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Festival of Champions


And Lamping was the high scorer for a handful of the movements in that test. She gave Son of a Lady 8s for collected walk and extended canter which nobody else did. She was the low scorer in several other movements. Notably, in many of the doubles including the extended walk.

Some higher, several lower, and as rothmpp noted, not by a lot. Not at all usual for a panel of five to have both a 68 and a 75 from different angles. That’s just how the scoring works.


This really doesn’t matter as they can’t compete in the CDIAm, which goes by international ranking and not profit-from-riding status.

There really isn’t a distinction at the CDI level outside of this - I guess this is a national show so maybe but this has always been the case with well heeled amateurs who can ride all day long on top quality horses. It is what it is.


CJ is an amateur. She competes against trainers all the time. She is a multi multi millionaire and works a job outside of training. I think she’s fine.


Being listed and riding with Olympians IS having competition isn’t it? Look at who she competes with and against. She is not stealing ribbons from anyone. She happens to be a talented rider who has money. There are a lot of people with her kind of money and no talent or drive who buy and sell expensive horses, they just don’t make the news because they don’t win or they ruin the horse.


excellent point

All the AT and CJ commentary is just another reason why it is important to RIDE AGAINST YOUR OWN EARLIER SCORES…… not other horses in the class.

Stepping off soapbox now.


I too was referring to the placings. When I did the L program, placing the horses in the “right” order was emphasized along with scoring “properly.” YMMV

Shouldn’t that be “mounting block”, lol. ?
Agree with your comment.


I’ve also done the L program. Yes, the “right” order is emphasized, but these judges at FOC have been at it a long time. When we have more judges that have come through the L program, there may be a shift in how scores look, but we are a long way from the L program grads being a majority of the panel at anything more than schooling shows.

As most know, the L grads still have to go through the small r program before they can even judge up to second level at a recognized show. As expensive as the L program can be, the r program is even worse, and more political than the L program. Until we have more judges at the r, R, and S levels that went through the same, more standardized program, we are going to still see outliers. And the 5 or 7 position judging can make a much more quirky order than a 1 or 2 position judging, since there is so much at a angle that judges are not positioned at every day of every weekend.

It is worth noting that both of the horses in question are still at the top of the leaderboard after the I1 today, so while it may have looked a little funky yesterday, it has regulated a bit today. There is still as much as a 5 placing swing in any given ride. Also worth noting that there are 11 horses in the class today and the final score is only a 9% spread - so a slightly different score can make a huge difference on where any particular judge’s scores fall.

Just my two cents, and not particularly highly researched, just my personal observations after many years both showing and working behind the scenes.


At least two of the judges are on the judge program faculty and others are listed for L,r and R apprenticing. These judges know what they are doing.

And regarding “placed right” vs “scores”, the programs I have assisted at (mostly as scribe), any movement scores that vary from the Instructor by more than 1.5 or 2 points is flagged.

Fair enough about the judges at FOC, but you do realize that 1.5 or 2 points on a movement consistently down a test won’t be 5% difference - it is 15% to 20% difference. That is not what these scores are reflecting.

We can nitpick the scores and relative placings to death, but at the end of the day - math is math. Natalie may not have liked Son of a Lady/Simonson nearly as much as some of the other judges on Monday, she was still within half a point average as the other judges. That is not egregious in my book. None of the judges had the riders placed in exactly the same order. It’s one of the reasons they use multiple judges for championships.


This!! As long as I could see improvement in my horse’s (and my) performance, that’s all that mattered. Ribbons were a happy bonus. But for me, the love of dressage is about the journey and not the destination. (Obviously, I was never destined for the Olympics). :grin:


Here are the scores

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The variability in judging can be easily quantified. This includes “order ranking” of placement in a subjective evaluation. This is not “new news.” This stuff is done in industry every day.

As a matter of fact, there is a 200 page National ANSI Standard for Measurement System Analysis aka MSA.

The link above gives the 52 page Table of Contents so you can see the material that is covered.

For those who want to read about MSA

Here is info on Kendall’s Coefficient of Concordance

And the Minitab version

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Just got PTSD from my first ever internship at 18 years old doing statistical analysis on electron beam weld optical inline measurements on a 130F factory floor in summer.


Everyone should have a crash course on applied statistics.

One develops appreciation for manufacturing and the trades and their hazardous work environment.

Sorry…I’m a statistics nerd. USEF/USDF have just not discovered the earth is round…yet.


And that’s why people judge shop.

ETA: a better way to say what I mean is that’s what motivates some people to judge shop.

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Does anyone know how the GP went this morning? I checked Fox Village but didn’t see the scores up yet


thank you!