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Judges share their perspectives — what you need to know before showing at The Celebration!



Story courtesy of Jennifer Bingham

The 2018 Celebration is quickly approaching and as everyone is putting in long hours preparing for our World Championship horse show, The Celebration judging panel is no exception. Many hours will be spent reviewing the Rule Book, Standards Charts, and reviewing the class list to ensure that no small detail will be missed.
The SHOW Judges Committee in conjunction with the judging panel would like to highlight some rules and division specific requirements for the exhibitors and trainers participating in the upcoming Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

All horses shown in the Flat Shod Division have a maximum bit length limit of 9  ½”.

Cross chain cavesons are not allowed in any Flat Shod Division class or any Show Pleasure or Park Performance class.

All Day Pleasure class — All entries MUST enter the ring at the Trail Walk. If any entry does not, they will be heavily penalized in the final judging.

All Day Pleasure and Country Pleasure- horses presented in Western tack and attire:
-Any age horse can be ridden two handed regardless of bit used
-Cavesons are allowed with western tack

Trail Pleasure, Lite Shod, and Park Pleasure-horses presented in Western tack and attire:
      -Cavesons are not allowed 
-Horses four years old and under may be ridden with two hands only with a snaffle bit or bosal
-Any age horse using a curb bit in these divisions must neck rein and be presented one handed using split reins or romal reins. Reins must be held correctly or entry will be penalized in the final judging.
-When using split reins, the index finger can be between the reins  or the hand around the reins. The free hand is not allowed to touch the reins and the excess portion of the reins must fall on the same side as the hand holding the reins. The rider cannot switch hands during the class.
-When using romal reins, the rider’s hand shall be around the reins with the wrist kept straight and relaxed, the thumb on top and fingers closed lightly around the reins. The romal is allowed to be carried in the free hand holding the romal with approximately 16” spacing between the reining hand and the free hand holding the romal. The romal may be carried straight or coiled in the free hand. The romal shall not be used forward of the cinch or used to cue or signal the horse in any way.

 • Fine Harness-There will be a steward at inspection for the Fine Harness classes to check bits at the 2018 Celebration. If a horse is presented with an illegal bit, the entry will be allowed to correct the bit prior to entering the ring. The legal bits for the Fine Harness division include the O-ring snaffle, D-ring Snaffle, half cheek snaffle, full check snaffle, Kimberwick, Butterfly Liverpool and the Liverpool. The shank must be no more than 4 1/2”.

Judging of the performance horse ceases when they are called to the lineup but manners on pleasure horses and other issues judged in the lineup continue until the judge(s) turn in their cards.

Other than an exhibitor’s back number, no equipment shall be handed to an exhibitor across the rail once the entry enters the show ring. Violation of this rule results in immediate disqualification from the class.

Time Outs-An exhibitor desiring a time out will ride to the center of the ring, remain mounted and request a time out from the Judge. The Judge will ascertain the reason for the time out and either grant or deny the request. Once a time out has been granted, a rider may dismount. The entrance of a trainer or an assistant into the show ring before a time out is granted may require the Judge to excuse the entry. Judges should use their discretion in this matter. If the horse or rider is in danger, this rule may be waived.

An entry may, at the discretion of the Judge(s), be excused from the ring for any infraction of non-compliance of the HPA or SHOW rules or for deviating from the described gaits and standards of the Tennessee Walking Horse as set forth in the Rule Book and the Standards Charts.

Click here for the standards chart.

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