Lets take this blog to the next level

If you have a photo of crappy show riding, know of a jerkwad trainer or judge, or someone in the show world that is an abusive piece of shit then send the info to me. This blog is not anti-showing, it's anti-abuse. So there is no truth to the claims from the TWH, ASB, western pleasure and dressage zombies that I'm trying to shut showing down. Instead I'm trying to make showing more honest and to get abusive practices out of the showring! Email me at shameinthehorseshowring@gmail.com

I have a request for my readers: If you have successfully rehabbed a show horse, or gotten a rescue and taken it on to a show career then let me know, I'd love to feature you here!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

One seriously screwed up judge

I’ve bitched before about crooked judges. I know it evokes a lot of eye rolling and muttering about me “being a wanna be that just can’t cut it.” Those of you that think this are wrong and this judge is exactly why.

Meet Becky George, of Becky George Show Horses. Becky is not only a trainer and youth coach, but also a carded APHA judge. Sounds typical of a lot of the trainers and judges in the horse world. Becky spent a lot of time hauling horses to shows and making sure her little stable of darlings got their high points and year end awards.

Becky was showing at NSBA shows in June of this year:

She was judging in Minnisota in August.

And judging in Iowa in September

Busy judge, questionable ethics, zero good judgment.

Like most trainers sometimes Becky had a monkey wrench thrown in her plans by unexpected occurences. And like some of the people who belong to the “Those Who Can Do No Wrong Club” she decided to take things into her own hands and make sure that monkey wrench was no more than a passing annoyance.

Becky George is from Tomball, TX. Her youth client (rider A) was running for number 1 Youth 14-18 in 2007 - and her main competition was another youth competitor from Kerrville, TX (rider B). Apparently Rider A's horse had to have colic surgery and was out for a while, which allowed Rider B to surge ahead in the point standings - when Rider A's horse was finally recovered, she found herself behind in the point standings.

What next occurred was a systematic course of behavior, instigated by Becky George, to recruit other riders to block and cut Rider B’s horse off and other people to kick and bang on gates in an attempt to spook Rider B’s horse. This happened at several shows. Not only did they endanger a horse and rider by their antics, but Ms George also verbally abused and threatened Rider B. Imagine, a judge threatening and harassing a child? Sounds like something that should never ever happen. Sadly it does happen, even at National levels, even in other breed organizations.

So just how mentally screwed up do you have to be to deliberately attempt to scare a youth horse over a fricking ribbon? Evidently as screwed up as Ms. George. Remember this woman is a judge. She is supposed to have the highest integrity of any person in the horse world. The sad part is that she is just one of many corrupt judges out there, that thinks that little card gives her the right to flout the rules.

Apparently it got so bad Rider B’s father, had to hire a security guard for the horse at his stall and hire a videographer to follow Rider B everywhere at shows, in an attempt to capture Becky, Rider A or anyone else harassing, attempting to intimidate, or being ugly to Rider B.

The affidavits on this case read like a who’s who of the Paint Show World. Ms. Becky was not only harassing a youth exhibitor and getting her youth clients to participate, but she was also going after anyone else that got in her way.

Becky George killed a sale for another trainer, Adam Deardorf, at the '07 World Show, as she was pissed at Adam for giving a deposition in this case - the other depositions are from participants of, and witnesses to, the harassment. Becky called the potential buyer's trainer and told them many things that she *believed* were wrong with the horse. Vindictive? Yes, but it’s something that happens in every horse organization and at every level. I know this personally.

This bully mentality is ridiculous - and for a trainer and judge to be instigating it is amazing. Can you imagine the great lesson in sportsmanship she is teaching her youth clients? And really, do you think their parents were unaware of this? Here’s what I think: I think the parents knew, and I think they were okay with it because their little show darlings “must” be allowed to win for their self esteem and so they can be used as child trophies during the parental brag sessions at work. Parents who help their kids cheat are scum. Trainers who cheat should be banned from the organization for life. Trainers/judges that harass children should be jailed.
Seems like the APHA did decide to be proactive and they did pull Ms. George’s judges card. I doubt if it’s a life time ban, and considering what other judge’s have gotten away with and retained their cards I imagine she’ll get it back at some point.

So tell me your best worst judge stories. Just who do you know that needs to be out of the horse show arena?


OutRiding01 said...

Not a judge story, but when I was about 11 I was riding my pony in a short stirrup class at a show. It was a typical drizzly Florida summer afternoon and I was heading towards an outside line. Right as I got to the base of the jump an opponents father leaned against the rail and openned an umbrella right up. My pony wasn't terribly spooky, but the damned thing just about hit me in the face, it was that close. Needless to say, she refused the jump (thank goodness, because if she'd kept going I may have lost an eye!)
My trainer lost it and tore into this man like I had never seen before. The judge actually let me redo the course and ordered the father back to the barn for the remainder of the day and told him she would diqualify his kid if she saw him anywhere near the ring.

Carrie Giannandrea said...

Wow..........guess I don't have any good "corrupt judges" stories. But that was a very interesting story TJM. I tend to be rather busy at shows, tending to my horses or helping the kids out.

Maybe we just don't have this sort of issue here in our little neck of the woods. I do not doubt these things occur though, it is a shame some folks feel the need to "cheat" .......in more ways than one!

Carrie Giannandrea
Dances with Horses
Formula One Farms


TheHorseGirl said...

That is just unbelievable! I haven't been showing long, but I remember in one show I was at (in one of my classes, actually) something a bit messed up happened. It was a pleasure class, and there were about ten competitors. I came in second in the class, but it wasn't the rider who came in first who was the problem. It was the girl who came in third. Let me remind you that this was a PLEASURE CLASS. Her horse didn't have any major explosions or anything, but when we went to line up, he wouldn't stay in line! He started throwing a hissy fit, and started kicking at some of the horses around him. The judge told the rider that she could just walk him around the back of the line up until he was calm. Then she gave her third! That horse didn't look very pleasurable to ride if you ask me! The sad thing is, it wasn't even a big show- just a little schooling show!


TheHorseGirl said...


Singasong said...

I've been reading about this incident on different forums. I must say I am appalled over this entire story! Thank you for including this in your blog. Hopefully this will serve as a reminder for anyone holding a judges card, that they have an obligation to follow the rules and set an example that is beyond reproach.

Nosnikta said...

Yeah, our 4-H leader last year got a cob up her butt because I beat her lesbian lover for the highpoint buckle at her measely little saddle club shows. So she made up some story that I badmouthed her friend and kicked us out of "her" 4-H club. She badmouths people CONSTANTLY and has badmouthed my 11yo daughter.. which is highly hysterical to me since she trained her last year.

I highly suspect that she rigged some points at a show she was working last spring too because there is NO way one girl who rode ONLY english classes could have gotten more points than a kid who rode every single class, and placed in the top two or three in each of those.

I'm no math major, but c'mon people.

Since then several people heard what she was doing and have contacted me. Apparently she has pulled this with countless others. We're thinking of forming an association. :-)

My3Arabs said...

I am disgusted at this "thing", can't call her a women at all, and what she has done to children! Look at what she has taught them to do and how to treat others. Jail would be too good for that "thing".

The bad part is that this happens more often than not now days. I do know that in my neck of the woods the judging is very biased and if you don't have that certain breed or trainer you will never place.

The last time I was in a show was in 1989, yes a long time ago. I was in a open WP class with my half Arab mare under a QH judge. We placed well but still behind the QHs. That same day we were in an Arab/Half Arab WP class, under the same judge, and we got first. He told me after that class that if he had known she was a HA he would have placed us first in the other class because at that time he felt that I was making my QH moved wrong, lol.

What happen to judges like him? Has the horse world really sunk this low in 20 yrs?

CutNJump said...

Ok, maybe not quite the same but still f'ed up-

Gary Clay, who advertises as a trainer, judge, marketing and equine appraiser had a stallion named Gigilo who was 'too laid back' for a stallion.

To encourage the horse to 'show' for halter, he and his sidekick Mickey Barrera used to routinely go into the stall and whip/beat the shit out of the horse.

The horse has brutally attacked more than one person as a result of these beatings 'in the name of training' and Gary himself was also attacked once while in the ring.

Needless to say Gary was afraid of handling the horse and wouldn't.

Gary still advertises his 'skills', if you can call them that.

What a douchebag!

CutNJump said...

Let's all remember-

Just because they call themselves a trainer, have won anything in the ring or hold a judges card, does not mean they have ethics, morals or are a horseman in any sense of the word!

Ponykins said...

Went to a show once where the judge stood next to the entrance gate and bent over so she could see each riders' face under their western hats so she could be sure to recognize the people she wanted to place.

Went to a show once where one of the winners was not even in the class!

CutNJump said...

One the note o f babad judges an dcolic surgery, one of fththe ecompetitors i in 4H last year-

Her horse had colic surgery the day of the February show. Show Mom wanted to haul the horse to Finals, across town the end of March so they could show, even though the horse was to be 'off' for 3 months. Just for Showmanship...

Then she tried to borrow a similar looking horse so the kid could still compete.

Some people will stop at nothing!

cattypex said...

God... I thought kids were supposed to have FUN at horse shows, and learn something to boot, if only how to prepare diligently and lose graciously.


Still, I think this kind of thing has been happening ever since someone first fixed a chariot race... or even before.

Unfortunately, when kids are involved, it goes to a whole nuther level of sliminess.

Stormchayser said...

Holy s***.... i'm glad in live in the UK, i've never heard any bad judge stories over here!

This reminds me of something i read in Horse&Hound - the mother of a youth (well, i think he was about 10) competitor in WHP went around feeding the opposing ponies "mints".
The mints were drugged and so was every pony in the ring, except her little darling's mount!

Fortunately she got busted and her son was eliminated (quite sad really, not his fault he has an asswipe for a mother)....

CutNJump said...

See CP- the horse shows of the old days WERE fun. For everyone.

We went to see old friends, see their new horses, see pictures of their new foals, talk about the good times, the bad things we did, share some drinks and laughs, remember the horses we all learned on, express our sorrow about losing a horse or another competitor/friend battling or suffering illnesses... talk about improvements to our facilities or moving to another one.

In general we went to have a good time, show our horses, cheer for our friends and catch up on life.

Somewhere along the line, everything changed. And not for the better.

Everyone is ultra competitive, trying to outspend each other and win at all costs.

It's no longer about good training, good horses, good riding and good times.

Instead of thinking- "If I don't win, it's good when my friends do!", it has now become a matter of doing and spending whatever it takes to win. No matter who else is in the ring.

Sad really.

OutRiding01 said...

I know what you mean cutnjump. When I was younger, in my pony days, my very best friend was a girl I met in the line up when I was 8. We competed against each other in crossrails all the way up through the pony hunters. She was from another town about an hour away and we would beg our parents to take us to visit all the time. Horse shows were awesome because we got to ride together. We never eve "competed" against each other. We were having enough trouble just competing with our moody pony mares! We were always happy for each other and never got jealous.

I still love to compete, and don't get me wrong, I love to win. But I never compete gainst anyone but myself. I always ride against my previous best. I hardly ever even know who I'm riding against and am lucky if I even pay attention to the highest score or the time to beat... It's just about me, the horse, riding my very best and winning because of that. I feel like my mentality is very rare at the level I show and I feel like I'm a better rider for it.

CutNJump said...

Outriding- we still compete too. For some of the reasons you state as well as a few other reasons- advertising, accopmlishments for the horses- sale value, if it comes to that, breeding value...

But we try to have fun to top it off. I have cheered myself for going off course in a pattern, cheered loudly for others for low placings for a craptastic 'go' or ride, and made a day of 'tanking' miserably at certain shows, under judges like the one in the OP. I paid my entries and I am there to have fun, and damnn it I am going to!

OutRiding01 said...

Lol, that reminds me of one perticularly bad show my friend and I had. It was a few years ago and we were doing the Junior Eq and some medals, her on her green Oldenburg and me on some lady's warmblood I'd never ridden before. As luck would have it, both horses were really feeling their oats that first day. My friends horse trotted almost every course, jumping most of the jumps from a stand still. My horse bucked his way around every single course. My trainer was embarassed and tried to make us scratch from the rest of the show, but we were getting such a kick out of it we refused to. Plus, Nikko Ritter's little sister thought my mount was so funny, she would laugh every time she saw him and call him "hoppy horsie"...
The next day we both ended up flip flopping 1st and 2nd in two different medals so our POS trainer had to shut the hell up.

sektmet said...

Trojan Mouse, I wanted you to see the dressage vidio on equisearch.com Its of Kristina Harrison-Naness and Rociero XV. Im no dressage expert but to me it looks exactly how a dressage horse should be. He isnt behind the bit or freaking out at all. He dose break gait a few times but other than that the video is beautfull and I think you might like to see it. Just a thought.


GoLightly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trojan Mouse said...

Ok Golightly, what was that about?

GoLightly said...

Sorry, TJM. I'll delete it. I had a mad-cow episode, and put it on the web. My name is Barb. I was apologizing to NHJ, on CNJ's new yourewhat? blog. I'm a twunt..

Where've you been anyway?? I was worried you'd been assassinated or something! Keep us updated on the boneheads, please??
I'm an outsider now, in the horse world, always trying to get the nerve and the $$ and the health to get back into it. We have a great judge up here, well-known guy, Randy Roy. Hunter classes up here are so stupifyingly boring, I'm amazed the judge can stay awake at all. There's always bitching going on, but that's mostly normal. I think the new (what are they called??) Hunter Classics?? It's a big-deal Hunter Class (where the horses actually have to do something other than a figure eight in x-number of strides) is a great idea.. It would separate the push-buttons from the riders. I didn't show much, mostly schooling shows/jumper classes in the late 70' early 80's but I remember riding in a class MANY years ago, a hunter hack class, where the big name rider came in, at the very end of the class, and won it. I wrote an irate letter to what was then called the Corinthian. I think I was 11.5 years old! Big opinions, I had then.
Not much has changed:)
Take care of your self, and I hope you're building to another illuminating rant!

cattypex said...

OK, I only did a few little hunter shows here and there, and never could connect with anyone other than folks from the barn I rode at, so it just wasn't FUN. It was lonely!!! and kind of boring. So I stuck to open shows, mostly. Cheaper and funner.

Reading old books and forums, it looks like ... um... if you couldn't jump 4', you pretty much stayed home... and there were interesting things like outside courses, pairs classes and such, which you just don't see much of in eastern Indiana/western Ohio, unless you're at a superswanky show....

I'd think that more interesting classes like that would attract more boys to riding, and even non-horsey spectators would enjoy it.

Then again there's just SO much western stuff around here, the h/j people maintain an upper-crust reputation. They're all Jack Russell/Range Rover/Prada preppy people, and forget about making friends.

The crazy rich Arab people seem to be more fun.... and the QH people definitely have friends in low places. :P

Colleensinn said...

Where have you been? I am going through withdrawal!

Trojan Mouse said...

My mother was in a rather severe car wreck and Sis (Tuffy Horse) and I have been dealing with that.

I'll try to get a new post up soon, I only have limited time right now.


Carrie Giannandrea said...

T Jean and Tuffy Horse

Your mom is in our prayers......I hate car wrecks!

Hugs to you and your families!

Carrie Giannandrea
Dances with Horses
Formula One Farms

GoLightly said...

OH,MYgosh, I am so sorry. Ignore us, we can wait. Best healing wishes to your mom & families.
Oh, dear:(
Try to get some rest, we went through something similar recently with my Dad.

SouthForkRancher said...

While I hate to get into a "who done it"... I must say that I have shown horses with many well known Trainers for over 20 years.

Trust me when I tell you, I've seen most everything that can take place. Both with Horses, and with Riders.

Personally I do not know the #@(( family, and have no knowledge of what they alledge has taken place.

However, I have had the pleasure of doing business with Becky George, from a Sales stand point, as well as a Trainer/Client Relationship - BELIEVE ME, she's one of the most honest Trainers that I have ever done business with.

How many children have we seen over the years that become spoiled and don't like it when things don't go their way??? And let's not forget those parents out there that have too much money, and want their child to be the Top Winner...

Personally, each person that has shown on a National Level knows that Trainers are paid to get the job done. They are paid to strategize - with their Clients best interest at Heart. While MANY Trainers have "padded" or "filled" classes, I don't believe for a minute that this girl was "covered up" on purpose... Come on folks - lets get real. I've been "covered up" many times in Pleasure classes, that's when I moved my horse up or over to get seen!

In the future when we see a large Pleasure Class come in the pen, do we automatically wonder if the class is "padded" - how will we ever know?

This is a prime example of a Dad that wants his daughter to be number 1. And while I applaud him for that, I also think he should see that his child will forever see that if things don't go "your way", you can just raise nine kinds of ___, and it works out... Regardless of wheather or not any of it's true... Just because one percieves something one way, does not make it a reality!

APHA has lost a great Judge, and hopefully Becky will be able to reapply at some point.

People like Mr. #@(( take care of themselves in the end... Is this all worth it?

Sigrún said...

I will belive you when you post under your name.

Trojan Mouse said...


You have seriously got to be kidding! I don't care how long you have known Becky George, your perception of her is seriously skewed. I have personally seen and read the affidavits filed by people in this case, including those from her own students and she is 100% guilty of trying to harrass and injure a youth rider. Her own students testified about Becky banging on the gates to spook the other rider's horse. her own students testified that she told them to "corral" the other rider. Are you saying they lied? Are you saying that all of the witnesses lied, yet some how matched their stories, even when questioned in different venues and at different times?
Have you read the statements? Or are you just going on the bullshit Becky has told you?

April said...

Is it sad even in 4h where you are supposed to learn about horsemanship and support your fellow 4hers they still have judge problems? It even went as far to doing something like bribing the judge (or at least I consider it bribery) Apparently at the A circuit shows they pay extra money to get an armband that tells the judge to pay extra attention to you. They wanted to do that at 4h shows! 10 dollars a band! Now what does that honestly teach kids about sportsmanship?? Luckily they didn't do that but at the state horse show this year I saw the worst judging I have ever seen in my years of showing! It was so bad they declared not to use the judges again! I was in the pony hunter classes and there were kids cutting me off, coming between my horse and another horse, coming between the rail and me... Believe it or not they were the ones winning even though they obviously knew nothing about rules of a show ring and how to be safe. Other horses broke stride in front of the judge, were inconsistent and totally not hunter ponies and still yet again they placed ahead of the ones who were doing what was required. One girl placed 1st despite the fact she was completely off course in her eq pattern and another one fell off who still placed 3rd. Both of which should have been a DQ. Thank goodness they were one of the few who went and boycotted the fact they didn't deserve what they had earned. It was ridiculous what went on there.

Nikki said...

I grew up in Indiana, and boarded my horses at Becky's parent's stable. I dealt with her on a daily basis, and she was fantastic. I had no show experience, and she taught both myself and horse an incredible amount over one summer. Was she intense and ambitious, certainly, but most winners are. She was also smart, and kind. Maybe I haven't talked to her in 15 years, but I knew her, and knew her well. How many of you can say that as you sit here and pass judgement?