I was raised on a small farm in southern New Jersey. My family has raised TWH for many years. I was fortunate enough to work with gaited horses and non-gaited breeds as well. It was a TWH that taught me how to jump and it was a warmblood that I continued with. We advocated sound and naturally gaited horses and have always supported organizations that do the same. To this extent, when I turned 25, I became a licensed judge through IJA, a subsidiary of FOSH (Friends of Sound Horses).
MFTHBA Performance & Versatility
Robin Riley Clifford
Robin Clifford has a passion for judging and enjoying all breeds of gaited horses. Her specialty is breeding and showing rare colours and curly coats of the naturally gaited Missouri Fox Trotters. Robin loves the hardy yet sweet nature of the gaited breeds, a bonus to the versatility of the gaits that are great for all chosen riding disciplines. She feels honored to judge and ride these amazing animals.
IJA Gaited Dressage
Steward — NAPHA
Trail riding and showing TWH's Tennessee Walking Horses have been a major part of Bill and his wife Donna's life for 43 years. They rode gaited breed in the mountains of California and Utah. They began a shift toward more natural management of horses in 1995. In 2001 they attended the FOSH championships in Denver, liked what they saw and Bill joined the FOSH Board. They are proponents of Natural-Horseman-Ship as prescribed by Pat Parelli. Since 2005 they have taken their horses as natural as possible moving to barefoot. Currently an EAC member, Bill is a Past President of FOSH and past President of the Back Country Horsemen of Utah.
USEF — Paso Fino (r)
USEF — Friesian and Andalusian (r)
Steward — NAPHA
Keith Dane has been involved with TWH's for most of his life, and showed extensively in the eastern U.S. Currently he enjoys trail riding and judging shows for most gaited breeds. He was IJA Director of Judges and FOSH President from 2002 — 2003.
Mimi Busk Downey
Mimi Busk-Downey has been involved with gaited breeds since 1974 in the US and Canada. She has been a judge since 1992. She show in Peruvian and FOSH shows, and have raised Peruvians and Single-Footers. She is on the Board of PHAC, and serves in NAPHA on the Rules Committee and as Chair of the Judges Accreditation Committee. She writes articles and has done seminars on gaited horses in the US, Canada and Australia.
RMHA — Senior
IJA Senior Gaited Dressage
In addition to her IJA Judges' License (including IJA Dressage), Alece holds judging cards for multiple gaited breeds. She scribes for USEF Judges (from L — S) at local to national championship level shows which has enhanced her eye for correct dressage riding in any breed. Alece believes correct use of the training pyramid is important for any breed or discipline and is committed to building a solid foundation of rhythm and relaxation.
Alece teaches riders the importance of equine biomechanics and how to assist the horse to become balanced and supple with the use of this knowledge in their ground and under-saddle work. Alece says "the relationship between form, function and gait is my passion" and to that end works to help riders and their horses develop a relaxed, soft and unified relationship. Alece is from east Tennessee with her 2 Rocky Mountain Horses and 1 Tennessee Walker.
IJA Gaited Dressage
Rick Evans has raised, trained, and exhibited naturally gaited horses since moving to Colorado in 1999. "At Evans Gait in Kiowa, CO, we believe that gaited breed horses are well suited to almost any equine activity including rail, trail, packing, drill team, driving, parade, gymkhana, roping, sorting, and dressage. We strive to achieve a well-rounded horse and rider using classical and natural training techniques". Rick has been involved in 4-H activities since 1989 including livestock judging and exhibiting, and shooting sports. Rick currently serves as President of the Rocky Mountain Region Rocky Mountain Horse Association.
Steward — NHPHA
Sally has 35 years of experience with TWH and 20 years of experience in the judging arena with NHSC, IPWAH and IJA. Sally trained and showed 3 TWH to Supreme Versatility champions and Youth Superior Champion as well as many to Tri-State Championships. She has judged Mountain Horse for 12 years. She has experience in hosting clinics, organizing schooling shows, managing shows and organizing trail trials. She currently owns 12 TWH and 1 Kentucky Mountain Horse.
IJA — Gaited Dressage
Lynn has been actively involved with gaited horses for over 40 years in these areas: owner, trainer, rider, horsemanship clinician and instructor, breeder and judge. Lynn operates Gracewood Farm & Retreat, concentrating on promoting safe horsemanship skills while enjoying equine companionship and a smooth recreational riding experience.
UMH A — "A"
USEF - Arabian ©
USEF — ½ Arabian ©
USEF — Andalusian ©
USEF - National Show Horse Registry ©
USEF — Western & Stock Seat Equitation ©
AMHA — Senior A (Miniature)
As a farrier, judge, ringmaster, announcer and instructor, Gene has developed an excellent eye for assessing conformation and performance in many breeds of horses. He enjoys their beauty and intelligence. He began training, horseshoeing and showing in 1965. He began judging in 1970 and now judges 10 to 20 shows a year in many disciplines including numerous National Shows. In his career he has judged over 12 different breeds and is pleased to be a member of IJA. He has worked with youth of many breeds and is especially proud of the times his students won National Championships in Equitation.
IJA Gaited Dressage
PFHA — senior
International Confepaso — all modalities
Paso Division — Intn H
USEF — Paso Fino Division — R
Team USA Safe Sport — all breed
Betsy McHugh is a professional horseman with over 35 years of industry experience. After completing a five-year apprenticeship in Equine Studies/Training/Farm Management Betsy pursued a career as a full service professional. Training and showing horses at the national and international level, instructing riders to championship achievements, Betsy is a noted horseman. Earning a national and international license to judge and proving competence and honesty she was invited to judge the Mundial (World Cup) on two occasions. In 2010 Betsy was awarded the peer award PFHA Trainer of the year. As a dedicated horseman Betsy continues to serve the horse industry as a train/instructor/mentor, judge, clinician and consultant.
Julie Moore grew up riding and training Tennessee Walking horses for Versatility events in eastern Oregon. She moved to Florida in 1972 where she spent several years training and instructing in the Hunter/Jumper and Dressage disciplines. Julie has been a professional trainer for over 35 years in multiple equine disciplines including Combined Driving. She won the 2003 World Grand Champion Versatility award at the MFTHBA's annual Celebration and the 2009 MFTHBA Boss Man Versatility Futurity World Championship. She has been an MFTHBA Judge since 2001, specializing in Versatility and Judged gaited horse shows across the country and in Germany. She also conducts gaited horse clinics across the country using natural horsemanship and dressage principles to develop natural gaits and enhance the relationship between riders and their horses. Julie is now living and training Missouri Foxtrotters at Mille-Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona.
USEF — Paso Fino
WPCSA — "gold"
RMHA — junior
ASAC/AMHR/ASPR — Miniature, Shetland
I have owned a horse for 42 years. Some of the breeds I have been involved with are Quarter Horses, Morgan horses Saddlebred horses Welsh Pony, Hackney Pony and Tennessee Walking Horses. I feel that horse showing is an art and one can never stop striving for the best performance. I love every aspect of showing, whether it be competing or judging.
IJA Gaited Dressage — Senior Judge
UMH — "A"
Steward — NAPHA
Diane J. Sept has been involved with Tennessee Walking Horses since 1971 in Montana where she rode Walkers for ranch work, rodeo and show. Diane had her first judge's license in 1980. Her profession revolves around horses and all breeds are a part of her life. Several students and horses have won national versatility titles. Diane owns Back To Basics Equine Awareness where she teaches and works with horses from her home base in Denver, Pa. She travels around the country teaching Connected Riding clinics on smooth gaited and walk/trot horses.
IJA Gaited Dressage — L
In 1987 a black Tennessee Walking Horse — Midnight Shamen was born. My love affair began and I've never turned back. As I became educated about the TWHs, my passion for this gaited breed consumed me, unfortunately so did the truths about how a large portion of the breed spend their lives in pain and suffering for the sake of a ribbon in the show ring. When FOSH was being formed, it was clear to me that its founding principles were in alignment with mine. I became involved and was licensed as a judge through FOSH with the first group of IJA Judges. I enjoy Judging in situations where correctly gaited, freely moving and versatile horses are rewarded in conjunction with the Rules and Regulations as defined in the IJA Rule Book.
For the past several years Gina has been the president of GaitWay Horse Association (GWHA), a recognized 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit equine organization dedicated to the humane training, showing, and promotion of gaited horses. GWHA sponsors numerous shows, clinics, sound horse demonstrations, and equine events in Missouri including the North American Pleasure Gaited Horse Championships in 2005 and 2009. Gina publishes a weekly column (Horsen’ Around Lincoln County) to give a voice to local equine events, topics of interest, and to advocate for the humane treatment of all equines. She also serves as a judge for the local rodeo queen crowning event where exhibitors are judged on their knowledge of the equine industry and horsemanship skills. Gina has a particular passion for the “using horse”; one that can be enjoyed on the trails as well as in the show ring and believes almost every horse has the potential to succeed in the right environment and the right show division. After showing her own horses for over ten years at the local, regional, and national level, she has a unique appreciation and respect for the hard work of the exhibitor and considers it an honor to be asked to judge a horse show. Gina resides in Winfield, Missouri with her husband and “built-in ringmaster” Darryl, four horses, three cats, three dogs, and seventeen chickens.
Senior Gaited Dressage Judge & IJA Judge
Senior Gaited Dressage Judge
Learner Gaited Dressage Judge & IJA Judge
Learner Gaited Dressage Judge
ABRA - American Buckskin Registry Association
AHR - Haflinger
AMHA - American Morgan Horse Association
AMHA - American Miniature Horse Association
AMHR - American Miniature Horse Registry
APHA - Paints
ASPC - American Shetland Pony Club
IAHA - International American Horse Association
IJA - Independent Judges Association
KMSHA - Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association
KNGHA - Kentucky Natural Gaited Horse Association
MFT - Missouri Fox Trotters
MPHA - Mountain Pleasure Horse Association
NEHC - New England Horseman’s Council
NAPHA - North American Peruvian Horse Association
PFHA - Paso Fino Horse Association
POAC - Ponies of the Americas Club
PPHRNA - Peruvian Paso Horse Registry of North American
PtHA - Pinto Horse Association
RMHA - Rocky Mountain Horse Association
UMH - United Mountain Horse
USEF - United States Equestrian Federation
WPCSA - Welsh Pony and Cob
The Independent Judges Association was founded in 1998, as a subset of Friends of Sound Horses, to provide a source of trained and qualified gaited pleasure horse judges to preside at open, saddle club and gaited breed-specific shows.