Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Region 4 Championships......The Judges Cards

The next day I went to the show office requesting a copy of the judges scores. With this new scoring system each horse is judged separately in predetermined categories, I wanted to see what the judges had to say about all of the colts, not just mine. With these scores I can tell how my horse was seen in each category by each judge instead of just the overall picture that happened with the old way of judging.

There are a total of eight scores that can be given by each judge. The scores of each can be anywhere between 1 and 20 with 1 being low. On the top of the score cards for each judge they are represented by the letters T, Q, L, H, N, B, M, -P. Tie breakers on multiple judging is C then M.
T = Arabian Type
Q = Quality, Balance, Substance at the Walk
L = Legs and Feet
H = Head
N = Neck and Shoulder
B = Back, Loin and Hip
M = Movement
C = Conformation = L+ H + N + B
-P = Penalty Points can be given if a horse has whip marks, shows signs of intimidation or is overly greased.

I had an idea going in how I expected each judge to score the horses as well as my idea of what the scores would be. Looking over the cards, I was able to see how each horse was seen by the judges and to see if my perceptions of what each judge might be looking for was correct.

The thing that struck me most about Rhet's scores is that they were the most consistent between all three judges. There was only one point seperating the scores of all three judges for my colt. With all of the other horses there were fluctuations of from just a few points to over twenty between judges. However, those fluctuations were consistent with what I knew about each judge in the first place.

My colt was eight points behind the horse that won. The first place horse was scored twelve points higher than Rhet by one judge and only one point higher by the third judge. On Dearth's card the winning horse was scored five points lower than Rhet.

Rhet was tied for score with the third place horse. He was scored three points lower than the third place horse by the call judge and one point higher by the third judge. Dearth scored that horse four points lower than my colt. Rhet won the tie beating the other horse by two points on conformation.

I knew going into this competition that Gary Dearth particularly would be a tough critic. He expects extreme pretty in the face and is equally hard on conformation. On Gary Dearth's card, Rhet was number one in the class which is impressive to me. The next closest horse on Dearth's card was down four points. The farthest down was thirty-two points under Rhet's score.

Gary Dearth and the third judge dinged Rhet for the lack of dish in his face which is as I expected. From the third judge, however, Rhet scored as high on his head as three other colts with no colts scored higher.

This is probably a good place to add that many yearlings are pretty straight in the profile. It is part of how they grow. They are born with a lot of dish and then it straightens out until sometime around two or three years old. However, halter is not judged against what is typical for the age but against the breed standard. That means if you have yearlings in the class with dishy faces they're probably going to get higher scores. It really depends on the preference of the judges.

Looking at these comparisons might be confusing but to me it told me lots about my colt. My perceptions of how he'd been seen in the ring were accurate. That information would help in making the decision about nationals.

I'd had an idea in my head how I'd expected Rhet to do with a big name handler on the end of the lead. In this class, that's not what I had. I had a performance trainer with lots of political pull but not necessarily in the halter arena. In the big sceme of things I wasn't quite sure how this affected, or even if it affected the outcome at all. For me it was going to take more information to make my decision.

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  1. Interesting and very informative! So your colt placed second right?

  2. Also, what's the name of the colt or the colts sire and dams names, I'd like to look them up on ... thank you.

  3. I'm impressed, it sounds like the scoring system in place now is an attmept to address the complaints regarding political favortism. How nice to be able to evaluate the scores from horse to horse, judge to judge.
    When Rhet is mature, to you expect he will improve on the balance and conformation quality he has now? I had an "ugly duckling" once. Do you expect Rhet will be even MORE handsome when he is older?