By Sultan Al Suwailem (Chief editor)
We are fascinated by their beauty and taken with their love; they have dwelled in our hearts and become a part and parcel of our families – perhaps even more to others! Never mind what is valuable and precious when it comes to them. When we decide to take part in competitions, we inspect showrings and be ready for the battle, complying with regulations and laws, although we do not have the full assertion about the position or grade we will attain. There are many factors for this compliance: Arabian horses are temperamental and may be affected by the mental condition or the surrounding environment, efficiency of training, advance preparation, hard travelling, lack of experience, poor handling and lack of tuning with the show, in addition to judges’ mistakes !!
We may accept all of the above significant factors with open mind – without providing justification ! Except for the last one! Mental condition cannot be decided on, however, it may be a reason! So is schooling, sometimes. When we do our best we may call the efficiency into question and resort to change and improvement in the future. One of them may accompany us on the same flight and perform better and succeed in the competition ….
Our reactions to judges’ mistakes vary. Some of us get nervous, lose temper and threaten, and even roar, accusing others, and begin to search for conspiracy theories. Accordingly, they deliberately either undermine him or support another! They are not to blame; its love and jealousy of it may push them to do so!
On the other side, there are those who would receive them with open mind, smiling and accepting the result, although they are dissatisfied, because they fully believe that there is room for mistake. Here also is its fascination and love and the attribution of enjoying it. They know its readiness and real value in their hearts!
This area of competition, Arabian horse show, depends on impression, just like the dressage. It is evaluated by a group of judges who are given an opportunity in certain period and way to learn about a participant’s performance. Each judge records the result as he sees appropriate, taking into consideration that an estimated result should not be similar to another. Higher or lower grade may be removed in some systems of tournaments, and the average of the total evaluation of the judges is taken instead.
There are other factors that negatively affect the judge’s viewpoint and evaluation, including varying tastes, lack of a standard perfect model, attitudes as well as experience. At last, they are humans, and they may make mistakes.
Since judgment is based on impression, there is no proof whether the result is right or wrong, unlike the jumping, for example, where the fans can know the result before the announcement, given the number of mistakes and time, or race competitions, through watching the slow motion at the finish line. It is different in judgment of Arabian horse shows, where there is no proof for the correctness of the impression! So we have to take that and put it in mind.
We will not justify or make arguments for anyone! There is corruption and it may be deliberate! With regard to organizers: it has become clear to the experienced, as sometimes said in a number of competitions, that the results of a competition are intended to distribute titles to a number of studs (a), (b) and (c), and the other competitions will go to different studs, (c) an (d ). Sometimes you will discover an unjustified absence of some studs from some competitions. The reason may be the planned result. Sponsorship and mutual relations and interests may have an impact in such conduct.
In terms of brokers, Show handlers and Show horses Training centers, there may be some plots indirectly hatched by some stud staff behind the scenes to exploit the relations between some exhibitors and a number of judges to skew the results in their favor and share the interests!
For their sake, you have to make a balance; judges are humans .. although corruption needs to be considered. We have to live with the status quo in spite of its disadvantages if we are “lovers”, and we should make efforts to work on the improvement and reform in appropriate way and method (not to destroy everything) and search for what makes this community a healthy one, thus bringing us together and preventing discrimination, hassles and hostilities as well as twisted ways, which will all spoil competitions.