Covid Newsletter



As Ireland and Dressage Ireland slowly emerge from the restrictions imposed by the Covid pandemic, it is important that judges remain safe and well as the competitions resume and invitations to judge are issued once again.  To that end, procedures and  guidelines are put in place for the return to judging.

Dressage Ireland has published the following procedures that concern judges:

· Judges will have been given specific times and arena location via phone or email message prior to the show.

· Judges will judge tests from their car parked at the competition arena.

· A judge may bring a family member as a scribe.

· In the event same is not possible a scribe will also be in a car 3m from the judge’s car, and they may communicate via a blue tooth device.

· At 20-minute intervals throughout the competition, scribes will place the Dressage sheets in a plastic folder and put them at a designated place whereby a show organizer will collect them and take them to another designated area where a scorer will add up the sheets.  This procedure may be negotiated with the show organiser if the judge feels the need to review and sign the test sheets more often.

· All test or class results will be scanned and will be posted on social media.

· No results will be available on the day.

· Any bills in relation to the event will be paid via bank transfer.

The JC has also prepared the following guidelines to ensure the safety of judges.

Guidelines for DI Judges during Covid 19

These basic guidelines will need to be reviewed regularly in line with Government advice.

Judges need to ensure they are protecting themselves traveling to the venue, judging and returning home.

  1. Social distancing (2m) must be followed at all times between judges, organisers and participants.
  2. Prior to leaving home and on return, follow the hand sanitizing protocol.
  3. On arrival at the venue, carry out a  visual risk assessment  to ensure you are protected.
  4. Check with organisers where hand sanitation areas are located.
  5. Equipment (pens, clipboards) should not be shared.  Handling of test sheets should be kept to a minimum.
  6. Test sheets need to be signed.  Test sheets can be reviewed and signed every 20 minutes according to the DI protocol or, more or less often at the discretion and agreement of the judge and show organiser.  Hand sanitize (with personal hand sanitizers) before and after handling test sheets when signing and reviewing. 
  7. Where possible, provide your own disposable cups and utensils.
  8. If possible, a household member should be asked to scribe for you.  If not possible, the scribe should sit in a separate area (box or vehicle) and communicate electronically. 
  9. Every judge should keep a list of contacts from home to venue to home for tracing purposes.


Practice Judging at Covid shows may take place at the discretion of the show organisers. As usual, please contact them directly with your request. It is strongly recommended that your scribe be a household member or someone you are willing to sit beside in the same car. You are asked to follow the appropriate measures in the Covid Judging Guidelines when Practice Judging.


Important Notice

Because of the very unusual circumstances of 2020, the Judges Committee has decided to defer the completion of  2020 National Judge Training requirement until 31st December 2021 i.e. no one will be hidden from the official DI Judges List for 2021; you will have until 31/12/21 to complete your National Judge Training requirement.


JC Plans for 2020 and 2021

The JC is planning to hold judge training, including Interactive, during the remainder of 2020 once more show dates are published.

Plans are in progress to hold the 2020 Judges Gala in November.  The topic of the presentation would be Judging Young Horse Classes.  Watch this space as details develop.

Unfortunately, List 1 and 2 exams are cancelled due to cancellation of all UK Premier League shows.  Plans are being put in place to hold ‘stand alone’ exams for List 6 through to List 3A.  All candidate judges have been notified.

A Judge Tutor course is in the process of being organised for 2021.  This course is aimed at List 3A – List 1 judges in order to develop a list of judge tutors who would deliver judge training to judges throughout the country.  Expressions of interest should be made by any appropriate listed judges by 1st December, 2020.

Hopefully, all of these  plans will become reality,  provided there are no severe restrictions on travel and social distancing at the time of the event. If severe restrictions are in place, then the events cannot proceed.

For those of you interested in online Judge Training, Jo Graham, FEI  4*  Dressage judge, will be presenting judge training webinars.  Please contact Jo directly,, to book.

Webinar topics:

Walk pirouettes  Thursday, 25th June, 18:00

            Flying changes – Tuesday, 30th June, 18:00

A series for Novice level running over 4 weeks on the same day and time each                        week; starting on Wednesday 24th June at 18:00 and finishing on the Wednesday15th July at 18:00.