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First Time Jump Judge this weekend, updated,survived!

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  • #21
    Let us know how it goes!


    • #22
      All really good advice from everyone.

      It takes a lot of concentration being a fence judge: the horses come regularly, over a long period and you have to be alert all the time. So clear you mind, don't worry about what is happening at home, give yourself over to the moment and enjoy watching horses jump.

      I also get ludicrously superstitious and NEVER write a number until I see the horse in front of me, even when I hear who is next to the fence over the radio.
      "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


      • #23
        Don't be afraid to be traffic cop. You can/should yell (kindly say "Heads Up", then scream if they ignore you) at any people walking in the way as a horse is approaching. Listening to the radio can be the entertainment of the day. It lets you know what horse is coming next and sometimes warns you of up coming problem horses.

        Probably my most challenging fence judging day was when the road to the start ran just behind my fence. I had to warn a lot of people of upcoming horses. 90% happily wait, a few thought they could have made it across in time so were grouchy.


        • #24
          One thing I will add is that when in doubt about what just happened or think there might be a protest, call the TD pronto and explain it immediately.
          A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks everyone! I know one day when I was out at RH a young lady lost her stirrup, literally came off and someone handed her the stirrup so she would not have to dismount, some spectators were wondering if that was okay? Anyone know the answer to that? (I think it may have been a jump judge how handed it to her)


            • #26
              Originally posted by bizbachfan View Post
              Thanks everyone! I know one day when I was out at RH a young lady lost her stirrup, literally came off and someone handed her the stirrup so she would not have to dismount, some spectators were wondering if that was okay? Anyone know the answer to that? (I think it may have been a jump judge how handed it to her)
              Per rule 8: 8. UNAUTHORIZED ASSISTANCE.
              a. Any intervention by a third party, whether solicited or not, with the object of facilitating the
              task of the competitor or of helping his horse, is considered unauthorized assistance and the
              competitor is liable to be eliminated.
              b. In particular, the following are forbidden:
              (1) Intentionally to join another competitor and to continue the course in company with him;
              (2) To be followed, preceded or accompanied, on any part of the course by any vehicle,
              bicycle, pedestrian, or horseman not in the competition;
              (3) To post friends at certain points to call directions or make signals in passing;
              (4) To have someone at an obstacle to encourage the horse by any means whatsoever;
              (5) To tamper with the obstacles or any part of the course, including, for instance, flags,
              indicators, markers, notices, ropes, trees, branches, wire or fences, whether temporary or
              c. Officials or spectators who draw the attention of a competitor to a deviation from the course
              are giving unauthorized assistance which may result in the elimination of the competitor.
              d. Each case of unauthorized assistance will be decided by the Ground Jury.
              a. Headgear or spectacles may be handed to a competitor at any time.

              Unfortunatly, this is considered unauthorized assistance and would be grounds for elimination. The only item that may be given to a competitor that has been dropped is the helmet and glasses.


              • Original Poster

                thanks! I think I remembered it wrong. I think what happened was that a bystander tried to hand her the stirrup and the jump judge said no. She got off got the stirrup, but I do believe she got a leg back up, is that allowed?
                this helps!


                • #28
                  Leg ups are allowed, to my knowledge. I've seen it done more than once by the jump judges after a recorded dismount.
                  AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


                  • #29
                    Honestly, I might even enjoy jump judging more than riding at events - less nausea, more watching beautiful horses!

                    What everyone else has said: water, sunscreen, snacks, chair, hat, raincoat.

                    I have learned from much experience to also bring dry socks, my own pens (red and black), and for reading poetry is best. Anything long and meaty and I get engrossed in it and start to focus on that instead of the horses in front of me. Poetry I can pick up and put down and it gives the whole day a nice peaceful quality. I had a wonderful time at Fitch's Corner last year reading Billy Collins.

                    My own preferences is not to get paired with someone else, but inevitably I get young kids who want to volunteer but have to be told all day not to climb on the jumps. I guess I have a babysitter vibe.

                    Lots of good thoughts here on using the radio but the absolute #1 thing I would stress is this: pay attention at the briefing and use the radio exactly the way control wants you to. EXACTLY. Take notes if you have to. Every control will have their own preferred way to do things. Some prefer you ask the TD to come to the fence if you have a question, some have you switch to a different channel, some just want you to write everything down.

                    Second most important thing is that the radio is not your personal cell phone. Don't chatter away on it, make observations, tell jokes, on and on. It is for the relaying of information directly related to your jump and that's it. If there's an emergency - a bad crash, loose horse, broken jump - the worst thing to do is give everyone a play by play. Follow the control's instructions exactly and if it's not at your jump, sit tight, no matter how badly you want news.
                    life + horses


                    • Original Poster

                      Okay starting to feel prepared, except for the weather, forecast feels like 25 first thing in the morning, have to get the dogs walked by 6 AM to be on time. UGH! oh well I sure I will learn a lot!


                      • Original Poster

                        Well the day did start very cold and my dogs refused to go out more than a minute but still made it on time to the meeting. Felt a little more prepared after the meeting but still very nervous. Thankfully we can stay in our cars at Rocking Horse so made the cold much more bearable. The jump I was judging at Training did not seem to be a big issue for anyone, so nothing to do but write numbers, check clear and give heads up once in a while.

                        Novice I had one refusal, and one poor rider who veered off well before the jump, I think because a person was walking near her path, who I was yelling at, but he was slow to move. I think the rider was very young and new and I don't blame her for circling, guy still barely moved, ugh some people! But she completed just fine. Other than that no issues, but learned a lot from watching Novice. Great to get to see Sinead Halpin riding that level horse. Also got to see my pony's trainer, Dean Graham ride 3.

                        On to BN. Much more going on, luckily I was on fence 1 and had only one refusal. One horse did have to be held up during BN, so guess that is not so bad for BN.

                        Overall it was fun, not boring as I guess it can be if you have done it a lot. It was pretty intense, the horses seems to come much faster than when I just spectate. It was a long day with little breaks. I do not know how Flightcheck does it days in a row and she has a lot more responsibility than a jump judge!!! I am even more impressed with the job of control now. The staff at Rocking Horse is amazing. There are so many details I never thought about that they have to have covered. They kept coming by with drinks/snacks/also lunch. We were thanked many times. I will be back! I did learn I am staying at tadpole for the time being.


                        • #32
                          Good to hear it was such fun.
                          "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


                          • #33
                            Thank you! Thank you for volunteering and encouraging other jump judge volunteers with your story! Event cannot happen without a huge volunteer base, who stay outdoors in the cold, the rain, mosquitoes and smile through it all!


                            • #34
                              Fence #1 is not all 'that' boring - you usually get to watch the start box (hope you could see that). You come to see how to make a proper start NBD for a horse. Lower levels once I watched a trainer hold a horse w/ a kid on it, then send them to stand in the start box and she announced 'this is where she has all her trouble.' parents standing in the wings. The horse got all cranked up having to stand, the starter counted them down and then all the kicking and smacking started, that horse came out of that box sideways and never saw the first fence. 3 REFs and they were done. What I wouldn't have given for some cash in my pocket right then! I bet that trainer walked off telling them they needed a better horse.

                              Keep volunteering - you will see and learn more every time. Glad you stepped up. I think back when I competed (ahemmm yrs ago, the 70's) and I don't even remember seeing the village that it takes to run HTs. I didn't live close enough to be able to volunteer at one. I didn't know any orgs either. There is a whole other side to the sport when you go help and meet some of these people. Volunteer for the combined driving - that's a treat!
                              Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.


                              • Original Poster

                                pony grandma, I agree fence 1 is not boring, just not so nerve racking for a newbie We had quite a few multiple refusals, rider falls, etc. So working fence 1 was a lot easier than some further down the course who had to listen carefully to how many refusals each horse had already had and quite a few loose horses stampeding toward the barn, etc. Also I was really nervous about holding a horse up for the first time so jump 1 makes that a little easier. I was on 9 and 10 in the other divisions. #1 at RH is great because you can see a lot of the jumps and the start finish and the vet and medics were right there too as well as control. I will definitely do it again. Nice to be able to sit in the car and watch the whole day. Of course Flightcheck does such a good job of keeping everyone on track and making sure everything is done properly that it makes it very easy. I did witness some questionable riding here and there, not a lot but helped me see what I want to do vs. what I don't if I ever get my scared butt out of tadpole... some day!


                                • #36
                                  That's one of the things about placing fjs at fences. Holds require an experienced person to do them but the fences for holds have to be easy to start-back-up straight forward ones which are easier to fence judge, usually less action (until you have to do a hold there). And drops and ditches you want an exp fj because of the standstills that can happen there.

                                  So now you will bank your knowledge and volunteer again and build on it! Glad you got to see some action.
                                  Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.