Judge Betsy Berrey Gives Competitors Tips on How to Improve Scores at Sho Clothes Shop Talk Session
RELEASE: July 16, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Johnny Robb
Dressage judge Betsy Berrey was the featured speaker at this month's Shop Talk. Michelle Hundt and Betsy Rebar-Sell, co-owners of Sho Clothes, hosted the third in a series of monthly discussions at the Sho Room in Wellington, FL. The Gold Coast Dressage Association (GCDA) co-sponsors the event with Sho Clothes to provide local equestrians the opportunity to learn from top professionals in the area. Betsy Berrey is a well-respected "S" judge who often officiates at dressage shows on the winter circuit in which many local riders compete. Berrey has more than 20 years of experience judging at top shows around the nation and is a member of the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) "L" Program Faculty. The title of this month’s discussion was “Getting More 10’s on the 6.5 Horse."
Berrey offered numerous tips to audience members. Her first suggestion for higher scores was to read the purpose of the level that is being shown. Many people do not do that. She also recommended reading the United States Equestrian Federation's (USEF) Rule Book and the Glossary of Terms from the United States Dressage Federation for the precise descriptions of each movement. Berrey said with a smile, "The judges have read this material, so they know what you are supposed to be doing. Reading will also help you understand what you are supposed to be doing.” Berrey also spoke about the importance of riding figures accurately and the importance of “riding the simple things well.” For example, after first level, each test calls for a halt three times. Berrey emphasized that there are then three scores for a movement every horse should be able to do well, with practice. A few humorous and true stories from shows gave examples of proper ring etiquette for both the judge and the rider.
Previous Shop Talk sessions featured dressage trainer Oded Shimoni and veterinarian Dr. Scott Swerdlin. Based in Wellington, FL, Shimoni is a well-known competitor in the international arena. Shimoni answered questions about buying, training, and showing horses at all levels. Dr. Swerdlin, President of Palm Beach Equine Clinic, led an interesting discussion last month about how to keep a dressage horse sound. Sho Clothes’ monthly Shop Talk sessions have become a favorite for local dressage enthusiasts. “We originally thought the Shop Talk sessions would bring the community together over the summer months,” said Hundt. “But the reception has been so great we hope to offer the programs year round.”
Sho Clothes is a boutique that specializes in equestrian apparel. The Sho Clothes Sho Room is located at 3220 Fairlane Farms Road in Wellington. For many shows on the East Coast, the mobile unit is a welcome fixture. Rebar-Sell is proud that the Sho Room is able to be the venue for Shop Talk. She said, “Sho Clothes is dedicated to giving back to the dressage community. We are so pleased to have Betsy Berrey to share her extensive judging experience and are very grateful to the community for another wonderful evening. It was fun to hear the lively dialog that ensued throughout the session.”
The August speaker for Shop Talk will be Shannon Dueck. Dueck, the daughter of an "S" judge, is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Dueck has successfully represented Canada in international dressage competition, including the World Cup. During the August Shop Talk, Sho Clothes will also host a bronze, silver and gold sale to honor the equestrian Olympics that will be under way. Mark your calendar for the next Shop Talk on August 12 at the Sho Room. The seminars are free and the public is welcome. For more information, visit www.shoclothes.com.