Ask the Judge: ride-offs, stand out rounds, course design and more

In a ride-off test with the top four riders, three do not complete the tests. For example, one doesn’t halt, another doesn’t trot the trot jump, and the other doesn’t hand gallop a jump. The rider called back into the ride-off in 4th place completes all of the required tests. How would you place these riders? All four riders come back into the ride-off with a clean slate. The rider brought back in 4th place easily moves to the top as the clear-cut winner in this case as the only one to complete all of the tests. A rider comes into the ring, picks up the canter intentionally going the wrong way, then canters across the diagonal demonstrating a lead change before heading to the first jump. How do you judge that? This is too showy and ill-advised. I will score it as an incorrect lead to start your course.…

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