Plaidcast 346: Sue Ashe by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services

Plaidcast Episode 346 Sue Ashe


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Piper speaks with top USEF “R” judge Sue Ashe about her longtime career and judging. Brought to you by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services. Listen in!


  • Host: Piper Klemm of The Plaid Horse Magazine
  • Guest: Sue Ashe is one of the country’s top judges. Sue was a very successful equitation rider as a junior, winning the AHSA (now US Equestrian) Medal Finals at Madison Square Garden. Sue has years of training experience including training her son Neil and daughter Molly Ashe Cawley from the pony hunter ring to the big eq before they both became professionals. Sue’s judging schedule is non-stop from the East Coast to the West Coast in the spring and summer and occasionally Medal finals in the fall. Sue is also a clinician in between judging. For her lifetime of dedication to this sport, Sue was the recipient of the 2020 United States Hunter Jumper Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Title Sponsor: Taylor, Harris Insurance Services, Taylor, Harris Insurance Services (THIS) was founded in 1987 to provide specialized insurance for all types of equine risk. THIS places their policies with the highest rated and most secure carriers, meticulously selected for reliability and prompt claims settlement. THIS is proud of their worldwide reputation for responsive and courteous service, and welcomes the opportunity to discuss your equine insurance needs and provide you with a quote.
  • Photo courtesy of Sue Ashe
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  • Sponsors: Purina Animal NutritionAmerica CryoAlexis Kletjian Jewelry, LAURACEA, BoneKare, Austin Hardware, Enbarr, Show Strides Book Series, With Purpose: The Balmoral Standard, Good Boy, Eddie and American Equestrian School

This transcript was generated automatically. Its accuracy may vary.

Piper Klemm 
[00:01:02] This is The Plaidcast. I’m Piper Klemm, publisher of the Plaid Horse magazine. And coming up today on episode 346, I will talk to Sue Ashe about judging and a lifelong career in the sport. This episode is brought to you by Taylor Harris Insurance Services. Sue Ashe is one of the country’s top judges. She was a very successful equitation rider as a juror, winning the AHSA, now U.S. Equestrian Medal Finals at Madison Square Garden. Sue has years of training experience, including both her son, Neil and daughter Molly Ashe-Cawley from the Pony hunter ring to the big eq before they both became professionals. Sue’s judging schedule is nonstop from the East Coast to the West Coast in the spring and summer and occasionally medal finals in the fall. For her lifetime of dedication to the sport, Sue was a recipient of the 2020 United States Hunter Jumper Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Welcome to the plaidcast, Sue. 

Sue Ashe [00:04:48] Thanks so much and thank you so much for having me. 

Piper Klemm [00:04:51] Can you tell us a little bit what it was like growing up in the sport and kind of how you got involved and started horse showing? 

Sue Ashe [00:04:58] Certainly. But I’ll tell you what, it’s certainly changed by leaps and bounds from when I started. I actually started riding on a donkey, which was a joke, and then went to ponies and then though a wonderful lady in Long Island named Mary Ann Shodder. And she would send my sister and I two unbroke ponies. We would break them, send them back, and she’d send us two more. And one year for Christmas, I got a membership, a junior membership to Ox Ridge. And that was all she wrote. That changed everything from riding in the back yard on unbroken Ponies to career in the horse world, which I have been in for a very long time. 

Piper Klemm [00:05:45] So what did Ox ridge look like back in the day? Who was who was there? Who did you get to learn from? 

Sue Ashe [00:05:50] Otto was there, and he was the best. We used to hack over. One time I hacked over with the donkey, and George was in there right in the ring on Gamecock, having a school. And Gamecock took one look at this donkey and of course, his tail went over his back and he bolted and Otto is screaming at us, Get that ass out of here! Which we did, we left haha. But anyway, Otto and Miss T, Miss Townsend were the only two people at that time that were at Ox ridge. It became a home away from home. My dad became very involved, and he made the Ox ridge Horse Show. It was a two day, and he moved it to a four day, the one in June. He was chairman of the board, and then my sister and I were chairman of the junior committee for, I don’t know, it seems like 20 years. But it was a wonderful we never kept the horses there. We always kept them at home, did our own work and hacked over to the club. We lived in New Canaan and. If we did it correctly, it was probably a half hour. But as soon as we got on the trails, we just went hell bent for leather and ran as fast as the horses would go to get there. You can’t do that today haha.

Piper Klemm [00:07:16] So you start moving up through your junior years. What did that kind of look like as you moved up? 

Sue Ashe [00:07:22] Well, I ended up. Actually, I had a couple of lessons from Gordon. Wright. And my dad said, okay, you’ve had the lessons. Now go learn what he taught you. And I actually was George Morris’s first student. So, I mean, he had one, you know, and he picked a little backyard kid to help. And it’s funny, he used to make us ride in our sneakers so that when we went to the horse show, we’d put our boots and britches on and our leg would be tighter. That showed how long ago that was. But through my junior years, I was very fortunate to ride a number of lovely horses. I ended up winning the medal finals when I was third in the Maclay on a horse that my dad bought for me for my birthday that I totally didn’t like. He was so hard to ride. No one wanted to ever get changed to him because you couldn’t. I mean, he just never told you, he’s just going to leave the ground and he’d leave the ground. The best one was Michael Plum. He got changed to him so many times and gotten left. I mean, behind the saddle every time. And in the air. This horse’s nickname was Charlie. He would go, ‘Oh, Charlie!’ So. Way back then, one of the tests that they used to do it, they’d have you line up and then change to the horse on either your left or your right, and no one would stand next to me. You would be out there by myself. And because no one wanted to ride him. But he was a good horse. He really was. After that I went to college and taught school and I wanted to. Go to Southern Pines and Gordon Wright called me, said, I have a job. You’re going to Southern Pines. But it was with a hunt family. I said to Gordon, I want to show. And he said, Sue, you’re going. And I said yes Sir, I’m going to Southern Pines. And that’s. When I turned professional full time, and that changed my whole life. 

Piper Klemm [00:09:32] So what was it like the those early days of being a professional? How did you kind of develop your own, your own teaching style, your own training style? 

Sue Ashe [00:09:40] Well, in all honesty, what I did, I would do every year I would come to Florida and I would sit in the schooling area and listen to George teach, and then I would go home. And for that year I would work on what I learned from listening to him. And then the next year, you know, the same thing over and over. I was fortunate enough to have two children that were very, very good riders. My son Neil and my daughter Molly. Neil’s no longer in it. He has race horses but has had enough of horse shows, doesn’t want any part of it. He ended up winning the medal, I mean the USET finals. Molly ended up being reserve in the USET finals and Molly today is continuing on as a Grand Prix rider. And her daughter, my granddaughter. It’s such a thrill for me to watch her ride. Taylor, she rides is 14 and is doing the high junior jumpers and. It’s so much there’s so much more education today than there was back in my day when I was a junior. I mean, we just sort of a lot of it was riding by the seat of our pants. Today, it’s absolutely it’s a program that has been tested and proven and there are some beautiful, beautiful riders out there. And, you know, it’s a very, very expensive sport, as we all know. But if you want it bad enough, there’s always a way. 

Piper Klemm [00:11:23] So tell us a little bit about raising your kids in the sport. I think so many people talk about how how cool it is that you get to spend so much time with their children in a way that I think a lot of parents don’t don’t have that time, you know, traveling and teaching and training and that kind of working together and the camaraderie that parents it’s our kids are. 

Sue Ashe [00:11:47] It’s it’s a double edged sword because it’s great in many ways. And it’s not great in many ways because they’re you’re working side by side with them. And they still have to be kids. They still have to go out. But you still have eighteen horses on the road that have to be ridden because what – my business, we had more people send us horses for the kids to show to sell than. The kids that actually came with us. I mean, yes, they did come. We’d have eight and ten at a time, but we’d have 20 horses, so. It was a full time job. And sometimes I wish that both kids had more of a chance to be kids, you know, and go out. But if you devoted your life to it, it it’s your life and 24/7, which obviously I’ve devoted my life and Molly’s devoted hers. Neal walked away from it as soon as he got his MBA at Harvard. He said, I don’t need this anymore. I’ve mucked enough stalls in my life. 

Piper Klemm [00:12:59] So how did your business kind of evolve then again, after. After they both moved on, Molly with their own business and and Neil moving on to other careers. 

Sue Ashe [00:13:10] Their dad was very sick and I shut the business down. And then after he died, I had two clients that said, You promised to take us to Devon. You’re taking us to Devon. I said, I really don’t want to go to that. Well, too bad you’re going to Devon. So I went to Devon and then I ended up at Beacon Hill and I stayed there sort of managing it for, I think, maybe three and a half, three years. And then I said to myself, You know, this is stupid. Let’s go back to Knoxville, where you belong. And so I did, and I just sort of started all over again. And I didn’t totally open my barn like I had it before, but I freelanced and went to different places. I started judging more and more as way back when. Norman Hall, who has long since been singing The Daisies. He told me I had to get my judge card and Red Frazier told me I had to get my judge’s card. And so I did. And Red said, You have to judge two shows a month. And I said, I can’t give up the business for that much, but I can probably do one, which I did. And then. As time went on, one led to the three and then ended up. Moving to Florida full time. My mom became quite ill and handicapped and I had a small house in Bedford Mews for the horse shows. And so we just moved there. And then my mom passed and so my husband had passed. My mom passed, the kids are gone. So the door was open. And so I just started judging more and. Giving clinics. I do feel it’s a little bit of a conflict of interest for me to do clinics with as much as I judge. I know some people don’t, but I do feel that it’s not correct to do that. So. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. I’m so lucky to do what I love. 

Piper Klemm [00:15:17] What are some things about judging that you think have changed over the years? I mean, we’ve talked to a lot of people of what they look for and what we see. You know, as you said, I see education as the level of education grows. I mean, there are a lot of good rounds, really good rounds at some of these shows. 

Sue Ashe [00:15:34] I think that if you don’t like the way someone’s judging or the way the class is pinned, that’s why you go to the steward and write up your report at the end of the day. Not when you’re in the heat of the battle. That’s just my own opinion. I do believe that the judging has gotten so much better. I’ve spoken to too many. I do the mentor program, which I adore doing it. I love the Mentor program. The mentor program is for professionals only, which I think should only be judges, and they can get their card in their little R in a year. And then they got to judge some more and they can get their big R in another year. And it’s very time consuming and very expensive to get your card even through the mentor program. And a lot of people have told me I don’t want to judge, not the way they’re bashing everybody, which I think is sad. And yet there are many, many, many, many, many good rounds. And you’ve got to stand up for what you feel and what you think and what you feel is correct. You pin it that way. You don’t pin the in gate. You don’t pin the hoops and hollers thinking that they just won the Olympics. You pin what you see. That’s how I feel. And, you know, when the time comes that people aren’t happy with your judging, you’re not going to get asked. But as long as you know, you have contracts for three years out, I guess everything’s still okay. 

Piper Klemm [00:17:16] Yeah, there is this like interesting kind of, I think, problem when you do look at the number of judges and who is available and the number of, you know, the number of rings going at some of these weeks in the summer between just so many circuits going on, you think how many judges, how many stewards, how many jump crew? And, you know, you look ingate people, every aspect. And then you look at how many people are qualified to do these jobs. It doesn’t seem like the numbers always line up. 

Sue Ashe [00:17:43] I know I agree with you, But I’m going to tell you one thing that I feel strongly about, and I’ve been preaching this for over ten years. I think there should be a little r. I think there should be a big R and I think there should be a star. R. I had a learner, who just got her big R, and I said, you know, someone needs to talk to David Burton about upping the ante here. And I have spoken to David before, and his biggest concern is. He doesn’t know how to give some and not the others. And that’s exactly why the three that I just said little r, big R, star R. 

Piper Klemm [00:18:22] We’ve heard a lot this year, you know, of rumblings about horse show managers, organizers getting more involved in the scoring or discussions with the judges to, you know, pressure or maybe. 

Sue Ashe [00:18:36] Yeah that happens. 

Piper Klemm [00:18:36] for bigger scores. 

Sue Ashe [00:18:37] Uh huh. I it hasn’thappen to me. But I heard it did happen that one of the managers went up and said, Your scores are too low. I want all the scores to be higher. That’s not right. You’re giving your. You know what I teach when I’m teaching? Judging the judges. An A is 90, a B is 80, a C is 70. And down. Down the road. So if you see a horse that goes that you really like and you give it an 87, you know, you don’t have to go to a 90. But some of the managers are telling you they want you to do it, that the crowd loves to hear the high scores. 

Piper Klemm [00:19:23] What crowd? 

Sue Ashe [00:19:26] Who are we pleasing? The?. 

Piper Klemm [00:19:28] Yeah, yeah. The ingate crowd. 

Sue Ashe [00:19:32] Do you know how many judges judge from the ingate? Who’s standing at the gate? Nothing. Nothing makes me madder. 

Piper Klemm [00:19:42] Well, I just read the U.S. equestrian magazine and saw that there was a judge hollering from the ingate, getting fined. 

Sue Ashe [00:19:50] Well, I am not a good one when they do that, because I said word. If I can hear you, it’s too loud. Because somewhere in the book and I think my good friend Geoff Teal, is the one who got it cleared, that you can talk to them while they’re in the ring, but talking to them and screaming at them are two different things. First of all, the kids too scared to remember what you said. Anyway, give them a break. And they give them a 20 minute lesson at the in gate. The kid’s not going to remember that. I mean, they’re they’re learning, but they’re not learning that way. I don’t think. But everybody has their own opinion. 

Piper Klemm [00:20:34] Well, And also there’s a sense of. Like. That that learning needs to happen in a space like at home and not at the horse show. You know, I think there’s so much learning going on at the horse show where at the horse show you should learn the horse show, not learn to ride your horse. 

Sue Ashe [00:20:51] You are so perfect. How about this is what gets me too. So you waited and you waited. And you waited. and waited and waited. and you waited. And FINALLY the horse comes out and then the trainer gives them a 20 minute lesson at the ingate. And then they have to paint the seat because that’s going to make the horse jump better. So quite a few years back. That happened to me at One or Show and it was a friend of mine who did it to me. And as they were taking the polos off. I stood up and said, I’m taking a blue room break. Well, he a professional, burst out laughing because he knew exactly what I was doing. And I told Leo Conroy, well, it was Leo’s favorite thing before he died. I bet he did it 40 times. When they make you wait. And wait and wait. And then, of course. 75% of the time after they make you. Wait, wait, wait. They come in and either have a refusal, a rail or trot or something major. 

Piper Klemm [00:21:57] How do we how do we improve this though? Because, I mean, it’s I. 

Sue Ashe [00:22:02] I understand. I know just what you’re saying. But here’s the here’s here’s the problem. So they tried the trainer certification. That was so ridiculous in my opinion. I had, I was mentoring Stacia Madden And they said she needed another show with me. And so I said da, da, da, da da and she said, Oh, I can’t I have to go to trainers certification. I said, What? I said, You should be grandfathered in. Oh, no. So what happened with a majority of the people that did it, They had the time, so they hang up a shingle. I’m certified. Well if you could listen to them give a lesson in the ring? They were no more certified than my service dog is up on my bed right now. I mean, the concept might be correct. The way it was done is not correct, in my opinion. And again, maybe that’s the same thing as I’m saying with the little r, the star r and the big R. Maybe this is what should happen to these trainers. They should be registered that way. Have you stood in the schooling area and listened to some of those those quote trainers, what they say to those kids? 

Piper Klemm [00:23:21] Oh yeah, I mean, its a lot. 

Sue Ashe [00:23:25] It’s awful and the thing that I’ve never understood. So some kid comes in on a dead run away. A dead run away. Trainer hoops, it’s last. The trainer tells the parents, This is the worst judging I’ve ever seen in my life. That happens a lot. Let me tell you. Because they don’t know. But I don’t know why a parent, even if you didn’t know a thing about it, if you watch the horse show. Or the class that your child did and you watch the ones go around. And then you see your daughter go around on a dead run away. Don’t you see a difference? I would think you could see a difference. 

Piper Klemm [00:24:13] But, you know, I think a lot of people aren’t paying attention. You know, they’re paying attention to, you know, how they’re treated and their own experience. And if their lunch was delicious, like, I think. 

Sue Ashe [00:24:25] haha I love you. 

Piper Klemm [00:24:26] It. But acknowledging what you’re watching and acknowledging your place, your rung on the ladder currently, which again, is you can change your rung on the ladder to, you know, through a lot of means. But where you are acknowledging where you are currently is, it’s a really hard emotional thing. Like you have to admit your flaws and admit where you are. And a lot of people aren’t willing to do that anywhere in life. And it’s admitting it’s a process. Like I think so many people want the ribbon today versus like if they had the choice of a long term or short term decision. Look around our sport, so many people choose a short term decision versus like this will make me a better rider next year or five years from now or ten years from now. 

Sue Ashe [00:25:11] Yeah, but remember, those kids don’t know the difference. They don’t know the difference. The parents don’t know the difference. And this is the sad part that trainers some of them don’t know the difference. It’s sad. It’s very sad. Now, granted, we had some of the top trainers probably. I, well for sure. In the U.S., I was going to say in the world, but they don’t have equitation except in Canada that I know of. In the Bahamas and Bermuda. I just judged a horse show in Bermuda. But we do have the top trainers, and we don’t have just one or two. You’ve got. You’ve got a handful of good ones. We got handfuls of bad ones, you’ve got wheelbarrows full of boad ones. But how does that parent know which one to pick? And they pick, because I’m certified and the reason I’m certified. And then, for instance, Molly, who said, I’m not doing it, I’m just telling you right now, I’m not doing it and I’m not doing it. Stacia, I am doing it. I don’t even know how to compare that. I mean, it’s apples and oranges. But, you know, Susie’s best friend has a lesson with which is how I got to Oxridge with Otto, my best friend in New Cannon was having a lesson and she said let me see if I can’t get you a lesson with Otto too and I thought, Oh, my God, I’d die. I’d die for it. I went to school that day in my riding clothes. I couldn’t wait. I was so excited. But that was a good start. Now, I could have had a good friend who was having a riding lesson with Joe Blow, who didn’t have a clue. And I was so excited and so jealous because she was having a lesson that I went there too. And so then my parents said, okay, good, we’ll just stay with Joe Blow because they don’t know the difference. And how do we educate them? 

Piper Klemm [00:27:22] I mean, I come back to the watching in the schooling ring. I mean, I think, you know, as a kid I was at the mercy of my non-horse parents decisions who found my barns in the phone book in the yellow pages and said, Yeah, yeah. And that’s how we all get started when we’re not from horse families and our parents do our best. And as an adult, that’s what you’re saying. Like I watched the schooling ring.

Sue Ashe [00:27:45] And absolutely. And I mean, I sat there religiously listening to all of them and would go home and work on that with the kids and myself. But you’ve got to be really devoted. 

Piper Klemm [00:27:59] And you have to be off your phone and really paying attention and really present. 

Sue Ashe [00:28:04] And nothing makes me madder- nothing. I’ve had learner people in the judges stand with me, get on their phone. And I said, If you want to stay in the booth, put the phone away. I’ve had them all say the opposite. Look how great that horse went, because it was for sake of argument’s sake, say Tom Wright’s. I said, Did you really think it went that way? Yeah. I said, What about the third jump when it jumped over its front end? What about the sixth jump when it swapped coming into it? What about. Oh, I didn’t see that. Yeah, that’s frustrating, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I love it. 

Piper Klemm [00:30:20] Okay, so I. I have mixed feelings. I obviously respect your opinion that only professionals should judge. But I do have mixed feelings on it because I do feel like a lot of the professionals I know are not necessarily the most paperwork organized people I know, whereas I feel like there are a lot of amateurs with day jobs or desk jobs that are extremely paperwork, paperwork organized. So you don’t see any kind of convergence in the amateurs making up with their knowledge and the professionals picking up with their organization. 

Sue Ashe [00:30:52] I see exactly what you’re saying. The only thing that I have to say is. It says as a judge, in my professional opinion. And I agree with you. There are some amateurs that are great judges. And I’ll give you an example of one. And I have stood up for this girl nonstop because she was a professional is Mary Euphemia. Mary Euphemia had a horrific fall. I mean, we thought she’s dead. Broke her back. Totally had blocked a nerve and she’ll tell you that. She said I’ll only ride one horse. So she’s judging and she’s a very good judge and she’s an amateur. And I’ve had people say she has no business to judge. She was showing in the- she most certainly does have a business to judge. She that she might be an amateur, but she’s really a professional or she was a professional until she got hurt. 

Piper Klemm [00:31:56] I mean. Part of me wants to sit on the side of like everyone can be taught. And then I, you know, part of me wants to sit on the side of like, you know, I know that that’s not the case from experience. I mean, what is the right amount of, like encouraging people to work harder and try harder and put more years in and and. 

Sue Ashe [00:32:19] Like, you have to be- you tell them, Piper you have to be honest you’ve got to tell them. 

Piper Klemm [00:32:24] I feel like a lot of, as you said, with a time and money commitment, a lot of the younger judges don’t have their own businesses or like I feel like a lot of the people in your generation, like, had their own businesses for a long time or, you know, were really deep in the sport and then became judges where we do have a lot more younger people becoming judges that. Maybe aren’t quite as deep in the sport before they become a judge. 

Sue Ashe [00:32:52] I agree. And that’s why I think that we need to we need to really be looking hard when we give when we give out their qualifications and we give them a little R a big R which is stupid it should have three categories. I argued. 

Piper Klemm [00:33:13] What do you think? Oh, yeah. Sorry. What do you think about the concept of having, like, different rings, be able to judge by, like, different levels? So even that, that. So you have maybe like the walk trot ring is judged by, can be judged by a small R. 

Sue Ashe [00:33:29] Perfect. Perfect. And that’s exactly how it should be. I agree with you 1,000%. And we tried to push that. And I also agree with you that a premiere horse show would have to hire two star  R judges and they’re going to have to pay accordingly. And the little R that’s sitting in the booth in the walk trot ring should not be paid the same as even though it’s not a premiere horse show, say, as we’re being paid in the main hunter rings. That’s not right. I mean, they got to pay their dues. They’ve got to do their homework. They’ve got to sit in that ring in the sun, beating down on you, no water. I mean, they’ve got to pay their dues. Since you’re such a big leader in this industry, I think that at the convention. Someone like you and I’m volunteering. You need to stand up and we’ll get behind you with this. Little r going to the small ring. And as long as the managers realize that the little r is going to pay them to go to the little ring and do the short stirrup and the walk trot and all that stuff, but then they can’t bring them into the big ring until they get their miles. And I argued with Geoff Teal, who is one of my dearest friends, and he said, I think everybody who applies for a judge’s card should be given their little R. I said, Geoffery, listen to yourself. Do you think that’s fair to an exhibitor? Susie Snotface wants her card so therefore she gets the judge me? no, that’s not fair to the exhibitor. You at least need to have a horseman in there. I think. I love the judging part of it. I mean, I’m telling you, I love it. Of course, as you all know, the hardest part is the travel, especially yesterday. Oh, my God. Those poor weather storms. They told Claudia Roland in Atlanta because her flight got canceled from. Where was she? Elmira. And when she got to Atlanta, they ended up canceling the flight to Palm Beach. They. She slept on the floor. They told her they could not get her to Palm Beach for three days. She said, Well, I have to be in trials and judging a horse show. So she ended up renting a car and driving and they still haven’t found her suitcase. 

Piper Klemm [00:36:10] Yeah. Every week this summer, I’ve got somewhere I’ve gotten stuck or delayed. 

Sue Ashe [00:36:15] Yeah you get stuck And you can’t. There’s not. I mean, the storms, they can’t do anything about it now. But I think if we did try to decide on how to get a group that is going to push this little r to go. So the big judges to the horse show managers and judge the little rings. I think that is the answer, which we have tried this before and got nowhere. So maybe you can help us. 

Piper Klemm [00:36:44] I mean, I think that I think it’s a good time because I think the demands are so much higher now on just sheer volume. And I think it is an interesting predicament because as long as a number I mean, you you and Geoff are both right. Obviously, as long as a number of rings continues to be what it is or grows, we just need more judges. The numbers we have don’t support it. We need some mechanism to give have a lot more people sitting in the booth. But if we can change the specs on which rings need what like I okay, I’m an amateur, but I would feel very qualified to judge beginner divisions. I would not want nor do I deserve the responsibility of judging hunter ring one, two or three. And I think there are a lot of people in that transitional state. And instead of not having a place for them to be useful, let’s let’s put everyone to work being extremely useful where they are in their horsemanship progression ladder. 

Sue Ashe [00:37:49] That’s good. That’s good. But also I think what needs to be stressed to the managers if you do not have to pay the little r the same that you’re paying, the big R, the little r, that does the short stirrup ring. I mean they, they should be very happy getting 500 a day or 450 a day because they’re getting their miles to get them ready to move into the sport. And as you said, that’s a perfect place, in my opinion, for amateurs to get their miles. 

Piper Klemm [00:38:20] Yeah. And so it’s not Yeah, it’s not that that that the money has to come out of thin air or even, you know, we’re essentially reallocating funds. 

Sue Ashe [00:38:29] Exactly. Exactly. Managers would not be putting on horse shows if they weren’t making money. 

Piper Klemm [00:38:35] As we luxury. I don’t know what the right word is, but like uber luxury, everything, you know, someone has to pay for that. And I was at a small a horse show a couple of weeks ago, you know, the kind of horse show that barely exists anymore. And it’s hard to find and. You know, went to the porta potty and I was like, thinking in the porta potty of like This is a Decision to make this horse show affordable for more people so more people can participate in our sport. And like, you know, it’s a decision not a lot of people want to make anymore. But also every decision like that, we price out more and more people. 

Sue Ashe [00:39:18] Well, how about the schooling shows that aren’t USEF, aren’t USHJA? They’re making a fortune. Look at Lewis Pack’s shows that he does in the Carolinas that are not recognized. They’re Blue Mountain or whatever it is recognized. I mean, he had 700 horses at his last horse show. 700 horses to an unrecognized horse show. 

Piper Klemm [00:39:46] Yeah. And just like, just like the range that the unrated shows are feast or famine, like that. 

Sue Ashe [00:39:52] Yeah, but they’re cheaper and people can afford to go to them. 

Piper Klemm [00:39:58] Yeah, and a lot of them are run in the same rings with the same jumps with the a lot of them have great judges too. 

Sue Ashe [00:40:07] Well Lewis, I mean, he hires all big R judges. He has some of his shows at Tryon right there in that place, rents that place. I mean yeah, Lewis is the only one that I know of that does the unrated stuff, which is why I used him. 

Piper Klemm [00:40:23] Thank you so much for coming on and we really appreciate everything. 

Sue Ashe [00:40:27] All right Piper. I really enjoyed it. 

Piper Klemm [00:42:14] To learn more about anything we’ve discussed on today’s show, visit You can find show notes at Follow the Plaid Horse on all the social medias. You can subscribe to the print edition of the Plaid Horse magazine at Please rate and review the plaidcast anywhere you listen to it and if you enjoy this episode, please share it with your friends. I will see you at the ring!