If you’re heading to the 2022 Royal Windsor Horse Show with a coloured horse or pony under saddle, ensure you know exactly what ride judge Vincent Seddon (pictured above, far right) will be looking for on the day.
Who is Vincent Seddon?
Vincent Seddon is an esteemed judge, show rider and show organiser. He has competed at both the Royal International (RIHS) and Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) as well as many county shows. His most recent ride, Loughanboy, stood fourth in the lightweight hunter of the year final at HOYS 2021. He also runs the popular fixture, Wiltshire Show, which holds two events each year at West Wilts EC.
Which judging panels are you on?
I sit on the following panels: Coloured Horse and Pony Society (CHAPS) UK, British Skewbald and Piebald Association (BSPA), Sports Horse Breeding of Great Britain (SHB(GB)), UK Ponies and Horses (UKPH) and Senior Showing and Dressage Ltd. (SSADL).
What will you be looking for when combinations enter the ring?
I always look for a show horse or pony to own the ring from the minute it walks in. With coloured animals, it’s so important that each exhibit is shown to type. In each class there are various types, so ensuring you show your animal to type is essential.
What sort of ride will you be looking for?
Type is key, in both conformation and ride. I will be looking for a horse to give the correct ride in accordance to its type. For example, if a hunter type comes forward in the plaited horse section, I want it to ride like a hunter. It must have gears and be able to move through the paces efficiently. It must have the ability to move rapidly and gallop like a true hunter. If I’m sitting on a riding horse or a hack type, it must give a mannerly ride. Many riders assume they have a coloured horse or pony, but in reality they have a coloured that is a specific type.
What will you be looking for in the ponies’ performance section?
Type is equally important in the ponies. A plaited pony would ideally present a picture of elegance and will be pleasing to the eye. Overall, I want a pony who makes me smile and looks to be enjoying his job looking through the bridle. If a younger rider is on board I want the pony to be moving freely forward so the child isn’t kicking it around the ring. The partnership should look effortless, in harmony and look like they’re sharing the work.
What are some of your show ring pet hates?
I dislike busy riders. I like riders to show simple but effective aids, working in conjunction with their animal; there’s nothing worse than seeing a jockey really over-riding their horse or pony. I also dislike seeing horses going over bent or running on the forehand.
What makes Royal Windsor so special?
Windsor is magical. I was lucky enough to judge the conformation section of the coloured classes a few years ago and there really isn’t anything like standing in the middle of the ring in front of the backdrop. The atmosphere is unique.
Any final advice for those riding at Windsor for the first time?
Windsor is an early show in the calendar, so a lot of animals won’t have been to many shows unless it’s a well-seasoned show horse. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the ring. It’s a long walk from the lorry park to the rings, with lots to see in between. Ensure you arrive at your collecting ring with time on your hands to give your horse or pony time to get ready and prepare for the competition ahead. Most of all, enjoy it. Perform with a big smile on your face and soak up the atmosphere.
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