Edit: Did know of one "I" Judge that had a fabulous background in classical dressage and was considered exceptional, giving strict, but educational and informative comments. However, at one stage of his life he "hit the bottle", and he was giving out really bad scores and nasty remarks. NO ONE ever thought of suing him even when it screwed up some things they had been working for for the year. Those riders did "put the word out", fast. Avoid riding under him. To my knowledge, he has since cleaned up his act and is back to being his normal self.
Last edited by BaroquePony; Mar. 21, 2008 at 05:32 PM.
When I was in "L" program our instructor went thru a logistics and it seemed that rated judges can get sued and rated judges have protection from USEF for that. So it's not the judge will be sued but a judge/USEF. There were several examples and most of them involved a National placing in the championships with a financial gain and also some derogatory comments. (That’s one of the reasons why judges are encouraged not to say "nice" about rider, b/c the was some sexual cases and also we some weight cases). We were drilled to give a score/comment only if we can stand by it 100% and back it up affront of the committee of judges if it comes to that.
Mostly it seems it's not the law suits, but the written complains that by the rules needs to have a follow up with USEF and as I heard it's a long and unpleasant process.
Also it seems that it's the parents of kids and pro-trainers who usually want to see judges afterwards and argue/yell on judges about their scores and placing. That’s the reason why there is a rule that nobody can approach the judge with out a permission of the show management.
From what I understood, rated judge’s deal with more unhappy competitors than happy competitors, b/c there can be only 1 winner in a class.
When I was in "L" program our instructor went thru a logistics and it seemed that rated judges can get sued and rated judges have protection from USEF for that. So it's not the judge will be sued but a judge/USEF. There were several examples and most of them involved a National placing in the championships with a financial gain and also some derogatory comments.
There's possibilty and then there is reality.
Yes, it is possible to sue someone about anything ....remember the pants at the dry cleaners case in DC? But reality is often far different. If we go through our lives being afraid of possibilities, we will live very limited lives.
What I want to figure out is the reality of judges being sued for scores they give in shows? Is this a realized reality (to quote FarScape)?
"Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
- Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926
silly idea-- most shows both affiliated and unaffiliated have a terms and condition on back of entry
judges discission is final--
if you have a complaint then do so in writting to the show committee warranted and adhere to entry fee returned
or something simular
or whinge to the show secretray on the day
if you have a complaint
why do you ask have you been given low scores all the time and or have you not listened to the judge
when scores are given out or if not won have the sheet of scores and remarks made
the idea is to improve the areas that are under score -- so you can work on them comments are given in the coment box at the time the judge watching you and the assitant ie writer writes the comments
and marks given,
but to sue a judge for a low score -- is silly they if affilitated do get paid for the job on the day by the show committee same to sometimes in an unaffiliated show they bring a judge inf from the outside
or may ask a person to judge that ring for them in which case if not qualified go on what they think is nice and performed well and give a score for each section of the test out of 100
of which case they arnt paid and are there just to help out and get a free lunch
as with any other judge at a low keyed unaffilaited horse show
and what you going to sue someone - whos done nothing but place the best perosn out of the lot cuase you didnt win
whow------------ in any show its never the winning thats a bonus not a must have
its about taking part and trying
Sued under WHAT grounds? You can't just file a law suit because you don't like a score and your feelings were hurt. Would it be "defamation of character"? If so, good luck proving THAT. And proving what damages - loss of horse value?
I've never heard of this occuring in Dressage. Actually, all of the things the DC has been saying about judges makes them (the judges) sound like the DC considers them to be incompetent and unwilling to judge fairly and honestly, or to recognize and stop abuse when it happens right in front of them. I've always had a high opinion of judges in general, and assumed that most of them know what they're doing, but the things the DC are saying has been forcing me to reconsider. There is a rider score which is separate from the horse score for a reason - if the rider is riding badly, it should be reflected in the score. If you have an advanced rider on a green horse (even if the horse isn't actively doing anything naughty), then the rider score would probably be higher than the submission score.
Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.
I would just like to clarify the source of this question/poll, which is a post made on the Performance Standards thread.
In reply to the question of why judges can't/don't score "bad/abusive riding" as such, Swgarasu wrote of the response she received from a DC member to this same question:
This is exactly the point I made to one of the members of the DC. The response?
"Judges work very hard and spend thousands of dollars to pursue their education and promotion through the levels from r to R to S. Until they attain the highest level they will qualify for, they are not in a position to risk this to be crusaders. And I have heard our top FEI judges say they moderate their scores and judging of abuse to avoid lawsuits. The cost in time and money is not worth the effort."
The performance standards proposal is a roundabout way to try and prevent a few bad riders from advancing while minimizing the risk (of complaints or lawsuits) to the judges who score them.
To the poll question: I have never heard of a judge being sued (my experience is more in H/J)
And, I would think it would be more likely to occur in H/J (due to the emphasis on showing and training to to show)
Not that it *couldn't* or *wouldn't* happen...just that, using the remote possibility of a lawsuit
(or the annoyance of responding to a complaint "from a few bad riders")
as the rationale to initiate a Performance Standards Rule
I was thinking about this, and it seems to me that the people most likely to threaten and/or follow up on a lawsuit are the same chronically angry people likely to deliberately abuse their horses in the warmup or the show ring.
Occasionally those very angry people do get mentioned in the Notice of Penalty section of Equestrian.
If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket
One of the topics that has come up in this Performance Standard discussion is that judges are concerned about being sued if they give low scores.
Does this really happen?
Sounds like total BS if you ask me. I'd love to know which judge or judges is foolish enough to actually use that as an excuse. Of course, this goes along perfectly with the justification for standards in the first place, which are apparently based on so many riders abusing their horses and showing them at too high levels.
It seriously makes one wonder just what state of reality these these judges live in.
A dressage judge contacted me and said that when she went to vote, she checked two options, because two applied to her--both "No, I am a judge and I have never been sued" and "I have never heard of this happening". The poll apparently only took the last one--but that doesn't register it as another judge voting.
So we should have one more vote for "I am a judge and I have never been sued".
And subtract one from "I have never heard of this happening", I guess--so the numbers are correct.
Anyway--there are two judges on record as never being sued. And I know one more judge also said she has never heard of this happening.
As a lawyer, because I am curious about these things, what would be the basis of a lawsuit against a judge? What would the damages be? I am having a hard time conceiving of a real lawsuit against a dressage judge that a competent attorney would take on.