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Why do we have carded judges???

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I thought I would add this separate thread for though, as I am really, really trying to avoid clicking on the one,' please explain', as I think I have done that enough!
If all it took, for ANY event, to be judged , is an experienced horse person, why then do we insist that at upper level shows, be it reining, dressage western pl, or what have you, that a carded judge be hired???
Why not have a judge with a NRHA (national reining horse association ) card, judge dressage? All he has to do is read the rule book, and he is good to go, using that argument
Maybe there is also a good reason, that upper level western pl, not local schooling shows, not 4 H shows, use a judge with either a card in NSBA or a stock horse breed card.
Regardless of discipline, even western pleasure, requires a judge that has experience judging that class, applying the rules based on that experience.
I have a book (I buy and collect any horse book, found at second hand stores) , written by a person with a straight English background
She gives examples, pictures to support her stance that many dressage horses today, are shown on the forehand and even markedly so, even at upper level.
Maybe she is right, or out to lunch, but how well would it be accepted if she posted that as ' general truth' here, based on her being an experienced horse person????
The book, by the way, is 'Realize your Horse's True Potencial by Lesley Skipper'
At local open shows, sometimes there is a dressage background judge, sometimes one from an English background and sometimes from a stcok horse background.
Most serious horse people don't care, as they use those shows as schooling shows, so what counts is that their horse goes the way he has to, when it matters., so placings are of non importance, and that schooling is 'cheap\
I have had some real' interesting placings' in reining at those shows, by a dressage person! Does not matter.
When it counts, any association insists, requires a carded judge in that discipline, and not just an experienced horse person.
So yes, I truly believe not anyone can just read a rule book, then judge a western pleasure class., anymore than any other event.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
By the way, I did just google her, and found her credibility might be in question, due to her recent conviction (where she looks nothing like the person on the cover of that book)
I thus suggest, those that really have a problem with western pleasure, submit that video to a judge that placed the class, state how they would have placed the class, what they found wrong with his placing, and in general, get perhaps some insight and reasons, and also feedback on how THEY would have placed the class
Jr judge with a carded judge, and see if your comments have validity, or perhaps, even learn something about a discipline you neither show, ride or have ever trained in
as in anything, validity of an opinion, observation is strengthened by actually having some certification in that job, discipline, career, ect, or all we would need ,is any experienced horse person to read any rule book and immediately apply those rules correctly. I can tell you for a fact, that instills zero confidence in any competitor!
 

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Why do we have carded judges? To get the best chance of a competent judge I guess, but then we have to admit that in some events politics and money come into play, rather than good interpretation of the rules..

Then there is my sport, dressage, low level and Western, judged by experienced and carded judges, should be easy right? well no, because we still have those people interpretations of the rules, the judge I rode under in June, and rightly marked me down because Fergie was up tight and spooky at everthing, came and congratulated me on how well she went last weekend, but Ho Hum then judge I was riding for marked it lower than her tests. I scored the same mark on two tests for our entry and halt, the first I thought was pretty darn good, the second well, it was a disaster, she spooked coming through the gate, flatly refused to go straight and ended up somewhere near B, parked sideways, only remark "A little off line" I scored the same for one beautiful 20m lope circle, as I did for an oddly shaped figure of random size as it was ridden.

My point, individuals can vary, perceptions can vary, judges are human, mistakes get made, but carded judges are the best we can do. What is scary is when you see so often that a certain sport wont change unless the judges start pinning those who actually comply with the stated rules in the handbook....
 

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What really gets interesting is at multi-judge shows where the placings in each class are totally different between the judges. I've won first in HOF under one judge and didn't even place under the other judge, for example. If the judges are following the rule book and supposedly know what they are doing, how can the placings be so different between judges judging the same class and exhibitors?
 

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We pay for ONE person's opinion, on ONE day, when we show. They may be in a different mood on another day.....

Obviously, the rule book cannot cover everything, so we require schooling and testing, and apprenticeships.

Why they cannot seem to follow the rulebook? Cronyism.
 

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"We pay for ONE person's opinion, on ONE day, when we show. They may be in a different mood on another day....."


......unless it's a multi-judged show, but you are right about paying for that one person's opinion on that single day. I've also seen cases where the judge wrote the wrong number on the judging card so the person who should have won didn't even place---he was handing the ribbon to the rider he meant to give first place to, but the number that was called was another rider. The rules state that the judge's card can't be changed after it's turned in.
 

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Those carded judges can get a day card too, so carded one day, gone the next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
At multi judge shows, where placings differ vastly, credibility also is not strong.
Good judges at those shows, have the top horses about the same, with maybe the top three in a different order, because in a class.,esp a rail class, one judge can see something another judge misses
We don't have day cards
Thee are also video reviews at the bigger shows, like the World. I took A judging clinic, with Joe Carter,who judged the judging at some big stock horse breed shows,and holds cards in multi disciplines
He gave this example. During a world reining run, five judges, 4 of those judges placed one exhibitor very high, while the fifth disqualified him
A video review, showed that the exhibitor two handed that horse, just for a second or so, in the far corner of one of his fast circles, noticed by only that one judge

We pay for a judges opinion, BASED on the rules that show is run under, and not a random whim.
Most shows,allow a protest, where you put your money up, and if that protest is upheld, you get your money back, and of course, you forfeit it otherwise
So, if you truly believe some poor judging took place, have the foryitude to put up your money, and that is the way bad judges are removed, and not by just making negative o pinioned comments to anyone that will listen

Read this little tale once.
People just getting into Appaloosas, bought a loud colored stud, that could put color on a fence post! They fit up up themselves and took him to a show. He got the gate. Husband and wife, cried, 'politics'
They finally decided to consult a professional, who bought a nice mare for them, not much color, but great conformation.They had the pro fit and show the horse for them, and it started to win.
They them decided to show the horse themselves, and the horse did not palce aswell, not being fitted up as well.
At first the wife and hubby cried, 'politics'
The husband then learned how to fit that horse himself and the horse started winning with the hubby showing
That couple realized that they had arrived, when the wife was standing at the out gate,, waiting for hubby and his horse that had won the class. The wife over heard several other spectators standing there, mutter, 'politics'
They knew they had arrived.
Sorry, this was an example of a halter horse, but could be applied to any event
Judges are not perfect, they miss stuff, some are better then others, bUT if I am having a good day, and that professional not such a good day, I know that under a good judge, I will be rewarded.
I seldom cried, 'politics', but instead, when first showing, tried to see why those horses were beating me
I have heard some really, really un informed comments, sitting in the bleachers, on many occasions Not saying they are never valid, and sometimes that vantage point, allows you to see something a judge misses, but if you start to believe judges are no more qualified to judge then you are, might as well stay home, and forget about forming any breeding program, based on show records.
 

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No sure why this is in WP because judging/judges is something that applies to all disciplines where the placing are decided by a judge or panel of judges
I showed one Arabian at top level in the UK for an owner who came to us after seeing me successfully compete another Arabian, the horse was then boarded with us and he asked us to show it under our name giving some plausible reason for that. We were new to that discipline so didn't really know anyone in that 'circle'. We often came under one particular judge who loved the horse and always placed it at the top until one day when she saw us talking to him in the show ground and did some asking around and discovered the connection. Apparently he'd complained about 'fixed judging' in the past that she was implicated in but never proven. We never got placed again under that judge and yet continued to do well under other judges.
 

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I do think there is merit in getting opinions from an educated outside source that is unbiased as they may see something that the people who are "involved" might overlook because "it's been done that way forever".

One unfortunate side effect of having a very limited number of judges is that they start to know the competitors and sometimes they judge not on the best horse, but based on whether this rider/trainer is liked or disliked. That's one reason why my Dad stopped showing, because he refused to play politics and managed to **** off some of the judges because he wouldn't bow to their ego.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am not blind enough to believe that there are no politics involved in judging, esp if a judge is also atrainer, thus , a fellow judge/trainer, might repay the favorite of placing him well, at another show
On the other hand, there are also judges, that if you have ever taken a clinic with them, will judge you doubly hard, just to prove that there is no favoritism
I have been fortunate though, to have shown under some judges that are very ethical,, who help me keep faith in the entire system, without it being a blind faith!
Show ring competition is not perfect, by any means, far as determining the value of a horse, BUT it is still better then the hoards of horses, someone just churns out, declaring them to be possible World champions, if only they had the money to promote them and show them.
It is the only way to have a horse compete against his peers and be judged by a hopefully impartial third party
Since a judge is vulnerable to all human type weaknesses, mistakes are made, there are some politics, same as in any other job.
At the same time, I judged 4H , where parents instilled good show ethics and sportsmanship in their kids. Number one was to respect the judge, their placings, and to exhibit fair treatment to their horses, win or loose.
Some adults could take lessons!
My one friend let her daughter ride her reining mare. The daughter jerked on the bit, at one point, and, despite tears and pleading, was told she was done for the day, with the horse loaded up and taken home
 

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Horse showing, like gymnastics or ice skating or even boxing in some cases, is a subjective sport in many disciplines. If two horses have an equal performance by the rules, whether it is perfect or has flaws, it is then up to the judge to decide. The judge will then decide by taste and personal feelings, that is, the judge's opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
true, and why scoring systems are better then just subjective judging,
Half a point difference, can break that tie- still room for error, but confidence in individual classes, that now use a scoring system has been increased-classes like reining, western riding and trail
Of course, at open shows, that still is not often the case, or whatever scoring system that judge is using, is not \standard', as to what equals a plus or a minus on a half point, one point or even two.
 
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