Solution 2

Ok, so as an offshoot of the discussion sparked by Stacy’s post a few weeks ago… I can’t help but notice the trend in the related Poll.  At first glance the No’s clearly have the lead with almost 40% of responses.  But, another way to look at it is that leaves almost 2 out of 3 people in support of some sort of change.

Since over 50% of folks seem to think increasing the qualifications for Grand Nationals is a good idea, that might be the best place to start.  But, that doesn’t accomplish the other goal of the discussion (which I think is a worthy one) of increasing the value of Regional titles (therefore increasing the value of those horses).  One thing I believe has been discussed in this forum before (although I can’t find those discussions now) would be changing the Regional judging format to a 3-judge panel.  Now, I know the first 2 objections I’ll probably hear, and they’re valid, are 1) That’s going to increase the cost to put on the show and therefore increase the cost to exhibitors, and 2) It’s hard enough to find 1 good judge for the show, let alone 3.  From what I understand though, other breeds use the 3-judge panel system more extensively.  I could be way off on that, I tried to research but wasn’t able to confirm.  But the question remains, if that is true, how do they do it?  Couldn’t we learn from them to implement that for our Regionals?


5 Responses to Solution 2

  1. mbk says:

    I think the most obvious part of your note is that more people believe that it is to easy to qualify for OKC in the current format. That would be a great place to start.
    As to your comments for reasons not to go to the three judge system (for Regionals) are very valid. As to other breeds…which ones are you thinking? QH uses multiple judges at some shows but the exhibitors pay for multiple sets of points (we don’t have a pts system). The other side of this is that I would question why having three judges would change anything as to prestige. I can see where it levels the field some…but a win is a win. I can’t see any value in forcing shows that already have financial trouble farther in the hole.
    The only way to increase value to the Regional winners needs to come from within the industry…as a whole the industry is to heavily weighted to focus on OKC. Much of this has occurred while OKC continued to add more and more WC titles. In the past 70′s and 80′s there where far fewer WC titles available and I believe at that time the regional winners carried much more weight…also the top 10′s at OKC used to mean a lot more as well. As the “meaning” of a World title is diluted (because of the number available) so are all the other placings and titles at the “lower” levels. JMO

  2. colwilrin says:

    An aside…I would like to see the AMHA come up with a point/title systems similar to the QH, Arab, and SB associations award. A WC or RWC would have that designation added to their registered name. A CH would be added upon winning a certain number or points and/or a GN title. It gives incentive to attend more shows than just the few people may use to qualify for OKC. I think if people were trying to earn points, they may frequent more of the grass roots and regional level shows.

    As for the question above. I am leary of the expense a three judge system would place on regionals and not sure if all regionals could support the extra judges and expenses that would require.

  3. RaeOfLight says:

    Honestly, my only reason for suggesting a 3 judge system was to throw another idea out there. In thinking through what separates GN from any other show, aside from the name and therefore greater draw, this was the only other idea I could come up with. I think we can all be in agreement that there has been a shift, Regionals used to mean more, local shows used to be better attended, etc. But perhaps this shift is just a result of the world getting “smaller” and there’s nothing we can do about it.

  4. Gomers Girl says:

    Im excited that this is my first post! I have been following this blog all summer long and am excited to finally be a part of it!

    I honestly think that trying to change the system around during this economy would hurt any of the shows, local, or regional. We need anyone and everyone to continue to participate – I noticed a drop in participation at a lot of shows this past year, even at my local non-rated shows around home (NJ). As a youngin’ about to graduate college in May, I want to be able to save up and go to the shows I want to go to without have extra restrictions. I am not going to qualify for Nationals, I am going to have fun with my horse and my friends and enjoy life until I enter the “real world.” I feel that some people may have lost sight of that factor when it comes to showing, which is why all of this is being brought up in the first place…I have only been to Nationals 2 times in my career, so showing, whether local or at a regional, was always about having a good time and being the best that I could possibly be that day.

    As for the prestige of a regional title, I am not sure what all the fuss is about. I won two regional titles in the same night at the NY Morgan Regional back in 2005, and I was so proud of that accomplishment that I decided to include it in my resume. Whenever I talk to other girls who show on different circuits, I always mention what “regionals” I go to, and I title them as such. I guess I have always held a high esteem for regionals because I knew going to them who/how much competition was going to be there (after all, aren’t they regionals because they are the shows with the most participants in that given area?)

    So I guess what I am trying to say is that Regionals are extremely important, at least in the minds of my barn and myself. I feel like there are some that don’t really look at other riders/horses championship accomplishments unless they are from Nationals, which is why people may feel that regionals get overlooked.

    This is just my two cents, I am not at all trying to step on anyone’s toes or ideas :)

  5. PlayMorBill says:

    [grabing a couple coins from my pocket, I toss my two cents in]

    First off, qualifying for Nationals is really a numbers game. Right now we fit into our host facility so there’s no need to try and limit the participants. Arabians, for example, have to make it much tougher to qualify as they have over 2,000 horses at their world championships.

    The numbers just don’t bear out raising the bar for qualifying.

    As for forcing Regional shows to use the 3 judge system, that is a matter of economics. Not every Regional has the numbers or financial backing that the bigger shows like New England or Jubilee have. Plus, I, for one, think that the 3 judge system can be just as bad as a single judge, sometimes worse.

    I don’t think you add prestige to Regionals by raising qualifying or adding judges. The prestige comes from the show itself. New Englands history, (and the fact that the big classes are always big. Literally) will always keep it on top of everyones coveted trophies list.

    You can, however, increase prestige with money. We were at Michigan the year Dodge donated $70,000 to the show. All of the championships had big purses. The western class was so packed, by both horses in the ring and people lining the rail, that the 3 horse work off was truly one of the most exciting classes I’ve seen. And I’m not, like, a western type guy.

    Bottom line is, of the things that are broken in Morgandom, this is not one.


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