Monday, August 2, 2010

Riley at Bucks County Horse Park: Videos and scores

Some history/background on the day: In a burst of last minute planning, we (Riley's trainer and I) decided to do two under saddle classes at a USDF breed show this weekend. BCHP is only 20 minutes from home. It was a great day, except for wasps (I was stung three times in the horse trailer). Riley must have played hard in the pasture the night before -- he was unusually quiet/sleepy all day. You can see in the footage he's a little pokey.

 The classes were small, three entries, and a nice RPSI paint was having issues with flies that sort of took him out of the running. It really doesn't matter how many were in the class.  It doesn't matter how he placed, although who can deny the allure of a fluttering blue ribbon? Riley was a good boy from start to finish, and that's reward enough. Videos and scores are below...

First class: Materiale, Stallion -gelding under saddle, 3 years and older
Judge remarked on his elasticity and suspension.
Walk 7.4; Trot 7.5; Canter 7.4; General Impression 7.5
Overall. 74.5%

Second class: Dressage suitability
The judge noted that he totally lost steam in this class...
Walk 7.2; Trot 7.3; Canter 7.0
Overall 71.7%

What do the scores mean?
Well, I think the numbers are assigned the same or similar meanings as in dressage performance tests (e.g., 6 is satisfactory, 7 is fairly good, etc.). From attending and competing in breed shows, my general impression is that horses with scores below 70 are missing some key component of good movement -- regularity, freedom of shoulder, push from behind, overtrack at the walk, whatever. In the case of weanlings/yearlings, it may mean that they bucked and cavorted so much the judge couldn't assess their gaits. A score of 70 or more puts a horse "in the ball park" to be a good, competitive riding horse. I think breeders hope for scores of 75% or better, and a horse that scores over 80% will have quite a "wow" factor.


  1. Don't hate me... but I can't help picturing that beautiful horse cantering around a hunter course with that big rolling canter! He's lovely! If you ever decide he should switch careers, put me on his dance card!

  2. I was wondering if you entered Materiale.

    NJ Horse Park has its breed show on September 2. I think it's an August 13 entry deadline.

    If you go to the NJ Horse Park website you can find information.

  3. Ah, Marissa, I agree, and I actually wrote that in this entry (and later erased it). Due to his hoof issue Riley's not likely to be able to jump. I'm hoping that with the right training he'll be able to sit down a bit more on that hind end.

  4. Jean, we did Stone Tavern in 2008 and did really well (in-hand). It's a possibility, esp. if we want to prep for Devon -- the question is do we do that or opt for a nearer-by and crazier atmosphere, like an actual hunter under saddle class???

    It would be fun to meet you.

  5. I am jealous for 2 reasons: that you are only 20 mins from Bucks County (we have to travel like an hour 1/2 or 2 hours to get there) and I love the way your trainer rides....Riley looked great and like he took it all in stride

  6. Riley looks awesome! What a good boy! Congrats on good scores, and a successful outing. :-)

  7. Beautiful rides. Riley is such a gentleman. I also liked your trainer's pink adornments.


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