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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2010
    Posts
    173

    Default USEF Mentor Judge Program - yeah or neigh

    I have heard about the USEF Mentor Judge program for sometime now and just recently looked a bit closer at the program. I understand that I am taking a harsh stand and that some folks who have secured their judge's card through this program will feel jilted, but...

    As an owner and exhibitor I find it disturbing to learn that a person can apply to the mentor program and be accepted by either the nod of a Licensed Official subcommittee of 3 or acceptance at a full meeting. Once accepted you obtain a mentor (usually a friend) and you must learner judge at 2 complete USEF A or AA shows at two locations.

    To that end, if you pick a summer show with minimal to no entries then your learner judging still counts even if the rated divisions don't fill. How much judging can you do from the box when these divisions don't fill?

    It appears many mentor judges who have gone through the program have rolled out of bed, driven an hour or so, on two separate weeks and WALAH...they are a small 'r' judge. I recognize that some people who have done the program have been professionals for many years. My focus is on the young crowd (yes I see the age minimum of 25) rushing through.

    It just seems like the program should instill people traveling out of their zone and ensuring they do actually watch full divisions at an A or AA show. They should sit for more than 2 shows.

    I don't believe we need judges so much that we must rush them through the learning process. Given the amount of money we pay for shows it seems we should be given the best educated. Would we allow someone to attend two weekend seminars and call them a surgeon?

    The other concern in having two many judges is that it takes jobs away from those who got their cards the long, expense and hard way.

    Just some fodder for healthy discussion.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 20, 2004
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    2,167

    Default

    I don't think the program is very easy to get into. I think you need to have a very strong resume including training and or riding winners at a national level.

    I think the industry needs more judges who are actually out there riding, training and showing and most of those potential applicants do not have the time to pursue their license the traditional way. They have many clients and horses who are pursuing year end finals and cannot afford the downtime.

    It's not as though these trainers are not judging every round they watch at a show already. I know I do... and I'm not a trainer and am not considering getting my judging license.

    Just a thought.
    friend of bar*ka



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2003
    Location
    Wellington, FL
    Posts
    771

    Default

    I believe that you still have to have your learner judges card, which is probably most "difficult" to actually obtain, as you have to have the references and other such qualifications in order to even be allowed to start learner judging with or without a "mentor judge" if you have one.

    The mentor judging and the "Fast track" program are different. I think fast track is just fine as well. The bigger the pool of qualified judges out there, the better in my opinion.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 22, 2000
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    14,886

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Addison View Post
    I think the industry needs more judges who are actually out there riding, training and showing and most of those potential applicants do not have the time to pursue their license the traditional way. They have many clients and horses who are pursuing year end finals and cannot afford the downtime.
    If they can't take the time off to learner judge, how will they find time to actually judge?

    It's not as though these trainers are not judging every round they watch at a show already. I know I do... and I'm not a trainer and am not considering getting my judging license.
    There is a world of difference between watching a few trips with a knowledgeable eye, and having the attention span and bookkeeping skills required to be a good judge. You can be the world's best horseman, but you need to develop an accurate system of keeping track of every step of every round in every class, all day long, and that only comes with practice. Lots of practice.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hollywood, but not the one where they have the Oscars!
    Posts
    7,016

    Default

    It is actually very hard to get into.
    I am in it.
    And the reason I got in is because I have been judging for 15 years.
    Yes it is easier than the traditional learner method, but I feel like it has its place. I haven't seen anyone on the mentor list that has made me gasp.
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2001
    Location
    on the road.....again
    Posts
    1,820

    Default

    Keep in mind that there are still specific requirements that must be met, ie, conformation classes & number of classes to actually get your card. The few people that I know that have gone through the mentor program take it VERY seriously. Did they do fewer shows, yes, but the shows they did were in consultation with their mentor who has the option of saying they need more experience before applying. The mentors opinion carries a great deal of weight, but still doesn't mean you will automatically be approved.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2009
    Location
    South Central: Zone 7
    Posts
    1,944

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MHM View Post
    There is a world of difference between watching a few trips with a knowledgeable eye, and having the attention span and bookkeeping skills required to be a good judge. You can be the world's best horseman, but you need to develop an accurate system of keeping track of every step of every round in every class, all day long, and that only comes with practice. Lots of practice.
    This!

    I just started judging this year and BOY is it different than just watching rounds. I can watch a class and determine the placings quite easily BUT you need to be able to quickly and legibly justify your placings in writing (a lot more difficult than it sounds).

    The way I see it, becoming a judge is almost always solely done for the love of the sport. It is a PITA to get your card, it doesn't pay well and it is not very exciting at times (cough, cough 300 exhibitors doing 2'6" divisions...). I am fine with USEF making it a little easier to get into, after all we need to do everything possible to get our professionals MORE involved in judging and governing our sport in order for it to continue to grow.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 20, 2004
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    2,167

    Default

    Without a doubt, good book keeping and patience are required to judge well.

    I have spoken to a couple of trainers about getting their judges card and they both said that they cannot afford to spend the time away from clients (ergo their income) to complete the process.
    friend of bar*ka



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