Look what you missed if you did not attend the BSPS area 14 agm on Saturday! Plus there was a thought provoking talk from Roger Stack, retiring show director at the Royal International. Stack, who has been involved with showing for 64 years, was critical of the current situation of several showing societies and said amalgamation was in the interests of showing and its members.
"We do have so many societies. There are several, and now we have TSR
In an amalgamation he pointed out that both PoniesUK and Sports Horse Breeding both have reserves that could be usefully used to the benefit members and show organisers. He suggested that a database was developed with horse details and results. This would make entering quicker for members, and entry closing dates could be much nearer the date of the show. Also show secretaries could rapidly check eligibility without having to send lists back to societies to trawl through results.
He said, "Young people need to kick ass and do something about it."
He was also concerned by members using social media to criticise judges. He said there were already procedures in place for people to make complaints. "Judges are giving up their time and need to enjoy the day as well as competitors. Showing society rules on social media must be robust and enforced," he added.
Ride judges, he explained had to be so fit these days, as they may have to ride hundreds of horses in a day. This he asserted was making it difficult to extend the pool to draw from. He wanted to see a return to the system of only riding the "front row". "Competitors have to be realistic and improve so they can get in the front row," he said.
Since he started showing in the 1950s he says transport has made the biggest difference. In those days you hacked or asked the local haulier to take you. In time there were trailers, then basic lorries - but now there are luxury lorries carrying up to a dozen horses. He said, "Producers have become factories were they can turn out so many horses going the same way."