Are you qualified to complain about your dressage score?



Are you qualified to complain about your dressage score?

We have all been there; you walk up to the leaderboard only to see a disappointing dressage score beside your name. You are shocked and feel ripped off because your test was PERFECT. You definitely deserved to win the dressage, only bad judging could explain this horrible situation. So how do you find redemption? You take to social media, posting about how amazing your horse was, blah, blah, blah and how you completely disagree with the way it was marked. Sometimes, you may even cite comments your coach made about how great your test was when you came out of the ring. If the person you pay to help you ride better says you did a stellar test, then it must be the WINNING ride.

Although dressage judging has room to be subjective, these are qualified officials with experience that is likely way beyond yours and they know how to do their job objectively. Trust me, other riders reading and listening to your complaints about dressage judges DO NOT think ‘Wow! Poor you, you obviously deserve to win, the judge is stupid.’ Even if you are 110% sure you got screwed because the winner takes lessons with the judge on occasion and you beat that rider in front of seven other judges this season, you should still sit on your hands and not take to social media.

The judging is final; your childish complaints will not change the scores but rather will only lower the opinions of you. Keep in mind that the Eventing world is small and when you claim that you received a lower score than you deserved, you are indirectly saying that the real winner did not deserve his/her score. Think of how it makes your fellow competitors feel when you publicly say ‘the judging was wrong.’



But of course, there are exceptions to every situation in life. If you meet one of the following criteria, congrats as you are amply qualified to complain about dressage judging on social media:

  1. You are Mark Todd.
  2. You are an FEI dressage judge.
  3. You have a room full of trophies from all the five-stars you’ve won.
  4. You are Charlotte Dujardin.
  5. You are over 80-years-old and everyone thinks you’re senile anyways.
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