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Ask the Judge: checking results, glitzy helmets, dogs on course and more

Before the first fence, a rider makes a big circle at the trot, then another big circle at the canter. Is this allowed? It is allowed, but not appreciated, especially when the course starts on a single fence towards home. (see page 32 for more about opening circles) I have heard that some judges go online to look at results and see who won at the previous show, so they know who and what to watch for when they are judging. How would you respond to this? Yes, I have heard of this happening. If that is what makes a judge feel comfortable, I would strongly suggest that they re-evaluate their position. I really enjoy seeing all the new horses and riders, not knowing who or what to expect, while being confident in my knowledge and expertise to place them according to their performance on the day. Do you pay…

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