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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Page 128 of 152

90 Appaloosa Journal October 2018 "It's important for people to understand that the monitor doesn't do any judging. What he really does that is so impor- tant is to help keep the competition within the rules of whatever breed or association is putting on the show. —Terry Thompson It was equally helpful to first-time judges and veterans alike," Moore says. "In addition to his value in the judges' room, he has been both fair and plain spoken when asked questions about the show. I cannot think of a better person to explain judging situa- tions and help maintain a professional decorum during your big- gest show of the year." Having a designated advisor who spends the entire show with the judges is a huge asset for the overall conduct of the event, according to LeForce. "It certainly helps the flow of the show by keeping things organized for the judges and it gives me comfort to know that the judges will be fully versed on the rules and that they'll be ready to judge when the class goes into the pen." Part of the challenge for any horse show judge is to under- stand and fairly apply the rules and standards across an expand- ing variety of classes. Think about some of the differences among age groups and ability levels of exhibitors. Then consider the finer points of evaluating the conformation and performance of junior and senior horses competing in events ranging from showmanship to working cow horse. Not many of us can claim to be experts in every activity or discipline, yet we like to assume that a person with a judge's card can make the required transitions throughout a 16-hour (or longer) day. It becomes more than a little helpful to have a monitor available during a week's worth of rapid-fire refocusing. Judges learn to appreciate that each day has a plan attached to it and that someone is there to give them the best op- portunity to succeed. "We've heard comments about making the judges more ac- countable," Carter acknowledges. "I'm convinced that one of the most important things we can do through the monitoring sys- tem is to help make the judges accountable – to themselves. I'm pleased with how far we've come and I'll put our ApHC World and National judges up against anyone, especially when we have a group that is prepared, engaged and focused." Veteran judge, trainer and exhibitor, Terry Thompson of Aubrey, Texas, admits to being a huge fan of the monitoring system and he's been a little frustrated by some of the misconceptions about what the monitor does. "It's important for people to understand that the monitor doesn't do any judging," Thompson emphasizes. "What he really does that is so important is to help keep the com- petition within the rules of whatever breed or association is putting on the show. As an exhibitor, I appreciate having the assurance that the judges have been able to review the rules, that they've re- ceived some advising about how to score the class and that they've probably watched some video to be at their best when judging a specific class," he stresses. "It's also reassuring that if a discrepancy in scoring penalties does occur, the monitor will ensure that judges take another look at the video and verify any serious penalties." As the horse show environment continues to evolve, one criti- cal motivator for participants has remained the same. "Every ex- hibitor wants to feel as if they've got a chance in whatever class they've entered," Carter explains. The responsibility for ensuring that each horse is given a fair chance falls on the judges and is supported by the monitoring system. When we are able to claim a level playing field for all exhibitors, many of our goals have been

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