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Judges Recertification

American Quarter Horse Association all-around judges will be required to recertify their judging credentials.

American Quarter Horse Association
September 12, 2013

Western pleasure judge

Judges will be required to recertify every two years. (AQHA photo)

Beginning December 2014, American Quarter Horse Association all-around judges will be required to take a recertification test. The recertification process will comprise a test over the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations and video testing on five core classes: western riding, trail, reining, horsemanship and hunt seat equitation.

Recertification has long been discussed by the judges committee as well as interested members and exhibitors. The topic was briefly discussed at the March 2013 AQHA Judges Committee meeting and the 2013 AQHA Show Council meeting. After further discussion by the Judges Committee in May 2013, a task force was appointed to study the feasibility of judge recertification. The task force’s recommendation to implement a judge recertification program was unanimously approved by the full Judges Committee. The program was then further defined and ultimately approved by the AQHA Executive Committee, with minor changes.    

“Our exhibitors, trainers and their connections see the ‘end product’ –  the judges in the arena judging a class. The objective of the recertification program is to get the classes judged correctly,” said Alex Ross, AQHA senior director of judges. “It takes time and effort to do all this, but it makes judging more accurate.”

The first recertification is December 2014 in Dallas at the conclusion of the AQHA Judges Conference. Those judges unable to attend will have their judging privileges frozen until they can take the recertification test, with the hope all judges will be recertified by March 2015. It will take a score of 80 percent or higher to pass the AQHA Handbook test and a score of 75 percent or higher to pass the video test. Judges will be required to recertify every two years.

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