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  1. #1
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    Default Lois Yukin's "From the Judges Box" in the USDF Connection

    Someone please explain to me exactly what she meant under "myths" with this response.

    Myth: Awards are always correct and well earned.

    Reply: Until riders, trainers and organizers stop manipulating the scores given at the shows they attend, the award system will remain skewed.

    Um, the JUDGES give the scores. What the heck is up with that comment/reply?
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



  2. #2
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    Purely a guess but does she mean in terms of hiring the judges (we know certain judges do not get hired back at some shows), cherry picking which judges one shows under, etc? I know of some people who scratch because they see a judge scoring a certain way and do not want to risk a low score. I know of some people who go to shows in another state in order to show under specific judges and other ways to "help" in the quest to win/earn awards. Whether or not this is what she is referring to is speculative but it's what I presumed she meant.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velvet View Post
    Reply: Until riders, trainers and organizers stop manipulating the scores given at the shows they attend, the award system will remain skewed.
    That comment jumped out at me as well when I read the article yesterday. I sure would like to hear the author elaborate on it.
    Hindsight bad, foresight good.



  4. #4
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    Default

    exvet has good point as to how riders /trainers choose shows

    though it is an open market and one can go anyplace they please

    Same too the show management, they are running a buisness and they can chose to hire, or not, any judge they feel the public wants.

    That is free enterprise.

    As a show secretary, I have had riders call and request not to be in a class in from of X judge as they would bring down their average.

    I have seen a rider try to withdraw from a ride because she felt the ride was not going well and she was foolish enough to state to the judge that she did not want to ruin her year end score.

    That judge ( who is not one to trifle with) said no way, and to continue.

    Lois is usually pretty well spoken, but this appears a bit vague and does not help illuminate the problem( if there truly is one) or the solution.

    The only way to have a true , open evaluation is to have the federation assign random judges and the riders do not know who will be in the box until the day.
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  5. #5
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    The manipulations are many: riders/trainers competing horses which are trained at a far higher level than they are being competed, riders/trainers claiming 'wins' in classes where they are the only rider, rider/trainers searching out or demanding from show management that they hire the Santa Claus judges, refusing to ride in front of a particular judge or scratching from a class where they have 'too much competition', my big no-no: trainers riding in Opportunity classes or Intro classes and adding that to thier award notches. And don't forget the trainers who have the big paid for PR machines or who send expensive presents to judges.


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  6. #6
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    Awards are based on scores at a particular level. So a First ribbon with a too low score will not count toward an award, nor will placings and scores outside of the level for which the award is give. Picking high scoring judges, or lenient judges, most certainly will help though.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  7. #7
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    I still come back to blaming judges, when it comes to Santa Claus scores and shows cherry picking judges to get more competitors solely for the score.

    I blame the USEF for not forcing riders to move up or be given a different rating. We should handicap it like golf, taking both horse and rider into consideration--for year end awards, as both rider and horse cumulative awards.
    "Relinquish your whip!!"


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  8. #8
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    Wow, I had no idea all of that type of stuff went on . . . scratching due to certain judges, not showing if a class is too big, only showing under "easy" judges. Wow. I certainly know people who ride a horse in a class that is way below the horse's experience level, but wow to all the other stuff, too!
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pocket Pony View Post
    Wow, I had no idea all of that type of stuff went on . . . scratching due to certain judges, not showing if a class is too big, only showing under "easy" judges. Wow. I certainly know people who ride a horse in a class that is way below the horse's experience level, but wow to all the other stuff, too!
    Yeah, and I've seen pro riders purposefully get disqualified when the ride wasn't going well - whoops, we jumped out of the arena. It happens. I see a lot of scratches in shows where a judge's scores are posting low.

    I figure I paid my darn hard-earned $, I'm not stratching unless my horse is lame! But yes, people are quite capable of manipulating the system.



  10. #10
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    PP, fwiw it's not necessarily just about "easy" judges. My friend with her Friesian mare has learned that some judges just don't score her horses well, clearly with a bias. She spends a lot of time and money showing and her goal is championships, why spend the time and money to show under a judge that you know will score you low simply because of your horse's breed? One judge consistently scores her 5++ points lower than her average, which puts her under a qualifying score.

    So it goes both ways.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velvet View Post
    I still come back to blaming judges, when it comes to Santa Claus scores and shows cherry picking judges to get more competitors solely for the score.

    I blame the USEF for not forcing riders to move up or be given a different rating. We should handicap it like golf, taking both horse and rider into consideration--for year end awards, as both rider and horse cumulative awards.
    I agree 100%. But what do you do when someone tops out but is getting ridiculously high scores at their level? I think that's the big thing with 1st-2nd level. 1st level is really pretty easy, but what if someone simply cannot put a second level test together?



  12. #12
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    I think that if you are cleaning up at a level and can't move on, you should be asking yourself why you can't move on and how many awards at one level are enough. If you can't do that, then you get pushed out by being over qualified.
    "Relinquish your whip!!"


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  13. #13
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    There are also judges who score ammis lower than pros. Or who give out offensive comments -making personal comments instead of just judging the training. So choosing not to ride again under certain judges does go both ways.

    I'm with blaming the judges and those who license them.

    I also found that there was no true answer about judges giving lower marks for not braiding and dressing to conform (not talking about following rules).


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perfect Pony View Post
    I agree 100%. But what do you do when someone tops out but is getting ridiculously high scores at their level? I think that's the big thing with 1st-2nd level. 1st level is really pretty easy, but what if someone simply cannot put a second level test together?
    There may already be a rule like this in place, but a pair winning the Regionals at a given level should not be permitted to win Regionals again at the same level. I think our Region 1 BLM finals has a similar rule.



  15. #15
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    Also, I want to make a couple other comments on the article. This is just the opinion of Lois and those other judges who provided her with input. Who's to say those judges were honest? I mean...are they really going to admit that they believe going first in a class is a handicap? Or that turnout doesn't affect their impression of the ride? Or that knowing the rider and rider's trainer personally (socializing with) doesn't affect their scoring?

    As for judge shopping, I do it all the time, but not for the reasons mentioned. There are judges whose opinions I don't value, so I will scratch if I get that judge. And, believe it or not, I will not ride under a santa judges because I do not want an inflated score; but a brutally honest one, so I select tough judges.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToN Farm View Post
    There may already be a rule like this in place, but a pair winning the Regionals at a given level should not be permitted to win Regionals again at the same level. I think our Region 1 BLM finals has a similar rule.
    USDF Regionals have the same rule as well although you can be reserve champ ad infinitum. However, I don't think HOY/Year End awards have the same criteria.



  17. #17
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    I have competed at multiple regionals where it was pathetically obvious to all competitors that the judge was manipulating the scores to select the 'chosen' ones. I remember the one regional where we were treated to the good judge /bad judge during the finals. Judge 1 was very fair in the scores and comments. The competitors were in agreement...at least the ones I spoke with' that judge 1 was doing a good job. Judge 2 was handing out score that were insulting...and several percentage points BELOW judge 1. Until...the chosen 2 riders suddenly achieved miraculous scores from judge 2 ...far and above what judge 1 gave them. Now, I have know idea who the miracle riders were...but they won the championship. Good for them I guess?

    My horse was not that good and I had no illusions about placing, much less winning the regionals, but I wanted to go and have a good time. What should have been a fun weekend ......well...I don't spend my time and money on that anymore. It's hard to take any shows seriously in terms of scores and judging.



  18. #18
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    There is one judge who makes the same comment about my horse every. single. time. No other judge, in the myriad of shows I have been in, Training through 2nd, makes that comment. But she does. I won't show uner her anymore-why bother?



  19. #19
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    wow, who even has the time to worry about such things? I just sign up for the shows I am able to attend and honestly never even look at whois judging. I don't usually know who is judging me untill after the class and I look at the test sheet. LOL
    "When you think you don't need a coach ...then you're in trouble" Don Imus 2012


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  20. #20
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    Haven't we all seen riders who scored let's say a 61.57 % on a First Level test, then ridden a significantly better First Level test later in the same day, same horse, same rider, same judge...and scored either lower than 61.57%, or maybe, if the judge was feeling particularly kind, maybe a 62 and change. The two tests were miles apart in every way....but no, you weren't great this morning so I'm not giving you the time of day this afternoon.

    THAT sort of judge, I don't want to cross the street to show in front of. Judges that install a prejudice against a horse and rider pair are not judges I want to 'support'.


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