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kathryn 08-16-2010 12:30 AM

Hunter Show Bias?
Do any of you have any experience with hunter horses being discriminated against because of color or breed? I had heard that but never placed much stock in it, until I showed a draft cross at a hunter show recently and was pretty much verbally attacked by the people sitting behind my parents in the stands. But I actually laid down a really nice course, and got a ribbon out of a class of 30, which was very exciting.

My trainer says that this show was her proudest moment of me, the fact that I had a good enough trip that I pinned "even riding Daiq". She said she faces the discrimination too because she rides a pinto, though he is a warmblood and son of Popeye K.

I had always heard rumors of there being a bias, but I had always pretty much thought it was just an excuse why someone didn't pin, but my trainer is one of the most honest horse people I know, she won't tell you you did well unless you really did, and she admits herself when she had a bad show.

What do you guys think? Sorry I take so long to say everything haha.

(Of course, I do know that it depends on the judge, but I just want to know how common biases like that are, and to what colors and breeds they extend. Buckskin? Palomino?)

Supermane 08-16-2010 12:53 AM

Yes, there definitely is in my experience.

I see more breed discrimination then color. QH, drafts, draft crosses, arabians, and paints aren't generally well received, by both spectators and judges at A shows and a majority of the B shows I've been to. I ride a TB and I sometimes get weird looks.

That's not to say that they can't do well, but yes, it exists.

And you ride with Jen, right? Her pinto is gorgeous, Mickey?

kathryn 08-16-2010 01:09 AM

Hahaha Supermane I forgot we knew each other! And yes, Jen and Mickey, and yes, Mickey is absolutely STUNNING and such a sweetie. :)

franknbeans 08-16-2010 07:08 AM

HAHA! Yup! Definitely my experience, although I had hoped that they had become a bit more open minded since I used to show (a little) my draft X about 15 yrs MD! They seem to only like bay tb types, from what I have seen-how boring! And, frankly, altho I still love my H/J friends, the closed mindedness of the group in general is one of the main reasons I left H/J. Just found other things were fun too! (plus I now like my horse to have all 4 feet on the ground at all times, since I am older:lol:).
I have also found a bias against ANY NH......brought a horse back from NY a couple years ago, and they all looked at me like I was an alien when I did my NH stuff-until they saw him freeschool over fences at the point of a finger!:wink: The lesson kids at the barn kept asking "how do you do that?":lol:
PS-my shows were at Columbia back in the days with Star and Mehdi.....Still stay in touch with Star.....:D

KittyCat 08-16-2010 01:56 PM

Yep Yep. Got it showing a plain bay OTTB against show ponies, a QH, and my trainer refused to let me show a draftX and an arab in hunters or bring them to the show period because he didn't want them in hunters or associated with his barn... I had to ride a horse I had ridden once before at the show instead... the QH and we still got some strange looks and didn't place in the larger classes.

Alwaysbehind 08-18-2010 11:43 AM

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.

JumperStride 08-18-2010 12:13 PM

I think there is a bit of bias out there, but certainly not enough thats it's been blown up into. I had a kid show a mustang cross we have at our barn in hunter recently and she placed fine because the gelding has nice gaits, an adorable little tuck and goes like hunter judges want the horses to go in my area. And let me tell you, I love all horses but this guy is ugggggggggly lol xD

AfterParty 08-18-2010 03:36 PM

It is common for the hunter ring to be VERY bias , thats why I plan to move to jumpers . Just you and your horse doing your thing :)

The hunter ring is particularly bias towards thicker horses ( drafts etc ) and coloured horses appy's in particular. It's horrible to see since I've seen some lovely App's go in there and completely shine.

I also find that sometimes the hunter ring is bias in the way that its about who you are and who you know. Ive seen people have terrible rounds and not get there leads and someone else go in the ring and get all of there leads and yet the other person places above them , its a sin really.

Some people work their asses off and cant place while others get on their thousands of dollar horses and place no problem with doing no work . Its just the people they know. Don't give up go in and show for fun :)

Alwaysbehind 08-18-2010 04:11 PM

After party the hunter ring is biased (to use your word) against drafts because they do not move like they want in the hunter ring. That is not a bias. That is not having the right horse for the job. Just like you would not place well in a gaited horse class on an OTTB. Wrong horse for the job.

I have shown an appy in the rated hunter ring and we have gotten ribbons when they were deserved.

A horse doing its job, no matter the color or markings, will place.

Your post sounds some what bitter. Yes, you have to buy the right horse for the job. If you have a horse that does not pick its legs up and knocks down rails you will not place in the jumpers. A person who spends the money and buys a fancy jumper will beat you. It is just how it is .... every where.

Speed Racer 08-18-2010 04:19 PM

Exactly, Always.

You don't take a short, fat, conformational trainwreck of a horse into a halter class, do you? No, you take the one who most represents what the judges are looking for.

If you don't have the right horse for the job, it's hardly prejudice or bias against your particular breed.

I've seen loudly marked Appies go up against TBs and kick their butts in the show ring, because they were built properly for the job.

If your horse looks like a massive dump truck and moves like molasses in winter, that has nothing to do with breed bias. It simply means your horse isn't cut out for the job that you're asking him to do.

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