Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Venue etiquette: Some thoughts after Rolex

While we were watching show jumping on Sunday, we were seated next to a group of high school and college-aged girls.  They had 4-5 seats in adjacent rows to our right. This tight cluster of teens could have been at Daytona Beach--lubed up with suntan oil, sporting spaghetti-strap T's, and generally cutting up. They were holding glittered-up signs to cheer on someone they knew or supported (I won't say who).  Can you guess what I'm going to say next?

They were obnoxious
In and out of their seats, disrupting about ten people with every departure and return, these girls were a constant buzz of movement and noise -- they talked incessantly, loudly, and annoyingly, when riders were on course.

Bob was making comments to me quietly, first in astonishment, then in annoyance. A lady seated in front of us had come  down from Canada to see Rolex -- she overheard Bob's comments, and turned to us and murmured in agreement. "They're obviously from around here," she said. "I guess they don't know that it is a special event for most of us."

That was it. The whole bevy of suntanned beauties incurred the Wrath of Bob.  He turned to them with full parental force, pointed his finger at them, and belted out, "LISTEN HERE -- you can talk at home,  you can talk on the grounds, but here, you need to be QUIET."

They may have been callow youth when they sat down, but after Bob gave them the business, they were sitting quietly and respectfully. I think even their posture was better. I give them credit for not smart-mouthing back. They may have had a little too giddy, and the reminder put them back in line.

I have specific opinions about Rolex etiquette that I will share shortly.


  1. As your post title suggests, it's not just Rolex that warrants etiquette. I have this problem with clinic auditors, too. Whether I pay for my time watching a person of interest coach/teach at a clinic site or I get to watch free ("Just bring your own chair"), I like to watch, LISTEN and learn. More than once I have moved my chair to sit where I can HEAR what's going on because others who are there are using the venue to catch up on gossip or give THEIR opinions about the rider, horse, clnician, footing, host, etc. And sadly, the problems aren't always of "a teen age."


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