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Maclay Regionals - Region 8 (CA, HI, NV) - Interesting Night, and Do-Overs

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    Maclay Regionals - Region 8 (CA, HI, NV) - Interesting Night, and Do-Overs

    It was an interesting time last night at the Oaks in San Juan Capistrano.

    The course (Dropbox link) was pretty typical. Lots of bending lines. The ring looked somewhat empty, but there were fourteen jumping efforts. A lot of the jumps were angled across the center line so maybe that made the rest of the ring look relatively empty. Fifty riders were listed on the start order (spoiler alert - this link goes to the results page, but all the riders are listed) but the person who was sixth in the order scratched. A nice crowd gathered to watch the class, which runs at night.

    The first three went without major incident. Then things got interesting. Six of the next nine riders had issues with fence two, an oxer that was set as the in of a line along the VIP area. I couldn't see it from where we were sitting and mere mortals aren't allowed to walk over to the VIP side. Four horses stopped and then went on the second attempt. One horse stopped out. One person got her horse over the jump, but he jumped her loose and she fell off when he stopped at the next fence. Finally, one of the favorites fell off when her horse stopped there. Cue a long pause, maybe 10-15 minutes. Finally there was an announcement that a fence was going to be modified and that any of the first twelve who wanted a do-over could have one and they'd thread them into the order. The announcer did not use the word do-over. People kind of looked at each other and went what the heck. The modification consisted of removing some small viaduct fillers and red flowers from jump two. Since I never made it over there, I don't know how it was configured--if the flowers were on top of the viaduct, in front, or elsewhere. The ring crew put the filler to good use, using it as a perch and storage unit (Dropbox link - chair not cropped out to show scale).

    I'm not sure if the issue was the fence, the VIP area, or some combination. Some horses were clearly backed off coming out of the corner, whereas others slammed on the brakes more at the last moment. In any event, I think that the only two stops at that fence thereafter were two of the do-overs, both of whom stopped out. There were some horses that gave it a pretty hard look.

    Finally we got to the flat phase. There were three flat groups (Dropbox link, shows numbers only, but you can cross check against the linked class results (same link as above); group A is the top group and they are typically ranked within the groups), comprised of a total of 35 riders. They actually made them work a bit--lengthenings at trot and canter, counter canter both directions, sitting trot--and there was variation between the two directions. There was one runaway in group C who was excused.

    There was no work-off. There was a rumor that they have to turn the lights off by midnight and we were getting close. Final results are linked here (same link again; if you click on an entry, you get a pop-up with information that includes the trainer and owner; I have a sheet with the breeding).

    So, has anyone ever seen anything like this? I thought there were no do-overs in horse showing? It was apparently the talk of the show grounds the next morning with most people in the camp of no do-overs. Most people I know can think of many times that a do-over would have been nice: the cut-out flag jump in the Whitethorne eq challenge (it wasn't that high in the eq challenge) that caused a lot of stops in round one and made a repeat appearance in the round the following day, horses spooked by various animate and inanimate objects, horses spooked by odd shadows, a rider whose horse scooted off in a medal final work-off when some local yahoos decided to gallop past the ring, and so on. They're horses. They're prey animals. Stuff happens.

    An official press release for the class has not yet appeared, at least not in my in-box.
    The Evil Chem Prof

    I am curious to hear the press release and the explanation for the "do-over." Were any of the top 10 amongst the "do-over" group? I am not aware of this having happened before but maybe someone else has? Sounds like a messy regional.


      Original Poster

      Originally posted by BAC View Post
      I am curious to hear the press release and the explanation for the "do-over." Were any of the top 10 amongst the "do-over" group? I am not aware of this having happened before but maybe someone else has? Sounds like a messy regional.
      One of the do-overs, one whose issues had nothing to do with the bogey fence, was 15th going into the flat. Two that stopped were 19th and 20th going into the flat. The Maclay site says they’ll take 15 from the region, but they usually go further down than that. One who was 24th going into the flat did not elect to do a do-over.
      The Evil Chem Prof


        I saw a post on Facebook that said the TD for the competition was the one who stepped up and put his foot down over the situation, resulting in the do over. I have no independent confirmation of that statement.


          My comment is about another regional final. I noticed on fb that Heritage shipped their horses 20 hours to compete at regionals 5. They seemed very successful. Heritage is in region 2, & regional 2 finals would have been so much easier on their horses. I’m assuming they just don’t want to compete against other top barns in their home region?

          Also... the do-over from regional 8 does seem odd. Especially if the first 5 did the course without incident.


            re: Heritage. They usually go to different regionals with difference students. I believe it depends on where the student's home is. Not all kids declare to compete in another regional. Could be they just had a lot of students from Zone 5.


              Just out of curiosity, I checked the 11 heritage riders that showed at regionals 5. Only one was from region 5.
              five were region 2
              two were region 3
              one region 8
              one region 4
              one I couldn’t find

              i know Heritage said all of their riders made it thru.

              just interesting.


                The 20 riders from Heritage is far from their whole crew.
                Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
                November 11-13, 2016


                  If Heritage were to bring all of their riders to the same region they would be beating each other out for spots at Maclay finals. There's only so many spots to go around and they'd be shooting themselves in the foot. The best strategy is to split them up and take as many spots in as many regionals as you can.

                  Not to mention Regions 1 and 2 are notoriously stacked with almost all top equitation riders going to those regions. They allow more riders to make the cut from these regions but it generally doesn't even out. A trip that would have made it through in another region may not be good enough to make the cut at Old Salem.


                    Thanks for the great recap, Peggy. Do you know of any video from the class? I looked for a livestream beforehand but could find nothing. I really wanted to watch since I couldn't make it in person this year.


                      So people can pick which zone just to qualify? I dislike college sports for this reason. Too bad so sad you’re in the zone your in.
                      Don't try this at home.


                        FYI on the subject of choosing which region to qualify from. Heritage has been in the game for a long time. They know how to get their kids to Finals. Taken from the Maclay specs:

                        Selecting or Changing a Region

                        Riders have the option to compete in any Regionals. This may be in either their home region based upon the point requirements of their own official USEF state of residence, or any other region based upon the highest point requirements of any state within that chosen region, whichever is greater (Exception: Riders whose home regions are either in Region 1 or Region 2 may change into Regions 3 through 8, however, those riders may not alternate between Regions 1 or 2)

                        Example: If a rider from Florida, which requires 38 points, chooses to compete in the Regionals in Region 1 “Northeast” (CT,MA,ME,NH,RI,VT), he or she would have to have obtained 50 points which is the requirement of the state (CT) within the chosen region with the highest point requirement for qualifying.

                        A rider may only change Regions one time per qualifying year. Once a rider completes the paperwork to compete in another Regionals other than his or her own home region, no other Region changes can be made and that rider may not revert back to their home Region.

                        Any rider wishing to compete in a different region than their home region must notify the NHS in writing by August 15 using the official form provided by the NHSAA (forms may be downloaded from website). On this form each rider will be asked to state his or her intention to compete in the Regionals and in which Region.


                          I think that is dumb. Show in the region you’re in. Not good enough? That’s life.

                          On topic, do-overs? Really?
                          Don't try this at home.


                            I was there. I have been at Region 5 Maclay regionals for the past 4 years which is when Heritage started coming. Each year they bring more students. This region encompasses many states and requires far fewer points to qualify as the number of horse shows available is very low. It creates a very unequal playing field. Of the 22 spots awarded for finals, only 6 riders were legitimately from region 5. Heritage isn’t the only barn using region 5 but they, by far, bring the most students.
                            49 total riders participated in the class, 18 were “out of region” riders. If the rules were as they were all those years ago when I rode, in region 2, riders would only be allowed to attend their home region or the home region of their trainer. The rules as they stand now are very unfair to riders in the regions with fewer showing opportunities.
                            I think there is a better way that could be beneficial to the smaller regions and still allow bigger barns to spread out for regionals. First, you have to declare you region earlier in the season, like March 1, not August 15th. This will help show managers better prepare for the influx of entries not normally seen at shows. Second, riders (trainers) wishing to participate in a region other than their home region must compete in at least 3 shows in that region. This rule will provide better competition in the smaller regions and give support with additional entries to show managers in that region.
                            In addition, have an “approved” equitation course book compiled by a committee with trainers, judges and course designers to ensure that all riders across the country are being prepped and tested equally. I was shocked and dismayed to see the types of courses riders in our area qualified on. The “big eq” classes (minus the jumper phases) are always in the hunter ring with a two stride, bending line and maybe a rollback. Kids from bigger regions jump courses that are very technical with multiple combinations, triple bars, end jumps, skinny jumps without wings, etc.
                            Not everyone has the means to take off to FL or CA for a winter circuit. The playing field can be leveled somewhat by bringing better competition to all regions and testing riders with courses that ask the same questions no matter where you show and qualify. We need to do better for these kids!
                            Last edited by KShorseymomma; Sep. 17, 2019, 08:28 AM.


                              Original Poster

                              Originally posted by Temecula Jumper View Post
                              Thanks for the great recap, Peggy. Do you know of any video from the class? I looked for a livestream beforehand but could find nothing. I really wanted to watch since I couldn't make it in person this year.
                              I don’t know of anything official. You might be able to nose around on Facebook (try Elvenstar, for example). I videoed one person and will attempt to upload that to Dropbox and PM the link.

                              And if you, or anyone, ever goes and wants to meet up, let me know. I’m there pretty much every year.
                              The Evil Chem Prof


                                If anybody finds video of the original course, could you please post the link here? I would be interested to see it. TIA!


                                  Original Poster

                                  Back in Region 8, here’s a link to the press release. It does briefly discuss the incident. No video, except for interviews, from what I can see. Since when is a fall referred to as a dismount? I suspect that the decision was catalyzed by some combo of a well-known rider falling off and a complaint.

                                  The Evil Chem Prof


                                    Kids in all regions work really hard all year to get to finals. If what happened at regionals 8, happened at finals do you think they would let kids have a redo & change the fence? Probably not.
                                    My thoughts on Heritage going outside of their region... not really fair to take spots from those kids from region 5 that have worked just as hard, but might not be as privileged to show all year. Plus, poor horses to have to ship all that way for a weekend when the same class is offered so close to the home barn. I understand that the top riders are the ones that make it to finals, however it’s also all about the $. If heritage showed in there home region , less of their riders would get through, but the top riders would still be on top at finals. It would just give the less privileged regions a chance to send kids to represent their region.

                                    Isn’t that the reason for the different regionals? To have each region represented by their top riders at finals? Or maybe not?


                                      If that press release is accurate and 8 of the first 12 had a refusal or a fall at that one fence, I think revision of that fence and re-rides for those first 12 definitely makes sense. That's a course design problem, not a "it's not your day, oh well" problem.


                                        Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
                                        If that press release is accurate and 8 of the first 12 had a refusal or a fall at that one fence, I think revision of that fence and re-rides for those first 12 definitely makes sense. That's a course design problem, not a "it's not your day, oh well" problem.
                                        It was six if you count the person whose horse over jumped fence two, ultimately causing her to fall at the next fence. Eight of the first twelve opted for a re-ride. I took notes.
                                        The Evil Chem Prof