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Help from Rules Guru's please

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  • Help from Rules Guru's please

    Trying to understand this rule regarding being judged in dressage at an event. Here's the USEF general rule GR1304 that I think pertains:

    3. No judge’s trainer nor any of the judge’s trainer’s clients may compete as trainer, coach,
    exhibitor, rider, driver, handler, owner, lessor or lessee in any Division or Dressage class
    (Arabian, Morgan and Hunter divisions in any competition) unless the relationship is
    terminated 30 days prior to the competition.

    Here's the situation: A local rider is also an "r" judge and often judges at events I compete at. We both take lessons from the same trainer (at very different levels of course!). This "r" judge told me I should request to NOT BE JUDGED BY HER at any event I enter where she is judging because of her interpretation of the above rule (because I am a client of the judge's trainer).

    What is the real answer here?
    TIA,
    Mary

  • #2
    Yes, that is what the rule says.

    If you and the judge are both clients of the same trainer, then you are not allowed to show under that judge.

    Notice the onus is on the rider, not the judge.

    You either need to go HC, or be judged by a different judge.
    Last edited by Janet; Jun. 29, 2011, 12:17 AM.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

    Comment


    • #3
      So if 2 people happen to ride with the same trainer and one is a judge, the other non-judge person cannot ride under the judge person just cuz they happen to take lessons from the same person? I know situations where this could happen and yet the 2 people never even meet one another and definitely would not ride together in lessons. Especially if one of the 2 people are hauling in for lessons or if the trainer is traveling to 2 different barns to teach the 2 people.

      How is 2 people riding under the same trainer considered to be a conflict when it comes to one being judge and the being a competitor?

      Comment


      • #4
        How is 2 people riding under the same trainer considered to be a conflict when it comes to one being judge and the being a competitor?
        Possible scenario: Trainers are often evaluated based upon their student's success. Therefore, Trainer *might* be tempted to use his/her influence with Student A (also a judge) to give Student B a better score.

        There are many possible scenarios where impropriety or just the impression of impropriety could compromise the judging process. Even though it is probably overkill in a number of situations, there is rationale for the rule.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MeghanDACVA View Post
          How is 2 people riding under the same trainer considered to be a conflict when it comes to one being judge and the being a competitor?
          Because it is too hard to make a rule that draws the line at a particular level of interaction.

          And if the TRAINER makes a big deal out of theresults, the "judge person" might have a, quite probably unintentional, bias to score the "non-judgeperson" higher, becuase it will make the trainer happy.

          The trainer is going to see the score sheet, and might ask the judge person "why did you give non-judge person a score of 4 on that movement?" That would put the judge person between a rock and a hard palce.
          Janet

          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thank you, Janet for clarifying this.

            I just hope that I don't run into an event where that judge is the only judge at the show because forcing me to ride HC just wouldn't be fair! The trainer in question lives in another state and just comes once a month for lessons.

            The rule does seem to be a bit restrictive since another judge could take lessons from this same trainer. I might not know that, so could be judged by that judge and be in violation of the rule. And I'm sure that there are a lot of event riders who take lessons from dressage pros that dressage judges also take lessons from. This could well be a can of worms. It also makes it harder for show secretaries/managers to schedule to avoid these "judging conflicts".

            Mary in Western NY
            http://www.BPEquine.com

            Comment


            • #7
              I am not sure that "taking lessons once a month" makes that instructor "your trainer". Especially if the shared instructor is not signing your entry blank as Trainer.

              The USEF definition of "Trainer"
              GR147 Trainer.
              1. Any adult, or adults who has the responsibility for the care, training, custody or
              performance of a horse
              .
              2. Said person must sign the entry blank of any Licensed Competition whether said
              person be an owner, rider, agent and/or coach as well as trainer.
              Compare it with the USEF definition of "Coach"
              GR108 Coach.
              For purposes of these rules, a coach is defined as any adult or adults who receives
              remuneration for having or sharing the responsibility for instructing, teaching, schooling, or
              advising a rider, driver, handler or vaulter in equestrian skills. See also GR906.4 and
              GR908.
              I would think that an instructor you only see once a month would be your "coach", and not your "trainer". The restrictions of GR1304 don't apply to the judge and judged sharing a coach- only sharing a trainer.

              But that would be a good one to call the USEF and ask for guidance.
              Janet

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

              Comment


              • #8
                If you can avoid the rule just by not having the trainer sign, that's probably too loose.

                On the other hand, likely the intent here was clients that stable together with the same trainer, but it's not written that tightly. If, for example, I was hauling in to ride with a BNT twice a month, it's very possible she'd also be coaching a judge that I wouldn't know about. Is the answer to make sure all your clients know your client list or is the answer to come up with some better language for this rule that clarifies it?

                I think the rule is fair and appropriate, but could use clarity.
                If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Trainer vs Coach

                  Janet, again you've come up with a good answer. I never thought of it as a "trainer" vs "coach" situation. Personally, I don't consider taking a lesson once a month qualifies the teacher of my lesson to be either my "coach" or "trainer". Those terms seem to imply a more than once a month interaction.

                  I can see that it would not be appropriate if the person I was taking lessons from (even if only once a month) was also the judge but that is not the case here.

                  I agree with poltroon that the rule needs more clarity.

                  Mary in Western NY
                  http://www.BPEquine.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Black Points View Post
                    Janet, again you've come up with a good answer. I never thought of it as a "trainer" vs "coach" situation. Personally, I don't consider taking a lesson once a month qualifies the teacher of my lesson to be either my "coach" or "trainer". Those terms seem to imply a more than once a month interaction.
                    There is a LOT of gray area between "I took a lesson from the same person the judge took a lesson from, once, a year ago"
                    to
                    "I take lessons twice a week from the same person the judge takes lessons from twice a week"
                    to
                    "The same person has care, custody and control of my horse and the judge's horse, rtides both horses, and teaches us both".

                    Clearly the latter is what the USEF intends to prevent, but it is not clear WHERE they intend to draw the line.

                    Since the judge HAS expressed concern about the situation, I would DEFINITELY call the USEFand ask for a clarification.

                    I would also ask them to send you a email on their clarification, and print that out so you can show it to this judge, and to any secretary or organizer that asks.

                    Don't count on what "someone on COTH said"



                    I can see that it would not be appropriate if the person I was taking lessons from (even if only once a month) was also the judge but that is not the case here.
                    Yes, that is covered by GR1304.2 ("clients") and GR1304.12 ("instructed, coached or tutored")

                    I agree with poltroon that the rule needs more clarity.
                    I think we all agree on that.

                    Let us know what USEF says.
                    Janet

                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Have emailed USEF

                      Will let you know when I hear back from USEF about this question. Thanks for all the great input!

                      Mary

                      Mary in Western NY
                      http://www.bpequine.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just one more thought - regardless of what USEF and the rule say, if the judge has made this request it might be best to honor it anyway.
                        www.amiddle-agedmadwomantakesthereins.blogspot.com

                        www.pegasusridge.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pegasusmom View Post
                          Just one more thought - regardless of what USEF and the rule say, if the judge has made this request it might be best to honor it anyway.
                          Agree with Dana, the judge made this request and you should consider honoring it. One has to wonder why you are so resistant to honoring the request?
                          "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                          Courtesy my cousin Tim

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This could get especially dicey in the cases where you show up at a competition and find out there has been a substitution in the list of judges that was published weeks/months earlier.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fooler View Post
                              Agree with Dana, the judge made this request and you should consider honoring it. One has to wonder why you are so resistant to honoring the request?
                              I am not reading any resistance on the part of the OP. Just a request for clarification. Quite honestly, if we use USEF's definition of Trainer it is a fairly simple process to avoid running a muck with this rule. If we use the generally accepted "someone I take lessons with" it is quite easy to run a foul without knowing it.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I've long thought that eventing hovered precariously on the wrong side of ethics. We were taught (in other disciplines) that we could not compete if we were related to/associated with the organizer, the judges, and/or the equivilent of the ground jury. I still believe that to be appropriate, and am taken aback at the number of times I see, for instance, organizers (or their families) riding at their own events or in front of associated judges. In the business world, that would trigger (IMO) competitive legal issues, at least.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Almost Heaven View Post
                                  I've long thought that eventing hovered precariously on the wrong side of ethics. We were taught (in other disciplines) that we could not compete if we were related to/associated with the organizer, the judges, and/or the equivilent of the ground jury. I still believe that to be appropriate, and am taken aback at the number of times I see, for instance, organizers (or their families) riding at their own events or in front of associated judges. In the business world, that would trigger (IMO) competitive legal issues, at least.
                                  I don't have an issue with organizers/their families riding at their own events is that in our area quality events are precious (of course all events in our area are quality, we just don't have a huge calendar like Area II or III) and I would rather see an organizer participate than cancel their event. Organizing is a huge time commitment and some organizers can't find the time to go to an unrelated horse trial for a few weeks before and even after their event. When your season only lasts from May to October, losing two months takes out a huge number of options.

                                  Also what poltroon says below. Lots of people show at A/AA hunter/jumper shows organized by their trainer/family/barn owner.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Almost Heaven View Post
                                    I've long thought that eventing hovered precariously on the wrong side of ethics. We were taught (in other disciplines) that we could not compete if we were related to/associated with the organizer, the judges, and/or the equivilent of the ground jury. I still believe that to be appropriate, and am taken aback at the number of times I see, for instance, organizers (or their families) riding at their own events or in front of associated judges. In the business world, that would trigger (IMO) competitive legal issues, at least.
                                    I'm not of any rule that prohibits riders associated with the organizer from competing. When I was a junior rider, almost all of the one day H/J shows were run and organized out of show barns, who naturally had their riders competing there. The judges, of course, were independent. Never seemed unfair other than that their horses knew the venue and competed out of their own stalls.
                                    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      So how about when a course designer at a horse trial then coaches lots of students around that HT? Just curious.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Eventer08 View Post
                                        So how about when a course designer at a horse trial then coaches lots of students around that HT? Just curious.
                                        The rules say
                                        GR1205.5
                                        a. A course designer may not compete in any competition where he/she is officiating.
                                        b. No member of a course designer’s family may compete over any course designed
                                        by the course designer.
                                        c. A course designer, a member of a course designer’s family, or a Course Advisor at
                                        Eventing Competitions is subject to the restrictions of GR1205.5a and GR1205.5b at
                                        only the following competitions: Three Day Events, National Championship Horse
                                        Trials, competitions being used for Federation selection purposes, and similar
                                        competitions designated by the Eventing Committee.
                                        Unless it is a Championship etc., there is no restriction.

                                        Personally, I LIKE it when the course designer competes over his own courses- he learns how the course rides.
                                        Janet

                                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                        Comment

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