As members and exhibitors of the Arabian Horse Association we strongly feel that the SHN Commission's plan to utilize only one judge in Working Hunter, Jumper, and Sport Horse In Hand classes at the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals is counterproductive to the growth of the Sport Horse division and thus the Sport Horse National show.
There is no U.S. National Championship class that uses only one person to adjudicate. Historically, U.S. Nationals employs 5 judges, Youth Nationals utilizes 3 judges on their panels and Sport Horse only 2 judges per class. Having a judging panel rather than a single judge is a defining characteristic of a National caliber horse show, and the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals already has smaller judging panels than U.S. Nationals and Youth Nationals. The practice of having a panel of judges at elite level horse shows promotes fairness, offsets individual biases, and provides depth to the assessment of the exhibitors in the classes that is simply not possible with a single judge.
To reduce the number of judges at Sport Horse Nationals for Working Hunter, Jumper, and Sport Horse In Hand classes to a single judge would remove a critically important aspect of showing at the national level and diminish the value of the experience for exhibitors resulting in reduced participation. We the undersigned express support for maintaining the current standard for a 2 judge panel for all classes at Arabian Sport Horse Nationals.