Greystone Virtual Dressage Show
With horse shows in March – May postponed or cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kim Carpenter of Pulaski, Tenn. decided to try having a virtual dressage show, in place of the live show scheduled for April 25, 2020, which would have been held at Roberson Equestrian Facility in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Marie MacDonald (L-TN) and Meris Greges (r-AL) were judges for the show. Kim explained how she decided to offer a virtual dressage show.
By Kim Carpenter, Greystone Dressage
I saw the idea for a virtual show on Facebook on an online tack store page. I thought I could do this with my shows so I didn’t have to cancel the upcoming show. I put the idea out on FB, got great interest, so I went for it.
This is the quick version of how it works for the competitors: submit an entry form by the closing date a week before the show date, then video your test, upload it to YouTube and post it on the Greystone Dressage FB page show album by midnight on the show day, wait for results and ribbons.
From the organizer’s end this is how it works: process entries and get tests to the judges, the judges have a week to go through all the videos and complete their judging of the tests. I get the tests back for scoring, which takes a few days; then I post the results and package up the tests and ribbons for competitors who choose to have them mailed; otherwise, I email them the test sheets.
There were so many junior riders that I wanted to make sure they got sufficiently recognized for their efforts. For many it was their first show, so I awarded ribbons from first through tenth place for each class. I award high point prizes with large ribbons to the highest scoring horse and rider combo in the show for English, western and driven dressage. I also awarded some breed specific high point ribbons for the Thoroughbred Incentive Program, Trakehner, and Georgian Grande breeds.
It’s fairly simple, but I never expected the overwhelming response I got. A normal show gets about 25 or so entries. But with this virtual online show I had 91 entries! I had to hire a second judge, as we ended up with 140 dressage tests, which is about 16 hours of rides. One of the coolest things was getting entries from ten states, one as far away as Massachusetts. My goal is to reach people on the west coast, too, or even Canada.
At my shows, I offer all types of classes. If a competitor doesn’t see their test of choice on the list, they can request it and I will add it. We have all levels of traditional English dressage, plus Western dressage, Gaited English dressage, Gaited Western dressage, Driven dressage, and an In-Hand class for young horses that just turned one year old.
High point winners of the April 25th show:
English Dressage - Sheryl Miller(MA) & Zazu
Western Dressage - Scot MacGregor (TN) & Ovations For Ozzy
Driven Dressage - Kate Bushman (TN) & Bliss WH
TIP - Elizabeth Zuelke (AL) & Andy Drufresne
Trakehner - Vivi Ridge (TN) & Tequila
Georgian Grande - Cathie Fergus-Watson (KY) & Ronald Regan
With the amazing response from this first virtual show, I have changed the remaining three shows to virtual shows and added a fourth date. The remaining shows are June 13, July 25, Sept. 12, and Oct. 24. At the upcoming show in June, I am also offering to mail people the fun entry packet bags that I normally give away at shows; they just have to pay the postage and will get a fun, reusable bag with goodies.
All the information (entry form and prize list) is at the website at www.greystonedressage.com, as well as on the Greystone Dressage facebook page.
Greystone Dressage Show Services
Editor’s Note: In theory, dressage should lend itself to the virtual format better than some other horse disciplines. Each arena is precisely the same dimensions; the test is the same at each level, except in musical freestyle, and the camera can be set up at C where the judge would be positioned in a live show.
Read more about virtual dressage shows at Your Dressage website: https://yourdressage.org/2020/05/06/organizers-turn-to-virtual-dressage-shows-during-shutdown/
However, the downside of virtual competitions is sanctions from the FEI. See this article from The Chronicle of the Horse: https://www.chronofhorse.com/article/fei-rules-virtual-competitions-off-limits-for-its-judges
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