Breyer Horse Showing: All About Judging

One of the most mystical things about showing model horses are the judges. How do they do it? Why are they judging? Who are they? Judges and judging may seem foreign to many, but there’s a reason behind it all.

Judges for the most part are just regular hobbyists like anyone else. Most of the time they have been in the hobby for a little while and have live shown for a while as well. Experience is key for judging. Many live show judges also have an extensive real horse knowledge. With both hands one experience as well as experience in the hobby, model horse judges have knowledge that can easily transfer to a model horse show.

Another common question about model horse shows is, how does the judge pick a winner? For every judge it is different, but for most the same basic criteria is used. In breed judging conformation and breed standards are of most importance. Judges strive to choose a horse that looks nearly exact to what it’s real life counterpart would look like. Things like sculpting styles and pattern markings can leave a little room for interpretation in the judges eyes though. Personal preference always plays a small part, but a good judge will only use that criteria when it’s absolutely necessary.

For performance a judge has to look at every detail to see how close the scene has been recreated! Things like safety, tack position and realism are all of high importance with performance. Performance judges are often experts in their field from real, hands on, knowledge of the sport. This makes the hobby all the more competitive!

For the most part, judges are just normal hobbyists looking to share their knowledge and help. Without them there wouldn’t be any live shows! Often sacrificing showing their own horses, Judges are the unsung heroes of the model horse world. The next time you’re at a Golden Oak Stables live show, don’t be afraid to ask the judges if you have a question.

Sharing knowledge is a one of the most wonderful things and learning more about real horses and model horses is a wonderful way to experience the hobby! Without the wealth of knowledge that our judges bring, we’d certainly not have the hobby we know today!


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