Three-judge system at National Show…and beyond

The ApHC will use three judges in the ring, rather than five, at next month’s National Show and Youth World Championship in Jackson.

The ApHC Board of Directors met yesterday (May 20th) to discuss a variety of cost-cutting strategies, many of which have already been implemented, to offset revenue reductions relating to the show and to general economic conditions. Specifically, pre-entries are down approximately 10 percent from last year’s show, sponsorship dollars are lower and anticipated support from state agencies in Mississippi has been pressured by budget cuts.

In addition to reducing the number of judges, ring stewards and staff, we have negotiated concessions in almost all other contracts and service agreements.

As pointed out by President Chuck McWhirter, there is a firm commitment to staging a prestigious National Show, but there is also a duty to protect member equity and the overall financial stability of the Club.

The Board also determined that a three-judge system will be employed at the 2010 World Show and future ApHC-sponsored shows – “until further notice.”

The impact on exhibitors should be minimal, since the existing scoring system using five judges eliminates the high and low scores in each class, with placings determined by a composite three-judge total.


  1. Amy Said,

    May 21, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

    Move the National show and the entries will go up again! Members have said right from the start don’t go to Jackson…the club didn’t listen and is now suffering! I know the economy plays a role too but in talking to other members and hearing stories about all the crime at last years national show even more people are not going this year!
    I am sure once the National show moves to somewhere that the majority of members will be happy about it will be a huge booming show again like it has been in the past! Hopefully the show will be moved more central to help accomdate all members!!

  2. Susan T Said,

    May 21, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

    Nice of you to announce this AFTER I sent in over $1000 in entry fees. I sure didn’t see a reduction in that – or the stall prices or anything else. ApHC owed it to the exhibitors to announce this BEFORE the entries closed!!!!!! Why does the ApHC go out of their way to cause controversy and make the members mad. If you wanted to make this change – it should have been well publicized prior to the entries closing. I am very disappointed in you.

  3. Ann Jentz Said,

    May 22, 2010 @ 3:26 am

    Minimal impact? Are you kidding? Why not go to a 4 judge system and drop the low score? It is far too easy to get a judge who for some reason does not place you well and then you are in the middle of the pack, instead of the winner. NSBA uses the 4 judge system, why don’t we?

  4. Brandy Fraser Said,

    May 22, 2010 @ 7:48 am

    Are they going to do away with the throwing out of the high and low score, or is this now effectively a one judge show????
    I understand cost cutting, but there must be proceedure adjustments in kind.

  5. Steve Said,

    May 24, 2010 @ 6:15 am

    Stay tuned. There may be yet another update on the situation

  6. Debbie Said,

    May 25, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

    well being a west coast owner, we pretty much crossed the nationals off our show list when it moved that much further east from us – it added at least another travel day in each direction – last one we went to was in OKC – move the show back this way, maybe more exhibitors will show again………. having to cut back is a result of going against the exhibitors/membership’s wishes, you asked us – we said no, it happened anyways – a lot of folks said they would not show if the show was moved – these types of cuts the club is now having to make sort of show that ……….. the best interests of the ApHC membership was not considered with this move & now everyone, be it someone showing at these events or the everyday appaloosa owner is paying the price

  7. Kent Said,

    May 26, 2010 @ 8:19 am

    A few comments;

    1) My wife and I sent in over $1000 for Nationals class fees and this does not include stall fees. I am very disappointed to find out the 5 to 3 judges AFTER we send in our fees. I am sure we are NOT getting back 40% of our fees.

    2) 3 Judges is less than we have at our regional shows. How can the Appaloosa Horse Club to compete with the Quarters and Paints at our biggest shows (Nationals and World) when we have less judges than our regional shows?

    3) I think there are other cost cutting measures that could be done besides cutting judges. If my memory serve me correct, we spent over $100,000 at world on travel and expense for the ApHC staff. We should be looking at who really needs to travel to Nationals and World. Also, why does every judge need a ring steward? Seems like we could have 1 ring steward support at least 2 judges.

    4) The value of our Appaloosa horses is at an extreme low. As a breeder and a shower, this is extremely disapppointing. I know if this trend continues and our perceived dollar value of what we are getting our club continues to decline we will have to re-look at breeding and showing and cut back. I can not imagine we are the only ones thinking about this.

  8. Jamie Said,

    May 26, 2010 @ 8:32 am


    Wouldn’t it be a good idea for the club to announce the new 4 judge system via communication vehicles like this official blog FIRST rather than having it spead throughout the forums as is currently happening?

    I’ve BEEN staying tuned for a descision and hate that I read about it first from a non-ApHC forum. Why is that?

  9. julie Said,

    May 26, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

    Could the ApHC bite the hand that feeds it anymore than it has?! There are many members that are motivated to come back and show again as well as feel honored to place even if it is under only one judge. The reason we had the 5 judge system to begin with was to keep the show honest and fair and to diminish the effect of politics. Again our association makes decisions that alienates the members and decreases the “bang” in our horse entertainment dollar. Our directors need to consider that when money is tight our horse shows are a luxury. These national shows…as well as regional shows need to concentrate on luring more members rather than alienating the ones that they already have in attendance. Yet another foolish move by our BOD that makes me want to keep my horses home.

  10. Faye Said,

    May 27, 2010 @ 5:59 am

    Wow! Most regional shows have more judges than world/nationals….really really sad! Switching to QH is looking more and more tempting. I guess I am going to have to reconsider my plans to show at this years world show, it’s not worth it to me to haul 28 hours anymore to show to only 3 judges!!!!

  11. Sue Said,

    May 27, 2010 @ 6:39 am

    Cut time, money, manpower and working hours for ApHC staff & Owens Farm team staff by doing away with the antiquated horse against horse system. We don’t even have enough entries to fill a 16 person bracket at a NATIONAL show. **Imagine** if we ran western pleasure horse against horse- with a judge eliminating 1 horse per class run until only one horse was left standing; You just punished/abused your national champion horse by making them run 20 cuts of western pleasure. What a joke! That would never fly- but it does year after year in games classes. It’s potentially dangerous for exhibitors, extremely wearing on the horses & eats up hours & hours of National & World arena time (read:money). Takes 2 runs to win a AQHA or APHA World timed event class– and I bet it doesn’t take 5 & half hours like our 14 exhibitor Camas Prairie Stump Race.

  12. Teri Said,

    May 29, 2010 @ 11:59 am

    I know my opinion is not is sink with most these comments but I have to say outside of the fact that it was announced after the entries were due (which was not the best way to handle it) I think reducing Judges is an appropriate move for the ApHc!. And I congratulate your efforts to keep the shows going. I do wish this could segway into the regional clubs having a 2 judge max system. Eventually the money will come back to the exhibitors and we will all still be here to have shows. We have become greedy with points… so I have your back in this decision and hope that you will have ours and reduce the regional Judge maximum…. To the exhibitors that worry about the points and number of ribbons I suggest that you take a breath and enjoy your ride. It use to be a fun thing to do.. Can you remember those days.?

  13. LYN Said,

    May 31, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

    4Judges are a joke!! The Nationals and World show is the highlite of our shows. How can our regional shows be allowed 4 judges and our top shows the same? why not have only 2 judges at the regional level manditory. that would help the clubs. we spend an average of 1,500.00 per judge, plus 1,000.00 per day for the arena. no wonder so many shows are folding!!

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