FEI to Review Dressage Judging

By September 10, 2013

The FEI is holding a “test event” to review judging procedures for dressage freestyle competitions. Designed to increase consistency and accuracy in judging, this special event will take place on the premises of the German Equestrian Federation at Warendorf on Sept. 24.

The event will be held at grand prix level and will feature 20 freestyle performances and will be open to the public and media.

FEI dressage committee chair Frank Kemperman

FEI dressage committee chair Frank Kemperman

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.

The group is reportedly giving consideration to the longstanding proposal to drop the highest and lowest scores at championship events, which are scored by seven judges. In theory this would amelioriate the effect a single judge can have on the disposition of medals.

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.

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

“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 added. “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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