Lilo Fore On A Judge’s Life

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Liselotte Lilo Fore, new FEI 5* judge
Liselotte “Lilo” Fore

Liselotte “Lilo” Fore has retired as an International Equestrian Federation (FEI) 5* judge, one of four American top ranked judges in a career in which she was a competitor, trainer, coach, official and active on U.S. federation committees. She turns 72 years old in December.

She was appointed a FEI 4* judge in 2009 then promoted to 5* in July, 2013. She is also a 5* young horse judge and a was a 3* para-dressage judge before aging out.

Lilo moved to the United States from her home near Dusseldorf, Germany in 1971 and is based at her SportHorse America training center in Santa Rosa, California.

She gave dressage-news.com her view of her career.

After her last official CDI judging assignment show management and my judges’ panel surprised me with a wonderful retirement ceremony.

Lilo Fore (with arms full of flowers) at ceremony at Dressage at Devon on her retirement as a judge. Photo courtesy Janet Foy
Lilo Fore (with arms full of flowers) at ceremony at Dressage at Devon on her retirement as a judge. Photo courtesy Janet Foy

By Lilo Fore

Will I miss judging internationally? Yes, very much for different reasons.

First of all, judging the international events keeps one’s mind sharp, judging that much in panels, with internationally experienced judges who officiate all over the world keeps one’s standard of judging clear and honest but also due to the number of quality riders one is then able to judge. The score system stays honest,in your mind as one is able to judge the whole scale up and down.

One sees the true 8-10 and therefore stays confident in our score standards.

The camaraderie between all us judges internationally but also nationally is one of the key elements of our doing this not easy job over and over again.

We are an amazing bunch of people with high integrity, doing this difficult job because we most times love it but not always as it definitely is not getting easier on judges. Nevertheless we do it because we believe it is an important part of the sport we love.

I will miss it because I do enjoy being challenged, having to stay alert, especially in panel judging when you have your top international colleague on your panel and you are going to do a good job because you want to prove to yourself you belong there as well. The camaraderie between all of us is the most amazing as all of us share the same passion, and our goal is the same, doing the best job we can honestly and of course bring forward the best.

We discuss, even at times argue with passion, but always come to one conclusion: we want to be fair correct and keep doing it as long as we can.

I am not stopping being involved, hopefully in some capacity internationally.

I would like to help our USA judges to achieve what I did, but it is hard work, honesty, integrity, skill and knowledge which will make it happen with a little luck and the respect of one’s colleagues.

Staying involved with the education part of this sport I feel keeps me also a better judge nationally which I love just as much.

I hope I am able to help our younger generation to achieve what I have done with all my colleague’s approval. It is important to work together as judges, give what experience we have gained, the good and the difficult parts.

It is a long journey to get to the position I was in, the 5*, a very prestigious position I am proud to having achieved. I hope I was able to prove to my colleague and to all show managements that it was deserved.

The only sad part of these amazing few years: too short time. But I am very grateful that I had the chance to judge the best riders with the best judges the equestrian world has.

My ending this part of my judge’s life will be definitely missed by me but I will enjoy also judging our national shows and will try to give that my best as well.

I have many different positions. I love teaching and I love judging, none of that will change. I am too young to quit and I still will do both and hope that once in awhile I will still get to spend time with friends I have gained in my unbelievable judge’s life.

There are  many very special friends I hope to keep for the rest of my life.