Tag Archives: Cesar Torrente

FEI Judge Cesar Torrente Approved as USEF “S” Judge

Stephen Clarke, Christoff Hess, Lilo Fore, and Thomas Long stand alongside Cesar Torrente. (PHOTO: JRPR)

Wellington, FL (June 17, 2019) – To be successful in the world of dressage, kindness, positivity, and the welfare of the horse are of the utmost importance according to beloved International FEI Judge Cesar Torrente. These characteristics are what continue to drive Torrente in achieving his dreams and goals of working with horses – dreams he has had since he was a boy growing up in Colombia. Now, these dreams are becoming a reality, and after a recent approval by the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) to become an “S” Judge, a permanent move to the USA is in Torrente’s near future.

Torrente is from Bogotá, Colombia and has become well known around the world through his blog and Facebook page where he continuously posts helpful advice, information, and guidance for all levels of dressage riders. “I come from South America where we do not always have all the trainers or the judges to give good advice,” Torrente explains “Sometimes the federations don’t have good ways to communicate what is changing in the FEI rules and what is changing regarding training methods.  So, I started using my blog so that my community around my country would learn things like what rules have changed, or to be aware that if you do this in the ring, the judges will do that.  But interestingly, what has happened is when I go to every single show in America and even in Europe, some people run into me and say, ‘You know what, you probably don’t even know me, but I’m your Facebook friend and I read a lot of your blogs – please keep on doing them!’”  His followers know that Torrente always includes “Feeling blessed” in every one of his Facebook posts, and he has been teased because of it that he must be the most blessed person in The Americas.  “I truly feel that I am,” he smiles. “I get to do what I like while being surrounded by wonderful people and wonderful horses in different places each week.” He goes on to explain that he feels it’s very important to treat everyone, horses, and humans alike, with kindness. “I think it’s very important that we care about the welfare of the horse,” Torrente continues. “I think the welfare of the horse must always be present in our minds when we are training, when we’re helping, when we’re giving recommendations, and you cannot forget that.”

Known in the dressage world as being a “rider’s judge,” Torrente approaches everything in a positive way. He knows firsthand what it’s like to work, ride, train, and show. “I started riding at the age of 12,” he describes. “International competitions were always my dream.  I’ve had good days and bad days,” he continues. “I know the feeling when you go out there and sometimes the horse doesn’t have a good day.  I know how frustrated you can feel no matter the amount of work you’ve done, and I think it’s important that the judges understand that and are a little sympathetic to the effort the riders are giving.”  Torrente goes on, “That does not mean we’re giving away marks, because that’s not correct either, but give the high marks when they come, and also give the low marks when they come, but in the end, I always try to give a little comment and a tip if I can as to how to improve the performance of horse and rider.” As a judge, Torrente has unquestionable integrity. “You have to judge mark by mark,” he says, “regardless of the horse or the person who is riding. It may be a fantastic horse who is always winning, or a horse that nobody knows, and it doesn’t matter the breed. You just have to judge what you see and that’s very important.”

Torrente feels that education and lifetime learning are vitally important aspects of his success.  “I believe continuing education is very important in every profession and that is why I have created, my own personal education program,” he describes. “Fortunately, the FEI organizes amazing courses, and every year I attend at least one of these seminars. I combine this with the fantastic seminars organized here by USEF, which I attend regularly, to the surprise of some of my American national colleagues, because it´s rather unusual that foreign FEI judges attend the national seminar. However, I believe that these seminars are a fantastic opportunity to grow as a judge, to discuss trending in judging, explore concepts and opinions, and obviously to interact with many other judges.”  He continues, “These Seminars can improve one’s skills and are very important because it ensures you continue to be competent in your profession. I see judging as a very important profession and education must continue throughout any professional’s career.”

Torrente was the first judge to be promoted through the new FEI educational system to 4*. As a rider, he has had the honor of standing on the medal podium to receive the team gold medal two times in the Central American Games.

He also won many gold, bronze, and silver medals in Bolivarian and Central American and Caribbean Games. Torrente is also a corporate and arbitration lawyer by profession and despite traveling the globe to judge worldwide, he has maintained the precarious balance between his career and his passion for horses with apparent ease.  He has recently accepted a position in the FEI Tribunal, which decides cases on doping, horse abuse, and all disputes at the FEI level including all disciplines.

Most recently, Torrente has been approved by the USEF as an “S” judge, which is the highest rank for judges in the USA.  “I feel very honored that the USEF granted me this status and that now I am allowed to judge all national shows within the US,” he comments. In addition to that, the US government has granted Torrente an O1 Visa which only goes to persons of extraordinary ability. He also explains that he has acquired all permits to work in the US and Canada, and is downsizing his legal practice in Colombia and is now officially planning his move to the US.

Torrente feels fortunate about all the recent developments in his career as a dressage judge, and says he could not be in a better place. Many foreigners who have immigrated to this country have had a tremendous impact on the development of dressage. This including riders, trainers, and of course judges who are a key element for this sport. The country will certainly benefit from Torrente’s experience, fresh ideas, and dedication to the sport.

Cesar Torrente

Continued Success for Cesar Torrente’s Dressage Webinars for Latin American Countries

FEI 3* Judge Cesar Torrente (Photo courtesy of Cesar Torrente)

Bogota, Colombia (February 13, 2015) — In an effort to help the development of dressage in the Latin American Region, Cesar Torrente recently organized and conducted his second Latin American Webinar. This web-based seminar had participants from several countries, including Chile, Puerto Rico, and Mexico and was created for judges, riders, trainers and any other individuals interested in the sport.

Torrente wants to share with Latin American countries the knowledge that he acquired in Europe and the United States in preparation of becoming an FEI Judge. In sharing this knowledge, he hopes to close the existing gap between Latin American dressage riders and those in North America and Europe. “We are still doing our Regional Championships at the Junior Level, but the Pan Am Games will be at the Prix St George Level and soon at the Grand Prix Level,” says Torrente. “This requires not only better horses, but also education and correct training. Therefore, it is necessary that everybody interested in the sport understands the importance of the basics and that we all work towards higher levels of training in our region.”

In this webinar, in addition to the Training Scale, Torrente commented about the figures, the movements on two tracks, and the freestyles. He also showed videos from outstanding 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old horses in the World Championships in Verden, in order to share with the audience the exceptional quality of young horses in Europe.

The core of the presentation was Stephen Clarke’s videos “How to Judge a Test”, that were translated into Spanish by Torrente, in order to share the expertise of one of the best judges of the world. This segment also allowed some discussions among the participants that enlightened the webinar. Additionally, Torrente was very grateful for the support of the Colombian Equestrian Federation and Chilean FEI Judge Max Piraino who helped to promote the course. “We hope that we can do this webinar at least twice a year and that each time we have more participants from all different Spanish speaking countries,” said Torrente, clearly thrilled with the outcome of the web-based seminar.

This time, the webinar also had welcoming remarks from Peruvian FEI Judge Marian Cunningham that were very charismatic and impressed the audience. “Marian was able to record her remarks from her home in the USA and this shows how versatile this technology can be,” commented Torrente. He also hopes to have, for the next webinar, a 5* Judge from Europe or North America commenting live, as the possibilities are endless with this technology.

Torrente says that webinars are the most cost-effective method of communicating to mass audiences in the business world and its advantages should now be used to further the education of our dressage judges worldwide. It is no secret that the participation of judges, trainers and riders in seminars and clinics is expensive and frequently many of them cannot afford to attend such events due to the cost of airfare and hotels.

Torrente believes this is a first step to open up dressage education worldwide and hopes that this idea may enhance all continuous dressage educational programs around the world.

A native of Colombia, Cesar Torrente is an international dressage judge and an FEI level dressage competitor. He is the first judge to be promoted through the 2013 FEI 3* program. Cesar has had the honor of standing on medal podium to receive the team gold medal two times in the South American Games and the Central American Games.

A corporate lawyer by profession, he travels the globe to judge worldwide, while maintaining the precarious balance between his career and his passion for horses. He’s known in the dressage world as a “rider’s judge,” because he knows what it’s like to be in the judge’s box as well as competing in the arena. He has great compassion for riders and always makes an effort to provide value comments to help them improve their scores and enjoy their journey in the world of competitive dressage.

For more information, contact:
Cesar Torrente
International Phone: +57 3102365702

FEI 3* Judge Cesar Torrente Improves Horses and Riders at All Levels with Ride-a-Test Clinic

FEI 3* Judge Cesar Torrente and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz at the February Ride-a-Test clinic. (Photo courtesy of JRPR)

Wellington, FL (March 3, 2014) – Dressage riders were thrilled to participate in a Ride-a-Test clinic with Cesar Torrente, held February 4-6, 2014, at the International Dressage Academy in Wellington, FL. Presented by Stacey Macleod, of Everything but the Horse, the clinic offered participants an incredible opportunity to ride for an FEI 3* judge and receive immediate feedback.

A native of Colombia, Cesar Torrente has successfully competed in three Pan Am Games and two Central American Games. In 2010, he earned a Team Gold Medal at the South American Games held in Colombia and a second Team Gold Medal at the Central American Games held in Puerto Rico. He’s known as a rider’s judge, because he knows what it’s like to be in the judge’s box as well as competing in the dressage ring. Torrente has great compassion for riders and always makes an effort to provide value comments to help them improve their scores and enjoy their journey in the world of competitive dressage.

Torrente believes that Ride a Test clinics give a good snapshot of what to expect during a show. “These clinics are a wonderful opportunity for riders for different reasons,” he says. “They provide a wonderful opportunity to see how your horse will react in an environment very much like what you’ll face during a real competition. However, you don’t have all the pressure of the competition, because you know you can repeat movements that didn’t go as well as you expected.

“Afterwards, you can verify with the judge if the quality of the gaits is correct, and receive advice as to how better you can present your different movements. Each of these items is very important, and when you can have them all at the same time, it’s really a great opportunity to learn, improve, and benefit.

“When I teach clinics, I start by assessing the level of the horse and rider. As a clinician, I want to get the best out of the combination, but I always take into consideration their background and goals. After a quick assessment, I focus on the basics. Is the rhythm good? What weaknesses can be corrected? Is the contact proper, or are some adjustments needed? Is the horse straight? Is he properly bent?

“Obviously, while working on the basics, I give special attention to the rider’s seat and overall position to make sure he’s helping the horse and not interfering. After all this, I focus on collection, and finally, on how to better present the horse in a competition environment. I also give advice as to how much warm up may be needed or how to better show the horse’s strong points.”

Torrente really enjoyed the clinic’s atmosphere and especially the positive attitudes of all the riders.

“Obviously, I was pleased they all showed improvement and left feeling happy at what they’d accomplished,” he said. “The auditors and riders were astonished at the impressive results we saw in only minutes with just minor changes. I believe it’s very important in this sport to be happy with the smallest improvement.”

And Torrente’s students are thrilled seeing the improvements of their mounts: “Every horse I put in front of Cesar shows improvement in each lesson,” said Philesha, a student who rode with Cesar over this most recent clinic.  “My horse always seems to love his approach to the task at hand for the day, and I feel they leave the arena relaxed and proud of the work they have done.”  Sheri, another clinic participant, stated, “Mr. Torrente was to the point and yet kept the instruction light and positive, which made the learning experience a delight.”

Torrente will return to south Florida to hold clinics on March 8-9, May 10-11, and June 28-29.  To reserve a ride, contact Laura Killian at lauraashleydressage@gmail.com or 717-682-1898.

Everything but the Horse, LLC was started by Stacey MacLeod and Heather Houck in 2007. A brick and mortar, internet, and mobile equine consignment and retail store, it offers the finest in used and new items for rider, horse, and farm. They have a passion for helping you and your equine partner reach your goals. Visit Everything but the Horse, LLC in Wellington this winter season at the retail location on Fortune Way or at the booths at The Winter Equestrian Festival hunter/jumper shows and The Global Dressage Festival. For more information on the tack shop, visit: http://www.everythingbutthehorse.com/.

Contact: Cesar Torrente
+57 310 236 5702

FEI 3* Judge Cesar Torrente Offers Insight of a Lawyer and Latin American Expertise to IDOC Candidacy

FEI 3* Judge Cesar Torrente. (Photo courtesy of Monica Castrillon)

Bogota, Colombia (November 18, 2013) – Two-time Central American Games Dressage Gold medalist Cesar Torrente, a national judge since 1978, in 2010 began taking his expertise into the international judge’s box, judging extensively in the Latin American region at shows in Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Ecuador, and later on in the USA, Germany, and Greece.  Within two years, he passed his examination in Stuttgart, Germany and became the first 2* judge promoted to 3* through the new 2013 FEI program. Now, the Bogota, Colombia-based attorney is looking to further serve his international dressage community by announcing his candidacy as Latin American representative for an open seat on the International Dressage Officials Club (IDOC) General Assembly.

IDOC is a Belgian nonprofit organization started in 1990 to promote classical horsemanship, ongoing education, and organizational support for dressage judges from an impartial, independent position.

“My interest with this candidacy is to support IDOC objectives to represent, unite, educate, promote and protect the international dressage officials community and foster higher and more consistent standards in judging,” says Torrente, who is announcing his intent at the same time as accepting the invitation of the Ecuadorian Federation to coach its dressage squad for the upcoming 2013 Bolivarian Games, November 21-25, in Lima, Peru.

Treveling the world while judging has provided Torrente with an excellent porspective on the gobal dressage community.  This combined with the fact that Torrente lives, trains, and competes in Latin America makes him an excellent choice for the IDOC’s Latin American representative seat.

While the IDOC has been in existence for almost twenty years, recent evolutions within the FEI have allowed the club to become a very important group representing judges as a stakeholder group. On that point Torrente says, “This is a big responsibility and challenge, but also a great opportunity.”

A corporate lawyer by profession, Torrente is respected throughout the dressage world as a ‘rider’s judge’ because of his empathy for what it is like to be in the judges’ box, as well as the ‘sandbox’ of the dressage arena.  Learn more about Cesar Torrente on his website,  www.dressagejudge.com.

Contact: Cesar Torrente
+57 310 236 5702

Cesar Torrente’s Donation of a Ride-A-Test Package to AHP Student Fund May Just Have Him “Cowboying Up”

Jessica Hein, posing with her horse Ozzie, will be sending her Western Dressage Test for a Ride-A-Test review with Cesar Torrente, FEI 3* dressage judge, thanks to the AHP. (Photo by Laura Stevens, courtesy of APHA)

Colorado Springs, CO (July 3, 2013) – Colombian National Champion dressage rider and FEI 3* judge, Cesar Torrente, contributed his expertise to the American Horse Publications Student Fund by donating a Ride-A-Test judging package for the silent auction hosted during their annual seminar recently held in Colorado Springs, CO.  His Ride-A-Test contribution provided an opportunity for the highest bidder to submit a video of a ride to be judged and critiqued by Torrente as if he were watching from the judge’s stand at an FEI level show. Torrente recognizes the value of sharing information and education through the media. He was very proud to support the AHP Student Fund, which encourages young people who want to become a part of the equine media and publishing industry, but judging this Ride-A-Test may not be a “cinch”!

Jessica Hein, Editor at the Paint Horse Journal, was the highest bidder and was thrilled to win the prize. “I bid on this item because I thought I could gain some insight into my dressage tests from Mr. Torrente’s critique,” Hein explained. “I am new to dressage, so I thought this would be a cost-effective means of getting some feedback and suggestions.  I have been riding Western dressage for about a year and a half, and before that, I was primarily a hunter-jumper rider,” she continued.  Hein described that she typically rides Training Level and First Level dressage, and her coaches are traditional dressage instructors and riders.  However, she was hoping to submit her video riding a Western dressage test and have Torrente base the critique and judging on traditional dressage standards.  “I would like to get some feedback on our maneuvers and suggestions on ways we can improve our scores, or even get some ‘homework’ that might help us improve,” she said.  “I’m excited to have won the donation.  I am thankful for the AHP and thankful for the opportunity to learn from Mr. Torrente!”

Torrente has been described as the quintessential “rider’s judge.”  His compassion for the competitor comes from the fact that he is an active Adult Amateur rider in Colombia and also has vast experience competing at the international level, representing Team Columbia in the Pan Am Games and Central American Games on more than 4 occasions.  An attorney by profession, Torrente is committed to ethical judging and leaving the competitor with constructive remarks that will enable them to make improvements and encourage them to continue the never ending journey of dressage training. And Torrente’s own journey of dressage will head west as he applies his expertise to Jessica Hein’s western dressage test!

Torrente’s valuable contribution to the AHP Student Auction comes on the heels of his becoming the first FEI 2* Judge to be promoted to FEI 3* through the new, and very rigorous FEI system.  Torrente has been working toward the honor of this new promotion for over 2 years by participating in the Education System for FEI Judges, which was established by the FEI in July 2010. This elaborate system, which has a prerequisite of showing at the FEI level, required Torrente to comply with Judges Seminars, Shadow-Judging, FEI Qualification Courses for his promotion, and Refresher Seminars to maintain his status, all while being supervised by the Dressage Committee and the FEI.  “It has been a very time consuming journey that has taken me to so many countries, seminars and courses,” Torrente says, “It has been a wonderful experience to sit and learn from the best judges in the world on different continents.  As a result, now I can judge up to Grand Prix level in FEI CDI’s and in National Competitions as well,” he adds.  He is excited to be able to use his new status in many ways to support and encourage dressage riders at all levels, young or old, who share his same passion for the sport.

Torrente’s official promotion date was July 1, 2013, and he is currently booking judging dates for the remainder of the year.  For more information, contact Cesar Torrente at cesartorrenteb@gmail.com or by phone at (0057) 310-236-5702.

Contact: Cesar Torrente
(0057) 310-236-5702