Timing at unrecognized events

Sort of a spinoff of another thread. Where I grew up schooling events were never timed. Where I live now they are timed, even at the lowest level. I had no idea and ended up with .4 in time for (forwardly) trotting a xrail sj course with my mare.

Whats your opinion on timing at schooling events?

We don’t have any recognized around here so I sort of get it for BN+ so its a better simulation of a “real” event. But for the sub BN crowd, its kinda irritating and counterintuitive to me.

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They often don’t time unrecognized events in my area. I personally don’t care either way as I use unrecognized events for schooling and don’t really worry about my placings. If your goal was to have a nice, in-control round with your horse, I wouldn’t worry about a few seconds in time penalties.


It used to be relatively common around here (MD/ SE PA) and now doesn’t seem to happen, largely I think because it takes extra volunteers. I don’t really see a need for it (and certainly not below BN). There’s such a range of horses and riders at starter events. A pace that’s a quiet canter for an OTTB is a gallop for a small pony.


It’s organizer dependent. I used to host Short Course Events in a series. Some hosts wanted to time as an educational thing so riders could learn. The problem was, riders didn’t pay attention. They didn’t understand why they lost because of 100 time faults. Volunteers couldn’t get the scoring right. It just created confusion and upset.

I never timed mine. I felt it unnecessary for the level.

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The ones in my area are timed. I think it’s a good thing.

I incurred a crazy number of penalty points for trotting starter xc once, but I didn’t care because the goal for this particular event was to build my horse’s (and my) confidence. He jumped everything and I remained in control, so I was thrilled!

My opinion is that whatever the organizer wants to do is fine with me because I simply appreciate that these events exist.

Timing does make sense, since at all other levels there will be time constraints.

It is also fine that some people want to go out and simply have a slow and safe ride on Dobbin so they ignore the time requirements and have lots of time faults. (I am one of those people.)


Echoing others - it’s event/organizer dependent.

As a competitor, I prefer it. I treat these events as schooling, but like the timing to be a factor for placement reasons.

As a volunteer, it can be a logistical nightmare finding volunteers willing and knowledgeable. Timing requires full attention and precision. Most events are already running lean on volunteers.

My favorite unrecognized event local to me used to not time anything below BN. There were so many frankly scary rounds, that they not only began timing sub-BN classes, but also introduced a mandatory stop obstacle in the middle of XC where competitors must come to a halt in a pole-grid, and then stand for 3 seconds before continuing.

In my area, the lower levels are timed primarily to keep people from going too fast, which I think is a good idea. The slower side of the times are slow enough that you don’t get time unless you’re trotting the whole course or lost, frankly, you’ve got to be going really slow. And if you’re going that slow, you shouldn’t care about getting time penalties.

So, funny story, being in this area I’m just very used to unrecognized events not being timed and like it as one less thing to worry about when I move up.

That being said…Buck’s County Horse Park does (or at least did) time their unrecognized. Keep in mind, clearly noted for those that read the literature. I DID not know and this was a couple years ago when it like rained every day. It was so mucky, my horse wanted to trot everywhere and I let her since we were still new to the level (BN) and easily good with the jumps but I worried about a bad take off. Get done and think it’s weird I went from like 3rd after dressage to 9th or something with two clear jumping rounds…yeah…and 2 min worth of time faults…ooops!

I was told they do it to prep people for recognized, which is fine and not a problem…just…you know…wish I actually read the literature…psh…literacy…

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