Peter Cameron Header
Interview Part II

Marylou A. Yuskiewicz

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 judge?

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 pretty.

ML: What did you instill in the learner judges that worked with you? 

PETER: 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. 

ML: What 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.

ML: What is the best way to train future judges? 

PETER: 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.

ML: How would you like people to remember Peter Cameron, The Judge?

PETER: 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 discourage. 

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






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