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If you have a photo of crappy show riding, know of a jerkwad trainer or judge, or someone in the show world that is an abusive piece of shit then send the info to me. This blog is not anti-showing, it's anti-abuse. So there is no truth to the claims from the TWH, ASB, western pleasure and dressage zombies that I'm trying to shut showing down. Instead I'm trying to make showing more honest and to get abusive practices out of the showring! Email me at shameinthehorseshowring@gmail.com

I have a request for my readers: If you have successfully rehabbed a show horse, or gotten a rescue and taken it on to a show career then let me know, I'd love to feature you here!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Halter industry article

I think everyone in the stock horse industry needs to read this article. It outlines one of the key problems: Judges that are also trainers, allowed to judge trainers that are also judges.
The peer to peer back scratching has gotten out of control.



TxMiniatureHorse said...

This is so true in the Mini horse industry, too. Last year at Nationals one of the judges was heard asking "who are the trainers in here?" then proceeded to pin them. Even an unbiased party (there were professional photographers there filming for a documentary)asked us if it was "political". Ya don't say?

This year was no different. One halter trainer and one driving trainer won almost every class. It got to the point that people were saying "well, there's a *** horse in there, maybe I'll get Reserve.."


hotternhel said...

Now this is a good article and a good post.

Sadly, it's not done by just halter people. There are catch riders everywhere and it sucks. It really turns people away from showing.

I realize this is how some poeple make a living, but at the same time, they are making it more difficult for "new blood" to get into the ring and prove themselves.

What would happen if catch leaders would only lead N/N horses? I think it would possibly start a following of people preferring to show N/N horses; thus helping to discourage the breeding, and showing of N/H horses. It will not eradicate the problem but it would be a start.

Or, catch leading could become banned. Yet another good idea but we won't see that for awhile.

I think we just need some more people to get carded as judges.

Not only this, but the judges at the APHA world last year were allowed to judge the youth classes; some of the horses they trained, then turn around and show in open. It rose quite a stink.

Andrea said...

We see it in the non-sound gaited horse world, too, where judges continue to award trainers who have slipped them extra money under the table or where they only award big name barns. My favorite was in 2005, when there was huge, 2-page ad for Main Power in the TWH Voice magazine, and a 2-page article about him. Guess who won the World Grand Championship that year? You guessed it.

We don't see it as much in the sound gaited horse world, but I'm sure it happens here and there.

OT, thanks for putting my blog on your blog list, Trojan! Yours is on mine as well!

CutNJump said...

When judging, the trainers showing should be held to higher standards and dismissed accordingly for bad behavior. Rarely this happens.

Instead there are pompus arrogant asses in the ring who think their shit doesn't stink, because no matter how badly they act or how unruly the horse- they still win.

David Boggs and his Brother Bob spring to mind as they are complete assholes- even when they win. They act as if they show up for the ribbon presentation only.

And what the hell was up with their consistent display of throwing their ribbons and whips in the air when they won? An jumping while running?

We all know you are glad you won- and it isn't a suprise to any of us either, but that is just showing off a bit much don't ya think?

Trojan Mouse said...


>Not only this, but the judges at the APHA world last year were allowed to judge the youth classes; some of the horses they trained, then turn around and show in open. It rose quite a stink.

That is just crazy!
I'll go you one better:
Last year the ApHC featured a WP stallion on their October Journal cover. he'd won the color class at the Reichert. Well people were pissed because the horse was entered in the 2 year old class at the Worlds. Guess who won? He got a cover shot the month before he was due to go to the big show. Now that takes idiocy on the part of the editor.

Then this year at the nationals the same horse is featured on a billboard right at the entrance of the show grounds. How crazy is that? Why would anyone want to be such an ass about promoting their horse? And why would any breed organization let them?


cattypex said...

God, it sounds like a lot of conflict-of-interest going on.

Wouldn't it be NICE if.... *sigh*

I dunno, I guess in a perfect world, if your horses or clients were showing, you couldn't judge 'em.

In fact, maybe cardholding judges should be ineligible to show in the circuits they judge. Or something. I don't know enough about how all that works, but do you catch my drift??

Big old bureaucratic nightmare, I know, but....

It would be nice if these assholes had some dignity and it would be nice if the breed associations pressed the ethical standards and made some high-profile examples.

Oh wait... the folks who run the breed associations are.... yeah.

Trojan Mouse said...

Catty Pex,

>In fact, maybe cardholding judges should be ineligible to show in the circuits they judge. Or something. I don't know enough about how all that works, but do you catch my drift??

I agree. I think when you decide to become a judge then you're training days should be over. You can show for your family or self, but no more paying clients.

And when you decided to sit on the BOD of an organization your judging days should be over until you are off the board. This back scratching crap has got to stop. The ten percent of the membership thinks they are entitled to 100% of the benefits.


1234567890 said...

So what's with the articles that showed up in my RSS feed this morning that disappeared from your blog? Something about donkeys and goats, and another one about IDNWTF.

FWIW I think you kinda went a bit over the top on that goatroper kid, no idea what was up with the other missing post, except it showed some facility with MS Paint. Did someone fire a C&D your way, or did you suddenly grow up in the interval between hitting "post" and actually thinking about what you were doing?

Trojan Mouse said...

1 to Zero,

Why spew this crap? Are you just looking to get your ass handed to you?

If you have something productive to say then be my guest. Otherwise STFU.


1234567890 said...

Nobody is going to be handing any asses around, babe. More likely you just got handed yours once again, from the looks of it.

Better leave this to the grownups. You've basically outed yourself as a petulant tweenager. Bedtime, honey.

Trojan Mouse said...


You must have missed the part where I won.

And the wimps went off whining back to their forum.

It's obvious that you've got nothing better to do then be a childish dipshit, so have at it, the other readers will get tired of you shit and send you packing.

colorisnteverything said...

This is an excellent article. Catchriding is sad. Even the shows I showed at {paint horse shows}, you saw it. Even at local 4H fairs, it happens if they are richly attended as ours was. The average winner there had a Congress horse worth over $20,000 k. One year, for trail, the judge was from the same barn as all of the 5 horses that placed above me.

I took it like a champ, but even I knew what had happened. My pattern had been FLAWLESS and the first place horse had gone OFF PATTERN. I did ask the judge for her reasons and she gave me a bogus excuse of why I placed 6th.

The local joke around here was, "Well, who do I have to pay to get a placing 'round here?"

You know the industry is effed up when even 4-H'ers can't ride without worrying about catch-training/judging.

Also, something interested on the performance side - look at who is showing kids in leadline now. You will see even the BNT making the difference here now.

ZTIG said...

When I first started working with a trainer I was told that a championship could be "BOUGHT" for anywhere between $150,000 and $200,000. I realized at that moment that it was not about talent/training/conformation it is all about the $$$ and that is disheartening, for owners and trainers.
I realized at that moment I would be more interested in the horses who qualified for world shows, rather then most "champions" for a future foal.

cattypex said...

good LORD... I hadn't really though about the catchrider/handler thing... I guess I thought that politics couldn't be THAT blatant, SO OFTEN.


Trojan Mouse said...

This shit could be solved if the clubs required the person showing the horse at the Nationals/Worlds/Congress to have show it in at least one other class during the year.

But they won't take any steps to curb this behavior, the people that make the rules are the ones committing the indescretions.


Andrea said...

I know, I'm way late to comment on this. However, I've never seen a photo of Impressive until this blog. As far as show horse, he is the UGLIEST show QH I think I've ever seen. No wonder there are so many problems in the halter horse world if they all want to look like that. I thought they were supposed to look like horses, not bulldogs. Oh well--to each his own....