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Rules debate: why not just have the "open" division have a faster speed?

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    Rules debate: why not just have the "open" division have a faster speed?

    I know they have tabled the rule changes for the lower levels (for now). However, I still can't figure out why the speed changes have to be an "all or nothing" approach. I'm sure I'm not the first one who has thought of this. But If there are pro's that have young horses that have a big stride, or riders that are getting ready to move up--why not just have the "open" division have a faster speed for their xc course? Is it that hard to have a different optimum time for one division?

    I have been a scorekeeper before, and I know it's not hard at_all to calculate one division differently from the others. What's the hang up with just offering that for those riders that are pushing for the faster speeds at the lower levels?

    #2
    I've been to some events that did not have the Horse and Rider divisions, so everyone rode in the Open division ... So there's that.

    I'm of the opinion that speed increases at the lower levels - particularly BN and N - aren't necessary. Is it possibly for a competent rider on a big strided horse to safely jump around a BN course at a Prelim gallop? Absolutely. But I've always been taught that the canter or gallop should match the size of the fences... BN fences are best jumped from a steady canter. Even with a big strided horse, it's really not that much of a hardship to maintain a steady canter.

    I don't think faster speeds at lower levels (or any of the other changes that were in the proposal) are needed to "help horses/riders prepare to move up" ... Riders just need to do their homework during schooling before they move up... Practice riding at a faster pace and school some bigger fences before needing to jump that big in competition. I realize many people (myself included) don't have a professionally designed XC course in their backyard to school over, but that is where you get creative ... Gallop in the pastures or on trails, set up simulated coffins, skinnies, offset questions, etc in the ring to practice.

    Comment


      #3
      Around here (Area 2) HT do not reliably offer open and horse/rider divisions. Some do all open, some wait and see on entries and perhaps divide open/rider (a lot of times horse entries are put in open). So guaranteeing all those might add some administrative overhead and lead to smaller division sizes.

      Personally, I'm fine with loosening (or better yet eliminating) speed faults overall, but don't see a need to change the level speeds much. I like that there is already a range, so the terrain/difficultly of course can be considered.

      Comment


        #4
        I also really don't see much of a need at all of changing the speeds at any level but total support getting rid of the speed faults. NEVER saw the point in adding them.

        TO be clear...I've personally NEVER gotten them...but still think they cause riders to focus on the wrong things.
        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

        Comment


          #5
          Speed faults: because there is always going to be some yahoo who decides that they want to show how fast their pony can run around the xc course! Seriously... I recall someone who used to brag about going too fast, as if that was a virtue. In reality, going too fast, imho, indicates that one is unable to regulate the pace appropriately, or is simply unaware of how fast they are really going. I like the idea of speed faults for those inexperienced as well: it serves to educate.train one to be aware... and maintain control.

          BFNE, didn't you ever see a scary xc ride where the rider was barreling around, trying to post the fastest time? I sure did...

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Winding Down View Post
            Speed faults: because there is always going to be some yahoo who decides that they want to show how fast their pony can run around the xc course! Seriously... I recall someone who used to brag about going too fast, as if that was a virtue. In reality, going too fast, imho, indicates that one is unable to regulate the pace appropriately, or is simply unaware of how fast they are really going. I like the idea of speed faults for those inexperienced as well: it serves to educate.train one to be aware... and maintain control.

            BFNE, didn't you ever see a scary xc ride where the rider was barreling around, trying to post the fastest time? I sure did...
            Yes but we have Dangerous Riding...and that is FAR more effective in stopping or penalizing a yahoo who is going dangerously fast. And officials now seem more likely to give that out then they used to 10 years ago.

            With Speed faults...you get riders STILL going too fast but who just slow down at the end and get no faults and think they are doing just fine because they didn't get speed faults.
            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

            Comment


              #7
              Someone who is screaming around the course out of control but slows down or circles near the end and therefore doesn't receive speed penalties can (and should) still be given a DR, right?

              Comment


                #8
                For example....I remember a Training Level rider dangerously out of control fast on a course. They didn't get speed penalties but came in WAY fast....on a course when ALL the rest of us in the division...including Buck Davidson and other top professionals were coming in with time penalties (15-30 seconds over OT---where this rider was 45 sec under OT). They were NOT given a DR because of who their trainer was...who did speak with them. But in their teen brain...they were fine because they didn't get SP.

                Speed penalties do NOTHING to promote safe riding IMO. And I'd rather not give the yahoos (not that there are many) any standing to say they were safe because they didn't get them. And I'd rather have riders at the lower levels NOT so focused on time. Hell...I'd love to ban watches and give some sort of bonus for riders who come close to OT.
                ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Sticky Situation View Post
                  Someone who is screaming around the course out of control but slows down or circles near the end and therefore doesn't receive speed penalties can (and should) still be given a DR, right?

                  Yes ...which is all I think they should get but then those same people will argue with the TD and GJ that they were safe because they didn't get speed penalties.....it makes it harder for the GJ to get through to them. At least this is what has been said to me by TDs.

                  And since the ONLY reason SP were enacted was for "safety" I say get rid of them....as they do NOT enhance safety.
                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Speed penalties seem to work around here IMO. A YR booked it around her second recognized BN at Training speed. The butt chewing her trainer gave her helped, but realizing she went from first to not placing had her in tears and made more of an impression.

                    We've ALL seen the people who put in a XC round that looked like someone was chasing them. It's scary. I'm all about having speed penalties. Let's get real. Even though everyone who is competing should read the rulebook and know that a DR can be handed out and is VERY serious, not everyone does. However, everyone looks at the XC times, and SP times are right there in front of them.
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                    Horse Junkies United guest blogger

                    Comment


                      #11
                      One reason for not having the Open divisions with faster speeds is that not everyone in the Open division is a pro.

                      The speed thing is interesting. Jump Judging I've seen people come barreling into jumps and are noticeably out of control. But faster does not imply out of control and slower does not mean in control.

                      I'll admit that we have a pretty quick step in the early spring HT's because we are coming out of foxhunting. My horses when they are hunting, and I staff, are usually according to GPS cruising at about 23-24MPH which is an advanced speed. That's going to look pretty quick on a N or T course but the horses are used to it and jumping at those speeds over terrain that people don't see eventing.

                      So the horse know that they should come back a little at the jump because they don't know what is on the other side. I guess I should work them back but we're comfortable there and we are safe there.

                      So I guess to summarize. Speed, fast or slow, is not an indication of DR. Being out of control or underpowered is an indication of DR.
                      A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by FitToBeTied View Post
                        So I guess to summarize. Speed, fast or slow, is not an indication of DR. Being out of control or underpowered is an indication of DR.
                        I agree completely. And time on the course is no indication....depends on the course and the conditions.
                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                          Yes but we have Dangerous Riding...and that is FAR more effective in stopping or penalizing a yahoo who is going dangerously fast.
                          Is this the same DR that would be given out by TDs that also seem to overlook CD abuse or their overt bending of the course rules/guidlines?

                          tldr: It was good they tabled the speed proposals, SP can be good to keep riders from becoming DRs. The LLs do not need to be adjusted to suit the minority when they were created to expand participation.
                          -------------------
                          I am less trusting of a human, one possibly distracted by other issues handing out DR penalties based on speed when, as another post mentioned, that act of losing places due to time can have much more impact. What constitutes Dangerous riding? Looking at the USEF rules EV112:
                          1. Any competitor who rides in such a way as to constitute a hazard to the safety or
                          well-being of the competitor, horse, other competitors, their horses, spectators, or
                          others will penalized accordingly.
                          2. Any act or series of actions that in the opinion of the Ground Jury can be defined
                          as dangerous riding shall be penalized by 25 penalties or elimination and/or the
                          issuance of a Warning Card, at the discretion of the Ground Jury. In addition, the
                          overall score for the horse/rider combination shall not be considered a National
                          Qualifying Result.
                          3. If such actions are reported, the Ground Jury shall decide if there is a case to be
                          answered. If an individual member of the Ground Jury observes such actions, he
                          may eliminate or penalize the competitor forthwith on his own authority. There is
                          no appeal against a Ground Jury decision.
                          4. The Ground Jury and the Technical Delegate have the authority to stop a rider
                          on the cross country course for dangerous riding, riding an exhausted horse, excessive
                          pressing of a tired horse, riding an obviously lame horse, excessive use of the
                          whip and/or spurs or riding in an unsafe way
                          Talk about subjective (but for 4)

                          I've seen some crazy, gasp filled moments. I've seen some pretty speedy rounds, but given that the worst penalty is elimination, putting speed as the primary qualifier is ripe for wrong interpretation and not to be thrown up as the cure all for speed/pace issues.

                          I'm all for dumping watches. Now that is one of the best rule changes to start to fix speed issues. Think it will pass? Ask the majority of members and they'd probably say "no problem". Ask those "moving up" and we'd hear about how important it is in the upper levels so... we keep the watch. Besides, how can you enforce it without frisking the rider before they leave.

                          Bothered by teams circling at the end? then make a rule that has the final jump judge report the rider to the TD. Now the TD can have a nice talking to the rider and the trainer (if applicable) and perhaps give them a yellow card. Ouch!! I bet we'd see less circling and more concentration on pace.

                          Do you give a DR to Mr. Dutton for running 500 mpm at BN or do you say, well he's a pro, he can handle it.

                          Do you give a DR to some kid riding Sea Biscuit IV doing 500 mpm at BN because, well, its a kid?

                          Dangerous riding is just that, a hazard to safety, and speed is only one component and speed is the one thing we can not only measure, but control. That frees the Ground Jury to go after real DR issues like section 4 or out of control situations.

                          If some pro or breeder or long term ammies (riders who've gone to ULs but now ride mainly in lower) has a horse that just cannot go happy at BN/N pacing than just school school school till they can jump T. What ever did folks do before USEA recognized Novice and even later, Beginner Novice. By accounts I've read from USEA posts it was to expand the sport, not give pros, breeders, long term ammies a place to school their horses, they just took advantage of it.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Me three. Speed faults do nothing to help and in most cases hinder good riding. Get rid of them and apply DR penalties.
                            Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
                            Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
                            www.phoenixsporthorses.com
                            Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Um, except JP60, they were always intended as schooling, educational levels. That's why they were designed and implemented. For people and horses to learn. What's changed is that people now use them as the end of the path, rather than the path itself. Which is fine, truly, but you don't get to change history to suit your argument.

                              Shoot, there's that history word again. I know you don't like it, JP, but it doesn't make it untrue.
                              Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
                              Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
                              www.phoenixsporthorses.com
                              Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by PhoenixFarm View Post
                                Um, except JP60, they were always intended as schooling, educational levels. That's why they were designed and implemented. For people and horses to learn. What's changed is that people now use them as the end of the path, rather than the path itself. Which is fine, truly, but you don't get to change history to suit your argument.

                                Shoot, there's that history word again. I know you don't like it, JP, but it doesn't make it untrue.
                                Curious
                                Over the past few years in committee meetings of the Professional Horsemen's Council, Membership, Organizers, and Competitions groups, there has been considerable discussion about making the sport even more beginner-friendly. These discussions have raised several ideas such as offering an Introductory level, changing the rules to allow coaching (unauthorized assistance) to Beginner Novice competitors, and being more lenient regarding refusals and falls causing Elimination. These considerations revolve around one basic question: how do we bring more newcomers to eventing? And how do we keep them in the sport once they start?
                                Can we think in terms of growing the sport instead of offering mini-Rolex courses to newcomers?
                                A very good question.

                                Of course I could go back in history and find the comments from a few long in the tooth folks that railed on how adding Novice and Beginner Novice diluted the waters of Eventing which at leasts questions the educational part.

                                To be fair, I found this:
                                In January 2005, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) recognized a new introductory level called Beginner Novice. As explained in the 2005 USEA rulebook, "the Beginner Novice level is designed to introduce green horses and riders to horse trials ... the entire experience should be safe, inviting and educational."
                                which also supports the idea of educational, but your rather disdainful response didn't not even consider that the overall effect was to expand the sport to be more inclusive of riders that will not ever expand beyond the lower level. 90% Training and below. If this was just about education and training then what are we training green horses and green riders by not putting a focus on proper pace right from the start.

                                BN did not get introduced into USEA until 2005, Novice was not much earlier and somehow back in the dark ages when Training was the entry point the USA was a dominate force in the sport. Somehow those horses and riders, clearly not green, did not need two lower levels to help school and educate till they were ready. So I'll acknowledge that there is an educational aspect to having Novice and BN, but if that is the case, tell me the educational value of allowing basically unlimited speed on a course where the preponderance of riders are not capable of going the pace and the only valid way to "keep it safe" is via DR; which means they are already committing unsafe riding. If you want, the purpose of schooling at BN is to teach that one approaches a 2'7" fence at the pace that is needed to jump it safely, unlimited does not do that.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by JP60 View Post

                                  BN did not get introduced into USEA until 2005, Novice was not much earlier and somehow back in the dark ages when Training was the entry point the USA was a dominate force in the sport. Somehow those horses and riders, clearly not green, did not need two lower levels to help school and educate till they were ready.
                                  Nope...they did not NEED recognized events. They went to schooling HTs and fox hunting and Showjumping. You did other things to give their education until they were ready for a RECOGNIZED horse trial....but lower levels have always been around just not always recognized.

                                  SP do nothing about education or safety or even about teaching pace---just measures if someone can read a watch. It is PURELY about ribbons and placings.
                                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    To answer the original question, most of the shows in my area just throw everyone into open divisions, so we would all be caught up in the same dragnet with a rule like that.
                                    "Do what you can't do"

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      I see two issues with doing away with speed penalties and just sticking with DR:

                                      1. The people giving out DRs subjectively are the same ones who are apparently allowing course designers to get away with course creep instead of saying "uh, no, read the rules" - so I'm not entirely sure I trust them as a group to fairly and appropriately issue DRs. (Don't tell me about the one excellent TD you know who is always scrupulously fair, I am talking about the effect of all of the TDs out there, some of whom will be awesome, most average, and some awful.)

                                      2. Even if the TD is the best TD to ever exist, that is still only one person and quite a large area to be watching, with more than one rider on course at a time and other responsibilities besides. Is it logistically reasonable to put this safety aspect squarely on the shoulders of the TD? If we are going to be relying on them to be safety police, we'd better make sure that is a fair ask.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        I'm going to put this out there for you guys to consider. This year in my division at AEC there were several ties after dressage. I was in a three way tie. Since ties are broken by XC times, I knew that I needed to be as close as possible. I let my horse continue along and would have come in 15-20 seconds over the SF time, so basically, I planned my course accordingly. I circled twice, though so I could get closer to the OT. Once towards the end and once again before the final fence. (it actually ended up working out as my horse was getting strong at that point. Now, I was not dangerous earlier in the course, but, necause of the way ties are broken, I was going to do everything possible to get close. I would have been annoyed if I was spoken to or eliminated for being competitive. Aside from that, if you get rid of watches, you lose those who really want to move up and are learning to ride their minute markers.

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