Skip to content

Dr. Meadows and Dr. Whitaker Host Judge’s Versatility School

by Stephanie Rose

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - A National Horse Show Commission Judges’ Versatility School was held on Friday, Feb. 13, 2009, in the Calsonic Conference Room at the Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. Dr. Doyle Meadows of the Celebration and Dr. Dave Whitaker of Middle Tennessee State University’s Horse Science Program, both renowned judges in multiple breeds, moderated the discussion. The clinic started at 9 a.m. with Dr. Meadows giving a definition for judging, which he said was simply “recognizing differences”. He also went on to say that, “Judgment is based solely on the performance and not last week.”

 Next on the agenda was Judging Ethics. A judge should have judging ethics toward show management, the associations involved, toward the fraternity of judges and doing the right thing by yourself.

The next topic was Model Presentation. Dr. Meadows said that the reason you have model classes is to protect the integrity of the breed and have the ideal horse. The main thing that lets the horse be an athlete is balance, and that is the basis for how the horse should look or carry itself.

Dr. Meadows followed the model division by giving an understanding of the scoring systems in reining, showmanship and horsemanship. He showed several videos of each and let the participants score them on a score sheet. He explained there are specialty horses and trainers now in each breed and as judges they needed to understand how to properly place them in shows.

There was an hour lunch break and then Dr. Whitaker came to speak about trail and western riding. He showed videos and had actual walking horse classes of a different association, which was helpful to the judges. He passed out score sheets as well and had the judges partner up and one scribed and the other called out penalties. Dr. Whitaker recommended each judge have a scribe at his or her show.

There were some comments to change the way that the versatility classes are scored and do away with the fractions, but Dr. Whitaker felt certain that everyone should use the same system in case you wanted to judge an all-breed show or so that other judges could come judge our shows if need be.

The versatility school had good participation and all that came seemed to learn new things. Dr. Meadows commented that he loved teaching and would like to do more seminars like this one. At 4 p.m., the clinic was adjourned.

Dr. Meadows said, “It gives our judges an opportunity to expand their judging skills by judging these versatility classes. Additionally, it gives these judges an opportunity to use judging systems that are more objective than subjective in nature.”

More Stories

  • ReporTV Interview with Emma Wright

    In the interview that follows, Emma Wright shares her thoughts following her World Championship acclaim with Extra Special Jose in the Youth 11 & Under Mare class for the second year in a row. Read More
  • Terrific Thursday begins momentum in a winning way

    As picturesque weather passed through Shelbyville for the opening ceremonies of the first official night of the 81st edition of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, everything felt on point. The grandiose white flag horse passed through the gate as a decent crowd nestled in their seats waiting for the youth riders to emerge for the first class of the night.  Read More
  • Latest Issue 8 23 19

    Read More
  • A fighting spirit, guided by faith

    It was less than six months ago that Liz Gassaway’s world started spinning faster than the cruise ship she was on. Liz, a lifelong contributor to the walking horse industry as well as an influential person to the local area in many other ways, had gone on a cruise with an employee of hers to relax, but by the time she was off the ship she had medical symptoms that were telling her and her loved ones that something was terribly wrong. Read More
  • Youth Spotlight: Harper Grider

    The following Q&A took place between Walking Horse Report editorial director Sadie Fowler and Harper Grider, daughter of Brent and Courtney Grider of Columbia, Kentucky... Read More
  • Highlights on ReporTV

    See highlights from the 81st annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration on ReporTV! Read More
  • Youth Spotlight: Ashtyn Claire Brown

    The following Q&A took place between Walking Horse Report Editorial Director Sadie Fowler and Ashtyn Claire Brown, daughter of Carla and Barrow Brown of Culleoka, Tennessee... Read More
  • ReporTV Interview with Jennifer Barr

    In the interview that follows, Jennifer Barr shares her thoughts on the new additions to the TWHBEA National Futurity...  Read More
  • Latest Issue 8 22 19

    Read More
  • ReporTV Interview with Savannah Upchurch

    In the interview that follows, Savannah Upchurch shares her thoughts after winning her first World Championship with Custom Chrome on Thursday morning... Read More