Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Politics Of Horse Showing

For anyone who shows we all know the politics that go on in and out of the show pen . . .

Over the years I have been involved in several show organizations and seen them thrive and then shrivel into non-existence.  The reason, for the most part, has been politics.

Some might argue that currently the economy is the biggest killer of attendance at horse shows.  While this is somewhat true, I believe the last straw is and always will be the politics that surround the competitive environment of horse showing.

While I don't  like it, I have grown to accept the unwritten code of judges tying trainers over the average Joe in the show ring.  It's just what it is.  Not fair, but the little guy can hardly buck the system. 

What I really can't accept, though, is blatant disregard for a show association rules for certain individuals.

Several years ago I started showing an association where excessive silver on tack and bling on show clothes was not allowed and would result in a DQ.  Many who got involved with the association did so because they felt the horse should be judged instead of the tack and attire.

Last weekend at one of our state shows I was shocked to see several riders attired in clothing and using tack that was in clear violation of the rules in our national rule book.  When this was pointed out to show organizers the comment was made that one the exhibitors was "so and so's daughter".  I merely thought, OK, here we go again. 

The handwriting is already on the wall, I believe.  When you stop following the rules and making exceptions for certain people, you may keep those people happy but will lose others . . . .

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