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Showing Advice: Katie Jerram on How to Impress the Judges

Katie Banner

People often think that showing is an easy sport and many don’t give it the credit it deserves. It’s not an easy task to give that winning performance, or to find that champion horse.  It takes an enormous amount of hard work and preparation!

Being both a judge and competitor myself means I have a good understanding of what a judge might look for. Once you get to a show, here’s some tips to help outline what might be taken in to consideration once you’re in the ring:

• A judge is looking for an outstanding picture which combines horse, rider and performance. This means choosing the right class for your horse, having appropriate and perfect turnout for both horse and rider, and riding a correct, well practiced show.

• A judge will be looking for a pair that walk into the ring with a real ‘Look at me!’.

• If it’s a class where the judge rides, your horse should carry the judge with a mannerly, soft, and polished ride.

• At top level a horse should have perfect conformation, if it was a human it would be model material!

• Manners are essential, but to have that winning touch horses must be looking through the bridle pinging along, which means they are often on the edge. It’s a fine line.

• There are a lot of good horses but few real champions. Many horses you may think are top class don’t stand out when you get to the top shows, and sometimes, the plain looking horses can get in the ring and surprise you. It’s also not uncommon to have a super horse standing there which then disappoints in it’s action when it moves off.

• When looking for a top horse always ask advice from a top rider to get the right horse for the right class, if he lands between two classes in type he will struggle to win a class.

• Remember horses have to be true to type and preferably a good size in their class.

Good luck!


P.S. ReadySupp Ultra Calm can help take the edge off nervous or spooky horses!

Katie Jerram is one of the leading show horse producers in the UK. She is an accredited trainer with the BSPS, the BHS, and PUK and is widely respected for her knowledge, professionalism and dedication. Katie’s philosophies on feeding well and maintaining equine health from the inside-out saw her choose ReadySupp for everyone in her yard. Follow her blog here for more showing advice and tips… 

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Posted in Competitions, General, Katie Jerram Showing Tips, Showing
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