It would be
difficult to locate a St. Catherine's athlete with more diverse talents than
Peter Cameron. As a youngster Cameron, played baseball, softball, basketball,
soccer and lacrosse and won his only three boxing matches. However, he excelled
in basketball and softball. Cameron was captain of the Canadian Basketball
Champion St. Catherine's Celtics and won the Niagara District senior scoring
title three consecutive years. But those accomplishments pale in comparison with
judging horses. He rode his first horse at age 6, owned his first at 13, entered
his first competition at 15 and started judging at 22.
Cameron has judged a
record 800 North American horseshows and was named the Arabian Horsemen Judge of
the Year on a world-wide vote in 1991 and 1992. He has judged all the major
breed Championship Shows including the world famous Spruce Meadows Masters in
Calgary. He averaged 250 horses a show, Pete passed judgment on about 250,000
horses in about 750,000 class entries and he has walked 5,000-6,000 miles in
show arenas throughout his judging career.
Anyone who has
witnessed him in action cannot help but be impressed by the energy of Peter who
often wears out two or three ringmasters per show. Entertaining for the crowd as
it may be, his agility and quickness in the ring has dismayed many a competitor
caught off-guard or in-the-act and few make the mistake of under-estimating him
twice. Imagine remaining mentally alert and focused for hours at a time, while
moving over sometimes uneven footing, in all kinds of weather with (maybe) a
fifteen minute break all day! To do this and do it well, a judge must be in good
physical shape. According to Cameron,
“judges errors are often
caused by fatigue, conditioning is always stressed”.
Cameron was the last person to judge the Scottsdale Halter classes as a single
judge. Indeed, “tireless” is a word often associated with Peter Cameron.
ML: Who was your favorite mare to
PETER: My favorite mare is Keepsake V. She
always showed happy at halter and was one of the best movers. I judged
her as a youngster at Santa Barbara where she won a big class. I‘ll
always remember that day – those big long legs, white socks and she came
in that arena looking like a million dollars. She won big in Country
Pleasure- ridden by Sheila Varian. Always nice, quiet, good size and
ML: What did you instill in the learner
judges that worked with you?
Every learner judge who has worked with me gives each and every rider
their full attention no matter if there are 3 or 40 in the class. I
encourage my learner judges to talk to each exhibitor, compliment them
and suggest ways they might improve. I have worked with 220 learner
judges, 127 of them in the Arabian Division.
ML: What are
some of your other favorite Arabian Horses that you have judged?
PETER: I like “Sakr” in Native Costume;
“Red Tape” and “Allience” in Park; “Polish Princess”, “Cinco Grande”,
“Mmusket” in Reining; “SX Bint Cobah” in Western Pleasure; “Gai Parada”
in Pleasure Driving and “Kameron Bey” in Halter/Performance
ML: At the time you judged, what were
your favorite stallions and why?
PETER: In addition to Khemosabi I also
judged and really liked these stallions who went on to gain celebrity
status: Bey Shah, *Aladdinn, *Padron, Barbary, Bay El Bey and Echo
Magnifficoo. They all looked like stallions, muscular, good gaskin
muscling, big in the chest and shoulder.
qualities constitutes a good judge?
PETER: I have several qualities I would
like to share with you. Ability to judge the horse, not the person
showing the horse.; A person who reads and knows the rulebook and uses
it as their bible in judging classes.; A person who is neat, dignified
and businesslike.; A person who looks at every horse in the ring and
gives each one an honest consideration and Ability to judge the horse as
they see it on that particular day, not as they saw them in other
classes on previous days or at other shows.
What is the best way to train future judges?
Put people out in the ring so they can get a little arena dirt in their
shoes. Don’t try to teach judging from looking at videos or in a
classroom – use live horses. If I was doing the training, I would
organize a show just for “new” judges to practice on. I’d get horses
with conformation faults for the halter classes. If they don’t spot the
faults, I would bring them back in and point them out.
How would you like people to remember
Peter Cameron, The Judge?
I would like to be remembered as an honest judge, a judge who gave
everyone a fair look and for the fact that I judged all those years
without a hint or suggestion of conflict of interest. And very
important, that my whole mission has been to encourage – not
I would like to THANK Peter and Velma for an incredible day, I could of
spent the whole weekend just “talking” to Peter on everything you wanted
to know about horses. Before I knew it, it was time to go home and
reflect on what a wonderful time I had.
End of Interview Part II