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Q and A with Dr. Doyle Meadows



The Walking Horse Report sits down with Celebration CEO, Dr. Doyle Meadows, for a Question and Answer session about the upcoming Spring Fun Show.

Q – How is the Spring Fun Show shaping up?
A – We are poised to host a great horse show.  Over the three nights we have a great list of classes to meet the needs of everyone from the Country Pleasure division to the Performance division.  We asked our trainers and exhibitors to make suggestions and I would like to thank everyone for their suggestions and input and we have included many of these suggestions in our 2011 class schedule.

Q – How was the decision made to move indoors to the Calsonic Arena?
A – Simply put, it is easier for this particular event to be inside rather than in the outdoor arena.  Also, each year we worry about the weather and the uncertainty it brings and this move takes those out of play.  Also, we are able to consolidate the inspection, concessions and club and have all of them in one unit, the Calsonic Arena.

Q – Where will entries be taken?
A – Entries will be taken in the show office inside the Calsonic Arena.  They will be taken from 3:00PM-7:00PM CST each day with show time being 6:00PM each night.

Q – Is the fee structure the same this year?
A – Entry fees will remain the same as they have been for the last several years.  The last two years we have charged a $10 grounds fee and $75 stall fee for the Fun Show.  This year in an effort to keep people on the grounds each horse will pay a one-time $25 fee which will include the grounds fee, stall rental and use of the entire facility.

Q – How will prize money be awarded at this year’s Fun Show?
A – The prize money will be the same as last year’s Celebration Fall Classic with a guaranteed purse.

Q – Did you consider the entry-fee based payout that the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association implemented for their 2011 National Trainers’ Show?
A – No, not for the Fun Show.  I do think that is a great way to award premiums and we are looking at a system similar to that at The Celebration.  This system has several positives but two are especially important.  First, exhibitors have an opportunity to make more money based on the number of entries.  Secondly, horse shows are not held to extreme losses based on guaranteed purses if entries don’t justify that purse.  I think the Trainers’ Association saw the need for this type of entry-based premium distribution and implemented it at their show.  A structured payback based on entries is something that all horse shows will be forced to consider in the future.

Q – When will you begin considering judges for the 2011 Celebration?
A – We start seriously considering candidates to judge The Celebration after the Spring Fun Show.  The last three years we have announced our panel in mid-July.

Q – In the past you have used a judge from your Fun Show panel to judge The Celebration.  Do you anticipate doing that again this year?
A – The Fun Show is a great barometer on how a judge can handle the size and scope of larger events.  We need more multi-night horse shows that will allow us an opportunity to evaluate judges.  One of our judges this year (Nathan Clark) has previously judged both the Fun Show and Celebration, while another (Joel Weaver) has previously judged the Fun Show.  Obviously we will evaluate their performance at the Fun Show as it pertains to The Celebration.

Q – I thought you were only going to hire judges for The Celebration that had no HPA violations from 2008 forward.  Have you changed that policy?
A – That was true but our situation changed when we activated our HIO and SHOW began to affiliate shows, make rules and license both judges and DQPs.  In as much as SHOW was now in charge of the licensing process, educational programs and disciplinary actions of the judges, we were more inclined to hire judges based on their total qualifications.  In addition, at the Sound Horse Conference in the spring of 2009, The Celebration not only did not receive any credit from initiating that policy but was openly ridiculed for our attempt.  Upon return from that conference, the Celebration Board, at my suggestion, made a decision to select judges that had the ability, knowledge and experience to judge our horse shows.  Since that time, I have hired nine judges for the Celebration and Celebration sponsored horse shows and only two judges have had two HPA violations since 2008.  If the judge is a trainer it will always be an objective to look at their past compliance history, integrity and obviously their ability to tie the horses.

Q – I have another question on judges.  It seems as if you have used a lot of the same people to judge The Celebration and you have been openly criticized for this practice.  What do you say to this criticism?
A – I do not apologize for using judges multiple times.  The Celebration is not a place for a judge to practice.  It is the real thing and we’ve got to have experienced judges.  Every major world championship show uses judges to judge their national event multiple times.  However, we are always considering and looking for talented judges that have not judged the Celebration previously that are capable to judge our horse show.  Ultimately I think it is a blend of maturity, experience and the ability to judge the horses. 

 

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