The training and development of dressage judges has gone high-tech in Britain with a new partnership between British Dressage (BD) and a German software company.
The collaboration between BD and Black Horse One (BHO), which founded the paperless judging solution eDressage, and the Spectator Judging and Degree of Difficulty platforms, is the first of its kind with a focus on judge development. BHO and BD worked together throughout 2021 to deliver digital seminars to British judges and facilitate judge examinations online when Covid prohibited face-to-face interaction.
They have developed a digital platform that enables all BD listed and trainee judges to virtually score a test using digital test sheets while watching a test video. The comments and scores can instantly then be gauged against a range of senior master judges, all from their own device.
Each judge will have their own personalised dashboard on the platform that acts as their ‘portfolio’ where their tests can be reviewed, which will be an integral part of the new Judge Education System and ongoing CPD (continuing professional development) activity.
Initially, judges will access the platform by attending an online judge seminar where they can set up their own account, and over the course of the spring this year it will be rolled out to all BD judges.
The project was spearheaded by BD’s Training and Education Manager Charlotte Osborne. She said the initiative was the next step from the Judge Education System framework that was launched in 2019.
“We have further developed these concepts during the pandemic to facilitate and deliver online assessments, which will revolutionise how we train and measure judges. It will help us effectively engage with judges at all levels and put them in control of their own training and development. It means judges can gain practical experience but delivered in a virtual way,” Osborne said.
“Covid has certainly taught us all to embrace the use of technology and the BHO platform will put hundreds of online judge training opportunities at their fingertips. The platform is free to access, user-friendly and provides online support. The team at BHO have enthusiastically engaged with our vision for the sport – and this is only just the beginning, with much more to come.”
BHO systems have been used at FEI European and World Championships, as well as national shows in 26 countries around the world. Most recently, they launched their platform Equestrian on Demand, with the option to judge online with the help of eDressage on the basis of videos from different levels.
Black Horse One founder and CEO Daniel Göhlen said the company was excited by the new collaboration. He said the first common judges’ education project started successfully with online seminars, with the first exams in December 2021.
“For those seminars, the Equestrian on Demand platform was used, as well as our paperless judging solution eDressage, and by facilitating the SAP [systems, applications, and products] Business Technology platform it’s directly connected to a personal dashboard for each of the judges.
“It is an absolute honour for us to be officially named as a British Dressage partner and we are very certain to deliver added value in many ways with our products and services, which are continuously further developed, for the mutual benefit of all involved parties.”