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Echo Acres

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Well, I might be putting my foot in my mouth
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as I see a lot of you that already posted had big trainers show their horses. But I know a lot of people felt the same way I did and just needed to say it.

I was very disappointed to see that this year seemed VERY political! Even people I talked to that watched it from home said the same thing. There were a couple of big trainers that won almost every time they entered the ring for halter, and one in driving. Now I have to say that each of these trainers did have nice horses and well deserved most of those wins. But some of them, give me a break... they did not deserve them one bit. It was who was at the end of the line.

I came from the big horse world and left because of this same reason. It was not enjoyable any more to show the way it was going. Are we headed in the same direction? I hope not!

No I am not saying this because I didn't do well at nationals. I was very happy with how our horses did. We brought 3 horses plus one with a trainer. All but one of those horses took a top ten. We came home with 5 top tens including 6th in futurity out of 35 and 9th in driving out of 32. I just feel that if this is the way things are going to go, then you will see less of the "little people" and pretty soon the attendance will go down.

Any one else feel the same way?
 

Leeana

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I honestly think for maybe 85% of the classes "that" or "those" trainers did have the best horse in the ring BUT that other 20-15 % of the classes i seen kind of made me go hmm. Then agian, i was seeing these horses from the stands ...i was not 10 feet away looking at the horses. I was seeing them from a hundread + feet away and from one side at an angle.

What did amaze me....was when the handler(s) changed and the horses didnt change and in the same class following the trainers placed the same..but the horses didnt. Kind of found it interesting that a horse with trainer A won sr champion and trainer B won reserve sr champion. Then in grand Trainer A handled the sme horse he handled in sr champion and got GRAND and then trainer b went back in grand with a different horse (that was beaten by the horse they handled previously in sr champion) and that horse ended up beating the horse trainer B handled before (that had beaten this horse class prior)...just another one of those hmmm moments. Only thing that changed there was the handler...not the horse or that horses presentation in that class.....couldnt help but roll my eyes. I cannot explaine it but for those of you who seen it know what i am talking about.....

But i must say, for the most part those big trainers DO in most cases have the best horse in the class...
 
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Echo Acres

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That is exactly what I am talking about. Like I mentioned in my first post. MOST of the time they deserved it...the other times I feel it was who was in the ring, not the horse.

Thanks for posting. I don't mean to start something with this thread, just wanted to get a point across.
 

horsefeather

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Sure would like to comment, but I better not.

Will have to say 1 thing. During liberty, watched the 3 judges while 1 liberty horse was in ring. Wonder how they got 3 cards when 1 judge didn't watch the class. He glanced up 2 times, that's all. Didn't watch the horse being turned loose or the catch???? Enuff said before I get myself in trouble!!

Pam
 

Boinky

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I hate to say this because politics plays in everything and it's not always about politics when a trainer wins BUT This is year 3 for me going to nationals and of course every year there is some politics but i think this year was the worst yet by far that i've seen and the most obvious. This year was the type of year that make me wonder why the little guys even bother to try (and we have to remember it's the little guys that truly bring in the entry fee's and make this registry run).

Often times the trainers DID deserve it and i wouldn't take all the wins/places away from them but i also watched many classes that those trainers placed even when they FAR from deserved it. I also watched at least one halter class where the horses were obviously over. When i saw a horse i knew was 38' being the smallest horse in the class (quite obviously) it really made me sit up and take notice. Every year there is a lot of measuring concerns but i've never honestly noticed just because i never knew the horses and what their heights were supposed to be.

We go with no expectations and I could care less if i came home with anything (although placing is definatly not unnappreciated..lol). I just feel this year made me wonder why anyone would waste so much $$ when they know they have absolutely no chance no matter what happens...

I noticed in the stake classes, although they tended to be smaller and the same politics were oing on for the few few placings the judges were pinning horses they didn't even look at all week before. We actually placed a few top tens with ours in the stakes when we got squat all week. I was psyced about that and all three of my boys beat at least half the horses in their classes so that's always good.. but DEFINATLY politics.

I'm truly surprised more people haven't commented on it there was SO much grumbling in the barns and stands (even non horse owners/spectators were rather upset and annoyed).

I do think that the judges could ave been picked a little better and hope they find better for future years.
 

tagalong

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I'm truly surprised more people haven't commented on it there was SO much grumbling in the barns and stands (even non horse owners/spectators were rather upset and annoyed).
Just to demonstrate how differently people see things, friends of mine who were there in the stands and in the barns felt the judging was fair and rarely had an issue with it. Which was unusual for them.
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I even saw a couple of those high-end trainers get the gate without a ribbon many times - you can check that for yourself at horseshowsonline.com under the trainer results - and uncheck the box that says only list classes where I placed...

Erica was one who kicked butt at Nationals this year - deservedly so, IMO - and yet when the judging is declared to be lousy, political etc. doubt is cast upon her horses as well...
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As with any horse show - you pay for those judges' opinions for that day or days... and it is a given that you will not always share that opinon...
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As far as measuring goes... I watched a couple of Over driving classes where a very nice moving and very fancy horse won - who seemed to tower over all the others... especially noticeable in the line-up...
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but whatever.

But if you are not down in the ring judging the horses thay can look very different. A few years ago at AMHA Worlds, some were fretting about how well this one light-coloured filly was doing - winning every class she was in. Of course she had Mister Big Name Trainer at the end of the lead shank - and so it was deemed political and unfair etc. I had watched one of those classes from the stands and also wondered how she won it...

I was in the washrack with one of our horses and glanced over to see one of Mister Important Trainer's barn help shampooing that filly. Or I thought it was her - and had to ask. OMG. Standing there next to me in the wash rack, wet, miserable, shivering, hunched up and feeling sorry for herself - even then she was lovely. Stunning.

Out in the ring strutting her stuff - she would have been even more so. Sometimes what you see from the stands - or think you see - is not necessarily the true picture... I learned that.
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Echo Acres

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I did not check out Ericka's overall status, but she was not the one that really stood out in my mind when I wrote this. I did see some of her horses up close and personal and thought they were very nice looking horses. I also know what I have seen from on the board, and I know pictures don't show everything, but have really liked what I have seen. I even cheered her on a few times when I heard her placed.

As far as watching in the stands. I do totally agree with you. It can look a lot different and it can depend on what angle you are at. But a couple of times I took the bennifit of the doubt and I went from one end of the stands to the middle, then to the other end. I also went down below and checked out a couple in person, up close. After all that on a handful that come to mind, I still don't agree with how they did. I know I am just one person's opinion, but I spoke with several trainers and "little people" and out of say 20 different farms I only heard 1 say they thought the judging was fair (I don't like to use that word). Even one farm that did quite well and had connections to one of these big time trainers thought that the judging was off.

Enough of my grumbling....there is always next year and hopefully things will be back on track!
 

rabbitsfizz

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To a certain extent this sort of thing is unavoidable.

A lot of us here have watched Erica grow up...she is one of our "Forum Babies" and we know she not only has good horses, breeds good horses etc but she obviously has an eye for a good horse as she buys good horses and sells good horses.

Therefore we have an expectation of her to have good horses.

See??

It's a little too easy.

Yes, if I were judging Erica I would automatically assume she was going to put a good horse in front of me..

Now, this does not mean that I would just hand her first place, but it does mean I would look at her horse with the automatic assumption that it was going to be a good one.

Whether or not the animal is over size is not the Judges problem, BTW, I think we all do know that??

Short of having a load of strangers in white coats showing the horses, how can you avoid Judges (who, believe it or not are human) from recognising people and making assumptions about them??

Oh and Erica, sorry about using you like this, but you are "ours" my dear, so we are allowed!!!
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minimomNC

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Since the OP stated in her first post that she was talking about big trainers, I don't think Erika fits in this thread. Personally I think several times, she was placed to low or not at all and deserved better placings. I did get to watch all of the amateur, futurity and some of the open. I could tell a marked difference in the judging in all three. But then again it is one persons opinion no matter what we think. And with AMHR's bizarre way of calculating placings, no wonder a lot of people were confused. Either way it was a good show and hopefully we will all be back next year to enjoy it again.
 

Karen S

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Good Morning,

I would like to remind everyone that is complaining about placements or winners....next time you have a question cocnerning the placement of a class at a National show go look at the judges score cards they are at the show office for ALL to see. Take a piece of paper and a pen with you. With the MOS system you will see that it's not all political all the time. Placements on judges cards can be all over the place. I know I've been there wondering how I got certain placings when I did.

I get tired of hearing and reading these type of post year after year about the trainers. That's their job. What do you want? To BAND every trainer from attending a show? If so, then come up with a solution or a proposal that say they can come to a show but can't handle a horse in the show ring then lets see what happens. There were a lot of nice horses, but also a lot of horses that weren't conditioned or groomed to the point of what the trainers had in their hands. What they do everyday to conditioned horses is a lot different than those of us that have to work a full time job and then come home to work horses. I know for a fact that some of those horses are worked twice a day for at least a month before the show to put the peak condition on them. We just don't take the "extra" time to do it with everything else a family has to tend to.

I can also say I saw some of those same trainers get the gate with some very nice horses, but then again what we see in the stands isn't exactly what we see right in front of a judge. I have gone back to judges after a show and ask why I didn't place higher. Some will say it took too long to set up (my fault yes) some will say that the horse didn't have the "spark" that they were looking for. Heck even at Congress this year one judge kept telling me over and over how lovely my mare was and that he liked her but got fourth in a class. Why? Because the ones that beat me were the better conformationly correct animal on THAT day. What I did notice most of the time that whether it was the Youth/Amateur classes or the Open classes to the Futurity, that the judges DID look at each horse when they came in. The point of judging is WHEN you walk through the start cones. You have to keep in mind that sometimes that's YOUR only chance to shine so make the most of it at THAT time regardless of how large a class is. I learned that a long time ago. Sometimes you don't get a second chance and then that's when people start screaming political.

Karen
 

JWC sr.

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As many of you that know us at Cherryville Farms, 4 years ago we stopped using trainers and hired a relatively unknown guy with 15 years experience as farm manager. His name is Jose Perez, a realy good guy that had worked as an assitant trainer for a number of trainers in our area that we had always admired. Jose had been always helpful and even won the "Most Helpful Award" from the Greater Houston MIniature horse club two years ago. He does a great job and is wonderful with the grandlids which is most important for us.
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We dd so because we wanted our horses here at the farm where the grandlids could work with the respective horses on a regular basis as versus just seeing them at the shows. While still having the horses fit and ready for the show ring. It has worked well for our purposes and I personally have nothing to complain about. We got exactly what we were looking for. The first two years we were very competitive in the Youth and Ammy classes, but in the open classes did not do as well as I thought we should have.
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Being as competitive as I am, I started questioning if we had made the right choice. All of the horses we took to the World Show still took top 10's and most were in the top five which was pretty durn good for us and our goal each year(Top 10).
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Cindy ask me to really evaluate the competition and not be as barn blind as I had been and upon honest evaluation I came down like this.
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Yes there is a certain amount of politics in any competition, but with that said I realized the trainers put a lot of time into picking and preparing the horses on thier show string each year. Most of them actively seek out and solicit the best horses in each class they show in. They have literally 1,000's of horse to pick from. That gives them an edge right there. With that kind of effort they SHOULD have the best horses in the sting in most cases, if they are any good. And most of them are.
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They also are known to the judges and do get a second look where an individual may not. In some cases in really large classes in particular, sometimes individual people and/or farms that show what they breed get overlooked because of that second look. I do not have to like it, but it is just human nature. And with so many of the top horses beng in a national competition it is tough to compete with the professionals who have recognition and the best horses in many cases.
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When an individual gets a win in any field against really good professionals be it business or horse showing they have to shine just a little brighter than the professionals do. Just a fact of life in the real world.
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Is that wrong, In my humble opinion no it is not. That is the reason there are professionals in any field. I personally do not think most of the judges intentionally try to lean towards the pro's, they just used to seeing the top horses with one. So for us we have accepted that fact, focused on producing the best horses we possibly can and take the approach that we will keep running good ones at the judges till they finally pay attention. In the mean time we continue to "show what we breed " in most cases and compete in the Youth and AMMY (sparingly) classes and use them to judge where we are at with our breeding ptogram. Which is what we really love to do anyway. Additionally Jose i& Cindy are getting better and better at showing. preparing and producing competitive horses.
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Acceptting that also makes it even more special when we do beat the pro's and get wins over them. It actually becomes a game to be honest that can be quite a bit of fun. It is all a matter of perception and approach for us. We know most of the trainers and there is always a bit of good natured harrassment that goes on even between them which is fun to be included in.
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As far as the numbers going down because of this slice of politics, I hope and do not expect it to really effect things in the long run. As there are still youth and AMMY classes for folks to compete in without the trianers being involved. If nothing else people may just stay away from the open classes, which is more than likely the way it should be I guess.
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That is my spin and I will say after watching so much of the National Show I thought it went off well and some really neat horses were exhibited by the trainers and AMMY's alike which is really cool to me. The competition gets tougher each year and because of that we all as members of AMHR & AMHA should be proud of our horses and ourselves. In my opinion it means we are moving in the right direction. The champions of 10 - 15 years ago could not compete with the show horses of today in most cases and that to me is exciting.
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Irish Hills Farm

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Is there anyone here good with statistics?

What is the chance that a trainer can win x number of classes? Of course, you would have to look at no influence in the results and influence in the results. OF course, what would the influence(s) be?

It's to early.......
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Reble

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This will never change. We have our opinons and that is that.
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Judges have the last word.

I always believe if my horses come behind certain horses at a show we are doing good.

If we place first that is a bonus.

Trainers work hard for where they are and what they have accomplished, not easy training day in and day out. They put in a lot more hours than I will ever do.

I used to feel this way, untill I started going back to enjoying what I love best my horses.

Have come along way since we started showing.

Cannot change the judges, just change our attitude, it does help.

Just wanted to add, enjoyed being able to watch from Ontario Canada, that is a great accomplishment.
 
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Frankie

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I am a no body, and I do use a trainer. The main reason is because I want my horse to be the best it can be and I am smart enough to know I can not do that.

So if my horse wins, is it because they were with a trainer, or because they were the best horse? On the flip side, and there is ths side in politics, did my horse NOT place because judge A and B have a fued going with my trainer from 5 years ago? Did judge B and C NOT place my horse because they have placed my trainer with different horses in the last 5 classes?

There is always another side, be it wtih a trainer or an ameteur, and considering judges are humans, it can and may happen both ways at any given show. That is why we have 3 judges, and that is why as exhibitors we pay them for their opinion.

If you think your horse is the best and do not need a judge to tell you it is or is not, do not enter them in a show. If you want judges opinions, by all means enter them in several shows to get a true idea just how good your horse may be. Get several opinions.

Trainers do get the pick of the best horses, that has and always will be the case. I do not believe it makes the placings political. I think it just affirms that some of the best horses continue to go with the trainers.

I love going to Nationals and wathcing all the beautiful horses, and meeting new people, seeing old friends,,,,,,maybe I do not see the politics because I make a choice not to, that is not why I am there.
 

Jill

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I have mixed feelings about these kinds of threads, as I feel they could take away from the pride some owners very rightfully feel about their horses' wins.

People pick their best horse(s) to send to professional trainers, and professional trainers know how to really condition and present a horse to its very best advantage.

I don't think many people feel politics were at play when their horse placed very nicely (and at Nationals, any placement is an accomplishment).

And, I'm not saying there are no politics at all, but I feel everyone who has a horse who got a ribbon at Nationals should feel very proud, no matter who took the horse into the ring
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bingo

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I have to say I agree. Of course there will always be a few classes that make you go hmmm but only a few out of one hundred is not a big deal that could simply be the difference between being down in the arena or not seeing what the judge saw in that few seconds he may have looked at that horse.

I will say I think the open classes were pretty much right on other then a few hmm moments however the futurity well lets just say that had more hmmmm moments then not according to not just me but almost everyone I talked to even those who placed in the classes.
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Of course seeing things from the stands or the out gate is a different perspective as we have the ability to watch the horses we choose to and keep our eye on them while the judge has to turn away to look at others a lot can happen or not happen on those few seconds.

That is what we pay for at a horse show. Opinions and they may not coincide with our own. Not every judge likes the type of horses we have even if they are very nice horses and of course we all know politics plays a huge part in it that is the reality. Another reality is more often then not the right horses place top ten.
 
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backwoodsnanny

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First of all I think being able to see from home some of the atmosphere from Nationals was wonderful and though I didnt always agree with the placings it was great to be able to see at least a portion of what the judges were seeing. The only class I had a major question about was Liberty as I wondered if the judges actually were watching each horses performance and if they were why did they need to know what order the horse originally was in? That seemed a bit questionable to me that they were told this is horse # such in such in the lineup why would this be an issue if they truly were watching each horse? There were several horses in both Liberty classes that were handled by owners not trainers who I believe should have been placed but trainers ended up with the ribbons. Since nearly everyone was able to catch their horse it came down to preference but there were horses placed that did not use the whole ring and others who did not have any gait changes while some that didnt place did both things.just seemed odd to me that they kept being told where in the line up a horse should have been why would it matter if the judges were watching?
 

Ashley

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I kinda of wondered the same things. I noticed several horses that have taken National Champions last year and other years prior not doing very good and not even placeing.
 

ckmini

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We really noticed this too . . . . . . it became almost like a joke if trainer x and y didn't win a halter class. In my opinion many of their horses were not the best (but up there), and could have done well 10 years ago. There were not of the type of mini that has been winning lately, (this was true mostly in the under division).

I don't think it was "trainers" in general, I saw many trainers get the gate while trainer x and y always came out on top. As far as driving yes it was obvious who always seemed to win, but in all but 2 driving classes I watched she deserved the win or reserve. (which the main problem here was that the judges needed to learn how to judge this new class)

I don't want to take away from anyone's winnings, but there was some serious funny buisness going on in some of those halter classes.

edited to add that we were at the show, saturday through the following sunday, not just watching online. And the 1 horse we brought took 2 national champions, a 3rd, two 4ths, a 7th and an 8th, and only didn't pin in 4 classes, but then again we don't show halter.
 
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