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.

2 arena factor

Yet again the scores at the national dressage championship raised the issues of discrepancies between judges awarded marks, inconsistent or irregular judging with results that, for the un initiated and un informed, looked more like a lottery game then an objective evaluation of horses training and ability. It has been noticed that in one class the placing were as far a part as 27th place by one judge of a competitor that was placed 2nd by another judge . One competitor revealed that 4 judges awarded his horse with a good 8 for the walk re emphasising it again in the collective marks , with the one judge identifying an incorrect rhythm that warranted according to her a 5. Obviously no where in the book it says that the majority are more knowledgeable then the individual but if I had to choose an answer “ in who wants to win a million “ I have never heard of a contestant that went against the majority verdict and won.
The only difference between this championship to previous championships is that judges do not feel obliged any longer to justify these questionable results, their attitude is for those that don't like what they say, “there are other non subjective sports like fly fishing or competitive knitting”.
After a very extensive research and evaluation of all the available data , our computer came with the reason for these flaws in the judging system it is called the “2 arenas factors”
Consider the following scenario, a hard working dedicated judge that took the long arduous track to become a high listed judge and be invited to officiate at the nationals, what a shock to the system it is when on the day he or she finds out that the test they are suppose to judge is the “ BD restricted walk test” (the halt has been omitted as it proved to be to demanding for the new members recruited through the discounted subscription scheme ) , judging with him/her are also 2 elderly 1st world war veteran judges that are no longer trusted to understand the sport in its new and modern version , their insistence that IFOV means exactly that has alienated some of the younger and more progressively thinking members of the judges committee, they were demoted to preside over a class where chance that any body may even get close to the vertical is remote.
These snubbed judges settle into the brand new BMW of the kind they are never likely to own or drive , and start the marathon judging of the “BD walk test” , expecting them to be positive and encouraging with their comments, is dismissing the fact that they are only humans after all (the judges) and have feelings like most of us.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that they can see their friends and colleagues enjoying the establishment seal of approval by judging the GP and other advance classes in the arena next to theirs.
Sitting with them in the car are the trained official writers, which were instructed by the powers of be that at this level of competition they are expected to keep their thoughts and opinions to themselves , no chatting no talking and no communication via mobiles with the out side world, it is not the writers roll to post results on the internet, keep your nose to the book , ear open and the mouth shut, and write on the sheets not what you think but what you hear. These new directives bothered the judges more then the writers, which kept sniggering thoughts to themselves “ lets see them judge on their own for once”.
Every thing went according to plan, with the judges keeping one eye on their arena and one eye on what happening in the arena next to them , until our number one dressage rider trotted in to begin his GP test,
all eyes were glued to this elegant combination, including the judges of the “BD walk test”.
The judge at E informed her writer that he will have to fill the scores with out her assistance as she must watch this test (the one in the other arena stupid) “just give 6s, that will do”
The judge at H was gob smacked and speech less,never uttered a word, his writer that happened to be his wife of 41 years simply carried on doing what she has been doing all these years and put scores on the sheet according to the alphabetical order of the whose who of dressage ,
At M was Ms Willoughby Jones she was completely focused and concentrated which made no difference to what she was focusing on as both her prescription glasses and hearing aids were left at home .
C judge did not alert her writer to the fact that both her eyes were now on the GP test, her comments and marks were dutifully recorded by the writer “Oh that was wonderful it is a 10 , so much cadence another 10.5”. How delighted Plump Lady on Bluey the cob was when she picked her sheet with first in a life time 97.2% score, this is the merit of using top judges “they know their inions they judge what they see not who they see” she told her husband.
The only one not distracted from the task in front of her was the judge at B no one knows was it because her back was to the other arena or because she wished to stay pure and simple un corrupted by modern trends, even if it is our number one rider performing them.
It was the judge at M that intrigued every one, While most judges where dressed in suitable attire for the job (see judges forum/suitable attire), in elegant suits, tight leather skirts, even the elderly discarded of the traditional British scarf and wore something more continental, exception was the judge who was dressed in full safari out fit, and proper British armed forces field boots, when asked as to why , she explained that when her husband learnt she is about to judge at the “ nationals” he warned her “ you better watch yourself there are more snakes in dressage then in the north African desert”.