Last week Becky and Jack aka Carinsio were invited to be one of the guinea pigs for the National Judges Convention at Bury Farm, held by 2012 Olympic Judges Stephen Clark and Wim Ernes.
They discussed how they marked a horse and what they look for in a ‘Medal Winning Horse’ as below (taken from BD website)
“At these seminars, we so often discuss grand prix horses, but almost never talk about judging young horses the right way. As judges, we control the way the riders train their young horses; that is why it is so important to get it right,” said Wim, who is president of the Dutch selection committee for young horses and a member of the KWPN stallion committee. “In the young horse competitions in previous years, riders put a lot of pressure on their horses. A lot of horses that won these classes as three-, four- and five-year-olds, we didn’t see any more as six-, seven- and eight-year-olds because they had problems with their back or joints.”
He went on to explain how the tests have been improved and praised the Dutch system highly as 80% to 90% of successful young horses make it to small tour level.
“You are assessing the horse’s future ability. By looking at the horse’s three gaits, you try to foresee the horse’s ability to collect, to take weight on his hind legs and carry himself,” said Wim, who strongly believes that the lower levels should be judged by the most experienced judges.
Wim said: “It is important to explain what is good and bad about a movement. One part might be worth an eight, another a six, and you have to balance it out. I find that once you comment on it, then the mark finds you. If the movement had been performed satisfactorily, it has to be a minimum of six. If I describe something as ‘fairly good’, it earns a seven.”
Wim was asked to predict what kind of horse was going to win gold at the 2020 Olympic Games.
His reply: “A horse with five good gaits: walk, trot, canter, piaffe and passage.”
We think Jack could be in the running – fingers crossed :-)