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Devon Hunter Breeding moved from Thursday to Sunday

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  • #41
    Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
    I was just thinking about this because of the meeting tonight.

    HB folks are upset because their classes were moved to a quiet day at the end of the show and now they're not on the same day as a "big draw event," namely the grand prix.

    But the pony breeding has (as long as I can recall) been at the beginning of the show on a day when virtually nothing else is going on except equitation. So they've always had a quiet day without a "big draw." They even (gasp) managed to do their thing in the GOLD RING. Somehow they've managed to get by without a big draw. A lot of the same argument being made apply-- not all the vendors are fully stocked/set up, entries are light, no "big draw class," the pool of proespective buyers potentially isn't there yet. Isn't it the "gold standard" of their season too?! And yet they always seemed ok even if they were on the quitest/lightest day of the show?!

    So why is it such a problem that hunter breeding is now getting the same treatment that pony breeding gets/has gotten? Somehow they've always been ok even if not scheduled on the same day as the grand prix.

    YHUS has to be all "PA horses"... the class is "Young Hunters Under Saddle - Pennsylvania Bred" and aside from a sprinkling of BNRs it's always pretty much local PA owners, riders, owners, and pros.
    Where do I start? You are wrong on several points. First, we aren't upset about losing our day because it happens to fall on GP day! Where did you get that idea? It is nice to have the option to WATCH the GP, but thinking that is where our spectators come from is ridiculous. They come from day visitors who have a COMPLETE AND ACTIVE fair and vendors to see, and also want to watch some horses show. Thursday has been HB day since before any of us can remember. If the Derby isn't doing well, why do we have to give up our day? Maybe Devon isn't an ideal place for a Derby, or maybe the courses are boring. I doubt the day will fix it.

    Comparing the FIRST day of anything to the last is just silly. The first day is new, everyone is ready to go, vendors stocked, people fresh, with 10 days ahead. The last day of any run, be it a play, fair, horse show, finds tired people ready to go home, stocks depleted or sold out and nothing on their mind other than going home or to the next stop. Who is going to come to Devon for that? Not many.

    The horses don't need the quiet. That is just an excuse. If they have been prepared properly by attending smaller shows as prep, they do just fine.

    YHUS is NOT pretty much local horses. It isn't for PA BREDS, it is for PA REGISTERED, something any horse can be by paying a nominal registration fee. It draws horses from all over the east coast.

    Devon is our SHOWCASE show, the one we plan for all the previous year. The one we use as a measure when evaluating young horses (can he/she win at Devon?). Being put on the last day, like an afterthought, is not cool and is really a bit insulting to the owners who support these horses, the help, like me, who work so hard to have them PERFECT, and the handlers who want their day in the sun. I hope I am wrong, but I will definitely have to be convinced.
    Laurie

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    • #42
      Originally posted by lauriep View Post
      Where do I start? You are wrong on several points. First, we aren't upset about losing our day because it happens to fall on GP day! Where did you get that idea? It is nice to have the option to WATCH the GP, but thinking that is where our spectators come from is ridiculous. They come from day visitors who have a COMPLETE AND ACTIVE fair and vendors to see, and also want to watch some horses show. Thursday has been HB day since before any of us can remember. If the Derby isn't doing well, why do we have to give up our day? Maybe Devon isn't an ideal place for a Derby, or maybe the courses are boring. I doubt the day will fix it.

      Comparing the FIRST day of anything to the last is just silly. The first day is new, everyone is ready to go, vendors stocked, people fresh, with 10 days ahead. The last day of any run, be it a play, fair, horse show, finds tired people ready to go home, stocks depleted or sold out and nothing on their mind other than going home or to the next stop. Who is going to come to Devon for that? Not many.

      The horses don't need the quiet. That is just an excuse. If they have been prepared properly by attending smaller shows as prep, they do just fine.

      YHUS is NOT pretty much local horses. It isn't for PA BREDS, it is for PA REGISTERED, something any horse can be by paying a nominal registration fee. It draws horses from all over the east coast.

      Devon is our SHOWCASE show, the one we plan for all the previous year. The one we use as a measure when evaluating young horses (can he/she win at Devon?). Being put on the last day, like an afterthought, is not cool and is really a bit insulting to the owners who support these horses, the help, like me, who work so hard to have them PERFECT, and the handlers who want their day in the sun. I hope I am wrong, but I will definitely have to be convinced.
      1. Several people (magichill as just one example) did complain about losing the GP on the same say as HB. You may not have cited it as a reason to oppose the move but other people did/are. Some people even suggested spectators came to watch the HB and then stay for the GP. I don't agree. Seems like you and I agree on that point but I was responding to others on this threads (and other threads) saying they liked HB on Thursday because it was the "big day" due to the GP.

      2. If you think people come for the shopping and stay to watch HB, I'm going to politely disagree. As someone who watched several years in a row, there are VERY FEW spectators and certainly few non-horsey people. Very few people not into HB are coming to watch HB and I see no reason why someone who cares enough to watch HB on a Thursday won't come see it on a Sunday. People who come to shop/hang out are doing that-- not watching. People who come to watch, watch.

      3. You don't have to agree with me, but I am there for setup/tear down. And I do the ordering of the souvenirs. We are NOT sold out by GP. We just aren't. You can say that, but it's not true. We RE-order for GP. I am there packing up on Sunday when the show ends. We are NOT SOLD OUT. I wish we were. We pack so much STUFF up!!??!! You are more likely to find a better selection of a lot of items AFTER GP than right before. We have plenty left that has to be packed up for the next year. We aren't sold out by the final Sunday. I'll flip it back on you-- we only start doing SALES on Sunday. So if you shop on Sunday you'll be getting the best deals you'll get deals the Thursday people don't get. Is that some consolation?!

      4. I have been there on First Night and the first day as well. Many vendors are somewhat leisurely putting items out. We often aren't fully set up at opening time on the first day.

      Vendors are not supposed to pack up until the final classes are done on Sunday. I believe you if you say some do, but they're not supposed to. I don't walk around checking (though I will pay attention this year). There's always been a little party/fair at the end of the day-- so I know the country fair folks are still there. Vendors are a little harder to control.

      Is shopping really that big of a deal? If it really is, I suppose the solution is to come on a different day to shop. Or just accept that if Devon is really the crown jewel, missing out on shopping is a bummer but not a dealbreaker in light of the main reason for attending. I hope vendors won't be packing up, I will mention it to concessions as an issue for them to be aware of in light of the schedule change.

      5. Yes, you can be in YHUS by joining PHSA. Very few people do that who aren't local. Last year's Sec A winner was a PA bred horse ridden by a PA trainer. Second was a horse from NJ. Third was a PA horse ridden by a PA trainer. Section B is the same. Winner is PA. Second is NJ. Third is PA. etc. Sure, it's not against the rules to be from California and join the PHSA to do YHUS but most of the people who do that class are locals. I think moving to Sunday will make a lot more local folks do YHUS. That class has also been slowly declining in numbers (a few years ago there were 3 sections, the past few years there have been only 2).

      6. If you don't like being an afterthought, how do you think the derby horses feel? Or the locals who were champion and reserve? Their come back class had been the first class of the AM on Sunday. Don't you think for the locals this is their "crown jewel" too? SOMEONE has to be on the last day... and the first day... and all the other days. HB isn't a big spectator sport outside it's own group. You don't have to agree, but there are logical reasons to move it to the end.

      7. Some people may like a quieter environment. I suspect my horse would have performed better you may not need/want it but some people may.

      I'm really sorry you (and others) don't like the change. I don't speak for everyone at the show, only myself, but I am sure everyone would like a scenario that accommodates and pleases everyone. You don't have to like the change, but I think there are reasons that are understandable for it. You don't have to agree, but if you look with a logical eye I am sure you can at least understand the reasons even if you don't agree.

      On the plus side, this may open the HB classes up for more amateur handlers and local owners who otherwise didn't/couldn't take a day off for the show. I think it's probably better for the show in terms of spectators/organizing the schedule.
      ~Veronica
      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
      http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

      Comment


      • #43
        Devon Hunter Breeding moved from Thursday to Sunday

        I agree that initially this move seemed like a slap in the face, not only by Devon but by how it was conveyed on social media. I am willing to give it a try. Unfortunately HB is not going to draw huge crowds, but are we showing the babies for the crowds or to win at Devon? I think the latter. One thing that could come out of this is that maybe we can lobby Devon not to close entries so early anymore. That will bring more entries because the babies can change and people who have late bloomers would be able to show them. Now that we aren't under a time constraint because of the GP, maybe Devon should think about keeping entries open later like Upperville does.

        Comment


        • #44
          The reason I was always given was getting the catalog to print. But perhaps they could do the breeding as an insert. Two of our possibles aren't even arriving til after April 1. Hard to enter horses you haven't even seen.
          Laurie

          Comment


          • #45
            Laurie,
            My point exactly!!

            Comment


            • #46
              Life may not be perfect but I am happy to report:

              1. It was hardly a wasteland of spectators for the hunter breeding...

              http://s5.photobucket.com/user/vxf11...to3-1.jpg.html

              There was actually a pretty big crowd, bigger than on most weekdays and bigger than during the day on the Thursday that hunter breeding used to occupy. The gate was free and there were free kids activities-- so there was quite a sizeable local moms-n-kids-n-families contingent. I made a point to ask people and many did come to watch the classes. Admittedly I am hardly a great photographer on my iphone-- but compare that crowd to most of the backgrounds of the weekday photos from other days and I think it's clear that hunter breeding had an equal-or-better crowd than most weekdays and about an equal one to the other weekend days.

              2. I heard many positives about the stall/trailer availability/access and overall quietness for the hunter breeding classes. I talked to a few people who did the YHUS who were very appreciative that they essentially got to warm up all by themselves with no jumpers/saddlebreds or anything else going on.

              3. The souvenir booth did not "sell out" before the day began...

              http://s5.photobucket.com/user/vxf11...to2-1.jpg.html

              In fact we did roughly $30,000 in sales on Sunday which means we clearly had lots of merchandise left. Now, by the time the show CLOSED on Sunday we were pretty sold through-- but that's the point. We did not, as some feared, go into Sunday with everything gone. There was a nice selection of shirts, kids's stuff, equestrian stuff, etc. available. And we were running a 50% off sale so everyone who shopped on Sunday got the best deal. We were open and selling until AFTER the last class ended. Fudge lasted through Saturday... although I then lost track.

              4. The Country Fair did not shut down before the show ended.

              After I was done at Souvenirs I made a point to walk through the Country Fair. Rides were still going. Shops were just beginning to pack up (this is AFTER the show ended). No one that I could see had left before Sunday and most everyone was just starting to wind down after the show ended.

              I am not saying the show was perfect or that moving the hunter breeding didn't change things for the participants. I wasn't thrilled with the no live feed decision-- but that was a horse show decision, not a country fair decision, and lord knows the horse show side doesn't care what I think. But pre-show there were some statements made specifically about souvenirs/the country fair that I thought at the time were not correct and wanted to come back and confirm what actually happened.

              Congrats to all who showed!
              ~Veronica
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

              Comment

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