Hunter Show Bias? - Page 2

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Hunter Show Bias?

This is a discussion on Hunter Show Bias? within the Horse Shows forums, part of the Showing Horses category

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    08-19-2010, 10:10 PM
Green Broke
Thank you SpeedRacer and AlwaysBehind! It is a huge pet peeve of mine when people think they didn't place because their horse was the wrong color or b/c hunter judging is too "political". I've read quite a few judge's cards and NEVER have I seen a judge put "wrong color" as a penalty. I showed a (loud) paint extensively on the A circuit one entire year and we won quite a bit, including flat classes. I've been beat out by pintos and palominos. Even a few apps (haven't seen a lot of them though) There is an ideal that the judge's are looking for and whoever gets closest to that ideal wins. Long low movement, floaty gaits with little to no knee action, very consistent pace that's not too fast or slow, nice bascule over fence, high tight and even knees, etc, etc etc. Sorry, but how many Arabs have a nice long low movement?? Usually, they aren't built for that. (not always, I know an Arab x WB that is a stellar mover) How many drafts do you know with no knee action that float around the ring? I have yet to see one! I know quite a few QH's who are spectacular at the lower levels, but simply can't keep up at the upper levels (how many QHs do you know who can easily lope down a line of 4" jumps on a 13+ foot stride? I can think of only one off the top of my head). Once you get to the upper levels they usually aren't built for the job, which is why the WBs and TBs tend to win. Lots of pintos and palominos have a lot of QH blood in them. They're in the same boat. Whoever puts in the best trip, whoever is the nicest mover, etc etc wins. If you do your research and find out how to judge a hunter class and watch enough shows, you'll see how unpolitical it is. I'm not saying at lower level schooling type shows the judging will always be accurate, but I went to a show a few weeks ago, watched a flat class of over 30 amazing movers and was able to pick out the top 8 who ribboned, including the winner.
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    08-22-2010, 12:29 PM
What some people don't realize is that by showing a different looking horse you are drawing attention to yourself - making any flaws MORE obvious than the rider on the 102nd plain bay of the day. It's the same reason if the year's coat style is navy, you don't wear gray unless you can really rock it.

It's not always political, it sometimes come down to a less than perfect ride that was remembered better because the horse was unique.
    08-24-2010, 01:40 AM
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
I think it is far too common for people to look at the color of their horse as the excuse why their horse did not place well. Your (general) paint/appy/etc may not have placed because of so many things not associated with their color. It is just too easy for the rider/owner to blame the color and ignore the fact that the horse did not have clean lead changes or their knees were uneven or was hanging below the knee, etc.

I have seen many colored horses place just fine, when they deserved to place there.


In the Hunters as long as the horse is an excellent mover, finds 8, and has a superb Jump, it should win. Any flaw will knock your points, and most people will find anything not associate with their ride to blame for their not doing well. (Heck I used to do it when I showed an Arab... because certainly he didn't place because he was an arab, not because we blew our lead change and were going around like a train)
    08-24-2010, 01:46 AM
Void, what is "finding 8"? I am newish to hunters and don't know all the lingo yet ;)
    08-24-2010, 01:52 AM
Originally Posted by kathryn    
Void, what is "finding 8"? I am newish to hunters and don't know all the lingo yet ;)

Typically a Hunter course is comprised of 8 fences. 2 outside lines, a diagonal line and 2 singles. So finding 8 refers to finding 8 perfect distances to 8 fences.
    08-24-2010, 01:59 AM
OOOH that makes perfect sense haha I just had never heard the term before. Thanks!
    08-29-2010, 08:57 PM
Personally, I think it depends on the judge.
I've seen appys and paints kick the bays' butts. You can't blame your horse's color if you lose, most of the time.
But, rarely, I've also seen them and their riders do an awesome job and lose to about 15 other horses, all bays, greys, and chestnuts, even though they deserved to win. It does happen.
    08-29-2010, 09:40 PM
I have experienced biased judges with my arabian mare She is very much a hunter horse. But although we had an amazing ride the warmbloods and thoroughbreds got placed above us. I have also had judges love her and her movement so it just depends on the judge and their breed preference although they should not be biased they generally are.
    08-30-2010, 08:27 AM
Originally Posted by qharabluver    
although they should not be biased they generally are.
You are paying the judge for their opinion.

You can call their opinion a bias I suppose, but you are paying for what they think.

If you do not like how that judge thinks then do not show in shows where that judge is judging.

The reason one horse might place well at one show and not so well (assuming similar quality trips amongst similar quality horses) at the next show most likely has more to do with what one judge feels is important not the breed or color of the horse.

Some judges will place a horse with great form over the fences (nice bascule, knees to their eyes, even, alert) with a less than perfect distance over a horse that found all 8 perfectly but jumps flat or whose knees are not quite as even or who pins it ears as it jumps.

So, saying it is a breed/color thing is most likely wrong.
    08-30-2010, 10:41 PM
My little mare is a grade something or other who just happens to be built like a small warmblood. Nothing special about her bloodlines but she is a great mover, honest jumper and when she is listening gets all the distances and changes. She would probably prefer to be a jumper haha, but I want her as a hunter and we do fine and dandy against the real warmbloods.

Side rant....and not because I am a hunter princess: Though I really think you are asking for trouble taking an arab into a real hunter show (not a schooling show)....they just don't have the conformation and movement that is required. I saw an arab do tremendously well in the 3ft and 3ft3 jumpers this year, but it would have failed epically in the hunters.

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