It always warms the cockles of my heart when something I write provokes thought – and never more so than when it provokes a response from one of the very people that I’ve written about. When I opened my email this morning there was a friendly message from Wayne Channon. He kindly agreed to let me post his further thoughts on the judging at the Euro Champs. Here is what he wrote:

Hi Karen

 Just read your horse-canada.com article:
I think you make a fair point and I did consider your idea of removing the bottom score from each team.  I didn’t do it for a couple of reasons:
  • If we remove the lowest score, we should also remove any national bias to make it a level playing field.  If we do that, GBR gets gold.
  • There should always be a highest and lowest score caused by different viewing angles – removing the highest and/or lowest is just pushing every judge not to be out of line.  This is one of the solutions that I think would be yet another Band-Aid that would not take the sport in the direction of improved accuracy.
  • Most importantly, because it doesn’t reflect the positive and negative influence that an aberrant judge can have on the total competition.  I believe it has greater intellectual/mathematical integrity to remove the judge from the whole competition as you then remove their ups on one combination and downs on another.  Ie, if they are aberrant, it is unlikely to be just for one combination and they should be removed in toto.
To be balanced, this was the closest run competition and any team could/should have won.  My point is not that one team did not deserve to win or that another did, it is that our system of judging is not fit to determine who won and it needs to be improved.
See you at the GDF!
Thanks Wayne, and I look forward to seeing you in Holland in four weeks!