Ask A Judge: Equitation question answered by Judge 1

This question was posted and answered by Judge 2 previously (see “Ask A Judge: Equitation Question Answered by Judge 2“.  This same question is answered by Judge 1:

Question (paraphrased):

How important is that overall picture vs. the riders’ performance? Assuming the entries are all well turned out, should the good rider with the great horse who make a nice picture really place over the great rider with the average horse?

Answer Judge 1:

Showing horses is about the overall picture no matter what division or seat you’re riding or driving. Of course just because you have the overall picture does not mean your going to win but it will get you noticed.

All things being equal in a rider, the horse that is more suitable for the seat being ridden, in equitation, will bring a definite nod from the judge. It is a horse show. When you show your horse you want to show the best that you have and part of showing is a horse with presence, charisma and turnout.

In Equitation the emphasis is on the rider and the skills they have developed over the years. If rider A has a great horse but bad hands and rider B has the same style and great hands but a horse of less presence, rider B would/should be the winner.

Always remember it is only one persons opinion on that given day and each judge has a list of standards to follow. What you cannot predict is how much weight the judge will place on the different specs listed in the rulebook; this again, if both riders are of the same quality and level of riding.

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