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Need Local Level Judge advice

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  • Need Local Level Judge advice

    Having been on both sides of the table, management and judge, I am curious what unrated judges make per show. Do you charge by the hour or day ? How and where do you market your services ? Do you think it is worth pursuing your rated judges license ? Aside from the education, that seems like a long pricey process when one can fill their calendar without it. Would love to hear your thoughts, thanks in advance !

  • #2
    I've hired judges for some of our local unrated shows - most are rated some are not. Been my experience that many unrated/unrecognized judges feel they can charge as much as a rated or recognized judge - and they often get that fee. I've not know of any judge who charges hourly except many will put a clause in their contract that if the show runs past X hour they will receive X amount per hour until end of show. USEF has streamlined the judges process to make it easier and faster for some to get their cards - you might want to check out the information on USEF to see. Ultimately it might be worth it to get your card as you will have more opportunities to judge locally and outside of state...


    • #3
      What are most judges making per show if they are rated?


      • #4
        I'll bite

        I manage several un-rated shows per year. These are nice shows. I seek both rated and unrated judges. Rated judges are fine but I just want a decent horseman/woman who can separate the wheat from the chaff in the 2'6" and 3' hunters but won't be offended by having to slog through 75 trips of walk-trot ground polers. I try to give regional professionals a good shot at judging and most are happy to do it for the experience. I pay a flat day rate of $350. I don't ask them what they charge...I tell them what I will pay. I get some rated judges with that rate too.

        If the day goes long (and it usually does), I tip well. My November 7 show was huge. We started at 8:45 a.m. sharp and the last horse walked out of the ring at 8 p.m. I gave the man $500 cash for his day. He was happy. If the judge is more than 1 hour away, I will add a travel rate (IRS rate) to the daily fee.

        I did hire a more expensive judge for our series finals one year. I advertised it like it would be important to competitors. It wasn't. Didn't seem to make a darn bit of difference to anyone and we were out $600 for the day PLUS a hotel room PLUS travel. This was for an "R" judge. She was a great judge but I realized that my niche of shows doesn't really need that.


        • #5
          I judged a VERYYYYY local tiny show out here and the rate she told me she paid was $150. I settled for trading that same amount of money in jump poles, since she had longer poles than I had haha. (ps: I did around maybe 5 divisions tops, with no MORE than 3 riders per division)
          Horse Drawings!


          • Original Poster

            LL judging

            Ha ha, I have also been paid in jump rails as has my BF who is a course designer ! I really like the idea of telling them what you pay rather than asking them what they charge. Then they can decide if it is worth their time. I do feel for the guy who judged from 8-8, that is a REALLY long day. I usually go home feeling cranky after a day of local judging and being subjected to witnessing some really poor riding. (I know, I know, they gotta start somewhere). I have had clients ask for a lesson after I've judged a short day and told them they really do not want me to do that as I WILL NOT be nice or in a good mood....