Bernard Maurel: "Why Make it Simple If It Can Be Complicated"

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 00:10

French 5* judge Bernard Maurel is joining the online debate about the future of dressage judging and the changes at hand proposed by the Dressage Judging Working Group. The most debated change at the moment is the HiLo Drop.

"Why Make it Simple If It Can Be Complicated"

I was enthusiastic to read the article of Trond Asmyr on Eurodressage. I read everything on the judging question, about the statistics, I try to understand the proposals, I try to follow the debates, but after around 35 years of international judging, I don’t like to write more and give opinions. But this time, I can say something here : it’s fantastic that somebody who knows very well our dressage sport, who is a judge, and more important who was in charge of the dressage sport for years, gives an advice who could perfectly be entitled with some French humor "Pourquoi faire simple quand on peut faire compliqué.", or in English "Why to make it simple when you can make it complicated?"

All mathematics studies about dressage marking are surely very interesting, but now that our dear friend Wojcek Markowski is not any more with us, nobody can really understand it  I am confident with David Stickland to make it correct, but he always write : “the statistics can’t say what is right or wrong” ; I agree, it’s only the horsemen and horsewomen who are experts and who can say that... And most of the time, when they are dressage judges, with enough experience, their percentages are just 2 or 3 % different. In many shows, the judges are within 5 % difference. And it’s very logical for all the people involved, to follow the results, and when it’s a larger difference, to analyze it; that’s why it’s also good to have FEI or JSP making some inquiry about these problems .

But any system to make the judging of our sport more acceptable should be easy to organize worldwide, and should be applicable the same way in every country. The proposal to reduce the difference between one judge and the average of his colleagues at 6 % (when more than 6 %, his percentage should be automatically revised and replaced not by the result of an other judge, but only by a new percentage lower or higher, but only with 6 % difference with the average of the others ) is very easy to understand, and is the best "safety net" for riders and judges . It seems to be clear and simple enough …. and perfectly adapted to the objective of a better group judging!

Photo © Astrid Appels

Related Links
Trond Asmyr: "The 6% Rule Automatically For All"
HiLo Drop: Why the Dressage Judging Working Group Proposes this Trimmed Mean System
Dressage Judging Working Group Makes Recommendations for 2018 Rule Amendments
David Stickland: A Tale of Two Competitions 
David Stickland: Moving Towards a Stable Score Future