Jane Holderness Roddam CBE
As the dressage phase finished at Badminton, two time Badminton and one time Burghley winner Jane Holderness-Roddam CBE spoke to Niki Hinman about the ‘bette noir’ that is dressage, the value of smiling down the centre line, and reflects on the change in cross country courses since her day.
West Kington based Jane is one of the World’s leading eventing dressage judges, and admits that a nice smile from someone heading down the centre line is always welcome.
“Some do quite a cheeky smile,” she said. “Especially someone like Olly Townend. I think he thinks it will make a difference. But it doesn’t work with me Im afraid!’
She does admit that it is always worth a try and tells all her riders ‘for goodness sake smile at the judge.’
“There is nothing more soul destroying after a day in the box and some boot-faced person comes down the line. You don’t feel like giving them a good mark. So a nice smile makes a difference to me personally. It doesn’t necessarily change the marks but it puts me in a better mood.”
“You just love some horses. There is something about their whole expression. If they really look as if they are enjoying it and the rider is in total harmony that is such a pleasure to judge.”
“I’ve never judged at Badminton. I was asked once, but I wasn’t qualified, and they didn’t ask again. But I’d love too,” she said
But is she swayed in her marking by knowing the horse, or the rider and does she think any unconscious bias slips in to the judging?
David Doel with GalileoDavid Doel is going to his first Badminton with a plan. He wants to make the British team.
His CV says it all, and this charmingly modest, mild-mannered farmer’s son sees Badminton as the next logical step in his hopes for team glory with the GB equestrian team.