Mr. George Maschalani is an ambitious judge and professional horse trainer from Erbach Germany. He is eager and striving for healthy and sound horses in the western sport. He has several judge cards (AQHA, APHA, NRHA, NSBA, NRCHA, EWU and FEI****) and has judged some of the biggest events in Europe such as: European Championship of American Quarter Horses and FEI European Reining Championship. During May the 24-28th he was judging together with judge Michaela Kayser at SWS/Bråvesta Challenge 2017. I was fortunate enough to catch him for a couple of questions on his perspective of the western sport in Sweden.
1. What is your opinion on your influence as a judge on the development of the sport?
I believe that the judge has a great influence on the development of the sport. We decide the form. We give the associations’ opinions to the riders.
2. You talk a lot to the exhibitors during the show, what do you tell them?
I try to answer any questions. I also talk a lot about the rule book and how the exhibitors can improve next time.
3. You were the coach for the Swedish National Western team about 15 years ago, what is your opinion on the level of the sport in Sweden today vs. back then?
The level has risen very much since then. The level of riders is higher and the quality of horses is greater.
4. What is your opinion on the level of the sport in Sweden compared to the rest of Europe?
I would say it is pretty good! You have some riders at the top level of the sport. The percentage of exhibitors is greater in some other counties in Europe. The quality of horses is greater and they also have some more experienced riders. Sweden is the golden center, after Germany, Italy and Austria.
5. What is important in order to develop the sport in Sweden?
The quality of horses is very important. Today it takes more than being a good rider to win trail, pleasure or western riding.
It is like with the cars, you cannot make a Porsche out of a Volvo. It is important that the horse is bred for its purpose, you cannot beat the great breed quarter horses.
I would like to thank George Maschalani for taking part in this interview, charing his valuable experience with us!
Want to read more about SWS/Bråvesta Challenge? Read the interview with two successfull exhibitors of the show here!
Text: Linn Olersbacken Hellberg
Photo: Mi Rizén