Thursday, October 24, 2019

The wow factor

When I evaluate a performance entry, the first thing I look at is the suitability of the model to the event. Does the horse look like he belongs in this class? Is he doing what he's supposed to be doing? Is he doing it well? 

I then move on to the second phase of judging. I call this the "clean and correct" phase. In this pass, I focus on the tack, props and dolls. Does the everything fit properly? Is it in scale? Is it correct for the discipline? 

Oftentimes, answering these questions is all it takes to place a class. Oftentimes, but not always, and certainly not at the Jennifer Show.

The Jennifer Show was quite possibly the best and most competitive performance show in the history of the model horse hobby. With an average class size of just over twenty entries, most of which included a a well chosen model with class-appropriate, well-fitted tack and props, it's clear the judge needed to go beyond these basics to choose a winner. I refer to this third phase of performance judging as the Wow Factor.

The Wow Factor is the difference between a solid entry and a great entry.
The Wow Factor is every part of the entry working together to tell a very specific story.
The Wow Factor is all about details.
The Wow Factor is an understanding that every part of the entry is important.
The Wow Factor is using tack that goes beyond meeting the requirements of the event,
The Wow Factor is knowing how to make dolls look like humans.
The Wow Factor is attention to the nuances of rider attire.
The Wow Factor is cow horse brands on a cow horse.
The Wow Factor is hoof prints in the sand.
The Wow Factor is dressing up a basic entry with beautiful flowers. 
The Wow Factor is knowing exactly where the horse was two steps ago and where he will be two steps later. 
The Wow Factor is perfectly in-scale beadwork. 
The Wow Factor is committing to an idea... 
and seeing it through... 
 in every part of the entry.
The Wow Factor is doing something unexpected.
The Wow Factor is entries that reflect each shower's unique style and interests.
The Wow Factor is always having the right hairdo.
The Wow Factor believes in go big or go home.
The Wow Factor is dirty arena walls and perfectly weathered barrels.
The Wow Factor is visual story telling...
with humorous plot twists.
The Wow Factor is about pushing for excellence and never settling for merely clean and correct.
Congratulations to all the Saturday performance showers at the Jennifer Show, but especially Overall Champions, Kelli Konecny and Tiffany Purdy.
Individually and as a group, you Wowed me!


  1. I have loved seeing so many amazing pictures from this show. Not tired of it yet!

  2. I had to do closeups on some of these. The gator! The dirty barrel. The dog and chicken...

  3. Hello! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate ALL your work in posting these blogs! I have seen and learned so much I would otherwise missed! Many MANY THANKS!!! I hope this is the right way to post this--I am techy challenged! Betsy Denning in MA

  4. Looking at these photos again brings back all the great memories. I am eternally grateful that I had to opportunity to be there. It doesn't matter that I got my butt kicked big time. The whole experience has been utterly amazing and sometimes I still can't believe it wasn't just a dream.

  5. That was really helpful when deciding my entries, thank you!