2018 AGDF Program - 56
Q&A: DRESSAGE JUDGE JANET FOY
Q&A with Dressage Judge Janet Foy
Dressage Judge Janet
Foy (USA) was recently
appointed to the CDI 5*
rank, marking her among
only 36 other 5* judges in
the world . The Colorado
Springs, CO, native began
her equestrian career
riding Western and
hunters . Foy is a USDF
Bronze, Silver, and Gold
Medalist and spends her time judging all over the world .
Foy is also the author of Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect
Horse, as well as Dressage Q&A with Janet Foy .
What are some of the most common mistakes
that you see when riders go into the arena?
The majority of riders need to pay more attention
to their transitions . They have pretty clear upwards
transitions, but they don't normally show clear
transitions back to the collection; they tend to cruise
through the corners, so I think most judges would like
to see better downward transitions .
Accuracy is also very important . I see this more in the
Small Tour than in the Large Tour, but riders think that if
they do a steeper half-pass and arrive earlier, that we as
judges will appreciate it more . We write the tests to see
if they have control from point A to point B, so arriving
early gets a deduction . Riders need to be a bit more
aware that arriving early is not what we want to see .
You have recently become a CDI 5* judge. Can
you talk about what that means for you?
With this rating, I'm now able to judge Olympic
Games and FEI World Equestrian Games™, and also
World Cups . It opens the window for me to judge those
very important events .
Why do you think that the Adequan® Global
Dressage Festival is such an important show?
That three months that we are down there, it's
like having a new country, a new world where all
56 * 2018 ADEQUAN® GLOBAL DRESSAGE FESTIVAL
of your friends come from all over, so it's the most
amazing opportunity . There really is nothing like it in
the world . It is so inspirational for riders who are not
yet at the top, they can come and they can watch and
learn and be coached by the best in the world because
everybody is there . People can see the best horses in
the world, if they're looking for a horse to buy, there are
so many opportunities .
The Friday night Freestyle has taken over, even my
husband's golf friends come and watch! They don't
really know anything about horses, but they just love
to come and bring snacks and drink some wine and
watch these dancing horses . I think it's such a great
opportunity to teach people about dressage that really
otherwise would know nothing about it .
It's one of those things that I really look forward to
every year . It's fantastic and there really is nothing
like it .
What is your favorite memory from the judge's
For me, the most wonderful experience was when I
was invited to Central Park Horse Show . I was judge
at C for the Freestyle, and we had just done a memorial
for Lloyd Llandkamer, so everyone was already pretty
emotional . Isabel Werth came out and did this amazing
freestyle under the lights with the New York City skyline
sparkling behind her . For me, I loved that .
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a
The most rewarding thing for me, is when I have
a rider tell me that the comments I made and the
advice that I gave them on the sheets, really helped
them and improved their ride and relationship with
the horse . When you hear that and you have someone
thank you, then I think you are doing your job .
Obviously judges tend to get a lot of criticism from
people, but I think we keep doing it because at the end
of the day, we want to help the horse, help the sport,
and because of that, I love what I do .