Practical Horseman magazine presented an "Ask the Hunter Judges" seminar during the Atlanta Summer Classic II horse show at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Thursday, June 21, 2012. The featured horse show judges were Thom Brede and Alan Lohman. Participants were encouraged to bring questions to ask about hunter and hunt-seat equitation horse show judging.
I do a lot of judging. I have a farm in Kentucky. We do racehorses and broodmares. I enjoy the young horses the best of everything, but in my heart I still love to judge and I try to judge as much as I can.
I have a show stable in Poolesville, Maryland, and I have students and amateurs. I do the show thing at home when I'm not out judging or course designing. I like to judge, course design and be involved in all aspects of horses.
1. What are you looking for? What grabs your attention? What things are you putting down immediately on your cards?
Listen: What do you look for in the hunter ring?
2. Would you give a lower score to a pony or horse who gets deep to a fence or takes off long or one who doesn't have a consistent pace throughout?
Listen: Which gets counted more heavily?
3. How does you as a judge remember your first rider from the 36th in a class?
Listen: Remembering riders
4. When you come up with your final score, is it an overall impression, or do you break it down, such as 10 mover, 8 jumper, then add them up?
Listen: Explain the scoring system
5. What is the ideal rein length you looking for in hunter under saddle classes? What kind of contact should the rider have?
Listen: Ideal rein length in hunters
6. What qualities do you most look for in equitation, both over fences and on the flat? What's the winning ride?
Listen: Equitation rider qualities
7. If a pony goes out and has a rough first couple classes then comes around and improves, how hard is it to put those early rounds out of your mind as a judge? Is it hard to forget them?
Listen: Effect of bad round on future classes
8. How do you deal with the "halo effect" in judging?
Listen: Halo effect
9. Do you prefer a horse or pony with a great rhythm over one who is a great mover?
Listen: Rhythm or movement?
10. Even if it's not an equitation class, how much do you consider the whole picture (horse and rider together) when you're judging? Or is it just about how well the rider rides the horse regardless of the picture?
Listen: Judging equitation
11. When you're scoring, what's the difference between a 70 horse, an 80 horse, a 90 horse?
Listen: Scoring hunters
12. Are certain horses going to be in the 80s and 90s every time just because of their quality even if they don't have the best round, or could a 70s mover win if he has the better round?
Listen: Can a 70s mover ever win?