DIHP Newsletter #6
No doubt, after footing, the most challenging part of a show our size is the schedule. And, in case anyone was concerned we didn’t hear the feedback on scheduling, I’ll state the obvious, we have a lot of opportunity to improve in this area. There were a lot of factors that contributed to the schedule challenges we had during NSS, including the pure number of events/special classes held during the two weeks (too many!), a new team using new software (we won’t be as new this winter!), the failure of our computer network, especially during NSS1 (this really caught us by surprise because we had invested in a new network but clearly did not have the redundancies we needed and now have!), the number of rings needed (we planned to use ten rings but needed twelve, which resulted in more significant last minute changes across rings!), some peculiarities with Showgroundslive…I could go on, as the list is much longer.
I think you’ll take some comfort that this has been the focus of our attention since the day we finished NSS, and continues to be our focus. Beyond these more mechanical things, what constitutes a good schedule for one trainer is not the same as what constitutes a good schedule for another trainer. Which ring should a class go in? Friday/Saturday versus Saturday/Sunday trade-offs? What divisions do we start with first thing, and who gets the anchor spot at the end of the day? What time should the day end? And then there is how well we deal with the minute by minute conflicts which arise across the rings. So, here is where we are and the big question is what are we doing about it.
First, we are planning to use all twelve rings all eight weeks during this winter circuit (week one we’ll be using Jumper 4 for USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Gold Star Clinic). If we have fewer trips than expected, we do not plan to consolidate rings, we’ll just finish earlier in the day. With twelve rings, our target is to finish by 4 pm during Tuesday through Saturday and by 2 pm on Sunday. This does not mean we’ll always hit these times, but it does mean that we are using our resources (judges, staff, rings, jumps) to aim to finish earlier rather than later.
Second, we have received a ton of suggestions for what should be going in each ring, what sequence, and other individual trainer preferences. You’ll see more consistent use of the rings each day, e.g., all 3’6” hunter classes in the same ring for the day, the low height jumper classes in the same ring, and we have planned in alternating weeks for starting/finishing divisions Friday/Saturday versus Saturday/Sunday.
Third, we have enhanced our computer network and dedicated a team to building the schedule on a daily basis based on signups. We are constrained by the Showgroundslive cycle of signups by 5pm and schedule release by 7pm, but we should have fewer changes from the weekly schedule that we publish.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we continue to listen and adapt. After we posted our prize list a few weeks back, we received, and continue to receive, lots of good ideas and suggestions. We can’t always meet an individual request and we know at times what helps one trainer has a negative effect on another. We ultimately try to do what we think is fair. We think we have been able to address the vast majority of the suggestions, ideas, and comments we received and published an updated prize list yesterday. If any of the changes create a problem for you, please let us know as well. We’ll continue to listen and make further adjustments. Our goal is to make the show and the schedule about what you want. Just drop us a line.
As we make further changes, we’ll release an updated prize list and you’ll always be able to tell by the reference at the bottom right hand side of the page the date of the latest version. The most recent version has “revised December 15” on it and the link is attached below.
We have lots of new things set for the winter circuit and we’re incredibly excited to see you there and get started. #seeyouinthedesert