Janet Foy “I Like the trainable brain and the forward-thinking attitude of the P.R.E”
In recent years, world-renowned FEI Judge Janet Foy has played a prominent role in dressage judging at prestigious competitions, including the Tokyo Olympic Games, European Championships, Final World Cups, Pan American Games in Lima 2019, all major North American competitions, Wellington, and most recently, the World Championships of Young Horses.
In today's interview, we have the opportunity to learn more about Janet Foy, an FEI 5*/Level 4 Dressage Judge and USEF Senior Judge. She openly discusses her experience at the World Championships of Young Horses, the critical aspects of evaluating young horses, what judges look for, and, most importantly, the role of the P.R.E. breed in sport.
When did you become a dressage judge?
How did your judging career develop?
There was a program in the Denver area, and they needed one more person to run it, I was recruited by my friends. I wanted to only ride, but my area needed one more person to join in order to have a program, so I did and was shocked when I passed.
What is the most valuable thing that being a judge has taught you?
Patience and the need for daily correct riding, corners, transitions, etc.
From a judge's perspective, what do you think about the quality of the PRE horses at the World Championships of Young Horses?
Improving every year, very exciting to see some of the ones crossed with the warmbloods too.
What should people look for when they buy a P.R.E. horse for dressage?
They all are active and have good minds. A bit longer neck and a good walk are very important for competitive dressage.
Do you have any fond memories of your first contact with a Spanish horse?
My friend Tyra Vernon first moved from Friesians to Spanish horses many years ago. I have been teaching her in clinics for about 30 years first in MN and now in Ocala. I was like hmmm, new challenges!
This year, ANCCE brought 10 P.R.E. horses to compete in Ermelo. What is your opinion about this?
I think it is wonderful that they are bringing more and more and doing well in the competition arena.
How do you now find the reception of the Spanish Horse in international dressage competitions?
They do very well in many movements, 8-10; but have had lower scores in both walks which is 40 points. Overall, they can keep up with any breed in the piaffe and passage and pirouettes but need more elasticity for extensions and better walks.
What do you like most about the Spanish Horse?
Their trainable brain and their forward-thinking attitude. The hind legs have so much activity by nature!
The P.R.E. horse is in demand today. What recommendations would you give to Pure Breed Spanish Horse breeders dedicated to Dressage?
Keep selecting ones with longer legs, a bit longer and less heavy neck, and of course, improve the walk and elasticity. Don’t ever breed out the great and willing brain! Training the brain is as important as training the body!