Dressage judging under review again

Edward Gal and Glock's Undercover
Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover. © Paul Harding/Lewis Harding Images

A test event to review freestyle dressage judging is being held later this month in Germany.

The event on the premises of the German Equestrian Federation at Warendorf on September 24 will feature 20 Grand Prix level freestyle performances and will be open to the public.

The aim of the event is to increase consistency and accuracy in judging.

In recent years dressage judging has been under the spotlight, beginning with the formation of a Dressage Task Force in 2008 following controversy at the Olympic Games of that year.

An internal debriefing session involving the FEI Dressage Committee, the Board members of the FEI Stakeholder Clubs, the members of the FEI Freestyle working group Katrina Wüst (GER), Peter Holler (GER), and Stephen Clarke (GBR), as well as David Stickland (USA), a Senior Research Physicist at Princeton University and FEI consultant on statistical analysis in Dressage judging, will take place on the following day.

FEI Judges Stephen Clarke (GBR), Wim Ernes (NED), Christoph Hess (GER), Peter Holler (GER), Henning Lehrmann (GER), Hans-Christian Matthiesen (DEN), Ulrike Nivelle (GER), Dr Dieter Schüle (GER), Christof Umbach (LUX), and Katrina Wüst (GER) will be officiating.

FEI Dressage Committee Chairman Frank Kemperman said the idea to hold a test event to help improve freestyle judging was presented at this year’s FEI Sports Forum and was welcomed by the participants.

“The Freestyle is characterised by the most subjective judging elements of all FEI dressage tests and continuous efforts should be made to further increase its objectivity. This will be beneficial to riders, judges, spectators and the entire sport,” he said.

“Various new ideas will be explored during five rounds of testing and we are anticipating that the event will be an important step forward towards greater transparency in Freestyle judging.”

The conclusions reached as a result of the test event will be discussed by the FEI Dressage Committee.


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