WHAT IS IT?
The Tracker Handicap System (created by HorseShowTracker.com and owned by Funnware Development, LLC) was inspired by the phenomenal growth of equestrian team roping and ranch sorting handicap systems and based on the similar idea of golf-handicaps in sporting events. Known as the “Tracker Handicap System”, this newly released scoring system gives everyone who participates a competitive chance to win based on their abilities. The system leverages a competitor’s financial investments to win even more money.
Similar to a Side Pot Class – the Tracker Handicap System is an add-on to an existing class and runs concurrent.
The Tracker Handicap System is used in horse show classes in which competitors receive a score (Trail, Horsemanship, Western Riding, etc.)
While the Tracker Handicap System is being newly released, it has been developed over years of data collection. The Tracker team has analyzed years of equine competitions to develop and prove the accuracy of its extensive math calculations. The Tracker Handicap System is currently in beta version – meaning it is a nearly complete prototype, but not yet ready for full release.
WHO IS IT FOR?
At this time, the Tracker Handicap System is being geared towards:
- Ranch Riding
With an eye towards:
- Ranch Trail
- Western Riding
- Horsemanship and
For each discipline, we would have Handicaps broken out as follows:
- Amt L1
- Amt L3-L2 (combined)
- Open Jr L1
- Open Jr L3-L2 (combined)
- Open Sr L1
- Open Sr L3-L2 (combined)
WHERE IS IT USED?
The Tracker Handicap System is currently being tested in a variety of Stock Breed type shows. However, as this system becomes more popular and widely utilized, it is anticipated to be used for a broader range of equestrian events that contain scored classes.
WHO MANAGES THESE HANDICAP/SIDE POT CLASSES?
The Tracker Handicap System Side Pot Classes are managed by the HorseShowTracker.com staff. Show Secretaries & Show Managers are not responsible for answering questions pertaining to these classes. Questions should be directed to: 877-464-8282 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW DOES THE TRACKER HANDICAP SYSTEM WORK?
The Tracker handicapping algorithm uses hundreds of proprietary calculations to assign each horse entry a point bonus handicap with a value of +/-20 that takes into account each entry’s strength of schedule, timing, event, judge variations, and schooling.
The point bonus handicap is added to a “tracker statistical average score” of the judges to arrive at the horse’s handicapped score that the class payouts will be based on. After throwing out any statistical outliers for a judge’s score and based on a complex set of data calculations, the Tracker Handicap System assigns every horse a handicap point bonus.
In order to keep the averages consistent, high and low scores are thrown out in a 4 or more judge class. There are no throw-outs in a three (or less) judged class.
HOW DOES THIS TRANSLATE TO ACTUAL SIDE POT WINNINGS IN A CLASS?
For example, let’s say we have a less experienced horse entry with Back #394 with a handicap point bonus of 3.5 and a highly experienced horse entry with Back #275 with a point bonus handicap of -2.5.
- Back #394: Received a (Judged score of 69 for the class) plus (3.5 Handicap bonus points) = 72.5 for the Tracker Handicap System “Jackpot”.
- Back #275: Received a (Judged score of 74 for the class) plus (-2.5 Handicap bonus points) = 71.5 for the Tracker Handicap System “Jackpot”.
In this example, Back #275 placed higher in the “regular” class, but Back #394 won the “Jackpot” by beating their expected score more than Back #275 beat their expected score. In essence, horse entries actually compete more against themselves than anyone else.
WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLE CLASSES?
Most Tracker Handicap System classes are run concurrently with association-approved classes and there can be multiple handicapped classes running concurrently with a single class.
For example, Amateur Trail Level 3 may have two handicap classes running concurrently:
- Amateur Trail Unrestricted Handicap side pot and
- Amateur Trail >1 Handicap side pot.
Handicaps are based on historically averaged scores. There are many highly optimized proprietary calculations that take into account each horse’s strength of schedule, timing, event, judge variations, and schooling variables.
Handicapped classes may restrict who qualifies to enter the class based on the Handicap bonus point limit.
For example, a horse with a handicap of -2.5 would not be allowed to enter a handicap Sidepot class of > 1. This ensures that similarly skilled entries are competing against each other – making each run more exciting (and fair) for everyone.
HOW OFTEN DO HANDICAPS GET UPDATED?
Handicaps change after every circuit (horse show). Consequently, based on your performance at that horse show, the classes you are eligible for in future shows may change as well.
HOW DOES A HANDICAP BENEFIT ALL COMPETITORS?
The Tracker Handicap System is designed in such a way that every competitor competes more against themselves than everyone else in the field. If a horse entry beats their own handicap, that is a good thing.
The Tracker Handicap System side pot option motivates ALL kinds of competitors at every experience level to be fully engaged. It allows for more in-experienced or older horses to be able to be competitive against higher-ranked horses.
Higher-ranked horses will enjoy larger payout purses as more entries are motivated to enter a handicapped class.
HOW DOES THE TRACKER HANDICAP SYSTEM PAYOUT?
The Tracker Handicap System follows the same payout structure as the National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA) with tie score payouts being split.
In order to be eligible to receive a payout, the participating exhibitor MUST obtain a score from the judge. A score of zero (0) does not receive a payout, however, a very low score may payout depending on how many exhibitors are participating in the side pot.
A SYSTEM YOU CAN TRUST.
As previously mentioned, The Tracker Handicap System has been developed over time and careful analysis of historical data for each horse who has attended horse shows that utilize HorseShowTracker.com to do entries and results. In order to avoid those who might desire to “game the system”, HorseShowTracker.com keeps the schooling and weighting algorithms proprietary so they cannot be manipulated.
HOW DO I SIGN UP TO PARTICIPATE AT MY NEXT SHOW?
The Tracker Handicap System is currently available to shows that use the HorseShowTracker.com management system for online entries.
- This system will remain in BETA until it is ready for full release.
- Exhibitors must have a SILVER or GOLD subscription in the HorseShowTracker.com app.
- All Tracker Handicap System Side Pot classes must be entered online through “The Tracker” at HorseShowTracker.com
- All exhibitors must have a valid payment method saved in HorseShowTracker.com (both for entries and payouts).
WHERE CAN I SEE THE RESULTS OF THESE TRACKER SIDE POT CLASSES?
The Tracker Handicap System will tally results in the app. Results will be updated in real-time and payouts will be awarded to the exhibitor’s valid payment method stored in the HorseShowTracker.com app. Payouts will be delivered within 15 business days following the end of the show, once all entries have been verified.
Show Secretaries/Announcers may also opt to post or announce the results of the Tracker Side Pot winners if desired, but it is not a requirement.