In a hunter course, there are some shorter options to the jumps. Should I take them?No. Make use of the whole ring, as it is not a handy class so Iím not looking for efficient turns. I want to be able to see as much of your horse as possible, and the best way to do this is to make full use of the entire ring.When you tell a rider they are excused, but then they continue on and attempt to jump, what can you do?I would first have the announcer repeat that they are excused. If they still continue in the ring, then I would contact the steward and give them the number of the offender with the request that they speak to both the rider and the trainer about abiding by the rules. At the very least, an apology to the judge would be in order.In all of your judging years, have you ever seen jumping performances that you have no symbol for?I have seen many that would fall into this category, and the automatic symbol is just a big ìXî that says disaster has struck!You are judging back-to-back classes. A horse-rider combination completes the first round and are about to start their second trip when the horse starts to act up and misbehave. The rider elects to exit the ring to sort things out before completing the round. How do you deal with that as the judge?Sorry, but once you are in the ring and being judged, that is your ìturn.î Leaving the ring would be considered a major fault and put you out of the ribbons, and you would not be eligible to return to the ring for the rest of the class.When an equitation ride-off test is announced, can a rider ask for the test to be repeated? Also, between Ontario and Quebec there could be riders who donít understand a ride-off test announced in English, or vice versa.First of all, when judging in Quebec always ensure the ride-off test is announced in both English and French for the benefit of all riders. Once the test is announced, I always ask for a show of hands from the riders should they wish to have the test repeated, or if they are not quite ready to begin the ride-off.How do you handle the situation when people approach the judgeís booth and start asking you questions?I quickly, quietly, and nicely redirect them to the horse show office or the in-gate where the questions can be answered. It is never appropriate for someone to approach the judge in the middle of a class.Do you ever question why some people are showing?I have to admit, I often have thoughts like this in response to entries who are not ready for the division they are showing in, or who would benefit from lessons or more schooling at home. In those cases I find myself looking over to the in-gate, trying to figure out how that trainer could allow it or feel their student was prepared for the task at hand. This is a great reason why we need certified, qualified trainers at all levels of our sport!
Ask the Judge
In a hunter course, there are some