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"Judges Discretion" WTF??

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  • "Judges Discretion" WTF??

    OK, took some kids to a schooling show today, it is a local circuit that we show on some. They USUALLY have some pretty decent judges, but today was a total mess!! THe judge not only had no idea regarding what a GOOD mover was vs. a bad mover but didn't even seem to know the SIMPLEST of rules! It is one things to watch a judge pin a horse or rider based on their opinion, when you know they don't know a durn thing, but totally another to not know rules. THis judge was ELIMINATIONG riders with one refusal in O/F classes! She did several times to several riders. When I asked WTF, the ring steward said the judge said it was at "her discretion". Now she wasn't excusing them from the ring, she let them retake the fence and continue the course (WHICH is you ARE eliminated you are excused at that point, not allowed to continue), but when the class placings were called, anyone with a single refusal did not get a ribbon (some of the classes had 6 riders to ride, 6 ribbons and four ribbons were awarded for example). I was simply GOBSMACKED! She also pinned horses in the hack with standing martingales and let one horse win repeated classes with a figure 8 noseband. In my opinion, regardless of the level of showing, a judge should know the simplest of rules! THere are a variety of levels of riders at this circuit, from very small inexperienced kids to kids that show regularly on the "C" circuit (as most of mine do). The wrong message is sent to kids when the don't win or DO win and a rule is broken. THe other issue is that kids may be in the point standings at this circuit for their series end awards, and might have had one unfortuante refusal, and perhaps should have a ribbon and did not get that so their points suffer. Yes, I DID bring this up to the show management, as did quite a few others. So this is a rant more than anything, but honestly HOW can you call yourself a "judge" and do things like this?! Obviously if I see her name again as a judge I am not wasting my money!
    www.shawneeacres.net

  • #2
    I'm going to a show in a few weeks that says "standing martingales permitted on the flat" I assume because it is a schooling show and to make things run smoother. No big deal for me.

    Understand it's very unconventional but maybe that horse was by far above the better mover so the judge went for the best mover with the most unconventional noseband? Not something you could get away with at a higher up show probably.
    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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    • #3
      Are you really complaining that kids with refusals didn't get ribbons? Seriously?

      Comment


      • #4
        It was a schooling show. You win some, you lose some.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JinxyFish313 View Post
          Are you really complaining that kids with refusals didn't get ribbons? Seriously?
          My thought too. Get over it.

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          • #6
            Had a similar situation happen at a very local open show that some of the local college girls and I went to for practice. The judge was incompetent but since the association had hired them, and they didn't have a replacement, they had to use them for the day regardless. They just didn't get re-hired.
            Write it off as a crappy day and explain it to the kids.
            "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."

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            • #7
              I have known judges that will use the "judges discretion" if they have a large class which keeps the show moving, or riders that were not riding their horse well enough for one reason or another.

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              • #8
                I don't for a minute read into the OP's post that she's mainly concerned about whether her kids went home with ribbons. I know it's a schooling show, but schooling shows are meant to be learning experiences for both horses and riders. The fact that the judge is either (A) completely unfamiliar with the most basic fundamental rules in the judge's manual or (B) knows the book but didn't care enough to enforce is just confusing to young riders. Bad example and all that.
                Still, kids are resilient and they'll certainly get over it if they haven't already. It's still a learning experience, and one that they're going to confront at some point anyway if they continue in the sport.

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                • #9
                  It is also not against the rules to have a figure-8 noseband, it is the judges discretion to penalize an unconventional noseband. I have gotten good ribbons on my hunter at "C" shows in the schooling classes with my 3-ring and figure-8. The ribbon thing is odd with refusals, but not the worst thing I have ever seen a judge do at a schooling show.
                  http://community.webshots.com/user/jenn52318

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    No I seriously do not CARE about the ribbons myself. But, at the same time, none of what was happening was "dangerous riding", just a few simple runouts or refusals, the judge wasn't hurrying things along, as she allowed riders to retake fence and continue, just to eliminate at the end. My complaint is that 1) a judge should know that one refusal in ANY jumping competition (with the exception of "fault and out" jumper classes) does not constitute elimination 2) this show runs according to USEF rules, so no, MArtingales are NOT allowed and 3) there ARE going to be kids (and none of them are mine so I don't have a dog in this hunt) whose series end points will be impacted by said "elimination". There are also kids who are just starting out, and yes, to them a fifth place ribbon out of five IS a big deal, the fact they "completed" a class, albeit with a refusal, but still manged to correct mistake and continue is an accomplishment, and yes their parents plopped the $10 down for a class, and little janie might like a nice pic of her smiling with her "first ribbon" and the pic sent to grandma! Sometimes we should look at the WHOLE picture, how the impact is overall. How maybe, just maybe some kid at the NEXT show thinks that one refusal is elimnation and gets one and doesn't finish her course cause she doesn't know better. Most of these kids have traienrs, but some don't. My point is about the "whole" picture and nessage this is sending. The message is that some rules can be "broken" by the judge, whether it be to the benefit or detriment of a rider.
                    www.shawneeacres.net

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                    • #11
                      Is it possible that the riders also circled on course, counting as a refusal?

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        No, it was not a circle on course either before or after the refusal, the judge admitted that she was eliminating one refusal, HOWEVER, one of my riders on a green horse overshot a turn and rather than put her greenie to the fence at a bad angle, she opted to circle and come back to the fence, as ribbons didn't mattter, we were there to school for a bigger show coming up. However, SHE ribboned!
                        www.shawneeacres.net

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mara View Post
                          I know it's a schooling show, but schooling shows are meant to be learning experiences for both horses and riders... It's still a learning experience, and one that they're going to confront at some point anyway if they continue in the sport.
                          I think the learning experience here is that sometimes things go wrong in ways that are completely beyond your control, and you can either get in a tizzy about it, or let it go gracefully and move on.

                          That choice will have a huge impact on how much you will enjoy horse sports for the rest of your life.

                          Could the judge in this case have been a last minute replacement? Sometimes emergencies do come up, and the show has to scramble to find a judge who is available, even if they're not the most qualified or experienced judge in the world.

                          Regardless, good sportsmanship in every situation is always a valuable lesson.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MHM View Post
                            I think the learning experience here is that sometimes things go wrong in ways that are completely beyond your control, and you can either get in a tizzy about it, or let it go gracefully and move on.

                            That choice will have a huge impact on how much you will enjoy horse sports for the rest of your life.

                            Could the judge in this case have been a last minute replacement? Sometimes emergencies do come up, and the show has to scramble to find a judge who is available, even if they're not the most qualified or experienced judge in the world.

                            Regardless, good sportsmanship in every situation is always a valuable lesson.
                            This. It seems to me that every time the OP takes her kids to a show, she has to saddle up her drama llama and take it for a spin afterwards. That thing must be fit enough for Tevis by now.

                            OP, you are a pro. You owe it to your kids to teach them how to deal with shows that don't go quite according to plan with grace, humor, and good sportsmanship. I have to say that there is nothing in the way you present yourself on this board that makes me want to do business with you, ever. While I am not really in your area, I imagine a lot of people on here are. Something to consider, don't you think?
                            According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We had a kid in a class for 1st year showing that did not get placed, even though she was much better than the other kids. It was first year showing, and it was on a borrowed horse, as her horse went permanently lame. One of the young college girls in my barn lent her a very nice warmblood, and worked with her for several months before the show. The family went out and purchased show clothes, hired a hauler, this was very important to the kid.

                              Parents of other kids on the rail were actually embarrassed and apologized for what was happening with no ribbons, when she obviously deserved them. The judge said later she did not pin her because she was too good for that class. ?!?!?! READ THE RULES! First year of showing.

                              Shouldn't the judge be required to follow the class requirements?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by loshad View Post
                                This. It seems to me that every time the OP takes her kids to a show, she has to saddle up her drama llama and take it for a spin afterwards. That thing must be fit enough for Tevis by now.

                                OP, you are a pro. You owe it to your kids to teach them how to deal with shows that don't go quite according to plan with grace, humor, and good sportsmanship. I have to say that there is nothing in the way you present yourself on this board that makes me want to do business with you, ever. While I am not really in your area, I imagine a lot of people on here are. Something to consider, don't you think?
                                The judging at some shows really has gotten quite out of hand. I don't think that it is a problem that should be ignored due to save face for 'sportsmanship' because it's getting worse, not better. A lot of judges aren't educated enough to be judging, and more programs need to developed to prevent this problem, even if it is just a program for local or open show judges. Many of them are just not up to date on their rules. Since I'm largely in the same area as Shawnee, I know that there is a state wide program in NC hosted by the cooperative extention service through NC State for open show judges, but, unfortunately, they did not hold that program this year. I expect it's due to budget cuts.

                                Now, I did go to an AA show last weekend for the Pre-Children's/Adult hunters, and I thought the judging was very fair. I don't think it's really a become a problem on the A circuit, but I haven't been to enough of them lately to feel like I have a sound opinion on that front.

                                To the OP, I look forward to meeting you at State next weekend! And good luck if I don't talk to you before then!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by loshad View Post
                                  This. It seems to me that every time the OP takes her kids to a show, she has to saddle up her drama llama and take it for a spin afterwards. That thing must be fit enough for Tevis by now.

                                  OP, you are a pro. You owe it to your kids to teach them how to deal with shows that don't go quite according to plan with grace, humor, and good sportsmanship. I have to say that there is nothing in the way you present yourself on this board that makes me want to do business with you, ever. While I am not really in your area, I imagine a lot of people on here are. Something to consider, don't you think?
                                  What?? !! Who said this had anything to do with my kids? My kids went out and had a good day, two champions and one reserve thank you, this had to do with other horses and kids and a judge that clearly does not have an understanding of the basic rules. I fail to understand why the fact that I question someone judging that is incapable of understanding that THREE refusals consititutes elimination, not ONE is "drama". My clients and students are perfectly happy with how I teach them to handle less than perfect days thank you! One of my students didn't have a great day with her lovely mare, who usually is winning the classes. She got nothing in her firs two classes in spite of excellent rides. As I told her, "Some days the judge likes you some days they don't, you had a good ride and nothing to beat yourself up over". You see, I remember the days when I was that little kid who got my first fourth place ribbon. I kept that ribbon for YEARS I was so proud of it. I had NO TRAINER at all, I took a little backyard horse and went out and "earned" my ribbon. It was a smaller county fair level show, but to me it could have been Madison Square Garden. i see that in some kids today (although less and less because they tend to have the attitude that so many on this board have) that even though they don't have the $100,000 horse, they can still get that little "first" ribbon. Frankly, from your posts there is nothing that makes ME want to do business with YOU so I guess at least we are of the same mind on that one! Oh yes, incidentally, we go to shows every weekend, sometimes two shows in a weekend as I have students showing at different levels on different circuits, sorry, but don't think I've posted a durn thing about showing for quite a while. THerefore, perhaps you should check your facts about "everytine I take Students to a show that I post" I only post when seriously QUESTIONABLE issues arise as it is up to the COMPETITORS to call the judges, mangement and stewards out when things are not going the way the RULES state they should, that is why they are called RULES, level playing field for everyone.
                                  www.shawneeacres.net

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Horseforthecourse View Post
                                    I don't think that it is a problem that should be ignored due to save face for 'sportsmanship' because it's getting worse, not better.
                                    It doesn't sound like the OP ignored the problem. She voiced her concerns to the show management, and noted the judge's name for future reference. Once the show is over, there is really nothing else to be done.

                                    At that point, you can decide to fume about it, or laugh about it.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by MHM View Post
                                      It doesn't sound like the OP ignored the problem. She voiced her concerns to the show management, and noted the judge's name for future reference. Once the show is over, there is really nothing else to be done.

                                      At that point, you can decide to fume about it, or laugh about it.
                                      You are correct that what should be done at the show is to talk to a stewards about rule infringements if it is a recogmized show, or, if not voice concerns to show management. However, after the show is over there is ONE other option, viode your opinion so that others seeing the same issues arise will also take action, as, I feel that judges should be held accountable for their actions. Granted this is not a recognized show, but they specifically say that they make every effort to hire qualified juges, often hiring 'r' rated judges to insure that the judging is up to standards. I feel that coming here, and stating this will give others the initiative to take action as well to insure that the competitors get the best possible experience showing, based on the stated rules.
                                      www.shawneeacres.net

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Well if you're trying to do a public service by alerting others, you would need to give some specifics on the judge and the show.


                                        As was pointed out, its not illegal to use unconventional tack, its up to the judge. So your only real gripe is with the refusal/elimination situation. Why do you even care? It would be one thing if it were the kind of situation where if you ignore it because it doesn't affect you now, the same thing could happen to you in the future...but honestly, do you care that much if one of your students didn't receive a ribbon after a future refusal? I wouldn't want my students to get rewarded for poor riding or poor decision making. Eliminating them is a pretty good learning experience.

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