FOSH is the only international organization dedicated to the promotion of the sound-gaited horse emotionally, mentally, and physically.

We educate our members on how to treat, care for, and train gaited horses across the U.S. and Canada.
Friends of Sound Horses

Got Gait – Go FOSH

IJA Judging Program

IJA — Comprised of Licensed Gaited Horse Specialists

FOSH’s judging program, Independent Judges Association (IJA), involves judges and professionals who have multi-breed licenses on top of being gaited horse specialists. Please check out the links below to learn more about IJA. You can also visit our IJA Rule Book page to learn about the programs’ rules and standards.

  • Licensed Judges
  • Provisional and Pending IJA Judges
  • Licensed Gaited Dressage Judges
  • Acronyms for Licensing Associations

All About IJA Judges for 2022

Martha Chatten
PO Box 41
Tuckahoe, NJ 08250
(609) 743-1094
mchatten_gm@hotmail.com

  • IJA

Martha Chatten

Martha was raised on a small farm in southern New Jersey. Her family has raised TWH for many years, so she was fortunate enough to work with gaited horses and non-gaited breeds as well. It was a TWH that taught her how to jump, and it was a warmblood that she continued with.  She, together with FOSH, advocated for sound and naturally gaited horses and have always supported organizations that do the same. To this extent, when she turned 25, she became a licensed judge through IJA, a subsidiary of FOSH.

Robin Clifford
8024S Lodgepole Dr.
Sandy, UT 84094
(801) 651-6555
redfeatherranch@hotmail.com

  • IJA
  • MFTHBA Performance and Versatility
  • UFTHA

Robin Riley Clifford

Robin Clifford is passionate about judging and enjoying all breeds of gaited horses. She specializes in breeding and showing rare colors 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.

William B. Coon
31 Canyon Rd.
Herriman, UT 84096
801-254-9369
wbotis@gmail.com

  • IJA
  • IJA Gaited Dressage
  • Steward — NAPHA

Bill Coon

Trail showing and riding TWH’s Tennessee Walking Horses have been a significant part of Bill and his wife Donna’s life for 43 years. They rode gaited breed in the mountains of Utah and California. In 1995, the couple began a shift toward more natural management of horses. 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 naturally as possible, moving to barefoot. Bill used to be the president of FOSH and the Back Country Horsemen of Utah. He is currently an EAC member.

Keith Dane
71-1626 Puu Napoo Drive
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
410-258-8318
djuj@aol.com

  • IJA
  • NAPHA
  • PFHA
  • USEF — Paso Fino (r)
  • USEF — Friesian and Andalusian (r)
  • Steward — NAPHA

Keith Dane

Keith Dane has been involved with TWHs for most of his life and has shown extensively in the eastern U.S. Currently. He enjoys trail riding and judging shows for most gaited breeds. He was the IJA Director of Judges and FOSH President from 2002 to 2003.

Mimi Busk Downey
PO Box 449
Acme, Alberta
CANADA T0M 0A0
(403) 546-4331
soberano31@gmail.com

  • IJA
  • NAPHA

Mimi Busk Downey

Mimi Busk-Downey has been working with gaited breeds since 1974 in the U.S. and Canada. She has been an IJA judge since 1992. Mimi has been in Peruvian, and FOSH shows and has raised single-footers and Peruvians. Aside from being a board member of PHAC, she also serves in NAPHA on the Rules Committee and as Chair of the Judges Accreditation Committee. Mimi also writes articles and has done seminars on gaited horses in Canada, the U.S., and Australia.

Richard (Rick) Evans
PO Box 249
Kiowa, CO 80117
(303) 646-0919
rick@evansgait.com

  • IJA
  • IJA Gaited Dressage

Rick Evans

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, packing, trail, driving, drill team, parade, roping, sorting, gymkhana, and dressage. We strive to achieve well-rounded horses and riders with the use of natural and classical training techniques.” — Rick.

He has also been involved in 4-H activities since 1989, including livestock exhibiting and judging, and shooting sports. Rick currently serves as the Rocky Mountain Region Rocky Mountain Horse Association president.

Sally L. Frones
2290 Schelinder Road
Carlton, MN 55718
(218) 389-6302
sallyfrones@yahoo.com

  • IJA
  • Steward — NHPHA

Sally Frones

Sally has a 35-years of experience with TWH and 20 years of experience in the judging arena with the IJA, NHSC, and IPWA. She has trained and shown 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. Sally is also experienced in hosting clinics, organizing schooling shows, managing shows, and organizing trial trials. She currently owns 1 Kentucky Mountain Horse and 12 TWH.

Lynn Gallup
1351 Dowd Road
Carthage, NC 28327
(919) 961-0675
gracewoodfarmretreat@gmail.com

  • IJA
  • RMHA
  • KMSHA
  • IJA — Gaited Dressage

Lynn Gallup

Lynn has been actively involved with gaited horses for over 40 years in these areas: owner, rider, trainer, horsemanship instructor and clinician, judge, and breeder. She also operates Gracewood Farm & Retreat, focusing on promoting safe horsemanship skills while enjoying equine companionship and a smooth recreational riding experience.

E. Gene Holloway
8009 Morningside Drive
Frederick, CO 80516-9418
(303) 909-5222 – Cellphone
(303) 776-3346 – Fax
janwayhh@gmail.com

  • IJA
  • UMH A — “A”
  • USEF — Arabian ©
  • USEF — ½ Arabian ©
  • USEF — Andalusian ©
  • USEF — National Show Horse Registry ©
  • USEF — Western and Stock Seat Equitation ©
  • AMHA — Senior A (Miniature)

Gene Holloway

As a farrier, ringmaster, judge, instructor, and announcer, Gene has developed an excellent eye for assessing the performance and conformation of many horse breeds. He enjoys these animals’ intelligence and beauty. Gene began horseshoeing, training, and showing in 1965. In 1970, he began judging, and he now judges 10 to 20 shows a year in many disciplines, including numerous national shows.
Gene has judged more than 12 different breeds in his career and is pleased to be an IJA member. He has worked with youth of many breeds and is incredibly proud of the times his students won National Championships in Equitation.

Betsy McHugh
3201 S Washington
Marshall, TX 75672
(801) 440-9172
betsymchgh@gmail.com

  • IJA
  • PFHA — Senior
  • International Confepaso — All Modalities
  • Paso Division — Intn H
  • USEF — Paso Fino Division — R
  • Team USA Safe Sport — All Breed

Betsy McHugh

Betsy McHugh is a professional horseman with over 35 years of experience in the industry. After completing a five-year apprenticeship in Equine Studies/Training/Farm Management, Betsy pursued a full-service professional career. Training and showing horses at the national and international level, and instructing riders to championship achievements, Betsy is a noted horseman. After Betsy earned a national and international license to judge and proved her competence and honesty, she was invited to judge the Mundial (World Cup) twice. In 2010, she was awarded the peer award PFHA Trainer of the Year. As a dedicated horseman, Betsy serves the horse industry as a trainer/instructor/mentor, clinician, consultant, and judge.

Julianne (Julie) Moore
P.O. Box 544
Aguila, AZ  85320
(941) 356-9525
Jmoore11199@earthlink.net

  • IJA
  • MFTHBA

Julie Moore

Julie Moore grew up riding and training Tennessee Walking horses for Versatility events in eastern Oregon. In 1972, she moved to Florida and spent several years instructing and training 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 2009 MFTHBA Boss Man Versatility Futurity World Championship and the MFTHBA’s annual celebration.

Julie has been an MFTHBA judge since 2001, specializing in Versatility and judging gaited horse shows across the country and in Germany. She also conducts gaited horse clinics across the U.S., using natural horsemanship and dressage principles to develop natural gaits and enhance the relationship between horses and their riders. Julie is now training Missouri Foxtrotters at Mille-Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she currently lives in.

Debbie Rash
12816 La Brida Avenue
Chino, CA 91710
(909) 247-8733 – Cellphone
(909) 591-4216 – Fax
debrash21@gmail.com

  • IJA
  • USEF — Paso Fino
  • WPCSA — “Gold”
  • MFTHBA
  • RMHA — Junior
  • ASAC/AMHR/ASPR — Miniature, Shetland

Debbie Rash

Debbie has owned a horse for 42 years. Some of the breeds he has been involved with are Morgan horses, Quarter Horses, Welsh Pony, Saddlebred horses, Tennessee Walking Horses, and Hackney Pony. He perceives horse shows as an art, and one can never stop striving for the best performance. He loves every aspect of showing — whether it be judging or competing.

Diane J. Sept-Sutton
4095 Misty Meadow Way
Valley, WA 99181
(509) 937-2870
(610) 858-1473
dianesept@aol.com

  • IJA
  • IJA Gaited Dressage — Senior Judge
  • PA4H
  • UMH — “A”
  • Steward — NAPHA

Diane Sept-Sutton

Since 1971, Diane J. Sept has been involved with Tennessee Walking Horses in Montana, where she rode Walkers for ranch work, shows, and rodeo. She had her first judge’s license in 1980. Her career is all about 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 America teaching Connected Riding clinics on smooth gait and walks or trot horses.

Pauline Stotsenberg
40836 Calle Bandido
Murrieta, CA 92562
(951) 461-6587
p8uline@me.com

  • IJA
  • IJA Gaited Dressage — L

Pauline Stotsenberg

In 1987, a black Tennessee Walking Horse — Midnight Shamen, was born. Pauline’s love affair began, and she has never turned back. As she learned about the TWHs, her passion for this gaited breed consumed her. And so did the truths about how a large portion of the breed spend their lives in suffering and pains — all for the sake of show ring ribbons.

When FOSH was being formed, its founding principles aligned with hers, so she became involved and was licensed as a judge through FOSH with the first group of IJA judges. Pauline enjoys judging in situations wherein versatile, correctly gaited, and freely moving horses are rewarded in conjunction with the rules and regulations as defined in the IJA Rule Book.

Gina Vehige
Rock Ridge Springs Ranch
400 Woods Rd
Silex, MO 63377
(636) 566-8279
gvehige115@gmail.com

  • IJA

Gina Vehige

Gina has been the president of the GaitWay Horse Association for the past several years. GWHA is a recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit equine organization dedicated to the humane showing, training, and promotion of gaited horses. GWHA sponsors several clinics, shows, sound horse demonstrations, and equine events in Missouri, such as the North American Pleasure Gaited Horse Championships in 2005 and 2009.
Gina publishes a weekly column called Horsen’ Around Lincoln County. These publications give voice to local equine events and topics of interest and advocate for the humane treatment of all equines. She also judges the local rodeo queen crowning event, where exhibitors are judged on their knowledge of the horsemanship skills and equine industry. Gina has a particular passion for the “using horse,” one that can be enjoyed on the trails as well as in the show ring.
Gina also believes that almost every horse has the potential to succeed in the right environment and show division. After showing her horses for over ten years at the local, regional, and national levels, she has a unique respect and appreciation for the hard work of exhibitors. Gina considers it an honor to be asked to judge a horse show. In Winfield, Missouri, she resides with her husband and “built-in ringmaster” Darryl, three cats, four horses, seventeen chickens, and three dogs.

Christine Beasley
147 Dodson Road
Troy, MO 63379
(636) 528-7656
spottedpony@centurytel.net

  • IJA

Cheyenne Dunham
1416 160 St
Jefferson, IA 50129
(816) 284-3196
cdunham0976@gmail.com

  • IJA

Nola Giddings
887 Solano Ct.
El Sobrante, CA 94803
(510) 758-7786
Dorado887@yahoo.com

  • IJA

Kirsten Kuzmanic
644 N. Creekside Dr.
Prescott AZ 86303
(951) 440-4615
kirstenk38@gmail.com

  • IJA
  • IJA Gaited Dressage

IJA Judges For Dressage With Gaited Horses

Senior Gaited Dressage Judges and IJA Judges

Diane J. Sept-Sutton
4095 Misty Meadow Way
Valley, WA 99181
(509) 937-2870
(610) 858-1473 – Cellphone
dianesept@aol.com

Julianne (Julie) Moore
P.O. Box 544
Aguila, AZ 85320
(941) 356-9525
Jmoore11199@earthlink.net

Julie Dillon
47 Sand Pit Rd
Mason, NH 03040
(603) 878-0834 – (H)
(603) 289-1174 – (C)
horsefeathersNH@gmail.com

Senior Gaited Dressage Judge

K.C. Parkins-Kyle – Senior Judge
2870 Flintwood Rd
Franktown, CO 80116-9324
(303) 841-9953
murphyhors@aol.com

Learner Gaited Dressage Judges and IJA Judges

Martha Chatten
PO Box 41
Tuckahoe, NJ 08250
(609) 743-1094
mchatten_gm@hotmail.com

William B. Coon
31 Canyon Rd.
Herriman, UT 84096
(801) 254-9369
wbotis@gmail.com

Rick Evans
PO Box 249
Kiowa, O 80117
(306) 646-0919
rick@locktrack.com

Lynn Gallup
1351 Dowd Rd.
Carthage, NC 28327
(919) 961-0675
gracewoodfarmretreat@gmail.com

Nola Giddings
887 Solano Ct.
El Sobrante, CA 94803
(510) 758-7786
Dorado887@yahoo.com

Kirsten Kuzmanic
P.O. Box 2848
Chino Valley, AZ 86323
(951) 440-4615
kirstenk38@gmail.com

Pauline Stotsenberg
40730 Calle Bandido
Murrieta, CA 92562
(961) 461-6587
ps@yesteryearfarms.net

Acronyms for Licensing Associations

  • ABRA – American Buckskin Registry Association
  • AHR – American Haflinger Registry
  • AMHA – American Morgan Horse Association
  • AMHA – American Miniature Horse Association
  • AMHR – American Miniature Horse Registry
  • APHA – American Paint Horse Association
  • 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 Society of America

The Independent Judges Association

The Independent Judges Association was founded in 1998 as a subset of Friends of Sound Horses. It provides a source of trained and qualified gaited pleasure horse judges to preside at open, saddle club, and gaited breed-specific shows.

General Requirements To Hold an IJA License

  • IJA judges are encouraged to maintain their licenses with other breed associations. They may also hold a license with only one walking horse licensing body.
  • Every three years, attendance at an IJA professional training seminar is required.
  • The IJA judges may have no violations of the Horse Protection Act, either federal or HIO violations, after receiving an IJA license. An upheld violation results in the IJA license removal. The license may not be reissued at any time in the future.
  • The prospective judge’s HPA record must be clear of any upheld violation for five years before the application to be considered for a license.
  • The IJA program licenses a maximum of 30 judges.
  • The IJA license is issued for one year only.

Restrictions on Personal Conduct as a Condition of Licensure

  • The IJA will not grant or renew licenses for prospective or existing judges if they get involved in any conduct that is not in concert with FOSH’s statement of purpose, including owning, exhibiting, or training of so-called performance (chained or stacked) Tennessee Walking Horses. FOSH is also not in favor of placing any horse in training with a stacked walking horse trainer and boarding any personal horse with an individual who trains or boards chained and stacked Tennessee Walking Horses.
  • Judges may not knowingly judge at any show that offers breed-specific classes for gaited horses covered by this rule book using shoes bigger than the 1-inch shoe as described in the IJA Rule Book.
  • Judges may not intentionally judge breed-specific classes for any gaited breed included in the IJA rule book if shoes and pads are larger than the one-inch shoe are allowed. This restriction does not apply to open classes where shoes and pads and shoes are bigger than the 1-inch shoe permitted.

Relationship Between Judges and Exhibitors – Conflict of Interest

  • IJA judges may not judge a horse or an exhibitor if there has been a contractual relationship (either oral or written) between the judge or a member of the judge’s immediate family and the exhibitor or owner of the horse within 120 days of the event. Contractual relationships include the sale, buying, and leasing of horses, boarding of horses, and exercising a horse or consulting by either the judge or the exhibitor. Restricted situations do not include clinics that are open to the general public.
  • IJA judges and stewards may not officiate in any classes in which a family member or a horse owned by an immediate family member is competing or in which clients and/or their horses are competing.
  • IJA judges who own or are employed by a business may not judge any horse or exhibitor that boards, is trained, or takes instruction at the business.
  • IJA judges may not judge any class where an exhibitor is the employee or owner of a business from which the judge boards, trains, or takes instruction.
  • IJA judges may not knowingly be the houseguest of any trainer or exhibitor scheduled to participate in an event where the judge is expected to officiate for 60 days before the event.
  • IJA judges may not participate in aisle parties during horse shows or pre-event activities except for supervised presentations made to the general public relative to the explanation of IJA rules and standards.
  • IJA judges may not receive gifts, take meals, or participate in any activity that would put their objectivity at risk.
  • No exhibitor may compete in a class where a family member is a judge.
  • If an IJA judge feels a conflict of interest exists, they must advise the steward that they cannot judge that particular person or horse.