Wellington, FL – On the night before the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, dressage enthusiasts flooded ShowChic, the fashionable dressage boutique in Wellington, Florida, to listen to their favorite judging duo give tips on how to improve scores in the show ring. Bill McMullin and Bill Warren, fondly known as “The Bills,” hosted the latest Shop Talk event at ShowChic’s showroom on December 8, where they discussed topics near and dear to many dressage riders in a presentation called “How to Improve Your Scores… Talk to the Judges!” The pair gave the public insight into the mind of the judge, and into each element that comprises the horse and rider’s final score, using the equation “Basics + Criteria +/- Modifiers = the Final Score.”
Shop Talk, now in its eighth year, is the brainchild of ShowChic owners Michele and Doug Hundt. Their idea was to provide the opportunity for dressage riders and enthusiasts to come together to learn from a variety of industry professionals in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. As the years have gone by, Shop Talks have become highly anticipated events in the dressage community. Everyone who attended the most recent Shop Talk received the benefit of learning from the “The Bills” about how to excel in the show ring. Bill McMullin is a USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist, and a USDF Certified Instructor and Faculty member. He is a USEF "r" Dressage judge and recently completed the ‘R’ judge’s training program. Bill Warren is an FEI 3* and USEF ‘S’ Judge as well as a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist. Warren is also a member of the USDF Regional Championships Committee. Since 1998, he and
McMullin have been operating Warren-McMullin Dressage. Both “The Bills” are trainers, coaches, judges, clinicians, and competitors, and their insight into how to improve dressage scores made them a hit at ShowChic Shop Talks, both this year and last year.
At this week’s Shop Talk, “The Bills” covered topics such as test modifiers, accuracy, and transitions by referencing a series of video clips provided by the USDF L Education Program. The videos went through examples of horse and rider combinations, demonstrating movements such as the stretching trot, medium trot, half pass at the trot, and the free walk. The videos showed each movement executed to score a 4, 6, and 8 from the judges.
With attention to detail, “The Bills” took the audience through each component of the judge’s system in scoring, and how this corresponds to the pyramid of training. McMullin stated that, “There are no automatics, we look at the whole picture before arriving at our score.”
The duo also explained places and times within the test where you can best take advantage of your horse’s highest scoring ability for certain movements. Warren said, “There are places where you can make up marks for other movements. Don’t stress if your horse doesn’t have a 10 trot, you can make up for that with other movements where your horse may be stronger, such as the free walk or the turn on the haunches.”
This Shop Talk took place during the commencement of the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by the Dutta Corp., held at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival show grounds in Wellington, Florida, on December 9-12. While watching the exciting Grand Prix and Intermediaire National Championships this week, why not stop by the ShowChic mobile tack shop located on the show grounds, right outside the show office, to find a variety of the latest “must haves” for the fashionable dressage rider. ShowChic carries the finest in dressage clothes and accessories from brands including Pikeur, Cavallo, Kentucky, Grand Prix, Samshield, Arista, Equiline, and Eurostar. The company also offers handmade stock ties, beautiful stock pins, and delightful gift items— perfect for everyone on your holiday gift list. ShowChic’s showroom—home to the Shop Talk series— is located at 3220 Fairlane Farms Road, Ste-3, Wellington, Florida.
To learn more about ShowChic, visit www.showchicdressage.com or call 561-319-2121.