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National Pony Society

Jennie Seymour Young Judges Competition

Competitors should make every effort to familiarise themselves with the format of the competition and the specific skills being assessed. However most importantly they should enjoy the experience of taking part and hopefully feel that the experience has been worthwhile and improved their knowledge. Many NPS Areas organise training sessions where potential competitors can learn and develop these skills and also undertake interview practice. It is not sufficient to just place the animals in a preferred order but competitors must be able to give reasons for their placings when interviewed. The interview will also contain set questions.

How does the competition work?

A maximum of 100 marks can be awarded by the assessors as follows:

  • 25 marks for competitor’s placing
  • 40 marks for competitor’s accuracy and observation
  • 25 marks for competitor’s comparative rather than descriptive comment
  • 10 marks for competitor’s interview presentation

During the interview competitors will be scored by the assessors on their ability to:

  • describe type, conformation and movement of the animals using appropriate terminology
  • compare animals in terms of conformation, type and movement
  • give constructive reasons for their decisions including rules pertaining to section
  • communicate their judgement of the animals in a coherent manner.

A score card will be provided and there is a tear off part for competitor’s individual comments. It is recommended that competitors bring a clip board and paper for their own use and remember a spare pen or pencil. The score cards will be collected but all notes remain with the competitor; everyone is encouraged to use their notes in the interview.

What happens on the day?

Following registration, all competitors will be briefed and the assessors introduced to the competitors. Competitors will be issued with their score card. Please note that this session is for competitors only therefore family and friends will NOT be able to be present. Health and safety issues remain a top priority for the organisers. At no stage should competitors handle the ponies and at all times they must follow the direction of the steward in charge.

The Interview

Competitors will then be interviewed individually in a previously drawn order and interviews will last for approximately five minutes. It is important that all competitors are treated fairly and that includes having the same amount of time. During the interview the assessor will be accompanied by a timekeeper whose sole responsibility is to advise the assessor on the timing of the interviews. The Assessor will have the competitor’s score card with the placings; assessors will question competitors on their placings and their observations on the animals forward. At the conclusion of their interview competitors will each receive a special NPS Young Judges rosette. Once a competitor has completed their interview they are free to go but will be required later for the presentation.

After each interview the Assessor will complete the competitor’s score card awarding scores for each of the elements. The total scores awarded will be the basis for the placings; should two or more competitors tie on marks then the final decision will lie with the assessor. For the overall award assessors will confer and may ask to interview some of the competitors again.

The Judging

The steward will escort all the competitors and the assessors to the centre of the judging ring

The competition is based on two in-hand showing class of four animals – one for Riding Pony/Hunter Pony and one for Mountain and Moorland ponies. Remember competitors can only compete in ONE section and both sections will run simultaneously. In each class animals will be identified by letters A, B, X or Y. No competitor will be allowed to talk to anyone outside the ring during the judging. The Assessors will view the animals at the same time as the competitors.

Competitors will observe the animals as a class in walk before each animal is trotted. The animals will then be lined up. Competitors will be divided into groups and each group will have approximately 2 minutes to view each animal. The animals will then walk away and trot back. This procedure will be repeated until each group has assessed all the animals. The animals will then be walked as a class and the competitors will mark their placings 1st to 4th on the score card using A, B, X and Y before handing it to the steward. A presentation will be made to the handlers supplying the ponies and a group photograph taken before the competitors leave the ring and return indoors.

Need further help or information?

The NPS Areas have been a backbone of this competition through training, assessing and encouraging young people to take part. Some competitors might not readily have access to training and support and they may find the following publications helpful:

  • NPS Rulebook
  • M&M Breed Standards Booklet
  • NPS British Riding Pony Booklet
  • NPS Show Hunter Sports Comparison Table