Innovative Dressage Spectator Judging App

Written by Betsy LaBelle - In Dressage - Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The dressage Spectator Judging App is catching on. Spectators are having fun seeing what scores others around them are giving all over the showgrounds at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival during the CDI competitions.

To access the Spectator Judging App, click here:

For IOS:


For Android:

Check the Schedule late each week during the Seven CDI competitions. You can also score while watching live at:

How did this app come to be?

Way back in 2008, international judge Katrina Wüst had the idea of creating a small prototype system for freestyle scoring. Familiar with Daniel Göhlen’s success as a dressage rider at the time but also with the knowledge that he was studying computer science. She approached him in 2013 in Munich for development of a prototype. “I thought this app would take me around ten hours to create, but it’s been many more thousands of hours by now,” acknowledged Göhlen.

“Finding somebody who understands dressage and knows computer science is hard to do. Katrina needed somebody like me [to implement her freestyle system idea] and I was fortunate enough to be there at the right moment,” Göhlen said.

Daniel performed two studies, one on Computer Science and one on called Informatics: Games Engineering at the Technical University of Munich. He developed the Spectator Judging app all by himself. “The initial version was based on what I did for Katrina but when I developed it for a show in Bavaria and it exploded from there, more or less. I was really happy.”

He considers his app to be “sort of a game where a spectator can take part in real time and see how they fare with the other spectator judges as well as the FEI dressage judges.”

Göhlen, currently a German National Judge up to M Level (USA 3rd level equivalent), said that the App has already become popular in Europe, “We didn’t have as many spectator judges here at Global as we’re used to in Europe, but I think we will in the future. It’s only the first time here and I’m sure it will take time for everyone to get used to it. The current record is at Stuttgart with 380 simultaneous participants. We had more than 2,000 during the entire competition, but 380 all at the same time were using the system. That’s the record, so far.”

He did say that spectator enjoyment of the new app is increasing, “What we’ve noticed,” Daniel stated, “is that 30-35% enjoy doing the movement-by-movement scoring and 65-70% like to put in the final score. What we’re seeing is that spectators are really getting into it.”

In trying out the Spectator Judging App during a competition, one learns by making mistakes. For instance, learning where the marks go and how to place them. While a spectator has the choice of giving a final score or scoring the test movement-by-movement, the app proves enjoyable and engaging. The app makes watching dressage even more educational and fun. 

Currently, in Europe, spectators with their marks or overall scores closest to the judges receive acknowledgment. In the USA as well as in Europe, this new app will be a fun addition for spectators.