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What colors do horse show judges favor in the ring?

When I used to ride a tiny buckskin pony, I was told that, in a class where the horse is judged, buckskin is a low color in the judges’ ranks. I heard that bays, blacks, grays, and chestnuts tend to be favored.

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    Posted 8 months ago

    They dont care what color the horse is.

      Kayla O
      Posted 8 months ago

      It depends on the judge because every judge has a favorite. I have a large buckskin pony and i just recently won a 2 firsts and a second on him out of 8 horses, so it really depends on the judge but they arent supposed to judge on color.

        Posted 8 months ago

        Color shouldn’t, and in most cases, doesn’t matter….it’s performance and skill and conformation that matters. That’s the way judges should and do judge, not by color. The only time color should be/is considered is in conformation classes and when judges are judging a type of breed that has specific colors.

          Posted 8 months ago

          i find that most times when i showed horses they favored a breed. i took my arab to a open show, and they’d never place her. i took my AQH to the same show and they placed him. but i’m sure it just is personal oppinion for each judge. not fair, but that’s life.

            Posted 8 months ago

            judges don’t or atleast should not care what color your horse is. some of the lower quality judges might.

              Posted 8 months ago

              That’s definitely not true (especially in the ponies where you see a lot more color)

              For the horses you may see it a bit more. Not to the extreme of pinning a horse who had obvious mistakes over a good round, but more like if there are five horses who performed equally the color they dislike would be fifth.

              Its a subjective sport and there will always be judges who like your horse more than others. My advice, keep track of what judges liked your horse and the ones that didn’t. Most of the time you know who is judging ahead of time, so its pretty easy to avoid going to shows when you know the judge isn’t too fond of your horse (and if you decide to show anyway you will know not to expect too much)

                worried Dad
                Posted 8 months ago

                Untrue. I get great dressage results and I ride a 17hh Buckskin, everybody loves him, including the judges!!!

                  Posted 8 months ago

                  I’m sure each judge has his or her own preferences. But, an honest judge looks for the best horse in that class regardless of color.

                    Posted 8 months ago

                    I agree with another answer on here. There shouldn’t be any discrimination in the color of your horse. Technically, it should be on conformation and gait or whatever else it is that the class you are in is judged upon. However, I have found that, although they shouldn’t be, a lot of judges tend to be breed biased. I had the best ride one time in a class of predominately Quarter horses. The judge we had was obviously breed biased (I have a gorgeous 16.3 App gelding) because he didn’t place anything other than Quarters all day!

                      Posted 8 months ago

                      It depends on what style you ride and the judge’s personal preference. Generally, in western pleasure rings the judges prefer horses of color: palominos, paints/pintos, buckskins, etc. In a hunter ring, they probably look for the standard bay. But, it depends on performance also, not just color. Well, that’s how it’s supposed to be, anyways. It doesn’t always work like that =]

                        Jillian F
                        Posted 8 months ago

                        They usually don’t mind the colour of the horse. Some judges in English show do not like paints in the ring, believe it or not! (My uncle has 11 paints, he knows :P lol) They tend to believe that they don’t belong in the english show but in western only :(
                        I disagree and think that it shouldn’t matter what colour your horse but instead how well it’s performance is!

                          Posted 8 months ago

                          Well, it truly depends on the judge.

                          In a ring full of horses, white stands out the most, which can be either an advantage or a disadvantage. If you have alot of bad moments on a standout horse, the judge will see more of them.

                          However, if you are on a bay and ride beautifully, you might get lost in a sea of bays and never get spotted.

                          Buckskins really stand out, but maybe (this is just a guess as to why somebody said that buckskins are low) it is because they are a little western looking and don’t exude a classic hunter look.

                          I think that chestnuts and blacks are nice because they are different from bays so they can stand out, but the judge’s eye won’t be constantly drawn to you, and therefore will see less of your…not so perfect… moments.

                            TB eventer!
                            Posted 8 months ago

                            They do not care what the colour or even what the breed of the horse is. As long as you are both neat, tidy and properly turned out, and do as well as you can.. that’s what matters.

                              Posted 8 months ago

                              I agree with JillianF, Paints seem to be discriminated against in the English ring. I know, I have Paints that have so much more implusion and are so much better than my TB’s but the Paints don’t place because of their colour. I’ve even had judges say that Paints are not called in because of the colour and that there isn’t really a place for them in an English show.

                              It shouldn’t matter, if the horse can work as good or better than a standard colour, it should get called in.

                              Anyway, that is my RANT!

                                see arr harr
                                Posted 8 months ago

                                Any judge worth his salt shouldn’t give a monkey’s about coat colour.

                                Judging is all about movement, conformation, and manners. There are a thousand things that should go before colour. If there are two identical horses, save for colour – that’s the only time colour should ever come into it! (Aside from if a colour or marking is against breed standard – in that case, the judge would be right to penalise.) Some colours are more striking than others; a well turned out black horse will be far more eye catching than a grey, but the grey may be more correct.

                                To a decent judge, colour is an after thought. There are some who prioritise it – but they shouldn’t!

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