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 are excused

The latest   Dressage  judging incidents   got me mulling  over the state of dressage judging as a whole.
How come that   senior  experienced   FEI  judges can  open themselves  to be  criticized  for the sake of a  watch   or  a pair   of  foggy spectacles  (the Florida affair   and the Amsterdam-gate incident)
What are we doing wrong, are the selection procedure at fault or is it  a training issue  that so many judges when ever facing a room full of  reporters  dig a bigger hole then the one they have already  dug during the competition.
My friend  Vicky Lush who is even older then me spent most of  the last  50  years    as a writer  (a scribe as the Americans call it) to  FEI judges  at all the big  shows , she relayed the following story to me which actually shed some light   on what  is  wrong with the dressage judging to day.
While writing   for  a leading  FEI   judge she used the break for some informal conversation commenting how different the shows of today are from the shows  of some years ago , she remembers  when shows were run  on grass at some ones  tranquil back paddock  with   4 spectators  which  one  would be  the local farmer  intrigued by the new sport called horse massage, few birds twitting  and gentle sound of the church bells were the only   possible external distractions   to competitors and judges.
Now days the atmosphere  is charged with   electrical neutrons   , thousand of people shouting, screaming , clapping hands after every movement , booing a poorly performed exercise , whistling for a perfect piaffe.   
In spite  of  all this razz mataz  the judges has to keep concentrated ,  focused and able to pass clear judgement in an instant.
My friend Vicky asked the FEI judge if he does not find it disconcerting  and handicapping  that  the public are so involved with every aspect  of the on-going test , they don't wait for the marks to be electronically displayed, on completion  of every movement  in real time the public opinion is heard  “YAA  YAAA, YEEEES, NOOooooooo!!!  etc.”
“Would you not prefer  the  spectators a little   more  reserved  and  quieter  refraining from showing  so much emotions ?”  she asked the  FEI  judge  .
His reply was “NOT AT ALL I love it when the  crowd interact with  the show , and any way if I did not hear  what the crowd thinks   about a movement  I would not  know what marks to give you see  MY EYE SIGHT ISN'T  so good  any more” .
When ever Valegro  is in the ring  there is total  holy    spirit about,  who dare speak or move ,    during  the unfortunate   “Florida affair”   the public was so gob smacked from the horses antics that there was unusual silence ,
at both events judges are excused .