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Horse shows saving time and money. Theirs, not yours.

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  • Horse shows saving time and money. Theirs, not yours.

    I was going to post this on the Derby thread, but I didn't want to sidetrack that discussion.

    Horse shows do a lot of things these days to keep the day moving, rather than create the best experience. I don't know if these things are happening all over, but there are a couple things happening in my area that really take the show out of horse show.

    I didn't think it was right when horse shows started making the first round of a classic one of your hunter trips. Same judge, same score, same trip-pay twice. Adding to that insult and completely negating any specialness of a classic, you now do your second classic trip in your back to back rotation. For Pete's sake!

    The other thing that really annoys me is the double jog. You jog into the ring for the first class, jog back to the gate in the second class and then the announcer starts, 'First in the first class, and fourth on the second class...' Come on!

    If you don't have enough day to run a proper jog, you have too many classes. Horse shows will not, however, drop the money making opportunites in unrated divisions. For me locally, when the ring is standing around waiting on conflicts, it is usually one of a couple 'usual suspects'. The horse show needs to take a bit of control of these things. I realize they do not want to lose the trainers as customers but there has to be a happy medium.
    You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

  • #2
    I haven't shown in a long time...but they count the same round twice as two different classes and charge you twice now??????
    Good gravy...that's just wrong. On so many levels.
    Why are competitors not brandishing pitchforks and torches? That would spin me into a whole new level of pissed off.
    (and I'm a pretty mellow person)
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!


    • Original Poster

      Misty, if you enter the classic, usually your second hunter trip is also judged as your first classic round. So, you pay for the classic but might possibly not jump even one more jump for the money.

      Classics have become such a rip off. When I was showing my nice adult horse, I thought about trying to qualify for NAL. I was on a very tight budget. I entered my first classic, was second and the prize money for second place didn't even pay for the classic entry fee. Scratch that one!
      You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.


      • #4
        They've been running the hunter classics like that for a long time around here--both at the rated & unrated shows. Truthfully when I work in-gate, people seem to prefer it so they can do their all rounds & be done. They don't want to do all their classes & wait around for the end of the day just for a classic & then possibly wait even longer for a 2nd round. But I do get what you are saying--as the paying competitor, I feel like I am getting jipped. Especially if I chip in my regular 2nd round which is the 1st round of the classic. Now I've blown 2 classes so I am double peeved. Although when I put in a great 2nd trip, it then works to my advantage.

        As for the jog--again, they've been jogging that way around here for a long time. I remember back in my pony days it being like that (20 years back). Jog the 1st class down. Jog the 2nd class back. When the announce says "we'll pin them as called..." we walk out. But the announcer just runs down the 2 classes being pinned, he doesn't try to sort who got what in which class as he announces.
        "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"


        • #5
          That's sad IMO. Years ago we could kind of count on at least the first 3-4 places covering (and a bit) the entry fee. Depending on number of entrants, but it was very rare to not have at least 20. Made it worth the fee for the classics.

          ETA...Giddy-up...makes sense in a time management issue (since hunter shows are notorious for running late as heck) but would still want to see separate rounds for that or only one entry fee. Showing isn't cheap, and showing is for the competitor. They're the paying customer...barns should make some profit but not screw the paying customer doing that.
          You jump in the saddle,
          Hold onto the bridle!
          Jump in the line!


          • #6
            I totally agree that the way classics are run now is a downer. There is nothing special about the fact that someone counts your second regular round twice (and charges you for the privilege.)

            That is one reason I switched to doing eq this past year; at least when I pay my entries, I get to jump around!
            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


            • #7
              WOW, that is sad
              The reason I do jumpers. I used to love riding in classics in the 80"s & 90"s. They felt special, they WERE special. As an above poster said that people do not want to wait around forever for their rounds, and I totally understand this... show run way too long..., but does anyone else see anything wrong with the whole thing. People want to get done with their rounds. What is wrong with shows when exhibitors say that??? What happened to I can't wait to go in and see how my first round is and then try to improve the second one, or third? Classics were the best of the best... that is how you rode in them. Just getting your second round "over" so you can be done and then feel really negative about that round and to have also "done badly" in that round and have it count for the classic. This is so wrong! What happened to the Show in horseshow? As GM put it in his book, riding is a sport and an art.


              • #8
                Sadly there are now so many classics offered, especially at the 3' level, that they are no longer special. Rarely do you see people put on their shads unless it happens to be a larger prize money class & then it's usually run by itself anyways. People want their points for NAL, M&S & WIHS which is what most of these classics are for. The jr/ao classics (3'6") here are run that way as well so the juniors can do their classic rounds while they show & the same for the ao's. Seems nobody wants to wait.

                (playing devil's advocate )

                So perhaps show management is catering to the wants of the people? If show management ran classics at the end of the day, people might not stick around to show in them. And my understanding is the points are based off the amount in the class so it's to the rider's advantage if more people ride in them, right?

                And I do completely understand from the paying competitor's viewpoint--it is a rip to pay for 2 classes, but only get 1 round. But I've had it work for me (I put in a great trip) & I've had it work against me (bad trip).
                "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"


                • #9
                  I'm not sure about time saving. I grew up riding on Long Island and traveling around Zone 2 for A shows and it seemed the ring was always busy. The gate person put real effort into preventing an empty ring. The atmosphere at the shows was special, there was a buzz, there was real competition and people turned out to the 9's even for sunday C shows.

                  When I moved down here to the Mid Atlantic area I was amazed at how different the show atmosphere is. Rings sit empty for half an hour. Nobody is braided during the week for hunters, people are doing jumpers in blue breeches. One show ran their pony divisions on a friday and the rest of the show sat-sun....a whole day to run pony divisions?! What fun is it for the kids if they're the only ones there. Overall the quality of riding seems lower as well.

                  Now, let me say that I'm not saying the Mid Atlantic doesn't stack up to the North East. There was a 5 year hiatus from showing for me while I focussed on school, so things might have changed all over the country during that time.

                  I also can't stand how many unrated under 3' divisions there are now. Seems like there is a modified everything, pre pre everything, baby green everything. It gives some barns and trainers the opportunity to get everyone out and showing even if they are lacking in experience or lacking in horse. When I was younger you just didn't show if you weren't ready to go in a real division yet. If your green horse wasn't ready to show in at least the pre-greens or 1st years, you didn't show it yet. If you were 15 and riding a 16hh horse but only jumping 2' you didn't show yet.

                  I know that shows need to make money, and that catering to these riders keeps their entries up, but to me its ruining the show experience. By dumbing down the shows, they're dumbing down the riding, the training, the breeding, the horsemanship, all of it.

                  I'm not trying to be elitist either. If beginner riders/horses really want to show, go to schooling and other local shows. Having classes for "everybody" at AA shows is just disheartening to me.


                  • #10
                    I posted over on the derby thread prior to seeing this one. There were numerous people on that thread saying that horse showing has absolutely nothing to do with spectators.

                    Which is true... NOW.

                    I can tell you that the non-horsey Mr. Trixie is bored to tears after spending ten hours at a hunter show. My mother will come to watch and leave as soon as I'm done. There's nothing for someone who doesn't know anything about horses to get involved with or do... and there are even folks on that thread who suggest that even HORSEFOLK go watch other disciplines if they aren't (direct quote) "capable of appreciating" watching hunters, as they presently are.

                    Well... uh, what's special about that?

                    If we were to make horse shows a bit more exciting and spectator-friendly, I think the sport as a whole could really benefit. However, most show management feels that the way to draw in $ is through multiple entries in lower classes, not through sponsorships, fancy events, and spectators. Unfortunately, it then perpetuates mediocrity and leaves those watching positively ASLEEP.

                    We need to find a way to bring some special back in.
                    They're small hearts.


                    • #11
                      Along the same lines, what the trend has been around here is to shorten the courses in the non-rated classes. So while you might pay the same entry fee for, say, a low hunter class vs. an AA class, the course is only 6 jumps rather than the usual 8. I figure if they are going to shorten the courses, the entry fees should be less (perhaps it is the economist in me looking at the "price per jump"!)!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Trixie View Post
                        My mother will come to watch and leave as soon as I'm done.
                        The last time my mom came to a show, she left BEFORE I was finished. It was the best show I'd ever had on my horse, I won three classes of a five class division. She didn't even stick around to hear the placings called.

                        I can see it from both sides. I do want to show and be done, not becuase I don't like to show, but because I can then relax and enjoy the rest of the show: watch the big hunters, meander to the jumper ring, etc. I like back to back classes, although it would hate to pay for two classes and only get one round out of it. I would LOVE it if a division ran on one day instead of multiple days. In this economy, I could afford one day of showing. I, however, can't afford all the $$$$ associated with multiple days. Even a one night stay adds hundreds to the show expense bill (horse's stabling/shavings/feed, my "stabling", etc.)
                        Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                        Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by horsepoor View Post
                          Along the same lines, what the trend has been around here is to shorten the courses in the non-rated classes. So while you might pay the same entry fee for, say, a low hunter class vs. an AA class, the course is only 6 jumps rather than the usual 8. I figure if they are going to shorten the courses, the entry fees should be less (perhaps it is the economist in me looking at the "price per jump"!)!
                          That's insane.


                          • #14
                            I also wish all the classes in a division would run on one day. Even medal classes seem to go at least two and sometimes three days. They run each round on a separate day. This makes the cost of showing so much more expensive. It does not need to be this way.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PonyPenny View Post
                              I also wish all the classes in a division would run on one day. Even medal classes seem to go at least two and sometimes three days. They run each round on a separate day. This makes the cost of showing so much more expensive. It does not need to be this way.
                              Ah... but everyone makes more money that way. Trainers, braiders, etc...


                              • #16
                                you are lucky if you have the option of taking a stall for 1 day or 1 night. Most shows charge for the whole show. I like a division to be spread out over 2 days at least for a green horse. Nothing worse that sitting in the hot sun waiting for a rotation to get moving. Too much chance of burnout. For a made horse getting it all done at once maywork for some horses/riders.


                                • #17
                                  One possible compromise, if one "trip" counts for two classes (based on what apparently happens in the "breed" shows, is to have two judges (separately) judge the class. So you might be 2nd under judge A (regular class) , but 3rd under judge B (forst round of classic).

                                  That way you at least get a chance at two ribbons for your two entry fees.

                                  chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                                  • #18
                                    I don't think there is anything wrong with including the lower divisions at the A shows. Heck here in Colorado they DO NOT have a 2 foot division at the local shows unless you are short stirrup aged. You gotta jump at least 2'3"-2'6" with oxers if you want to show at the local shows (and that division is against pros on green horses). And beginner adult hunter (against other ammys) is 2'6"-2'9" with oxers.

                                    As an adult beginner rider I may never get over 2 feet. But I have a really good time and enjoy the competition. At the Colorado A shows, the 2 foot ring is separate from the rated division ring, so we're not really holding anything up. You should be thankful to us for subsidizing the costs of the rated classes ;p
                                    * Sunny * Ella (2006 filly) * Tank (2008 colt)*


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Giddy-up View Post
                                      (playing devil's advocate )

                                      So perhaps show management is catering to the wants of the people? If show management ran classics at the end of the day, people might not stick around to show in them. And my understanding is the points are based off the amount in the class so it's to the rider's advantage if more people ride in them, right?
                                      I think there's some truth to that, and while I agree with Midge in principle, I admit to being one of the guilty parties described above. In my neck of the woods, classics count for seriously good zone points and at least at the shows I show at, at least 4th covers the entry fee. So I'm really not entering them because they are special, I look at them as a way to offset my show bill first and foremost, and also as a way to get zone points, if we are in any sort of running.
                                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                                      • #20
                                        Most shows have trouble dropping their fees and need entries to make the numbers work. It's hard on them HOWEVER THEY ARE FEELING THE SAME PAIN WE ARE.
                                        To save money I have
                                        Always hauled my own.
                                        Gone to more B shows to avoid braiding bills.
                                        "A" shows manes only "AA" shows mane and tail.
                                        Gone to shows within driving distance to avoid Hotel room costs, dinners out, stall fees, HIGH bedding and hay costs.
                                        Gotten my own grooms.
                                        Most B shows no trainer at all....I don't listen any way.
                                        No schooling class(if I have to do that I should stay home).
                                        No equitation div at all.....not a priority.
                                        Cold water wash in Woolite my TS..no dry cleaning bills.
                                        Had 4 saddles. sold 2....only one butt....but big.
                                        Only doing div that offer SOME money.
                                        Check prize lists for hidden costs.
                                        Check the cost of pre entry/late fees vs scratch fee. Some times the scratch fee is $50 and the late fee is $20....Never entered unless I had to (like Harrisburg)before the show.Warned management I would be there PROBABLY.
                                        Harrisburg is a lot of bang for the buck...Exhibitor oriented. Only about $1000 for stall entries etc..
                                        WIHS IS EXPENSIVE AS HELL...lunging at 1:20 am to 1:40 am...schooling area the size of my living room...stall the size of my Dining room table....Well, you get the picture. Not worth it for the exhibitor.

                                        So I picked my div. my schedule, and cut the costs of showing this yr by 75% and still qualified for indoors....and "should" win a zone award.

                                        Just hating myself for not being frugal in the past 2 decades.