Hunter Judging, Don’t Beat a Good Horse With a Bad HOrse

Sequence of a horse jumping by Eadweard Muybri...

Judges Have to Have the Best Horse Win (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t beat a good horse with a bad horse.

As judges, we try to have the best horse win. The best horse should be the best jumper and this horse should jump:

  • high
  • round
  • scopey
  • soft.


Jumping ‘out of stride’ is a must and any hiccups are marked accordingly. This means when a judge sits in his/her box we have to assess each horse on their own merit.

Turnout, scope, ability, style they are all assessed in the 2 minute round. Chips, rubs, wrong leads, breaks to trots, and bad jumping style is all recorded.

It is imperative that judges “don’t beat a good horse with a bad horse”. Some horses will come into the ring and on it’s best day may able to score a 61 due to its scope and poor form. A better horse, a horse with rounder scope, better form and stride, may be able to place over a horse with poor form even though it had a ‘rub’ on a rail.



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About Laura

Laura Kelland-May is the founder of Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Development Program. She more than trains horses, she trains people to train their horses. In addition she is a Sr. Judge and can offer insight into What the Judge Is Looking For. Follow her here and get more tips.
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One Response to Hunter Judging, Don’t Beat a Good Horse With a Bad HOrse

  1. Raquel says:

    “don’t beat a good horse with a bad horse” – I’ve never heard this phrase before but it’s certainly a good one!

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