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					After every horse competition, someone 鈥檚 going home a little happier than the
rest. And someone else has to decide who that happy person will be. Judges come in
all shapes and sizes, but they have certain characteristics in common. Chief among
these are keen observational skills, subject expertise, sound judgment, and moral
integrity. When a judge looks at a horse, there 鈥檚 a lot going on behind that pair of
eyes.
  Judges view horses with a much more analytical approach than that of the casual
observer. Although the word 鈥渃 ritical 鈥?is usually used in a negative sense, it
literally means 鈥渢 o separate,鈥?and judges do exactly that in their job, breaking up
the various aspects of a rider 鈥檚 or horse 鈥檚 appearance or behavior into the
good and bad, keeping a running tally in their heads to compare to what they see in
other contestants. The factors they consider are the ones set forth officially by the
governing body of the particular competition, and the guidelines are numerous and
explicit. Judges need to familiarize themselves with these standards so they can
recognize them, appraise them, and rule on them.
  To do this well, they need to have considerable experience with all facets of
competition, and many judges are people who have competed themselves in similar
events.It 鈥檚 not enough, however, to know what they 鈥檙 e doing when judging.
Judges have to have high ethical standards and a willingness to stick by them
regardless of sentiment, influence, or anything else that might tempt them to cast a
vote for the sake of profit or popularity rather than merit. Like umpires on a baseball
field, judges need to have impeccable reputations for fairness and ethics, if they 鈥檙 e
to be taken seriously.
  Anyone interested in a career as a judge needs to not only know the ins and outs of
the horse competition but also gain experience in competing or judging. It 鈥檚 a
good idea to volunteer your judging services or attend horse shows and observe the
judges as they observe the horses. The more you go, the more you will know.
  Pros Daily contact with horses Highly respected position that can open doors in
other areas
  Cons Physical fatigue of standing for hours in heat and sun High mandatory level of
knowledge and experience regarding events
  www.jasonmcinnes.com.au www.equinestaff.com.au Purchase the entire book along
with many others at http://www.horse-riding.com.au

				
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