‘We make decisions quickly and stick with them’: meet the Olympia showing judge

  • A show as 
huge as Olympia needs a big squad of people behind it 
and the London International Horse Show has one of the best. No job is 
too small and everyone is an integral part 
of a superb team.

    Here, Penny Richardson meets one of the showing judges for this year’s equestrian extravaganza (12-18 December 2017).

    The showing judge

    Tweetie Nimmo will travel from near Edinburgh to be one of four judges of Monday’s (18 December) LeMieux BSPS Heritage Supreme Championship. This will be her second time in the role.

    My Olympia day

    “It’s a great honour to be asked to judge at 
a magical show I’ve been attending since I first qualified a pony in 1985. I’m getting the train down on Sunday, meeting my fellow judges for dinner and preliminary judging starts at 9.30am the next day. Everything is run strictly to time, so we make decisions quickly and stick with them. Competitors have to be on their top game from the start, too.

    “The ride marks are shown straight away, which makes it interesting for spectators, though this can throw up anomalies. I’m doing conformation this year, so my marks won’t be revealed until the end.

    “Once judging is over, I’ll have a chance to watch the rest of the afternoon programme before getting the sleeper back to Edinburgh.”


    “Having judged here before in 2007, I’m 
quite au fait with how it works and we’re looked after by excellent stewards. I’ve tried 
to avoid M&M classes all season and I have 
no idea which ponies will be at Olympia.
I’m hoping for some nice surprises.”

    Continued below…

    Looking forward to…

    “I do enjoy the dog agility. And, of course, 
I must make time for some shopping!”

    Watching brief

    “It’s lovely to see some of the famous showjumpers you only read about usually, 
but I am sorry that I will miss the dressage. That’s my favourite thing and it’s at the wrong end of the show.

    “Now if we could move the dressage to Monday, Olympia would be even more perfect.”

    Don’t miss this week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (7 December 2017), with our Olympia preview where we meet other members of the team behind the show, and ask riders to take a trip down memory lane to dig out some of their show highlights

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