Anyone keep score of the judges?

While we’re on the topic of judges, I was curious to find out how many exhibitors actually keep a list of bad judges they would not consider spending their money to receive opinions from…  Many of us are not showing 4-H here and have to spend considerable amounts of capital to take our horses to A-rated shows.  Do any of you refuse to spend money for a particular show based on who the judge is?  Does anyone keep score of the bad judges?

63 Responses to Anyone keep score of the judges?

  1. shortiedu says:

    a judge told me this year, that they hear from someone who hear it from someone …
    that as an ole rule of thumb, don’t show under anyone who’s last name ends with that of a color.
    I found that a pretty histerical account of keeping track of judges.


  2. denu220 says:

    I think Janet Black is a very good dressage judge. I’ve scribed for her and found her to be very objective, kind, and fair.

  3. Kim says:

    as it would be hard to judge a class with all extremely good entries, I don’t think we see that very often or at all on our circuit- a class with all outstanding entries that make no obvious errors. I’ve been watching classes for 15 years and I’ve never seen a class like that, where it was just like ‘wow, all those horses are amazing and i saw just about zero mistakes’.
    I’ve watched some Arabian and half arabian classes and those are some classes i would not want to judge. First of all, my area of expertise is the Morgan so I would have to read their rule book but… if you ever watch say a hunter pl class at an arab show on their A circuit, wow. Those horses are very nice and I’ve seen almost NO mistakes from anyone in many classes. I mean these horses all have identical and consistent headsets, perfect transitions, they flat walk, beautiful extensions. Unfortunately the Morgan circuit isn’t like that. Don’t get me wrong we’ve got some gorgeous horses and I’d take a Morgan over an Arabian any day but I never see a class like jdenzel was referring to where all the entries are of extremely high quality and mistakes are few. There are quite a few classes where there are many outstanding entries but there are always many errors in our Morgan classes.

  4. spiritofplay says:

    I haven’t tuned in for a week or so, but find this particular topic one that, most likely, will always be controversial-just due to the fact that judging is so subjective. Michigan Futurity does a fund-raiser 50-50 raffle at their show in Sept. You pay $5 to buy a judges card and whoever matches the judge’s card first, wins! It generally goes on and on and on and sometimes the classes aren’t very large!
    I am a new judge, having just earned by small “r” this year. I am judging my first “real” show this month, and I must admit, I am extremely nervous because I know what it feels like to be 4th or 5th versus last…and it is important to me to pin the class as best as I can…which to me, means pinning the horse that is in front of me TODAY! I have witnessed many occasions when a grat horse was not great in a particular class, but still won! These situations do make it hard for those that continue to swing the bat, but rarely get a hit!
    I am excited to have my card, because I wanted to make a difference. Now it is just a matter of getting the jobs! So for those of you looking for a fresh face, they are out here!

  5. anonymous says:

    maybe we should do an ask a judge! — do you pin more on positives or negatives? Both? How does that play out?

  6. Stacy says:

    In a class of nice horses where nobody has eliminating mistakes someone will generally “step up”. Someone, horse, rider, hopefully both, will rise above the rest and say they want to win it. Either with a great reverse pass, a fabulous last pass, something that sets them apart. And, in these classes, I would think you get to use some preference…you get to pick the one that you like best…Personally, I would always rather have to pick between 3 great horses that were good than decide which offends me most, the lame one, the one that doesn’t wear the bridle, or the one that does it all angrily. Best of the worst is not fun, IMO.

  7. Stacy says:

    good luck at your show! Make friends with the managment, show steward, photographer, anyone that might spread the word that you did a good job and are an option!

  8. colwilrin says:


    Along that same vein of “great passes” thought, I think it is SO important to make a great first pass in the ring. From the top of your hat, to the tip of your horse’s tail…give the judge something to go “WOW” at. You will make that first impression a very favorable one, so the judge already will be thinking of you as one of the “contenders.”

    The first pass is not one to be gathering reins and getting organized. Think of it like a job interview…get that first impression right!

  9. denu220 says:

    Great advice, colwilrin! I like what Gayle Lampe (Saddlebred/Morgan judge) said in her book—you should look like you want to be noticed trotting in the ring, not look like you were pushed in…

  10. Em says:

    Denu220, is that book Riding for Success? I thought it was a great book! It was very interesting and had a ton of good advice for showing.

  11. denu220 says:

    It sure is! I even took her advice and treated myself to a full hour massage today :)

  12. Em says:

    I can imagine that was wonderful. I’m so jealous! :-D

  13. colwilrin says:

    I like that saying…one I’ll have to remember!

    It gives such a great visual!

    In my advanced years now, I’ll have to start writing all the fun sayings down. The swiss cheese memory is not enabling me to remember some of the really good ones.

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