Written by: Randy Roy
Randy Roy is a senior international judge, course designer and author. He owns and operates Hunters Glen Show Stable in King, ON, with his daughter, Ryan Roy.
Which is worse – cross-cantering or counter-cantering around a turn?
Both are not good, but if I had to choose one, it would be counter-cantering, as that tells me that no attempt at a lead change was made.
What would you, as a judge, say is the biggest issue with the hunter and equitation divisions today?
A big question, but I would have to say in the hunter world there are too many low height divisions and in the equitation world the riders have no release.
As in dressage judging where a scribe is used, do you think that hunter and equitation judges would consider going that route?
Interesting; it would really allow you as the judge to see all of the action in the ring, as there would be no looking down to mark your card. Personally, I want to keep my own card and not have to tell someone what I want to write down, so in my opinion it is not a good idea.
Do you think the time of day when horses and ponies show has any bearing on their performance ?
Absolutely! Mine may as well not show at feeding time; by late afternoon they have had it and only want their dinner and a stall. I try to confuse them by feeding earlier and then going to the ring.
In a ride-off, can you ask a rider to add or subtract a stride in a line that they jumped in the first round?
To me it is not a good idea, especially with ponies, adults, and children’s divisions, as they are so programmed to do the right numbers that you are asking for a possible disaster. (P.S. There are plenty of other tests to use that are demanding enough.)
A lot of judge’s booths are simply not acceptable. What are your basic criteria?
Here is my priority list:
1. Whoever designs them needs to sit in them and be sure they can see everything in the ring
2. A comfortable swivel chair
3. A trash can
4. Windows that open and close (if applicable)
5. A table or stand to write on
That is all I ask – now I am ready to do my job!
Now that the judge can ask an exhibitor questions during further testing, can you share some of yours?
Here are some of my sample questions:
- How many strides are in a 72’ line?
- Your horse stops at the ‘out’ of an in-and-out; do you have to jump both jumps, or just the out?
- Name three types of martingales.
- Can a hunter show in a running martingale?
- Name four different types of bits a hunter can wear while showing.
- Where is the poll and the dock on your horse? Point to them.
- Name three things that are different about a handy hunter class.
- What is the best way to start a hunter round?
- What is the best way to finish a hunter round?
- What do you like most about showing?