Provincial Foundations Officials Course – Here Comes the Judge!
July 4, 2023

It’s official! 

Five provincial equestrian organizations have partnered with Equine Guelph to offer online training for those interested in becoming a competition judge for grass roots competition circuits. Entry level judges are a vital part of equestrian sport and beginning this spring, the opportunity to train to become a recognized provincial official will be offered on through the new Provincial Foundations Officials Course.
Provinces partnering with Equine Guelph to develop this new online training program include: Alberta Equestrian Federation, Equestrian Nova Scotia, Island Horse Council, Manitoba Horse Council and Newfoundland & Labrador Equestrian Association.

The course content is based on an innovative online training model provided by Equestrian Nova Scotia on for the past two years. “It is very exciting for us to have developed this innovative course, led by our Director of Technical Development Sheila Currie and her cast of volunteer experts”, said Heather Myrer, Executive Director, Equestrian Nova Scotia. “Taking it to the next level as a training course offered in several provinces across Canada is amazing and we can’t wait to get started with our provincial colleagues and Equine Guelph on this important officials’ development partnership.”

This course will be self-paced and there is a full year granted to complete this 25 – 30 hour prerequisite training to work towards becoming a Foundations Judge. Candidates will be learning the responsibilities of Judges at the grass-root levels, in order to officiate for multi-disciplined or general performance provincial shows.

As role models, Foundation Judges create a safe environment for equine sport at local shows, upholding rules, ensuring fair play, and equine welfare. Whether judging objective or subjective classes, entry level judges can help build sport and long-term athletes. Foundation judges will encounter multiple breeds and athletes from various walks of life including: the novice, those preparing to move up the levels and the more mature athlete that is active for life. The online program will help future judges or current discipline-specific judges in focusing on the essence of each class and introduce the tools to judge a variety of classes with consistency.

Topics include Western Performance, Western Speed Division, Showmanship, Flat, Hunter, Jumper, Equitation over Fences, Dressage and Pleasure Driving.

“Equine Guelph recognizes Equestrian NovaScotia for being leaders in spearheading online training programs to its officials,” says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. “We are thrilled to be working together with five provinces to offer this accessible model of training to as many budding grassroots officials as possible.”

If you are interested in taking this first step in training to become a Provincial Foundation Official, you can register at

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