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Judge Spotlight with Donn Collins

We work very hard behind the scenes at Online Dressage International to handpick you the very best judges from across the globe. As dressage riders, we really benefit from different perspectives and, whilst the dressage score sheets are all the same, each judge can bring something new to the training table, allowing you to progress in your training. What it's all about!


Donn is a List 3a BD judge, BHS Performance Coach (BHSI), BETCM, Challenge Award Trainer, as well a PC recommended coach and Riding Clubs national judge. So he brings a wealth of experience to the ODI table, from both a judge, coach and competitor's perspective! Delighted to have him on our roster so let's find out a little bit about his background and the principles behind his judging.


" My parents weren’t horsy but when I passed my Pony Club A test at the age of 17, they realised that it was futile to expect me to lead a 'normal life'!

My grandmother didn’t have much jewellery I could pawn so all I could afford were excitable ex racehorses or other people’s rejects. This had to be combined with earning a living, selling the good ones to keep going. I worked as an English teacher until I saw the error of my ways and switched to journalism and newspaper editing. This really was like the TV comedy “Drop the Dead Donkey.” Media and PR relations followed and finally lecturing in Higher Education. When living in New Zealand I won the National Championship on a horse that had won eight races. Another horse I produced successfully show jumped with another rider in the Olympics. Selling him was the deposit on a house!


I have trained four horses to at least Advanced Medium or above and as a dressage judge it is a privilege to see so many talented horses and riders work their way through the levels. Dressage judging is something you can always do better and it is vital to respect with humility all competitors’ efforts and desire to progress. The more you learn the easier it becomes to learn more."



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