There are at least as many ways to judge as there are judges. When it comes to model horse performance showing, however, most judges fall into one of two camps.
The first group follows a "one strike and you're out" philosophy. In this way they remind me of real life hunter judges.Under this type of judging, each entry is judged as a whole, rather than as a sum of its parts. It doesn't matter how spectacular the majority of the entry is, if there's a significant error, it's not going to place well.
I prefer to evaluate each class like a dressage judge.
In dressage, each individual movement of the test is scored between zero and ten, with some movements being assigned a coefficient which multiplies the numerical score by two or three. Additionally, the judge will assign the entry "collective marks," which reflect the overall impression of the test.It's possible for a dressage entry to make a significant error...
|My friend Trish and her horse Surprise getting lost in a pirouette|
|still good enough for third!|
Obviously, it's better not to make errors, and there are some errors that simply can't be overcome. However, when I judge, I'm just as interested in rewarding excellence as I am in penalizing mistakes. I want my winners to be worthy, not merely error-free. Other judges may see things differently, but this is my judging philosophy.