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Devon Bounces Back

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  • Devon Bounces Back

    I must commend the judges and the course Designer at Devon this year. Kudos to Leo Conroy and Brian Lenahan for being fair and consistent in their judging opinions. The course designer has broked away from boring "inside-outside" courses and opted for many single fences and broken lines. Everyone who left the ring kept saying "that was fun"
    Quite a change from last years mundane courses and in my opinion once again... lousy judging.
    By the way speaking of judging, word has it all over the show grounds, that a letter went around to all judges from Bill Moroney basically telling them to shape up. Too many exhibitor complaints. It seems certain judges can't wait to call the rider who just left the ring to discuss "things", while the next rider is starting the course... Can you imagine! I suggest we e-mail the USEF after every show discussing both the good and the bad. Persistence overides resistance.
    If anyone else has more details, please share them.
    Regardless Devon lives up to it's name once again!
  • Original Poster

    #2
    I must commend the judges and the course Designer at Devon this year. Kudos to Leo Conroy and Brian Lenahan for being fair and consistent in their judging opinions. The course designer has broked away from boring "inside-outside" courses and opted for many single fences and broken lines. Everyone who left the ring kept saying "that was fun"
    Quite a change from last years mundane courses and in my opinion once again... lousy judging.
    By the way speaking of judging, word has it all over the show grounds, that a letter went around to all judges from Bill Moroney basically telling them to shape up. Too many exhibitor complaints. It seems certain judges can't wait to call the rider who just left the ring to discuss "things", while the next rider is starting the course... Can you imagine! I suggest we e-mail the USEF after every show discussing both the good and the bad. Persistence overides resistance.
    If anyone else has more details, please share them.
    Regardless Devon lives up to it's name once again!

    Comment


    • #3
      In the 3 years I've lived in PA, this is the first I have made it to the show to watch the hunters during the day-- usually just get to go at night after work-- so I can't really comment on years past...
      BUT, watching the green and working hunters yesterday, I was really impressed by the 'handiness' of the course. It really did look fun, challenged the horses, and made each round much more 'spectator-friendly'. As a result, I noticed more people than usual *watching* the courses, rather than milling around, shopping, chatting, etc.
      Silver Bells is absolutely right about the course design-- I was very impressed that, in all of the divisions I watched, there was only one true line-- and that was a reachy, away-from-the-ingate 3 (maybe 4?) stride to a 2 stride, that had to really be "hunted" from the corner to ride correctly. Lots of singles, a bending line out of a deep corner. Extremely enjoyable to watch the pros have to really RIDE those beautiful horses, and see which really stepped up to the challenge.
      Definite kudos from me!
      Webshots: http://community.webshots.com/user/kidlawless
      Villanova (VUET): http://students.villanova.edu/equestrian/

      Comment


      • #4
        Absolutely agree Silver Bells. The classes were entertaining and the judging was excellent. I thought that the course designer was brilliant. I was sitting on the judges' side of the ring and the placement of the fences gave them a good view of each horse from many different perspectives. The good as well as the bad!

        Were the hunter courses tough? Yeah, I'd say they were. But, after all, as a friend pointed out, it is Devon and certainly the horses and riders should be up to a more challenging course.

        I have to say one of the oxers on the diagonal in the reg. working and reg. conf. class was, as they like to say in the eventing world, maximum height and width. =:-O!

        In other words, it was a big 'un .

        My only quibble was the rather obviously lame horse that made it through the jog. I know it is a hard decision for the judges to make but you have to judge 'em as they appear at the time and, regardless of the reason, the horse was not sound. I felt they should have at least requested that the class jog again.

        I'd like to see Bill Moroney and the USHJA put some teeth into the "jog for soundness". Spinning a horse, as hard as it may be to do (and I certainly would not be happy to do it if I were judging), is the best thing one can do for the welfare of the horse.

        Nina

        Comment


        • #5
          The course should not judge the class. Nor should it discourage the horses. The courses this week resulted in scaring at least four top horses, who either ended up leaving the ring or requiring the subsequent trip to be ridden as a schooling round. Horses of lesser quality were hopelessly overfaced. The first year horses, in their first class, for their first line, were required to jump a galloping bending line, directly into the rail crowd, going away from the gate. That's not good horsemanship.
          A hunter course should encourage good jumping efforts and smooth rounds and allow the judges to choose the best horse. These courses did not do that.

          Comment


          • #6
            Chanda, I agree with you. Watching the end of the first years this morning, then the 2nds and the Reg. Conformation (well, I went walking after Popeye), I was shocked at how many of these horses were having trouble ... The 2 stride especially was taking its toll, and seems to get worse during the regulars ...

            Is Popeye ok after his close encounter with the second element of the 2 stride? Granted he cleared it, which took a special horse to do with the spot he got, but still, it could've been bad. I also saw one rider, forget who it was, have a refusal at the first element of the 2 stride and retire without even going back ... I have some decent pics of Popeye, will send to you in email if you'd like Chanda ... Would've love to meet ya, but didn't know who you were and how to introduce myself ... Won't be able to get there the rest of the week, but good luck to you this weekend in the A/O's ...
            R.I.P. Barbaro
            Good luck Nicanor & Lentenor !

            Comment


            • #7
              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by C.Boylen:
              The course should not judge the class. Nor should it discourage the horses. The courses this week resulted in scaring at least four top horses, who either ended up leaving the ring or requiring the subsequent trip to be ridden as a schooling round. Horses of lesser quality were hopelessly overfaced. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

              I know that you know QUITE a bit more than me, so I'm just asking to understand. Shouldn't these "top horses" be schooled over all sorts of elements and situations so they AREN'T overfaced?

              I wasn't there to watch anything go, but I have to say kudos for making the courses fun and interesting. Hunters need to liven up a bit more!
              My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!
              http://www.youtube.com/kheit86

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Chanda, I usually agree with you, however not in this case. I watched every class all day Monday from many different seats. I spoke with at least a dozen professionals who rode in almost every division, and all they could say was how great the courses were. I have observed Devon for almost 35 years, and this is shaping up to be one of the best Devon shows ever, resulting in great performances showcasing good jumpers! Unfortunately it also reveals some that are not so talented.
                GG Valentine was the only hose eliminated for refusals (3) at the 3rd jump. So it goes...
                What this has to do with horsemanship, I do notknow. It's funny how certain words used in such an abiguous way can almost justify.

                Comment


                • #9
                  as someone not at Devon, I too disagree with C. Boylens's post - good gad, the orignal hunters were supposed to represent "hunters" - namely horses that went over all sorts of obstacles at all sorts of distances, at a gallop (hello, like out on the hunt) - good golly, I rode my pony over outside courses of 3' 6" fences in the early 60's. Bless these course designers for making the courses challenging! Lets bring back the athletic hunter - and lose the brain dead, over lunged excuse!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Silverbells - I agree with you. While I think that the first class of the 1st years may have been a bit too much, this isn't some schooling show. This is Devon - supposedly the best of the best. I saw broken and bending lines this winter at WEF plenty of times and all of the rated hunters had to show on the GP field during World Hunter Rider week. If that isn't spooky for the younger ones, I don't know what is. Granted there wasn't a ferris wheel out there, but there were plenty of other things for them to look at. Perhaps some horses just had an off week. However, for the most part, the good horses rose to the occasion and the others, well...

                    I would also have to agree as to the judging. Although I was not there today, from what I saw of the juniors and the pros, the politics seem to have been left at home, something which is a rarity at Devon (at least in recent years). It was especially interesting and a good education to sit in the box below the judges and see the classes at their vantage point.
                    http://community.webshots.com/user/william7628

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Although I was not there today, from what I saw of the juniors and the pros, the politics seem to have been left at home, something which is a rarity at Devon (at least in recent years). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                      Guess you didn't see the leadline classes this year&gt;

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Giddyup:
                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Although I was not there today, from what I saw of the juniors and the pros, the politics seem to have been left at home, something which is a rarity at Devon (at least in recent years). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                        Guess you didn't see the leadline classes this year&gt; </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                        Actually I did. I thought that they all looked great. Hard to judge all those kids at the walk. Glad I wasn't judging that class.
                        http://community.webshots.com/user/william7628

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          OK I'll bite, what was wrong with leadline!! Isn't it always a bit of a beauty contest??

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Oh, I was only kidding! It WAS a beauty contest and we all looked great.

                            The woman next to us in the lineup and I just smiled as they pinned it - there goes Ray, oh and there's Joe, and there goes -what's that big trainer's name again, and there's Didi...
                            all of their kids did look good too, by the way.

                            Our mission was accomplished though - we came, stayed clean (except for me getting slimed right before we went in),the kid looked great, the pony was cute and we had no meltdowns or shake-offs in the ring. Plus, we got awesome pictures of me and my daughter together at Devon. THAT'S what it's all about!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Actually, the letter re: judging was sent out by Thom Brede and CCed to Bill Moroney.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have to agree Silver Bells. I was there on Monday for the Reg. Working & Confirmation classes. I too was impressed with what a big galloping course it was with lots of questions. These are the supposed to be the best horses in the country, and it certainly seperated the good from the great horses. You have to admit, that at some point, once a horse knows it's going to start on the left lead outside line, they sorta go on auto-pilot from there in recent hunter shows. There's only so many ways to get there from here in a typical inside-outside-inside-outside course. It's great to keep the horse and rider thinking and finding where they need to improve!
                                Life is hard. After all, it kills you. - K. Hepburn

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Flycatcher:
                                  Actually, the letter re: judging was sent out by Thom Brede and CCed to Bill Moroney. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                  What did you think of the letter? Sort of confirms what all of have been saying and thinking about judging the hunters. BTW, what I saw or think I saw was a memorandum by Bill Maroney to all the judges and other licensed officials. I could be wrong however as I was given about 10 seconds to read it.
                                  http://community.webshots.com/user/william7628

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Hunters today are supposed to reflect some of what "real" hunters were required to do in the field - jump bigger jumps, unrelated distances and in some cases, spooky obstacles. Good on the course designer for trying to bring some of that back (as it sounds - I wasn't there). Tough luck on those that aren't able to move beyond diagonal, outside line-only courses.

                                    Sounds like it was very interesting to watch...
                                    *Faune D'Helby*

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      WHo WAS the course designer??
                                      co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        I am nervous about riding the courses tomorrow and Saturday, but I still think it will be a blast.

                                        I did not know Thom Brede was the author of the letter. Regardless, some much needed change may come from it.

                                        Comment

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