Judging Matters

This month 3 FEI judges were promoted from 3* to 4* status:

  • Karolina Wickholm (FIN)
  • Dalibor Blazek (CZE)
  • Frank Spadinger (AUT)

It is the first time ever that Finnish and Czech judges get this status. The FEI 4* status is the highest possible for FEI Vaulting Judges. It was in 2013 that the last FEI judges got promoted to the FEI 4* level, they were: Ute Schoenian (GER), Doris Knotter (AUT), Anita Flamand-Prochaska (AUT) and Rob de Bruin (NED).

In the FEI Vaulting Rules and on the FEI website it is clearly written what the different tasks and requirements are for the different judges.

Here under the requirements for CVI’s:

CVI 1* CVI 2* CVI 3*- 4*/Masterclass Senior Championships
CVI J 1* CVI CH 1* CVI J 2* CVI CH 2* Junior Championships
One or three National or FEI Judge(s) and
one FEI 3*
For CVIs in Europe only:
The FEI3* Judge has to be foreign
one National or FEI Judge
two FEI 2* Judges and
one FEI 3* Judges (PGJ)
one FEI3* Judge has to be foreign
one FEI 2* Judge and
two FEI 3* Judges and
one FEI 4* Judge (PGJ)
CVIs in Europe:
two of the FEI3* and/or FEI4* Judges have to be foreign
CVIs outside Europe: only the FEI 4* Judge has to be foreign.
Continental Championships: Six or eight judges: three 3* Judges and three 4* Judges (PGJ) or
Five 3* Judges and three 4* Judges
World Championships: Eight Judges
five 3* (or above) Judges and
min three 4* Judges (PGJ)
appointed by FEI

max two from one country min 6 countries represented on the panel

At the moment there are 47 FEI Vaulting Judges registered all over the world. These 47 judges are from 18 different countries.

To give you some numbers:

FEI 4* Vaulting Judges: 20 judges from 12 different countries

FEI 3* Vaulting Judges: 16 judges from 12 different countries

FEI 2* Vaulting Judges: 11 judges from 10 different countries

Big vaulting countries like Germany and Austria have relatively many judges and also a higher percentage of FEI 4* Vaulting judges:

Country FEI 4* FEI 3* FEI 2* Total
Germany 5 2 7
Austria 3 1 4
France 2 1 1 4
Switzerland 3 1 4
USA 2 2

It is remarkable that a country like Switzerland has only one FEI Vaulting Judge who judges actively on CVI’s. Furthermore the United States of America only have 2 judges.

Last year a FEI Vaulting Judges Course was organised in Saumur for national judges to become a FEI 2* Vaulting Judge. Next month Argentina will organise a similar FEI course for promotion to the 2* status and for maintaining the 3* status. Belgium seems to be interested to have this course at the end of 2016.

This all might lead to a about 20 new FEI 2* Vaulting Judges. Do we need so many new judges? The answer could be yes. The number of FEI vaulting events this year has doubled compared to the number of vaulting events organised in the late 80’s and 90’s.

From what we see on the 2016 FEI Schedules which have recently been approved, the percentage of German judges being active on CVI’s every year seems to become lower than that percentage a few years ago. The nordic countries and eastern European countries seem to gain judging places on CVI’s.

Furthermore we see a growing number of national judges and FEI 2* Vaulting Judges on CVI’s: On the first 10 CVI’s to be organised this year, 7 of them have invited not only 3* and 4* judges.

Concerning the new countries with FEI judges, we now have: Ireland with one international judge and many more to come from Southern America if they pass the exams and fulfill the requirements at the end of the course in Buenos Aires. The newcomers are from: Argentina, Peru, Mexico and Uruguay.


I am an Irish vaulter, becoming a judge but I am also French and live in Paris where I work for a horse racing daily newspaper. I am also the author and owner of the blog vltg.fr .