...no one spends the amount of time and money the Stegmans have in order to have poor footing. The problem was not apparent before the event began. The fact that they are trying to make an even better eventing venue doesn't obscure the fact that the footing was not acceptable this weekend. I wish the best footing always was perfect, just like I wished holes didn't happen in the grass dressage arenas at Full Gallop last May, problems happen...complain to the right folks. I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but I'll guarantee you that the folks at Poplar will rectify the problems before anyone comes down centerline again.
                            ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by fivecats View Post
                              The sand arenas will not be used for the Area III Championships. Grass arenas will be used if addiitional arenas are needed.
                              How do you know that?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Shortstroke View Post
                                How do you know that?
                                Originally posted by fivecats View Post
                                The sand arenas will not be used for the Area III Championships. Grass arenas will be used if addiitional arenas are needed.
                                five cats knows it...take it to the bank. if five cats says something I believe it and I don't believe much. Know this, your problem has been heard, your problem has been taken seriously...you had good reason to be upset. You are dealing with people who organize events because they love the sport and they care about doing it right. It didn't go right this weekend. Five Cats just told you what will and won't happen next event - wanna bet that's exactly what will be? I'm not a betting woman and I know this one is a sure thing.
                                ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by RunForIt View Post
                                  five cats knows it...take it to the bank. if five cats says something I believe it and I don't believe much. Know this, your problem has been heard, your problem has been taken seriously...you had good reason to be upset. You are dealing with people who organize events because they love the sport and they care about doing it right. It didn't go right this weekend. Five Cats just told you what will and won't happen next event - wanna bet that's exactly what will be? I'm not a betting woman and I know this one is a sure thing.
                                  Obviously, you must know Fivecats. For those of us who don't, it would be good to hear it from Poplar Place management or whoever is in charge of Area III championships.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Instead of griping on a message board, why not call Poplar directly, or reach out to the Area III chair or the organizer of the Area III championships? They don't owe you some sort of public response on a board they may not read or see. If you called them, or asked a polite question by email, I bet you'd get a fair answer.

                                    Honestly, I wasn't at the show, but there is no question in my mind that the folks who looked at that ring honestly believed the footing had set and would hold up. No one - not an organizer, not an official, not a volunteer - wants footing to be bad or unsuitable. No one is out there trying to hurt horses or riders. At worst (and I wasn't there, so no idea how bad it was), it was an honest mistake or misjudgment, by folks who put on a bunch of great events and do a ton for the sport at all levels, both as organizers, but also as long time volunteers to the sport.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Here is what I am sure of:

                                      Poplar Place management did the best it could with the cards it was dealt.

                                      A reasonably fit, sound horse ridden in even a somewhat balanced manner is likely to stay sound quite nicely after doing a 3-minute dressage test in very deep footing.

                                      Empathy and a spirit of community are superior to judgement.
                                      Last edited by Camstock; Mar. 30, 2011, 12:19 PM.
                                      http://www.camstock.net/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        But....if things go wrong and the ring gets deep after use, then it should be changed as soon as a division is cleared. If there is no room for a new one then tests should be rescheduled after another ring with better footing clears, or the following day, or after repair of the footing. That's the right set of things to do. The officials need to work in concert with organizers on making those changes. When they don't make changes, it is because they don't see the need; and that is where competitors come in to ask for change through the proper channels. I am all for being polite and following the rules, but it is your money that makes that carousel go round, too. If you put on a big event then you need big land and lots of options. Heck even little events need alternative parking lots, etc. This is a land-hungry sport.

                                        The fact that other riders go on does not mean its right to go on for you and your horse. Everyone makes their own decision.

                                        Complaining is, at times, the only way things can be fixed -- even though it tends to make people testy.

                                        The trend toward back-forty-ing the lower levels is getting increasingly "uncomfortable", both in discussion here and elsewhere. But I know the reaction of MOST of the officials and organizers that I know personally will be: "we don't have a problem". If I could change one thing this year in the sport, it would be to help all officials and organizers understand that it takes so much for a "little" someone to complain, to ask for a change, and that it is REALLY really bad, in order for a common lower level rider without the protection of a big-name trainer, or other standing, to make a complaint at an event. Don't you hate complaining? I do and have to really get courage up to say something, and when I do, and some official shoots you down, boy do you feel small and insignificant. Been there, done that. And you know what I do? I go back to my trailer, take my braids out, load up and vote with my feet. And don't go back. And all the way home I think about all the crappy things my family says about eventing and think to myself, what on earth am I trying to do this for?
                                        Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                                        Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

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