Christof Umbach: "Let's Pull Together for Our Beautiful Sport"

Fri, 08/25/2023 - 11:00
Christof Umbach at the 2022 CDIO Aachen :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Christof Umbach, a 5* dressage judge from Luxembourg who has officiated at all major dressage events across the world, rung in on Jan Toenjes' statements on judging in his interview with The Horse Magazine.

Toenjes criticised that judges nowadays no longer see the basic mistakes in classical dressage riding and seemingly ignore those flaws in the scoring of famous top level dressage pairs. 

Umbach replied with the following statement:

"Fundamental pillars of classical dressage are brought to the right point, Jan! As I mentioned in the interview with you last year, it is also the responsibility of us judges to ensure that, regardless of nation and popularity, we do not generate false hype by giving too high marks for spectacular exercises/movements that are deficient in terms of training.

In addition to regular education, the constant exchange between trainers, judges, riders and the press is all the more important. Simply pointing the finger at the bad judges is not enough and does not necessarily lead to improvement. In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, trainers and riders are of course also responsible.

Overall I think we see more good riding and judging than the other way around. Nevertheless, we should always question and improve ourselves in a self-critical and open manner. So, let's pull together so that our beautiful sport can be perceived more positively by the public and presented in a better light by the media."

Related Links
Jan Toenjes: "As long as Judges Give High Scores, the Training at Home Won’t Be Changed"
Judges Halsall, Ringmark, Max-Theurer, Umbach, Lehrmann Promoted to 5* Status