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Amateurs, we need your help

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  • Amateurs, we need your help

    Proposed letter to horse shows and USEF from “The Amateurs”

    As recent college grads and working amateurs, my friend and I have had difficulty planning our summer show schedules. We have found it perplexing that so many A and AA shows run the amateur classes during the week. Classes such as the Adult Amateur Hunters/Equitation /medals, Amateur Owner Hunters, as well as the Modified Adult classes bring a great deal of revenue to the horse shows since there is often little prize money distributed. The Amateur Owner Hunters have seen a steady decline in numbers over the past 20+ years. The advent of the 3’3” A/O division has garnered increased interest, yet the division almost always runs or begins on a weekday. Currently, working adults are limited by their “vacation day allowance” and must pick shows very carefully. We believe the shows could bolster their amateur numbers by moving these classes to the weekend. If adults were able to save their vacation days, they might be willing to attend more shows.

    We hope to create a letter or petition and send it to show management nationwide. We are located in New England, but knowing that COTH reaches such a wide audience, we are asking for your help to spread the word. We know that most shows have their prizelist already in print, but we hope this might make an impact for the 2012-2013 show year.

    At which shows would you like to see the amateur classes move to the weekend? We have put together the following list so far. Would you be willing to sign an online petition?

    1) Fairfield June Charity- June 19-23
    2) Vermont Summer Festival
    3) HITS Saugerties
    4) Skidmore Saratoga
    5) Fieldstone May 16-20
    6) Fieldstone June 19-24

    The prizelists have not been posted for shows 1-3 yet, so we are basing this off of their 2011 schedules. At Fairfield, the Adult Equitation and Hunters went on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011. At VSF 2011, the Novice Adults went Wednesday, and the Adult Amateur Hunters and Equitation began on Friday. At HITS Saugerties summer circuit in 2011, the Adult Equitation division began on Friday, as well as the Modified Adult Hunters and Maiden/Novice/Limit Adult Equitation divisions.

    The 2012 Skidmore Saratoga prizelist reads as follows: Modified Adult Hunters on Wednesday, Ariat & Farnum Adult Medals on Thursday, AO Hunters & Adult Amateur Hunters begin on Friday.

    Fieldstone May 16-20: The AO Hunters begin on Thursday, the Adult Eq begins on Friday, and the Modified Adult Eq runs on Friday.

    Fieldstone June 19-24: AO Hunters begin Thursday, and the Adult Amateur Hunters begin Friday.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Rhody Ram View Post
    Proposed letter to horse shows and USEF from “The Amateurs”

    As recent college grads and working amateurs, my friend and I have had difficulty planning our summer show schedules. We have found it perplexing that so many A and AA shows run the amateur classes during the week. Classes such as the Adult Amateur Hunters/Equitation /medals, Amateur Owner Hunters, as well as the Modified Adult classes bring a great deal of revenue to the horse shows since there is often little prize money distributed. The Amateur Owner Hunters have seen a steady decline in numbers over the past 20+ years. The advent of the 3’3” A/O division has garnered increased interest, yet the division almost always runs or begins on a weekday. Currently, working adults are limited by their “vacation day allowance” and must pick shows very carefully. We believe the shows could bolster their amateur numbers by moving these classes to the weekend. If adults were able to save their vacation days, they might be willing to attend more shows.

    We hope to create a letter or petition and send it to show management nationwide. We are located in New England, but knowing that COTH reaches such a wide audience, we are asking for your help to spread the word. We know that most shows have their prizelist already in print, but we hope this might make an impact for the 2012-2013 show year.

    At which shows would you like to see the amateur classes move to the weekend? We have put together the following list so far. Would you be willing to sign an online petition?

    1) Fairfield June Charity- June 19-23
    2) Vermont Summer Festival
    3) HITS Saugerties
    4) Skidmore Saratoga
    5) Fieldstone May 16-20
    6) Fieldstone June 19-24

    The prizelists have not been posted for shows 1-3 yet, so we are basing this off of their 2011 schedules. At Fairfield, the Adult Equitation and Hunters went on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011. At VSF 2011, the Novice Adults went Wednesday, and the Adult Amateur Hunters and Equitation began on Friday. At HITS Saugerties summer circuit in 2011, the Adult Equitation division began on Friday, as well as the Modified Adult Hunters and Maiden/Novice/Limit Adult Equitation divisions.

    The 2012 Skidmore Saratoga prizelist reads as follows: Modified Adult Hunters on Wednesday, Ariat & Farnum Adult Medals on Thursday, AO Hunters & Adult Amateur Hunters begin on Friday.

    Fieldstone May 16-20: The AO Hunters begin on Thursday, the Adult Eq begins on Friday, and the Modified Adult Eq runs on Friday.

    Fieldstone June 19-24: AO Hunters begin Thursday, and the Adult Amateur Hunters begin Friday.
    Well, as another working adult amateur (though no longer a New Englander) I applaud your effort... but realistically I think the best that can be hoped for is a Friday start for a division that runs through the weekend. There are just too many classes/divisions for all of them to run on Saturday and Sunday.

    I could have shown at Fairfield - and did not - in years past because it wasn't worth it to me to give up my vacation days to do so (and because in that area, there were other shows I could easily do on weekends instead.) IIRC, that is the FCHC show that doesn't have much other than the GP on Sunday, correct?

    For VSF, however, having the adults go on the weekend wouldn't have necessarily helped much, because of the driving distance required (and I suspect that a relatively small percentage of the exhibitors there live/work locally.)

    Of course, as I've stated quite a few times, I think the dilemma that you outline really represents an opportunity for show managers to create shows that work better for our population. Back when I showed my older horse in the south, Progressive Show Jumping did a great job of running back to back one day shows (Saturday and Sunday) at the same venues used by A rated events, with the same judges, jumps, footing etc (and better prizes, IMHO.) I just transferred back to their part of the world and hope they are still doing so - because at this stage of my career, I simply cannot afford to jet off to horseshows for a week or two at a time.
    **********
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    Comment


    • #3
      most of the hitsshows run the ao's on the weekend as does vermont . i haven't shown at saratoga in years for the reason that you point out. you are correct mangement needs to address scheduling amateurs over the weekend they might actually get more entries

      Comment


      • #4
        Honestly this is a letter that could go to most Show Mrgs anywhere.

        I think it is possible to move the classes to the weekend provided the show removes something else. Like these newly recognized opportunity classes!

        Its a catch 22...I make good money so I'm able to show but to make that money I just can't take off all the time to do so.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Blinky View Post
          Honestly this is a letter that could go to most Show Mrgs anywhere.

          I think it is possible to move the classes to the weekend provided the show removes something else. Like these newly recognized opportunity classes!

          Its a catch 22...I make good money so I'm able to show but to make that money I just can't take off all the time to do so.
          We'd like to send it around the country, not just to east coast shows. We were hoping we could get some input from COTH members that are experiencing the same issues in other zones.

          Comment


          • #6
            You might also want to point out, that some amateurs opt not to show their young horses because they are running the professional divisions and the amateur divisions on the same days. I don't want my horse having to do that many trips in one day, maybe I am in the minority on that though.

            Comment


            • #7
              I completely agree with that. I as well have a 4yr old that I would like to do in the baby greens however putting all of the professional divisions during the week does not make it easy to show. I understand that there isn't a solution to everyone's problems but having some pro divisions on the weekend would be nice...I dont think I am the only one in this boat.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by oceanwarmbloods89 View Post
                I completely agree with that. I as well have a 4yr old that I would like to do in the baby greens however putting all of the professional divisions during the week does not make it easy to show. I understand that there isn't a solution to everyone's problems but having some pro divisions on the weekend would be nice...I dont think I am the only one in this boat.
                The problem with that is most of the junior divisions are on the weekend (and at least at most shows, the amateurs have at least one day on the weekend). Fairfield aside, since that show runs Tues-Sat with only a few jumper classics and the Grand Prix on Saturday, I think the ammy classes are usually Fri/Sat or Sat/Sun - someone correct me if I'm wrong. If the pro divisions are also moved to the weekend, then something has to get moved to the week. What would that be, the juniors? The ammies are already protesting having classes during the week.

                I think the proposal is a good one, but without suggesting what should replace the ammy classes in their current time slot, it might not get very far.
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                Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
                  The problem with that is most of the junior divisions are on the weekend (and at least at most shows, the amateurs have at least one day on the weekend). Fairfield aside, since that show runs Tues-Sat with only a few jumper classics and the Grand Prix on Saturday, I think the ammy classes are usually Fri/Sat or Sat/Sun - someone correct me if I'm wrong. If the pro divisions are also moved to the weekend, then something has to get moved to the week. What would that be, the juniors? The ammies are already protesting having classes during the week.

                  I think the proposal is a good one, but without suggesting what should replace the ammy classes in their current time slot, it might not get very far.
                  I think the juniors, big eq and pony hunters should go during the week. IMO, many of the kids showing in those classes are doing a circuit of some sort and are not working and not in school. I think the pro divisions should stay during the week. I don't mind the baby greens on a weekend because there are no 2'6" adult classes for an amateur who is over-qualified for the modified adults

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm just not sure that show management would do that because a lot of parents might not go for that. I know I missed a lot of school for horse shows, but only because my mom is a pro - my father hated it, and most of the girls at my barn were not allowed to miss school. There's a lot of money to potentially be lost moving the juniors out (especially since aside from the smaller, mostly unrated stuff, the junior divisions are the biggest).
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                    Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
                      I'm just not sure that show management would do that because a lot of parents might not go for that. I know I missed a lot of school for horse shows, but only because my mom is a pro - my father hated it, and most of the girls at my barn were not allowed to miss school. There's a lot of money to potentially be lost moving the juniors out (especially since aside from the smaller, mostly unrated stuff, the junior divisions are the biggest).
                      Yep, I think this is why the junior divisions often dominate the weekends. I don't like it either, but I gather that the mentality is basically that adults who are showing have more latitude to change their schedules than kids (or those kids' parents, who may have to drive/take off work, etc.) who are showing. In Zones 5 and 6, I think there is a pretty good number of "adult" divisions that run at least partially on the weekend at most shows (either Fri./Sat. or Sat./Sun.). At lot of it is also certainly a function of how many rings they have going. Having at least three rings helps a lot.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
                        I'm just not sure that show management would do that because a lot of parents might not go for that. I know I missed a lot of school for horse shows, but only because my mom is a pro - my father hated it, and most of the girls at my barn were not allowed to miss school. There's a lot of money to potentially be lost moving the juniors out (especially since aside from the smaller, mostly unrated stuff, the junior divisions are the biggest).
                        Originally posted by FineAlready View Post
                        Yep, I think this is why the junior divisions often dominate the weekends. I don't like it either, but I gather that the mentality is basically that adults who are showing have more latitude to change their schedules than kids (or those kids' parents, who may have to drive/take off work, etc.) who are showing. In Zones 5 and 6, I think there is a pretty good number of "adult" divisions that run at least partially on the weekend at most shows (either Fri./Sat. or Sat./Sun.). At lot of it is also certainly a function of how many rings they have going. Having at least three rings helps a lot.
                        What do you think about doing this for summer shows? The OP started by saying that she is having difficulty with her summer schedule. Kids usually are off during the summer so it should not be as big a deal. Then again, I suppose their parents would have to take off if they want to watch their kid ride (or help if they are the ones trailering said kiddo to show).

                        I guess any way you cut it somebody's taking off work

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Basically there aren't enough rings for everyone to get to go on the weekend, especially since everyone wants the 3' lows, the 3' specials, the 3' hopefuls, the 3' Pre Greens and the 3' Adult Amateurs, let's throw in a TB only division, the warmups for each, the full 2'6" menu complete with appetizer and sides plus the Bit o Straw classic.

                          So, rather than having the mega shows, eliminate the mileage rule and have several one or two day weekend shows that are just hunters, just jumpers, or just whatever else.

                          If everyone wants to chase every single possible point every single possible week and do the exact same height in seven different division iterations, and there are only two weekend days in that week, then the kids will get priority for the weekends because that is both a kid missing school AND a parent missing work.

                          If you want horseshows on the weekends then a.) you have to create weekend shows that individually cater to all of the "groups", b.) you will likely have to severely limit the number of different divisions running at the exact same height, and c.) some weekends you will have to stay home while your trainer is away with a demographic that isn't you that weekend.
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                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rhody Ram View Post
                            Proposed letter to horse shows and USEF from “The Amateurs”

                            As recent college grads and working amateurs, my friend and I have had difficulty planning our summer show schedules. We have found it perplexing that so many A and AA shows run the amateur classes during the week. Classes such as the Adult Amateur Hunters/Equitation /medals, Amateur Owner Hunters, as well as the Modified Adult classes bring a great deal of revenue to the horse shows since there is often little prize money distributed. The Amateur Owner Hunters have seen a steady decline in numbers over the past 20+ years. The advent of the 3’3” A/O division has garnered increased interest, yet the division almost always runs or begins on a weekday. Currently, working adults are limited by their “vacation day allowance” and must pick shows very carefully. We believe the shows could bolster their amateur numbers by moving these classes to the weekend. If adults were able to save their vacation days, they might be willing to attend more shows.

                            We hope to create a letter or petition and send it to show management nationwide. We are located in New England, but knowing that COTH reaches such a wide audience, we are asking for your help to spread the word. We know that most shows have their prizelist already in print, but we hope this might make an impact for the 2012-2013 show year.

                            At which shows would you like to see the amateur classes move to the weekend? We have put together the following list so far. Would you be willing to sign an online petition?

                            1) Fairfield June Charity- June 19-23
                            2) Vermont Summer Festival
                            3) HITS Saugerties
                            4) Skidmore Saratoga
                            5) Fieldstone May 16-20
                            6) Fieldstone June 19-24

                            The prizelists have not been posted for shows 1-3 yet, so we are basing this off of their 2011 schedules. At Fairfield, the Adult Equitation and Hunters went on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011. At VSF 2011, the Novice Adults went Wednesday, and the Adult Amateur Hunters and Equitation began on Friday. At HITS Saugerties summer circuit in 2011, the Adult Equitation division began on Friday, as well as the Modified Adult Hunters and Maiden/Novice/Limit Adult Equitation divisions.

                            The 2012 Skidmore Saratoga prizelist reads as follows: Modified Adult Hunters on Wednesday, Ariat & Farnum Adult Medals on Thursday, AO Hunters & Adult Amateur Hunters begin on Friday.

                            Fieldstone May 16-20: The AO Hunters begin on Thursday, the Adult Eq begins on Friday, and the Modified Adult Eq runs on Friday.

                            Fieldstone June 19-24: AO Hunters begin Thursday, and the Adult Amateur Hunters begin Friday.
                            It's not possible to run everything on the weekend. And some of the pros would like their divisions to run on the weekend instead of mid week

                            "d. Rated competitions which restrict entries in the rated Hunter sections to juniors and amateurs must be held on a minimum of two consecutive non-school days within the public school system, at the location of the competition, on the same competition grounds."

                            HITS Saugerties runs A/O on the weekend and usually most of the amateur Adult Hunters and Jumpers run starting Friday.

                            Some of the divisions you are fussing about aren't even USEF sanctioned so USEF has no standing to require shows to run them on whatever day suits you.
                            That's stuff like 'Novice' whatever, 'Maiden/Novice/Limit Adult' and even Adult Eq isn't a USEF division. Anything 'modified' isn't USEF sanctioned either.

                            This year, every show I've been to ran A/O's starting on Friday or Saturday.

                            USEF can't and shouldn't be involved in anything to do with the non rated classes. You need to deal directly with show management.

                            This is, of course, a consequence of 20 ring circus shows trying to run classes that cater to everyone. Maybe non USEF rated divisions don't belong at every AA rated show.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by comingback View Post
                              What do you think about doing this for summer shows? The OP started by saying that she is having difficulty with her summer schedule. Kids usually are off during the summer so it should not be as big a deal. Then again, I suppose their parents would have to take off if they want to watch their kid ride (or help if they are the ones trailering said kiddo to show).

                              I guess any way you cut it somebody's taking off work
                              Well, heck yeah, for me - I'd prefer the adult divisions to run on weekends and the kids to be during the week. But I think the problem is that non-horsey parents are going to be even less willing than horseshowing adults to take off work for horse shows. The real solution is to send the kids with the trainer if they are old enough, which is what my parents did...but that doesn't always work out...nor can all kids be trusted on their own (ummmm...I know I certainly got into a lot of trouble heading off to horse shows "by myself" when I was 14-17 years old).

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I can't really object to the juniors going on the weekends during the school year, but it would be nice for show management to cut us working ammys a break during the summer and switch it around when the kids are out of school.

                                I vote with my wallet and do not patronize shows that require me to show during the week. This sadly leaves me to give all my money to HITS. It would be nice to show somewhere other than Culpeper...

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Rhody Ram View Post
                                  I think the juniors, big eq and pony hunters should go during the week. IMO, many of the kids showing in those classes are doing a circuit of some sort and are not working and not in school.
                                  I would agree for July and August (up until the 15th or so) shows, but most of the shows mentioned (Fairfield, Fieldstone, Saratoga, maybe HITS depending on the week) run while most of the kids competing are still in school.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Check HITS Ocala or Any Bob Bells shows, the Classic CO, all the amateurs run friday-sunday. Maybe your show managers could learn something. Or not, maybe we have more rings to run.
                                    But I agree and add more prize money would ya!
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                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Another perspective...

                                      As a mom with young children, Thursday/Friday works so much better for me as I have childcare during the week and then have my weekends free to spend with my family. I would not get to show if the amateur classes only ran on the weekends. Maybe I'm the minority but I like it the way it is.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        LOL. My fellow A/O's and I wrote a similar letter in 1981.

                                        Can you tell how far it got us?

                                        Shows will never put the junior divisions during the week, during the school year. We got, as a compromise, some shows that would put the A/O's on Friday/Sat during the summer when the juniors were out of school.

                                        But that was before the explosion of divisions. Who knows how they can figure out their schedules already?

                                        For every class moved to the weekend, a class must be moved to the weekdays.

                                        THAT is the problem you must overcome. Merely asking to have your divisions moved does not help the managers deal with the unhappy people who get moved to the weekdays.
                                        "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                                        Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

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