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Chronicles Rising the Bar Article; What do u think?

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  • Chronicles Rising the Bar Article; What do u think?

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/let’s-raise-bar


    I'm all for raising the bar but how do you do this cost wise for the average rider which I think this article is leaving out? Also if people are comfortable at a certain level do they or should they move up? Because I got the impression from the writer that thats not acceptable since we are dumbing down the shows. The article also mentions that the pessoa medal we should do things a little different because some of the kids are not "there to win," really because why would you even go if you thought you didn't have a chance to win? Yep, there can only be one "winner" but everyone has a fair chance and should we take that way from them?
    I want to be like Barbie because that bitch has everything!

  • #2
    In answer to your question about Medal finals, not everyone has a shot at winning. There are a lot of kids who qualify and go for the experience and to say they've gone. In your 200 or so people who show, you really have about 20% who have a decent shot at winning, 20% who will be in over their heads, and the rest are varying degrees of mediocrity.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
    Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

    Comment


    • #3
      Some of the ones who are not at the Medal finals to win *this* year may go on to win it next year, or the year after that. Plenty of kids go a few times before they get a ribbon or win it.

      If they don't go as non-contenders the first time, they don't get the chance to improve and win down the road. Or just improve, even if they never win. There is still plenty of merit in improvement, whether or not you win someday.

      Comment


      • #4
        I normally don't like this writer's articles but this one was pretty darn good!

        I myself don't go to C, B, or A shows, only AA, and haven't seem much point in going just to be showing in the same classes only less prestige, but I LOVED how she wrote about making these shows appropriate "stepping stones" that ultimately point a rider towards the big ones. THIS should be the point! Instead of using them as glorified schooling shows, give C,B, and A shows a purpose.

        I do think one thing we need to realize (oh people will try to kill me through their computers for this one) is that the ammy's with a few horses showing in a few classes in a few shows a year, the people holding good average jobs , and doing only what they can afford and showing and riding purely for the fun (which is great! I'm glad you are happy, good lifestyle to have, not downing anything about that) are NOT the bread and butter of the shows. We have to stop acting like we are indispensable and the shows will die without us grassroots. They won't. If all the grassroots disappeared into thin air, yes the shows would suffer a bit, but they would go on. If all the big barns with the money and the grooms and the 5 figure horses and the fancy tack rooms were to disappear and leave only us grassroots, the shows would suffer BADLY. I highly doubt they could go on, if they did it would only be a little "for fun" league, never the big prestigious industry it is today.
        So yes, we grassroots ARE important, but we need to analyze our rank in the food chain a bit before we go around puffing out our chests and telling the big dogs how important we are (yes we are important, don't get me wrong we do matter, I'm not saying we are door mats for the big barns to wipe their feet on).
        We can't let the grassroots disappear,I agree, but the grassroots are vulnerable and the shows could live without them if it came to that.

        Well, I've made my point, and honestly, I don't care who gets their panties in a wad because of it!

        Straight from zone 5, where we wear stock pins and tell it like it is.
        "The best pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die!"
        ----> Pre

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree that this is a better than average article but I an curious as to why someone ( maybe in the USHJA office) has not chased down those that have left the hunter industry and asked them why they left. Not the people that are still hanging on - but those that have GONE. Gone for good. They often have a calm and clear view of the industry from a distance. What they liked and what they didn't like. I often wonder what happened to this person or that person - they were so involved, often with their kids - now gone and never come back even to watch. Seems odd to me. Once in a while I bump into someone and ask if they will ever show again (or even ride). Nine times out of ten i get a resounding NEVER. What is it about this world that can send people away never to return? What kills them off?

          Comment


          • #6
            One thing on the first page jumped out at me--letting two judges sit together? Is that normal or even allowed? Seems like it's just making collusion easy. Isn't it better with more than one judge to place them apart, not just so they can't compare notes but so they can see different parts of the course?
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            • #7
              Originally posted by GoingUp...POP! View Post
              I normally don't like this writer's articles but this one was pretty darn good!

              I myself don't go to C, B, or A shows, only AA, and haven't seem much point in going just to be showing in the same classes only less prestige, but I LOVED how she wrote about making these shows appropriate "stepping stones" that ultimately point a rider towards the big ones. THIS should be the point! Instead of using them as glorified schooling shows, give C,B, and A shows a purpose.

              I do think one thing we need to realize (oh people will try to kill me through their computers for this one) is that the ammy's with a few horses showing in a few classes in a few shows a year, the people holding good average jobs , and doing only what they can afford and showing and riding purely for the fun (which is great! I'm glad you are happy, good lifestyle to have, not downing anything about that) are NOT the bread and butter of the shows. We have to stop acting like we are indispensable and the shows will die without us grassroots. They won't. If all the grassroots disappeared into thin air, yes the shows would suffer a bit, but they would go on. If all the big barns with the money and the grooms and the 5 figure horses and the fancy tack rooms were to disappear and leave only us grassroots, the shows would suffer BADLY. I highly doubt they could go on, if they did it would only be a little "for fun" league, never the big prestigious industry it is today.
              So yes, we grassroots ARE important, but we need to analyze our rank in the food chain a bit before we go around puffing out our chests and telling the big dogs how important we are (yes we are important, don't get me wrong we do matter, I'm not saying we are door mats for the big barns to wipe their feet on).
              We can't let the grassroots disappear,I agree, but the grassroots are vulnerable and the shows could live without them if it came to that.

              Well, I've made my point, and honestly, I don't care who gets their panties in a wad because of it!

              Straight from zone 5, where we wear stock pins and tell it like it is.
              I think you make a really good point.... even if people don't like it, even if you write as someone in the tax bracket who IS supporting these shows that Schoellkopf is writing about. The AA showing industry *would* go one without your average W-2 A/O ammy riding and without kids who will ride until the end of high school or the family runs out of money.

              But the discussion has limits that we always talk about here: By and large, folks publishing editorials in the Chronicle speak of "the other 99%" but don't actually address their needs or concerns at all. I mean that "the other 99%" isn't the people who are spending $1,200 a week to jump 2'6" in a HITS ring. That demographic is spending $120 to do that for one day at an unrated show.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dinah-do View Post
                I agree that this is a better than average article but I an curious as to why someone ( maybe in the USHJA office) has not chased down those that have left the hunter industry and asked them why they left. Not the people that are still hanging on - but those that have GONE. Gone for good. They often have a calm and clear view of the industry from a distance. What they liked and what they didn't like. I often wonder what happened to this person or that person - they were so involved, often with their kids - now gone and never come back even to watch. Seems odd to me. Once in a while I bump into someone and ask if they will ever show again (or even ride). Nine times out of ten i get a resounding NEVER. What is it about this world that can send people away never to return? What kills them off?
                The author of that article writes from the perspective of a big barn owner/BNT. Nothing wrong with that, but it's certainly one reason why they propose keeping the "top" shows somewhat exclusive.

                That said, I'd certainly be in favor of bringing back the B and C shows if they offered quality competition and if they were patronized by quality trainers. The reason that a lot of those shows disappeared was that they started offering neither of those things. You don't have to be a top rider to know the difference between good footing and crappy footing, decent judges or somebody's brother in law... and frankly for what a lot of us pay to play, we don't want to be relegated to some second string assistant trainer who offers all of the expenses of their BNT boss but not much of the benefit.

                I am a typical working adult amateur and I don't have any HOTY aspirations; I am the *perfect* candidate for smaller A and B shows, where I could compete on a weekend without having to take a ton of vacation time or abandon my family responsibilities to head off to some big circuit. But just because my time and resources are limited does not mean I am willing to take my nice horse to a show that doesn't provide decent amenities, nice jumps, good judges etc.

                At one time, I showed a lot and was very involved in our sport. I participated on (then-AHSA) committees, volunteered on the Board of my state H/J Association, etc. I don't do any of that now, and I quit showing after last year because it just stopped being any fun. I was spending a fortune - both in time AND in money - and it got old feeling like I was routinely treated as a second class citizen. I put that money toward other things - like family vacations - and for now, find that is more satisfying. I bet there are lots of others out there like me.
                **********
                We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                -PaulaEdwina

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've seen the judges sitting together. Because of the difference in perspective, I prefer them to be in different locations with a combined score, not both seeing it from the same point.

                  She is right on target here.
                  Don't have the answers to alot of this other then we certainly have seen the demise of many of the A and B shows in favor of the mega circuits with something for everybody in resort like locales. That has actually removed options from the budget challenged and allowed the mediocre to shine on what used to be the elite level of our sport.

                  Yeah trainers need to TELL THE TRUTH. In our effort to be sure I am OK, your are OK, everybody is OK, we have riders in some of these Finals that just do not belong there. How can you sit and watch those clearly overfaced turn the course into a lumberyard? Are we forgetting what is good for that HORSE in the name of giving everybody a chance?????

                  Like the idea of eliminating Regionals in light of the dropping numbers and putting a qualifying round on Saturday to let the cream rise and not kill the rest of them-or get those horses clobbered by one too many rails, bad distances and awkward landings.

                  Can still run 2 rounds and your flat on Sunday for those that get past Saturday.

                  For that matter, how about requiring a little more challenge in getting qualified and not bowing to lazy show managment that does not want to move any fences and/or is afraid people will not like actual, legal fence height/spread/step and shun their future shows in favor of one they can win at?

                  Not popular to bring it up but...it is not a cheap sport. There is a limit to what can be done on a budget. That used to be done by the A,B and local/C shows. IMO we need to help them increase their business, not dummy down what used to be the elite level AA shows.

                  I HATE the 2' Medal Finals, speed bump Hunter Classics and wannabe Derbies. What is there to dream of anymore? Work towards? Aspire to? Used to special to even show in, now, everybody gets to do one and parents brag about their Medal winner.
                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I also miss the good quality "B" Circuit that was still around even in the late 90's, Baltimore had a good one and Central florida used to not sure if it still does (CFHJA) and it actually meant something when you won a year end award. Not everyone is cut out for life on the road at the Big Shows, I have always done a few a year just because proximity allowed me to without heavy trailering costs but I also think that some places are complacent to just hold schooling shows at facilities that are plenty nice enough to be rated. Now I am not shelling out 30k to 50k a year to get show miles on a talented greenie because there would be NO profit margin I don't have the connections or talent to make that worthwhile.

                    And at this point after looking around at the rounds at schooling shows in my area I wouldn't buy a horse who hasn't been to some sort of the big leagues because if you get around without any major mishaps you win the class. I want to see it up against quality animals and when the highest hunter class is 3ft with 4 people in the class what can you do.

                    So due to lack of smaller rated shows I have to shell out more than I want to send my greenie to WEF for a week or two have a professional show it in the pre-greens and pray that he pins or at least get a decent video of him going around and get a piece of the hack.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                      The author of that article writes from the perspective of a big barn owner/BNT. Nothing wrong with that, but it's certainly one reason why they propose keeping the "top" shows somewhat exclusive.

                      That said, I'd certainly be in favor of bringing back the B and C shows if they offered quality competition and if they were patronized by quality trainers. The reason that a lot of those shows disappeared was that they started offering neither of those things. You don't have to be a top rider to know the difference between good footing and crappy footing, decent judges or somebody's brother in law... and frankly for what a lot of us pay to play, we don't want to be relegated to some second string assistant trainer who offers all of the expenses of their BNT boss but not much of the benefit.

                      I am a typical working adult amateur and I don't have any HOTY aspirations; I am the *perfect* candidate for smaller A and B shows, where I could compete on a weekend without having to take a ton of vacation time or abandon my family responsibilities to head off to some big circuit. But just because my time and resources are limited does not mean I am willing to take my nice horse to a show that doesn't provide decent amenities, nice jumps, good judges etc.

                      At one time, I showed a lot and was very involved in our sport. I participated on (then-AHSA) committees, volunteered on the Board of my state H/J Association, etc. I don't do any of that now, and I quit showing after last year because it just stopped being any fun. I was spending a fortune - both in time AND in money - and it got old feeling like I was routinely treated as a second class citizen. I put that money toward other things - like family vacations - and for now, find that is more satisfying. I bet there are lots of others out there like me.
                      This is, perhaps, the most articulate and spot-on rebuttal to the article. As usual, well said!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Compare this article to the other one written by ...who was it?... who said that increased prize money is killing every one but the top dogs.

                        The top prizes are always going to go to the same 2%. They are the ones who will pay a $800 entry fee to the First Years and get decent prize money back (actual entry fee at Spring Gathering in April 2010 for I think it was a $16,000 class).

                        Other riders who know they are not going to take the tippy top prize will skip paying $800 to ride around the First Years and will wait for a $250 entry fee but no prize money (such as could be found for the First Years at the May show at Old Salem 2010).

                        Old Salem and Spring Gathering are both great, prestigious shows. Personally I would think Old Salem is the more prestigious show, despite low prize money and much lower entries.
                        So I would rather ride for a piece in good company there for $250 than try to ride for the prize money at Spring Gathering.

                        Then again, I am not Jen Alfano and I am not sitting on Miss Lucy or Jersey Boy to win it. I just want a decent record with decent ribbons in good company for my horse.
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The way I see it, its nice to go to the A shows here in Canada because you get to see all the Big Riders there. Its nice to have your own classes in the morning then watch the big grand prix in the afternoon.

                          I think as long as the A shows offer these dumbed down classes they will never fail. Lets be realistic- money isnt really the problem when it comes to the majority of the horsey set. The difference between shelling out for an A show or for a B show is neligible. And if you want to watch the GP riders go, well if you are already on the grounds it saves you time to get there. And alot of the people riders want to train with will only go to the A shows.

                          Maybe if we can get the good trainers back to the B shows their clients will follow. I dont think the show management will " raise the bar" if it means less classes for them. Maybe we could create venues where it is a shorter ordeal with just GPs and big derbies, and try to attract the general public out to pay for tickets? What do the europeans do?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We seem to have this sort of problem in Canada, but obviously we have our own different challenges here.

                            Equine Canada is running into a brick wall in some Provinces because the recreational (aka: Not There to Win or NTW show-ers) are really sick of paying champagne prices to satisfy beer tastes, all in the name of "development of the sport."

                            Us NTW people are so far from any of the National programs that we wonder why EC insists on rating a show that will not be attended by A SINGLE NATIONAL TEAM CANDIDATE the same as a show at Spruce Meadows which will have international-level riders. (Those two hypothetical shows can both be called "Gold" in case anyone wondered.)

                            Then you get the confusion. Are we NTWers the "bread and butter?" Logic says no, we don't generally buy horses, train, board...do ANYTHING with the high-level athletes. Why should we be expected to pay the same office fees and premiums and membership charges as they do? Why would EC require that control over shows at the Silver and Bronze level (even "Discovery" level) where you can't even offer divisions above a certain height? What benefit does EC offer those exhibitors to provide value for the additional expense?

                            Unfortunately in Alberta, our Provincial governing body just broke away from EC. What that means is that our lower level shows have a choice...they can obey EC rules, and require all exhibitors to pay EC fees in exchange for access to EC carded judges for even the lowliest schooling show...or the lower level shows can just use the AEF membership, and use non-carded judges (EC threatened to revoke the cards of any judge who judged an unrated show.) See, AEF provides real value to all its members in the form of equine liability insurance. Even recreational horse owners get value from that, if they do anything off property.

                            I'd be perfectly happy if there was an organization who was committed to offering decent quality, totally unrated shows for the NTWers, and a separate one that you could go through for the high level competitions. The problem right now is that a Silver show is restricted in what they can offer...and Gold shows are significantly more expensive to enter and run. A black market unrated show can offer a 3'6" Jumper division no problem, in a no-frills kind of format that keeps costs low...and honestly, lots of NTWers like to compete at that height.

                            Right now the only real "break" in Canada is at the FEI level...but FEI competitors still attend Gold-level shows...so it isn't a distinct separation. I'd rather see more of a defined separation between "internationally competitive hopefuls willing to invest the money it takes on everything from horses to multi-day show fees" and "people who enjoy showing their horses on the weekends but want decent value for the show fees and will just not show if there's nothing reasonable scheduled."
                            Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You people who want the B and C circuit back, exactly *what* do you want?

                              Lucassb, some of what you want makes sense to me: I need good footing and good course design. The courses should be fair and productive for the horses and riders.

                              But things that "make you feel less like a second-string citizen?" Really? Who gives a rat's a...? You check-writing ammies (who know enough to know good from bad horses, footing and courses), you don't really need a trainer's or show manager's affirmation of your worth, do you?

                              As a proud redneck, I think I'm the bomb for having a good time for a weekend and improving Good Ol' Boy Hunter for much, much less than my AA show-going colleagues.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I would like to correct some ideas......In Germany the big hows aka the CSI shows are the ones with many people coming to watch, all the other national shows have mostly the riders, their family and maybe some locals there to watch. We split our riders after points and after a level of ability. So you might show in the same class as a top rider but probably only if you have your fair share of sucess in the same section.
                                Prize Money which is after some rule changes not much is only paid to 1/3 of the class. But we have only to pay a small fee to our horse club (once a year), and the rest is everywhere the same for everybody. But normaly even if you win you won't make a lot money.

                                The most important thing is: There are only agencys involved for the big shows! Every other show is mostly run by volounteers. Prizes are sponsored by local buissness.......

                                Maybe you should start counting backwards like I want to pay 20 $ for a class, how much money must be paid to make the class possible

                                Why do you need so many classes in the teeny- tiny hight in so many groups like age, amateur or not and so on.......wouldn't it be easier to have like 1 Jumper class and split it in diffrent sections?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by GoingUp...POP! View Post
                                  Straight from zone 5, where we wear stock pins and tell it like it is.
                                  What part of zone 5 are you in? You "only" do the AA shows but you see people showing in stock pins...?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think the big thing in North America is that our industry is competitor driven, NOT spectator driven. We dont have any spectators really, aside from familly and friends of riders. So shows need entry fees to run, they cant rely on ticket sales. I think this is why the shows offer such ridiculous classes; they need more competitors.

                                    I also think the set up of our area doesnt help. Here in canada our shows are way out in the middle of nowhere, where as in europe the shows are more accessible to the General Public ( a bit of an assumption on my part, but as europe as a whole is more accessible because it is smaller and has a better train system). Here in Canada, you MUST have a car to get there, no public transport for spectators.

                                    I really feel our industry needs to make a HUGE shift in order to thrive. It needs to be spectator driven, not just us riders watching each other and dumbing down the classes so everyone can tell each other how wonderful they are.
                                    Last edited by Nibs; Nov. 8, 2011, 01:49 PM. Reason: spelling

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Wrt the cream rising, why can't the judges cards be released for hunters? if dressage judges can stand behind their scoring, why can't hunter judges?

                                      if we want to have clarity about the definition of a good round, how can that happen without transparency in the judging?

                                      and i'd love to see more support for the C and B systems. i show my jumper in the A and AA but also enjoy bringing along a greenie at the B level.
                                      www.TackMeUp.com
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                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                        You people who want the B and C circuit back, exactly *what* do you want?

                                        Lucassb, some of what you want makes sense to me: I need good footing and good course design. The courses should be fair and productive for the horses and riders.
                                        Years ago when I lived in Atlanta, there was a thriving local circuit run by PSJ. They offered back to back one day horseshows that ran on Saturday and Sunday at the same venue used by the A shows, with the same footing, jumps, stabling and judges. A working ammy like me could ship up there on Friday after work, get a quick hack in, settle the horse in a stall for the night and have a pleasant experience over the weekend. The competition was decent and if you were just walking around, there would be nothing to distinguish the show from a big rated event - until you got to the show office and had a modest bill to pay for your fun. They did nice prizes, had vendors there if you wanted to shop, pleasant and helpful office staff, nice exhibitor parties etc. They ran these shows at a number of nice venues throughout the year and even had a "FL circuit" for a few weeks, culminating in a NICE set of year end awards. In my opinion they are a great model for B and C shows to follow.

                                        But things that "make you feel less like a second-string citizen?" Really? Who gives a rat's a...? You check-writing ammies (who know enough to know good from bad horses, footing and courses), you don't really need a trainer's or show manager's affirmation of your worth, do you?
                                        It has nothing to do with a trainer's or show manager's affirmation. I just refuse to pay A show rates and get less than the quality of an A show, whether that is due to crummy footing, poorly set courses, or lesser training.

                                        Back in the day, a lot of trainers did have assistants who had come up through their system, and who taught the majority of the more novice lessons until the rider "moved up" to the first string/BNT. These days, it seems to me that most trainers simply take their whole barn to the A/AA shows because they offer something for everyone, and even an adult amateur like me can get training from a top professional at nice venues. Despite my limited talent, I am not interested in paying what it costs to show at lesser facilities or with trainers below that level, because I know the difference. It's not about ego, it's about value.

                                        As a proud redneck, I think I'm the bomb for having a good time for a weekend and improving Good Ol' Boy Hunter for much, much less than my AA show-going colleagues.
                                        There are places in the country that have really good local venues (see my description of PSJ above) and some that do not. If you have access to show facilities that offer a good time at a modest price, that's fantastic. I am all in favor of everyone having those options and I would like to see good trainers patronizing those shows. But in too many areas, those local options are not so appealing.
                                        **********
                                        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                        -PaulaEdwina

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