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A/A vs. A/O's

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  • A/A vs. A/O's

    As someone who has regularly competed in both divisions, I wanted to know your personal opinions regarding which division is more competitive within your zone and why?

  • #2
    A/A's are more competitive in my zone, the A/O's at local shows don't even fill around here.
    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." ~ Albert Einstein~

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    • #3
      A/Os are way more competitive in my zone at the summer shows... in the winter, they're pretty small though.
      http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
      Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

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      • #4
        I agree, I have watched the Duke Benefit show in Raleigh, NC and the A/O division is so much smaller than the A/A division. Don't quote me on these numbers but I felt like it was 7 horses in the A/O and over 30 in the A/A

        This is what I observed at one show, one time. I saw just as many nice horses in the A/A as I did in the A/O

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        • #5
          Your question isn't framed well.

          AOs are generally harder to fill, so "less competitive" but the quality is higher. I rarely see anything but a "GORGEOUS AO" whereas while the AA's are easy to fill, you see plenty of nasty knee-hangers mixed in with the fancy ones.

          Which is just to say that its more competitive to have to beat 4 gorgeous horses than 4 good and 4 bad.

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          • #6
            How about the compromise of the 3'3" new A/O div this year. It provides $$$ back and isn't loaded with Shamateurs. If the a/o's and jr div don't fill it helps them fill. Last AA show I went to had 22 3'3" a/o's.
            I find that the AA div is too small fences and the 3'6 is to gamey for me. I won a lot in the AA div and am over it. I havent' won as much with the 3'3" a/o s but still will qualify for indoors. I haven't spent as much money this year....not as many shows...money back...RECESSION DIVISION.

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            • #7
              I find that (in zone 3) when the A/O's fill (Upperville, HITS, Lexington etc) they are quite competitive but anything in-between (Lower rated, less attended rated shows) the competition can be quite dismal. Overall the A/A's is much more competitive division. On average there is well over 20 horses and is far as hacks go my OTTB could win or at least pin top 3 in the A/O's but there seems to be a much more competitive u/s scene in the A/A's.
              Punch!
              http://community.webshots.com/user/punch2800

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              • #8
                IMO...

                I agree that as far as numbers, the A/A's are twice if not three times bigger than the A/Os. For example, in 2008 at Blue Rock which is an "A" there were around 14 younger A/Os and around 42 younger A/As. However, there is alot of nice 3' horses but, i have to agree that the quality of the A/O horses are higher and therefor just as much competitive. 3' is usually pretty easy for the "average" "athletic" horse, however 3'6 is not.
                P=N
                If you run out of patience, you run out of nice.

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                • #9
                  Hard to say up here.

                  The Younger AA's have about 50, but double pin. The A/O's have about 25. There are some really fancy horses in both divisions. Rider capabiltiies also seem pretty on par with each other.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I dunno...the last A/A I did before mare and I retired and dropped to 2'6", I was soundly beaten by Dialogue L (after his "retirement" ceremony at Indoors) and Skyy...I see Red Panda in there now.

                    Nasty knee hangers indeed.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                      Nasty knee hangers indeed.
                      Agreed
                      Punch!
                      http://community.webshots.com/user/punch2800

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pleasedaspunch View Post
                        Agreed
                        I didn't mean that they all were. Just that in with the ex-HOTY types you also have Joe-Schmo the average guy who can jump around 3'.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The AAs where I am are insanely competitive. The horses are so fancy, some of the best movers at the show. The A/Os are good too, but there are a lot less of them. I find that the same errors are made in both divisions- occasional deep distances, late lead changes, etc. In the AAs in my area, there are so many good amateurs riding sale horses, which makes it even tougher to get a ribbon. I think the cut off for the AA classic at the last horse show I went to was an 80. I hear scores of 86, 87, etc. all the time.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Pirateer View Post
                            I didn't mean that they all were. Just that in with the ex-HOTY types you also have Joe-Schmo the average guy who can jump around 3'.
                            There are definitely more fancy horses than average horses in the A/A's in Zones 3 & 4.
                            "Owning a barnyard animal is not as easy as it looks on the internet."-Rob and Big

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                            • #15
                              Yes, but are there ANY average AO horses?

                              Originally posted by RodeoGirl View Post
                              There are definitely more fancy horses than average horses in the A/A's in Zones 3 & 4.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Maybe there aren't any average A/O horses, but the riders still make mistakes so an "average" AA horse will still beat them if they put in a flawless trip. So if there are 4 A/Os and 27 AAs, the AA division is going to be tougher.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Pirateer View Post
                                  Yes, but are there ANY average AO horses?
                                  Yes.
                                  "Owning a barnyard animal is not as easy as it looks on the internet."-Rob and Big

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    OK, please forgive my ignorance, but I'm not competing at the rated levels yet so I don't quite understand why an A/O horse is typically going to be fancier than an A/A horse. I understand the general difference between the A/As and the A/Os in that the A/As don't have to own the horse they ride, but beyond that, I don't get it. Can someone please enlighten me?
                                    "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
                                      A/Os are way more competitive in my zone at the summer shows... in the winter, they're pretty small though.
                                      I don't think this is right. I am in Zone II and generally even at the large AA shows there are at most 15 in the A/Os where the same show will have 35 in the A/A hunters. If you mean needing a nicer horse that's something different but generally the A/A divisions are always twice if not three times larger than the A/O hunters.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                        I dunno...the last A/A I did before mare and I retired and dropped to 2'6", I was soundly beaten by Dialogue L (after his "retirement" ceremony at Indoors) and Skyy...I see Red Panda in there now.

                                        Nasty knee hangers indeed.
                                        Didn't they just have a page in the Chronicle this week (or last week) Retiring Dialogue L. Popeye K did the A/As in Vermont last week. You can get some fancy horse in that division for sure.

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