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Update on Hunter judging perameters at WEF.

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  • #21
    You know, I could point out the narcoleptic horse at my barn who will fall down outside the ring à la Parkland if you don't walk him around every ten/fifteen minutes...

    But the bottom line is, don't penalize brilliance and start drug testing winners. I get the problems with going too far in the other direction (I have a dead quiet ottb who naturally goes like a hunter and wouldn't want him penalized) but don't penalize forwardness and a horse enjoying its job. And please drug test champion...even if its a random selection of 1 or 2 A rated hunter divisions per show or hunter classes with prize money exceeding $1k. (Or at least something! I know no one wants to see their fees increase just to drug test the 23 year old pony that wins the short stirrup hunter.)

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Perfect10 View Post
      But when all the horses are "prepared," then what exuberance are the judges to reward? Until the horses show that exuberance, the judges will have to judge what is in front of them, regardless of whether exuberance is allowed.
      Sure, but it seems that they are penalizing exuberance. They don't need to reward exuberance, they just need to not penalize it. If all horses are robotic and one has a fantastic but exuberant round, it doesn't get bumped just because it showed some life.

      (and when did a hand gallop = exuberance anyway?) It's a good thing I'm not a judge, because I'd be penalize the super slow lopers. I can't stand that look.
      Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
      Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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      • #23
        Those of you who doubt that drugging happens AT ALL LEVELS of competition are deluding yourselves. I have personally witnessed at trainer pull into the parking lot at a jumper night, hop into the back of the five horse diagonal haul and inject all five horses, ducking under the dividers for each one. No drug testing at this non rated event. She called it "liquid training". Same trainer regularly drugged one of the jumpers for it's owner's lessons so she could control him WHILE JUMPING. This trainer is currently very successful, has a full roster of hunters and jumpers and is a very skilled rider.
        Wake up and don't waste time getting defensive. There is at least as much money in horses as cycling, and look at the huge drugging problem in that sport. There are ways to drug and avoid testing positive, as Lance Armstrong so ably showed us.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by CHT View Post
          I think the problem trying to change drugging by changing judging standards is uneffective at best.

          saying to allow the horse to be a horse?

          Well, let's say my naturally dopey hunter has a lovely round, but another horse has the same round with a toss of the head and a flick of the tail for a lead change....which horse should win? The well trained and quiet one who didn't play in his changes, or the one that showed "personality"... just in case my guy was drugged?
          No...in the case of equal rounds, one quiet and one with some life, the judge gets to pick which they prefer. Just like with equal quiet rounds, the judge gets to pick the bay because they like it over the gray. Changing judging means that the equal round from the exuberant horse doesn't get ignored and has equal chance of placing. If there happens to be a tie...well the judge's preference gets 1st and the other gets 2nd. Simple as that.
          Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
          Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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          • #25
            Well said RugBug! It's that simple. If exuberance isn't penalized, the well-trained horse with some spirit left inside will be considered for a ribbon! Two perfect rounds, one with a tail swish and one without, will be scored according to the judge's preference with no penalty for the swish.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by arlosmine View Post
              Those of you who doubt that drugging happens AT ALL LEVELS of competition are deluding yourselves. I have personally witnessed at trainer pull into the parking lot at a jumper night, hop into the back of the five horse diagonal haul and inject all five horses, ducking under the dividers for each one. No drug testing at this non rated event. She called it "liquid training". Same trainer regularly drugged one of the jumpers for it's owner's lessons so she could control him WHILE JUMPING. This trainer is currently very successful, has a full roster of hunters and jumpers and is a very skilled rider.
              Wake up and don't waste time getting defensive. There is at least as much money in horses as cycling, and look at the huge drugging problem in that sport. There are ways to drug and avoid testing positive, as Lance Armstrong so ably showed us.
              I don't think anyone is denying that drugging occurs at all levels. But what do you do about drugging at unrated events? Everyone ponies up $30 extra to drug test a few random horses? And then what do you do if someone tests positive...take away their lunch money?

              USEF has the power to make changes that help curtail drugging. That is why the discussion is so hot - there are things that could be done that are not being done. But what can you do to a trainer who gives a horse something to prep it for a lesson?

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              • #27
                [QUOTE=Claudius;6872149]So I read that the rule book was suggesting that judges allow the horses to be horses, in an effort to discourage the use of drugs to accomplish the norm of today, the drug induced stupor. I came down and I showed and the horses standing around me all looked zonked. A gun could have gone off and they would not have moved. I realized last year that I could not stomach what was required to render my horse "properly prepared" in the eyes of the trainer who was helping me. Let alone the pressure to have a fake tail. ugh.
                /QUOTE]

                A gun could have gone off around this horse and she wouldn't have moved either: http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/z...ps3cbdcd3f.jpg . Trust me, that TB mare was NOT drugged nor LTD.

                Previously, I also didn't believe some of the hunters were capable of the type of quiet loping around big fences..Until BO got one in that truely makes me believe it is possible without drugging and excessive prep. He is a joy to watch, quietly loping up to a 3'6" fence and smoothly powering over it. And he is young and warmblood, this is his true nature.
                “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky

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                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  I too have had super quiet horses that went on to greatness. Most known were Ancient Line (HOTY) and Holy Smoke, and Sassoon. In my experience, these were unusual horses and worth a fortune. Most horses require more management than the super quiet ones. But they can be managed and produce lovely rounds.I have made many like that. But last year the trainer that was helping me and encouraging me to do more and more to my lovely horse to succeed, said to me," Those horses you won so much with...they wouldn't win now!!" And I know that all those lovely horses looked alert and interested when they entered the ring. They had lovely soft rounds and had beautiful form over fences. If that wouldn't win now, something is wrong.

                  It is just so discouraging to be privy to the short cuts that abound in our sport...somehow it has become unsavory to be around. And for me to feel that way is a surprise to me because there is nothing I have loved all my long life than going to horse shows.
                  "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt

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                  • #29
                    PARAMETERS

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Claudius View Post
                      So I read that the rule book was suggesting that judges allow the horses to be horses, in an effort to discourage the use of drugs to accomplish the norm of today, the drug induced stupor. I came down and I showed and the horses standing around me all looked zonked. A gun could have gone off and they would not have moved. I realized last year that I could not stomach what was required to render my horse "properly prepared" in the eyes of the trainer who was helping me. Let alone the pressure to have a fake tail. ugh.

                      I had the disappointing experience of keeping my horse on the grounds one night and coming to care for him early in the morning. The conversations overheard about, "how much' and "when" were all around me and I just got disgusted. I kind of gave up at that point. When will our organization put some teeth into the drugging situation??? It has to come FROM THE TOP.....that would take the heat off the trainers if the organization would require that people learn to ride a real, un drugged horse before they venture into the AA showring. Is it going to happen?
                      You never mentioned that the trainer offered you neferious suggestions to prep your horse. You actually seemed to love the way he went when you prepped him according to her (his?) directions:

                      Originally posted by Claudius View Post
                      This weekend at WEF was our first show since our prep adjustment. Last time he felt dead and I just could not see my distances. This time he was kick along quiet, but not dead. The first day in the Grand Hunter Ring (now called the Gene Mische ring ) I made distance errors and was out of the hunt. TODAY we scored an 80 (with a sticky change) and a 74 with a stickier change and a rap.....we were 4th and 6th respectively.....and 5th in the hack!!! We were finally IN the hunt, recognized and accounted for!! I am hoping we can reproduce the prep that lead to this happy result!! I want to thank every one again for the excellent advice given on this thread. I hope others will benefit from it as well.
                      Although you do say later in the thread that you stopped prepping because it was too much work.

                      Now -- if YOU could get those results with your horse using elbow grease instead of drugs, why do you assume that everyone else is drugging? Those people may simply be more dedicated to maintaining a program than you were. It doesn't mean that they are drugging.

                      NOTE: I realize that people DO drug, but not every quiet horse is a drugged horse. Some of us just buy and train horses appropriate for the hunter ring.

                      Once someone comes up with a drug that makes my horse never miss a change then I'll risk the testers for that one!!

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Claudius - but if you give up now, those drugging to win will have gained the upper hand. Find and train up horses like you had in the past - bring them to shows, have fun and not worrying about competing with the deadheads. If we all keep it up, the norm will be the ones looking alert and interested when they enter the ring.
                        “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
                          You know, I could point out the narcoleptic horse at my barn who will fall down outside the ring à la Parkland if you don't walk him around every ten/fifteen minutes...

                          But the bottom line is, don't penalize brilliance and start drug testing winners. I get the problems with going too far in the other direction (I have a dead quiet ottb who naturally goes like a hunter and wouldn't want him penalized) but don't penalize forwardness and a horse enjoying its job. And please drug test champion...even if its a random selection of 1 or 2 A rated hunter divisions per show or hunter classes with prize money exceeding $1k. (Or at least something! I know no one wants to see their fees increase just to drug test the 23 year old pony that wins the short stirrup hunter.)
                          Why not test the winners? Is other sports, winning athletes are tested. Testing the winners would either disclose drugging or put to rest all the accusations. Pretty soon there will be a test for higher than normal magnesium levels.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            More sad to me is that the quiet horse is immediately assumed to be drugged. More concerning than the head tosser being penalized IMO.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I think the bigger problem is the actual drugs that are being injected. Most of the things given at WEF and other rated shows will not test (Mag, Dex, etc.). Therefore testing the winners in a moot point. Until the drug tests catch up with the creative cheaters, more testing isn't going to expose the problem.
                              Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                              My equine soulmate
                              Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

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                              • #35
                                It's called "AWARENESS"!

                                Be aware of your horse. Read your bills. When you get a miscellaneous charge, ask about it.

                                Most clients at big trainers barns abide by the "out of sight, out of mind".

                                Have respect for your horses and be present for his care.

                                I have worked for a few trainers and have seen it all. I would never trust my horse completely with another trainer.

                                I keep my horses at home and ride them myself. My 5 year old will go to his second rated show and do pre greens next week. Will he win? Probably not. Will he jump around? Probably. Will he jump into some changes? Probably. Will he get dinged for a head shake or bobbled change, heck yes!

                                Heck, I might even show him in the hunter derby. He loves to jump and I want to enjoy having a horse with such young talent. He will win eventually, I have faith!

                                I hate that I have to watch horses go around with perfect head set, perfect changes, and no personality. In pre greens no less! Where horses are supposed to be green!

                                I mean look at the baby greens! If you don't get perfect changes, you can't even place! It's baby greens! Uuggghhhh!

                                Rant over.
                                I just wish people were more aware, cared more about horsemanship and Worked harder to get better at riding instead of having that "perfect" horse every time.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Refering back to how show hunters morphed from field hunters and you wanted a horse that would carry you safely over hill and dale: some of my best fox hunting experiences (Quorn Hunt in England) were on some pretty hot throughbreds that could jump the moon and keep up easily with hounds! Sure has heck wouldn't have done well in the show ring but were safe as could be out in the field.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by AmmyByNature View Post
                                    Once someone comes up with a drug that makes my horse never miss a change then I'll risk the testers for that one!!
                                    I always needed a drug that would make my horse find all eight fences perfectly, even though I was picking at him for the wrong distance up on his back.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by dani0303 View Post
                                      I think the best example I've seen of this lately was Bacardi in the WCHR Spectacular class a few weeks ago. He was jumping out of his skin and showing his exuberance on the landing side of the fence. Nothing major, just a head shake. The announcer kept saying he was "underprepared" and the judges scores reflected it. It was probably one of my favorite rounds of the night but only scored ~70.
                                      I saw the round and loved it, too, except for that giant, glaring miss to one fence that was very obvious to anyone watching, and was noted by the announcer as the horse "pulling badly past the distance."

                                      Would have been very interesting to see what the round scored without the chip and resulting not-great jump, but at that level you shouldn't be missing and low 70s isn't out of line for a very good round with a boffed fence.

                                      I do agree that the comments about being "unprepared" were uncalled for, and he was by far the most fun to watch. I also know that at least a couple of the judges on the panel appreciate a quality horse and would have absolutely no problem with the playing and headshaking.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        This whole drugging scene is somewhat more complicated tha just a "change trainers " war cry. I kept my horses at home and sent them to shows with riders/trainers. I would have sworn that they went to the ring clean but I have since found out that a couple of times there was LTD and drugging. I was the last to know although I admit to a Hmmm moment once. I have neither the time nor enough interest in showing to park myself 24/7 outside a stall to see what is going on. I assume riders were trying to make me happy/impress others/whatever else and just did it on their own. . It was always riders or trainers trying to tell me what I should think . No one ever thought to ask me about the journey my horses should take. terrible communication!! Why did I not move? To whom?? If people close to me were messing up how do I know the rest of the world ism't as well? The average trainer can lie flat out lie to your face and stab you in the back as soon as you walk away. Owners don't go into this game to be obnoxious, questioning, demanding, rude etc. But they can sure end up that way through no fault of their own.
                                        Owning a derby horse that has a great round but makes an oppsie would still be a great thrill.

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by dani0303 View Post
                                          I think the bigger problem is the actual drugs that are being injected. Most of the things given at WEF and other rated shows will not test (Mag, Dex, etc.). Therefore testing the winners in a moot point. Until the drug tests catch up with the creative cheaters, more testing isn't going to expose the problem.
                                          Dex is not forbidden and it will test.

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