There were some responses to the editor’s personal comment at the end of the blog page on Ridden Connemara Classes at RDS 2014. As Comments in my word Press Press Theme are quite hidden away at the bottom of Posts and Pages I am giving these Comments the Page One treatment.!
Editors note. Connemara Pony Showing as it now stands – versus the ‘faults system’ of competition jumping – is very much a question of a judges’ personal opinion and ability to differentiate between many similar white ponies coming before them in a class; is it really wise for a commentator to name names as each pony comes before a Judge? Many Judges may then recognise and be influenced by the names and showing records of many owners and ponies. Agricultural Shows have traditionally been run on the basis that Judges do not know the animals that come before them and are thus free to evaluate what they see on the day. Knowing that the current ethos of the RDS is to keep ‘mere spectators’ happy and the patter and the music going at all costs, it might be of more value to aid judges by supplying a scribe who will jot down judging comments- favourable or unfavourable- on each animal. These notes can then be consulted by judges before their final selection. PS Many owners I know will agree with this!
I would have to agree with your comments. I thought the naming of the owners this year was excessive and the naming of the pony is also unnecessary(as done in previous years). They should simply call out the ponies numbers if so to inform the crowd, isn’t that what the catelogue is for? Also a peeve of mine is that in all previous years judges took notes of individual performances and of in-hand displays. The ponies were then called into their final placings by number and not by simply pointing at the pony by which the judge remembered. As they are a large group of mainly greys it takes some photographic memory to choose all the ponies in their correct order. I was also sad to see that ponies were not allowed to do their usual “RDS” individual show and instead were told to do a specific show which did not really sort the wheat from the chaff as no pony got a real chance to show off with the traditional (expected) gallop down the back line. I am sure this was a surprise and disappointment to many, both spectator and rider. I also noted that some of the turnout was not to the usual RDS standard and the trimming of some ponies was by breed standards simply, excessive. Finally I would like to mention that one of the lady stewards told some of the riders after their in-hand display was finished to simply “get up, get up” with hand ushering!!! How hard is it to say “you can mount up now”. Is this the future???
- Mick Posted September 2, 2014
I too would agree, naming ponies, breeders and owners is crazy! As was mentioned calling out their numbers should be enough for spectators. And this year they simply weren’t going on performance. There was a certain pony highly placed who didn’t even nearly gallop. Which is to be expected in the class. The judging needs to be marked to see what way ponies are being scored. I presumed manners, ride ability should be highly counted but obviously not this year with some ponies!
- Thank you for your comment Mick and Kieron.
Maybe by next year the RDS may abandon the naming process. They might try instead to explain to audiences – at selected intervals during the class– what exactly Judges are looking for in the Connemara Ridden Classes and also give some history and information on the breed. Judges’ Marks might also be awarded for Way of Going, Rider Ability, Manners, Pony Conformation and Movement, In-Hand Showing etc by Scribes as in working Hunter.