BEF Fuurity - don't bother

Joined
23 July 2012
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16
I must pass my (and others close to me) thoughts on about the NONSENSE that is the Futurity Shows held by BEF if anything to stop you wasting your hard earned money. I entered for the first time at Hartpury last week with my youngster. Astounded by the lack of help/stewarding at the event, we had literally hunt people down to ask them where we should go etc.. the judges are plain RUDE (excpt if you're in the click...) No welcome smile, introduction, explanation. You're expected to be psychic in knowing what you should do and despite me reading the factsheets thoroughly, the order of 'events' was completely different which was quite offputting. The most distressing moment was when the judgely group asked to see my boy 'loosed', they all strolled from one end of the arena to the other completely in his path and then had the gaul to 'tut' looking in my direction. I'm not a 'professional' but would not consider myself an amateur either but I do know the difference between a well balanced, well behaved, trainable horse and an overfed, highly strung, stressed one. You need to have the latter to score well at the BEF, OR know the judge, Or have shares in Baileys Horse Feeds. No sour grapes here by the way, I am GLAD I do not aspire to their judging criteria.
 
Joined
23 July 2012
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We were disappointed too. As first timers we did all the research we could , watched the video numerous times, asked everyone we could think of for advice, in total we will have travelled around 600 miles as we had to fetch the mare and foal and return it from the breeder we collaborate with. The vetting went so well, all involved were verging on ecstatic about the 3 month old foal, got a score of 9. When told it is to be a show jumper they commented on its physical suitability. Heres the gripe...we read that you could take a third person in, but reckoned that was in case the mare or foal were spooky or difficult. Ours were well handled and a dream to work with so it didn't even occur to us to need anybody. We also thought that a well behaved foal would be a good thing. We missed a first by a minute percentage on the grounds that the foal did not exhibit its show jumping potential was not forward thinking enough . Oh well we thought you live and learn....then we saw three people go in the third person had a whip and was shaking a plastic bottle with stones in it and two of the handlers were making lots of noise. Why didn't it show that in the video? In the rules it says you can't use 'nasty whips' which we thought meant something like a lunge whip, not so, we just took a small show whip in.Talk about naive. Had we known the foal could / should be cajoled she'd have blown them away, she was just too well behaved! We should have shown them the video footage we have. We didn't mind spending the money for a fair judgement,and of course the judges decision is final, but the vets knew better than the judges on this occasion, and some competitors had a lot longer than others. We might do it again, you will recognise us by the rattles , whips and general commotion. Come on BEF ...inform newcomers what they should and shouldn't be doing in more detail before we spend the money.You are meant to encourage us
 
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PS ,
I do not know if its true but I heard that only one or two show jumpers got a first. Considering the number of entrants it seems pretty low, I doubt any entrant went to all the trouble on a whim?
 

Clodagh

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One of the ladies in Breeding is involved with the futurity. Please post your gripes in there, I didn't go (youngster by ungraded tb sire) but would be interested in seeing peoples views.
 
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We got 8.5 from the Vet and lots of nice comments but the judging was indifferent. We felt as though we were wasting their time....
 

Asha

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Dont be put off, why not just learn from what youve seen and go back next year ?

I made the same mistake with a yearling, i just let him be himself and didnt chase him at all, as i didnt want to scare him. Just wanted him to enjoy his trip out. He just casually cantered around having a great ole time. Got marked down on canter for not enough impulsion. But i was happy, as i knew he wasnt stressed at all, plus i know what sort of canter he really has. Wouldnt change anything !

With reference to the judges all but one so far ( been for past 3 years now) have been great. The exception being a judge who came over and looked my mare up and down, and commented how i had clearly found the perfect stallion to get a foal like THAT out of a mare like THAT.

Going back this year, with another foal from the same mare but a different stallion, so it will be interesting to see if she was right !
 

eventrider23

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The use of shakers (bottles with stones etc) was supposed to have been banned a few years ago. Lunge whips are allowed but not allowed to have plastic bags on them or anything like that.
 

Sportznight

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Over the hill and far away
I must admit, that I decided to have nothing more to do with the Futurity in 2007. And that was not based on sour grapes either, seeing my entry that year was top scorer at his venue and third highest in the country! It was entirely based on the sanctimonious and dismissive attitude of the judges and one in particular, who was too busy stuffing her face to even acknowledge she had been spoken too!
 

ribbons

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In days gone by showing, and let's be honest that is what the futurity is, presenting your horse for someone's opinion, was very different, judges had integrity, knowledge and years of experience. These days being a judge seems to have nothing to do with these values. It's all about the prestige, and self importance, and yes, arrogance. A quick course and deemed fit to judge the quality of horses.
I am obviously not referring to all judges and have no idea who was on the panel at the futurity. But there seem to be a frightening number of judges who can't even care for their own animals properly and are prosecuted for neglect.
It would be very wrong to tar all with the same brush, but I find many are so full of their own importance and sadly lacking in the values needed to be a judge.
In my day ( and I won't be revealing when that was, ha ha) a judge was a well respected person of great knowledge, with manners, integrity and time to be helpful.
Ah the way things have changed.
 

jennygw

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I don't really post on here very often - but was interested to read what other people wrote about Futurity this year.

This was my 2nd year going - I had a fabulous time last year. Keysoe couldn't have been more helpful and informative for a first timer with a mare and foal. The whole day was very smooth and my young man was graded Elite with excellent constructive feedback.
Full of enthusiasm, off we went for yearling gradings this year - I too struggled to find anyone to show me where to go, how to even get my yearling to the grading station (only signs for the loos and the burger van - not much use for us!) and faced with no clear or particularly safe walkway to get there.
The Vet assessment went beautifully - congratulated on my well behaved boy, how smart he was and how i'd produced him. I purposefully wanted to see the same Vet as last year to compare her judgement and I was very pleased with our 8.75. (9 last year)

Went into the school for the grading - got grunted at as to what to do, when I asked questions, got told to get on with it and when we let him loose and we started to chase him, we were told to 'make it gallop' and hurry up. At one point I couldn't hear what they were asking me - so said so and got a beautifully blunt reply. Charming.
He was pretty confused, we were running about trying to jolly him up and then an official came with a lunge whip. I thought at the time - oh great, give the whip a crack near him and that should help. But she chose to stand behind him as he trotted away and hit him across the hindquarters. She did this a couple of times and looked blank when I suggested she didn't do it again!! I was gobsmacked.

The judges told me he lacked any athletic ability or implusion to make it as an event horse and he was outright lazy.

He didn't show off much gallop or, to be fair, a huge amount of canter but he was so confused at us rushing about and then being cracked up the arse - I didn't really mind. He walked and trotted in hand beautifully and behaved so bravely.
He was awarded a 2nd.

My query was if he was SO good last year - top event foal at Osberton.....what the HELL had i done wrong in the last 6 months? It's still the same horse - so did they get it wrong this year or last? At Osberton - we struggled to get him to trot in hand but the judges there could see through that and still had fair comment on what he showed.

He is not for sale - I bred him for me & I adore every last bit of him, so although abit disappointed, in reality it doesn't really matter! I just felt a bit flat after enjoying the day so much last year and it going so smoothly (regardless of the score) and getting such a positive experience for the horses from it.

P.S The 'lazy' yearling - took 2 of us to lead him down to the school and back again - cheky bugger dragged me every where!!
 

sywell

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I am dissapointed to hear the comments about the judges as I know the history of 4 of them and their training has been very good. I think the proof of the pudding is in the eating and looking at the judging results in 7 years time will show if they picked the winners. I appreciate that in the UK we do not have a pool of raisers of young horses and this can effect the progress of a young horse dramatically.
 

Clodagh

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Common courtesy fron judges costs nothing though, however good they are at spotting the next big thing. The futurity is going to have novice people turning up and giving clear instructions and the odd smile can't be that hard, surely!
 
Joined
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I am dissapointed to hear the comments about the judges as I know the history of 4 of them and their training has been very good. I think the proof of the pudding is in the eating and looking at the judging results in 7 years time will show if they picked the winners. I appreciate that in the UK we do not have a pool of raisers of young horses and this can effect the progress of a young horse dramatically.
The judges criteria, from I observed from the rest of the day was inconsistent, their comments meaningless. I watched H&C and saw the judges that featured on the tv. I have to say, I did not recognise ANY of them at Hartpury so lord knows who this bunch were. The young 'training judges' (or so I believe them to be), SMILED apologetically to me when i was told my 3 yr old lacked 'motivation'. If she means he should cart me around the triangle, bugger off at a loony gallop and smash through a line of fences then yes he did, sorry about that....... I am so cross I actually feel i should be asking for a refund on my entry as the whole event was MIS SOLD
 

Freddie19

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why oh why would anyone want to take a foal or yearling to any grading where chasing, waving whip or stones in bottle would be allowed. They ARE babies, if we took our children to anything like that and scared them half to death, we would have social services on our backs, before you could say Jack Robinson. If you think you have a nice animal, treasure it, look after it, let it be a child until its ready to train. You will have a nicer, rounder and happier animal to pursue your dreams on. Oh and if you think this is rubbish, look back over the years, where are all our long lived, talented horses now. Unless they have been produced by a caring trainer, I am afraid to say they are on the scrap heap.
 
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why oh why would anyone want to take a foal or yearling to any grading where chasing, waving whip or stones in bottle would be allowed. They ARE babies, if we took our children to anything like that and scared them half to death, we would have social services on our backs, before you could say Jack Robinson. If you think you have a nice animal, treasure it, look after it, let it be a child until its ready to train. You will have a nicer, rounder and happier animal to pursue your dreams on. Oh and if you think this is rubbish, look back over the years, where are all our long lived, talented horses now. Unless they have been produced by a caring trainer, I am afraid to say they are on the scrap heap.
Definitely NOT rubbish
 

not_with_it

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After reading all the other posts I felt I had to comment.

I took my 2 yo dressage filly to Richmond. The vet offered helpful advice and was a generally nice person who made some very nice comments about Dix.

We were lucky enough to have Lynne Crowden as one of the evaluators and I have to say I really respect her as a horsewoman. All the comments she gave were very supportive and she explained why we got the marks we did and why the marks werent higher. I felt as though she was genuinly interested in my horse.

Maybe we were just lucky up north to have such a nice, knowledgable people judging us. I'm sorry to hear some of you had bad experiences, but I just want to say thankyou to everyone at Richmond for a great day out.
 

dianchi

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Sorry but this is completely contrary to my experience of BEF futurity and I'm looking forward to going at the end of August. Would say you were unlucky and wh didn't you post inbreeding where you would have got more help/support
 
Joined
24 July 2012
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2
in my experience through going to these events with work, it is getting more and more a waste of time the judges, i notice, are getting more and more subjective and refuse to look at a foal without bias. there was even the comment "cute" from a judge this year, they should be providing a more objective view on the whole affair! each year i have been, the average marks from the judges have been getting higher and higher without a great deal of improvement in the stock. the events themselves are poorly run and lack correct stewarding- every year we are asked "where is the vetting", "where do i sign in". they don't even put out a sign, its not hard!! the events never run on time and there is no communication between the vets and the main ring. the concept is good and a great way to show off to potential buyers; however, it lacks organisation and objectivity in the evaluations and would benefit greatly from a few extra stewards!
 

mulledwhine

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head in the clouds
Freddie19 - exactly what I am thinking, it sound horrendous , they are sure fired ways to make a lovely sensible youngster, scared and untrusting :(

Never heard if this show before, but will avoid like the plague
 

Goldenstar

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Freddie19 - exactly what I am thinking, it sound horrendous , they are sure fired ways to make a lovely sensible youngster, scared and untrusting :(

Never heard if this show before, but will avoid like the plague
Me too why shaking bottles of stones and hitting youngsters across the bum with whips is allowed is beyond me something to avoid.
 

magic104

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2 April 2006
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6,156
I must pass my (and others close to me) thoughts on about the NONSENSE that is the Futurity Shows held by BEF if anything to stop you wasting your hard earned money. I entered for the first time at Hartpury last week with my youngster. Astounded by the lack of help/stewarding at the event, we had literally hunt people down to ask them where we should go etc.. the judges are plain RUDE (excpt if you're in the click...) No welcome smile, introduction, explanation. You're expected to be psychic in knowing what you should do and despite me reading the factsheets thoroughly, the order of 'events' was completely different which was quite offputting. The most distressing moment was when the judgely group asked to see my boy 'loosed', they all strolled from one end of the arena to the other completely in his path and then had the gaul to 'tut' looking in my direction. I'm not a 'professional' but would not consider myself an amateur either but I do know the difference between a well balanced, well behaved, trainable horse and an overfed, highly strung, stressed one. You need to have the latter to score well at the BEF, OR know the judge, Or have shares in Baileys Horse Feeds. No sour grapes here by the way, I am GLAD I do not aspire to their judging criteria.
How disgusting that you signed up just to slate the Futurity & then do not have the balls to do it under your own name!!! Shame on you, nothing but a coward & as such I wont take what you have written as anything but sour grapes!!
 

rhino

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How disgusting that you signed up just to slate the Futurity & then do not have the balls to do it under your own name!!! Shame on you, nothing but a coward & as such I wont take what you have written as anything but sour grapes!!
It's a forum and it is accepted practice not to use your own name, it's hardly being underhand :confused: I would however urge OP to make a formal complaint, as I believe others are doing.

I have heard similar from a couple of very experienced breeders this year, about the same venue. Very disappointing. Agree also about the methods used to wind up the youngsters, there was an outcry on the forum last year at the practices used in arab showing and I don't see this as being much different :(
 

Batgirl

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Just to put a positive slant on it my friend took 4 youngstock to Richmond BEF today and came back with great results today, Pippi, Comet (both 2yo) and Rosetta (born just before Jubilee weekend) all getting first premium and super Connor (3yo) a higher first.

Whole yard very pleased (one day Comet shall be mine, just need my numbers to come up. For the record, the owners don't use all the tricks etc, just beautiful horses and well mannered :D
 

ribbons

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Magic104, (sorry I don't know your real name) I think you'll find that OP has every right to speak as they found. Judging by the responses to the post, they were far from alone in their opinions. Many more replies agreeing with what was said than not. Including one who had top scores in a previous year, but still was very unhappy with the experience. Hardly sour grapes there was it.
 

magic104

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It's a forum and it is accepted practice not to use your own name, it's hardly being underhand :confused: I would however urge OP to make a formal complaint, as I believe others are doing.

I have heard similar from a couple of very experienced breeders this year, about the same venue. Very disappointing. Agree also about the methods used to wind up the youngsters, there was an outcry on the forum last year at the practices used in arab showing and I don't see this as being much different :(
Oh of course if is fully acceptable to sign on just to slate others without first letting them have their say on the points in question. No you would not mind if someone had a gripe with you, & instead of taking it up with you, to allow you to answer the points, they just came on a public forum to slate you instead. Well Rhino you are a better person then me, but we already know that....
 

magic104

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Magic104, (sorry I don't know your real name) I think you'll find that OP has every right to speak as they found. Judging by the responses to the post, they were far from alone in their opinions. Many more replies agreeing with what was said than not. Including one who had top scores in a previous year, but still was very unhappy with the experience. Hardly sour grapes there was it.
Well then let them do it under their normal name then! I never signed on here to slate others so there is a difference with the names thanks all the same - Sue
 

rhino

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Well Rhino you are a better person then me, but we already know that....
:confused: Sorry?! I'm only aware of having posted in agreement with you in the past, but if I have said something to upset you then I apologise.

Personally I usually don't like people joining with the sole intention of criticising, but having heard what the response was when someone tried to complain/ask for clarification on the day I can actually understand the OP's frustration. As said, I think anyone who had an issue should make an official complaint as well. Even experienced breeders were having issues, so I can quite understand how a first timer would relate to the situation.
 

velv

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12 April 2011
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Nottingham
After reading all the other posts I felt I had to comment.

I took my 2 yo dressage filly to Richmond. The vet offered helpful advice and was a generally nice person who made some very nice comments about Dix.

We were lucky enough to have Lynne Crowden as one of the evaluators and I have to say I really respect her as a horsewoman. All the comments she gave were very supportive and she explained why we got the marks we did and why the marks werent higher. I felt as though she was genuinly interested in my horse.

Maybe we were just lucky up north to have such a nice, knowledgable people judging us. I'm sorry to hear some of you had bad experiences, but I just want to say thankyou to everyone at Richmond for a great day out.
I was also at Richmond today and was looking forwards to Lynne Crowden Judging my sport pony, However when I went into the ring she had gone for a 5 minute break so only was evaluated by one person. I thought this was bad seeing as the entry price is so high and the fact that it was only one persons view and not the one I wanted! Other than that the day went smoothly and I was happy with most of the comments.
 

cruiseline

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Both my youngsters and I have had nothing but positive experiences at the futurities. I think it is a fantastic opportunity to have your breeding stock evaluated by experienced professionals, as well as giving your youngsters a good start to their education as competition horses.
 

FestiveG

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I have nothing to do with this type of showing, but assume that the stewarding is done by volunteers, as is the case at most shows. If this is the case, then the lack of stewarding is probably due to people who do not wish to give up their time. It is often the case that in the heat of the nerves of showing, people are rude to the volunteers, giving every impression that they believe that they should be treated as the understairs servants :eek: It then becomes harder to find people willing to do the job and with fewer stewars events do not run as smoothly. I would suggest to all those who find the organisation less than they expected, offer your services at a different venue, thus helping the organisation as a whole.
 
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