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Shaina Humphrey
has been a licensed judge of hunters, jumpers, and hunter seat equitation with the Untied States Equestrian Federation since 1984.  She holds a specialized judge's card with the American Quarter Horse Association, and has judged the All American Quarter Horse Congress on two occasions, and was selected to judge the Youth Worlds Show in 2008. Shaina has judged shows from as far north as Alaska, to as far to the south as Wellington, Florida.  She brings a wide diversity of riding and training experiences with her to the judge's stand, and considers herself to be a judge who comes from the perspective of the horse and rider. training them. 

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HUNTERS

"My early riding experience involved fox hunting.  I am an honorary member of the Woodbrook Hunt Club, where my family and I spent countless Sundays riding to the hounds.  My knowledge of judging hunters is based in part on that experience.  I prefer a horse that covers the ground easily with a pleasant attitude, not the horse that nervously jigs and pulls your arms out  for hours on end.  I have an aversion to problem horses, but most of my career in horses has been about training them.  Our family had a reputation of being monkey riders who could stick like glue to the back of any horse. My early years were spent dealing with horses of this nature. 

Shaina and Quail Run
In 1979, "Quail Run" was the Washington
Bred Horse of the Year,Zone 9 First Year
Hunter Champion, and Junior Hunter
Champion. He was purchased by Hap Hansen.

Consequently, I can identify them quickly when judging classes. They are not the horses I want to win, but sometimes clever riding and handling can disguise them.  Most of my success came from Thoroughbreds that had been purchased off the track. The first horse that took me to local stardom was named “Quail Run”. This horse was Zone 9 Champion in both the 1st Year Green and Junior Working Hunter Divisions in the same year.  At age 13, I had beaten out my own riding instructor and idol, Lu Thomas.  I knew at that point that if you had an eye for the jumps, it didn’t matter who you were as a rider.  It was all about the quality of the horse and the expression of the round that won hunter classes. I was asked to catch ride a lot as a junior, and realized how few and far between the good horses really are. It makes my heart race to watch a top horse perform in the hunter division.  It really is a form of art."
 
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JUMPERS

"I represented the United States in International Competition at Spruce Meadows in the early 1980’s. I won several classes there aboard my horse of a lifetime, “William Z” (named after my father). As a young rider I was Individual Silver Medalist in the Young Riders Championships. I served as an apprentice to Olympic Medalist Norman Dello Joio during the late 1970’s.  In 1990 I was asked to field an entire team of 30 horses for the Pentathlon Competition of the Goodwill Games in Seattle, Washington. That was the most interesting training assignment of my career. Since marrying my husband Lance and moving to Massachusetts in 1992, my competitive career has taken a back seat to my role as a wife and mother to my three children.  

My experience as a jumper rider does little to help me judge them. You need a strong knowledge of math and electronic timing equipment for this job. Most of the local shows where I judge still use handheld stop watches. Due to the limited numbers who participate, most of the results can be calculated in your head. I hope to change the status of jumpers in my local area through development of the sport. Riding and training show jumpers is my passion, and I will do whatever I can to make other people see how fascinating the sport of show jumping can be."
Shaina and William Z
"William Z" and Shaina were individual
Silver Medalists in the Young Riders
Championships in 1984. They went on
to represent the United States in Inter-
national competition at Spruce Meadows,
winning the Canadian Wire and Cable cup.

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EQUITATION

"As a rider, I never did all that well in the equitation division.  Despite the efforts of my trainer Judy Richter, I was constantly struggling to find a horse to ride.
I believe that today’s division is really about a solid partnership between horse and rider that is forged over time. It always showed that I had just started riding my horse a few days before the show. My short legs, clenched jaw, and jutted chin all marked my determination, but  never helped me much in this discipline. 

"Bay Bullett" was successful in multiple
disciplines with the Masters family. He was
later sold to Judy Richter. Here he is shown
in a medal class at Lake Placid in 1980.

As a judge, I love to see someone who can ride. I know that the winner is the one who will make it look effortless, but when given the chance, I will always pick a rider who can persuade the horse, and ride their way out of problems. This is why I love judging the Intercollegiate Horse Shows. I don’t have to eliminate riders whose horses act like horses. I love the instances where horses kick out, buck, rear up, freak out, all to the advantage of the rider who calmly knows how to handle the situation. These riders get bonus points in my book. In fact there are a limited number of riders who actually train the horses during the short period of time they are on their backs. I adore these riders, and I give them the extra perks where I can, without running the risk losing my job."


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THE FUTURE

"I believe that as a judge I am responsible for holding up a certain standard in the sport and saying “this is what it should look like”.  In my heart I am an exhibitor who wants to know why the judge saw things a certain way.  I believe that our sport owes the exhibitor more in terms of feedback.  If I have the opportunity to explain why, I’m always happy to do so, provided it happens in a positive, non confrontational manner.  With it’s over scheduling, modern day showing doesn’t allow judges to do this. That’s why I’m an advocate of posting cards with my judging symbols when management will allow it. This gives the exhibitor a little more for their money. 

Please remember that when you show in front of me as a judge I want you to put in the best performance of your career.  I count your good riding, and positive examples of the sport as my personal victories too!" 


Shaina with George Morris


LHF jump pole

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If you're in the market to buy, sell,
or train your hunter jumper,
"make it a Lucky Horse"
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LHF logo Shaina Humphrey
Lucky Horse Farm
Granby, MA 01033
ph: (413) 530-9003
shainah@comcast.net

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