Appaloosa Journal

OCT 2018

Appaloosa Journal is the official publication of the Appaloosa Horse Club, the international registry for the Appaloosa horse.

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88 Appaloosa Journal October 2018 A By Steve Taylor Photos by AJ staff fter several years of utilizing a monitor at our major ApHC shows, there remains a certain shroud of mystery and no small amount of random speculation about the actual role and pur- pose of this position. Let's start with what he does not do. A moni- tor does not tell anyone how to place a class, nor does he fill out a judge's scorecard, he does not declare if a horse is excused for lameness, and he does not chastise a judge for having a different or "wrong" opinion. The concept of monitoring evolved for a number of important reasons, the ultimate one being that exhibitors invest countless hours and dollars to be in the ring at our premier events and de- serve fair and consistent application of the rules. A monitor can help to ensure that rules are understood and uniformly applied. For example, it's not unusual to see changes by our association (and others) to the point value of penalties in scored classes. If nothing else, a monitor is able to remind judges of those adjust- ments and to prepare them for specific differences between per- formances that are faulty, average and exceptional. We also recog- nize that today's pool of judges includes folks with accreditation from multiple breed and specialty associations, so it's critical that differences in standards and show rules are clearly understood. One point of distinction is emphasized by Keri Minden-Le- Force, ApHC show manager. "I've never really liked the term 'monitor,' she states. "The person in this role is more of an adviser, mentor and resource person for the benefit of the judges." Whatever term we use, a basic function of the monitor is to lead the daily prep session. Judges are assembled to review the day's schedule of classes, watch videos from other shows to see good and not-so-good examples, reiterate penalties and organize score sheets and judges' cards. During the morning session, judges are also advised about details such as class size, cuts or divisions, required and prohibited equipment as well as scoring criteria and patterns to be used. A monitor helps judges anticipate problems or issues that inevitably arise. And, above all, judges are encour- aged to ask questions and discuss rules and guidelines specific to the classes they'll see that day. We are fortunate to have Joe Carter, one of the most experi- enced and truly knowledgeable horsemen in our industry, serv- ing as monitor for our Youth World, National and World shows. Carter resides in St. George, Ontario, Canada, and has judged major shows across the globe. His perspective and nuanced ability to relate to judges as they work their way through an event are in- valuable to the cause of providing a great experience for everyone involved. As Carter explains, "A big part of my job is to help the judges feel confident about their ability and to assure them that each opinion matters. Preparation and focus are the keys I always stress, whether to someone judging the World Show for the first time or to someone considered an old pro." Group dynamics always come into play with a panel of multiple judges. According to Carter, "Educating judges about the rules and the unique situations that can come up is in my job descrip- tion, but lots of the 'education' involves judges learning from each other. All I do is prod them along." According to Carter, perceptions of Appaloosa exhibitors about the monitor's role have evolved. "Of course at first they thought I was doing the judging, but now they are more used to the system, they understand it and, I believe, they appreciate it," he notes. "If we can consistently see the top horses get rewarded, with rules and penalties being applied consistently and correctly, it makes a better show for everyone." David Moore, ApHC judge from Southwest Ranches, Florida, has experienced the monitoring system firsthand and believes it to be a beneficial part of the process. "In my experience of judging the National Show, I found that Joe was a great help to the entire group, not only as a warm-up, but as a rule clarifier and morale booster. I thought he was both professional and clear at all times. Judge's Monitor really do? What does a

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