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Let's talk about horse show night watch.

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  • #21
    I signed up for night watch at Dressage at Devon. The lady who did it was awesome. She would monitor the horses at specified times during the evening and early morning hours, check hay and water, provide more if needed, and would write down what my horse was doing. There were notes as to whether my horse was up and sleeping, up and eating, or laying down asleep. Besides saving me a lot of time, and making it possible to go home and sleep, it was also interesting to see what my horse actually does at night.

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    • #22
      The braiders always are the ones to the rescue in my experience.
      There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
      inside of a man.

      -Sir Winston Churchill

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      • #23
        Originally posted by skydy View Post
        There was that huge ordeal at an FEI barn a few years ago. COTH had a story about that. Stallion ended up in mares stall, bred and injured mare, lawsuit etc...
        I can't remember if night watch was or was not involved.
        Yesterday morning at CSIO5* St.Gallen, Quismy des Vaux HDC was found quite badly hurt in her stall. During the evening between Saturday and Sunday, Otello du Soleil, the stallion of Roman Duguet, is t

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        • #24
          Wow. That is a crazy story about St. Gallen. Does anyone know if the mare made a full recovery?

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          • #25
            Originally posted by MHM View Post
            Wow. That is a crazy story about St. Gallen. Does anyone know if the mare made a full recovery?
            A follow up article from December 2015 included an announcement that she was retired from competition and would be a broodmare.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Edre View Post

              A follow up article from December 2015 included an announcement that she was retired from competition and would be a broodmare.
              Thanks for the information. That stinks.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by IPEsq View Post

                Luckily, the missing horse was a paint and not too hard to spot in the foggy dawn once we got to him.
                Tonto!! He was so bad! And it was hard to find him, as every time there was a sighting he was gone by the time we got there. We finally caught him down by the old indoor.

                I am not a fan of nightwatch, but you do have to remember that his escape was before cellphones, so even if they had called our hotel we may have already been gone.

                I am a fan of braiders (having been one as well...I for sure saw way more than nightwatch ever did)

                "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
                carolprudm

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                • #28
                  The only time I've seen night watch is at the FEI barn at a show. And honestly? Most times its just some random security guards who know nothing about horses and just sit in a tent at the entrance signing people in and out. Often they didn't even ask for my credentials when I went to do night check. There was actually a big scandal a few years ago at one of the local FEI shows. An owner (who also happened to be a judge) caught two grooms giving each of their FEI horses an injectable cocktail after hours. The company doing night watch got into quite a bit of trouble because they were supposed to be accompanying you to your horse past a certain time to make sure you weren't doing anything shady. Instead one guard was napping in his car, and the other guard was too lazy to go wake him. The owner only saw what was going on because she had to walk past the offending grooms stalls on the way out of the barn.

                  I personally check my horses very late in the evening (11-12pm) and then come back early the next morning (5-6am). Our barn usually has a few horses being braided so we don't worry too much during the in-between hours. I usually peek in all the stalls on the way to our horses just to make sure nobody is in immediate danger. I have actually come across quite a few cast horses just from doing that!

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by skydy View Post
                    There was that huge ordeal at an FEI barn a few years ago. COTH had a story about that. Stallion ended up in mares stall, bred and injured mare, lawsuit etc...
                    I can't remember if night watch was or was not involved.
                    That was in Europe.
                    .
                    I never had any issues with mandatory night watch at the KHP or anywhere else. Don’t know anybody that has although I’m sure they can’t be everywhere and it can happen. I know that several horses were delibratly let loose during the Maclay Regionals one night about 9pm during the Final round and test...by somebody who knew that would be when everybody would be at the arena. Nite watch was on duty and they saw the horses going up the hill, called for help from the State Police who were on the property. Horses were quickly recovered. Unfortunately it was a diversion for a smash and grab run thru the parking lot. The culprits were eventually caught fencing the stolen items, heard it was some grooms from friends whose property was recovered and returned to them by police.

                    .But nite watch did their job. And I am aware of at least one nite watch contractor who is quick to fire for poor performance and reliability in response to complaints. So say something if you experience issues.

                    Its not perfect and I’m sure others have different experiences but with these huge show grounds, it’s good to have somebody roaming around who can report a fire...and that worries me more then anything else.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                    • #30
                      A night check of my horse at a show said he was laying down a couple of times and eating a couple of more times one night. Only he wasn't in his stall, it was flooding so we were told to move him to another stall that was dry.

                      Other than that, no issues.

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                      • #31
                        I don't even know if our shows offer night watch, but I've often wished that we had it. I've had to catch a loose horse when I was the last groom at the barn, and I always wonder what I'm going to find when I go down in the morning.

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                        • #32
                          Not an ad, and this is not my product, but I saw this on Facebook a few weeks ago. Artificial intelligent stable monitoring system. Probably pricey, but super cool idea! https://mystableguard.com/

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                          • #33
                            Yeah, great monitoring system...at home where it’s not far to the receiving station. Not so much at outdoor venues with 2k or more horses stabled with hundreds of people up and down the aisles at all hours and restrictions on how many gadgets can be plugged in. Not going to pick up a manure/trash fire smoldering at the end of the shedrow either.

                            Sometimes boots on the ground are best,
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by findeight View Post

                              That was in Europe.
                              .
                              I never had any issues with mandatory night watch at the KHP or anywhere else. Don’t know anybody that has although I’m sure they can’t be everywhere and it can happen. I know that several horses were delibratly let loose during the Maclay Regionals one night about 9pm during the Final round and test...by somebody who knew that would be when everybody would be at the arena. Nite watch was on duty and they saw the horses going up the hill, called for help from the State Police who were on the property. Horses were quickly recovered. Unfortunately it was a diversion for a smash and grab run thru the parking lot. The culprits were eventually caught fencing the stolen items, heard it was some grooms from friends whose property was recovered and returned to them by police.

                              .But nite watch did their job. And I am aware of at least one nite watch contractor who is quick to fire for poor performance and reliability in response to complaints. So say something if you experience issues.

                              Its not perfect and I’m sure others have different experiences but with these huge show grounds, it’s good to have somebody roaming around who can report a fire...and that worries me more then anything else.
                              Yes, it happened in Europe. I didn't realize from the OP that it was only night watch in the U.S. was of interest.

                              I heartily agree that fire is a major concern.

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by MHM View Post
                                Is there some confusion here about terminology? To me, night check is when someone from each operation goes out to check on their horses at one point in the evening. Throw them a flake of hay, add a sheet or blanket as needed, etc.

                                Night watch is the all night service of walking up and down the barn aisles, glancing in at all the horses, and making notes on the piece of paper hanging by each group of stalls. The night watch crew would normally never lay a hand on a horse unless something has gone wrong. Loose horse, hurt horse, cast horse, and so on.
                                I did use the term "check" in one post. I was referring to watch. I've done both. Sorry for any confusion.

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by TheGroomStall View Post
                                  The only time I've seen night watch is at the FEI barn at a show. And honestly? Most times its just some random security guards who know nothing about horses and just sit in a tent at the entrance signing people in and out. Often they didn't even ask for my credentials when I went to do night check.
                                  Again, maybe it's a question of different terminology, but to me, the people described are not doing night watch. They're security guards who are supposed to check the ID for the people going in and out of the restricted area around the FEI stalls. That's not the same as a night watch person, whose job is to keep an eye on the horses by making rounds through the barns all night. A security guard doesn't really need to know anything about horses just to check ID, but a night watch person should certainly know something about horses.

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                                  • #37
                                    Hi everyone!
                                    At horse shows, there is nothing more important than having an effective form of night watch. Whether it's the hired staff going around the aisles to ensure everything is ok, or a camera system much like the Raflowitz's have installed. I am actually the east coast rep for a really exciting new company called StableGuard that uses artificial intelligence to monitor horses and their behavior 24/7. Our system is simply a camera in each stall, the use of wifi and our app downloaded on a smartphone. Much like Tracy, Brittni's mom, was able to watch the feed, our app allows you to do that as well. However, the app will set off distress alerts if there is an intruder, your horse is in distress (symptoms of colic, cast, etc) and through the app, event playback of an event that caused a distress alarm to go off. We do not want to replace the important night watch employees who check the horses in person, we simply want to help make their jobs easier and give owners peace of mind. Our system can pick up an issue, leg caught in hay net, horse violently pawing due to colic, and a night watch person can get to them before its too late.

                                    Problems like this, even at top shows happen all too often. Take St. Gallen 2015, a CSIO5* show. A stallion got out of his stall in the early morning and somehow broke into a Quimsy des Vaux HDC's stall; a mare of Kevin Staut's. Due to the incident, the mare sustained such serious injuries, that she had to be retired a few months later. Our aim is to help prevent situations like this from becoming a disaster both at a horse show facility, and at private barns as well. StableGuard was created by horse lovers to help other horse lovers feel at ease when their horse is at home or a horse show. Check out our website www.mystableguard.com or contact me if you want more info katherine@mystableguard.com

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                                    • #38
                                      I've had good experiences with night watch services over many years at Devon and also Vermont. Someone walks through every hour or so and writes a brief note about the horse in each stall--e.g., up and eating, down and snoozing, all quiet, etc. I always feel someone was actually looking. I guess it depends on the service.

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                                      • #39
                                        Anyone remember the horse in the river at Biltmore??!! Braiders to the rescue once again. Night watch - who knows where they were.

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Tackpud View Post
                                          Anyone remember the horse in the river at Biltmore??!! Braiders to the rescue once again. Night watch - who knows where they were.
                                          No way! That must have been an exciting night. Yikes.

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