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A very green question regarding scores: schooling v. recognized shows

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  • A very green question regarding scores: schooling v. recognized shows

    I feel like there might have been a topic on this recently, but I can't seem to find it. I apologize if I'm creating a redundant conversation.

    Do scores at recognized shows tend to be considerably lower than schooling shows?

    I understand schooling shows can be a mixed bag in terms of judging... but around here, most schooling shows I've been attending are judged by "r" judges, sometimes even "R." I would think licensed judges would be scoring things fairly consistently regardless of the type of show, especially since "r" and "R" judges tend to also judge my low level at the recognized shows.

    I ask because I'm toying with the idea of entering some recognized shows in the future. I was pretty surprised to pull up results of recognized shows in the area and see the score distribution was consistently about 10% lower than I what I've been encountering at schooling shows with licensed judges. At the local schooling shows I attend, most competitors tend to earn scores in the 60s & 70s at the level I am riding, with the occasional outlier. All of the scores I viewed for recognized shows were in the 50s & 60s range for the same tests, with no outliers.

    Is that normal? Are you judged more stringently at a recognized show? Is it an atmosphere thing (i.e. more tense horses)?

    Full disclosure: I'm not posting this thinking, "wow, I could go in a recognized show and win!" More like, "oh crap, if I enter a recognized show, am I going to totally embarrass myself because the judging is so much harder?"
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

  • #2
    Schooling show scoring is commonly higher, yes.

    judging at recognized events is taken more seriously, the scores seem to prove that out.

    Comment


    • #3
      It would also be interesting to see if you can find scores for the same horse/rider combo at the schooling show and at a recognized show.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
        Is that normal? Are you judged more stringently at a recognized show? Is it an atmosphere thing (i.e. more tense horses)?
        Yes, it is normal. There is more expectations at a recognized show than in a schooling show.

        This is worth for any disciplines. I’ve seen it in gymnastic, in ice skating, etc.

        Full disclosure: I'm not posting this thinking, "wow, I could go in a recognized show and win!" More like, "oh crap, if I enter a recognized show, am I going to totally embarrass myself because the judging is so much harder?"
        You will not embarrass yourself if your ride is seemingly correct.
        Anyone can have a bad day, from schooling shows to the Olympics.

        Get help from a trainer (or friends) who do recognized shows. This will give you a better idea of what will be expected from you and your horse.



        ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

        Originally posted by LauraKY
        I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
        HORSING mobile training app

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        • #5
          My scores have been pretty consistent (60% +/- 2) between schooling and recognized shows. I'm doing Training level. Honestly just once I'd like to go to one of the shows with the inflated scores and feel momentarily good about myself, lol!!
          http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            I agree with everyone else; however, I did find at least two frequent schooling show judges, one L grad and one R judge, who I could consistently count on to be in the ballpark of my recognized show rides. Of course it took me a couple of years, levels and horses to be able to say this proved true. They have been great measuring sticks for me and if I see that they are judging a schooling show before a recognized show I hope to enter, I will enter the schooling show to see if my goal of showing recognized is likely to be worthwhile. Over time you might find the same to be true.
            Ranch of Last Resort

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Follow up question:

              What is the "point" of licensed judges (r and R) "inflating" scores at schooling shows?

              Not a criticism. Just an honest question as I try to learn. I would think that type of mentality would negatively impact your eye and just lead to confusion for everyone.

              I understand being forgiving of green moments, like not heavily penalizing a spook or bobble, but I don't understand the benefit of giving someone a higher score than they deserve on a movement. Are judges really scoring equivalent tests like, "this free walk is a 9.0 at a schooling show, but would only be a 7.0 at a recognized show?"

              Does my question make sense?
              Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

              Comment


              • #8
                Our scores have been close to the same for both schooling shows and recognized shows. Mostly -5% at recognized shows. However, I will say that the reason is not only the judges but my nerves. My horse is close to bomb proof. So when we lose points it will be because I am not riding as well as I should be. She doesn’t care if it a schooling show or a recognized show. But when I am nervous I tighten up, she slows down and the scores get lower.

                I will I’ll say that there have been generous judges at recognized shows and cold ones at schooling shows. Mostly I think all have been fair. The last two shows, one of each type, we had at least one class with WILDLY varying scores. We went from 4,0 on some movements up to 8.0 for others in the same test. I was just having a bad day and my horse was not willing to carry me through without voicing her opinion on a few things. Oh well. Both judges were kind with their remarks. It was obvious to both of them we were not at top form. As long as you take it all with a grain of salt... some days are better for both you and the judges, at either type of show.

                On the other hand schooling shows are much more affordable and you don’t have to braid.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                  Follow up question:

                  What is the "point" of licensed judges (r and R) "inflating" scores at schooling shows?

                  Not a criticism. Just an honest question as I try to learn. I would think that type of mentality would negatively impact your eye and just lead to confusion for everyone.

                  I understand being forgiving of green moments, like not heavily penalizing a spook or bobble, but I don't understand the benefit of giving someone a higher score than they deserve on a movement. Are judges really scoring equivalent tests like, "this free walk is a 9.0 at a schooling show, but would only be a 7.0 at a recognized show?"

                  Does my question make sense?
                  My guess is that it is not intentional, and is not extreme. A range of 5 or 10 % say giving a 6 rather than a 6.5 has an element of subjectivity to it. Two different judges scoring an element that "deserves" say a 6.25 might round up or down to 6 or 6.5, and over the total of the test, especially with coefficients, that can add up.

                  Speaking as a university professor who marks *a lot* of papers with a rubric that is somewhat comparable to a dressage score sheet, it is unavoidable that you tend to mark towards the average of the class, or at least the average of the classes that semester (I typically teach 2 or 3 composition courses a term, so I get to see up to 75 copies of each assignment a term or 125 a year). In my case, the A and the C papers tend to be obvious, but the B range can be a bit fluid. Is that a B plus, a B, or a B minus? The difference between B plus, B, or B minus is about 3 percentage points between each.

                  Also, I taught while a grad student at an American "top school," but I now work at a regional four year college. First year students entered the "top school" already writing better (and being more culturally sophisticated and well read) than many of my graduating students at the four year college. Indeed, even some of the 16 year old Advanced Placement Students coming to academic summer camp at the "top school" were ahead of many of my fourth year students here. The comparison here might be between watching a Training Level test at a local schooling show, and watching an FEI Dressage Test for 4 year old horses. The movements aren't that different. But I bet the execution and potential are! https://inside.fei.org/system/files/YH4_2017.pdf

                  Anyhow, it's almost inevitable that a judge or a professor ends up being influenced by the group average, and at a recognized show there are generally more higher level entrants to raise overall expectations of what a horse should go like, as well as probably more well prepared riders.

                  Also, are the judges really giving a "higher score than deserved" on a movement in schooling shows, or are they just as you say forgiving a bobble? I was looking at video and comments from a recent schooling show, and the rider (good rider, green horse) was a little critical that the judge marked down a movement for one bobble (like almost got to the end of a stretchy circle but then raised the head, not quite square behind at halt, etc). Rider thought that was not quite cricket at a schooling show. I don't really have an opinion, I think I'd rather get rigorous marks and comments.

                  It is also perfectly possible that dressage scores trend a little up or down by region, and my guess is that places with a strong and high-level competition scene are going to be scoring a little tougher (though the actual scores by the riders might be higher on average, because they are stronger riders and horses).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    At the lower levels I find schooling shows to be more as said above; meaning a little more generous at showing vs recognized. However, I have found that when showing upper level, 3rd and above, they are on par or low at schooling shows.

                    An example is recently showed a 4th level horse in his first PSG at a schooling show. He did a solid test with couple mistakes but I would have thought mid 60s. He barely made 62% and those couple of mistakes were hit hard. Then a recognized show similar mistakes in the test scored a 66%.

                    Comparing the two test sheets against the videos I would say that the mistakes were similar. Example he tends to try to spin in his left canter pirouette. Both judge gave same remark as loss of control/spin/balance, just a 5 from schooling show judge and a 6.5 from recognized judge. I’m fine with both cause the movement isn’t great yet and still needs a little more time.

                    Schooling judge was small r and rec show was large S.

                    I have found that at the schooling show, the judging as you move out of their comfort of judging what they see, they become more conservative. Personally I think that is fair and I’m cool with it.

                    I also will say that I think overall my students ride better at schooling shows because they put less pressure on themselves and are more relaxed about the whole thing... so perhaps their higher scores are earned there.

                    We also tend to get really good (kind) judges for our schooling shows and even if they are not higher judges they coach a lot of upper level students as well as have ridden them.

                    Go have fun and enjoy the day. Trying recognized shows should be no different from any other show! You are out there doing your thing so you are already achieving more then those that never try.
                    http://www.windsweptfarmllc.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                      Follow up question:

                      What is the "point" of licensed judges (r and R) "inflating" scores at schooling shows?
                      At least in my area, Raleigh/Southern Pines, NC, a lot of our local schooling shows use local trainers who are also licensed. Our recognized show managers try to have a mixture of in and out of state judges (I assume to save on travel costs). We typically seem many of the same judges year after year at our recognized shows.

                      My point is because we know these local schooling show judges we may get a "boost" in our scores locally. One weekend I will ride in front of local judge A, and the next weekend she is in the same class as me at a recognized show (although divided pro/ammy). Heck, one local trainer/judge is my neighbor! I have never trained with her but we are friendly. Do they give me the benefit of the doubt? Maybe. Do they try to give other locals the benefit of the doubt so they continue to get schooling show jobs? Maybe. (I'm not talking giving me an 8 where I deserved a 4 on a movement. But maybe a 6.5 becomes a 7) I don't think they do it on purpose and I have seen some bad schooling rides earn some bad scores.

                      Context matters. Relationships matter. Those out of town recognized judges don't know that I am also the treasurer of the GMO putting on the show and am cutting their check (which is for the best!).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                        Follow up question:

                        What is the "point" of licensed judges (r and R) "inflating" scores at schooling shows?
                        Any point is, IME, to be encouraging to the participants who may never go to a recognized show. I find this interesting because I've seen far more ribbon/prize chasing at schooling shows than anywhere else.

                        I've only seen what I'd call outright score inflation at one "schooling" show. It was a very low-key event at what was mainly a hunter jumper barn, put on by the resident dressage trainer with one of her friends, not an L grad, judging. I was the scribe. The judge was pretty clear when we started that she was told to be encouraging so there were scores in the mid 70s that would have been low to mid 60s if judged by an L grad or licensed judge IMO. I thought there was no harm no foul for the most part except for the one HJ rider who mused out loud that dressage was easier than she thought and she should go to a recognized show. She would have had a very rude awakening.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rerider54 View Post
                          and you don’t have to braid.
                          Braiding is optional at any level of showing. Be it schooling or CDI shows.
                          ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                          Originally posted by LauraKY
                          I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                          HORSING mobile training app

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I generally get around the same scores at either, or else, slightly lower (sometimes significantly lower) at schooling shows. Our schooling shows are usually L program grads judging. I think they are often told to be "kind" with intro and eventing tests and T-1 or 2, because that's a lot of newer riders and Pony Clubbers, but by the time they get to T-3 and First and any higher rides (usually the highest levels at our local schooling shows), they usually get tougher.
                            "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                            Graphite/Pastel Portraits

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                            • #15
                              posted by Scribbler
                              Anyhow, it's almost inevitable that a judge or a professor ends up being influenced by the group average, and at a recognized show there are generally more higher level entrants to raise overall expectations of what a horse should go like, as well as probably more well prepared riders.
                              This ^ may be one of the factors. I have also noticed a trend at recognized shows where all of the judges (there are usually 3-4 at the local recognized show) seem to be "scoring high" or "scoring low" (as a collective group) Some shows you are hearing multiple scores in the 70's and the next show---70's are rare. It's a different group of judges each show---but the riders and horses and usually the same group of local trainers and ammy's. I don't really have any theories as to why this is----but I have noticed it.

                              I also have seen the judging be more generous at the lower levels for both schooling and recognized. As someone else already said---judges are more forgiving for Intro and Training level tests---but have higher expectations at 1st level and up (which is fair - and the directives also change at each level---which is what the judge should be using as a basis for their scoring). Schooling shows tend to have large numbers of entries in the Intro and Training level tests---not as many in 2nd level and up, which also might be a reason why the judging seems a little inflated at schooling shows.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks everyone!

                                What I'm taking away from this is that it varies location to location.
                                Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Around me, schooling shows are most often judged by L grads. Many of them tend to be 4-5-6 judges. Perhaps not comfortable enough to use all the scale. Although it sometimes happens that a fancy moving horse is entered and the L grads are more likely to be overawed by it than a more experienced judge.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    It varies by a lot of things.

                                    An unrecognized show is likely to select a judge who will be encouraging (in both scores and comments) to new-to-dressage riders at the lower levels.

                                    A recognized show, in an area where there are many recognized shows, may select a judge that is known to score generously at the upper levels, in order to attract riders who are pursuing their USDF medals.
                                    Janet

                                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2017.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by MsM View Post
                                      Around me, schooling shows are most often judged by L grads. Many of them tend to be 4-5-6 judges. Perhaps not comfortable enough to use all the scale. Although it sometimes happens that a fancy moving horse is entered and the L grads are more likely to be overawed by it than a more experienced judge.
                                      I scribe a lot at schooling shows. They are mostly L grads. I've scribed a fair share of 3s up to 9s -

                                      and I'm sorry, but L grads didn't fall off the turnip truck and land in the judge's seat to be overawed by a fancy mover. To a person they are working to provide fair and accurate scoring and commentary. Well ridden common movers routinely beat the fancy horse with a ham handed, tense rider.
                                      Last edited by TMares; Jul. 16, 2019, 12:31 PM.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I have absolutely heard of show organizers saying loudly and publicly that they refused to have a certain judge back because the judge marked low, or marked certain people low. I don't know if this was a schooling show or recognized show.

                                        The story was related to me about someone who has demonstrated about zero integrity in many ways, and was eventually let go with cause from the barn manager job where they were allowed to help select judges. So I don't know if this is common, or if it's just usually done more discretely.

                                        You would need to be on the organizing committees of the shows run by associations or clubs to know what discussions were had about judges.

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