Courtesy of Yvette Seger, Horse Management Guru
Making an Inquiry
So the HM scoresheets are posted, and your team has a bunch of crazy penalties with which you disagree…Let’s talk about how you handle the inquiry process…
1) Inquiries need to be made by the Captain. If your captain is riding, let the CHMJ (not an AHMJ…FIND THE CHMJ) know that you plan to have an inquiry once your captain is back.
2) Prepare your argument. Believe it or not, the rulebook is your ally in inquiries. It always benefits you to point to rules within the rulebook when making an inquiry. The 2014 Rulebook is very open to interpretation, so if you can present a reasonable argument USING the rules, you have a pretty good chance of getting your points back. I also recommend that you include the HM Required Equipment Expansion in your rulebook to help with inquiries.
3) Understand that CHMJs are frequently in a “he said, she said” position. The AHMJs are our eyes and ears, yet competitors may have interpreted an occurrence differently. We really DO try to weigh both sides and base our decisions on evidence rather than opinions, but it is impossible for us to see everything.
4) Be gracious to the HM staff whether or not you get your points back. If you get your points back, make sure the CHMJ changes the score on the Master (Gold) sheet. (I usually make this a part of my “ritual” when giving points back.) If you don’t get your points back, you can choose to go to a full protest, or just let it go and chalk it up to a learning experience. Do NOT let a failed inquiry cloud your attitude around the HM judges for the rest of the competition.