Spectator Judging To Be Implemented At Florida’s Adequan Global Dressage Festival

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Scoreboard at the London World Cup event in Olympia comparing official results from the panel of five judges and the spectator judging. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Scoreboard at the London World Cup event in Olympia comparing official results from the panel of five judges and spectator judges. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Dec. 23, 2016

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Spectator judging will be implemented throughout Florida’s Adequan Global Dressage Festival of seven CDIs this winter after a year in which the fan engagement program was embraced by many top European shows including world championships.

Plans are for spectator judging to be available for the CDIs beginning with the first of four World Cup events Jan. 11-15 through to the Nations Cup wrapping up the Wellington, Florida circuit Mar. 21-26.

The aim is to offer spectators of streaming video of Global events to also participate as judges.

The computerized freestyle program that has been a breakthrough in transparency by standardizing marks for degrees of difficulty of movements will also be a requirement for the first time in the United States at all four World Cup events–Jan. 11-15, Jan. 25-29, Feb. 22-26 and Mar. 1-5.

Global organizers adopted the freestyle program that is mandatory for the World Cup Western European League this season to help competitors at Global become familiar with it ahead of the Final in Omaha Mar. 27-April 2.

Both computer programs were created by Daniel Göhlen and his Black Horse software team of Munich, Germany. He worked with German 5* judge Katrina Wüst to create the computerized freestyle system that was experimented with at the World Cup test event in Omaha last May.

What Daniel figured initially would be 10 hours of programming to create the system has climbed to 1,000 hours with more to come as tweaks are made based on the experience of both riders and judges.

Daniel’s Black Horse company has also come to a partnership deal with SAP, the German software giant that has offered spectator judging at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO in Aachen, Germany since 2014.

Daniel Göhlen at Frankfurt Festhallen CDI4* where his spectator judging program was implemented. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Daniel Göhlen at Frankfurt Festhallen CDI4* where his spectator judging program was implemented. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Major competitions for spectator judging in addition to Aachen included Geneva; Salzburg, Austria; Odense, Denmark; German Masters at Stuttgart; London Olympia Christmas show; Frankfurt’s Festhallen as well as the World Young Horse Championships in Ermelo, Netherlands.

The Salzburg World Cup event in December was the first time spectator judging was included as part of the FEI TV streaming program.

And Daniel is working with SAP to expand features for the audience.

“It seems clear that spectator judging makes dressage more engaging for spectators,” Daniel said. “With the involvement of SAP it makes it easier to spread the application.”