During the 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) winter meeting, members learned about a new judge’s rating system that’ll be used on a trial basis during 2020. The rating system aims to serve as a guideline for show management in regard to hiring judges.
The proposed system will rate judges from high to low on the following scale: AAA, AA, and A. The ratings will be generated from seven areas of criteria: years of judging, number of shows judged, number of major events judged, lifetime earnings (LTE), personal conduct, ability as a horseman, and performance at judging schools.
“During my first year as chair of the NRHA Judges Committee, I asked everyone what their number one priority was and they all agreed it was developing a rating system for judges,” said Mike McEntire, former Judges Committee chair and NRHA Professional. “There are several reasons we needed this rating system, but one of those is to give show committees a better idea of who they are hiring.”
Many shows already have a preference for who they hire, but what if that pool of candidates got a bit bigger? Higher-ranking judges—AAA—are typically hired for events such as the National Reining Breeder’s Classic (NRBC) or the NRHA Futurity. NRHA hopes the rating system will provide judges with more opportunities to work in the industry.
“The biggest thing we want to do is know who the judges are and track their work better,” McEntire added. “With the rating system, we feel like we can do that better and be able to educate the judges. We’ve had a lot of A judges that get their card but don’t get any work. Hopefully, with this program, the show’s management can look at the list and use the A and AA judges more. We are also hoping that we can pair our AAA judges with our AA and As to get them more experience.”
Since 2020 is a trial period for the rating system, judges will be re-evaluated at the beginning of 2021. For a complete list of judges by rating, visit nrha.com/judges.
To read about another big change announced at the NRHA winter meeting, click here.
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