Certified Judge


The recommendations of many experienced judges were combined with certification systems used by breed associations and the USEF to produce the current system used by WHC for accrediting judges for Wisconsin open, all-breed, and 4-H shows. The criteria continues to be updated and modified through input from judges, show committees, trainers, owners and exhibitors.

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Purpose of the Judges Seminar

  • The seminar is designed as an education opportunity for horse show judges. The presentations have included stock seat equitation & pleasure, hunt seat equitation and pleasure, working hunter and jumping, saddleseat equitation and pleasure, showmanship, pleasure driving and conformation.
  • The seminar was based upon the USEF rules in an attempt to provide a standard set of rules and to establish uniform judging criteria.
  • The results of the seminar available in this judges' directory provide a listing for show committees to consider when selecting judges.

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Certified Judges Directory

Listings in the Judges' Directory should not be interpreted as an indication of judging ability-but rather as a statement that these judges have taken the time and made an effort to better their judging skills.

A listing in the Directory does indicate that these judges have:

  • Attended the Judges Seminar
  • Passed a written exam
  • Have documented experience judging horses

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Criteria For Certification Are:

Method A

  1. Pass the seminar's written exam with a score of 75% or better twice within each three year period. (Applicant must be age 19 or older).
  2. Verify judging experience by:
    a) Judging 6 shows within previous 3 years. (Obtain Evaluation Form From WHC Office or website)
    b) Junior judge 3 shows under 2 different judges within 2 years of taking exam. To be credited for Junior Judging, you must apprentice under a judge that has been judging for at least two (2) years and holds one of the following cards: WHC, Multi-State, or Any Breed Card. The Senior Judge must fill out one WHC Judges Evaluation on the Junior Judge. The Junior Judge MUST receive a Good or Excellent rating to proceed.
  3. Need to be a Level 1 member of the Wisconsin Horse Council.

Method B

  1. Judges already certified by the American Quarter Horse Association, USEF, Color Breeds Council, FEI, ADS or Multi-State (copies confirming judge certification must be sent to the office) can be certified in Wisconsin and listed in the directory by:
    a) Attending 2 Wisconsin Horse Judges Seminar every 3 years (starting in 2000) as Judge Candidate (not as an auditor).
    b) Judging 6 shows within 3 previous years.
  2. Need to be a Level 1 member of the Wisconsin Horse Council

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Criteria To Maintain WHC Certified Judge's Card:

  1. Attend the WHC Judges' Seminar once within each three-year period as a Judges (not Auditor), OR attend the American Quarter Horse Association, USEF, Color Breed Council, ADS, FEI, or Multi-state seminars once within each three year period. Copies confirming judge certification need to be sent to the office before attendance credit may be given.
  2. Pass the written exam with score of 75% or better one time within each three year period.
  3. Need to maintain an annual Individual Membership in the Wisconsin Horse Council.
  4. Each Judge is encouraged to have two (2) JUDGES EVALUATION FORMS in their judge's file per current calendar year. Forms must be sent to the WHC Office. Forms must be signed by show committee or other evaluator to be accepted.
  5. Need to be a Level 1 member of the Wisconsin Horse Council.

Additionally, a major portion of the Wisconsin judges program is evaluation of judges by show committees, spectators, exhibitors, trainers, grooms, and other judges. Judges are evaluated on their ability to determine placings for performance; conformation and equitation classes; impartiality; use of time; professionalism; attitude; and knowledge of rules and procedures.

The stringent requirements of the Wisconsin Certification System and the evaluation process have been recognized nationwide-as many states are developing similar programs based on the Wisconsin system.

The seminar is also recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and the POAC as continuing educational program for their judges.

Criteria Revised May 2011. Please Read Carefully.

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Announcements and Notices


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Wisconsin Horse Council | P.O. Box 72 | 121 S. Ludington St. | Columbus, WI 53925
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