USDF medalist, what does it mean?
I've seen some trainers put on their website: USDF bronze (gold, silver) medalist. Or like yesterday at the Expo the commentator said "Mr. ... is USDF silver medalist". So what exactly does it mean? I mean, in my understanding USDF has several levels, so does it mean pretty much ANY level?
It basically means that someone got some scores over 60% at some levels. Silver is PSG, Gold is GP. It's mostly a thing for AAs to strive for as (imho) a professional should easily be achieving these scores.
Whether it's more or less difficult to get, depends on who you show under and what the situation is in your region.
In some regions they're relatively easy to get, in others, not so much.
Some years ago they were easier to get, but as shows get more competitive, they're no so easy to get, other than the bronze medal.
Scores go down as you go up the levels, so a silver is harder to get than a bronze, and a gold is harder to get than a silver.
It does indicate a person was able to get those scores, and not just once but repeatedly.
As far as just being for amateurs, if people are advertising their services as professional trainers and instructors, and listing their medals on their websites, it's more than for just amateurs, it's a marketing point.
Sorry slc, but for anyone if you are showing at a level and not achieveing a 60% - you are not prepared for said level. Most professionals worth their salt are unhappy with a score under 70% at any level because a "6" is only a little better than acceptable and a "7" is still only "fairly good". Ideally for a horse who is confirmed at any level a "fairly good" overall score should be a baseline.
10 or 15 years ago a 60% might have been a great score but now even in the backwater shows it is easier to be last than first in a class getting only a 60%.
I believe the medal program was specifically designed for amateurs, for those of us with ordinary horses, without a lot of money and time, to encourage them to stay around. Around here there are only perhaps two sanctioned shows a year, not many opportunities; but several ladies have gotten medals, and we're proud of them.:-)
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