12-09-2009, 09:51 AM
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I have not experienced it personally but my previous trainer and a friend of mine have both done it.
They took their horses in the five year old divisions at two different events. My trainer went first and did not have a good experience with it. It wasn't the courses that were frustrating (as her horse already went Prelim by that time) but it was the judge's biased nature. Her horse was a beautiful TB gelding that was a phenominal jumper. However, the judges tended to favor the horses that still overjumped. This made her mad because the horses with less training were getting rewarded instead of those who were more trained.
They tended to favor the WB and WB crosses. That being said, the horse that won that division is now going at CCI* as a 6 year old. His name is El Cid if you want to look @ him. You can see why he won. He's amazing
My friend took her Trakehner mare (by Windfall) to another YEH. She had the same experience. The mare was double booked that weekend (doing YEH and the Training division) but was still full of go. Didn't overjump anything and went beautifully. She gets an awful score. The mare has great conformation, stellar dressage, and really good jumping. I don't see why they made the decision they did.
But I've heard some good things about it. I just don't think I would take my horse to be judged by biased people.