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When is it OK for Horse Show Owners to Compete at Their Own Shows

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  • #21
    Originally posted by RugBug View Post
    Not that I think you deserve a response due to this post (rude, much?) I don't have a problem with an owner of the shows competing in any classes the qualify to compete in.

    I also don't have a problem with ANYONE competing in classes lower than their "normal" classes as long as they qualify. I have no idea what might be going on with the rider or the horse or even the showing schedule that might having them making that decision. Sounds like sour grapes from the complainers to me.
    I agree RugBug. Many people go up and down in divisions with their UL horses just depending on the day/show/etc. Often times they do lower classes so that they can school through some issues without the height dictating anything.

    As for the hunter derby, as far as I understand people can enter that regardless. I don't recall there being a rule that a 1.60m horse can't show in it. So, he was gracious enough to withdraw and you don't know 100% that he withdrew because of complaints. Just because the horse can jump 1.60m doesn't mean that it will show well in the derby. Perhaps he was trying it out to see what kind of career they could move it to, or perhaps he is looking to market it as a lower level jumper that can do the Eq and the derbies. You don't know.

    As long as the rules allow it, he can show at his shows.

    Comment


    • #22
      It's fairly obvious (to us Canadians anyways) who you're talking about. If I remember correctly, the GP horse in question has not performed all that fabulously in the last season or two. As long as he follows the rules, I think he can enter his horses in whatever classes he wants. These are large rated shows with stewards, frequented by lots of big barns. If the judging were particularly unfair, I don't think people would go.

      There is another horse from the same province that shows in the small GPs, high amateur classes and hunter derbies, and places in all of them. It's obviously a very special horse, and I have never heard anyone complains about it's success. I don't see this as being much different. Just because the rider in question has been on the CET, doesn't mean he and his horse are only allowed to compete at that level (or perhaps will be capable of that level) for the rest of their career.
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      • #23
        IMO ethically, if you are the one paying the judge, you shouldn't be riding in any class with subjective judging. OTOH, I personally would have no problem with that person competing in jumpers or timed events like, for example, barrel racing.

        I do think most judges are ethical enough to overlook the name on the paycheck, but it's still kind of bad form.

        Dropping back a level is a separate issue (going from GP jumpers to derby isn't dropping back a level, though. Just because a horse can clear higher jumps doesn't mean it can do 3'6" or 4" with the style needed to be a winning hunter, just like a 4' hunter might not do well in the jumper ring, even at a lower height. Two different disciplines.). I think dropping down a level or more just to get ribbons, regardless of who's paying the judge, is ethically wrong. OTOH, if the horse is coming back from an injury or needs schooling, it might be acceptable (though, really, if that's the case, why not just ride unjudged?) If the horse has done a higher level but is dropped to the rider's level, or vice versa, no issue there, either, IMO.

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        • #24
          Since we don't know the reasons of why he would show his grand prix horse in the 1.20, I can't really judge for that (though it does seem weird to show him in a hunter derby). BUT I do think it's very unprofessional and just plain rude to show at your own show, under any circumstances. There are plenty of other shows to go to.

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          • #25
            I'd have NO issue with it in jumpers because it's not subjective.

            Hunters or eq? I don't think I'd do it myself, but not sure of my opinion would change if I were in that position.

            I think it also becomes a non-issue as the show gets bigger and attracts more competition, and bigger names judging. At that point, you're just hosting the show and it's a fair opportunity for everybody.

            But if it's a relatively local show, I don't think I would take the prize money or a ribbon. Practice for the horse is fine, but I do think it's bad form to drop down to a lower division and take the money/ribbon if it's a little local show.
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            • #26
              As others may have said there is nothing wrong w/ it as long as it falls w/in the shows rules. again, to the odd observer they may have no idea if that particular horse has issues...maybe phasing out of higher level competition but still a good horse at lower levels, maybe schooling it to pass it along to a less experienced rider - who knows. The rider may have opted to show in the class as it was a special class & wanted to make it a more competive class..

              Some might say the rider was making the class more sporting others might view it as poor sportsmanship...how do you know they didn't accept prize money? If it's their show, it's their finances.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Wizard of Oz's View Post
                Since we don't know the reasons of why he would show his grand prix horse in the 1.20, I can't really judge for that (though it does seem weird to show him in a hunter derby). BUT I do think it's very unprofessional and just plain rude to show at your own show, under any circumstances. There are plenty of other shows to go to.
                There are NOT plenty of other shows to go to around here! Again, nothing wrong with showing at your own show as long as you aren't judging!
                Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

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                • #28
                  There are plenty of people who show at their own shows...do they "own" the show or the facility. Bit of a difference. If they own the facility and it's a rated competition chances are they have hired professional staff to run the show -show manager, steward, secretary etc. the owner/rider may be in a sense a 3rd party. I don't believe a competitor can be steward or manager at the same show, nor can a steward have their horse showing... at least w/ USEF, not sure how Canada works.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    I can only imagine the disgruntled rail birds' conversations. "Do you know who that is?" And "That's his Grand Prix horse! Who the heck does he think he is?" And the resentment among some grows. We are such a gossipy group as riders. I say, who cares? Give it you best, CET rider, because I would LOVE to beat you! . I say I can only worry about me and my horse. As for the rest, you're on your own.
                    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                    ¯ Oscar Wilde

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                    • #30
                      I think dropping down levels and showing at your own show are two separate issues.

                      There is a schooling show circuit where the organizer/owner/local trainer of the series shows, collects her blue ribbons, and championship ribbons, and goes about her merry way. We have stopped showing these shows due to the lack of organization -- it obviously can't be very well run if the organizer is busy off showing multiple horses throughout the day.

                      It's discouraging as well that this trainer is bumped up in scores, comparatively speaking, because of "professional courtesy." In the classes in which she shows, she is always the winner, whether she deserves it or not. I don't show in classes against her but I have heard several others on this "circuit" complaining about the same issues.

                      I just think that (most) people cannot wear two "hats" at a show and compete their training horses and organize a well-run and neutrally judged show.

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                      • #31
                        Why is it "weird" for a trainer to show at his own show, but it's NOT weird for a trainer's students to show at a home based show? Trainer is paying the judges to judge his or her own students as well as the others, and could easily tip the scales in favour of his or her kids. Is it really even different? Especially something like the jumpers that are time-based, and even the best riders and horses can have off days?

                        Also, It's not weird at all for a horse to do jumpers and hunter derbies. LOTS of jumpers are crossing into the derbies because it's a more level playing field. They are allowed to show brilliance AND be technical, jumping out of a forward stride. Many jumpers are doing quite well in the derbies as well. If this trainer's big level jumper is proving to be tired of the bigger heights, why shouldn't he see what else the horse is capable of doing well? If the horse ends up being a top hunter derby horse, and getting leased to a junior who wishes to do Big Eq and derbies, isn't that a business savvy move on the trainer's part?

                        Are you only mad about it because the horse got ribbons? (And you said he placed, not that he got 1st - so clearly not favouritism).

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                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Thanks for the replies. It's interesting to read other people's opinions.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Same old, same old

                            I know who this is as well, and I believe the frustration arises from not just this hunter derby instance, but from his riding in all his own 1.40m GP's with 1.60 Nation's Cup quality horses; as is the case in the 1.30's and 1.40's and yes, often the 1.20's. Just because the rules allow it doesn't mean it is 'ethical' or at the least, a public relations plus. It does irritate many of the genuine 1.40 riders to be consistently upstaged by his horses who school in that ring daily and are actually international 1.60 horses. But that's to be expected in this sport, I actually helped sponsor a GP last year that we wanted to be a big money JR/AM class, he resisted, made it an open GP (1.40m) and won it himself with a 1.60m horse. It was called the "Show Mom's" class, and needless to say, was not sponsored this year!! The reason we gave was precisely that he took 1.60 horses in his shows significantly below their regular competitive levels and won his own classes.... Is it against the rules? No... is it ethically acceptable... to me "NO". Over time other sponsors and competitors will feel the same way...

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by MHM View Post
                              Anytime they care to, within the rules.
                              exactly


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                              • #35
                                Didn't read all the opinions.

                                I do think it's bad form to compete for money-- and take it-- at your own show. Also, let your customers and neighbors have their day. Couldn't the dude turn is number over and give the horse the experience he wanted? I think that would have kept things clean-looking.

                                Otherwise, was the show useful, well-run and of benefit to people in your area? If so, go easy on the criticism on this one point. It's a PITA to put on a show and if you like it, do your best to support it.

                                I suspect that by now Owner has gotten the little sportsmanship message that the OP would like.
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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by xrailgoddess View Post
                                  I know who this is as well, and I believe the frustration arises from not just this hunter derby instance, but from his riding in all his own 1.40m GP's with 1.60 Nation's Cup quality horses; as is the case in the 1.30's and 1.40's and yes, often the 1.20's. Just because the rules allow it doesn't mean it is 'ethical' or at the least, a public relations plus. It does irritate many of the genuine 1.40 riders to be consistently upstaged by his horses who school in that ring daily and are actually international 1.60 horses. But that's to be expected in this sport, I actually helped sponsor a GP last year that we wanted to be a big money JR/AM class, he resisted, made it an open GP (1.40m) and won it himself with a 1.60m horse. It was called the "Show Mom's" class, and needless to say, was not sponsored this year!! The reason we gave was precisely that he took 1.60 horses in his shows significantly below their regular competitive levels and won his own classes.... Is it against the rules? No... is it ethically acceptable... to me "NO". Over time other sponsors and competitors will feel the same way...
                                  I, too, know exactly who you are talking about. In a general sense, I would not care if an owner showed in their own show, but when you put it like that, and knowing who it is, I can understand the frustration.
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                                  • #37
                                    I know who you're talking about as well, and he was showing said horse in the 1.30m - 1.45m at most of his shows, the Hunter Derby is open to anyone and I believe he showed the same horse in the open hunter Derby at Thunderbird a few years back. Should he be doing it probably not, I know many trainers/owners who wouldn't bump down like he did, (but if you hold 20 shows on your property a year then you kind of have to show at your own show). Point is its within the rules. Obviously he still has to put in the fancy ride for the hunter derby and he didn't win it (I believe a Junior did) so they (the winner) should be proud of beating 'an Olympic rider on his international jumper'.

                                    as the rules (in his show prize list) state:

                                    SPECIFICATIONS
                                    Formal Attire Required
                                    **Open to all horse/rider combinations**
                                    Class to be run in the Grand Prix Ring or an Expanded Hunter Ring(s)
                                    A Riders meeting should be held before hand to discuss class specifics.
                                    Recommend running classes in late afternoon with a cocktail party.

                                    JUMPS
                                    The class may be offered with both a 3’0 division and 3’6” division.
                                    Only 3’6 horses will count for year end points and finals qualification.
                                    1. 1. 3’6” with 3’9” - 4’3” options
                                    2. 2. 3’0” with 3’3” - 3’9” options
                                    The course should include:
                                    • Traditional hunter jumps
                                    • Natural jumps - bank, post and rail, board fence / gate, stone wall, logs, hedge, brush, pens/chute
                                    • Handy options - inside turns, unique approaches, combination complex, broken lines, unrelated distances

                                    I would have assumed he did the 3'6 (1.10m) with the 3'9" - 4'3"(1.15m - 1.25m) options.

                                    The newsletter you got regarding the money he gave back was for a Bursary from the provincial association and anyone who won that class could have won the money, decent of him to give it back, since he didn't have to.

                                    You also have to remember that this horse might not be owned by only him, maybe the other investors insist on him showing and maybe they get tickled pink about him showing the horse in the hunter derby.

                                    And should owners show at their own shows. Absolutely yes. That's like saying the owners of Spruce Meadows can't show at their shows, or the owners of Thunderbird can't show at theirs.

                                    One last thing.... why are you posting as an alternate?

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by MHM View Post
                                      Anytime they care to, within the rules.
                                      But it is not good business to do it. Bad form. As show manager he is acting as a host for everyone who comes to the show. He is supposed to be putting on an event for others. Not for himself. Best to not try to wear two hats here. Just the fact that someone posted this thread shows that it pops up in the mind of exhibitors as problematic. Regardless of "the rules", it is just bad business.
                                      Discipline is the Bridge between Dreams and Accomplishments

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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by feather river View Post
                                        But it is not good business to do it. Bad form. As show manager he is acting as a host for everyone who comes to the show. He is supposed to be putting on an event for others. Not for himself. Best to not try to wear two hats here. Just the fact that someone posted this thread shows that it pops up in the mind of exhibitors as problematic. Regardless of "the rules", it is just bad business.
                                        Ah but the problem is that he's put every other show in the area out of buiseness (except one)! Other barns that ran shows just couldn't compete and sadly he made it his mission to "rule" our shows. Trainers WANTED to show where they could take all their riders and he totally catered to them.... Now that there's no where else, it's become more expensive every year, he only caters to the upper levels yet it's the lower levels that bring him the profits! People are tired of him yet they asked for it by not supporting other venues!

                                        While I've agreed he's within his rights to show in own classes, I agree that's it's unsportsmanlike (in light of the sponsers post above) and know why people around here are frustrated. I also think that while the derby should stay an open class, you should have to compete in at least one hunter division and currently you don't.... And that's why the big jumpers are coming out for it! This is also the only hunter class with decent prize money.... Show hunters here and you get nothing!!
                                        Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Kerby View Post
                                          (but if you hold 20 shows on your property a year then you kind of have to show at your own show). Point is its within the rules.... And should owners show at their own shows. Absolutely yes. That's like saying the owners of Spruce Meadows can't show at their shows, or the owners of Thunderbird can't show at theirs.
                                          Since I'm not Canadian, I don't know which rider everyone is talking about in this case.

                                          But really, it doesn't matter to me who it is. If this person does in fact run twenty shows a year, that's all the more reason to show "at home," since otherwise he would be sitting out almost half the year. Plus it is usually pretty exhausting to host a show. The last thing most people would like to do after holding a show is throw the horses on the trailer and head down the road to another location the next day.

                                          And really, do people think it's so easy and profitable to run shows that anyone does it just for fun? Most people get started running shows due to a lack of quality shows in their area. Why bother putting on a nice show if you can't enjoy it yourself? That's like saying you can host a great party only if you stay in the kitchen all evening doing the dishes.

                                          I'm not as familiar with the rules in Canada, but at USEF shows, there are very specific rules about who among the staff may show to prevent impropriety. I would imagine it's the same up north.

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