Instructions for Judges

Read the Overview. Make sure you review the overview section of the Help documentation so you understand the general mechanics of a show.

Review the Schedule. Before you accept a judging assignment, be sure to review the show's thread in the Show Announcements forum so you are certain that the show schedule suits yours. Unlike a live show, there will be a set period of time when entrants can copy their images into a show gallery, anywhere between 1 and 4 weeks, and normally judging is expected to begin shortly thereafter. Because of the ease of the virtual setting, it should not take a judge more than 3-4 hours to judge a normal-sized division of 25 classes.

Special Login/Powers. In order to convey your special judging powers, the administrators will issue to you a special login. If you have trouble with it, please send an email to Only judges can "rate" (place) photos. A judge can also "comment" on photos in a special field underneath each photo. You can do "test" rankings in our practice show as much as you like. If you want to test the "comment" function, do it on this linked entry of mine so a real user is not getting pinged with a comment notification.

Gallery Layout. Before you judge, familarize yourself with the various views in the Gallery. A view of a class looks like this image.
Class Appearance
An enlarged photo looks like this image.
Key Areas in Photo
As you will note, there are several text fields that accompany the photo: the photo Title area (unmarked) and the Description field. At the bottom is a "rating" area that you will use to place horses. There is also a "next image" link that allows you to advance to the next image in the class. The "comment" area is at the bottom of the page.

Stewarding. Hosts may request that you help them with stewarding, which means reviewing entries and making sure that horses are all in the right classes. Unless your instructions tell you otherwise, you can ask the host or a steward to move a photo for you via private message (PM), or you can leave a comment on the photo. A PM is probably better because a comment will need to be removed from public view after the horse is moved.

Pony Pound. If you and the host sincerely cannot figure out where an entry is supposed to go (for example, where the entry doesn't contain enough info to make this determination and the entrant seems to be offline), we have advised hosts to make a "Pony Pound" class/category where the host can move photos of entries that are non-conforming. You and/or the host can leave comments attached to these photos advising why the entry appeared to be incorrect, but be diplomatic as the entrant will see the comment.

Judging ("Rating"). Before you get started, be sure to confirm each time that you are in the correct area of the show and not placing someone else's division by mistake. Judging is a matter of simply navigating through your classes in the Show's category folder, using the star "rating" area located in the lower left-hand corner of a given photo frame to "place" entries. You should give 5 stars for first place or a championship, 4 stars for second place or a reserve, 3 stars for third place, 2 stars for fourth place, and 1 star for fifth place. When you have ticked the box for the right number of stars for a given image, click the "Rate Picture" button to save your rating. Please note that during the month of May 2021, we will be converting from stars to the actual words "1st" and "2nd" and so forth, so please be prepared for that.

Proofreading and Fixing Mistakes. As you go along, access the Results Report as it will help you proofread your results to ensure that you have placed every horse with a different rating in each class. If you make a mistake in your placings, send an email to and we will fix it for you. The hosts/stewards cannot change placings.

Splitting Classes. If you need a class split, send a PM to the host or your assigned steward, and tell her what the name of each new class should be, and indicate for her using comments what horses need to be moved to the new class. She will create the new class and move the photos over for you.

Championships. As you proceed through the show, PM the host with links to the images. The host will then copy the images of the designated horses to the "championship" classes. When she's done, she'll rate those images, 5 stars for champion and 4 stars for reserve, according to your selections.