Part of a series of emails to our exhibitors in an effort to provide helpful information about their interaction with the show office and other staff at the show. If you have a particular question you would like addressed, please feel free to make a suggestion.
OCTOBER 2008 NEWSLETTER
What time will I show?
Unless you are in the first class on the schedule, your ride time is generally an educated guess at any hunter/jumper horse show. Unlike dressage and eventing which assign specific start times, showing at a hunter/jumper show is usually a multi-hour affair. Your best source of information is to check with the starter at your in-gate. That person usually has the most up-to-date information as to class counts, trainer conflicts, and ring breaks. To help yourself, go online the night before and get a current class count (though even this number fluctuates as exhibitors add and scratch during the day). For hunters you can generally estimate three minutes per round, fifteen minutes for an under saddle and ten minutes for a water & drag. Most shows will schedule a water & drag at least twice if not four times per day. For jumpers you can generally estimate two and half minutes per round, ten minutes for a water & drag, and ten minutes for a course walk; course walks are generally scheduled only between major course changes (such as table change or featured class).
You can help yourself and the horse show by looking ahead in your day and anticipating probable ring conflicts. Talk to your ring starter and let them know where you anticipate a conflict for yourself or your trainer. If you have more than one horse in a class, be sure to be in the first rotation with the first horse. Nothing is more disrespectful to the judge and to other exhibitors than a rider with multiple trips all going near the end of the class. Everyone understands there will be conflicts when there are multiple rides, but the exhibitor needs to do his/her part in minimizing the wait times.
When there is a posted order, a rider has one minutes to enter the ring before losing his/her starting position. HU 144, JP 134. When there is a flat class, a rider has two minutes to enter the ring from the time the first horse enters until the class is closed and the judging starts. GR 831. Once an over fences class is started, the competition may be closed at the order of the judge or Manager provided that exhibitors are given three minutes to appear at the in-gate ready to participate. GR 831. We all know common exceptions to these limits but management may enforce them when necessary. The USEF Steward does NOT have the right to determine when a class should be closed or an exhibitor eliminated for not making a starting position. The Steward's role is to observe, advise and report what procedures were followed.
While all RMI shows, and a few other shows, allow scratches and adds at the gate, the sooner you can let the starter and office know your plans, the better it is for everyone. If you scratch a class, TELL THE IN-GATE. Nothing is worse than holding a class and finding the missing entry did not intend to show. Likewise, the starter cannot hold a class open for you if your name is not on the list; do not be closed out because of a failure to communicate.
Management may change the order or time of a class with at least twelve hours notice. GR 830. Notice is general announcements and posting in the office, it does not require personal notice to each exhibitor. Management may call any class up to thirty minutes ahead of its scheduled time. GR 830. RMI posts its schedule revisions online. Check with the show office for any schedule changes, especially when you first check-in at the office.
If every rider in a hundred-round day takes an extra minute to get in the ring, the show runs an extra two hours. Wouldn't you rather be at dinner?