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

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

    Just thought I'd start a general discussion about what is okay sportsmanship when you're running a show.

    Obviously, your students are going to have some advantages over other competitors that you can't control. For example, unless you own two FULL sets of jumps and you hide one away and ONLY use it for shows-- your students will have jumped the jumps at the show whereas others might not get to before they go in to show (if there's no schooling in the ring).

    And if you design the courses, you might have slightly more insight on what's going to be problematic than someone who just walks up and looks at the course diagram. If you select the judge, you know her preferences, etc.

    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?
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

  • #2
    Personally, I don't think that's fair. I'm sure you'll get mixed emotions because it may be the only place for the students to school or whatnot, but if I were running a show and setting up the fences the day before, I would have a cut off for my students. Ie, you can ride to your heart's content until 4pm, but after that the show fences are being set and no one gets to ride over them until they're either paying for a schooling round the day of the show, or doing their class.

    I'm sure it's done though...

    Comment


    • #3
      Just thought I'd start a general discussion about what is okay sportsmanship when you're running a show.

      Obviously, your students are going to have some advantages over other competitors that you can't control. For example, unless you own two FULL sets of jumps and you hide one away and ONLY use it for shows-- your students will have jumped the jumps at the show whereas others might not get to before they go in to show (if there's no schooling in the ring).

      And if you design the courses, you might have slightly more insight on what's going to be problematic than someone who just walks up and looks at the course diagram. If you select the judge, you know her preferences, etc.

      That's all fine. If I were hosting a show at my place, though, to promote good sportsmanship I would make an effort to introduce a new jump or two and some decorations that dressed things up an a new and different way to give the show courses a different look and to minimize the home advantage a little.


      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?

      They can see them, but the ring should be closed as soon as the course is set, unless there is open schooling for all competitors at that point. All competitors should have equal access to any pre-show schooling over the jumps if it is offered. In fact, offering some pre-show schooling open to all might also promote good sportsmanship by allowing outside horses to see the ring and reducing their disadvantage.

      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?

      Only for unjudged rounds would be my opinion, I think it would come across poorly to competitors who have shipped in and paid money to come to your show to find out that they are competing against the person who designed and set the course. It just looks bad.

      Comment


      • #4
        it's called home field adavantage.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by copper1 View Post
          it's called home field adavantage.
          I disagree. A home field advantage is riding in the ring before, riding over the jumps before.

          Riding over the course SET for the show is not a home field advantage. It's poor sportsmanship.

          Comment


          • #6
            For a schooling show? I dont think it really matters that much. How complicated are thr courses? Outside diagonal outside diagonal? Why not offer the ring in the morning for warm ups if you really think people will mind?

            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. So who really cares if they have a little advantage? It seems like a whole lot of effort to "hide" the jumps/course if it's just a schooling show. My opinion.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by veetiepony View Post
              For a schooling show? I dont think it really matters that much. How complicated are thr courses? Outside diagonal outside diagonal? Why not offer the ring in the morning for warm ups if you really think people will mind?

              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. So who really cares if they have a little advantage? It seems like a whole lot of effort to "hide" the jumps/course if it's just a schooling show. My opinion.
              Would it matter if the course was complicated (or complicated for that level of competition) and there was significant prize money? Or something like M&S points? Would that affect whether it is/isn't good sportsmanship?
              ~Veronica
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

              Comment


              • #8
                Veetie, I strongly disagree. Sportsmanship should be something people practice at all levels of competition. Little schooling shows are where a lot of young riders get their start, why not set an example to be proud of, an example that new riders and their parents can learn from?

                Schooling shows are also public events, I would think that any trainer hosting one would want to present themselves publicly as promoting good sportsmanship. They should also want their students to learn to be prepared for new courses/ jumps/ decorations for when they go to outside shows.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Veetie, I strongly disagree. Sportsmanship should be something people practice at all levels of competition. Little schooling shows are where a lot of young riders get their start, why not set an example to be proud of, an example that new riders and their parents can learn from?

                  Schooling shows are also public events, I would think that any trainer hosting one would want to present themselves publicly as promoting good sportsmanship. They should also want their students to learn to be prepared for new courses/ jumps/ decorations for when they go to outside shows.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by copper1 View Post
                    it's called home field adavantage.
                    yup. I remember waaayyy back when my trainer would have shows at home. Good golly, my horse was WORSE showing at home. And yup, even when he was good, some horse could come in a blow us out of the water.

                    I totally get what you are saying but if you are showing, eh. It is in every sport, football. Homefield advantage

                    It would be poor sportsmanship if they let their clients school it. I don't think it is prominent, but am sure it can happen.
                    Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
                      It would be poor sportsmanship if they let their clients school it. I don't think it is prominent, but am sure it can happen.
                      And I think that's what the OP is discussing here; how far is too far. IMO schooling the set up course is poor sportsmanship. I think that's what we're discussing here, not the simple act of showing at your "home base".

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by over the moon View Post
                        And I think that's what the OP is discussing here; how far is too far. IMO schooling the set up course is poor sportsmanship. I think that's what we're discussing here, not the simple act of showing at your "home base".
                        Got it. If I was hosting a show, no one would school over the show fences/courses. My point of my post was that "back in the day" our show fences were our normal lesson/ etc fences. But this was in the day of outside courses etc. So it was homefield advantage no matter what.

                        If I were managing, let's say, an rented facility for a show? I would think it is not the best form. I also look at it, if they need that much help, it may not do them much good anyway. Sometimes karma works like that. =)
                        Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A while back I attended a schooling show that had this really weird bending line in the jumpers. It was seriously messed up with odd spacing for a 2'6" class, so I asked the course designer/barn trainer about it. Her answer was: "oh, it is possible, I had my students schooling it all week and they were able to do it".

                          This rubbed me very much the wrong way, as it wasn't just about her students placing better, the line was extremely challenging and made it very hard for people who hadn't had all week to school it hard to even get around the course.

                          To me that is bad sportsmanship...and bad course design!

                          I don't mind if the home barn schools the night before if the haul ins can school the night before or day of, and I don't care if they use their regular jumps for the show...as long as the jumps are pretty typical and no spinning flowers or something that took their own horses weeks to get past.
                          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think it depends largely on whether or not those who are 'shipping in' for the show have an opportunity to school before the show (i.e. an appropriate solution for 'home field' trainers who allow their student to school over the course is to have open schooling over fences for everyone the evening before or morning of.)
                            "To understand the soul of a horse is the closest human beings can come to knowing perfection."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It happens at the IHSA shows every weekend.
                              Sarah A. Ward

                              Washington and Lee University Riding

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
                                Got it. If I was hosting a show, no one would school over the show fences/courses. My point of my post was that "back in the day" our show fences were our normal lesson/ etc fences. But this was in the day of outside courses etc. So it was homefield advantage no matter what.

                                If I were managing, let's say, an rented facility for a show? I would think it is not the best form. I also look at it, if they need that much help, it may not do them much good anyway. Sometimes karma works like that. =)
                                Ah, yes (I wish I were around/showing in that day). It if was a set course outside (and the fences were ALWAYS there, show or not) it would be one thing, but to set up a course and let students jump it is just poor form. I have zero problem with the students having schooled in the ring and over the exact same jumps, but to have the actual course for the show set up and allowing them to school over it? That's just too far.

                                Even if they allowed the other competitors to school the night before or the morning of, I don't think the boarders or home students should be able to school over the fences before them. Ie, if you start setting up the course at 4pm and let other people trailer in and school from 6pm on, your students shouldn't be schooling over the course at 5pm.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My barn just got back from a local show this weekend. At our shows, the same person designs the jumper courses for each show. Someone else does the hunters, x rails, etc. The courses are not posted until just before the show starts the next morning. But, everybody has the opportunity to school over the actual jumps, they just don't know how the course will be set. Even in the hunter courses, there is the random single set in the mix, so you can school, but don't know where it will show up.

                                  And yes, the jumper designer has had students ride at the show, but they don't see the actual course before anyone else does.

                                  That's a way to handle the situation, school away, but nobody sees the actual course until the day of.
                                  And nothing bad happened!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Just this past year one of the 'coordinators' for our state association year end finals was bold enough to post pics online of her setting up the course for the next morning (it's a one-day ordeal) and then of her teaching her students over the EXACT course at their farm later that day! Just unacceptable, and is one of many reasons I no longer attend any shows in that state!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I boarded at a place that held many schooling shows. The arena was CLOSED at 6 pm the night before and the course set after the arena closed.

                                      People who are shipping in are paying the same entry fees and should have the same chance as those who board there. It's simply unfair to allow that kind of "home advantage".

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        It depends on the show. If everyone is allowed to school, I see no problem with when it is done, day before or morning of the show. If open schooling is not allowed, then it would be wrong for anyone to do it once the course is set.
                                        At the local shows here, no one thinks anything about the barn's trainer setting the course and showing over it. Of course, that is hunters, where there aren't generally strange questions asked. At several of the A shows I went to this year, I was trained by the course designer.
                                        I find showing at home to be more of a disadvantage, than an advantage. My horse knows the ring and jumps and has habits that she doesn't do away. A lot of horses can be really freaked out by walking out and seeing their home changed(tents up, strange horses and trailers in strange places, garbage cans in strange places, etc.). Where away it is all new and just the way it is. Much easier to cope with. Just recently, my barn hosted a show on Friday evening. After it got dark, we realized none of us had thought to practice under the lights! None of our horses had been under the lights since last winter. It didn't go all that well for some of us! My mare that would walk through fire on the road, was a bit of a lunatic going around the first time.

                                        Comment

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