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Talk to me about being DQ'd from a hunter shows due to rider's apparel or tack

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  • Talk to me about being DQ'd from a hunter shows due to rider's apparel or tack

    Curious to hear your experiences with other riders (or possibly yourself) being disqualified at Hunter shows due to the rider's wrong apparel or tack...

    Does the rider immediately get excused by the judge? Does the rider just get knocked down in placings or are they notified about the DQ after they ride? How blatant was the dress-code or tack violation in order to get DQ'd?

    I am just getting back to showing after many years and my trainer thinks hunters is definitely the way to go with my horse. I consider myself more of a 2-day eventer and am having trouble convincing my husband that I need another pair of show boots since the lovely Ariat Volant boots he bought me may get me in trouble in the Hunter arena.

    Would love to hear your stories on DQ's you have seen or gone through.

    Also, do you have any suggestions for a decent pair of Hunter-approved field boots that are under $200 and a show jacket under $200 that is more fitted in the waist for an hourglass figure? I have high-end taste, but don't really plan to show that much, so I would rather spend money toward gear I use every day.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • #2
    The only actual DQ I've ever seen in person was a lame horse in the under saddle. Penalizing non-traditional tack/attire is at the judge's discretion, so it would be reflected in the placings if the judge chooses to.


    • #3
      I am an eventer that sometimes takes young ones to hunter shows. My understanding is that you don't get DQ'ed, like buzzed out of the ring, for "unconventional" tack (flash noseband, baucher bit, etc.) but that the judge can mark you down at their discretion.

      Unlike dressage, where you get a sheet back that explains in great detail how you got your score, in hunters placings are less transparent. Your round was further from the ideal hunter round in the judge's view, but you don't get direct feedback to get new boots or anything.


      • #4
        Outside of illegal tack (ie boots, bellboots, polos, etc.) you won't get disqualified. But you will be penalized at the judges discretion, so depending on how unconventional the tack is and who the judge is, you could get dropped a couple places, or not used at all.


        • #5
          I would definitely look into a pair of consignment boots and jacket. RJ classics has a couple under 200 that look awesome. I've seen judges not place people for riding in unconventional tack (weird bit, wearing a polo in the hunters, bright crop etc.) are the Volants you have the red ones or the vented ones? Red ones are a definite no-no the black ones you could MAYBE get away with.
          My Horse Show Photography/ Blog


          • Original Poster

            I actually have both pairs of Volants, red side-zips and black back-zips (and yes, I love them!). I might risk wearing the black ones to a show, but my trainer would probably have a coronary.


            • #7
              I watched a girl (accompanied by her trainer!) go into a hunter class with a elevator bit as a warm up for jumpers. I know the horse and it could have done just fine in a snaffle. She was allowed to complete the round but she was not announced with the placings (less than six in the class). Embarrassing to watch.

              A good, inexpensive coat are the Devon-Aire ones. I have it in navy pinstripe and it looks very nice. I've used it extensively on the local circuit and in 'A' rated hunter derbies. I've heard Ovation boots are good quality for the price but they weren't tall enough for me.


              • #8
                I've never been disqualified, or seen anyone disqualified, for tack or apparel. I don't imagine they'd be asked to leave, but they probably wouldn't place. Hunters are still quite traditional, so I don't know that Ariat Voltants would have a place in the ring. You could probably pick up some passable, reasonably priced tall boots somewhere.


                • #9
                  The stuff you get DQed for is if your horse is wearing any kind of boots, or a martingale for the hack, or if you have a longer whip than is allowed.

                  Stuff like what brand/style of boots not so much.
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                  • #10
                    I'm a starter. Twice (same judge, different years) I've been asked to relay to a competitor that his or her equipment is not appropriate and that while the first appearance wouldn't be penalized, if the rider returned to the ring with the same equipment, he or she would be allowed to continue but would not place. Both local level hunter shows; first instance was a gag bit and the second was a long whip. (Long enough that when held properly, it nearly touched the tail of the pony.)

                    Neither that judge nor anyone else I've worked with has ever asked me to relay same about a helmet, coat, set of boots, saddle, or pair of breeches- and I've seen some pretty interesting choices of apparel. George Morris might throw you out for your boots but George Morris is probably not judging your class.
                    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

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                    • #11
                      If the judge considers your boots unconventional they will probably just not use you, not actually DQ you. Personally I would never consider wearing the Volant boots in the hunter ring though. Even their print ad in COTH shows them as "schooling" boots alongside a pair of "show" boots.


                      • #12
                        Wear the black Volants. Who cares. The judge shouldn't be worried about your boots in the hunter ring. Remember, a few years ago everyone thought the GPAs shouldn't be used in the hunter ring either because they were weird looking.

                        As long as the boots are black and therefore not distracting from the "whole picture" and you're not planning on showing in the AAAAAAA's, whatever you're fine.
                        Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.


                        • #13
                          When I switched from eventing back to hunters I forgot you could not use a flash noseband. The judge did not notice in my eq o/f class but I did not place in my flat and when I wondered outloud why I did not place one of the usual trainers on the circuit informed me that my flash was illegal so I took it off.

                          This past summer I went to a schooling show and when I mean schooling show it is where you take your super greenies out! I took my super greenie and in my one class the girl switched from the jumper ring to the hunter ring and rode in a 3-ring elevator. She clearly had the best courses but was dropped to dead last in every single class she entered.
                          "People who think their brains are not worth protecting are probably right!"
                          - quoted by Martha Drum


                          • #14
                            1) if you are well liked by the local trainers or the back gate person who knows something, they will say something to you before you go in the ring with boots, or martingale or flash, equipment that isn't supposed to be on a hunter for the particular class.

                            2) some people will go in the ring to get the horse around and schooled and it doesn't matter which ring, as long as the horse/rider is eligible. If they go in the ring with an elevator bit for a trip in the hunter ring they don't care about the ribbon, they care about getting the horse a good school. They have paid their money and get to go in the ring no matter what. They pretty much know they won't get used.

                            3) Rider's apparel - no one cares, unless the person is in imminent danger of being unclothed at some point.


                            • #15
                              In the USEF Talent Search the rider is usually buzzed out while on course for wearing a standing martingale. They usually announce it as an equipment violation.


                              • #16
                                I've seen a judge at a schooling show have the announcer stop a rider on course for not having a rubber donut on the standing martingale for safety reasons.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                  The stuff you get DQed for is if your horse is wearing any kind of boots, or a martingale for the hack, or if you have a longer whip than is allowed.

                                  Stuff like what brand/style of boots not so much.
                                  At the judge's discretion things like using draw or side reins in a hunter class can result in no placing. There are quite a few things that can be considered unconventional.

                                  But I've never seen a problem with the rider's boots. After all, many use paddock boots with good fiting half chaps even in rated sections.
                                  Fan of Sea Accounts


                                  • #18
                                    I have seen someone excused for bell boots in the hunters. They were allowed to return once removed. It was really muddy, but there had been no announcement that bell boots were permitted.
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                                    • #19
                                      I second everyone previously you won't get disqualified but either won't place or won't place as highly. It's completely up to the judge. You can always do a few hunter shows in your Volant boots to make sure that is what you want to do with your horse before buying the equipment. Definately look around for a consignment shop near you you can find great deals usually.

                                      Only time I saw someone DQ'd during the show was when a very large rider was on a horse too small for her. She was unbalanced when posting and it looked like the horse might fall over so the judge asked her to stand in the middle and exscused her when the class was over. I also self DQ'd myself at one show when the pony I had drawn to ride refused to go faster then a walk (with a crop and spurs) and I was blocking everyone trotting/cantering around me. I just walked into the middle, waited until the class was over and left. Found out later he had that habit and they were just hoping he wouldn't do it since they were short on horses. The judge was nice and placed me high during the next class on a different horse after asking me if the horse I was riding was mine or the barns.


                                      • #20
                                        It is my very personal belief that far too many fashionistas think the judges actually give a crap about brand, style, and in some cases, color the rider chooses. I understand hunters (in particular) are deemed traditional (although I'd hate to think what one or more of my trainers would have said about what is seen in the ring these days), but if a judge had EVER marked me (or any of my students) down based on the above, that would have been the last time they ever saw my $$.

                                        Well-fitting, appropriate colors and style.

                                        Equine Photography in the Northeast