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“I enjoy giving comments that hopefully they can use to keep progressing in their training.” Marilyn got her start as an official in the ‘70s.She was already an eventing Technical Delegate when the organization now known as the ESDCTA held a dressage judges training program near her home.She evented a Thoroughbred named Bold Chance who did not cherish his job, so she focused on dressage and brought him up to the Grand Prix level, achieving the scores needed to pursue her “S” Dressage Judge license.Marilyn is now a 4* FEI Eventing Judge, “R” Eventing Technical Delegate and USEF “S” Dressage judge.Marilyn Payne has officiated at some of the world’s biggest events, including judging at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and serving as President of the Ground Jury at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.Yet, she was surprised when she was selected as President of the Ground Jury for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Marilyn’s career as an official has flourished through her love of horses and education.She was qualified, having ridden at Second Level, so she participated and became a “r” Dressage Judge.She started judging at both dressage shows and events while she continued to also compete in both.
We are grateful to have had the opportunity catch up with Marilyn and learn more about her career as an official and life as a horsewoman.
Wherever I judge there are always some familiar faces, and at each competition you meet new ones who become part of your family.
For decades, she has traveled the world to officiate both dressage and eventing competitions, creating lasting friendships and compiling unforgettable experiences along the way.
“One of the best perks of the job is that you always meet fabulous people.
She is now a highly sought after clinician, sits on multiple equestrian committees and is a familiar face at major events around the country as both a Technical Delegate and Judge.
“I just really enjoy watching good horses and riders and I love helping people,” Marilyn said.