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  1. #1
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    Aug. 18, 2008
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    Default Why not give numerical score for all rounds?

    As a pony dad, I'm curious. Why do you only get a numerical score for your classic rounds? It would be helpful to have a number for your hunter rounds. Particularly for younger/ less experienced riders it would let them know immediately if the round was bad, ok, good or great. Has it always been this way?



  2. #2
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    Default

    In big classes it would be a major pain for the judges. Lets say you have 30 horses in the class and 8 ribbons to give out. Once you have your top eight, all you have to do is watch a horse until they do something that drops them out of the ribbons, then you don't have to judge them anymore. Rail? Stop watching. Miss a change? Stop watching? Bad jumper, bad mover, refusal? Stop watching.

    I think that if you made judges score every round you'd have some useful numbers near the top and then a bunch of 45's and 50's which aren't going to tell anyone anything useful.
    Quote Originally Posted by tidy rabbit View Post
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.



  3. #3
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    Can't give you a good answer, we just don't. Never have and probably never will.

    Trainers take care of the good, bad or OK part and most riders know very well how they stacked up pretty early on.

    Not sure the beginners need to hear that 43 announced, some things are best left unsaid.

    Comes up for discussion every so often, consensus is maybe at the higher levels someday. But likely not going to see some judge forced to sit through 40 bad 2'6" trips tear their hair out over whether to give the one that stopped and blew all the leads 25 or 35 just so they could give a score to be announced when they already had 6 or 7 in the 80s and only 6 ribbons.

    Too much bookeeping without a scribe is another thing.

    Sorry, these can be a little lame but, like I said, we just don't score every round.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  4. #4
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    Jan. 15, 2008
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    Default

    I dislike the number system just for the reason noted above.

    Your trainer should be the one telling your child how good or bad the round was.

    The best practice a horse show parent could have is to sit at the ring and judge the rounds yourself - use a pencil and paper.
    Find a friend who judges and ask him/her to teach you the symbols most often used to mark the judge's card.

    Attend Judges' clinics and learn about judging and horse showing.

    Buy a video camera and drive your child and trainer with the replays of classes.
    Video the lessons and listen to what the trainer is saying.

    Read the USEF Rule Book and learn what goes into the judging process.

    One thing you have to realize is that judging is one person's own opinion.
    When you show hunters and equitation you are being judged as a comparison to you competition in THAT class.

    Showing is like taking an exam.

    Enjoy and learn.



  5. #5
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    Aug. 18, 2008
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    Default

    Thanks for the input. I actually thought all the rounds were scored and they just they weren't annouced. But I understand the reasoning.
    To a 10 year old a third place is the same as all other third places. But this past weekend around a 70 was third place and a month ago at a different show @ a 70 would not have been in the top 8. I would have loved for her to hear the 79, 80, 81 or whatever it was that placed third at the other shows. I guess that is why we always enter the classics.

    I agree it is up to the trainer, but to the younger kids the numbers could be very telling.

    Again thanks.



  6. #6
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    Feb. 3, 2000
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    The thing you have to remember is that, in hunter judging, the PRIMARY judging focus is "ordinal" (I liked number 123 better than number 256 but not as much as number 245). When they use numerical judging, hunter judges simply use the "score" as a way of documenting the order.

    So the judge uses a numerical range based on what they expect to see in this class. it is less tied to any absolute definition.

    This is very different from dressage, where the test is judged against a standard, without addressing direct comparison with other rounds.

    Thus, it is not uncommon, at a dressage show, to see the JUDGE walk up to the score board to see "who won" the class she just judged.

    I do not think any hunter judge would be happy with simply scoring, with out directly DECIDING "who won".
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  7. #7
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    Default

    Bear in mind that--in hunters--numerical scores aren't consistent from show to show (or even from class to class). They have some guidelines (e.g. for a rail or refusal), but most of it is relative to the competition. So the same trip may get a 70 at one show and an 80 at the next.

    In hunters, a "75" means only that you did better than anyone scoring below that. It's not like dressage where the numbers reflect a certain standard. In fact, you can have a better trip at a competetive show and get a lower score than you would at the smaller show.

    Edited to add: What Janet said. She put it better than I did!



  8. #8
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    Aug. 18, 2008
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    Default I'm learning

    Wow. I'm learning alot. So, in the classics when they use the numerical system if the judge really likes the first horse they see and thinks it could be the winner they might give it an 84. But if another comes along that is better then the judge would just make the better round's score is higher than an 84, right? And it might or might not be actually worth a 86 at another show.

    At Pony finals they use the numerical system with three judges. Are they scoring against a standard? Or again just scoring them in the rank they prefer, which would explain why some of the scores are so high at pony finals?

    Thanks for educating me.



  9. #9
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    Dec. 27, 2006
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    Default

    Read Anna Jane White Mullin's book Judging Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation. It will help you a lot.



  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gasrgoose View Post
    Wow. I'm learning alot. So, in the classics when they use the numerical system if the judge really likes the first horse they see and thinks it could be the winner they might give it an 84. But if another comes along that is better then the judge would just make the better round's score is higher than an 84, right? And it might or might not be actually worth a 86 at another show.
    Yup!

    I was standing by the ringmaster when the judge scored a classic round over the walkie talkie. It was brought to the attention of the judge (again over the walkie talkie) that the second round score that he had just given the last rider would result in a tie. The judge said "Well, we can't have that, now can we..." He paused for a moment and you could hear him thinking and then he said "Okay, make that a 74.5 instead of a 74."

    The judge knew which horse was better than the other, he just had to make the scores come out right.

    Sometimes you'll see a lot of fractions of points, too, especially when there are a lot of nice horses. Even in classics, the judge is thinking, as Janet said, in an "ordinal" way. He's thinking 1st 2nd 3rd. He just has to make the numbers come out right to a certain extent.

    Most judges/many judges use an element of scoring on their cards just to keep things in order, but they aren't scoring to an extent that they would want those numbers announced.
    Quote Originally Posted by tidy rabbit View Post
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasrgoose View Post
    At Pony finals they use the numerical system with three judges. Are they scoring against a standard? Or again just scoring them in the rank they prefer, which would explain why some of the scores are so high at pony finals?

    Thanks for educating me.
    Again, there is no numerical system with specific deductions for specific faults. Yeah a rail is usually this or that as is a stop-they are major and you are out anyway in all but the suckiest of competition. But a late lead change behind? Swap at the base? A little wander down the line? A hard look at the base? Slight twist over the top? Busy tail? Those are deductions but all weighted against the overall quality of the round. They are not going to hurt a Pony laying down a 90 as much as one churning out a 76.

    Multiple judges also have them at different places-one may come up with an 80 because of that late lead and a swap at the base while another has it a 93 because they did not see them. likewise when standing by the rail, you can't see what the judge does and the judge is not seeing what you are.

    Also, and this can be a tough one for beginners, the better horse is usually going to beat one of lesser quality. When you go against a 10 mover with a 10 jump? They are ahead of you from the moment they go over that first fence if you have a 7 mover and jumper. They can make a few minor mistakes beacuse the quality of movement and jump are always going to put them up over mediocrity. That is proabably a better reason why we don't put so much emphasis on numerical values for every minor bobble. It simply does not give you the total picture when movement and jump quality are the point of the class.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  12. #12
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    Dec. 22, 2000
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    Default

    Also remember that different judges may score higher or lower. You could have two judges watch the same class and end up with the same ribbon winners in the same order without the same scores.

    One judge's scores for the winners might range from 70-78, while the other judge might have scores of 75-88 for the same ribbon winners in that class.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of hunters.

    As a practical consideration, it can be hard for judges and announcers to keep giving scores all day. If an announcer is covering multiple rings, which is very common at bigger shows, it's hard enough to keep up with everything else on the walkie-talkies, even without announcing the scores for every round.



  13. #13

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    It's just as easy to give numerical scores as it is not to... my opinion. I am an advocate of numerical scoring.. it promotes accountability.
    ~ Bill Rube ~
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  14. #14
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    Jun. 2, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverBalls View Post
    It's just as easy to give numerical scores as it is not to... my opinion. I am an advocate of numerical scoring.. it promotes accountability.
    I agree with you here, plus it allows the riders to know where they stand. For whomever said about scoring every round, if it's a big class and there is a cut off, towards the end you will hear scored below the cut off so once there is a big chip or refusal or missed change, then they don't really have to worry about the numerical. Also, the judges know who they like and if they like a horse more they will give say 78.75 vs. the 78.5 vs. the 78 so that the horses are placed in the order they see fit. Plus they are writing on a judges card anyway so it isn't THAT hard to just put a number to it. I do think it allows for fairness in pinning because you know right at the end of the trip how the judge felt about it.



  15. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverBalls View Post
    It's just as easy to give numerical scores as it is not to... my opinion. I am an advocate of numerical scoring.. it promotes accountability.
    I agree with you! for the 25 to 50 bucks a class we pay for approx. 1-2 minutes, a judge can come up with a score. if your embarrassed by your score, you probably dont belong in the division anyway!



  16. #16
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    I actually read somewhere that a lot of judges start out with a perfect score when the horse enters the ring, and then deducts points for every mistake. Some mistakes weigh more heavily than others...for instance a late change vs. a stop. That's up to the judge. I know when I showed cutting, the standard was to deduct, not add on scores. Ties don't surprise me, especially in large classes. At the end of a round, the judge may have some personal comments/symbols on the scorecard that indicate something special that may serve as a tie-breaker, if necessary.



  17. #17
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    Default

    I actually do give a numerical score to every round. It helps me keep them organized on my card so I don't have to do it in my head.

    One of the best pieces of advice I ever received about judging was to score the first round, and then score the other rounds relative to that first round. Was it better, or worse?

    There are a few "automatic numbers" that I use for major faults. A refusal automatically means you can score no higher than 40. Second stop, 20. Break, 55. That's just for my personal system.
    Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.



  18. #18
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    I only judge verrry small 4H shows, but when I do, I also "rank" the riders. What I've learned is that the top and bottom usually sort themselves out very quickly -- it's the middle that's the challenge.

    Judging is HARD work, and I can't imagine how the judges at the top shows sort through that much perfection. Numerical scores would be better, I agree, but you might need to catch up with some technology -- a scribe, laptop for notes so the judge can score, etc. Otherwise, I'd worry a bit about the judges being too concerned about marking down numbers and not actually watching the whole round...but that could just be from my less than great judging skills....

    As to crushing the kids' spirits, why not have the numerical scores available, but not read out loud unless it's a classic? That could be a big help, I think.

    I will tell you I've just taken up ballroom dancing -- which is even more political in its judging than the hunters, if you can believe! -- and saw a scoring mechanism I now LOVE. They have multiple judges, and each judge ranks each couple on an ordinal basis for their heat. The cool thing is that the score sheets are collated and posted in a big ole' binder throughout the day, and you can go and review your score sheet for that heat and see where the judges placed you and the competition, and which judges put you where. I found it very helpful and informative, and that might be a model to consider....



  19. #19
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    Aug. 18, 2008
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    Default

    I think it would be good for the kids to hear their score. Maybe they could be annouced when the placings were announced. 1st place 85, 2nd 81, 3rd 77 etc..... and then hopefully you wouldn't hear any really low scores. But I think it would be good for a 6th place to know they scored a 75 and were just in really good company or for the kid that got 6th place with a 65 in not such good company to know how they did. I would not worry about the kids embarassment. As a former gymnastics coach, I've seen some ugly scores (3.45 out of 10). And yes the kids were embarassed, but it was great motivation to work hard. And all those kids turned out just fine, they actually have great perspective on life.

    It sounds like this isn't going happen but it makes for interesting discussion.



  20. #20
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    The judge's primary responsibilty at a horse show is to pick the ribbon winners in each class. If the judge is so busy deciding what exact score to give to the horse in 25th place that s/he misses something pertinent in the next trip, that means the judge's primary job is diluted.

    Giving a clinic is an entirely different job.



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