Thursday, 3 November 2011

Another competition closer to being a dressage judge!

If you read the 'mystery' guest post earlier in the week then you would know that at the weekend I was at yet another dressage competition. If it seems like I spend practically all my weekends at competitions, it's probably because I do! I'm trying to get in as much practice as possible so that I won't have any difficulties when it comes to passing my course to be a dressage judge.

So at the weekend I made the most of the 2 day competition to do another practical test, this time as Competition Steward. I find it interesting to know what is going on around me when usually it's difficult to even be able to look any further than the edge of the arena. To be honest I didn't find the role of Steward as interesting as that of the judge but it was good as experience.

The Stewards' job is to make sure that the competition runs like clockwork, that every rider knows when they have to be in the arena and who they go in after. It's also the Steward's job to make sure that none of the horses are abused or mistreated in any way either in the warm-up area or in any other area of the competition zone, boxes, trailers, vans, etc.

Checking the flanks for any sign of injury
Abusing or mistreating a horse at any time is reason for elimination and the Steward is well within their rights to report anything to the President of the ground jury and Delegate for action to be taken against the offending person. The horses have also to be checked by the Steward on leaving the arena to make sure that the equipment abides by the regulations and that there is no sign of injury to the horse.

Lessons from the official Steward
I was very fortunate to be able to get to do this practical test at the weekend because Stewards' are normally only present at the National Championships and the highest level dressage competitions which are not held frequently. But at this competition more competitors were expected as it was really four different competitions being held simultaneously, so a Steward was appointed. The official Steward is also a candidate to become an International Steward so I was in very good hands!

Checking the bit on the double bridle - by touch!

I've more than completed the preliminary practical tests now and I've been studying the regulations again and the Training Scale - next week we have the second part of the theory course and I'd really like to pass!

Hasta pronto!


  1. I have been a Competition Steward in the past. It was for an International show jumping event and I was absolutely exhausted! It is a great experience though, and I feel sure from reading your posts that you will pass the second part of the theory course... good luck! Abby

  2. Thanks Abby! I'm swotting away and I think that I know what it's all about but it's trying to remember the exact wording!! It's a long time since I had to do exams and my how it shows!
    I'll let you know how I get on.

  3. Sorry my comment is so late. I don’t know that much about competitions so all the posts you are doing about them are really interesting, you have been putting a lot of effort into becoming a judge and I am sure you’ll pass no problem, good luck.