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schooling shows - how much more generous are the scores?

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  • schooling shows - how much more generous are the scores?

    What's been your experience? Are schooling shows 10% more generous in the scores for dressage? 20%? Or is it all over the place for you depending on the judge? (And yes, it's impossible to say for sure!)

    Judges, can you weigh in? How much more relaxed are you at schooling shows?
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  • #2
    If the judges are good, they won't be any different.

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    • #3
      My recent experiences have been right in the ballpark of recognized shows, though perhaps on the higher end of the range. That is, for a performance that might range from 60-64% at a rated show, an unrecognized would probably be a 63%-64%.

      My sense is the judges are judging the same, but also that the organizers avoid the most critical judges.

      But, your organizer may choose judges that are more generous/less critical.
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      • #4
        Generally they're a little higher, I think. In part out of judges wanting to get re-hired, and their not having gone through the more extensive training needed to be a USEF judge.

        One schooling show I went to folks I knew were getting approximately 20 points LOWER than they were at rated shows.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
          If the judges are good, they won't be any different.
          Pretty much this, but in our area it can differ by venue. For instance, there is one local dressage barn that holds regular dressage schooling shows, but the judge at C is a trainer at the barn, and has not been certified to judge at any level. At this show, I know the scores are quite generous. For instance, one gal I know got a couple of 10's the very first time she ever rode her green horse at a show (I believe her score was 77%). Other scores at this show are typically 65% and above, unless the horse just has a complete meltdown.

          The generous scores keep people coming back, but won't prepare them for a rated show should they choose to compete. I thought about going to the show just for the experience, but my dressage trainer said there was no point because the scores won't be reflective of the ride. I didn't quite believe her until I watched some of the rides at one of the shows. She was 100% correct.

          My trainer has gone through part of the judges program, but she is very careful to be as fair as possible at a schooling show so that there isn't "show shock" when the pair goes to a rated show.

          When I have been to a one day horse trial schooling show, the dressage judges have always been quite fair and not generous at all with scores.
          Last edited by jenm; Aug. 22, 2011, 04:07 AM. Reason: added info
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          • #6
            This year, one of my friends started at schooling shows and then switched to rated shows. Her scores went from the low 60's to the low 50's.

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            • #7
              It depends entirely on the individual judge. In our area, our GMO requires they have to be L graduates to judge schooling shows so that they will count for the year end awards in the schooling show division. When I was showing a horse second level a few years ago, my scores actually went UP when I started showing her at recognized shows. But in general, the judging at schooling shows, with the exception of one judge, is very close to what you would get at recognized shows.
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              • #8
                PVDA did a statistical analysis of this in perhaps 2008-2009. There was an article published in their newsletter with the results. I don't remember all the details but, yes, schooling show scores were higher and scores from L judges tended to be higher, if I remember correctly.

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                • #9
                  I find it really differs by the judge. You see a lot of learning judges at schooling shows around here. Some are spot on, some are very easy, and recently, we had one that got lots of complaints for being overly difficult.

                  The bigger difference is where said score will put you in the competition.... A 30 at a recognized BN is mid to low in the pack. A 30 at a schooling show will frequently put you at the top of the group. There will be a lot more horses in the low 20s (or in the teens) at recognized shows.


                  Edited to add - Oops. No coffee on board yet. I'm not in the eventing forum. Still the gist is the same. The same "score" will often place you higher in the pack at a schooling show than at a recognized show.
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                  • #10
                    It varies per judge in our area (Texas). Some are nicer to the kids during the schooling shows and some aren't. Adults seem to be the same, I tend to pick the harder judges though DD has not shown recognized yet. I do however go with the other kids from the barn. I will however give major props to the judges of our area who are both articulate in their comments and generous with their time. I don't get a bunch of nice horse comments or the true bemoan of geometry that we did in the past.
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                    • #11
                      The question is posed in the OP as if there's a rule or a standard for schooling shows that requires a certain percentage higher score than one would get in recognized shows. As others have said, it depends on the judge, but it also depends on how well you ride the day of the schooling show and how well you ride the day of the recognized show, doesn't it? Judges tend to be a bit more generous at schooling shows, and riders tend to be more nervous at recognized shows, and these are both factors that can affect scores.
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                      • #12
                        I think it depends entirely upon the judge, rather than the show. I have had pretty widely varrying scores, the highest actually being at a recognized show. My lowest scores were at a really tiny schooling show where I think the judge was quite tough. It all just depends…

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                        • #13
                          Ideally the scores should be the same, but most of the time they are about 10% lower. What is most IMPORTANT are the COMMENTS. And the judges are not there to encourage through scores being higher, they are there to point out what is according to the rules/directives, and what still missing.
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                          • #14
                            I think it really depends on the individual judges. I do feel some judges don't put enough comments at the Schooling Shows - which is so helpful when you are sending young horses out or moving seasoned horses up.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by esdressage View Post
                              I think it depends entirely upon the judge, rather than the show. I have had pretty widely varrying scores, the highest actually being at a recognized show. My lowest scores were at a really tiny schooling show where I think the judge was quite tough. It all just depends…
                              The analysis the Nerd Herd did and published proved that the judge has big impact on the final score .... not all judges judge the same. That said, the OP's question was about schooling shows as a venue vs licensed shows, i.e., how much impact does the setting have on the final score.

                              There are some confounding variables here: since schooling shows tend to officiated by L and r judges, how much of the variation comes from the (lack of) years of experience / training? (FYI: our analysis showed that judge variations occurred across all levels of judge ratings.) How much of the variation comes from the venue itself, i.e., footing, arena placement, warm-up issues, etc.

                              All these are issues that can be examined .... if some one has the will and energy (time / money) to do the analysis.

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                              • #16
                                Depends on the judge.

                                For licensed judges, I have found it pretty much the same (for the same judge).

                                However,

                                Schooling shows are less likely to hire judges known to be "tough" because they want to be encouraging to the "newbies". That affects the AVERAGE for schooling shows.

                                Schooling shows often hire "L graduates" rather than licensed judges, and I have found some L graduates to be much more variable (both higher and lower) in their scoring than Licensed judges
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by cyndi View Post
                                  It depends entirely on the individual judge. In our area, our GMO requires they have to be L graduates to judge schooling shows so that they will count for the year end awards in the schooling show division. When I was showing a horse second level a few years ago, my scores actually went UP when I started showing her at recognized shows. But in general, the judging at schooling shows, with the exception of one judge, is very close to what you would get at recognized shows.
                                  this has been my experience as well.
                                  Often my scores are higher at rated shows. (events that is...but many times the judges at our schooling shows are pure dressage judges).
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by esdressage View Post
                                    I think it depends entirely upon the judge, rather than the show. I have had pretty widely varrying scores, the highest actually being at a recognized show. My lowest scores were at a really tiny schooling show where I think the judge was quite tough. It all just depends…
                                    I scribe a lot in my area and have found this to be true, with the exception of kids. Many judges give them a little higher score to encourage them to stay with the sport. At one schooling show, the judge was serious on classical theory and the comments were too much and scores low, especially at the Intro levels.
                                    "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach

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                                    • #19
                                      I find that with "r" or higher judges, scores are slightly lower at schooling shows. It is hardly a statistical analysis, but I think that judges score higher when they are more comfortable, and recognized competitions (traditionally) have more ways to accomodate the judge's needs (ie, they may not be sitting in the back of a horse trailer, they might not have driven an hour to the show facility after feeding their own horses earlier that morning, etc). I'm starting to think that the second day of a recognized show is when the judge's are happiest, and the scores are the highest.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                                        Ideally the scores should be the same, but most of the time they are about 10% lower. What is most IMPORTANT are the COMMENTS. And the judges are not there to encourage through scores being higher, they are there to point out what is according to the rules/directives, and what still missing.
                                        Just read this . . . I agree with you on the comments, unfortunately the comment boxes are small (LOL). As I mentioned in my post, going overboard with kids showing Intro and Training level is a kill joy. Yes, basics should be constructively (and I would underline this word) pointed out; many of the kids are not riding horses/ponies born for the sport. They are riding safe inexpensive mounts who give them a positive experience.
                                        "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach

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