[Answered by Nancy Wentz, MODA founding member, current Board Member, and Secretary]
The warm-up ring can be a very intimidating and potentially dangerous place for riders. These tips were reviewed at a recent clinic and are a great list of tips to help navigate.
[Answered by Amy Rothe-Hietter, MODA Board Member, Year End Awards Chair, and Schooling Show Liaison]
With over 40 years of combined experience, MODA is lucky to have a vast array of experience and know-how in running schooling and recognized shows. We are happy to help and answer questions!
Before show season starts:
Consider applying for MODA recognition of your show! Recognition means you join a network of other shows that meet MODA’s standards for recognition. It also means that scores at your shows by MODA members can be applied towards our Year End Awards program.
For schooling shows that have applied for and received MODA Recognition, we will post a link on our website or Facebook page so potential riders can find your show bill.
In order to meet MODA recognition standards, Judges for USEF Training Level tests and up must be USDF “L” Graduates or higher. There is a database you can search at USDF for judges to verify their status, or to contact and hire for your show. NOTE: Graduates who are not current Participating Members of USDF might not be listed.
Of helpful to note is that Ohio is Region 2. CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO DATABASE
NOTE: You should encourage riders and trainers to become “L” graduates! The USDF “L” Program is a very educational program (check it out on USDF website HERE). Participants must meet certain riding requirements to be accepted followed by are 3 weekends filled with instructional seminars and demos and much required reading. Lastly there are 2 weekends of evaluations and formal testing. This is a wonderful program with a goal to develop educated judges who have been evaluated on national standards. USDF has worked hard on the program for many years so that we can locally provide schooling shows with educated officials. This is a great resource to take advantage of for the sake of the riders.
Before your show:
If you need help finding the structures needed to build a ring, or just in the technical aspects of setting it up - we might be able to help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Get your volunteers organized prior to the show. Have extra volunteers in case some don't show up. Sometimes it is helpful to list volunteers, jobs, and hours on the posted version of the schedule. Try to post the volunteer schedule at least 48 hours in advance. Try not to change it by much to avoid confusion and communication mishaps.
Scheduling the tests for the show:
If you are familiar with using Excel it can be a great help in setting up and organizing your schedule!
For tests ridden in a Short Ring:
Intro can be done at 5-minute intervals as long as the ring steward is a drill sergeant and the judge has had her coffee!
Training 1 and 2 can be at 6 minute intervals.
Training 3 can run 6 or 7 minutes but honestly rides better in the Large Ring.
First Level should be in the large ring.
Intro should be 6 -7 minutes long, Training Level 6-7 minutes, and First Level runs 8 -10 minutes.
If your show is large and you need to get them in and out, be sure to let riders know ahead of time. A great way to do this to state on the posted schedule (and also when they are checking in) that the show is large, and scheduling is tight. If you can have a more relaxed schedule, especial early in the season, or early in the morning, riders will appreciate the extra spacing.
Splitting / Combining Classes:
This is very helpful in many instances where you have low entries, or a lot of entries.
Many shows use the phrase “Classes may be combined or split as entries warrant” in their show bill to give fair warning that you may need to combine or split.
How you split is up to you but try to be consistent.
If there are only 2 riders in first 1 and only 1 rider in First 2, those could be combined and on the posted results re-named “First Level percentage.”
You have 10 entries in Training 1.
You would like to split it up so that more riders can go home with a ribbon.
Here are your options:
You may split it by divisions (for example into Youth and Adult)
You may split it “Split A” and “Split B.”
You may split it by “Open” and “AA” and/or “Youth” and/or “AA& Youth.”
Try to avoid splitting out just one rider.
For instance, if there are 2 or more Youth or Adult, many shows will split this up. But if there are 8 riders which are 7 adults and 1 youth, many shows will choose not to split them up.
Again, MODA is here to help you! Please feel free to reach out with any questions!
During the show:
If you are a MODA recognized show, please remember that you have agreed to adhere to the USEF and USDF standards and rules. It is important to be aware of these rules and regulations. They can be found at USEF.org and USEF.org
Some rules can be relaxed a bit in a schooling show setting, for example riders attire. However, equipment standards must be adhered to. A common error is the use of kimberwicks or martingales which are prohibited. But there are many others. An excellent printable USEF resource for equipment standards can be found HERE
Following standard results reporting protocol, please be sure your results, as well as the front of the tests, include the following information in the following format:
Because of USEF rules, many competitors have come to expect riders scores to be posted 30 minutes after a test is completed. As long as the scores are posted, you can wait on actually placing the class until the end of the class. However, because of such a heavy reliance on volunteers, this is often more relaxed at schooling shows. You should keep riders informed on how quickly they will be able to see scores and placings.
If you use volunteers to help run your show, some may want a form signed documenting their hours for various programs. Some show managers have found that posting a “thank you to the following volunteers” list on the results page of your show is helpful. Volunteers appreciate being publicly recognized and it provides an easy way to keep your own records of volunteers and their roles. But this also helps in case a volunteer comes to you long after the show has come and gone, and needs a form signed or hours verified.
For MODA recognized shows, we are happy to announce on Facebook when your results are posted with a link to your website. Please remember to also send us a copy of your final results (or a link) so that we can retain with our records of your show.
[Please feel free to contact Amy at Amy_Rothe@yahoo.com or MODA at firstname.lastname@example.org]