Monday, October 31, 2016

Points (oh god, points...)

I am a self confessed satin-hoarder.  I meticulously keep and display EVERY ribbon that is earned by one of my beasts.  I think it stems from a satin deprived youth as an eventer where at best I brouh home 4 ribbons a summer. 

So even though my garage is literally wallpapered in ribbons (thanks Hunters!), I imagine my continuing obsession is akin to someone growing up hungry and then never being able to leave a bread basket behind at a restaurant.

Maybe that's a tad dramatic - but the anxiety in my chest that starts if I think someone accidently took my ribbon or god forbid threw it out... is real. 

Really, really, real.

Anyway, for all the neurosis surrounding my ribbons - I've never been that keyed in on points. 

Mostly I think that's because I've always let the horse dictate the division, or level - and if we were ready to move up, we moved up and I didn't worry much about sprinkling points around in different divisions during the same season.

In fact, when I think about it - aside from 2016 every single show season I've ever had has either been split across multiple divisions (or levels) or ended early by an injury. 

2016 is literally the only time that, aside from the first show of the season, I've hung out in the same division all. year. long.  And really racked up some points in the process.

So it turns out, I am obsessed with points. I just never had enough of them to care before.

(Prairie's Stirrup Cup Win from 2013)

Windsor has had quite the season - and that makes it, well... a bit more fun to point chase. 

At some point, maybe back in August or so, it occurred to me that not only was I leading my meager Low AA Hunter and Eq divisions, but Windsy was leading the Pre-Greens for our local organization.

That prompted me to look at USEF and my eyeballs nearly popped when I saw that those same points had him leading the Zone HOTY and sitting second in the Derby standings for our Zone (top 50 nationally). 

The problem with becoming aware of this information is that it has wormed its way into my subconscious and meant that now I'll be sitting on the couch, streaming something totally un-related with The Boy and suddenly I'll be like, "I wonder if Windsy is still winning his divisions."

The answer is no.  He's not. 

The last few months (and remarkably inconsistent outing at Zone Finals where there were bonus points to be had) have meant that the leaderboard is flipping and flopping around with almost every show.

Winning year end awards has (to this point) never been a priority for me.  I've never used it to define my competition goals, or even used it to set my competition calendar.  But, I can say that now that they are in reach - I'm keenly aware of how well we need to do in California to put us back on top again. 

I do take pride in the fact that Windsy has scored more points at fewer shows than many of the other horses we are against.  I feel like there should be some horsey-batting-average stat that takes the frequency of competition out of the picture. (though I have no idea how that would work).

I'm also impressed with his mark on the Derby leaderboard, since nationally - the horses surrounding our rank have done upwards of 10 or 12 derbies, and Windsy only got to four USHJA classes this year. (that being said, the horse sitting in second nationally only went to four as well... which is IMPRESSIVE).

Points are a hard thing for me to get too wrapped up in.  Mostly because the best way to get a lot of points is to just show a ton.  Even if you aren't always winning - just pulling down mid range ribbons all summer long will start to stack up. 

If you don't want to live in your car at horse shows all summer, Tri-colors give you a decent point boost - so consistent Champion or Reserve wins, can make up for a lighter presence on the circuit.

However, if you aren't always on top - those extra weeks back, to back, to back (ugh) are pretty much your best bet.

So we will see.  If by some miracle Windsy stays on (or close to) the top of his USEF rankings - it'd be pretty cool to have a USEF ribbon from a rated division.  That would get a special spot on the wall for sure.


  1. Hah, you and I are very similar when it comes to year-end awards. I thought for sure I had no chance at anything, but since we are able to consistently attend all summer, things are looking up!

  2. Winds should get bonus points for cute factor.

  3. Not that I'm super competitive or anything, but I assume your derby wins in Canada didn't count? WHICH MEANS SCREW YOU CANADIANS NEED US POINTS.

  4. Points or no points, there's no denying that you and Winds make a lovely pair :)


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