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Blue ribbons at WEF

I assumed it meant you won a class.

But I am being told that when it comes to the jumpers it is more or less a participation award?!?!? Can anyone explain this? Thank you!

The blue and red ribbons are for first place. The plain blue ribbons are from clean rounds in the schooling jumpers classes.

Many of the “Schooling jumper” classes are scored such that all clean rounds tie for first. Hence a blue ribbon.
It does a couple of things…one, there are often upwards of 100 entries in those classes, they would never finish if there were jumpoffs…two, it sure looks nice to have a bunch of blue ribbons hangning on your banner at WEF :smiley:

Thanks for the explanation!

Completing a course within the time allowed encourages a steady forward pace, and a tidy track. Jumping off against the clock too early in a horse’s development (especially over low jumps) can ruin the technique and/or temperament of any horse, but can spoil the future potential of a very capable one.

The Table II classes (known as “Clear Round”) schooling or training jumper classes are designed without jump offs in order to provide green horses (and riders) with an introduction to the competition ring and preparation to move up the levels. The object is not the win, but to improve.

A horse might start in the .85m, on the first day, and end up at 1.0m by the end of the week. Then stay at 1.0m for another week before moving up to the 1.05. They might not see jump-off classes at all at 1.15m and below in the pro classes. A horse that is expected to peak at Grand Prix level might not go fast till they are jumping much, much higher.

If there are any shortfalls in a horse’s skill set, or a tendency to be careless, the rails will not stay up, and the clock will be a factor for those who take the long way around or need to trot into the lines. IOW, with appropriate course design that poses fair questions, it can be more difficult to get those clear rounds than one might think at first glance (and the officials who score that ring are kept busy keeping track of variations on this theme).

But the clear rounds / blue ribbons are benchmarks in a horse’s development so do serve an important purpose. If they are covering someone’s tack room wall, they are well deserved.

This is not unique to WEF. Blue Ribbon Clear Round classes are at every horse show I’ve been to.

I only show locally so this is not something I’ve encountered. And as someone mentioned above. WEF blue ribbons are for clear rounds while blue and red are for first place.

It can be very difficult to convince “locals” of the wisdom of Table II classes.

Winning and points takes precedence over all else. So it can seem quite alien to get to a ‘better’ level and all of a sudden encounter classes with no clear ‘winners.’

Well, this local’s goal is to ride my horse as best I can so that he can jump clear.

Winning is very nice, but I don’t want to win with 4 faults.