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Why is Hunter judging not transparent like Dressage judging?

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  • Why is Hunter judging not transparent like Dressage judging?

    Just what the thread title says.

    Why is Hunter judging not transparent like Dressage judging?

    What problems would you foresee if Hunter judges cards were to be posted? What advantages?

    Would it help or hurt to have Hunter judging be more transparent (such as posting cards)?

    Other than posting judges cards what other ways could the judging of Hunters become more transparent?

    Just curious to what everyone thinks.

  • #2
    Generous answer-Because there's more than one horse in the ring at a time-harder to make notes or because the criteria are less defined and more subjective. Less generous answer-because no one wants to write down "because horse x is supposed to win because it's ridden by trainer Y or trainer Y's student" or because it's usually better than the other horses in the ring.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by NCRider View Post
      Generous answer-Because there's more than one horse in the ring at a time-harder to make notes or because the criteria are less defined and more subjective. Less generous answer-because no one wants to write down "because horse x is supposed to win because it's ridden by trainer Y or trainer Y's student" or because it's usually better than the other horses in the ring.
      Hunters go one at time unless it is the hack. Dressage judges have scribes that write down watch the judges say and the score. I seem to remember in the 70's that judges posted their score cards for the hunters.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ronnie Mutch used to post his cards, it was so helpful. But somewhere along the way, someone got their feelings hurt by something a judge wrote down, that was supposedly a misunderstanding, so now they "highly recommend" that you do not post your cards.
        That said, I am always willing to discuss what I have on my card after the show if an exhibitor asks. And you do have to go through the steward to do that.
        "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
        carolprudm

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        • #5
          Because it is subjective. Also agree with what NCRider said about it being a little biased - I started hunters but not have participated in many years and my knowledge could very well be outdated, but I bitterly and clearly remember that it was judged entirely on who had the better attire, who had the fancy saddle and fancy pony, and who was the most "pretty" overall to look at. DR is very different - it is systematically penalized by your faults/errors/errant riding, not necessarily by if you're a BNT or if you've got a "pretty" horse.
          AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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          • #6
            Originally posted by beowulf View Post
            Because it is subjective. Also agree with what NCRider said about it being a little biased - I started hunters but not have participated in many years and my knowledge could very well be outdated, but I bitterly and clearly remember that it was judged entirely on who had the better attire, who had the fancy saddle and fancy pony, and who was the most "pretty" overall to look at. DR is very different - it is systematically penalized by your faults/errors/errant riding, not necessarily by if you're a BNT or if you've got a "pretty" horse.

            The bolded part is probably the reason they won. The fanciest moving/looking/jumping horse SHOULD win. That's what hunters are.

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            • #7
              Because dressage is judged movement by movement, so the individual scores get combined. If you have all 8's and one 2, you're still getting in the high 70's. Hunters is an overall picture. You might have an 80 right up to the last fence, then drop to a 40. So it wouldn't do much good to score the round until it's finished, other than jotting notes (that probably no one understands but the judge)

              Not to mention the HUGE amount of time and money that would be involved to get scribes, make official 'cards', and fill them out.
              .

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              • #8
                Well for one thing, dressage is judged on each movement or element of the test independently and then given a few collective, overall marks. Hunters are judged on the round as one cohesive unit.

                In a dressage test if you blow a change, but have a perfect test otherwise, you might still win or be at the top. If you have a perfect trip in hunters, but blow a change you're going to automatically drop to the bottom. It's a pretty different grading system.

                ETA: Big Grey Hunter posted the same idea at the same time

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by beowulf View Post
                  I started hunters but not have participated in many years and my knowledge could very well be outdated, but I bitterly and clearly remember that it was judged entirely on who had the better attire, who had the fancy saddle and fancy pony, and who was the most "pretty" overall to look at.
                  If this were actually true, I would have a lot more primary colored ribbons in my posession than I do. I have the right clothes, the right horse, the right tack...and I get beaten regularly by my barnmate on her 18 year old TB wearing her IRH and schooling bridle. If she jumps 8 better jumps than me, she wins. As she should.

                  I can't imagine a judge actually being able to tell what brand of coat you are wearing or what type of saddle. Hunters may be subjective, but subjective doesn't automatically = shallow.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SkipChange View Post
                    Well for one thing, dressage is judged on each movement or element of the test independently and then given a few collective, overall marks. Hunters are judged on the round as one cohesive unit.

                    In a dressage test if you blow a change, but have a perfect test otherwise, you might still win or be at the top. If you have a perfect trip in hunters, but blow a change you're going to automatically drop to the bottom. It's a pretty different grading system.

                    ETA: Big Grey Hunter posted the same idea at the same time
                    Agreed.
                    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
                    inside of a man.

                    -Sir Winston Churchill

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                    • #11
                      It would be hard for hunter judges to score like dressage. Completely different. I've been out of hunters a while now and only show dressage but the one thing i love is having the feed back. It would be nice if you had aybe just feed back from judges not so much the score but ideas of what you should work on or what you did wrong or not as good etc. But i can still see how that would be difficult.
                      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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                      • #12
                        All good answers here .... HOWEVER, there is no reason that - with a scribe - a hunter round could not provide comments that would serve as an aid to the rider/trainer/horse about what things were best and/or worse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by justathought View Post
                          All good answers here .... HOWEVER, there is no reason that - with a scribe - a hunter round could not provide comments that would serve as an aid to the rider/trainer/horse about what things were best and/or worse.
                          You mean other than adding extra cost to the already expensive entry fees? Not to mention it would add time between trips to already loooooonnnnngggg show days.

                          If you want input, that's why you bring a trainer to shows. Judges are there to judge, not to train.
                          .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
                            You mean other than adding extra cost to the already expensive entry fees? Not to mention it would add time between trips to already loooooonnnnngggg show days.

                            If you want input, that's why you bring a trainer to shows. Judges are there to judge, not to train.
                            Actually no to both of your comments.

                            A number of dressage scribes are volunteers - I have done it. Having a scribe totally relieves the judge from having to look down and make notations during the round. The judge simply talks during the round and the scribe writes. So - while it might add cost if you hire professional scribes - having scribes does not necessarily need to add cost. Nor, done correctly does it add any time to the show day (in fact, it might actually save time).

                            And, frankly a judges perspective is different from a trainers. When you show, you are paying for the opinion of a judge. If all you want is your trainers reaction, is there really any need to show? To understand the strengths or weaknesses from a judge's perspective would be a really valuable addition to a rider's knowledge.
                            Last edited by justathought; Feb. 11, 2013, 11:01 PM. Reason: typos

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by justathought View Post
                              Nor, done correctly does it add any time to the show day (in fact, it might actually save time).
                              Actually, no. IT would add time. IME (not extensive, but experience nonetheless), dressage tests are timed between 4 and 6 minutes apart. Hunter rounds are calculated at approx 2 minutes apart (if the ring is running smoothly and the gate is not being held). Dressage tests are slower to start with and there giving score per movement is actually eaiser than judging each fence and also judging the overall impression of the round, quality of the horse, way of going, manners, etc. I know dressage has the collective marks (isn't that what they are called, but it's different).

                              Also, when was the last time you had 200+ rounds in one ring on one day at a dressage show? That's even estimating low.

                              Also another big factor is that dressage is based on tests that are used for a numbers of years. Doesn't each level have 4 tests associated with it for approximately 2 years? Judges have prior knowledge of the tests and what they should look like when completed correctly. They also aren't judging the riders against the other competitors, they are judging against the test. Hunter courses may look deceptively simple, but every single course has different challenges associate with it and may not contain the same or even same number of elements as the course before or after. Scores then become incomparable to other shows/courses. A 100 in one course at one show mightbe the equivalent of a 140 at another show/course. Our courses are standardized enough, do we really want to go the next step and make a select number that can be used? I suppose it would be one way to pay for scribes: do away with the course designers.
                              Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                              Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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                              • #16
                                Really interesting to slip over here from eventing land. Every now and then, when I have a suitable horse, I will do some hunters. Here in NZ hunter rounds are judged by a judge, usually assisted by a writer. Cards are posted. Each jump is marked using a short hand which the judge or some one is happy to explain to newbies. I can usually work out exactly what the judge saw and why I scored where I did. I've never noticed a delay between riders because of scoring.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  It would be great if judges posted the cards for hunters/jumpers same as they do in dressage - at least for those that want to learn from their mistakes and why they didn't place. I find it awesome to show under a lot of different judges - especially if after some time you find that you get progressively better (the whole point, I suppose). It's easy to be excited about placing well under one or two judges, but when you place consistently well under MANY judges, you're doing something right. I do find that some judges place based on how the horse looks (fancy/expensive), or based on how well turned out/expensive the horse and rider are. However, there are also lots of judges that place based on riding ability and talent. Like everything else in life, you win some - you lose some.
                                  Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

                                  Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!

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                                  • #18
                                    Micahel Page used to post his cards-always educational! The jumps come up quick in a hunter course and judges have each devised their own shorthand to mark each effort and some of that would be real hard to decipher without the judge explaining! At the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals the cards are posted, again educational if you can understand them!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Many reasons that that this is not viable. A dressage ride takes 5-6 minutes with 2 minutes between rides. A hunter round takes 45 seconds. Do the math. No volunteer scribe could get it right in that short period of time.
                                      I know I will sound like a broken record by this time, but the judges job is to place the horses in the right order, not teach a clinic. Anytime I see a card with meticulous notes and bells and whistles I know that this judge spent more time writing than watching.Often not the best judging job.
                                      Most people that make remarks about the rider with the best clothes and tack winning most often don't have a clue of what a good hunter is. This excuse has been around since I first started showing in the 60's. The real answer for those that actually believe that? Get a better trainer and often get a better horse, or show at the level where you fit in.
                                      www.midatlanticeq.com
                                      Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
                                      November 11-13, 2016

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Many reasons that that this is not viable. A dressage ride takes 5-6 minutes with 2 minutes between rides. A hunter round takes 45 seconds. Do the math. No volunteer scribe could get it right in that short period of time.
                                        I know I will sound like a broken record by this time, but the judges job is to place the horses in the right order, not teach a clinic. Anytime I see a card with meticulous notes and bells and whistles I know that this judge spent more time writing than watching.Often not the best judging job.
                                        Most people that make remarks about the rider with the best clothes and tack winning most often don't have a clue of what a good hunter is. This excuse has been around since I first started showing in the 60's. The real answer for those that actually believe that? Get a better trainer and often get a better horse, or show at the level where you fit in.
                                        Last edited by chunky munky; Feb. 12, 2013, 08:21 AM. Reason: double post
                                        www.midatlanticeq.com
                                        Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
                                        November 11-13, 2016

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