Flossy is well known to many on the British Dressage Forum as a teller of interesting stories and perhaps the odd joke or two. We have selected a few tales for your pleasure.

Judges training the progress

Judges training the progress
Senior Trainer  decided that  the time has come  that he will make an effort to understand where the judges are coming from,  after 40 odd years  in the business  of   guessing and  predicting  an out come of a dressage  test   the crystal ball system of working  out  who  is going to   win  a class is no longer  a viable proposition   A more reliable  system must be  employed.
He decided  to take part  in  one of the FEI judges training courses  and learn from the source.
The last time he took part  in an FEI judges course was  a long  long  time ago before he was even a Junior Trainer , it was in the Mecca of dressage  Warendorf  , before Gloucester  in the uk  took over this position,  Guided by  Heinz pollay   the Gold medallist from the  1936 Olympics , and what an experience it was  for Senior Trainer that in those days was not even  a Junior Trainer ,    seated among the who's who of dressage  of those times, watching the cream of German dressage riders  of the day.
Senior Trainer, that in those days was not even  a Junior Trainer , did not disclose to any body  that until that day he has never seen a half pass or a flying change,   as it was pre internet   era  piaffe passage were only some thing one read about.
Every  judge  candidate was provided  with set of  large numbered cards  and as  riders  performed  a movement  a mark had to be displayed,  no changing  of minds or altering your score was allowed,  once every card was visible every one waited in trepidation for Mr  H Pollay  to reveal his awarded mark for that particular  movement, ANY BODY WITH A SCORE OF  MORE  OR LESS   THEN  ONE MARK    from  Mr Pollay's mark  had to provide in front of every one a very convincing  explanation , an un convincing  candidate     was    removed off the premises by  Gestapo looking like personal and never allowed  to enter an FEI event  again.   Senior Trainer that in those days was not even a Junior trainer  sat  in complete owe of the place, the riders  and the company.  The first rider in was  a very famous lady rider of the time  that was  married to some one even more famous then her , all this was unknown to Senior Trainer  that was not even a Junior Trainer then.
Senior Trainer  that was not even a Junior Trainer then  could not   recognize the movement  at first , was    it the classical  down hill slalom ? ,  a movement from a bending race with out the poles? ,or was it   a perfect canter zig zag?, and the rider halted at  X   ,  it dawned on him  , it was a non pony club entree halt , the number  4 card miraculously  appeared in his hand , from the corner of his eye he could see the marks given by the who's who of dressage that knew very well who was who in dressage  , 8, 9 ,8 etc.  there was no mind changing no card swapping, where are the Gestapo looking like  people ,” very well my FEI career was very short but I am young enough to do something else” , he thought to himself . Mr Pollay's  look was as burning as an inferno  , his voice bellowed .”younger man  why a 4”  Senior Trainer  that was not even a Junior Trainer then , stuttered sheepishly “she was all over the place, I have seen better entries  in THE UK  in a pony club trial ”   (remember that before  Charlotte was even born), Mr  Pollay's  quietly raised his hand  and revealed his mark  A   4  and all around like  the tower of Babylon  voices were heard  “ WEE,  CEE,  YA , CORRECTO   etc. etc. etc.  in every language of the globe.  The Gestapo look a like squad were very  busy  that afternoon. 
How different  that training day   was from the one he attended  to day, a very relaxed atmosphere  with many candidates slapping  each other on the shoulder  ,   including the judge trainer, as  friends do   after a long separation.
The first movement   to be  evaluated by the group of  trainees was the extended trot, a big bay horse, ridden by a pretty blond,  executed it to perfection with long floating strides   the horse devoured  the diagonal , unfortunately on the last stride  a slight, hardly noticed skip   and a shuffle  and the horse was back in a perfect rhythm.
The leading judge asked  “ ladies and gentleman  what mark   for this  ?”
No cards this time, every one in turns calling their marks  “ 8.  7. few 9s”
The leading judge  “  ladies and gentleman    have you not seen the loss of regularity  on the one stride at the end,   do I have to remind you?   REGULARITY , REGULARITY , REGULARITY   , the foundation of the scale of training !    FIVE it is “   no Gestapo looking like  personal  only BD tea girl  with some biscuits .
The  test  progressed  and the same horse performing the the last extended trot  before the final halt,  unfortunately on the last stride  a slight, hardly noticed  skip   and a shuffle  and a perfect halt.
The leading judge asked  “ ladies and gentleman  what mark   for this  ?”  and every body in Unisom  “Five!  Five!  FIVE!!! “
The leading judge  “Can you explain why?  it seems a bit harsh for me”
“ We  have  seen the loss of regularity  on the one stride at the end,     REGULARITY , REGULARITY , REGULARITY   , the foundation of the scale of training     FIVE it is “  they al shouted  together.
“Ladies ,Ladies  and gentleman “ the lead judge addressed them   “ dressage is not a bout penalizing,  see   the good,  for one stride?  be generous,  encouraging , positive  I think an eight  is more appropriate” 
The leading judge turned to one candidate and asked  for her opinion  “ I will award it an eight  or more ,it was very good” she said   , “you are obsoletely right “ the leading judge  confirmed.
The gentleman in the group turned to the leading judge and commentated  “I thought the horse fell on the shoulder and dropped the pole, he was actually behind the vertical most of the time  and the irregular stride  at the end  I think a 6 is the best mark  possible “
“well noticed, well noticed “ the leading judge replied   “You are obsoletely right “
At that moment the  Senior Trainer  turned to the leading judge and said  “excuse me but how can  they both  be right”
There was a very long silence while the leading judge was looking at his notes  and the FEI rule book  and then he said  “  YOU ARE ALSO RIGHT”