Here at Online Dressage International, we strive to personally select an array of talented judges from across the globe. These are judges renowned for their experience and attention to detail. Many of them have competed at the very top level and produced horses from the ground up, leaving them in the best placed position to appreciate the rider's efforts, give credit where it's due and offer constructive feedback which genuinely informs your progression.
Today we caught up with Sue Ollerenshaw, a British Dressage List 4 judge, to find out a little bit more about her background and her own horses.
"I have ridden since I was 3 or 4 and trained several show jumpers to Foxhunter - mainly ex-racers and Irish Draught crosses. I was fortunate to compete against some of the very familiar names from when show jumping was on main stream TV. Mainly this was with the top riders on their youngsters but, on occasion in handicap, it was against their Wembley rides. My early experience taught me the value of establishing good flatwork with every single horse.
I had always been interested in schooling and became involved in dressage through eventing. I bought Playboy (my first ever purpose bred and trained horse) in Holland 20 years ago. Since then, I have learned from each of my horses and gone a little further both training and competing with each one. I have achieved two of my goals - competing at PSG and getting a write up in Horse and Hound. The caption says it all for me: 'Ramazotti, aka Woody, is every amateur’s dream horse'. There are very few horses that can do all of the Grand Prix work but in the same day, you can put a six year old on off the lunge! Sadly, he is now semi-retired but because of him, I am now dreaming even bigger. I am currently training Rebel, an Irish boy of unknown breeding, and hoping to take him all the way.
I started writing for Judges to improve my knowledge and competition results. My trainer and some of the judges I was writing for persuaded me to become a trainee judge. Due to my rider points, I could have fast tracked but chose not to as I am an employment tax specialist and not a professional rider or trainer. I am currently a BD List 4, which means that I can judge up to Elementary affiliated. I have judged on a number of panels at Area Festival Semi-Finals, Team Quest Championships and the Trail Blazers Championships. I attend regular judge training to keep up to date and so that I can upgrade to judge higher level classes. I find judging incredibly rewarding. As a rider who has produced horses myself, I understand the time and the effort it takes for that moment of riding up the centre line. "
Online Dressage International welcome Sue to our judging panel and look forward to our competitors benefiting from her expertise.