All horses exhibited at KMSHA/SMHA sanctioned shows are to be
judged in a positive manner. Entries whose performance and appearance comes
closest to meeting the ideal standard should always be at the top of the card.
The remainder of a class is to be tied using a descending scale of performance
The standard moves from ideal to average, from average to
below average, as defined by the current rules and regulations of the
KMSHA/SMHA, and as further defined in the judging standards outlined for each
The emphasis on judging at KMSHA/SMHA events is always based
upon conforming positively to the breed standards established by the KMSHA/SMHA.
Judges have been instructed to remember that the objective of
the KMSHA/SMHA show program is to consistently advance the future of the breed
by recognizing and selecting in every class, each division, every discipline,
the horses that best meet the breed standards.
A series of new score sheets in some classes have been
developed in 2007 to help judges determine that all the requirements of a class
have been fulfilled.
In conformation classes, the score sheet assigns point values
for categories of importance like adherence to breed type, quality of movement,
manners and structural soundness, while also giving judges a mini checklist of
all the qualities that must be considered when putting up a conformation winner.
In trail obstacle competition, a score sheet, similar to the
type used in other breed organizations, will allow exhibitors to have a more
clear understanding of what the pluses and negatives of negotiating an obstacle
course involve, and how those courses are evaluated.
Equitation score sheets give riders a point value for how
well they sit or are turned out, as well as for how well they guide and maneuver
their mounts through a series of specified figures. Certain areas of the test
are given collective marks, meaning that the original score is multiplied by a
stated multiplier. This gives a rider the opportunity to be rewarded for
excellent performance of the more difficult sections of a pattern.
In the case of a tie in an equitation class, the ties are
broken by the rider scoring the highest level on the "seat" section of a test.
There is also a new evaluation form for exhibitors, trainers,
and owners to evaluate judges, a new form used for show managers to evaluate
judges, and a new form for judges to use to evaluate horse shows.
All of these forms have been designed to increase the
functionality and accountability of horse show judges and judging, while making
the process of tying classes more understandable to exhibitors, owners, and
In cases where score sheets are available for review after a
show, the information which they contain is intended to be valuable at improving
your performance at the next show.
Evaluation forms for judges should be available in the office
of every KMSHA sanctioned horse show. Please take the time to fill them out and
return them to the KMSHA headquarters.
Judge evaluation forms are not complaint sheets. If you feel
that there has been malfeasance or incompetence in judging the proper route to
follow is filing a complaint with the KMSHA using the complaint process. For
immediate difficulties involving rule violations or related issues at horse
shows, you must file a protest with the show manager that day in order to
To print forms for your own use, please go to the go to the
Forms page. If you are not computer savvy, forms are
available at the KMSHA office.
The show season is underway. The age old question in riding is "Which is more
important, form or function?" This year KMSHA will function with forms and the
rest should be beneficial to all.