As you've probably already seen from yesterday's post, this weekend was the Spanish Juniors Dressage Championship. So I thought that I would make the most of having three whole days of competition practically on my doorstep to do get some more practical experience for my judges' course.
I offered my services to the Organising Committee and was thrilled to be told that I would be needed. Some international judges were coming to the competition and preferred to sit with someone that could speak English - yay! Little did I know that I was going to be sat with Hans-Christian Matthiesen, the Danish international dressage judge (also national team vet and Chef d'Equipe for the Danish Juniors and YR teams!), and Isabelle Judet the French international judge and Official to the FEI. What an honour and what a fabulous experience!!
I sat with one or other of them during the whole weekend, although I spent most time with Mr. Matthiesen. I got to see how they judge all different levels from children to YR and I could ask as many questions as I liked! Every query I had was answered and every score or comment that I didn't understand why it had been given was explained.
By Sunday evening my head was spinning but I felt as if I had learnt so much - the 6am starts to get to the competition on time were really worth it! I realise that the more I see, the more experience I get and the opportunities to sit with different judges will only help me to form my own, solid criteria which I think is very necessary for being a fair judge.
I also have to thank Hubby for taking care of the horses while I was at the competition, for getting me there on time and for taking all of these fabulous photos!