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The card explains what the judge looks for, what the marks mean, and how many points are penalized for different infractions or awarded. Much of this is subjective based on the style of horse the judge prefers and that is why it is extremely show smart to look at the judge’s cards at each show before you compete. This allows you to see exactly what they are awarding and deducting points for at that show.
➤ Different judges have different styles of using the marks. You may see a box with 3 +’s in it, that just tells that judge he wants to give more than 1 point on that cow or run. ✔ does not add or subtract any points, ✔+ adds ½ point, + adds 1 point, ✔- subtracts ½ point, and, – subtracts 1 point
➤ Some judges will use a little + or a big + to determine a higher score. The point is, don’t try to calculate the score literally. Each judge’s sheet is based on his or her educated opinion of how well or how poorly the run was performed.
➤ The score is tallied based on overall marks and penalties. Competitors start on a 70. Points are either deducted or awarded according to how the run goes. A zero will be given if you walk out before the buzzer. A score of 60 generally occurs when you pick up the reins and train on the horse.
▶ CHTO features a number of great videos to learn more about the judge’s card. Watch Morgan Cromer Explain The Judge’s Card and Inside The Judge’s Stand under Showing then go to Judges in CHTO categories to gain a deeper understanding.