North American Western Dressage (NAWD) is pleased to announce its new judging program released this month. With the large growth in interest for Western Dressage throughout the United States and within NAWD’s own virtual show program, the demand for licensed judges far exceeds the supply. By allowing all portions of the judging exam to be taken remotely, NAWD has eliminated the time and travel expenses incurred in traditional programs.
Jen Johnson, president of NAWD said, “As a fledgling discipline, we must take the steps necessary to ensure that judges are qualified at all levels. By harnessing the power of video to allow judges to obtain their license at home; we have created a program that is accessible, affordable, and will help Western Dressage maintain quality and integrity as a discipline."
In 2014, NAWD received over 250 virtual test entries for western dressage judging. With the 2015 season opening of its worldwide "Trax" competitions program, NAWD has already received participant commitments that will realize growth of online submissions of Western Dressage tests to well over 700 entries in 2015 (Western Dressage Tests, Six Feet on the Ground Tests, Western Dressage Freestyle tests, and NAWD Trail Tests). With this growth in virtual test submissions, NAWD took the lead in releasing a Western Dressage judging program designed to help more equestrian professionals obtain licenses for judging Western Dressage tests that are submitted online or exhibited at schooling shows.
The NAWD judging program is comprised of two parts. A written examination that a prospective judge must pass with a score of 85% or greater is the first part. It will test knowledge of current USEF Western Dressage rules and ask individuals to prove knowledge of classical riding, biomechanics, equitation, tack and movements. It is a test designed as a learning experience in and of itself. The second part of the examination entails judging tests submitted by video and meeting established benchmarks.
More about the NAWD Judge Licensing program can be found here.
North American Western Dressage is a non-profit organization that offers casual, fun, and affordable ways to learn about Western Dressage in the form of clinics and virtual shows. We start from the ground up with our "Six Feet on the Ground" Groundwork program, continue with Western Dressage Tests, Western Dressage Freestyles, and Western Dressage Trail tests. Our judges are carefully chosen for their understanding that Western Dressage is not dressage in a western saddle and that the fundamentals of good riding are universal. We embrace and include equine enthusiasts from all walks of life.