Classic Pleasure

This is a question that i have been thinking about a lot…

If Classis Pleasure is only for amateurs, why do open and junior classic championships strip?

I know that it is required that Open and Junior Horse Championships are required to strip, and Ladies, Amateur, and Junior Exibitor do not. So since classic is only open to amateurs, why does the class strip?


No one really needs to give me a straight answer, i just think it is a strange rule.

5 Responses to Classic Pleasure

  1. colwilrin says:

    Not only do I think this is a great question, but it is one that I have heard discussed at almost every horse show I have been to since the Open/Jr. strip rules began.

    Here is the best I can decipher.

    Open and Jr. champs have been singled out as strip classes. This would mean open and junior champs with in all divisions of riding.

    Classic is its own division, but only Amateurs can ride.

    There are amateur classes and championships within all divisions.

    So…the best I can comprehend is that the strip rule applies to open and junior classes in all riding DIVISIONS. Even though only Amateurs are allowed in the classic DIVISION, it is not named an amateur CHAMPIONSHIP…but an open or junior CHAMP within the classic DIVISION. It is just incidental that only an amateur can ride.

    With that said, I kind of understand why it is so…but don’t agree with it. To me, the Classic Division is Amateur and shouldn’t have to strip any of them.

    Lastly, I really think the entire stripping thing is ridiculous. Most of the judges I know are good judges of horse flesh. I sincerely doubt they need to remove a saddle to see confirmation. Heck, most exhibitors I know can see the angle of a shoulder, and can tell whether a horse is cow hocked without having it stripped and posed. The posing might actually hide faults that the judge would notice just walking the line in back of a relaxed animal.

    IMO It is more eye-candy for the audience than any practical need of the judge…unless there is a rare occasion that there is some hideous malformation hiding under the saddle! I say save the strip for Open Champs at OKC…and only in those classes where you have a few individuals that are really close and strip them only. This would save time, and mirror equitation classes where a few are called for a work-out. Perhaps even use it in conjunction with a work-off. Only the worked individuals would then strip. Just some ideas to kick around.

  2. bluedesiign says:

    colwilrin, you have a great idea there! i agree, it does seem like it is just for the pleasure of the audience and to give us more work. which means less time to get things together for the next class/horse! :P

  3. j.a.b. says:

    The saddle stripping is of course for the purposes of a closer inspection of the conformation of the horse. In those classes in which stripping is required the class is supposed to be judged 50% on conformation.

    Stripping is obviously for the horse and not the rider (although wouldn’t that be fun!) so the pro vs. am. status of the rider is irrelevant. Even though the classic division is by definition an amateur division the class is “Open” classic or “Jr Horse” classic. Conformation should be no less important for the classic division then it is for any other performance division (park, western, english pleasure or hunt)

    BTW, I’m not saying I agree or disagree with this I just know this is the “why” as I have been a part of this discussion with the rules committee and with those “in the know” in regards to this topic.

    On a personal note I think stripping should be taken out as a requirement for all divisions, especially for any show “less” then a regional status show. I think its time has passed and it just makes for longer classes. THe only thing a judge can’t clearly see is the back and if you can’t tell that a horse is sway backed or mutton withered with the saddle on then there are other issues to be addressed! They are not asked to trot off or anything else so it’s really just a chance to pose your horse again. The OKC idea of colwilrin isn’t a bad idea though.

  4. RaeOfLight says:

    This may make me sound like an un-educated rookie, which I am, and a “railbird” who likes “eyecandy”, again true. But I think it’s a good thing that they strip horses for Championship classes. To say something like “it’s time has passed”, to me, implies that conformation is no longer important for some reason. I think it is, and I do think it makes a difference to see a horse without the tack on.

    Now, I’m not a judge, I’ve never seen the perspective from center ring. And maybe the view from there, and the line-up would be enough. But I’ve even heard talk of people far more experienced in the horse world than I making comments about what division a horse should be in partly because the tack worn in that division would look more forgiving, or enhance the conformation and look for that particular horse.

    It can add a lot of time to a class though. And perhaps eliminating it from lower level shows would not be a bad thing. But I think as long as it’s a qualifying show for GN, I couldn’t make a strong argument for eliminating it.


  5. morgansrule says:

    One more interesting note….originally, the strip down was for conformation, and yes, the jugding is supposed to take that into consideration….in more recent times, a darker purpose has arisen. There were many trainers (I am relieved to say mostly in saddlebreds and walkers) where saddleseat horses were “sored”….in essence shaved and lacerated on their back under the saddle to encourage them to drop down because of the pain. Stripping the saddle off “keeps ‘em honest”, so to speak.

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