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CHECKING FORGING. Chris Gregory judges a student forging contest at Heartland Horseshoing School as the competitors look on.
Judging anything can be extremely difficult because of all the factors and variables involved. There are the unseen aspects of judging horseshoeing contests that play a big part in the placing of the competitors. My hope is that this article can serve as a starting point for beginning judges of farriery contests and certifications, so that we may some day end up with a little more consistency.
How you place is often determined by when you are judged compared to the other competitors. I have seen many new judges start with lower scores, and increase the values given to certain aspects of the job as they look at more shoes or feet.
This does not seem to be as big an issue with more experienced judges, but it often seems that the novice judge is trying to figure out just where the middle of the road is on that day. With more experience, the judge learns what a score of “7” looks like from day to day.
My suggestion is that if you are a beginning judge, try to concentrate daily at home on exactly what you think an entry that earns a 7 should look like. Try to get a complete picture of that 7 in your mind, then compare the work on the day to your personal 7. This will take some effort and concentration. But without this kind of…