Simon Reynolds, who’s finest identified for producing cobs for the present ring, shares his thought on how we will make exhibiting fairer and extra clear
As at all times, the tip of the exhibiting season was a whirlwind of championship reveals for us, swiftly adopted by the Horse of the 12 months Present (HOYS).
I used to be lucky sufficient to get pleasure from a soothing end-of-season household vacation, the place I managed to modify off and mirror on what has been a really profitable 12 months. Extra importantly, I used to be capable of not take into consideration coats, timetables and 1.30am alarm calls!
We’ve got additionally waved among the horses off to pastures new, and I actually look ahead to seeing what they will obtain of their new houses.
There’s a saying that horses are an excellent leveller; in the event you had been lucky to have an excellent run at HOYS, then you might be quickly introduced again to earth whereas beginning younger horses on chilly winter days!
“Judging is a privilege”
A number of the experience judges at HOYS obtained nice reward from rivals and the general public. Of word had been girls’ side-saddle and using horse choose, Michelle Underwood, who negotiated some difficult rides with nice ability and gave every horse such a constructive expertise, as did Charles le Moignan, who belied his 71 years to present a masterclass in experience judging within the cob of the 12 months finals.
It’s no imply feat to experience so many unusual horses in such a pressurised atmosphere with important eyes watching from each angle. They’re to be congratulated.
Judging is typically a thankless activity, the place free time is given, and you must have a thick pores and skin. Nonetheless, judging is a privilege and one thing to be carried out with good will and to not be profited from. Whereas no choose ought to be out of pocket for journey bills, I imagine in a spending cap on issues equivalent to lodge bills, maybe to not exceed the finances of a Travelodge with a fundamental meal.
I additionally suppose that we ought to be looking for extra suggestions from each the rivals and the judges from reveals. Maybe suggestions varieties, the place individuals can word down the constructive and unfavourable elements of their day.
A profitable day’s exhibiting is a two-way road of respect and truthful behaviour between rivals and officers. It’s solely with suggestions that reveals and societies can transfer ahead to boost, enhance and progress the game.
The horse world is a small neighborhood. Inside motive and throughout the guidelines, regardless of who walks in that ring, the judging ought to be truthful and with out bias. If there’s a drawback with a person competitor or choose, then societies ought to endeavour to implement applicable sanctions.
“It’s unhappy to lose characters”
Some are actually trying ahead to the brand new finals to be held on the London Worldwide, an thrilling new enterprise in the event that they survive the celebratory onslaught of awards evenings and society and hunt balls within the lead-up. It’s pretty to finish the season with such occasions, reminding us exhibiting is meant to be enjoyable, even whether it is on the expense of your financial institution steadiness!
On the latest British Present Horse Affiliation AGM, retiring president Sue Rawding recounted an amusing story when her late husband, John Rawding, was experience judging. As he was being legged up onto competitor David Tatlow’s mount, David positioned a moist sponge on the saddle!
May you think about antics like that immediately? I, for one, am unhappy to lose such characters. It’s simple to get too obsessive about the exhibiting sport and it’s price remembering that always the most effective days should not all about that pink rosette, however sharing good enjoyable with associates and having fun with the horses.
Good luck to all these attending London, and I want you all a merry Christmas.
● What do you consider introducing suggestions varieties to exhibiting? Write to us at email@example.com, together with your identify, nearest city and county, for the prospect to have your ideas revealed in a future version of Horse & Hound journal
- This unique column will even be accessible to learn in Horse & Hound journal, on sale Thursday 30 November, 2023
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