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What's "bad sportsmanship" when you're running/hosting a show?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
    But let's take it a step further. If the jumps are set up the night before, is it okay if you students SEE them? Walk or hack their horses in the ring? JUMP the jumps? Jump the actual course for the show? What if it's a class where others don't get to school or even walk horses in the ring? What if it is, does that matter?

    Should you be allowed to show over a course you designed and set?

    Where should the line be drawn when it comes to hosting shows and preferencing the host?
    I host schooling show and many people from our barn attend.

    We wait until the last jumping lesson of the day has been completed before setting the course and we do not allow anyone else to jump after the course has been set.

    We store all jump decorations (flowers and trees) and they are only brought out for shows...so while our barn members may have seen the actual pieces of jumps, they don't regularly jump the decorations. When we have a horse that needs to be schooled over flowers, we usually use the random one-offs we have lying around.

    I have had people walk their horses in the ring prior to the show starting. I don't allow it so I've asked them to leave. Both boarders and attendees do this. I have two schooling "breaks" that allows people to get into the show ring and hack prior to doing classes, and people can school in any class they don't compete in, so I don't think anyone needs to be in the ring prior to the shows start.

    My trainer designs the courses, with minimal input from me. I might suggest placement of a single fence or suggest lines that could be ridden, but I'm mostly just physical labor when it comes to setting the course...so I wouldn't feel bad about showing. These days I don't show as I just don't have the time with everything else I do.

    I don't know what "preferencing the host" means, so I can comment.

    To sum up, I do think it's a bit of an ethical line...BUT not one I'm going to worry about as a rider. If a show host feels the need to give themselves or their students advantage by doing things I would consider unethical, well, that's kind of sad.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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    • #22
      I too think it would be unfair if boarders and students at the home barn were able to school over the course prior to the show. If that problem were rampant at a particular venue, I would refuse to show there. With as many shows as there are in my area, I could easily find another one to attend.


      As to "home" horses/riders seeing certain crazy jumps or decorations prior to the show, that doesn't bother me as much. I go to shows to help my horse and I practice what we have learned in lessons and to learn how to deal with new environments, which includes the jumps themselves. If the home barn never allows their students to see new stuff, they are at a disadvantage when they go to an away show. They are only hurting themselves.

      However, the actual course, with lines set a certain way, that I would definitely consider unfair if people could practice over it the day before.

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      • #23
        If the show does not allow open schooling for anyone attending then the people who board at the barn should not be allowed open schooling over the show course either.


        It is not rocket science.

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        • #24
          The barn I'm at used to have 2 big outdoor shows a year and now we just have 2 schooling shows (and 2 novice circuit shows for school horses only!). A course designer is brought in for all shows except the ones on the novice circuit and courses are set after the last lesson the day before. We also have 2 sets of jumper jumps and these jumps are only brought out for the shows, all hunter and jumper decorations are only out for the shows as well. While we do school the jumper jumps AFTER the show is over (and only until they are put away a week or so later) ALL the decorations are removed immediately after the show.

          Our shows also have either open schooling or schooling rounds that everyone attending the show can use, this includes boarders!

          I also find that shows at home make a lot of the "home field" horses more spooky! Their usual ring now looks and feels different and I find that I'd rather go to a totally unfamiliar place where EVERYTHING is strange...weird I know, but I found my last spooky mare was worse at home...God forbid somewhere familiar had a fence in a different place!!
          Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

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          • #25
            Originally posted by veetiepony View Post
            ...

            If people are trailering to a schooling show, then in my opinion they are just trying to get their horse out. The people who would take it more seriously are those from the home barn who are more beginner-ish. ....
            I am VERY confused by this statement.

            What makes you say that people who trailer in are "just trying to get their horse out"????

            It is a lot more work to trailer in than to ride in a show at your home barn. I would think that people who trailer in are MUCH more serious about the show than people who already board there!!
            Janet

            chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Janet View Post
              I am VERY confused by this statement.

              What makes you say that people who trailer in are "just trying to get their horse out"????

              It is a lot more work to trailer in than to ride in a show at your home barn. I would think that people who trailer in are MUCH more serious about the show than people who already board there!!
              This quote rubbed me the wrong way as well (the quote that was quoted in the above post). In the area where I grew up, there were ONLY schooling shows - not a single A show in my state. The schooling show circuit was EXTREMELY competitive. I personally showed the schooling circuit and a lot of the A/AAs out of my state, but I would never downplay the schooling circuit. I got my butt kicked at some of those shows, and then I would go win at an A the next month (not trying to toot my horn, just making a point).
              Many people take schooling circuits very seriously, they're not just trying to put miles on their horse...

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              • #27
                This is a pretty standard scenario for many schooling shows - where I live there are a couple of associations which host a show series. Unless the show has schooling then the host facility should not allow their students to school over the jumps once they are set in the ring. As a cost savings many schooling shows will have their staff design courses - so what? This sometimes happens at A shows where a trainer is CD and has a barn full of their clients at the show. For me the question shouldn't be bad sportsmanship but GOOD sportsmanship. That means, the host facility trainer(s) should set an example by having their riders prepared and ready to show don't hold up the ring. Host facility trainers should allow some of their higher level or more experience (show-wise) riders be a little more autonomous - meaning let them do a hack class w/o the trainer if it keeps the show flowing. You don't want to make it seem like the homecourt is the advantange and lets face it there are plenty of "home games" that are lost. There are things that outside trainers can do as well. For instance, my trainer was always aware of different schooling show venues rings so often she would sent up courses in her rings to mimic the show facilities ring. You go to enough of these shows and you pretty much know what they have in terms of courses & decorations..

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by gottagrey View Post
                  This is a pretty standard scenario for many schooling shows - where I live there are a couple of associations which host a show series. Unless the show has schooling then the host facility should not allow their students to school over the jumps once they are set in the ring. As a cost savings many schooling shows will have their staff design courses - so what? This sometimes happens at A shows where a trainer is CD and has a barn full of their clients at the show. For me the question shouldn't be bad sportsmanship but GOOD sportsmanship. That means, the host facility trainer(s) should set an example by having their riders prepared and ready to show don't hold up the ring. Host facility trainers should allow some of their higher level or more experience (show-wise) riders be a little more autonomous - meaning let them do a hack class w/o the trainer if it keeps the show flowing. You don't want to make it seem like the homecourt is the advantange and lets face it there are plenty of "home games" that are lost. There are things that outside trainers can do as well. For instance, my trainer was always aware of different schooling show venues rings so often she would sent up courses in her rings to mimic the show facilities ring. You go to enough of these shows and you pretty much know what they have in terms of courses & decorations..
                  HUH? Your whole post had me confused.

                  So, the trainers shouldn't be worried about showing bad sportsmanship by letting their students school over the already-set course for the shows, but instead show good sportsmanship by having them be at the ring on time? At their own facility?

                  Sorry, I don't consider the latter good sportsmanship, it's just respectful of the judge, volunteers, and other competitors. And really, it shouldn't be all that hard to show up on time to the ring at your home barn (at any show, really, but even less of a feat at home).

                  And having riders do a flat class without their trainer? So the show flows better?

                  Colour me confused.

                  Boarders showing in their "home court" - not bad sportsmanship.

                  Boarders showing over their home fences - not bad sportsmanship.

                  Boarders showing over a course designed by their trainer - not bad sportsmanship, but can be a conflict of interest.

                  Boarders having access to the course (ie seeing what the exact show courses will be, not just seeing a set ring) before competitors - bad sportsmanship.

                  Boarders being able to school over the show-set course when other competitors are not able to - bad sportsmanship.

                  Seems pretty black and white IMO.

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                  • #29
                    I used to ride at a barn that did this very thing: the course would be set by late i the week, Saturday at the latest for a Sunday schooling show. Students showing would be able to school over the course in their classes. Sometimes, since the course was designed by barn staff, you could tell what was coming for the course weeks in advance by what was getting worked on in your class. As a student, I didn't mind - I liked the advantage! But I was a new student/rider and even though I'm older, I honestly didn't give it much thought and figured it was "how things were done."

                    But I own my horse now and have been to other shows outside of this schooling series/barn and I've seen how it is done other places. Yes, there is a "home-field" advantage with being able to jump the same jumps being used for the show, use the same arena, but school the same course? No. Not okay. I think it defeats the purpose of a show and invalidates the judge's remarks/decision since it is not a true picture. How I ride the course being able to school it for a week could very well be vastly different from how I ride it just getting to see a course map/quick course walk the morning of the show.

                    I really wonder how show turnout would (or wouldn't) change if others who attended this local series knew how the barn prepped its students.

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                    • #30
                      I understand people have "home" shows sometimes. I also understand that not everyone can have enough jumps that there is a "show course" that is never used outside of shows. Therefore, the benefit of having the "home-field advantage" of being familiar with the show grounds and possibly with the jumps themselves is just a lucky twist for those who board/train at the farm, not bad sportsmanship.

                      I have always taken some issue with management of a show hiring a judge and then having their customers show under that judge at that show. There is a definite conflict of interest there, however I have seen both times when favouritism showed and many times when there was no preference shown at all. It is not bad sportsmanship for management to hire the judge. It IS bad sportsmanship for management to influence the judge AT ALL or create any way to indicate to the judge who are the "home" riders.

                      Someone at the farm needs to design the course. Is it an advantage, but I don't feel it's bad sportsmanship - provided that the hosting trainer's customers do NOT ride that course before the show and the course is set for the greater good and purpose of the competition.

                      Jump fill/decoration should generally NOT be the same at the show as it is for every day use. Especially particularly original/spooky decorations.

                      What do I feel IS bad sportsmanship?

                      - using the identical jumps in lessons before the show
                      - setting the actual show jumps a week before the show and using it for lessons prior to show
                      - using the actual show course, using the show jumps in lessons before the show

                      When you have a show at your property, you should be making an effort to NOT give your riders an advantage.

                      I held a local unrecognized show once. We purchased new jumps for show only and I decorated them just for the show. I set the course a day or two before the show. I took one kid on one horse and had them jump around to make sure the course rode well. No one else rode the course until the morning of the show.

                      It's bad enough when other circumstances give your riders "unfair" advantages over other riders... to actually take lessons over the show courses is just beyond poor sportsmanship to me.
                      ...for there are wings on these hooves, the speed and power of foam-capped waves...
                      *~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*
                      Proud member of the artists clique

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by GreystoneKC View Post
                        I held a local unrecognized show once. We purchased new jumps for show only and I decorated them just for the show. .
                        How in the world did you manage that? A new course is easily $5k+. You must've had great attendence to make it worthwhile.
                        Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                        Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by GreystoneKC View Post
                          I held a local unrecognized show once. We purchased new jumps for show only and I decorated them just for the show. .
                          How in the world did you manage that? A new course is easily $5k+. You must've had great attendence to make it worthwhile.
                          Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                          Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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                          • #33
                            When I did a couple years of hunter/jumpers, we traveled to some local shows. They were unrated but VERY nice. As I recall, we were always allowed to school. So everyone was able to school the night before and in the morning--boarders and people hauling in.

                            I have no idea if the fences were set for days or weeks ahead of time, or if they decorated just before the show or what, but since everyone got to school the day before and the morning of, it didn't really matter to me.

                            Trainers at the "home" barns also rode horses for clients in the judged warmup classes, but not in the division classes (if I got my terminology right), which was fine with me.

                            Actual courses were, IIRC, posted the morning of the show. So everyone got equal time to learn their courses.

                            What mattered MORE to me is that everything was run well, footing fantastic, great venues, great judging, ETC. I had ZERO complaints about anything at the show and it was a fantastic experience every time. Frankly, I could care less if they drilled their horses over the courses.... the home barns didn't always win and I always had fun.

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                            • #34
                              RugBug,
                              I was very lucky in this case because the BO wanted to buy a nice course since most of our "regular" jumps were older and plain. We got a fantastic deal from a local jump builder because we were buying so much at once and they delivered just before the show. The jumps were used for that show and future shows and while I don't work for that farm anymore, I'm pretty sure they found the purchase worthwhile!
                              ...for there are wings on these hooves, the speed and power of foam-capped waves...
                              *~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*
                              Proud member of the artists clique

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                                We store all jump decorations (flowers and trees) and they are only brought out for shows...so while our barn members may have seen the actual pieces of jumps, they don't regularly jump the decorations. When we have a horse that needs to be schooled over flowers, we usually use the random one-offs we have lying around.
                                We do pretty much the same thing. My trainer does not have boarders--all of us are ship-ins, so while we may have had lessons during the week before the show, most of the jumps in the ring are schooling jumps and get switched out for the actual show (my trainer ran a big show barn before selling it and semi-retiring, so she has a lot of stuff accumulated over the years). Flowers and colorful jumps get moved in the day before, and courses aren't posted until the morning of the show. There is open schooling until the show starts at 8 am and anyone can get in either ring and school to their hearts' content. There's also a schooling break halfway through the day, and we limit it to no more than three horses in the ring at a time for 5-10 minutes per group.
                                Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

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                                • #36
                                  Is it exactly fair? Probably not...

                                  However I go to a local show that is "B" rated, where the students do all of that. And let me tell you, their odds of winning didn't really improve. They still had bad rides, forgot courses, and ponies with attitudes. LOL

                                  That's what makes this sport just so great! LOL All the prep in the world won't gaurentee anything.
                                  Celtic Charisma (R.I.P) ~ http://flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses/2387275281
                                  Proud owner of "The Intoxicated Moose!"
                                  "Hope is not an executable plan" ~ My Mom
                                  I love my Dublin-ator

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