You've no doubt heard the buzz created by the the law's newest phase: Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) for Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs). Essentially, if you haul horses as part of your business, like trainers do, you are subject to the new law. If you are a sponsored rider, you are subject to the law. Basically, anyone who receives money for riding, and then hauls horses, needs a CMV. The law now mandates that owners of CMVs must install ELDs to record the number of hours driven in a 14-hour period.
As a professional who hauls clients' horses, she is required to have an ELD in her "commercial" vehicle. I know that this issue doesn't affect me directly, but I can imagine that there are a lot of trainers and assistants who are scrambling right now to figure out how to be in compliance.
I've only competed in one California Dressage Society Championship. I had a fabulous time, learned a lot, and came home with a lot less money in my checking account. But when I entered such a prestigious show, I knew that would be the case. Championships, wherever they're held, are supposed to be a big deal.
Over the past month, Facebook has been filled with mutterings about some recent changes to the format of the CDS Championship. Not that Facebook should be your source for news, but the CDS website hadn't done an update, so I was left with social media. I saw a petition go by and several posts filled with a lot of "that's unfair" and "what do I pay dues for?" kinds of comments. Frankly, I wasn't sure what the fuss was about.
From the article, also available online, it seems quite clear why the changes were made. The first two changes (no longer hosting the USDF Breeders Championship and combining the 4, 5, and 6-year-old futurity Amateur and Open Divisions with special awards given to highest scoring Amateurs) were done due to lack of participation. That doesn't seem so controversial to me.
Skipping number three for a moment - the fourth change was about increasing prize money for Horse of the Year (HOY) classes from $1,000 to $1,500. Who's complaining about that?
The fifth change bumped up the qualifying score for Freestyles from 62% to 64%. It sounds as though 62% was too easy to get, and CDS wants only the best competing. I get that.
Since 1967, HOY has been determined by averaging the results from two different rides of the same test over two days. The year I competed, each day's test was scored by two different judges. That meant that the winner was determined by averaging four sets of scores. Beginning in 2018, each rider will only ride one test, but it will be scored by three different judges. Placings will be determined by averaging the three scores.
CDS has determined that this will actually be cheaper for riders, one less test to pay for, and it will free up riders to compete in other classes for which they are qualified (USDF, equitation, other levels, etc.).
The complaint I am hearing is that determining HOY based on one test alone isn't fair. Naysayers state that if your horse has a bad day, you've lost your chance to earn HOY. That might be true, but then it's also true that you might save your placing if your second test turned out to be a bomb. In addition, riders had to qualify to even get to HOY, so it's not really based on one test at all. It's been a season long journey culminating in one final championship class.
In my mind, the change is not unfair. Every rider has the same opportunity to put in their best test.
When we make it back to the Championship Show, the extra $25 won't be a big deal to me. It seems the least of the costs associated with going to a big show. I worry more about gas money!
So there you have it, two recent controversies. Are you being affect by the ELDs? Please share. What are your thoughts on the Championship changes? Am I missing something?