National Judges Convention 17 April 2018


This important annual Convention is one with which BDSC has been 
associated for some time. We support British Dressage, together with 
title sponsor NAF and PetPlan Equine, in ensuring that judges have 
the best possible information and advice from the top. 
Using the splendid facilities at Bishop Burton College, that well
known duo, Stephen Clarke, FEI 5* judge & Judge General, and Ferdi 
Eilberg, top international trainer. reprised their by now familiar 
routine, with Stephen judging and giving feedback to the riders and 
then Ferdi taking over, working with riders to improve their horses’ 
way of going to glean extra marks from Stephen. 
In spite of all the riders being more than competent and, in several 
cases, very experienced riders and trainers, it was notable that Ferdi 
and Stephen kept returning to the mantra of rhythm, rhythm and 
rhythm. This, allied with the correct use of corners, correct 
positioning, keeping the hind legs engaged and the forward uphill 
tendency maintained, with a light but equal and even contact, made 
considerable improvements. 
Inevitably, the Convention ends up being very much a training day, 
in all senses, and plenty of riders, owners and trainers find it valuable 
- and judges are surely better for being totally au fait with training. 
We were privileged to watch some beautiful horses and their riders 
improve under the watchful eyes of our two presenters and each 
combination rose to the occasion. Riders included Bryony Goodwin, 
Becky Moody, Amy Woodhead, Jayden Brown, Lisa Marriott. 
Everyone concerned with the organization of the Convention are very 
grateful that owners, riders, sponsors, and the sell-out audience, are 
happy to continue to support the Convention.