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MHJ Medal Finals Qualifying Classes At Non-Rated Shows?

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  • MHJ Medal Finals Qualifying Classes At Non-Rated Shows?

    How is it that there are now qualifying classes for the MHJ Finals at show that are COMPLETELY unrated otherwise?

    I realize that MHJ is it's own entity so there is no governing board or much of a set of rules and regulations . . .

    Just venting my ugly feeling about this I guess!

  • #2
    LOL!!! I know exactly what you mean. MHJ never meant much and with htis development it means even less. They also don't have to fill to run. I was at a show in November (a schooling showat a local barn) that had an MHJ qualifyer and it ran with one rider

    Isnt MHJ a brainchild of Clawson's? It is not under any governing body, as you stated.
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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Silk View Post
      LOL!!! I know exactly what you mean. MHJ never meant much and with htis development it means even less. They also don't have to fill to run. I was at a show in November (a schooling showat a local barn) that had an MHJ qualifyer and it ran with one rider

      Isnt MHJ a brainchild of Clawson's? It is not under any governing body, as you stated.

      Yes, it is Scott Clawson's and his alone - thus he can obviously do as he pleases. I believe that while classes can run without the minimum, only half points are given - but that's still crazy to me!

      The MHJ Finals, while not as large, and many would argue not as prestegious as MHC Finals, have still drawn a large and quality following at the finals. The vast majority of the riders winning in those finals are winning/placing at other finals as well. This year was a perfect example with Andrea Robbins winning both MHJ and MHC Finals and Catherine Kenny was a force to be noticed at all the finals this year.

      As a participant, I guess that my feeling against permitting the qualifying classes to be held at shows that are COMPLETELY unrated is two-fold. First, to me it "cheapens" the meaning of simply qulaifying - if that makes any sense. Second, I feel for the many one-day rated show managers in the area. At times, the classes can be tough to fill at these shows - particularly as the outdoor season goes on (not just MHJ medals, but others as well, particularly now that there are more winter shows than ever before). Adding more qualifying opportunities will just dilute the qualifying classes at all the shows, rated or not. And what about the judges and stewards - at rated shows judges have at least demonstrated their competence in order to get their card and stewards are there to enforce rules and regulations. At a un-rated show, they can run by their own rules. I guess it's just not as much of an "equal playground" - and this sport is subjective enough by nature.



      I just want to note that this is not meant to be derogitory against the un-rated shows. I know of some who run a top quality show.

      Comment


      • #4
        We run the qualifying classes at our barn shows, which are Mass and NE rated. Do you mean that the classes can be run at shows with no rating, or are you talking about "non-rated" as meaning non-USEF rated? I have no problem with them running at Mass/NE shows, but they should have four to fill the medal, just like the other medal qualifiers.

        I have found the competition to be quite good at the finals, though the classes are smaller than at MA/NEEC finals. I do find it a bit insulting to say "it doesn't mean much." I was proud to win the MHJ finals this year and to be 2nd at Mass. Finals!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by katie16 View Post
          Yes, it is Scott Clawson's and his alone - thus he can obviously do as he pleases. I believe that while classes can run without the minimum, only half points are given - but that's still crazy to me!
          I think it's a pretty simple business decision. The more shows that run the classes, the more horse show fees Fieldstone can collect. The more people that qualify, the more $200+ entry fees Fieldstone can collect in August (and stall fees, and practice classes . . .). In the first year of the MHJ you could just "pay to play" at the finals. For an extra $100, you could show in the class.

          That said, I don't think diminished qualifying criteria in any way detract from the prestige of winning the finals. As others have said, many of the top riders in the region attend. And though I haven't been in the last few years, my memory is that the courses were technical and big (unlike, say, the MHC Finals).

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          • #6
            I think my problem with running these qualifying classes at comletely unrated (not even NEHC rated) is the fact that the judges/judging can vary so greatly. True that judging can vary in any setting but at some of these barn/schooling/winter series shows the judging can be very, very questionable. I suppose it really doesnt matter since the playing field at the finals sort of levels the field.
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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by gotanda2 View Post
              . . . Do you mean that the classes can be run at shows with no rating, or are you talking about "non-rated" as meaning non-USEF rated? I have no problem with them running at Mass/NE shows . . .
              Yes, I do mean shows with NO RATING AT ALL - not Mass nor New England sanctioned. Shows that run totally under their own rules.

              Comment


              • #8
                One element of this "concern" seems to reek of elitism. If finals will sort the men from the boys in the end, why do you care which honky tonk venues and judges allow riders to get there? Assume that the cream will rise to the top, and the problem goes away.

                But the ability to qualify at unrated shows might help one kind of good rider. Imagine you work with a trainer and would like her help at shows. You might be the best-- best educated, best mounted-- rider in her barn. The rest of her client base dictates that she spends her weekends at unrated shows. You have a problem. Either you must convince her to join you (a lone client) at the rated shows it takes you to qualify, or you must go alone-- just when you really need that pair of eyes on the ground.

                It really can help the rider and trainer who sit at the cusp of the un-rated/rated divide to move up.

                The things that are objectionable about unrated shows are (in my mind, and in this order): No drug rules or enforcement, poorly designed courses or footing, bad judging. The point is that by making the gab between rated and unrated showing large, you effectlvely seal off some horses, riders and whole training businesses to a world of showing that's doesn't have much quality control.

                You may not like inclusion of the po' folks as a philosophy. The USEF arguably doesn't. But it helps horses, riders, trainers and the sport's reputation when we create a porous boundary between more- and less-expensive ways to show.

                Equitation divisions with finals are a great way to do this. They encourage the person who lacks the fancy horse to learn to ride well, get their horse broke and pursue a long-term goal. In some sense, it's a nice "democratizing" division in addition to the jumpers where people complain that "lesser" horse and rider teams get competitive through hardware, and rough riding.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good points, MVP although I don't think Katie16 was thinking along the lines of elitism. The concern might be the watering down of the qualifying process, where at one oint qualifying in itself may have meant something special.
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                  • #10
                    I don't get threads like this.

                    If you are so sure that the riders at schooling/unrated shows suck so badly that they don't deserve to qualify for it, then it should be really easy to beat them once they get there.

                    What are you afraid of? That they will embarrass themselves OR that they will beat someone who so rightfully qualified at a rated show?

                    Maybe the riders that qualify at the unrated shows can wear some type of identifying arm band JUST IN CASE THEY PUT IN A GOOD ROUND - the judge will still now that they really do suck.

                    I think the hunter riders as snobbier than the dressage riders sometimes.
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                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Silk View Post
                      Good points, MVP although I don't think Katie16 was thinking along the lines of elitism. The concern might be the watering down of the qualifying process, where at one oint qualifying in itself may have meant something special.

                      Yes, Silk, you read my thinking correctly. Thank you.

                      Akor - I think that you might have jumped to some incorrect conclusions given the reply that you posted. My concern is not with the ability of the riders at the un-rated shows vs those at rated shows. I do not understand where I posted anything that said that was my belief.

                      Instead, my concern, as expressed in previous posts, lies with the lack of consistent governing rules and regulations between un-rated and rated shows. It bothers me that those who compete in the qualifying class at a rated show would have to abide by rules/regs that someone competing in a qualifying class at an un-rated show would not. I simply feel that if the qualifying criteria should be consistent.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by katie16 View Post

                        Instead, my concern, as expressed in previous posts, lies with the lack of consistent governing rules and regulations between un-rated and rated shows. It bothers me that those who compete in the qualifying class at a rated show would have to abide by rules/regs that someone competing in a qualifying class at an un-rated show would not. I simply feel that if the qualifying criteria should be consistent.
                        But don't you think that influence actually flows in the other direction-- from the final round and rated shows "down" to un-rated shows and judges picking qualifiers?

                        Again, should some rebel somehow slip through the cracks and make it to the finals, why worry? I assume they'll be judged by that same and presumably better standards there. More to the point, everyone knows that and the riders, at least, are aiming for those. I see no reason to prohibit people from trying.
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Would you be OK with unrated or 4H shows holding Maclay classes? What about non NEHC shows holding NEHC classes, like the NEHC pleasure? That one is a year end high point award. Why not let anyone go to pony finals? Why cant any champion at any show qualify a pony for PF?
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                          • #14
                            What show was the qualifier held at?? All the shows in MA & RI that I know of are at least NE & MA rated right now.
                            Both MHJ and SEHA changed the specs for the medal classed so that if you came to a show(spent $ for trailering, braiding, coaching, ect.)you would at least get to do the class and receive 1/2 points. Both require at least 2 riders compete for the class to count.
                            The Finals in any Medal are the FINALS. We see riders at all types of USEF show qualify for the USEF Medal and Maclay and do they really have a shot? But that is another subject already been beat to death. LOL

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What really annoyed me this year was when they opened the SEHA final to anyone willing to pay the day of the show. That's the last time my daughter will do SEHA -- You spend the money to go to enough shows to qualify, when we could have just waited until the day of the finals to show. It really took a lot of the meaning out of being in a final for my daughter. It just became another show.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Thats too bad about SEHA. It used to be a fun final. Cape Cod Hunter is close to going that route- you qualify by qualifing(sp?) for any other final.
                                Eight Fences Farm. Mansfield, MA

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