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Hunter Breeding Politics... Why do they exist?

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  • Hunter Breeding Politics... Why do they exist?

    Over the past several weeks there have been many discussions both publically and privately on the topic of Hunter Breeding and the prevelant role that "politics" play.
    Personally I choose to use the phrase "old habits are hard to break" instead of "politics". Change is definitely needed in HB ..sooner than later.
    I am very outspoken and am very passionate about my convictions. I quote something stated to my trainer recently... "Bill is sure not making any friends...."

    First I am in awe of the amazing horsemen & horsewomen that have dominated HB over the last 2 decades. They have set the standards and achieved their goals. I really think they have so much knowledge to share. To me, the mark of a true professionial is someone who gives as much as they take.

    I have several questions that are my feelings and my concerns. Any advice/help would be greatly appreciated...

    1. Is there a mentoring program to teach people how to show/handle in HB, and I am not talking about clinics only?

    2. Why is there such a lack of encouragement and sometimes hostility towards those who may not be a "veteran professionial" showing in HB classes?

    3. Why are some horses overlooked, even if they are clearly superior in quality ... is this because of who is on the other end of the reins?

    Granted... I am not naive enough to believe that we can alleviate politics altogether, after all we are only human. But... is it really too much to ask judges to be fair and impartial?
    I also realize professionials have to earn a living, and this could be interpreted as a threat to their livelyhood if you will. That is not the case at all, many of us just want a fair and honest opinion of our horses, especially when we spend our hard earned dollars to enjoy our hobby.

    It's a statement like this made by a prominent professionial..."we all need to remember we go to shows knowing we are there for that judges opinion on that day. If there are certain judges who do not care for your horse in HB or Performance perhaps it is better to stay home that day rather than go and gripe: there is always another Horse Show", that infuriates me. Devon, Upperville, and Warrenton are not just another horse show.

    Change can happen much quicker than we think if we all work together. Plus the North American breeders have some really nice young horses, and the more people involved at this level the better. We need to attract people to HB... rather than make them feel "there's no room at the inn"!
    Last edited by SilverBalls; Apr. 6, 2008, 02:35 PM. Reason: spelling
    ~ Bill Rube ~
    http://www.bydesignfarm.com
    Check us out on Facebook

  • #2
    I don't know anything about hunter breeding but one thing dressage has done is add an amateur handler class to encourage new people to get involved and have a chance to get in the ring without going up against the pros.
    Positive Step Farm

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    • #3
      Amen. Your legacy is left in your mentoring. Your horse will be just a name 'of the past' later.

      Good leadership welcomes new blood, new energy, and gives recognition out to other's efforts. Good leadership is not about the individual's ego. It's 'leader'ship.

      Good horsemen should step off the rail and congratulate the owner/breeder of an overlooked animal that they deam quality. It would say a lot about your character. What ever happened, where did the quality of integrity disappear to today?
      Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

      Comment


      • #4
        Didn't PWynn start a similiar thread a bit ago? It went on and on. Probably covered this topic quite well. Let me look and see if I can find it.
        Sandy
        www.sugarbrook.com
        hunter/jumper ponies

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        • #5
          PWynn's thread was something like...exactly what do hunter breeding handler do? March 6 2008.
          Sandy
          www.sugarbrook.com
          hunter/jumper ponies

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by pony grandma View Post
            Good horsemen should step off the rail and congratulate the owner/breeder of an overlooked animal that they deam quality. It would say a lot about your character.
            I actually had Oliver Brown do this to me several years ago with a pony that I was showing on the line. It meant the world to me. Since then he has always encouraged me.

            I agree that these professionals should be helping to encourage the next generation but I don't think it is the other handlers that are discouraging people. I remember being so intimidated at the first few shows that I went to and showed my own pony, but by the end of the first season everyone was super friendly and nice to me. I have had several top handlers stop and talk to me and help me out.

            I think that the problem more lies in the judging itself and what is winning and why it is winning. There seems to be no system of responsibility on the judges. The are not really made to be held accountable for their decisions. They don't even have to give a reason for their decisions. Because of this system we don't even have a concrete way to say whether or not the judges and handlers are playing politics. I think some sort of score card would even the playing field and also be very educational for everyone in the ring that wants to know why they are or aren't doing well.
            www.facebook.com/SunsetPonies

            Comment


            • #7
              Well just my opinion but these groups tend to be small clicks that are very happy to have few participants and the same people winning all the time - whether the horses deserve it or not. There also seems to be a disconnect between the breed show winners and performance. We just couldn't justify feeding very young horses until they looked like sleek pigs, shoes on yearlings and trots that have NOTHING to do with what hunters used to be required to do in the field. The NJ Hunter Breed Association is disbanding due to lack of members and we don't nominate to the IHF because we feel it's not really producing and promoting good hunters. As far as politics - it's a huge issue but doesn't show any signs of changing.
              Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
              "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ise@ssl View Post
                There also seems to be a disconnect between the breed show winners and performance. .. and trots that have NOTHING to do with what hunters used to be required to do in the field. .
                A few months ago there was a thread that researched HB and IHF winners in regard to their performance careers. It pretty much debunked the myth that HB and IHF horses don't go on to do well.

                Hunters today have noting to do with what hunters are required to do in the field so no reason why HB should be any different.

                I would like to see Amateur Handler classes.
                Fan of Sea Accounts

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                • #9
                  Doing your part

                  Sorry Bill but I am becoming more and more dissapointed in the HB world...

                  In support, we nominated our stallion Beste Gold to the International Hunter Futurity, prior to the January deadline,I never was able to speak to a human being prior to sending my check, after several emails and calls.....

                  It is now April 6th 2008 ...

                  AND THE 2008 STALLIONS ARE NOT EVEN ON THE WEBSITE..


                  Today I called, the office is closed and now there is Kathy's cell phone on the message, so I called... her only comment was that the volunteer managing the site "dropped the ball" months ago and that she herself is computer illiterate.

                  It seems to me that a national level program with all of this monies, and top level professionals supporting it, could find a way to present a professional image.

                  Even the IHF seems "cliquish"

                  I could have NOT spent that money on this nomination and attended quite a few horseshows instead..
                  "It's not how good you ride, It's how good your horse covers for you." -Kristan
                  Magic Rose Farm- home of Beste Gold & Hot Shot
                  Beste Gold & Offspring on Facebook
                  Magic Rose Farm Warmbloods on FB

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by pony grandma View Post
                    Good leadership welcomes new blood, new energy, and gives recognition out to other's efforts. Good leadership is not about the individual's ego. It's 'leader'ship.

                    Good horsemen should step off the rail and congratulate the owner/breeder of an overlooked animal that they deam quality. It would say a lot about your character.
                    I couldn't have said it better myself!

                    In taking it a step further, good leadership agrees and disagrees with other members of the various organizations and sub-committees that they "set the tone" for.

                    How long does any one person hold a position in a USEF/USHJA Comittee?

                    Are they elected, appointed, or even self appointed?

                    Maybe start by limiting terms of office or how long one can volunteer on the same committe in the same position... And I am tired of that line... "nobody wants to do it". That may have been the case in years past, but there are plenty of people who would love to serve unselfishly.

                    Unfortunately, in my opinion HB is stuck in a "time warp" where people are reluctant to make any waves. Reluctant was not my first choice of words to use, but there's time for more descriptive adjectives in the future!

                    I have to agree that Oliver Brown is very encouraging, as are some others professionals. Tish Quirk is another person who has her finger on the pulse of HB. She jumps at the chance to share her extensive knowledge, and understands the trials and tribulations that many of us face.

                    All I ask is that everyone is judged fairly! I realize that HB judging is subjective, but sometimes blemishes and conformation faults are missed or perhaps overlooked... we'll never know.

                    Maybe some sort of numerical scoring in HB could help... similar to performance. Thoughts....
                    ~ Bill Rube ~
                    http://www.bydesignfarm.com
                    Check us out on Facebook

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by PineTreeFarm View Post
                      I would like to see Amateur Handler classes.
                      There are amateur handler classes, but I for one would like to show my yearling or 2 year old against other horses of the same caliber knowing he/she had a chance to win regardless of who was holding the reins.

                      I know we all think our own horses are the best... but in all fairness for us rely on the opinion we are paying for sometimes can be unrealisitc. More so, there are still some judges holding the clipboard that let other factors influence their decision.

                      I will try and remain optimistic for another year... I have thrown away my rose colored glasses.

                      BTW Wendy, Beste Gold is a wonderful stallion, and I am thrilled he is IHF nominated. I will defend the IHF because I wholeheartedly agree with it's primary purpose. Please be patient... as that program is moving in the right direction. And you better be at the HB shows... your stallion's progeny do quite well... besides I hear you are lots of fun!
                      Last edited by SilverBalls; Apr. 6, 2008, 02:39 PM. Reason: spelling
                      ~ Bill Rube ~
                      http://www.bydesignfarm.com
                      Check us out on Facebook

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SilverBalls View Post
                        How long does any one person hold a position in a USEF/USHJA Comittee?

                        Are they elected, appointed, or even self appointed?

                        Maybe some sort of numerical scoring in HB could help... similar to performance. Thoughts....
                        It all depends.

                        USEF Directors have term limits. There is a complicated formula that ensures Athlete Representatives are included. I think it's 20% have to be Athletes on Commitees

                        Working Groups are appointed from the Directors.

                        Committes are either elected or appointed by the President. Vacancies are appointed by the President.

                        Zone Commitees are elected at open zone forums.

                        Here are the requirements for USEF's Breeder commitee:

                        Section 2. Breeders’ Committee. The Breeders’ Committee shall be
                        composed of fifteen (15) members who shall serve a four-year term and who shall be appointed by the President. The President shall appoint a Chairman of the Committee and a Vice-Chairman of the Committee who may act in the Chairman’s place when the Chairman is not available. Members of the Breeders’ Committee shall be Eligible Athletes or
                        Senior Active Members of the Federation who are actively engaged in the breeding of horses which have exhibited in U.S. Equestrian Recognized competitions in two of the last three competition years. In making appointments to the Breeders’ Committee, the President shall endeavor to select men or women thoroughly experienced in one or more breeds/disciplines either through exhibiting, managing or officiating at competitions for one or more breeds/disciplines. The President’s appointments should, insofar as is practical, assure an equitable representation of breed/discipline interests on the Breeders’ Committee
                        by striving for geographic balance and fair representation of breeds/disciplines and breeder interests. The Breeders’ Committee shall review reports of breeders’ meetings and forums and foster and promote the best interests of all breeders.

                        I don't think USHJA's Bylaws are on their website. At least I couldn't find them.

                        Yes, numerical scoring would be great.
                        Fan of Sea Accounts

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sunset Ponies View Post
                          I think that the problem more lies in the judging itself and what is winning and why it is winning. There seems to be no system of responsibility on the judges. The are not really made to be held accountable for their decisions. They don't even have to give a reason for their decisions. Because of this system we don't even have a concrete way to say whether or not the judges and handlers are playing politics. I think some sort of score card would even the playing field and also be very educational for everyone in the ring that wants to know why they are or aren't doing well.
                          I was going to say that!! But since I don't show out there in that world I thought best to leave it to the others who do. But, exactly what I was thinking -- accountability in judging. You said it well.
                          Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by PineTreeFarm View Post
                            It all depends.

                            USEF Directors have term limits. There is a complicated formula that ensures Athlete Representatives are included. I think it's 20% have to be Athletes on Commitees
                            Working Groups are appointed from the Directors.

                            Committes are either elected or appointed by the President. Vacancies are appointed by the President.

                            Yes, numerical scoring would be great.
                            Who appoints the president, or better yet, how does one become president of a committee? How long is a president's term?

                            Accountability starts at the top....
                            ~ Bill Rube ~
                            http://www.bydesignfarm.com
                            Check us out on Facebook

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SilverBalls View Post
                              Who appoints the president, or better yet, how does one become president of a committee? How long is a president's term?

                              Accountability starts at the top....
                              I could have phrased that better.

                              Committes are either elected or appointed by the USEF President. Vacancies are appointed by the USEF President.
                              So yes, accountability does start at the top. LOL
                              Fan of Sea Accounts

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                The quality of the youngsters being shown has increased significantly over the past 15/20 years. What wins today may not have won even 10 years ago. We as breeders have risen to the occasion to meet that challenge, so why not the judging of our efforts?

                                I'd also like to see a numeric system in judging. We all would like to be able to understand, and it's long overdue for judges to become accountable in their selections.
                                Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Is the Hunter Breeding committee not a separate committee than the Breeder's Committee? I was under the impression that it is. And I have tried in vain to find either the committee members listed or the requirements to become a member of the committee on the USEF website.

                                  I also don't think that the professionals are the ones being unkind to amateurs. Every one that I know is VERY helpful when asked. But I DO agree that the judging will discourage a new competitor because the pros DO win 99.9% of the time, deserved or not. Many times, the amateur doesn't do a good enough job of presenting/preparing the horse. But many times, they do, and then are beaten by "the system."

                                  I know that amateurs and pros alike froze their butts off last Thursday at MD National!!!
                                  Laurie

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                                  • #18
                                    I always thought they were indeed separate. The Breeders Committee is listed (just the members serving) but I can't find the list of the Hunter Breeding Committee (yet).
                                    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Ilona,

                                      The NJ bred Hunters did not disband for lack of members but rather for leadership. the only people still there is treasurar, registra, and membership. It has been asked over and over for someone to step up and help and fell on deaf ears. Silverballs was many times asked to help but never got a reply. Please remember everything happens at the bottom to step up to the top.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The committee make up can be a little (or a lot) confusing. The USEF committees are different from the USHJA committes.

                                        The USHJA Hunter Breeding committee is actually called the USHJA Hunter Breeding Task Force. I believe it was orginally formed to create and manage the Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF National Hunter Breeding Championship. It does address proposed rule changes and issues affecting Hunter Breeding. Ray Francis is the elected chairman. Betty Oare was the orignal chairman and served for several years. I believe that new members are proposed by current members and are selected when openings become available.

                                        The USHJA Breeders Committee is a committee and the members are listed on the USHJA website. Hunter Breeding questions do arise in the meetings of the Breeders committee but the current focus of the committee is the effort to create an Incentive Program for American breeders. Hunter Breeding questions are discussed and possible solutions are suggested and actons taken to try to strengthen the divison. There are proposals that are in keeping with the requests being made here. But, it a huge task and will take time to implement and fund the proposed projects which are very much a work in progress.

                                        I appreciate the passion and dedication to our young horses that are voiced here and hope everyone will help us build and improve the ways we breed, develop and showcase our young horses.

                                        I am not on any of the USEF committees so I can't answer any questions about them. And I may not be totally correct in my answers about the USHJA committees....those are just the best answers I can give you without actually looking up rules.
                                        Standing Just The Best, More Than Luck & Lots of Luck www.tishquirk.com

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