Over 60 highly experienced Fence Judges are required and volunteer each May to ensure the smooth running and monitoring of the cross country phase at Badminton.
Responsible for judging and marking competitors at their fence and for the safety of competitors and spectators at or near their fence, it is important everyone is up to speed on all competition rule changes from the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) in addition to the British Eventing rules they will be familiar with from volunteering on the national circuit.
In preparation for the 2019 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, all Badminton Fence Judges were invited to a Training Day at Badminton recently to view walk through videos, discuss specific parts of the course as well as course walk some of the more complicated elements of the 2019 course. This session was headed up by Event Director Hugh Thomas and Badminton Course Designer, Eric Winter.
This year a new addition to Badminton’s Fence Judging is that iPhones and iPads will be set to film footage of all competitors at all the narrow or steeply angled fences so that if there is discrepancy regarding the accuracy with which a competitor clears the fence, the video footage can be examined by Officials in Control.
“It is important that by walking the course and showing the various lines a rider could take to each fence we are making sure that the judges are all well equipped to turn theory in to practice” said Eric.
Badminton is in the fortunate position of having a full team of Fence Judges this year but if you would like to find out more about volunteering in the sport contact British Eventing.
Photographer: Sally Newcomb, Badminton Horse Trials