To round out my experience as a licensed-official applicant, I spent a weekend at the Florida horse park in Ocala during the January AIR Horse shows. I needed a few more days judging equitation classes, as there are only certain classes that fulfill applicant requirements. Of course, the list of qualifying classes has changed since I first began the process in 2019. The list of approved equation classes has evolved with the creation of new 3’3″ junior and / or amateur classes, as well as more 3′ Eq classes, which has become more and more competitive. This year also saw some adjustments in the approved equitation tests as the industry leaders make adjustments for modern riding expectations.
In addition to equitation classes, I also sat on board to judge a National Hunter derby for the third time, which I always enjoy. The classes are a little more fast paced and you really get to see some horses in top form, so there are big scores to give out. This week, I spent full days with T. Lyman Whitehead, Phillip Long, and sat in for the derby with Diane Grod. I absorbed new information and tools. The management ran a great show and makes new improvements here every year.
I’m proud to say that this show allowed me to finish the checklist to allow me to apply for licensure. With the help of the licensed official committee, all of the judges, the horse show staffs, and an inner-drive to stay committed to this process, I have earned my ‘r’ licensed and look forward to getting back out to the judge’s box!