Flat -> Steeplechase Swapping Options

How do you think horses should swap between flat and SC unlimited times?

  • Number of workouts (Please post below with detailed suggestion)
  • Waiting period (Post below with detailed suggestion)
  • I don’t care
  • They shouldn’t swap - keep things as they are now

0 voters

So a while ago, someone brought up the idea of swapping horses between flat and steeplechasing more than once (i.e. you could swap a jumper back to flat, and then back to jumping, etc.).  Right now, swapping is a one-time, one-way option…the horse races (or not) on the flat, and then swaps to jumping for the rest of its career.  This is meant to reflect “real life”, where most steeplechasers don’t race on the flat at all, or if they do, it was prior to racing over jumps.

However, I am willing to consider relaxing this rule.  What I would propose is something like:

In order to swap in any “direction” (flat -> SC or SC -> flat), you would need to go in and do something active, like click a button saying “swap my horse”.  Then, you would need to do something with your horse to prep it for racing in its new discipline.  (Since, even if a horse were to swap, it wouldn’t race in a jump race on Wednesday and then a flat race on Saturday, especially if it hadn’t run on the flat in months/years.)

Options could be:

  • work your horse out, say, at least twice a week for 2 weeks before it could race (at a gallop or breeze, since those are the only workouts involving jumps)
  • wait a period of time, like 3 weeks, before it could race
  • other suggestions?  post below.

This would allow you to run a horse on the flat for its 2 and 3-year old years, for example.  Then try jumping for its 4yo year, then go back to flat for 5yo before retiring it.  (Obviously you could swap more often than just once a year, too.)

So…thoughts?  Suggestions?

Er I’m really not sure how I want to vote on this right now. I’d probably have to see some other member’s ideas. Since I’m not a huge SC fan (BECAUSE of the permanent swap at the moment), I’m really wanting to say “Well, make it like everything else. Three races or x days at flat/SC to go to SC/flat.” But that’s just because I don’t have any other ideas right now… But I do like the idea of a waiting period… and the workouts…

I would love this option, honestly.  I have a few horses that I’ve always thought would do really well over jumps, but haven’t wanted to try it because they do well on the flat, and if they happened to hate jumps, the rest of their career would be ruined.  I would go for a certain # of workouts between switching before they can race.

In real life, there are two types of jumping races, Hurdles (over smaller, lighter, hurdles) and Chases (over bigger, bush fences).

In the UK, jump racing usually takes a break between May and August and, more often than not, the first month or so and the last month or so of the jumping season don’t get the better races. Trainers of the better hurdlers will often race them on the flat outside the “peak” jumping months to keep their fitness and interest at peak levels. After a few years hurdling, many horses switch to Chasing. Chasers don’t usually switch back and forth between flat and SC, although they may switch back and forth between Hurdles and Chasing during their first year Chasing.

In FF, we apparently don’t differentiate between the two types of jump races.

I’m in favor of being able to switch back and forth between Flat & SC. I think that we should have at least four race days (two weeks) between the switch, mind you, I tend to give my horses two to three weeks between races.

BTW, in FF, I’ve noticed that there is one horse, Ahashakeheartbreak, that switched back and forth between SC and the Flat last year. He started racing in a SC on Oct 27th finishing 5th, then won on the Flat on Oct 31st, finished 2nd in a SC on Nov 3rd, 2nd on the Flat on Nov 7th, won on the Flat on Dec 5th, 3rd in a SC on Dec 8th, won on the Flat on Dec 12th, and finished up by finishing 6th on the Flat on Dec 29th. He has run twice so far this year, both times on the Flat.

Starfish - Correct.  To keep things simple, FF horses jump the same exact type of jump in any jump race.  Having 4 separate race types would have made things even more complicated, and the new race code to a year and a half to write as it is.

As for the horse, that was probably a bug in the race entry code…it happened a couple of times.

I really like the idea of working out beacuse it’s a bit more realistic.  If you were taking your flat horse back to jumps for the season you would need to work them to get those muscles working right again.  Your 2x a week for 2 weeks is a good idea, but you know, I’d rather have it be a number of workouts rather than a workout and period of waiting.
Lets say the horse needs 4 or 5 workouts before they can switch, even if you get them all done in a week?

I like the idea…I to have been affraid to try SC cause my horses can not switch back…

I think it would be effective if we had the option to try them over fences in workouts without have to “switch” them persay.  But I’m not sure how effective that would be anyway since we aren’t sure if we are getting an accurate reading from the jockeys unless they are ridden by them A LOT of times.  
In a nutshell I think it would be fun to have the option of trying them over jumps in workouts with out having to switch them and doing the “2 week thing” or minimum number of workouts.  Now if we decide that they may like a switch I think it would be nice if, then, we could push the “switch button” and semi-permanently switch them to flat/sc.  
I’m not really for the waiting period either for what ever case this option decides to go in.  Maybe a minimum number of workouts, but even that I feel should be up to the discretion of the owner.  
Blah, I’m bad at explaining things in writing…i hope it makes a little sense. :wink:

I just like the idea that we could run our SC’ers year round with this option (instead of just when the ‘right’ SC races come around.)  But I think the workouts would be easiest, cause that involves the time element also. It will also help to show a horse’s versatility.

I voted for number of workouts. I also like the idea of being able to try them over jumps first in a few workouts, but like Holly was saying, if it’s inaccurate because the jockeys don’t know your horse then it would be a little pointless. Anything you change it to would be better then the flat out permanent switch though  :slight_smile:

I agree with this. That would be awesome :slight_smile: I would personally hate to think a horse would rock at SC, wait/train for however long it gets decided, and then have the horse bomb majorly in a chase and THEN have to do the process all over again to get them back to flat.

Just to expand on this a little further…the more I think about it the more realistic I think it is also.  I mean if I were to own a horse in real life and thought they would do well over fences I would “try them” over fences.  So possibly have a “limited” SC workout option avaliable to all horses?  Like the workout can’t be longer than a 1/2 mile till the horse is “switched”? 

I’ve already said that a “trial SC” workout is on the to-do list, like everything else.

This is purely for switching to/from flat, SC, and back again.  Not how you decide to swap to jumps.

LOL…ignorance on my part.  I apologize. :wink:

Well, now that i know my only issue was already on the to-do-list then I think just a minimum number of workouts would work best.  I think 4-5 jumping workouts would be a good number if switching from flat to SC, but if a horse is switching from SC to flat, I feel, a lower number of workouts such as 1-2 would be sufficient since it’s harder to condition for jumping rather than flat racing…I’m just going from my experience in track when I ran hurdles…man was that exhausting…sure made it easy to run the 100 meter flat though! :wink:

i like this idea of being able to change i voted for workouts to keep it more real as you dont just change a horse instantly in real life also i think maybe a time frame as well to stop ppl racing there horse then changing it, and then giving the horse 4-5 workouts in a row just to be able to race them again.

i voted for the workouts.  2 workouts per week for 2 weeks before a switch seems reasonable to me.

Well, i voted for number of workouts and i would say 5-6 workouts,and a 3-4 week wait period to make it a bit more realistic


I would say at least 5 workouts, or a 2-week wait. I think I would vote for the 2-week wait, since it seems like there would be slightly less opportunity for twinking, it gives you time to get in some workouts, and it gives a more uniform figure for planning a horse’s schedule (since some horses might be able to do 5 workouts within a week or two and still be fine to race, and others might need three weeks to do that much, depending on how fit they were and how hard one pushed them).

I voted for # of workouts. I also like the idea of more workouts to switch to SC but less to switch to flat. Makes sense.

Having a set number of workouts seems like the way to go to me.  I’ve got a couple ideas of how to do that depending on how much coding you want to put into it. :wink:

The “easiest” coding option is a fixed number in both directions.  I’d say that 6 workouts over fences (so gallop/breeze) would probably be good.  That’d be a couple of weeks.

One thing you could do to sort of simulate that the muscles/styles of running on the flat and over fences are different is you could drop the horse’s fitness when they swap from flat to fences.  Drop it maybe 30-50 points (I’m not sure how the back end of the fitness affects races, but I’m sure you can pick an appropriate penalty).  That way, you’re not going to be swapping back and forth a bunch because each time you lose fitness, but the mandatory workouts will make more sense then because you’ve got to get the horse back in shape.

A slightly more complicated version of that… Make the fitness penalty higher when you swap to fences than when you swap to flat.  So maybe it’s 50 points to swap to over fences, 30 points to swap to the flat.  Without looking at any of the science behind jumping, it seems like flat-fitness would transfer over less to jump-fitness than vice-versa.