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"Qualifying" for Equ finals- offend anyone else?

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  • "Qualifying" for Equ finals- offend anyone else?

    Ugh, I see this every year. It's so close to the deadline for qualifying, and (at least in my area) the classes are SO rigged.

    Trainers bringing 1 kid that needs points and 5 fillers. Heck, I watched a USET yesterday that had ONE kid flat. And the McClay had 2 kids flat, one never even cantered. I overheard the trainer say to the (kid that won) after she jumped, "that was the worst I've ever seen you ride. Don't worry, you'll still get to win though."

    I mean, they don't even need a judge! The trainers should just hand in how they want the class pinned, and save the horses legs.

    Not to mention that how well can these kids POSSIBLY do at finals that they need to be THE ONLY person in the class to win it? Not well, they all just end up filler anyway.

    Rant over. Carry on.
    When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager

  • #2
    I guess it doesn't bother me. I figure either the Finals (or Regionals) will sort out who can cut it. As long as the class is run to meet the required specs, not much else can be done.

    Back when the AHSA was 2 wins to qualify & nothing else counted, I would have loved that second win after a summer of 2nd places even if it was "easy".

    Let's be honest...there are probably only a handful of riders who stand a chance at winning the Finals & a slightly larger group that will even make the cuts. Everybody else is there just for the experience.
    "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

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    • #3
      They just want it on their resume ;-)
      www.midatlanticeq.com
      Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
      November 11-13, 2016

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      • #4
        I agree with Giddy-up. The finals generally break down pretty consistently - you have a few people who really have a shot at winning, a slightly larger group of people who have a chance at getting a ribbon, the people who are completely over their heads, and the rest are varying degrees of mediocrity, ranging from good enough to make the cut but not good enough to place down to people who are just there for the experience and maybe just barely squeak around.

        I got to sit on a lot of pretty nice horses filling classes for people as a catch rider, so... I guess I don't mind how some people do it (especially since I never had to pay for the class )
        http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
        Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
          I agree with Giddy-up. The finals generally break down pretty consistently - you have a few people who really have a shot at winning, a slightly larger group of people who have a chance at getting a ribbon, the people who are completely over their heads, and the rest are varying degrees of mediocrity, ranging from good enough to make the cut but not good enough to place down to people who are just there for the experience and maybe just barely squeak around.

          I got to sit on a lot of pretty nice horses filling classes for people as a catch rider, so... I guess I don't mind how some people do it (especially since I never had to pay for the class )
          What was the norm for fillers, we had to get fillers for maybe 2 shows way back when, I paid for those fillers - this was the year our eq horse decided he needed a vacation from January to mid June, so had to get a few more points. One time the filler circled, (which is what daughter always did when she was asked to fill), the other time the rider didn't fill and won, wasn't an issue for us as we only needed maybe 2 points and my daughter got second. But my understanding was if someone is paying for you to fill the class you circle and don't "go for it" but if you decide to "go for it" than you should pay it yourself.

          I know there are many schools of thought on this, but as it is usually at the end of the season, and some kids are qualifying late because of many reasons, not because they have been showing all year and just don't place, sometimes its a horse injury, rider injury etc. One year one of the top riders in the area got hurt (I forget her name - maybe rode for Val or Andre) and we and many filled classes to help her. Just curious what the actual un-written rules is/was.

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          • #6
            At least now the kids who are already qualified can still fill the classes. It used to be that once a rider qualified, they couldn't show in those classes, so by this time of the year there were many fillers from lower divisions who really struggled to complete the course.

            Plus it used to be that you had to win the classes to qualify. No points for other ribbons. I remember hearing tell of a rider who was second dozens of times without winning once. That would stink!

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            • #7
              ^When the rule was 3 blues for Maclay Finals, my mom had a year where she had 2 blues and 26 seconds...
              http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
              Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

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              • #8
                Welcome to August! Even way back when, in the "good old days," it was the same, give or take a few "fillers."

                Think of it this way: no one is going to START out riding in these classes at this time of year, with qualifying almost over. So the only logically interested parties ARE going to be those who are not yet qualified; when there are enough of them, they will all fill a class, when there aren't, then you dig up fillers, one way or another.

                Many a kid who is 'borderline' ready to move up gets to be the 'hero' that makes the class count. Yes, the finals will sort out the qualifiers, and there are always a few who are in over their heads at that point; they live, they learn.
                Inner Bay Equestrian
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                • #9
                  AAAAARGH

                  Originally posted by Alterrain View Post
                  Ugh, I see this every year. It's so close to the deadline for qualifying, and (at least in my area) the classes are SO rigged.
                  So one year I had a tremendously talented and hard-working pony rider whose pony got called back on top over fences and then moved down on conformation over and over again at A and AA shows so she just couldn't get that tri-color. Both my other pony riders were qualified already. So her only chance to get to experience Pony Finals was to qualify in the Eq. At the last qualifying show of the season, the Eq needed one more kid to fill it, and one of my other riders dropped out because she was sick. I turned myself inside out to get someone to fill that class and my rider had the good fortune to have the best round of her life and win the class hands down.

                  Not only did she truly deserve to go, but the look on her face when she realized she could go to Pony Finals was worth every bit of it, so I'd do that again in a heartbeat.

                  So sick of people bitching about trainers---geez, we are working to make a living, and usually working bloody hard.

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                  • #10
                    It's hard for me to even get my head around the concept that there are that few juniors doing the height. God, back when I was doing the eq. there would have been 30 kids still scrambling for it.

                    So this is supposed to be progress how, exactly? Someone 'splain.
                    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Giddy-up View Post
                      Back when the AHSA was 2 wins to qualify & nothing else counted, I would have loved that second win after a summer of 2nd places even if it was "easy".

                      Let's be honest...there are probably only a handful of riders who stand a chance at winning the Finals & a slightly larger group that will even make the cuts. Everybody else is there just for the experience.
                      Way back when I was a junior, I used to "fill" for a few friends who were still struggling to qualify late in the summer. I did not enjoy equitation classes and had no intention in trying to qualify, I was mostly doing jumpers at the time. Their parents would pay my entry fee and, sometimes, even part of the shipping, for a show I was already going to, so why not? My horse and I could certainly get around a 3'6" course without embarassing ourselves...I'd circle if my round was likely to be better than friend's. My horse was for sale when I was leaving for college, so it was a good thing for us to get him the experience in the big equitation classes, even if I had no interest in it myself.

                      And, yes, the friends I was filling for were not actual contenders for a ribbon at finals, they just wanted the experience and THEIR horses were for sale when they left for college too, so getting them to finals increased their value somewhat. My trainer was young then too and starting out and trying to build a reputation, benefitted her as well to take kids to finals.

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                      • #12
                        Honest question, how is entering a class for a score, and then intentionally tanking, not cheating? Even better, how is paying someone else to do that, also not cheating? If there are riders in the class who are just there to make the numbers and who will intentionally lose, imo they're not really in the class. I know this is how it's always been, but it smells bad to me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NCRider View Post
                          Honest question, how is entering a class for a score, and then intentionally tanking, not cheating? Even better, how is paying someone else to do that, also not cheating? If there are riders in the class who are just there to make the numbers and who will intentionally lose, imo they're not really in the class. I know this is how it's always been, but it smells bad to me.
                          Good question, especially as competitors in badminton at the Olympics just last week were eliminated for deliberately losing in order to affect the finals. Which is essentially what a filler rider is doing, except that the filler is either already qualified or has no intention of qualifying, therefore the filler is not losing in order to better her own final outcome. She is filling (and losing) in order to better someone else's outcome.

                          Cheating, or working the system? The riders who ARE in the class to win still have to get the job done and compete against each other, so the fillers are not taking anything away from any of the legitimate competitors. The fillers are just making the numbers.
                          "Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?" Sun Tzu, The Art of War
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                          • #14
                            But if they're just there to make the numbers and have to intentionally do something to lose, then the numbers haven't been made. Again, I understand that this has always been done, but I still think its probably cheating. If you need fillers, fine, but the filler should be allowed and expected to do their best. It's like the countries who set up Olympic qualifiers for eventing, then had all their eligible riders enter and then withdraw after dressage so that the winner got more FeI points because of the number of entrants.

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                            • #15
                              I worked at a BNT barn that had many equitation riders. When we needed to find a filler in order to make a class fill we NEVER would have expected them to throw the class. That is considered very tacky. One time another BNT asked one of my kids to fill and throw the class and we said no... fill yes, throw no...
                              Fullcirclefarmsc.com

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                              • #16
                                Not saying I agree with it, but it is done all the time. Heck. Even some of the biggest trainers/barns hold their own shows and don't invite the outside to get kids qualified! Hence why I was so happy when my daughter chose to not do equitation her last jr year!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Agree with Supershorty. Some of my first trips in the 3'6'' were as fillers for bigeq classes, and later they ended up being my (free!) warm-up for the jumpers.

                                  Originally posted by Hunter/JumperMom View Post
                                  What was the norm for fillers, we had to get fillers for maybe 2 shows way back when, I paid for those fillers - this was the year our eq horse decided he needed a vacation from January to mid June, so had to get a few more points. One time the filler circled, (which is what daughter always did when she was asked to fill), the other time the rider didn't fill and won, wasn't an issue for us as we only needed maybe 2 points and my daughter got second. But my understanding was if someone is paying for you to fill the class you circle and don't "go for it" but if you decide to "go for it" than you should pay it yourself.
                                  When I filled the 3'6'' I rode the course normally and then didn't go back to test/flat. Once I did accidentally win a class because the trainer I was filling for didn't realize I was the filler and ushered me into the ring for the test. I can't remember if I had to pay for it - I don't think so, because it was her mistake.

                                  But yes, as a general rule of thumb if you are filling and you win you pay for your own class.
                                  Last edited by Rel6; Aug. 11, 2012, 04:37 PM. Reason: spelling

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by In the Air View Post
                                    I worked at a BNT barn that had many equitation riders. When we needed to find a filler in order to make a class fill we NEVER would have expected them to throw the class. That is considered very tacky. One time another BNT asked one of my kids to fill and throw the class and we said no... fill yes, throw no...
                                    THIS! The couple of times I was asked to fill, I was not expected to throw the class, circle, etc. Filling so that those seeking to qualify can have an OPPORTUNITY to do so is far different from ensuring a win. One is a nice gesture, the other is cheating.

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                                    • #19
                                      I must be tacky then.....
                                      "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
                                      carolprudm

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                                      • #20
                                        .. and besides it costs a lot of money to go to the finals and it's their money to spend regardless if they are ready.

                                        We want more showing anyway. So really doesn't hurt anyone and gives experience to riders and horses.
                                        Live in the sunshine.
                                        Swim in the sea.
                                        Drink the wild air.

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