This original article by Joanne Verikios was first published in Equestrian Country Magazine, Issue 3, Spring 2017
as "Have Clipboard Will Travel - What Happens On Tour!"
(All photographs courtesy of Eric Lloyd Photography)
You may have heard of the annual Assessment Tours which feature on the calendars of several of Australia's Warmblood breed associations and societies. In its simplest form, a Tour is a benchmarking opportunity which is relevant for Warmblood owners, riders, potential buyers and especially for breeders.
As Warmblood breeding has matured in Australia, the breed administrators here have sought to provide a similar service to the European Keurings and other well-regulated events like Mare Grading, Foal Branding, and Regional Foal Shows. Faced with the huge challenges of distance and diversity of facilities posed by this country, however, they have wisely decided to take the judges to the horses, rather than the other way around. Perhaps the simplest analogy is that a Tour is a bit like a huge breed show, except the judges do the travelling instead of the exhibitors.
From a very early age I have been able to tune in to what horses and ponies were thinking and what they were likely to do next.