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Turnout class judging help

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  • Turnout class judging help

    Can anyone help me with resources to learn how to judge a Turnout class? I am pretty confident on the "performance, manners and way of going", but not on the "condition, fit and appropriateness of harness/cart" which is the primary judging criteria.

    I will also be judging a Working Class and Reinsmanship class. Any resources to study for those would be great too.

    I have shadow judged Pleasure Driving, unfortunately it has been hard to find driving classes of the above types to shadow, and I want to be as prepared/educated as possible.

    I am also going to be judging driving dressage in a few weeks. I have been able to watch many tests, but haven't had any luck finding examples of a scored test and/or examples of appropriate comments. any help there would be appreciated. (yes, the show organizer is well aware of my lack of experience...I am the secondary/back up judge)
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

  • #2
    Originally posted by CHT View Post
    Can anyone help me with resources to learn how to judge a Turnout class? I am pretty confident on the "performance, manners and way of going", but not on the "condition, fit and appropriateness of harness/cart" which is the primary judging criteria.

    I will also be judging a Working Class and Reinsmanship class. Any resources to study for those would be great too.

    I have shadow judged Pleasure Driving, unfortunately it has been hard to find driving classes of the above types to shadow, and I want to be as prepared/educated as possible.

    I am also going to be judging driving dressage in a few weeks. I have been able to watch many tests, but haven't had any luck finding examples of a scored test and/or examples of appropriate comments. any help there would be appreciated. (yes, the show organizer is well aware of my lack of experience...I am the secondary/back up judge)
    Can you contact the judge and ask them for help? You seem to be in a very difficult position, judging when you don't know the criteria. The situation seems unfair for the competitors as well.

    How did you end up in the position of being asked to judge classes about which you know so little and/or are so unfamiliar?

    Comment


    • #3
      If nothing else, memorize the rulebook for each class, and attend as many shows with the relevant classes in the meantime.

      Honestly this sounds to me like a "responsibility" bad dream, where, in your nightmare, you are expected to do something that you are completely unprepared to do.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have to side with skydy here.
        Even if this is a local schooling show, how did you get into the position of being asked to act as Judge?

        Local to me (who lives in a Driving Desert) is a place that hosts several Driving shows.
        Judging can be all over the place.
        Think: Management goes "Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe" & points at some rando person who may or may not have a clue.
        I use the place strictly as a nearby place to get out & drive in company before any real show.
        But I'd be pretty put out if judging were like this for reals.
        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I was hired based on recommendation: I am a pretty experienced GP judge. My Judges card includes driving, so I am certified for pleasure driving, but as I don't see it much, I feel I need to refresh my knowledge, and Turnout is new to me. Whenever I am asked to judge a class that is uncommon I try to do my best to make sure my knowledge is current and correct.

          skydy For the one show, the rule book for the driving classes is one small page. That is it. I am confident about gaits, manners and way of going.

          For driven dressage, the organizer knows my lack of experience, but I think feels they need to bring someone into their judging pool, and I do judge ridden dressage, and have volunteered at combined driving events, so I guess I was the best they could find locally? I am absolutely willing to invest time into learning more, but there aren't many opportunities locally. The rule book is pretty good, but I am looking for additional information. I know enough to know I don't know enough: What I am looking for any additional resources that people who actually do it can offer.

          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Perhaps if I ask a more specific question I will get more help:

            Regarding the Turnout class: So I get making sure the cart and harness are appropriate for the horse/pony size/fit wise, and in good condition, and I understand the "rules" about harness colour with regard to cart type/colour. I also understand about driver outfits. Is this what the 70% of the score is based on? If so, when would there be a need to have an individual work out? Or is that rare/only in big classes?

            General question: Is the rein back usually done in line, or on the rail? I think when I shadow judged they rein backed on the rail as a group.
            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

            Comment


            • #7
              You might read the ADS Rulebook, Pleasure Driving section, at the American Driving Society site. There are MANY details for each class you named, that should be helpful to you. Also recommended is Driving Essentials or other good harness vendor, to look at harness styles, cut of saddles, straps, blinker shapes, that may be named in the Pleasure Class Rules. It would be incorrect for instance, to use a Gig saddle while driving a Runabout carriage. Certain bit styles are called for with certain vehicles, to make the picture "more correct" in appearance for Turnout or a named class where everyone is driving the same style vehicle, lIke Gigs or Runabouts. Not sure how high the standards will be at your show, very fancy or more casual. Not everyone will look like they should be showing at Devon and that is fine.

              Can you get a look at some Driving magazines, look at photos of driven carriages? Driving Digest is one, Carriage Association of America prints one quarterly, both have great pictures. Another is Mischka Publishing, who does a yearly Driving Horse calendar. You can go in to their site, look at the photos of each month, see EXCELLENT examples of well turned out drivers and vehicles in all styles. The small photos on the month pages are also well worth looking at as good examples.

              People showing modern vehicles in classes judged on style, old type carriages, could be a problem. Perhaps a call to the ADS office or Jeff Morse, head of Pleasure Driving, could tell you how the issue is judged. Jeff is very nice, very helpful. Any safe carriage/cart, should be fine in performance classes like Reinsmanship.

              Be aware of the arena footing. Too deep is hard on the horses. Most rings tend to be too deep for carriages, make for hard pulling as the wheels cut into the dirt. Horses tire fast, working that hard.

              We have always reined back during line up, never on the rail. Not sure if there is a Rule, but the Rulebook should tell you what is legal.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CHT View Post
                I was hired based on recommendation: I am a pretty experienced GP judge. My Judges card includes driving, so I am certified for pleasure driving, but as I don't see it much, I feel I need to refresh my knowledge, and Turnout is new to me. Whenever I am asked to judge a class that is uncommon I try to do my best to make sure my knowledge is current and correct.

                skydy For the one show, the rule book for the driving classes is one small page. That is it. I am confident about gaits, manners and way of going.

                For driven dressage, the organizer knows my lack of experience, but I think feels they need to bring someone into their judging pool, and I do judge ridden dressage, and have volunteered at combined driving events, so I guess I was the best they could find locally? I am absolutely willing to invest time into learning more, but there aren't many opportunities locally. The rule book is pretty good, but I am looking for additional information. I know enough to know I don't know enough: What I am looking for any additional resources that people who actually do it can offer.
                I am too confused to give advice, perhaps due to Canada/U.S. differences in qualifications for having a judges card. You mention that your judges card includes driving, but say that you have "shadow judged" driving and that you are an experienced GP judge. Are you an R or an r judge?

                Is there a Canadian system that throws beginner judges out there to sink or swim? I'm sure you want to do your best, please don't think otherwise.

                Hopefully someone with experience, like Goodhors and 2DogsFarm will be able to help. I think people may not know what to say, because becoming a judge is a rather long process and it's very hard to instruct someone how to judge a class, online, especially a driving class or appointments class, both fairly technical.

                I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. Good luck!

                Comment


                • #9
                  You are in a tough situation for sure. There are so many rules for each of those classes you descibe and its hard to answer them all "correctly" as its really up to the individual judge...

                  I do totally get where you are coming from and I'm sure you will do a great job judging. Its tough in Canada as we don't have a lot of drivers or shows. We always have to travel to the US to find some big driving shows.

                  For turnout classes, its usually just trot on the rail as soon as the drivers head in, counter clockwise. There is usually a ring person at the gate directing "traffic" ensuring everyones safety. So hopefully the show will provide you one of those. The judge is usually in the middle of the ring on the long wall and watching everyone as they enter.

                  They ask for a slow trot, working trot and extended trot both ways of the ring and then usually a walk across the diagonal. This way you can see everyones turnout at the walk as they go right past you (the judge). Once you have seen all the gates on the rail, they ask everyone to line up in the middle. The judge then goes to each individual and looks over the harness to ensure everything is in the keepers, nothing is on the last or first hole, brass is clean, bits are clean, people and grooms (if there is one) are clean and appropriate for the turnout. They sometimes ask to see a spares kit - should have a halter per animal, cooler per animal and a lead rope per animal as well, plus of course the spares kit with all the tools in it. If a carriage has breaks it could be a tie breaker. Our phaeton has breaks and we have lost several classes because of it. I get it, but dont agree with it Then they ask for a rein back. Look at the overall picture of clothing. Is it appropriate to the carriage (country turnout, formal turnout etc). Do they stand out too much? Too much colour/missmatch or not enough colour? I only say that as my husband got that comment on his last turnout class. Bay ponies, dark blue carriage, dark blue apron, black jacket, yellow tie. The judge did not like all the dark colours but did like his tie and shirt. We looked at the pictures and totally agreed with her! We went out and bought a new beige apron and will change to a grey jacket. Things to work on! Heres a picture of our old turnout so you can see. I find it easier for women as we can play more with colour. Remember - if its an EC sanctioned show, all drivers and grooms must wear helmets. They cant wear top hats or anything else. As a judge, you just have to overlook the helmet. We have had to show with our helmets in several Quebec shows this year. So I would say that 70% is based on the overall "looks" of everything. Harness fit, spares kit completness, cothing etc. The other 30% would be the working part of it. I have never had to do an individual test in a turnout class.

                  For reinsmanship - its pretty much the same as turnout. But you can ask for an individual test at the end. We have done our "normal" working trot, slow trot, extended trot, walk both ways. Sometimes a halt is thrown in on the rail as well. Then everyone lines up along the short side of the ring so there's lot of room to perform a test. Then usually the announcer will say the test - our last one was perform a figure 8, halt, back up and salute, then return to line. Its up to the driver to decide how they want to do this, but they need to understand what they have to do. So you may get a few questions lol! We have also had to do a one handed circle, pick up both reins at the close of the circle, return to the rail, extend the trot down one side and then halt. Salute. Then return to the line up at a slow trot. Test is totally up to you! We have also done classes where there has been no test and its all judged on the rail. Its all about how the person holds the lines, posture etc. Judged like an equatation class.

                  Working class is similar to the turnout class but is judged on the animal. How they work, how their gates are. If a pair, how well do they work together and how well are they matched - even pulling etc.

                  Hope this helps!
                  Last edited by DiamondJubilee; Aug. 29, 2019, 12:17 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is our darker turnout. Still waiting for the new light coloured apron! But turnout is also so judgmental and totally up to what pleases you. My husband has also won many turnouts with this....
                    Last edited by DiamondJubilee; Aug. 29, 2019, 11:47 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CHT View Post
                      Perhaps if I ask a more specific question I will get more help:

                      Regarding the Turnout class: So I get making sure the cart and harness are appropriate for the horse/pony size/fit wise, and in good condition, and I understand the "rules" about harness colour with regard to cart type/colour. I also understand about driver outfits. Is this what the 70% of the score is based on? If so, when would there be a need to have an individual work out? Or is that rare/only in big classes?

                      General question: Is the rein back usually done in line, or on the rail? I think when I shadow judged they rein backed on the rail as a group.
                      Diamond Jubliee shared excellent advice!

                      I've only even done a reinback on the rail in the pattern portion of a reinsmanship class. Otherwise it's done in lineup which is also the time the Judge is giving your harness & cart a once over for being safe.

                      Last year in the Novice Division at an ADS show I placed second in turn out. The judge was the man that the good Lord Almighty phones when he has a carriage driving question. I was entered with my standard donkey and modern Frey cart so two weird things right off the top. I had no carriage lights or umbrella basket, not even a place to secure the string gloves so I focused on being clean and accurate. My apron was correct but not of fancy fabric. Hat was simple and correct for the cart etc. I was placed over others who did have all the lights, baskets & gloves so I guess the performance part of the Turnout class bumped me over the other ones. We won Reinsmanship.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm no help to you on the turnout thing, but I'm finishing up my last ridden dressage show this weekend, and after a summer of ridden dressage shows on the heels of a winter/spring CDE season, I can confirm the comments are largely the same for the pony in both disciplines, He's a fjord, so lengthenings are a work in progress and that has been duly noted by both disciplines and judges in both disciplines share their love of his walk, lengthened walk and free walk. In all other areas the comments fall in line with what I know are the issues.

                        A couple things I find competing in both is that when you do a change of rein, serpentines, etc., it is the axle that should hit/leave the letter, not the nose/shoulder.

                        Also when you are turning through corners, some judges-as-clinicians have stressed that you need to let them see where they are going, so in some cases this means they might not be as outside shoulder/nose following the curve. I don't know how to describe it, but I can always wait another step while riding to get more outside shoulder before worrying about the nose, because my pony can always see where he is going. If things are going super awesome in driving, it all happens together, if not, he still has to see the rail/turn coming up. As we have progressed I find it is easier to get that outside shoulder where I need it coming into the turn, but in the beginning sometimes not so much.

                        And of course, the voice is an aid and a very important one at that. I suspect that is the one thing that can catch a ridden dressage judge off guard!
                        Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Added a pic of some comments, as you can see, they could be from 1-3 as easily as P6!
                          Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            CHT in light of your judging credentials, I'll amend my advice to direct you to the ADS omnibus.
                            You can download (all 250 pages) free & narrow down the info you will need to judge the classes.

                            skydy Thanks, but I can not hold a carriage lamp candle to goodhors knowledgewise.
                            But I am a sponge & besides referring to the omnibus, I never hesitate to ask someone more experienced the Why & Wherefor.
                            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thank you for the actual advice/insight!

                              I am working through the ADS omnibus, and taking notes, and trying to match what I read with what I see on youtube classes. I found a facebook page where they watch a dressage video and offer (general) comments which was quite helpful.

                              Of course there is every chance there will only be one entry in the driving classes...I have no idea how popular driving is in the province in question, but I want to be prepared.

                              DMK that makes sense re: how to approach the letters.

                              THanks also DiamondJubilee and SLW for your detailed insight. Knowing the general running of the class is useful.
                              Do you always walk into line up in driving?

                              A simple pattern in reinsmanship makes sense to me. I like patterns in equitation classes.

                              I imagine driving competitors at general performance shows probably often feel a bit under served, and I don't want them to feel that way after this show. I really enjoy driving and had hoped to do it with my pony, but unfortunately she isn't sound enough to actually do it...but I did learn how to fit a harness and basic driving skills. I have 3-4 weeks to work on my knowledge base!
                              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                CHT - They usually have us slow trot up into the line up. I think it helps speed things up

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  For turnout advice, I suggest you contact John Greenall in Vermont. He's a bona fide expert on turnout and very happy to share his knowledge. You might also contact Susan Koso in Massachusetts, who is also very experienced in unraveling the mysteries of turnout. They can also help you with any other questions you might have regarding judging the other classes. You can find their contact information in the "Licensed Officials" section of the ADS website - www.americandrivingsociety.org
                                  Good luck!

                                  Comment

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