New Clearer and Simpler Process for British Judges Announced
The British Dressage Judges committee has announced a revised application and upgrading process for all judges going forward which comes in with immediate effect. The new system will provide a greater degree of clarity and a set of robust criteria against which the judges committee can assess candidates.
Up until 2008 there was no requirement for BD judges to have ridden at any particular level, if at all. A decision was taken that the system for accrediting judges in the UK should be amended to reflect those of the FEI and most other senior dressage nations.
Post 2008 judges were required to have ridden at the level to which they wished to upgrade. This could either be by having results at 60% + at that level, or by training a horse at that level at home or in some other non-competitive environment. Alternatively, BD provided the option for judges to coach pupils to the level should they not have the riding or competing experience.
In the absence of an appropriate competition record, references from judges or trainers were required for confirmation of either training horse’s or coaching achievements, but for various reasons of those asked to provide references were not happy about giving them and the system as anticipated, did not always work.
After much discussion and in order to provide a more transparent and objective system the committee have revised the criteria. With immediate effect, those wishing to join as trainee judges, or judges wishing to upgrade, will need to have achieved one of the following;
- six scores in affiliated competitions of 60% or above at the level at which they are applying to judge. Trainee applicants require results at novice level of 60% or above.
- coached pupils who have achieved the equivalent of six results in affiliated competitions of 60% and above at the level at which they are applying to judge. One or multiple pupils could be used to give a combined number of 6 results at 60% or above.
Judges will be required to submit the names of the pupil/s and the horses on which they gained the percentages while they were being coached by the applicant. Regular coaching will be as defined in rule 110 of the 2013 BD Rule Book.
Once a judge has achieved six results at 60% or more at Prix St George level this will now qualify them to sit the exams for Lists 2a and List 1. This removes the requirement for judges to have ridden at Inter 1 and Grand Prix in order to move up the lists. Judges must also in addition fulfil all other upgrade criteria which are not being amended.
Judges midway through the process of upgrading under the current criteria will be able to continue through the system and complete their upgrade.
In order to be fair on those who don’t meet the revised criteria but have been working towards an upgrade under the current system, we will still accept applications to upgrade using the current criteria up until 31 March 2013. Once received and accepted, judges will then be able to go forward for the exam in their own time.
We will also be working with British Eventing so that there will be similar criteria for those whose main competition experience has been in Eventing so that event riders are equally able to qualify as judges.
The system will now be more objective and transparent, simpler and quicker. Potential candidates will only have to demonstrate their competition/coaching record via a one-sided application form and then may proceed immediately with the written paper and practise judging sheets if accepted.
The fact track system will remain in place and when providing evidence the six results at 60% or above will apply.
Linda Whetstone, Chairman of the Judges Committee commented; “We very much hope that these changes will further encourage riders to become judges but are also sensitive that there will be some disappointment to those who may now not be able to apply for higher levels.
“British dressage is extremely grateful to all their judges and do realise that without judges, the sport could not exist. Judges at the lower levels do so much of the hard work and also bear much of the responsibility because they are most likely to be guiding those in the early stages of their training.”
Photo © Astrid Appels
Olympic Judges Open Door to Discussion at 2012 BDSC National Judges Convention
2012 Irish Judges Seminar with Jennie Loriston-Clarke
Wessels and Graham, Key Speakers at 2011 British Judges Principles Seminar