As an FEI judge since 1994 and a 5-star judge since 2006, Katrina has judged Championships at all levels – from children to five World Cup Finals. She officiated at the WEG in 2018 and was President of the Ground Jury at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021.
Katrina competed very successfully up to the international Grand Prix level on the German BTeam during the 1970s, with family life and three children inevitably shifting her focus intojudging.
Since 2019 she has been the FEI Course Director-General and gives seminars in many countries helping to improve judges’ education. She is always working on new ideas to modernise the scoring system such as introducing half marks, and collaborating with Daniel Goehlen, from BlackHorse One, on a program now used worldwide, to assess the Degree of Difficulty in Freestyle performances.
When once asked if she felt the international dressage landscape had changed in recent years, she replied: “I think it has. When I judged in Tokyo there were competitors from twentynine countries among the sixty athletes allowed. The ‘strong’ countries are still getting stronger but new riders have appeared from ‘new’ countries – they made mistakes and some were unlucky but no horse gave the impression that he was unable to compete at that level.”
Katrina has never lost the practical connection with horses. She especially enjoys helping young people and giving them valuable tips for showing their horses at competitions – with the eyes of the judge, but also as a trainer because – according to Katrina – the more everyone comes to a general understanding of our sport, the more it will grow and gain importance worldwide.
“Breeding has generally improved a lot and so have many of the Lusitanos/PRE horses.However, I think the Danish, Dutch or German warmbloods are the ones most buyers prefer for the top sport. In general, every ‘functional’ horse with high rideability, who is mentally strong and has three clear paces, is always good to train. There have always been very positive exceptions but, in general, most top horses nowadays are more ‘complete’ than they were a decade ago.”
“I look forward to coming to South Africa again in June – it has been interesting to hear of the exciting developments underway. I am excited to contribute to judge development, riders and coaches too. See you soon!”