Skip to content

SHOW HIO Hosts Judges' School



By Jeffrey Howard

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – The SHOW HIO kicked off its annual Judges’ Applicant School this morning on the show grounds of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.  The two-day school (February 18-19) opened with an address from SHOW HIO President Dr. Steve Mullins to the 136 applicants in attendance (a total of 172 signed up with 36 remaining having to complete their school on the makeup date).  “I want to thank each of you for coming to the 2011 SHOW Judges’ School.  Your attendance signifies that you agree with the new way we at SHOW are trying to take this industry,” said Mullins.

He continued, “As I said, 2010 judging was improved but it can and will be better.”  A change in 2011 is that SHOW will not have a Director of Judges but will now turn over the evaluation of its judges to a judging panel. Sitting on that panel in 2011 will be Steve Aymett, Billy Young, Sheryl Crawford, Richard Garnes, Tommy Hall, Carol Smithson, Connie Waldo, Deborah Williams, SHOW DQP Coordinator Tony Edwards and Mullins.

“In 2011, judges will be reviewed by the judges’ committee on the judges actual performance at each show.  Each judge will be evaluated on his or her particular performance on a particular night,” continued Mullins.  Mullins spoke to two qualities that the SHOW HIO was looking for in their judges which can’t be taught in a two-day seminar.

“Ability can be learned but it comes with experience.  SHOW has calls from show managers every year asking for judges that will come at no charge.  If you would like your name on this list please sign up.  Experience is the key,” said Mullins.  Mullins then turned his attention to is his second requirement.

“Integrity comes when one decides to do what is correct every time.  You as judges have got to put aside your personal issues and your personal paybacks and mark the cards according to how the horse is performing that particular night.  All of you can do it but you have to choose to do it every time,” continued Mullins.

Mullins thanked his committee for all of their hard work and also thanked Leigh Bennett for her work on the rulebook and Kathy Zeis for her tireless efforts on the International rulebook.  “The year 2011 is the most important year in the history of judging inside the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.  I recently talked with Dr. Gipson and he told me a couple of years ago the majority of his complaint phone calls involved bias or inadequate inspections or a sore horse showing here or there.  He now says over 70% of those phone calls deal with judging in one form or another,” said Mullins.

To conclude, Mullins finished, “I challenge each of you to do the absolute best you can do.  There are naysayers who say the judging can never be corrected as long as trainers and owners are judging.  I challenge you to prove them wrong.”

Smithson then took the podium to give the overall objectives of the new judging panel.  Smithson pointed out that the mission of the judges’ panel was to establish, implement and monitor three things; 1) criteria for licensing judges, 2) code of conduct/ethics for judges, and 3) procedures and policies to review the performance of judges and maintain the judging and apprentice programs. 

Smithson also pointed out the panel’s objectives which included providing training and education, using technology to assist in support and evaluation of judges and to assist in high but realistic expectations for SHOW judges.  “All people expect is a fair and objective evaluation of their horse versus the others in the competition,” said Smithson. 

A new classification in SHOW judges in 2011 will include a AAAA judge which will be the highest rating of a judge.  The requirement to reach AAAA status will include certification and licensing in all divisions, which includes equitation and versatility.  A judge must first be a AAA judge and meet those requirements before he or she can move to AAAA status.  Those AAAA judges must have judged five shows in his or her life to include each division of performance, pleasure, versatility and equitation.

SHOW will continue on with the traditional A (apprentice), AA and AAA judge classifications.  Outside of the A level of judge, all others are subject to continual review and renewal each year.

More Stories

  • NCCWHS class schedule changes

    The North Carolina Championship, scheduled for Oct. 4-6, has made the following changes to their class schedule... Read More
  • Obituary – Burl Dale

    Burl Jacob Dale entered into eternal life Tuesday, September 18, after a courageous fight with heart disease. He recently celebrated his 82nd birthday... Read More
  • Columbia honors its own

    Columbia’s mayor Dean Dickey proclaimed Sept. 20 to be Gen A' Mighty Day following the horse’s recent World Grand Championship victory at the Celebration, making the horse the fifth World Grand Champion to hail from Columbia... Read More
  • Latest Issue September 24 18

    Read More
  • A Mighty Strong Finish

    Going into the coveted World Grand Championship class Saturday night, Sept. 1, the field was somewhat wide-open for contenders riding for the biggest prize of the show. The preliminaries had given several horses a chance to shine, a few surprises emerged, and the judges were spread out with their opinions throughout the week, as was the crowd, demonstrating stiff competition. Read More
  • Oxford, NC show rescheduled

    North Carolina's PPWHANC Show scheduled for Oxford,N.C. on September 15th has been rescheduled; the new show date is September 29th with the same class schedule as previously presented.  Read More
  • #900 never to return to Celebration competition

    At the 79th anniversary of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, Bill Callaway and Gen’s Black Maverick rode into the ring on the last Saturday night to a roar of applause and cheering, and they exited the ring in the same fashion as they claimed the title of 2017 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion... Read More
  • Obituary – Pat Kirk

    Pat Kirk, 89, of Purdy, Missouri entered into eternal rest on Tuesday September 11, 2018 while at Cox South Hospital in Springfield, Missouri.  Read More
  • Obituary - Burl Dale

    The Report has recently learned of the sudden passing of Burl Dale on September 18, 2018. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 22 at 2:00 PM at Camp Yonahnoka in Linville, North Carolina. Read More
  • Allen honored with Evan Lloyd Adamson Humanitarian Award

    The Celebration and the Adamson family are proud to announce the 2018 winner of the Evan Lloyd Adamson award, Connie Allen, director of office operations for The Celebration. Read More