Judging Horse Events – Timed Event Classes

Palomino Pole Bending




Timed event classes may also be referred to as “games,” “gymkhanas,” or “O-Mok-See.” Generally in these classes, the fastest time wins. Deviating from the described rules or pattern will result in either a time penalty or disqualification, depending on the rule infraction.


A judge’s primary responsibilities are to:

  • supervise the class to make sure rules are followed.
  • make sure the course is set up as prescribed by the appropriate rulebook.
  • read over the rulebook prior to

What are some of the basics of horse judging?

The basics of judging horses involve critically evaluating the conformation of a horse for a suitable purpose or the ability of a horse to perform certain requirements for a class. The basics in judging horses at halter include evaluating:
1. Balance = how the horse is put together, the most important criterion
2. Structure/Travel = front and hind legs
3. Muscling = quantity and quality of muscle
4. Quality = visible blemishes, coat condition
5. Breed/Sex Characteristics = femininity/masculinity, breed …