In addition to being held in a very unique location, the Arabian US Open in Central Park has another interesting feature. The slate of judges! I have no idea what sort of judging or scoring system is going to be used, and quite honestly I don’t really think it’s particularly important. And it’s certainly not the subject of this blog post.
Once, again, I was simply curious about the group of horsemen that had been selected to judge this year’s show. I was able to find their names from the show’s website. But, by the time I had the idea to write this (which was after I wrapped up the performance horse and rider biographies), it left me no time to really reach out to these folks to find out more about them.
What I did find is what anyone can find out by an internet or social media search!
Leslie Connor-United States
"I have been involved with Arabian horses for almost my entire life. I showed for over thirty years, winning three USEF (then AHSA) National High Score Awards in the Arabian division, plus numerous other National and Regional awards. I have been a recognized judge with USEF in the Arabian division since 1975, and later added cards in the National Show Horse, Andalusian, and Friesian divisions. I also have cards with AMHA (Senior), AMHR (R), ASPC, Modern (R) and Classic (R), ASPR (R), and GVHS. To date, I have judged over 225 rated horse shows, 37 of which were Regional or National/World shows. I have judged extensively in the US and Canada, and many times abroad. Other countries where I have judged include: Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, England, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and South Africa."
To say that Claudia Darius has extensive international judging experience is a whopper of an understatement. Visit the Darius Arabians website and you can call up a list showing just how extensive it is. Like many young girls, Claudia started riding at a young age. But it was visit to the All Nations Cup in Aachen that sparked, what has turned out to be, a lifetime devoted to Arabian horse. Her family formed Darius Arabians in 1987 and in the 1990’s they decided to specialize in straight Russian bloodlines.
Jaroslav Lacina-Czech Republic