The International Dressage Riders Club (IDRC) and International Dressage Trainers Club (IDTC) held a meeting at the 2010 CDIO Aachen to discuss stewarding guidelines and the team championship formula amongst other topics.
Here is a summary of the IDRC - IDTC meeting:
1. Stewarding Guidelines
The group agreed that there are difficulties with the current Stewarding Guidelines-importantly the use of time limits and drawings- which has led in some cases to overzealous interpretation of the guidelines creating a confrontational atmosphere between competitors and Stewards. David Hunt confirmed that the Dressage Committee was aware of the problems and proposed revisions are under consideration. The group felt strongly that the eventual guidelines must apply equally across all disciplines. Further everyone agreed that ultimately the Riders and Trainers must take responsibility for the conduct of their sport.
The group looks forward to the revised guidelines and anticipates they will rectify the current shortcomings.
2. Championship Team Formula
The proposed 3+1 format for the Olympics was viewed as a reasonable compromise given the unique constraints and priorities associated with the Olympics. The major drawback of this format is that it shifts the emphasis away from the top end of the competitors. Therefore in cases of other Championships (WEG/EC etc.) for which there is no limitation on the number of horses, there was unanimous support for a return to the 4 competitor team with a drop score formula.
The inclusion of the Grand Prix Special as a determinant of the team results has led to further unforeseen consequences such as a weak rider being pulled into the Special by virtue of particularly strong team members or a stronger rider being pushed out of the Special when they were nonetheless in the qualifying tier of Grand Prix Results. This format also runs the risk of a strong rider losing an expected place in the Special because other team members were too weak to qualify the team. In cases where this is a risk there is a disincentive for countries to attempt to qualify a team. It was however also pointed out that this type of anomaly also occurred in previous formats as countries were only allowed to send three riders into the Special (e.g. Barcelona). Ideally it was hoped that the number of riders allowed in the Special could be increased to compensate for riders who only qualified by virtue of the team qualification.
The GP+GPS team format has also caused several issues with respect to the draw for the Special. Several solutions were suggested. Most importantly it was felt that the individuals should be more evenly mixed in the draw. There must be a good balance between what is fair and media accommodations.
3. Judges Supervisory Panel
The Judges Supervisory Panel was welcomed. It was hoped that the panel would be expanded to include other competitions and importantly Junior/YR/Pony competitions. David Hunt explained that in addition to correcting ‘factual errors’ the JSP met with the Judging team after tests to discuss general issues and trends which occurred during the test. With respect to the Aachen experience, the Judges were very receptive to this guidance. Trainers and Riders equally welcomed this oversight. David further explained that a system to monitor the performance of individual judges using statistical aids was in development. This system would be used to evaluate the quality of judging at competitions and to identify Judges in need of remedial training.
The group was less clear regarding the feelings about 7 versus 5 judges or the idea of dropping high and low scores. Many felt that because of the JSP the overall level of judging would be improved such that the need for 7 judges or the opportunity to practice biased judging would be negligible over time. Further, Wayne Channon explained that David Stickland's analysis had shown that dropping of high and low scores did not significantly change results. More information regarding these simulations will be distributed.
4. 2011 Rule Changes
Several examples of confusing wording in the proposed rule changes were sighted. A specific list and corrections will be produced.
Most felt that conservative criteria for dress should be maintained however there was some inclination to relax the code for the Freestyle.