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Stewards.... Why can't they do their job?

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  • Stewards.... Why can't they do their job?

    This is something that really irks me. A steward's job is to ensure that riders have proper tack, follow the rules, ride safely and don't abuse their horses; right?

    So why does it seem that so many things are allowed to slide past? Tack problems never seem to be the real issue. I'm talking more on the "safety" and "abuse" side of things. I recently saw one rider literally BEAT her horse around a 3'6" jumper course . It was obvious the horse wasn't ready (yes, besides the point I know) and she wasn't going to take a refusal for an answer. Nobody said anythingand she was allowed to do this for two classes.
    I've also noticed an interesting little rule in the Eventing handbook that says if a rider is repeated left behind the motion of the horse, he/she can be disqualified. I know of a few people that push themselves past their limit and get left behind over ever. single. fence. No kidding. Why is that allowed to continue? These people are cringeworthy and destined to have a wreck.
    What about the people that go roaring around a class bumping into other people, an obvious safety hazard. Why don't stewards excuse them?

    I've heard that if a steward DOES stand up and enforce the rules dilligently, they get put on the "blacklist" and don't get hired again for shows. So essentially they're being controlled by show management to do/say what management wants. Not be an independant eye to make sure things are as they should be.

    Yes there has to be moderation and no situation is black & white but sometimes, when someone is a hazard to their own safety, their horses or other people's, Stewards should really be encouraged to do their job instead of being reprimanded.

    *A qualifier* Most bigger shows don't have as many of the above mentioned people but there's still the few that are downright scary to watch.
    __________________________________________________ _
    Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!

  • #2
    Unless someone brings something like this to the Stewards' attention, he or she may not know about it.

    Did you actually take the time to find the Steward and let him or her know what was going on? If not, why? Perhaps the Steward was measuring a pony when this happened, looking over the jumper schooling ring? Just don't assume that a Steward can know what is going on everywhere at a show unless someone brings it to their attention.

    And was the horse or the rider's safety at issue and was it clearly abuse? It would need to be in one of those categories for a Steward to "write someone up."

    Comment


    • #3
      ^ What Monalisa said.

      At a USEF show, a steward has many duties, and they don't all take place at the show ring.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        These were all cases (at different shows) where a complaint was made to the steward and/or the steward was standing their watching, hence why I chose these specific examples. Nothing was done to improve the situation. From what was said, the stewards I've talked to have told me that it's frowned upon for them to remove people like the above mentioned.

        In the first example, yes, there was most definitely excessive use of the whip.

        In the second example, the rider was getting left behind/jumped out of the tack over every fence and nearly coming off. So IMHO he was a safety hazard to himself.

        In the third example, definitely yes, as the person was not in control and bumping into other people in a hack class.

        Just to clarify, I'm not meaning to bash the stewards themselves, I'm bashing the show management that's essentially saying "We need you here to steward but you can't enforce the rules as they should be or you'll never get hired on again".
        __________________________________________________ _
        Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!

        Comment


        • #5
          I've also noticed an interesting little rule in the Eventing handbook that says if a rider is repeated left behind the motion of the horse, he/she can be disqualified.
          Can you point me to where you found this?
          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


          • #6
            Originally posted by Brigit View Post
            In the first example, yes, there was most definitely excessive use of the whip.

            In the second example, the rider was getting left behind/jumped out of the tack over every fence and nearly coming off. So IMHO he was a safety hazard to himself.
            both of these are very subjective. YOU decided it was excessive use of the whip and YOU think the other guy was a hazard to himself, but would USEF decide the same if someone got pissy about being pulled from the ring?

            If the third rider was that unsafe, the judge should have called them to the center of the ring.
            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

            Comment


            • #7
              The problem with the examples you mentioned are they are SUBJECTIVE, what one person thinks is too much another may not. A steward has to be accountable for any action they take against a competitor. Short of having a video, it's their word against the competitor, and tie msot likely is going to the competitor! Not the stewards 'fault' but it isnt as cut and dried as a rule disallowing a certain peice of tack is. I have never heard of any rule in eventing about "being left behind". Again that is extremely subjective. Many of these kinds of things are very hard to enforce, for a variety of reasons.
              www.shawneeacres.net

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                This is true, that they're all subjective but when everybody watching is going "OMG that person is a menace" you'd think that would be a sufficient judge of "too much" or "dangerous". And the person is a known quantity to the ring stewards who says "Ooooh that person.... not again", you'd think more should/could be done. But show management doesn't want the ring stewards actually doing their job because they're worried about losing entries at future shows. Perhaps if enforcement of rules and conduct was carried out at more standard levels across the boards, people would learn they can't do what they're doing ANYWHERE.

                To clarify again, I am NOT bashing the stewards, what I'm trying to get across is that perhaps the stewards should have more backing so they CAN do something about people that are dangerous/abusive etc.
                __________________________________________________ _
                Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!

                Comment


                • #9
                  What is the job description of a steward??

                  Seriously, I tried looking in the USEF rule book & could not find a definition of a steward. Perhap Janet could help me out?

                  I have been told a steward does not enforce the rules, but helps to interpret them (which is why there is so much subjectivity on rule interpretation). Rule enforcement is left up to USEF. Whether that is true or not I don't know, but I have been told that.

                  I will totally agree that there are some stewards who really do enjoy their job & are out there assisting people, answering questions, very approachable & "being seen" around the show grounds. I much prefer them to the stewards who literally hide in the show office or sit at the lunch stand all day, never take a pass thru stabling or a glance at the schooling ring, and in general give off a "don't bother me" attitude.

                  I also think people should note who pays the stewards--the show managers do, not USEF. Therefore does a steward make waves, irk off show management & run the risk of never being re-hired again? I have actually had stewards point that out to me. Perhaps if USEF paid & assigned stewards to the horse shows things might be different?
                  "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm talking more on the "safety" and "abuse" side of things. I recently saw one rider literally BEAT her horse around a 3'6" jumper course .
                    I am not an expert on the split between "judge" and "steward" in the H/J world. But I would think things that happen IN THE RING come under the JUDGE rather than the Steward.

                    In fact, JU102 says
                    JP102 Horse Welfare.
                    1. Conduct in the competition ring:
                    a. Any action against a horse by a competitor in the ring, deemed excessive by the
                    judge, may be penalized by any one or combination of the following: official warning, or
                    elimination from the class. BOD 1/17/10 Effective 12/1/10
                    b. Such action(s) could include, but are not limited to, excessive or improper use of the
                    whip, spurs, reins, rider’s weight or rider’s hands.
                    The Steward needs to REPORT it. But it is the Judge who "deems it excessive".
                    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
                      Originally posted by Giddy-up View Post
                      I also think people should note who pays the stewards--the show managers do, not USEF. Therefore does a steward make waves, irk off show management & run the risk of never being re-hired again? I have actually had stewards point that out to me. Perhaps if USEF paid & assigned stewards to the horse shows things might be different?
                      THIS is the point I'm trying to get at and discuss.
                      __________________________________________________ _
                      Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Giddy-up View Post
                        What is the job description of a steward??

                        Seriously, I tried looking in the USEF rule book & could not find a definition of a steward. Perhap Janet could help me out?
                        Try GR1035 and GR1037.
                        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


                        • #13
                          For things that happen OUTSIDE the show ring, JP 102.2 says
                          2. Conduct outside of the competition ring: Any action(s) against a horse by an exhibitor,
                          deemed excessive by a judge, Federation Steward, Certified Jumper Schooling Supervisor
                          or Competition Veterinarian
                          anywhere on the competition grounds may be punished by official
                          warning or elimination from the class. Such action(s) could include, but are not limited
                          to, excessive or improper use of the whip, spurs, reins, rider’s weight or rider’s hands.
                          So Outside the ring, the Steward could call it. But Inside the ring it is ONLY the judge.
                          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

                            #14
                            Alright, so lets talk about the judges. Why aren't they calling these people out and excusing them from the ring?
                            __________________________________________________ _
                            Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have seen judges call people out and excuse them from the ring.
                              Owned by an Oldenburg

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                So have I but it doesn't happen enough.
                                __________________________________________________ _
                                Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Brigit View Post
                                  Alright, so lets talk about the judges. Why aren't they calling these people out and excusing them from the ring?
                                  I have seen a judge not only excuse a rider for excesive beating/poor sportsmanship in the ring, but then had the in-gate person hold the radio up to the rider so they could "educate" them on what is & isn't allowed. This was an un-rated show so no USEF steward present, but it was a USEF judge & believe me (I was working another in-gate with my radio)...they made it crystal clear what USEF's rules are on discipline!

                                  And again...who pays the judges?? Oh yeah, so there goes the whole if you want to ever possibly be re-hired again...
                                  "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    SIGH....I just 'love' it when people make these comments about Stewards not doing their jobs. Perhaps if people dismounted off their high horses and educated themselves about what the rules really were the horse show world would be a happier place.

                                    First and foremost the Steward is not hired as the Gestapo, police, enforcer, commandant or whatever you would like to call it of the horse show! The steward is there to make sure the playing field is level for all competitors and as a liason between the USEF and the competitors and the horse show management.

                                    The Steward is also there to ensure that the horse's welfare is protected.

                                    The comment by the OP stating that she watched while a person literally beat her horse around a 3'6" course twice while the Steward did nothing may be surprised to learn that once a horse crosses the ingate and is in the show ring, it is now totally under the jurisdiction of the judge. The Steward has NO authority whatsoever! You all may be surprised to know that there is NO 3 hits and you're out rule either! The judge is watching the round. It is totally his/her call whether what is happening in the ring is excessive or not.

                                    Not sure what the OP is referring to when she is speaking of the Eventing rule about falling behind, but in the jumper schooling area, it is not uncommon for a big GP rider to be schooling his horse and when the jump gets high towards the end of his school to OH DEAR 'suddenly' get left behind or sit straight up to facilitate a knockdown at which point they are warned not to let that happen again.

                                    As to the OP's third example again, it is NOT the Stewards job nor is it even possible for a Steward to dismiss somone from a class! This is totally the judges call and I've had judges call me over as well as the offending rider or unsafe rider and explain to them why they aren't welcome back in the ring today.

                                    As for the rest of it, the Steward can diffuse some situations in the schooling areas, barn areas, and every other place on the showgrounds IF he/she happens to be in the right place at the right time. A Steward can't be everywhere and just because YOU see something and come and tell me, I can go investigate, but unless you are willing to sign a complaint and put your name on paper as a witness and have other witnesses that are willing to sign their name to a report, the Stewards hands are tied.

                                    As far as Stewards working for management, SIGH, once again the Stewards purpose is not to come into a showgrounds with a badge, a clipboard and a whistle running around like an overzealous camp counselor! We have no authority on how the horse show is managed other than to help point out to management where they may be running afoul of the USEF rules. If someone is thought to be abusing a horse or doing something that is less than desireable under USEF rules the Steward AND the show management should work together to decide what to do - such as giving that person a 24hr time out. Not everything requires a fire and brimstone approach for heaven sake!

                                    DOGS....the nemesis of every Steward! Come one people! I LOVE dogs. We ALL love dogs! The rules are clear however!! WHY WHY WHY don't people think those rules pertain to THEIR dogs?!@ Half of the day if not more is spent corraling other people's darn dogs! Believe me we have better things to do and they keep adding to those things all the time!

                                    So to sum things up. Don't be lazy - learn the rules as it pertains to your discipline, or at least be educated about what you are talking about! The rules change on a monthly or weekly basis lately. Don't expect the Steward to do everyone's dirty work!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I didn't think the excessive use of the whip rule was subjective. In Eventing, it is pretty spelled out.

                                      3. WHIP. The use of the whip must be for a good reason, at an appropriate time, in the
                                      right place, and with appropriate severity.
                                      a. Reason—the whip must only be used either as an aid to encourage the horse forward,
                                      or as a reprimand. It must never be used to vent a rider’s temper. Such use is
                                      always excessive.
                                      b. Time—As an aid, the only appropriate time is when a horse is reluctant to go forward
                                      under normal aids of the seat and legs. As a reprimand, the only appropriate time
                                      is immediately after a horse has been disobedient, e.g. napping or refusing. The whip
                                      should not be used after elimination. The whip should not be used after a horse has
                                      jumped the last fence on a course.
                                      c. Place—As an aid to go forward, the whip may be used down the shoulder or behind
                                      the rider’s leg. As a reprimand, it must only be used behind the rider’s leg. It must never
                                      be used overhand, e.g. a whip in the right hand being used on the left flank. The use of
                                      a whip on a horse’s head, neck, etc., is always excessive use.
                                      d. Severity—As a reprimand only, a horse may be hit hard. However, it should never
                                      be hit more than three times for any one incident. If a horse is marked by the whip, e.g.
                                      the skin is broken, its use is excessive.
                                      Rhode Islands are red;
                                      North Hollands are blue.
                                      Sorry my thoroughbreds
                                      Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        I wish you would have read my other posts stating that this isn't a "Bash the steward" post. It's not at all. I fully support what they do. Perhaps I should have specified or been more general by saying why doesn't show management/ stewards/judges et al kick more of these people out. The judges &/or stewards can't do their jobs without the backing of the show management, THAT is my issue.

                                        The fact that judges/stewards or who-ever IS hired to "educate" or "enforce" or whatever word you'd like to use, the rules isn't being allowed to do their jobs and people like the above, are allowed to come to show after show displaying the same poor behavior/horsemanship.

                                        I *DO* know the rules, thank you very much, and I make a point of making sure I know what I can/can't do. It is a problem that there are people out there that don't know the rules or don't want to follow them.
                                        __________________________________________________ _
                                        Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!

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