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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    When I was a kid, the barn I rode at hosted a lot of hunter shows, and my mom worked off much of my entry fees by working as staff in the booth. Because of this tight connection, I was able to see (and sometimes collect even) quite a lot of judging cards of my classes.

    I loved it. It was great to see the shorthand used. It was excellent to correlate what I felt with what got written. And those cards where I won - - priceless!

    Of course the numbers are only meaningful in relation to the other entries in the class. That is something to understand about hunters. But it's good to see if you were right up there or if you got lucky because everyone else missed or whatever else. You know if you won with a 73 that you still have a lot of homework to do.

    All you who are saying it can't be done - bah. It totally can, and you don't have to do anything more than just post the existing cards.
    This is equivalent to scribing at dressage shows, which I have done a lot. You learn A TON sitting in that judge's booth and writing down scores and comments. It really is invaluable experience.
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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevelyan96 View Post
    Considering the currently poor general public impression about how hunters are judged, I think it could only benefit the sport to have even a very scaled down version of the judges card available for the hunter rounds. It doesn't have to be as complicated as the dressge test scores. A simple 6 point system would work, and there's no reason they can't include turnout considerations like tidiness

    i.e.

    Jump Style: 1-100 (knees square/hanging fence 1, 2, 6, etc.)
    Movement: 1-100 (lead changes, straighness, fast, slow)
    Striding: 1-100 (added, subtracted, etc.)
    Spot: 1-100 (deep, long, chipped)
    Turnout: 1-100 (dirty, thin, braided?)
    Overall Impression: 1-100 with comments (Pleasant horse, needs energy, too quick, pinned ears, wringing tail, etc.)

    The hack would still have to be totally subjective, way too many horses in most of them, but I really do think it would be very good for the sport to at least attempt some element of objectivity.
    I'm not certain that there's a general poor impression of how hunters are judged. Generalizations always have a flaw somewhere.

    Considering that a hunter round is over in about 2.5 minutes, I'm not seeing how the round could be scored this way. It's done at a canter/gallop with the next fence coming up in a matter of seconds. And, it's not uncommon for a judge at a big show to see 300 horses come through his or her ring a day. Most of them rely on a form of shorthand or symbols to get the job done. Total jibberish to anyone else trying to decipher it.

    And, if I'm competing in a class of 50+ horses, I'd better put in a spectacular round to have a chance at a ribbon. In a class of 10, I can possibly afford to screw up a bit.

    Sitting ringside and watching an entire class from start to finish is educational. Or sit in the stands on the pro days and watch round after round and score them yourself. If you are having trouble recognizing why you are not placing as you or your trainer think you should, I highly recommend it.
    Fan of the Swedish Chef



  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go Fish View Post
    Considering that a hunter round is over in about 2.5 minutes,
    That's generous. 2 minutes is closer and depending on the size of the ring and the course, it could be as little as 1.5 minutes.

    I encourage everyone on this thread to watch "The Judge's Eye." If you want some more insight into hunter judging, it's a great place to start. I think Randy Roy also has some videos and books specifically about judging as well. Read Judging Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation by Anna Jane White-Mullen. It takes effort, but it isn't THAT hard to educate yourself.

    Then go sit and practice judging. See if you CAN score like dressage.
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  4. #84
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    Agree with those suggesting posting the cards. We don't do that routinely at our shows, but if someone wants to see a card I give it to them (I'm the secretary).

    I have scribed countless hours at the largest dressage shows in the US and Janet really hit the nail on the head. In hunters, the competition is relative to the horses entered in the class that day and the judge is choosing a winner. In dressage, the competition is against a standard test and the judge is scoring the execution of each movement in the test, which then results in an overall score and *that* determines the winner.

    The dressage judge still has to compare the horses - if the first horse has an 8 walk and the next horse comes in with a better walk it needs to be given a 9. Ideally, an 8 walk should be the same from all judges, but one person's 8 is another person's 7 is another person's 9. But hey, judging inconsistency is another topic altogether.



  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrakHack View Post
    Agree with those suggesting posting the cards. We don't do that routinely at our shows, but if someone wants to see a card I give it to them (I'm the secretary).

    I have scribed countless hours at the largest dressage shows in the US and Janet really hit the nail on the head. In hunters, the competition is relative to the horses entered in the class that day and the judge is choosing a winner. In dressage, the competition is against a standard test and the judge is scoring the execution of each movement in the test, which then results in an overall score and *that* determines the winner.

    The dressage judge still has to compare the horses - if the first horse has an 8 walk and the next horse comes in with a better walk it needs to be given a 9. Ideally, an 8 walk should be the same from all judges, but one person's 8 is another person's 7 is another person's 9. But hey, judging inconsistency is another topic altogether.
    You make good points but you judges must have a standard to judge against ... Otherwise they have no way of marking the firt horse. If it were only relative then the first horse would need to be scored at say 78 so that better horses had room higher and worse lower. Every judge I know has a standard that they use as a benchmark. The best horse of the day is not a 90 if all the horses were average.

    And again judges do mark their cards ... There is no way to judge a lg division otherwise with ny laxity.

    Again, I agree with those who say that doing this would not be that hard... Now whether judges would want o is a different question entirely



  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go Fish View Post
    Considering that a hunter round is over in about 2.5 minutes, I'm not seeing how the round could be scored this way. It's done at a canter/gallop with the next fence coming up in a matter of seconds. And, it's not uncommon for a judge at a big show to see 300 horses come through his or her ring a day. Most of them rely on a form of shorthand or symbols to get the job done. Total jibberish to anyone else trying to decipher it.
    I'm not saying the should have to go into detail for every fence. Just jot the things that really stand out - both good and bad!

    If your horse is slightly hanging the right knee at every fence - it would be really good to see that on a scorecard. Or if you're showing in front of a judge who likes the 'snail's pace' round and he comments 'too quick' - at least you now know that that particular judge likes a slower, smoothe round - whereas another judge might comment "too slow" because they like a little more brilliance and energy.

    I think a lot of exhibitors would appreciate even a pithy scorecard for the entire round that said something like "Slow, flat, bad knees, late change.", so they'd at least know that the judge was awake and watching.
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  7. #87
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    One thing I haven't seen addressed (sorry if I missed it)...

    In Dressage, the final scores are posted but I believe the cards where the comments are written are individual and given to the exhibitor.

    I am not sure posting judges cards for hunter classes, where all the railbirds can pick apart the information on everyone else, is such a good idea.
    Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.



  8. #88
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    True rockinhorse. I don't think they should be so much posted but available for you to pick up. Maybe post scores if they went in depth but if not and just comments then be able to get that at the office.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  9. #89
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    I have read through the entire thread since I first posted the topic. Posting scores and sharing cards seemed like a good starting point for discussion.
    I'm impressed with the insight and debate on both sides.

    I believe that there must be a way to make the judging more transparent and helpful for those competing and that it is needed, particularly for those that are new or newer to the sport and that it would be helpful to the industry.

    Perhaps scoring somewhat like they do in figure skating?

    Elememts - Scoring each individual jump.

    Transitions - Scoring in-between jumps (turns, lead changes, lines, pace,e tc.)

    Performance - Scoring overall impression/style/execution.

    I also think that judges should be required to mark cards using an approved standard system so that cards could be more easily interpreted and understood.


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  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    I always find it hilarious when people insist that the judge "always picks the expensive horse."

    Last time I checked, no one was writing their horse's purchase price on their entry blanks. I guess it's just not as much fun to write, "the judge always picks the nicer mover/jumper (which tends to cost more.")
    As usual, Lucassb, I couldn't agree more! In my experience, I know of six figure horses and that were beat out on the AA circuit by horses that were purchased for a fraction of the price. Are expensive horse usually more flashy ... sure! But that is not always the case and the judge should have no idea whether the horse cost you $1 or $1 million.

    Also, (getting ready for the flaming), I can't seem to understand why people continue to complain about the judging in the hunter ring. Is it always fair and 100% right? No. Is it somewhat subjective? Yes. But for the most part, in my experience, most judges are on the up-and-up and are honestly doing their best to fairly judge the participants. Would it be great to have the sport be 100% objective like jumpers? Absolutely! But, as others have said, in the hunter ring there is consideration for the overall impression including how nice of a mover the horse is, and how quiet, confident, and relaxed the rider is. These things would be virtually impossible to consistently quantify across judges and rings.

    As to the "job" of judges, as participants we don't want judges to be involved in our training, other than judging us at a show. Think it through, do you want the judge to take a true interest in the development of a rider? That's the trainer's job. If we push for judges to post their cards, make thoughtful comments, or otherwise help develop riders, there is going to be bias. The judges are human and are going to pay attention and develop riders/horses they like or dislike not based on that role but on the history and progression of the pair. In the end, the importance of the judges personal opinion is going to play an even bigger role. In fact, I have a friend who has competed in dressage for decades at all levels and there are dressage judges who will not pin a horse first if they have not seen that horse go before and know that the preformance is not a "fluke". I'm not criticizing dressage, but I am saying we need to be careful what we ask for.
    ~ In the chaos of the showing, remember riding should be fun for all, including our 4-legged kids.


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  11. #91
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    At the risk of getting in more trouble ... I have an honest question ... do people really feel that they are paying for the judges opinion at a show? I certainly don't. I'm paying to see how I am doing against other people in the division and the experience of new facility/new jumps/etc. I'm paying for my trainers opinion. At clinics, I'm paying for the clinicians opinion. I'm certainly not paying for the judges opinion!
    ~ In the chaos of the showing, remember riding should be fun for all, including our 4-legged kids.



  12. #92
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    As mentioned this is a great book to read "Judging Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation by Anna Jane White-Mullen". If I recall she does put samples of judges cards and the symbols used to indicate the jump at each fence.



  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammicat View Post
    At the risk of getting in more trouble ... I have an honest question ... do people really feel that they are paying for the judges opinion at a show? I certainly don't. I'm paying to see how I am doing against other people in the division and the experience of new facility/new jumps/etc. I'm paying for my trainers opinion. At clinics, I'm paying for the clinicians opinion. I'm certainly not paying for the judges opinion!
    A couple of comments, not all directed to the quote.

    1) Yes, some people are paying for the judge's opinion. Does the judge like my horse's way of going? Or my equitation? Of course it is comparative to the other horse/rider but I go to a show to see how my riding and horse are progressing. And I don't usually go with a trainer so comments would be helpful.

    2) Even if this isn't feasible at rated shows, what about local or schooling shows? As far as I'm aware, there is nothing to stop a local show from having volunteer scribes for judges who agree to make their comments available. Especially since schooling shows are for schooling, the comments would be very helpful. The comments could even be for only certain divisions, with divisions rotating at each show if there is a series.



  14. #94
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    The reason why hunter judging is not like dressage judging is that we have way too many variables. Dressage is based on nationally standardized tests with set movements and objectives in an arena with very specific dimensions. Hunters compete over different courses designed by different course designers in various sized arenas. Dressage riders typically only do 2 tests per day whereas Hunter riders can do upwards of 4+ classes.

    When you think about the number of variables that go into jumping vs flatwork it will start to make sense why the judging is so different. Dressage tests are very 'compartmentalized' meaning that a score on one movement doesn't necessarily effect another. I have gotten a 4 for my young horse putting in a little buck in a canter circle then a few movements later get an 8 at the medium walk. Of course some things can be cumulative (ie- horse is on forehand through circle, which leads to sloppy transition) but because you are constantly changing gaits you are less likely to have one error disrupt the majority of the test. In jumping, you rarely see problems that don't effect a good bit of the round. For example, a horse that starts the course too slow (error) will often chip in to the first jump (error), possibly have a sloppy change (error), and add a stride in the first line (error). Or you might be slightly crooked within a line (error) leading to a bad distance and crooked over the jump (error). Rather than nitpicking EVERY error, it can be easier to jot down a few shorthand symbols and give the horse an overall score. Without more detailed notes (which a hunter judges does not have time for), the cards would mean very little to the rider. And don't forget that dressage judges aren't even required to comment on the movements if the score is 7 or higher. So you would get some feedback on lower scores but not necessarily anything on the better scores (and there can be a BIG difference in earning a 7 vs 8)!

    Really, I think the best thing would be for judges to hold more clinics and discuss these types of things and/or have a Q&A session. And it would be great if riders were more educated on how judging works (crack open a book!). I am VERY rarely perplexed by a judge's decision at rated shows and usually the more experienced the judge, the more consistent their scoring is with what I expect.


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  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by hntrjmprpro45 View Post
    For example, a horse that starts the course too slow (error) will often chip in to the first jump (error), possibly have a sloppy change (error), and add a stride in the first line (error). .
    Wait a second! Have you been watching my rounds?
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  16. #96
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    We used to post them (20? years ago) for our local shows. I think they were posted behind where the judge and announcer sat which controlled access and random comments somewhat. We had a few judges that didn't want them posted, but not many. Then USEF (or AHSA) passed a rule or recommended that they no longer be posted and that was the end of that.
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  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by pds View Post
    Perhaps scoring somewhat like they do in figure skating?

    Elememts - Scoring each individual jump.

    Transitions - Scoring in-between jumps (turns, lead changes, lines, pace,e tc.)

    Performance - Scoring overall impression/style/execution.

    I also think that judges should be required to mark cards using an approved standard system so that cards could be more easily interpreted and understood.
    But hunters us judges jump by jumper, corner by corner. There aren't specific movements like in dressage or figure skating. It's judged as a whole picture.
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  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockinHorse View Post
    One thing I haven't seen addressed (sorry if I missed it)...

    In Dressage, the final scores are posted but I believe the cards where the comments are written are individual and given to the exhibitor.

    I am not sure posting judges cards for hunter classes, where all the railbirds can pick apart the information on everyone else, is such a good idea.
    Is the judging card really more embarrassing than your performance in the ring?



    In dressage, your final scores are not only posted at the show for everyone to see, but they're part of your permanent record ; these days, anyone can look them up online, for free.

    (Frankly, I think most of us would love it if the comments were public with the scores, especially the ones that say, "Well ridden, too bad about that spooky corner." )

    Collecting scores in a database makes no sense for hunters, where the scores are ordinal rather than to any standard, and where every course is different. But that's no barrier to posting the cards.
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  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrakHack View Post
    Agree with those suggesting posting the cards. We don't do that routinely at our shows, but if someone wants to see a card I give it to them (I'm the secretary).

    I have scribed countless hours at the largest dressage shows in the US and Janet really hit the nail on the head. In hunters, the competition is relative to the horses entered in the class that day and the judge is choosing a winner. In dressage, the competition is against a standard test and the judge is scoring the execution of each movement in the test, which then results in an overall score and *that* determines the winner.

    The dressage judge still has to compare the horses - if the first horse has an 8 walk and the next horse comes in with a better walk it needs to be given a 9. Ideally, an 8 walk should be the same from all judges, but one person's 8 is another person's 7 is another person's 9. But hey, judging inconsistency is another topic altogether.
    Actually, at this time dressage judges are trained not to compare the horses in the class, and not to worry about ordinal placing. They judge absolute scores against a standard and let the placings fall where they may.

    Perhaps at really big events like the Olympics, the judges are more cognizant of their ordinals... but in those cases they have three judges, so again, that judge's placing is not all that relevant, only the final number.

    it's a different point of view entirely from hunters; neither is right or wrong. The advantage of how the dressage people score is that in theory it doesn't matter if you're showing in New York or Florida or Idaho, your score is your score and they're comparable. But, everyone is riding the same pattern in an arena of the same size.

    Hunter judges are still in the habit of creating methodical judging cards, and I think it is beneficial and educational to make them readily available for viewing. There's no reason those cards or the scoring system have to change. It seems to me to be a lot less hardship than announcing hunter derby scores as you go, because in those instances the judges risk not having any spacing in their score for the right ordinal placement, and you can't change it once it's announced.
    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



  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    (Frankly, I think most of us would love it if the comments were public with the scores, especially the ones that say, "Well ridden, too bad about that spooky corner." )
    Except that I would bet the comment would just be "Spooked" and I would assume as the rider you already knew that
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