A new education framework promises to offer “standardised, benchmarked and transparent” training, evaluation and assessments for dressage judges, aiming to give competitors more consistent feedback.

The new British Dressage (BD) scheme will involve “world-leading technology ” to facilitate remote learning, using an online platform developed with BD partner, Black Horse One (BHO). The programme will help judges qualify and progress through the levels, as well as become confident using digital judging software.

The programme will see candidates working closely with coaches and riders to enable judges to share different perspectives and empathise with the work that goes into training horses to each level. Over 750 judges are already registered for the new system, with the first online assessments due to take place in the autumn of 2022.

“After three years of development, it is incredibly exciting to launch our new, modern judge education system,” said BD Judges Director and FEI 5* Judge Peter Storr. “We are now able to offer an assessment opportunity that will significantly reduce travel costs and expenses, which I am sure will be greatly appreciated at the present time, especially for judges in our more remote regions.

“I think the pandemic has encouraged us all to embrace technology and I am looking forward to working with Black Horse One for our online judge training and qualifications. I have previously used Black Horse when judging at international competitions, as well as using the system to deliver seminars and test candidate judges, and it continues to impress me.”

Jason Brautigam, CEO of British Dressage, said the new system will equip judges with a “more rounded skillset and provide them with the competencies and confidence they require to progress through the levels”.

“We recognise that everyone learns in different ways, at different speeds, and the online platform will therefore provide a much-improved experience all round,” he added. “We hope it will help to significantly raise standards in our sport, as well as encourage a culture of life-long learning and continuing professional development to make our judges the best in the world.”

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