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First Time Jump Judge this weekend, updated,survived!

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  • First Time Jump Judge this weekend, updated,survived!

    Okay eventing newbie here, jump judging at Rocking Horse for the first time this weekend. I know it's not a big deal, but any tips, what exactly are my responsibilities. I am sure they will explain it to me at the pre meeting but just figured I would get the COTH input. Thanks!
    Last edited by bizbachfan; Feb. 18, 2013, 08:18 AM. Reason: update

  • #2
    Fun!! Do you know what division you will be judging?!

    I used to jump judge for Stoneleigh and Full Gallop in Aiken - one thing I can say is BRING water and sunscreen - and preferably a companion!

    Your responsibilities will probably vary based on event but they'll likely give you a walkie-talkie of some sort and you'll be given a "notebook" that will ask you for competitor number and whether or not the horse went clear. You'll be in charge of probably 1-3 fences (depending on how many you can see clearly). It's good to be paired with another person (or bring along a friend/SO) because sometimes you may question whether or not the horse was "clear' over the fence - if it backs up, it should be penalized. Its good to have a second pair of eyes too because I'm guilty of not getting the number. It's hard in the upper levels because they come and go SO fast!

    When the horse approaches I usually get the number then - and whoever is with me does the scribe work (I'm illegible) - lets say it's competitor 182 - once it goes over fence 7, I'll ring it in as "rider 182 clear over fence 7" - or "rider 182 one refusal at 7", etc. Then, you scribe the rider number, the fence number, and the number of penalties - if the horse refused, that'd be 20, so on, so forth. If clear, 0.

    One thing I've learned is that you want to bring a chair - sitting in the grass next to a snake is never a good thing. Usually the event will offer you "Replenishment" but I like to bring my own - gatorade, water, and a few snacks. Sunscreen, blanket, sunglasses, and a dog too, if the situation allows for it. FG lets you bring your own pup so long as its not a distraction.


    • Original Poster

      Beowulf, thanks so much!! I believe there will be Beginner Novice, Novice and Training so guess that is a good thing. (all the upper levels are done with XC on Saturday)


      • #4
        This might be a good read: I printed it out for reference at Full Gallop when I went: http://useventing.com/sites/default/..._xc_judges.pdf

        And, no problem.. it sounds like you'll have fun! One thing I forgot to mention is that for me, I tend to get bored - but I'm usually there from 7 to 2. Which is why it always helps to bring someone with you to keep you amused between the ~2 minutes the competitors come.

        One thing, I hope you wont have to deal with - but if you have a crash at a fence make sure you calmly and clearly denote it via radio - and notify whoever the Medical Assistants are immediately as the crashed person/horse will hold up other competitors. Last year there was a terrible crash near my fence and the girl jump judging didn't radio it in right away (as she was horrified of the incident)- which caused a mishmash of confusion on course for other riders as they galloped by which is never pretty. Both the rider and horse were fine, but had mandatory retirement.
        AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


        • #5
          The lower levels are harder than the upper levels. Seriously. A stop is much more decisive from a T horse than a GAG or Maiden horse. But it's fun. And if you are clever, you can totally turn it into a learning opportunity.

          Tell the organizer that it's your first time and you might get paired with an experienced JJ if there are enough people.

          Take a comfy chair, bottle of water, good sunscreen, a book for in between ponies, and a sense of adventure.
          Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

          You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.


          • #6
            Add to your list: Sunglasses. Hat.

            Also, if you DO witness a refusal, it can help to write the details down. Just a note: bay horse stopped, backed a few steps, then forward over fence.

            Or grey, ran out to the side.

            It can be hard to remember the details at the end of the day, if your call is protested by the rider (didn't happen to me, but it happened to a fellow jump judge. Fortunately, I could back her up).


            • Original Poster

              Thanks guys, yeah I was kind of wondering if lower levels might be harder since more chance of an issue with a less experienced riders/horses. I have spectated quite a bit at RH so think I will be okay but would hate to mess something up, such as not radioing in a crash! Good point!


              • #8
                Don't try to write all the riders numbers in advance on your score sheet by using the expected order of go - they sometimes change order and you could get royally screwed up! Write the rider's number when you actually see them coming toward your jump - as they're going away a pony tail can obscure the number! Pay attention at the jump judge pre-meeting but don't get too nervous - most of the "worst case" scenarios they describe don't ever happen. And wear a good watch that shows seconds just in case they have a hold on the course and you have to time it for a rider... And have fun!
                It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.


                • #9
                  To add, when or if something goes wrong at a fence (stop, or really anything) describe the horse and rider on paper as well, not just their number just in case you somehow saw it wrong or something. That way your notes can't be protested.
                  "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline


                  • #10
                    Another recimmendation for this

                    though there have been some minor changes since 2009.

                    Also, it never hurts to print out the relevant pages of the rule book.

                    Bring a chair.
                    Dress in layers
                    Bring dry clothes to change into
                    Plastic bag to put your radio or score sheet in (the organizers sometimes provide this, but not always)
                    Have a stopwatch (or something with a stopwatch function
                    Whistle if you have one
                    Drinks and snacks

                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                    • #11
                      The TD will have a briefing - be there early and really listen. I have had teens before (who were not active competitors themselves) who didn't think this was important and they didn't like being paired up, they thought that they were old enough to solo and I told them no if they don't respect the briefing.

                      As mentioned do not pre# the score sheet. Refusals, falls, and running out of order b/c of riders w/ multiple rides always happens to change the order of go. And you won't be recording penalty pts just falls, refusals etc. Scoring does the pts. If you can't see rider #s (I've had those fences before where a rider is 100% perpendicular to me judging and I can't run out and stand in their way to see the #) then it helps to listen to the radio calls so you will know the progress on course. But only the fence before and after yours. Always record specifics if something happens, and draw pictures on the back of the score sheet to track the route the rider took if that needs clarity. Keep course walkers out of ride lines when riders are approaching, make them stand back. Stand away from your assigned fence and look at the approach site lines to determine the best place to sit without surprising a young or green horse or rider. Make sure that the horse sees the fence first vs you (esp when the path is a turn into the fence and for LL beginning rides). I've been a vol coordinator and I alway run around at the start esp at non-rec schooling shows and move a few fence judges. Sit so you can see the approach, most important when a horse stops at a standstill to be able to determine if they place a foot back. and remember LOOK AT THE FEET when this happens. The briefing and the rules will tell you why. Stay alert to outside rider help that needs to be reported. Overly zealous parents who call out instructions ... the rider never hears them anyway... but I have chased down a few people and explained the rules. Even a 'no go over that way' is outside help.

                      A LOT of things will become evident to you as you fence judge for awhile. You will see what kind of rides work and look right and what is not working!

                      You will need to stay for 1/2 hr after the last ride until the rider protest time is cleared. Go volunteer to help clear the course decorations or break down judging packets. They'll LOVE YOU!
                      The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks guys so much, all great advice. Weather looks to be all over the place this weekend, so will be prepared for that. My goal is just to not screw anything up I love sitting and watching the XC so guess it is about time to volunteer. Will be studying the rules!


                        • #13
                          I found that a 2 gallon ziplock bag is just the right size to
                          contain a clipboard. Useful in the event of rain.
                          Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                          Elmwood, Wisconsin


                          • #14
                            Rainy day suggestion

                            I found that a 2 gallon ziplock bag is just the right size to
                            contain a clipboard. Useful in the event of rain.
                            Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                            Elmwood, Wisconsin


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bizbachfan View Post
                              Thanks guys so much, all great advice. Weather looks to be all over the place this weekend, so will be prepared for that. My goal is just to not screw anything up I love sitting and watching the XC so guess it is about time to volunteer. Will be studying the rules!
                              Remember too that if you're just sitting and fence judging, it will feel a lot cooler than if you're active, so bring more layers than you think you'll need. In addition to a chair and a small cooler of snacks/drinks, I always try to make sure I've got a hat, sunscreen, and a blanket, and usually a book too, just in case there's down time. As you're heading out on course, it's also helpful to locate the nearest pot-o-potty, just in case
                              A Year In the Saddle


                              • #16
                                Write down only what happens at your fence. Scoring hates it if you are fence 5, and you tell us someone was eliminated at fence 10. The only time you write down what doesn't happen is if a competitor doesn't jump your fence. So, say rider 57 jumps 4, but gets lost, don't say anything, just wait, then if you hear rider 57 jumped fence 6, let control know that they did NOT Jump your fence, and write on your sheet that 57 did not jump fence 5. Rider 57 will be sure that she jumped your fence, will go to the TD, insist that she jumped your fence, and probably walk out to your fence, at which time the rider will realize that she didn't jump your fence.

                                If you have fences at other levels near yours, you might have someone jump the wrong fence. I usually second guess myself when riders do that and wonder if I really saw it. Just write down that they jumped the novice fence (when they should have jumped the BN fence).

                                1) Don't pre number
                                2) if unsure, write it down or draw it
                                3) Don't pre number
                                4) Only write down what happens at your fence.
                                5) Be consistent in how you jot things down - don't write 0s at some times, Xs at others, and leave it blank at other times.
                                6) Make sure you put your fence number on the top of the sheet.


                                • #17
                                  Most important, THANK YOU for volunteering! Our sport is made possible because of folks like you.

                                  Most of the notes above have covered the basics. Write down what you see, don't pre number, and don't forget the sunscreen.


                                  • #18
                                    Make sure you know how to use your stopwatch! I wasn't prepared when I had to stop a horse, and it took me a while to figure out the function on my phone. Now I have a digital watch, which I think is better.


                                    • #19
                                      You are NOT going to mess anything up

                                      See you at the briefing!


                                      • Original Poster

                                        love all the comments, excited for the weekend!