06-01-2013, 12:53 AM
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I think there are far fewer instances of truly bad judges than you hear about. I know I've complained about 'bad' or 'unfair' judges because riders who I thought were worse than me placed higher- guess what, looking back on it those riders were better than me, their horses had more training than mine did, and they deserved to place where I didn't. In other cases I realized I was riding a Hunter under a Dressage judge, in a ring full of Dressage type riders and I didn't place as well as I wanted to, even though I thought maybe I deserved to win.
Now I like speed events, and if I'm going to show on the flat I look for shows with a focus on the style of riding I work with on the horse I'll be riding.
You also have to remember that judges don't have eyes EVERYWHERE and sometimes riders get away with major mistakes in the ring because the judge just didn't see it.