Judges Certification

In Canada, we have Provincial and National Judges. Provincial Judges can judge provincial events as well as Equestrian Canada divisions up to and including Canter B. National Judges can judge Provincial events and all Equestrian Canada divisions.

Approval Status

This is the official program document. The current version of this document was approved by the VaultCanada Sport Committee on 2017-06-12.

In addition to VaultCanada / Equestrian Canada, this program has been approved by the following PVOs/PSOs:

  • Equestrian Vaulting Association of BC, with Horse Council BC
  • Alberta Equestrian Vaulting Association, with Alberta Equestrian Federation

Program Definitions

Provincial Judges

The Provincial Judges Program is designed to provide individuals with no previous judging experience with the skills and knowledge to begin their development as a judge. It is intended as entry level training which will prepare individuals to proceed with National Judges training and development if they choose to in the future. It will license and certify that individuals have an understanding of the rules and standards of vaulting, and permit individuals to judge at Equestrian Canada Bronze level competitions and classes.

National Judges

The National Judges Program is designed for judges who are current Provincial Judges and wish to work towards being able to judge the highest levels of National competitions and classes. It will license and certify that individuals have an understanding of the rules and standards of vaulting, and permit individuals to judge at any level of Provincial and Equestrian Canada competitions and classes.

FEI Judges

The FEI Judges Program is outside the scope of Equestrian Canada, and is administered by the FEI. With that said, the FEI does require that Equestrian Canada approves and/or put forward individuals for the FEI Judges Program, and as such, those individuals must be current National Judges. FEI Judges are permitted to judge at any level of Provincial and Equestrian Canada competitions and classes.

Program Requirements

Provincial Judges

To become a Provincial Judge, individuals will:

  • Be of at least 21 years of age.
  • Hold a Gold Equestrian Canada Sport License.
  • Take one clinic approved by VaultCanada, given by an official approved by VaultCanada. This may be organized by a PSO, the Provincial Vaulting Body, VaultCanada, or Equestrian Canada.
  • Write and pass an exam as approved by VaultCanada.
  • Provide three reference letters, at least two of which will be from industry professionals or Equestrian Canada Judges, or judges who would qualify for a Vaulting Guest Card, and one additional character reference.
  • Remit the first annual fee to the PSO for registration in the program, if applicable in that province
  • Candidates will complete 25 hours of practice as follows:
    • Minimum of practicing under at least two different Provincial, National, FEI, or USEF guest carded judges at Provincial Competitions, Equestrian Canada Bronze Competitions or Classes. Candidates may shadow at competitions outside of Canada with permission of VaultCanada.
    • Candidates must shadow at least one class each of individual, pairs and team classes, and at least one class in each of the 3 gaits. (This is may be as few as 3 classes. For example: walk team, trot pairs, and canter individual.)
    • Non-Sanctioned Classes, such as Barrel classes, may not be used towards the shadow judging requirements.
    • The at table mentoring, scribing, and shadow judging must be arranged with the prior written permission of the judge and the competition organizer.
    • The 25 hours must be divided up as follows:
      • At table mentoring or scribing, minimum of 3 hours, maximum of 5 hours
      • Video judging, minimum of 5 hours, maximum of 8 hours
      • Shadow judging, minimum of 12 hours, maximum of 17 hours

Maintaining Judges Status:

  • Individuals must remain active, attending at least one updating clinic every two years.
  • Individuals must work at least two competitions in a two year period, and one of these competitions must be in Canada and the other could be Shadow judging at a Canadian competition.
  • Individuals must maintain an Equestrian Canada Gold Sport License, and be a member in good standing with both Equestrian Canada and the PSO.
  • Remit the annual fee to the PSO, if applicable in that province.

Reinstatement for Non-Current Status:

If an individual does not meet the above maintenance requirements, in order to be reinstated he/she must:

  • Write and pass an exam as approved by VaultCanada.
  • Attend one updating clinic.
  • Then, complete at least 6 hours of shadow judging under one or more Provincial, National, FEI, or USEF guest carded judges. The competitions may be outside of Canada with permission from VaultCanada. The shadow judging must include at least one class of individual, pairs and team classes, and one class in all 3 gaits.

National Judges

To become a National Judge, individuals will:

  • Be a Current Provincial Judge and have maintained that status for at least the most recent 12 months.
  • Write and pass an exam as approved by VaultCanada, if such an exam exists.
  • Provide one positive reference from a Canadian competition organizer for whom the individual has judged and one positive reference from an FEI judge with whom the individual has shadow judged.
  • Remit the first annual fee to Equestrian Canada, if such a fee exists.
  • Candidates will complete 15 hours of practice as follows:
    • Minimum of practicing under at least two different National, FEI, or USEF guest carded judges at Equestrian Canada Gold/Silver Competitions or Classes. Candidates may shadow at competitions outside of Canada with permission of VaultCanada.
    • Candidates must video judge or shadow judge at least one class each of individual, pairs and team classes.
    • Non-Sanctioned Classes, such as Barrel classes, may not be used towards the shadow judging requirements.
    • The at table mentoring, scribing, and shadow judging must be arranged with the prior written permission of the judge and the competition organizer.
    • The 15 hours must be divided up as follows:
      • At table mentoring or scribing, minimum of 3 hours, maximum of 5 hours
      • Video judging, minimum of 3 hours, maximum of 5 hours
      • Shadow judging, minimum of 5 hours, maximum of 9 hours

Maintaining Judges Status:

  • Individuals must remain active, attending at least one updating clinic every two years.
  • Individuals must work at least two competitions in a two year period, and one of these competitions must be in Canada.
  • Individuals must maintain an Equestrian Canada Gold Sport License and be a member in good standing with Equestrian Canada.
  • Remit the annual fee to Equestrian Canada, if such a fee exists.

Reinstatement for Non-Current Status:

If an individual does not meet the above requirements, in order to be reinstated he/she must:

  • Write and pass an exam as approved by VaultCanada, if such an exam exists
  • Attend one updating clinic.
  • Then, complete at least 4 hours of shadow judging under one or more National, FEI, or USEF guest carded judges. The competitions may be outside of Canada with permission from VaultCanada. The shadow judging must include at least one class of individual, pairs and team classes, and may occur in either or both of Canter A or Canter AA.

Foreign Judges Equivalency

If an individual is a currently licensed judge outside of Canada, he/she may apply to VaultCanada to have the eligibility requirements be compared against those of their foreign license, along with their experience while licensed.

  • If each of the requirements can be reasonably correlated VaultCanada may approve the individual to be licensed as either a Provincial or National Judge.
  • The individual will be required to pass the same exam as approved by VaultCanada for the equivalent level approved above, if such an exam exists
  • Once approved, the individual must maintain his/her Judges Status under the same criteria as all other Canadian judges.

Conflict of Interest Policy

  • No individual may compete in a class before a judge who has instructed, coached, or tutored (with or without pay) this individual within 30 days of the competition.
  • No individual vaulter may compete in a class before a judge who is an immediate member of the individual's family. (wife, child, sibling, parent)
  • A judge may not, during a competition at which he/she is judging, be the houseguest of a person or any other family member who is competing at the competition.
  • A judge may not discuss the purchase, sale, or lease of any horse during a competition at which he or she is officiating.
  • Exception: The OC can apply to Vault Canada for an exemption for a Judge to work at a competition where a family member is competing and to judge said family member for a Bronze, Silver or Gold level competition that is NOT a Selection Trial, or a Championship competition.

Responsibilities of each Organization Involved

Administration and Records

The Provincial Judges program will be administered wholly at the provincial level, by the PVO and/or the PSO, as per agreements between the PVO and PSO. Provincial Judges licenses will be granted by the PSO, and the PSO will maintain the records for the Provincial Judges with a list of current Provincial Judges on the PSOs website.

The National Judges program will be administered wholly by VaultCanada and/or Equestrian Canada, as per agreements between VaultCanada and Equestrian Canada. National Judges license will be granted by Equestrian Canada, and Equestrian Canada will maintain the records for the National Judges with a list of current National Judges on the Equestrian Canada website.

Judges Clinics

VaultCanada will approve all clinicians for judges clinics in Canada, and will work with the PVOs and PSOs to ensure at least one clinic is available each calendar year.

The PVO and/or PSO will organize all clinics hosted in their province with some financial support provided by VaultCanada / Equestrian Canada. All Judges Clinics must be open and prompted to all certified coaches/instructors who may wish to audit.

The schedule for all judges clinics should be close to the following, but may be modified at the discretion of the clinician in consideration of which judges are attending, and available travel times:

Day 1, Friday: Compulsories

  • All FEI Levels plus Canadian D
  • 5 hours of instruction
  • 2pm to 8pm with 1 hour dinner

Day 2, Saturday: Freestyle & Technical

  • Artistic
  • Technique
  • DOD
  • Tech Test
  • 8 hours of instruction
  • 9am to 6pm with 1 hour lunch

Day 3, Sunday: Horse

  • in light of the fact everything will often be judged by a single judge
  • 4 Hours of instruction
  • 9am to 1pm