Judging the Shagya-Arabian (II)

What are the judges looking for when they judge a Shagya-Arabian? These considerations may also help the exhibitor to present his horse to the best advantage. Bruno Furrer has some tips.

This article is intended to provide some basic information on the questions: “How do I judge a Shagya-Arabian that is standing in front of me, his conformation and his gaits? How do I get an impression of this horse, how do I assess it with regards to his use as a riding or driving horse, what are his chances as a breeding animal, and what is helpful for this assessment?”
First of all, you need to consider that all theories, all views that you have as a judge, even though you have worked hard on it, are subjective. No one can claim to know and proclaim the absolute truth. Anyone who seriously concerns himself with judging the Shagya-Arabian is worth to hearing, and everyone is entitled to have his own opinion!

Presentation on the Triangle

One can judge the exterior of a horse with real accuracy only if the horse is shown on a triangle. To do so, the horse is stood up at the tip of the triangle in front of the judges (1), standing “open”, with all four legs visible to the judges. The horse should first be stood up quietly and left in peace. He is not supposed to lift his head to the sky and tighten his back, and the hind legs should not be stretched out backwards either. Some handlers attach hankies to their whips and wave them about in front of the horse’s nose. These practices have sadly spread among Shagya-Arabian owners, too, but they are completely superfluous and not welcome at Shagya-Arabian shows. Rather, the horse should stand quiet and relaxed, full of trust in his handler, in front of the judges. Only then can the judges assess it in peace and quiet.

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