Jordan Cook; An insight into the show ring in 2020

Showing is a discipline which can be overlooked by most professional riders in other disciplines. 

What makes our discipline different is the art of producing and training a show horse to carry any rider in all of the horse’s paces, in a strange atmosphere and also to cope with the buzzy environment of shows while maintaining a soft mannerly rhythm. This is a lot harder than it looks to a outsider watching a show class.

Post Covid shows have seen a change to our format.

We would normally have two judges in the show ring, one judge to assess the ride and way of going of the horse, and the second judge is the conformation judge, who looks round the horse to assess type and conformation. They would then confirm their thoughts together to place the class and find their winner.

At the most only 10 competitors are allowed to enter a class which allows the show to provide set times for our classes to start whereas before the classes would just run throughout the day. 

We have no stripping of the horses for the conformation section of the class, we now will just stand in front of the one judge and they will look round the horses and assess the conformation and type without the horse being stripped. 

The ride judge is no longer riding the horse to assess the ride of each horse. Now they will watch us perform an individual show, showing off the horse’s paces and manners. 

Sometimes the show will be a ‘set show’ to what the judge would like to see and other times a judge will let you choose to perform your own show. 

Hopefully, we will back to the traditional way of showing next season where the ride judge will ride and assess the horse’s ride and way of going and there will be another judge assessing the conformation of the horse. 

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