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  1. #1

    Default Filing a complaint about a judge?

    I recently rode a test at a recognized show for two judges. When I got my test back I was taken aback by the discrepancy in scores - one judge was ten percentage points lower than the other. That was odd to me but I generally just chock it up to a tough judge. Then I read the test and there was an EXTREMELY inappropriate completely and unprofessional comment as well. I don't really want to disclose what it said but I mentioned it to a few acquaintances, both ammies and pros and they all told me that it was completely uncalled for and I should absolutely file a complaint. I've never been in this position before - at worst I've found judges comments to be unhelpful in the past but they have always been fair and professional.

    My question is, does anyone know the procedure for filing a complaint or can you point me to the info? One person told me I should file with USEF and I've searched the site but can't find instructions on how to do this. Or is it something that should be directed to the USDF?

    Any help would be appreciated. What's done is done as far as the show goes but I feel this really should be brought to the proper governing body's attention as it was really out of line.



  2. #2
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    I think you may need to show the comment. For instance, "rider was tense and imbalanced in back and impeded horses way of going" is a lot different than "riders big wobbly butt and rigid spine made the horse trot like a sewing machine."

    KWIM?
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  3. #3
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    There is a formal documented process on USEF for rule violations. This situation sounds a little different, so I would find the name/contact info for the technical delegate- go back thru show manager or show secretary if necessary to get this info. Discuss with TD as to how you fill a formal complaint and go from there.
    good luck and let us know what you end up doing.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........



  4. #4
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    You should send a copy of both tests to:

    Confidential - Director
    Licensed Officials Department
    4047 Iron Works Parkway
    Lexington, KY 40511

    I would not contact the TD or the show management at this point. No need really for it to be publicized that you are reporting the issue.

    Both good tests and 'questionable' tests can and should be sent in so that they can be used to better educate the judges. A test judged by more than one judge should not have a spread of 10% in the scores. The committee would like to see such tests for sure.


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  5. #5
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    Depends where the judges are sitting. I have had this happen a couple of times over the last 20 years - judge at c has a very different view than the judge at b. usually it is a smaller difference, but I actually had it happen at the usdf champs - maybe be 15 years ago. It was my freestyle - which i suppose is more subjective.

    If you do really want to file a complaint (I would really think that through), there is a fee and a formal complaint process.



  6. #6
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    Sounds to me that the OP wants to file a complaint due to the comments, not solely because of the score discrepancy. If a judge is making unprofessional and inappropriate comments, I think the powers that be need to be made aware of it.
    Triple J Ranch Sporthorses
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by inca View Post
    Sounds to me that the OP wants to file a complaint due to the comments, not solely because of the score discrepancy. If a judge is making unprofessional and inappropriate comments, I think the powers that be need to be made aware of it.
    Exactly this. I thought the score gap odd, especially since the two judges were fairly consistent with each other for the other AA and open rides for that level but I can't see myself having complained about that alone. Its the comment that I feel needs to be shown to the powers that be. I spend a lot of my very hard earned money on these shows. While I do not expect high scores when not deserved, I do expect that the judge will behave in a professional manner. This one absolutely did not and I think someone should know. I've noticed participation dropping in my region over the last several years and behavior like this does nothing to help that but the only way the governing bodies will know what is happening on the ground is if we report these (hopefully rare) incidents.

    Thank you all for your input, I may call the USEF on Monday if I can't locate the right paperwork/inatructions online.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by exploding pony View Post

    If you do really want to file a complaint (I would really think that through), there is a fee and a formal complaint process.
    Perhaps you would explain to the OP how to go about that process. That was the OP's question.


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  9. #9
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    There is also the USEF form: Members Confidential Evaluation of Judges, Stewards, Technical Delegates and Course Designers found on the USEF website.

    http://www.usef.org/documents/compet...Evaluation.pdf

    This form is required to be visibly diplayed/available in every licensed show's office, but may be sent in afterwards also.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by yaya View Post
    There is also the USEF form: Members Confidential Evaluation of Judges, Stewards, Technical Delegates and Course Designers found on the USEF website.

    http://www.usef.org/documents/compet...Evaluation.pdf

    This form is required to be visibly diplayed/available in every licensed show's office, but may be sent in afterwards also.
    I agree that this is probably the way to go. There is a specific portion of the document above that references the appropriateness of comments as well as the demeanor of the judge toward exhibitors.

    I do think that we, as riders, have an obligation to provide feedback when incidents like this occur. I think I might also consider having a discussion with show management, particularly if they are at risk of losing further business as a result. It can certainly be done in a professional, non-punitive way; I am sure they would want to know if something seriously inappropriate took place, so they can make the necessary adjustments to try to prevent it from happening again in the future.
    **********
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  11. #11
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    I'm fairly certain I know the show and judges OP is talking about. It was a Prix St. Georges class. The one she has a grievance with is a very highly respected judge. The other is a relatively new S known for scoring higher than deserved. I don't know what comments were made, but I would not report a judge no matter what they said or did, especially if I intended to continue showing.

    Keep in mind, that when scoring a test with 25 or so movements, if one judge scores a 6 and the other scores a 5, that can add up to a significant difference in the bottom line. The more seasoned judges are pretty particular about the quality of work they want to reward at FEI.



  12. #12
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    It would really help to know the nature of the comment.

    I don't think anyone can say if a complaint is warranted or not without knowing that.

    It would have to be pretty offensive and personal or obviously inappropriate before most would bother with a complaint.

    Friends trying to be supportive aren't always the best judges of such things.

    So without details, we just don't know if OP is off base or not...I expect she could find out the complaint process without starting a thread here with no details.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by exploding pony View Post
    Depends where the judges are sitting. I have had this happen a couple of times over the last 20 years - judge at c has a very different view than the judge at b. usually it is a smaller difference, but I actually had it happen at the usdf champs - maybe be 15 years ago. It was my freestyle - which i suppose is more subjective.

    If you do really want to file a complaint (I would really think that through), there is a fee and a formal complaint process.
    Yeah, I've had really wide score ranges too - sometimes judges are just tougher/easier, sometimes they see things differently, sometimes they let a little personal bias slip through. It is very interesting when we have two (or more) judges, wish it happened more often (although I understand it is expensive).

    I would be hesitant to file a complaint too, but like the idea of sending in copies of the test.



  14. #14
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    Sometimes scribes can lose translation & tone, especially with a multi lingual judge. Just a thought.
    "I don't know what your generation's fascination is with documenting your every thought... but I can assure you, they're not all diamonds." Mr. G


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  15. #15
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    Perhaps you could just call USEF, explain to them the issue, and ask them to advise. Be clear that your intent is not the difference in scores, although that is worth mentioning, but what was written in the test. Yes, things can be lost in translation, but if it is as bad as your are alluding to then something should be done about it.

    I could chalk it up to life if the comments are simply rude or opinionated, but if they are nasty and include "hitting below the belt" or foul language, then I would say something.

    I've had harsh comments and comments that I didn't agree with, and when that happened I took a close look at my riding, my test and exactly what the judge was saying.



  16. #16
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    I don't know what comments were made, but I would not report a judge no matter what they said or did, especially if I intended to continue showing.
    That's a slippery slope. NEVER report a judge for anything because you're afraid you'll get marked down next time?

    NJR
    Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nojacketrequired View Post
    That's a slippery slope. NEVER report a judge for anything because you're afraid you'll get marked down next time?

    NJR
    I agree. There is an established process for providing feedback about inappropriate commentary from a licensed official, and it should be used when necessary. Personally I would not ride again for a judge that I felt had been that inappropriate, and thus wouldn't worry about ticking them off... but under no circumstances should there be retribution for feedback that is provided in an adult, professional manner.
    **********
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    -PaulaEdwina


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    I agree. There is an established process for providing feedback about inappropriate commentary from a licensed official, and it should be used when necessary. Personally I would not ride again for a judge that I felt had been that inappropriate, and thus wouldn't worry about ticking them off... but under no circumstances should there be retribution for feedback that is provided in an adult, professional manner.
    It's not just about ticking off the judge or worried about getting a bad score from them if you ride under them again. It's about being known as the person that reported the judge. Many of these judges are friends with each other and have a huge network of friends. i would not want to be known as the person that reported one of them. It's just not worth it to me. What would be the point? Just move on. I've already said that I think I know the judge OP wants to report, and I think it would be a mistake to do so to this particular judge.



  19. #19
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    Interesting thread. The OP isn't asking for advice as to whether the comment was inappropriate. She (or he) says she (or he) has been told my ammies & pros that it was, and that she should file a complaint. While I am as curious as anyone to know what the comment was, it's not really relevant to her question of how you file a complaint. I don't know that answer.


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  20. #20
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    file the judges report form and discuss the comments you may not be the first person to file and the USEF cannot do anything if they never hear about it.

    I have sat with a lot of judges over many many years. Some judges who were highly esteemed started to slip. I know at one show, grave concern about the judges ability to judge any more was raised. I was asked for evaluation and I was honest.
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