Can a Horse With a Rail Beat a ‘Clean’ Horse?

Why did a horse which had a rail beat my horse who was clear?

Horse jumping at Readville

Each Judge Gives a Numerical Score (Photo credit: Boston Public Library)

Each judge usually, and I say usually, because some judges don’t, gives a percentage score depending on the round. Generally speaking a rail gets a score of 40 – 50

horse jumping III

Judges do Their Best to Be Objective (Photo credit: janGlas)

depending on the rail and the rest of the course. See the following post regarding judging hunters.

and get a sample of the judges score card here.

Judges do their best to be objective and give fair assessment of all horses presented to them. It could have been the judge missed the horse knocking down a rail or maybe the judge thought the rail was not the ‘horses fault’. For example, the previous horse having a HARD rub but not a knock down and then the rail falls without a whisper of a touch.

If you have questions for the judge you are able to discuss with the steward and request to review your round with the judge

A ‘rail’ usually doesn’t beat a ‘clear round’ in a hunter class. But sometimes, the best clear round by a horse with poor jumping technique may not get as high a mark as an excellent mover and jumper with a ‘bad rail’. A bad rail meaning the rail just shouldn’t have come down.

What is your feeling about a horse which had a knock down being placed over a horse which ‘went clear’?


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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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