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Knocking a rail in hunter vs eq?

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  • Knocking a rail in hunter vs eq?

    I was at Marshall and sterling finals this past weekend and while watching the upper level hunters I watched a beautiful hunter course and the horse knocked a rail, automatic 45. I watched an eq course and the horse knocked a rail and it was a mid 70. I asked another competitor/spectator and she tried telling me that because it's the horses fault in hunter and in eq so because hunter is on the horse they take off more. I know the reason a horse hits a jump or rail, when competing at their appropriate jump height is rider error; sitting back too fast/not out of the saddle enough or getting your horse to takeoff too long or short, if it is rider error, how can they not take off more in eq? Also I was taught that in eq never to swap in a bending line yet in the upper level eq I was noticing some risers swapping?
    "Fifty years from now when you're looking back at your life don't you want to be able to say you had the guts to get back on that horse?"

  • #2
    5 or 6 years ago, the winner of the Medal Finals at PNHS took a rail.
    Experienced riders are not prone to brag. And usually newcomers, if they start out being boastful, end up modest. -C.J.J. Mullen


    • #3
      A rail is a pretty standard 4 point deduction in the eq at this point. Sometimes it is rider error, and the judge may take more off, but sometimes it's just a horse not being careful with its front/hind end and knocking it. I know some judges (R and r) who will not penalize the rider if they feel the rail was the horse's.
      In the hunters, you automatically get a 45 or a 50 because it is judged on the horse, and if that happened out in the field over something that doesn't fall down, you would be in big trouble.
      Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!


      • #4
        If the judge decides a rail down is the horses fault, they may not penalize you in an eq. class
        In a hunter class, a rail down is a serious fault and will be scored that way.
        One is judged on the rider, the other on the horse.


        • Original Poster

          I know which is judged on what but if you have a horse competeing at 3'6" and at a final it should be given that the horse can succesfully jump 3'6". If the rider buries the horse or takes off too long and a rail comes down I would think it should be more than a minor deduction because that is rider error or more especially if the horse knocks a rail due to the rider sitting back too fast or not releasing properly especially in equitation because it's judged on the rider. I just found it incredibly suprising because I know our state medal final, a rail down will basically guarantee you won't be in the cutoff. All in all I was very disappointed with some of the judging, not for my own benefit because I believe I got the scores I earned but I felt like alot of good trips were scored very conservatively while others were hardly scored as hard. I think if anyone else was there they may have witnessed it.
          "Fifty years from now when you're looking back at your life don't you want to be able to say you had the guts to get back on that horse?"


          • #6
            Judge's discretion. If a horse is just plain careless with his legs, and the judge determines it is not the fault of the rider, then they will not ding the rider for it. It is true that generally the reason a horse has a rail is directly attributable to rider error, but not always.

            And sometimes the judge plain doesn't see the rail. Sometimes they don't want to see the rail.
            Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


            • #7
              When DD was competing last month in the CPHA medal finals they had the 4 point deduction someone talked about for a rail. There were two judges and after the announcer said the scores, if a rail was down he would then say there was a 4 point deduction.

              A couple of years ago older DD was competing in an open eq challenge class at our association's year end show. She was 3rd the first night so came back to compete in top 10 the second night. In her second round she was riding beautifully and her horse pulled a rail. The judge took awhile before her score was announced and they still gave her over 80 for the round.


              • #8
                Standard thinking now is a 45 for a rail in the hunter round and a 4 point deduction in an eq round - assuming it is the LEAST of the faults that occurred at the jump. If the rail is clearly the riders fault because the rider dead missed and planted her horse at the jump her score will reflect that - and be in the 60's or very low 70's.
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