Judging can be a thankless task at the best of times, so we salute the dedicated few who wake at the crack of dawn, thrown on their best attire and trek off to stand on a muddy showground so we can proudly parade our horses and ponies in front of them.
While judges are professional and polite at all times, we sometime wonder, what are they really thinking during those brief exchanges with competitors on show day?
Read our tongue-in-cheek guide at what might be running though their minds…
- ‘Are you okay?’ – Please show me you can pull up immediately.
- ‘He was a bit tense today’ – Piaffe and half pass aren’t required in a riding horse class.
- ‘It was a very difficult class to judge’ – Slim pickings today.
- ‘You win the best turned out prize’ – Your show wasn’t up to much, but I can tell you tried your best.
- ‘Is he a New Forest?’ – It’s been a long day, I’ve seen hundreds of natives and they are all blurring into one…
- ‘There were some really quality horses forward today’ – The trifle served in the lunch tent was fantastic.
- ‘Can I have a nice short show please’ – If you change the rein more than once I will stop watching.
- ‘At least the weather was nice today’ – There was an hour this afternoon when I could actually feel my fingers.
- ‘Thank you for coming forward’ – I wish I’d stayed home in the warm and dry.
- ‘Can you fetch me a coffee please steward’ – It’s going to be a long day, is there anything stronger on offer?
- ‘Will he be OK with this sash?’ – If your horse tramples over the top of me, I will sue.
Getting ready for the showing season? You might find these useful…
Brave the cold and give yourself the best chance of bagging the top spot with these winter showing life hacks
No matter how long your January ‘to-do’ list, if you are into your showing one of the most important jobs…
Concerns over show ring etiquette can be off-putting for showing novices. So we have answered the questions that you thought…
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday