What Were The Judges Talking About?

Charlotte was at the international judges seminar last weekend. She has some interesting news for us, but first, we are going to start by learning something new: Do you know what the abreviations on a judge’s sheet mean? We’ll explain: Vaulting competitors get a horse score from judge A, technique scores from judges B & D & a artistic score from judge number C (When 4 judges are involved. There can be up to 8.). This artistic score is divided in five categories ranked from C1 to 5, as you can see below.artistic_score_sheetThe annual FEI Seminar for judges and coaches 2016 was held in Stow-on-the-Wold, Great-Britain, from the 12th to 14th of February and the course was led by John Eccles and Doris Knotter. The Unicorn Centre welcomed everybody really well, with good food, tea, coffee and a wonderful dinner on Saturday! The program for this year was really focused on the artistic score and more particularly “what would define a 10” in each category of the artistic score. In order to have, eventually, a common method to judge the artistic side of a performance. Decisions will also be taken about a possible a percentage change in the artistic score for 2017. There was a short review of the C4 (music interpretation) category and the guidelines, because that had already been discussed already during the 2015 seminar in Pezinok.

This year, 12 countries were represented, with people coming all the way from Australia! Though, an interesting point is that there were only a handful of 4* judges present and less vaulters who are also coaches, than the previous years.

There were very active judges during the weekend with a few interesting debates going on especially between Anita Flamand, Frank Spadinger, Anna Kull, Craig Coburn, Sue Detol, Ulla Ramge and Angie Deeks.

An e-learning project was presented by Erich Breiter and it should be quite a nice tool for vaulting. In simple words, it should be on the basis of a video guideline for exercises available to everyone for free. (Which seems to be similar to the Drills for Skills project that american vaulters are running).

New technical exercises will be out in 4 years time and the present technical exercises will stay the same until 2019. For the moment the deadlines for proposals are 2016, approval and definitions are going to be defined 2017 then the exercises will be officially published in 2018 and implemented in 2019.

Bettina de Rham and Laetitia Gillieron from the FEI Vaulting and Driving department presented the atmosphere in the vaulting competition arena. They said we are moving into a new era and we have to keep up with it. The sport develops and highlights team spirit, great images for photographers, youth involved, sport performance, art and the fact that it is easily accessible for families and children. FEI has a goal: to create guidelines for organizers of major events. The aim is also to create a product affordable for the organizing committees, create a product TV producers and sponsors that might wish to buy, maybe following the worldwide success of vaulting in the arena in Caen at the WEGs in 2014. Bettina also presented the legal aspects of the competitions. She emphasized the importance of the written processes and the time allowed for protestations.

Overall, the working atmosphere was great with lots of laughs but it could have been better without the constant whistle blowing and loud voices to obtain silence… Don’t be shocked by the early deafness of the European vaulting world (haha).

A wonderful driving demonstration was shown to the participants by a talented father and daughter with their beautiful welsh pony, Billy. They showed all the indoor exercises asked when participating in the World Cup.

So, meet up in 2017 in Switzerland for the next FEI seminar and stay aware during this present year! A few changes could appear or at least clarifications on the definitions of the different components of C1, C2, C3, C4 & C5.

Adele Feuerstein

I am Adele Feuerstein the founder of the blog. I used to vault & train teams in Germany. Now I am only an observer & love to share my knowledge about international vaulting with you.