How’s my judging? Survey asks for riders’ feedback

  • A dressage judge has launched a survey to enable riders to give feedback on comments made at competitions.

    Emma Andrews, 39, is training to be a judge in County Down, Northern Ireland, and also competes at elementary level with her 16.2hh Irish sports horse Waggledance.

    She put the survey on Facebook after judging at a non-registered show at Lusk Equestrian Centre, Ulster, last weekend (23 October).

    Respondents were asked seven questions beginning with “how satisfied were you with your judge today?”

    “I want to give riders a way of rating judges constructively,” said Ms Andrews. “Nobody knows how much effort we put into our animals, so when you go out you want to enjoy the day, not feel put down.”

    The second question asked whether the rider felt the judge’s marks and comments were “an accurate representation of the test you rode”.

    Others ranged from “would you be happy to ride under this judge again” to “has today’s show been a positive experience for you and your horse?”

    The final question asked riders whether, based on their experience of the day, they would enter the next competition.

    The survey asked for the date of the competition and the judge’s name, and there was a box for any other comments on that day’s judge.

    Respondents were encouraged to be honest as all replies were anonymous.

    Ms Andrews said she has been “really pleasantly surprised at the response, both positive and negative”.

    A couple of replies were received from riders not at the show who thought the survey might put other judges off.

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    But Ms Andrews is hoping others will consider following her example at competitions.

    Registered judge Claire Sedgeman has agreed to do the survey at her next show.

    Once all the the information is gathered the intention is to pass it on to Dressage Ireland.

    A spokesman for Dressage Ireland said: “The individual concerned is not a Dressage Ireland listed judge. Dressage Ireland does not support her actions”.

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