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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.

  • poltroon
    replied
    As horsemen, I think it's important to remember and emphasize that the safety of horse and rider is our most important priority, more important than the competition being fair, more important than getting the "right" results out of an important national qualifier.

    Any horse or rider suffering permanent damage from a horse show class is not okay. Sometimes it is going to happen despite our best efforts, but when we see a dangerous situation occurring, I'm completely in favor of stopping the class and removing the issue, even if it is "unfair." I'll take unfair over broken bones or creating a lifelong fear for horse or rider any day.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mac123
    replied
    Originally posted by Peggy View Post
    Mac123 As someone who was there and took notes, I agree.

    I will say that some of the horses came out of the corner and started to back off, so it wasn’t a last minute decision for all of them. But maybe that was all the VIP area stuff catching their eye and then they saw the fence at the last moment? I kind of wonder what the outcome would have been had that jump not been it was was probably the least-friendly portion of the ring with respect to outside distractions.
    I bet you're right - I bet a lot of them were a bit distracted on the approach and didn't really study the jump, making the shiny black surface at the base extra shocking.

    It sounds like a case where the fence placement was enough of a challenge on its own, and the combination of the placement and the weird lighting on the boxes just pushed it over the edge.

    Leave a comment:


  • Peggy
    replied
    Mac123 As someone who was there and took notes, I agree.

    I will say that some of the horses came out of the corner and started to back off, so it wasn’t a last minute decision for all of them. But maybe that was all the VIP area stuff catching their eye and then they saw the fence at the last moment? I kind of wonder what the outcome would have been had that jump not been it was was probably the least-friendly portion of the ring with respect to outside distractions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mac123
    replied
    I've been thinking a lot about this, and it just seems like it was a no-win situation.

    The jump was clearly causing an unusual amount of issues. This is an important class that affects a lot of juniors' future, and I don't disagree that the results of Regionals should reflect the best executed course rather than a crapshoot of which horse happened to not be spooked on takeoff at a legitimately and unintentionally scary fence. Not to mention there is a safety component - and a horse welfare component. As horsemen, we're supposed to give our horses confidence; not have a jump that truly scares them, and it sounds like at least one horse was pretty undone by the experience.

    On the flip side, the do-over seems quite unfair, particularly for the riders who didn't have an issue at that jump and were allowed a second shot at it. The horse that was additionally prepared before it's second change really bothers me.

    Probably the best solution would have been to stop the class, adjust the jump, and set a new course for everyone to start fresh with. But that's not practically possible, and rescheduling it altogether wasn't either.

    I think any way you slice this once, it's unfair to someone, and while to some degree that's horseshowing, it seems like this falls outside the ordinary realm of things.

    Leave a comment:


  • PonyPenny
    replied
    Originally posted by MHM View Post

    I concur. I would guess he was watching the class, but not marking a card or taking specific notes. So he may not have had the exact numbers right in front of him, but he knew the gist of the situation.
    However facts are important, especially in this situation. He was trying to justify a decision that many believe had no merit, unless of course you were one of the lucky ones to get a do over.

    Leave a comment:


  • MHM
    replied
    Originally posted by Peggy View Post
    I do wish that Geoff had gotten his facts straight, but I don't think there was anything nefarious. He probably just remembered a bit wrong.
    I concur. I would guess he was watching the class, but not marking a card or taking specific notes. So he may not have had the exact numbers right in front of him, but he knew the gist of the situation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Peggy
    replied
    Originally posted by ww3467 View Post
    Yes. Thanks for posting. Not sure if there was a fair thing to do WRT the order. The people right after #12 in the order had already been sitting around waiting for a pronouncement and probably didn't want to wait while eight horses went and some of the horses had probably gone back to the barn and hopefully not gotten unbraided. The lunging thing is more troubling--but again I'm not sure what the right choice was. Glad I didn't have to make it.

    I do wish that Geoff had gotten his facts straight, but I don't think there was anything nefarious. He probably just remembered a bit wrong. But three made it around the course before the first stop. One rider fell off at fence 2 while another fell off at fence 3 as a direct consequence of fence 2. Two riders who were eliminated, one for two stops and one for a fall, were eliminated again in the do-over.

    Leave a comment:


  • MHM
    replied
    Originally posted by ww3467 View Post
    Very interesting. Thanks for posting it.

    Leave a comment:


  • ww3467
    replied
    https://jayduke.com/maclay-mayhem/

    Leave a comment:


  • Peggy
    replied
    Originally posted by oreo mom View Post
    not sure when a TD became eligible to dictate in an Equitation class! There should have been 2 stewards there. Where was the other?
    I think it should be set next year with really easy low fences as that zone seems to have loads of difficulties. That wY the “right “ people will go to KY.
    SO SAD!
    ???????

    Also, it's a region not a zone.

    I don't know what the Maclay regional rules are, but most of the regional medal finals out here have a person designated as as a technical delegate who isn't part of the regular show management team, a judge, or a steward, but is there specifically to coordinate the medal finals and represent the association behind that medal finals, e.g. PCHA.

    Leave a comment:


  • oreo mom
    replied
    Originally posted by Dorito View Post

    Just for clarification, my understanding is that the steward was monitoring the warmup ring and was not informed of what was going on. The TD made the decision.
    not sure when a TD became eligible to dictate in an Equitation class! There should have been 2 stewards there. Where was the other?
    I think it should be set next year with really easy low fences as that zone seems to have loads of difficulties. That wY the “right “ people will go to KY.
    SO SAD!

    Leave a comment:


  • Release First
    replied
    [QUOTE=Peggy;

    There is another medal final in that ring, with the last round at night, in August, with many of the same riders, so many have seen it. There are other classes in the ring before the Maclay, though none at night. But still a scary .........

    [/QUOTE]

    Some of the horses and riders were invited to a two day clinic given the first of the week and the Maclay riders rode at night.

    Leave a comment:


  • Release First
    replied
    Originally posted by Peggy View Post

    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.

    https://www.facebook.com/search/top/...epa=SEARCH_BOX

    If this doesn’t work, search Holly Scapa


    Leave a comment:


  • Denali6298
    replied
    I still can’t wrap my mind around the do-over. Riders made it through, and maybe this is my ignorance, but it seems it’s linked to the favorites. I dunno. I feel like if they did change the fence make everyone go twice or leave the jump. One would think, after two or three trips with horses going over the fence and maybe sticky they would realize it’s a spooky fence. Do people not talk to each other after trips?

    Leave a comment:


  • MHM
    replied
    Originally posted by blondewithchrome View Post

    It’s actually top 10, or top 4 for USET!
    https://www.nhs.org/media/1382/maclay18-19specs.pdf
    Yes, it’s a nice feature for a good rider who just has an unlucky day at regionals for some random reason.

    Leave a comment:


  • blondewithchrome
    replied
    Originally posted by MissIntent View Post
    Is there still a way to qualify by coming in the top 4 in one of the other major eq finals? I thought they said that in that TV show they did over the Maclay back in 2005ish? I'm not an expert though.

    if that is a thing then Augusta could still get in - top 4 is a reasonable possibility for her.
    It’s actually top 10, or top 4 for USET!
    https://www.nhs.org/media/1382/maclay18-19specs.pdf

    Leave a comment:


  • MissIntent
    replied
    Is there still a way to qualify by coming in the top 4 in one of the other major eq finals? I thought they said that in that TV show they did over the Maclay back in 2005ish? I'm not an expert though.

    if that is a thing then Augusta could still get in - top 4 is a reasonable possibility for her.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pennywell Bay
    replied
    Originally posted by Dorito View Post
    One of Holly’s arguments is that they violated USEF rule HU109.2 which states “Except in case of inclement weather, broken equipment or similar emergency a course must not be altered except by written permission of all exhibitors...”

    Does anyone know if this hunter rule applies to a Maclay Regional as well?
    That's a hunter rule. Eq has its own rule book that refers to medals/maclay/USEF talent search etc.

    I understand both sides but it really sounds like sour grapes on some people's part.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dorito
    replied
    One of Holly’s arguments is that they violated USEF rule HU109.2 which states “Except in case of inclement weather, broken equipment or similar emergency a course must not be altered except by written permission of all exhibitors...”

    Does anyone know if this hunter rule applies to a Maclay Regional as well?

    Leave a comment:

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