Joan Macartney –
“I am pleased to submit the first judge article for the Rising Stars website.  First of all, congratulations to the very knowledgeable and innovative team who developed the Rising Stars Program with a focus on youth and their development.   Since the initial offering of the Rising Stars Program in British Columbia, components have been broadened and over the past few years, focus has been on the development of an equitation division with appropriate scoring.  
With the creation of an equitation component, I have been honoured to be able to assist with the further development of this important program.    Strong riding/equitation skills are the key to success for everyone in this very challenging sport of dressage.  Working with the RS team and developing the equitation component and the supporting score sheet has been a major role – and over the past few years I have been pleased to be able to judge both at a variety of the RS classes and in particular the equitation component.  As a matter of fact, the FEI, our governing body, has recently incorporated an equitation (quality of riding) score as part of the FEI Children’s tests, thus underlining the importance of this critical skill.  
I encourage youth to participate in the RS program and look forward to the day when RS and the equitation program will be offered in all areas of our country.  
I wish success and fun to all of our competitors as they pursue their equitation skills and participation in the RS program.”
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