Huntseat (english) equitation class. So it's completely on the rider. Rider #1 has near perfect equitation. Her shoulders are slightly rounded, and heels are slightly forward. At all of the gaits, rider is seated quietly, moving with the horse. For the most part, a decent example of good equitation.
Rider #2 is a very good rider (especially riding western), but has a form of multiple sclorosis so her body alignment is far from where it should be. Her heels are in a vertical line from her knees, and she is leaning forward quite a bit. Her movements are "choppy" at the trot and canter, like she's fighting to find the rythym of the horse.
Both riders personnaly know the judges. And both riders are competing for and currently tied for all-around.
Rider #2 places above rider #1. Reasons given were: taking rider #2's physical/medical situation into consideration she had the best ride for what her limitations where. Though rider #1 had a very good ride, she did not have physical limitations that prevented her from completely straightening her shoulders, and keeping her heels in the correct line.
Without sounding like a completely insensitive B****, where the judges correct and justified in taking rider #2's medical condition into consideration when placing the class?