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 Talent under the spotlight at BDSC National Judges Convention

last updated on April 24, 2017 10:41

 Talent under the spotlight at BDSC National Judges Convention

More than 500 delegates came together for this year’s innovative National Judges Convention, supported by the BDSC, held at Addington Manor EC, Bucks.

The day’s action-packed programme was aimed at everyone involved in dressage with the theme: TEAM: together everyone achieves more and featured an impressive line up of eminent judges, trainers and riders, including Laura Tomlinson, Sandy Phillips, Peter Storr and Isobel Wessels, who came together to share their wealth of experience.

The eight demo riders – Holly Bates (Cambridge), Antonia Brown (Krack DE), Ashley Jenkins (Grandio), Lara Butler, née Griffith (Amiek C/Unique), Olivia Towers (Mercian Calisso), Dan Greenwood (Chevalier O) and Alex Hardwick (Donauwein) – each took part in 40 minute sessions in which they rode through specific test movements from Novice to Grand Prix level, while marked in real time by the host judges placed in different positions around the arena.

The sessions were followed by the panel’s open discussion and feedback on each combination, which provided a fantastic opportunity to understand exactly how marks are achieved from the different viewpoints of each judge’s position.

It was also fascinating to see and hear how a judging panel work together in a positive way to help drive up standards, not only in training, but in competition too.

Following the judges’ feedback, each combination then worked with one of the panel who provided pointers to help improve test movements, with each horse and rider showing significant improvement within a short space of time.

The riders all made the most this rare opportunity to work with this panel of top training and judging talent, together with the chance to do so in a competition environment and in front of a large audience.

This educational and inspiring day underlined the message that dressage is a team effort and the trainer/judge relationship remains a vital part of every rider’s success.

• Full report to follow in BD issue 5 2017 - out in July