Meet Our Judges!
Natacha Waddell (BRA) FEI 4*/YH
Natacha Waddell holds dual citizenship, French and Brazilian, but calls Sao Paulo home. She has been a Brazilian judge since 2003 and an FEI 4* since 2016. She was a CCE/Eventing rider from 1975 to 1980, a jumping rider from 1975 until 1993 and a dressage rider from 1993 to 2015. Waddell has been a trainer for more than a decade and lectures about the importance of flat work. She has been a CDI judge since 2012, and a FEI YH judge since 2018, judging competitions around the world.
Cesar Torrente 4* (USDF-S COL)
A native of Columbia, 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 a medal podium to receive the team gold medal two times in the South American Games and the Central American Games. He is a corporate lawyer by profession.
He travels the globe to judge worldwide, balancing his career and his passion for horses with apparent ease. He is known in the dressage world as a “rider’s judge,” because he knows what it is like to be in the judge’s box, as well as the dressage ring. Cesar started riding at the age of 12 and rode his first grand prix before he turned 20. Since then he has ridden and trained horses up to Grand Prix level and has been the Colombian National Champion at all levels over several years.
William Warren 4* (USA)
Bill is an FEI 4, USEF 'S' Dressage Judge and a USDF Gold Medalist. He has trained several horses to Grand Prix and worked extensively with dressage greats such as George Williams and Conrad Schumacher, who both helped him progress with his Grand Prix partner, Romantic. Bill also enjoys working with adult amateur riders. Bill is a gifted clinician that uses his experience as a Grand Prix rider and 4 judge to create a unique learning experience for auditors as well as riders.
Mike’s riding skill grew out of his unique combinations of experiences in the horse world. He grew up in Michigan riding jumpers and was a keen observer of many riding disciplines. These early experiences gave Mike an appreciation of good riding, regardless of the particular riding disciplines or breed of horse. His personal quest for better riding led him to dressage. Mike immersed himself in dressage training working with Maryal Barnett, then in California he worked as an assistant to Hilda Gurney. Additionally he has studied with Steffan Peters, Carol Lavell, and Paul Belasik.
Mike has also expanded his activities to include teaching clinics, judging and a breeding program in addition to his own competition riding. He has been a dressage judge since 1984 and today is a USEF “S” rated judge. In 2013 Mike became the first FEI 4* (Four Star) Judge in the Northwest putting him on a path to judge international FEI dressage competitions.
Christof Umbach (LUX) 4*
Christof is a native of Germany and a resident and citizen of Luxembourg. He has bred, owned and ridden horses competing at the international level, as well as training competitors to the international level. In 1991, Christof became a national judge in Germany and in 1995 passed his exam to be a professional rider in Warendorf, Germany. In 2000, Christof moved to Luxembourg and became the operator of a professional dressage stable and became a member of the national dressage committee. In 2003, Christof was the Event Director of the CDIO* in Mondorf les bains.
César Lopardo-Grana 4* (Argentina)
César FEI Dressage Judge 4*, an FEI Dressage Judge for Young Horses, and an FEI Dressage Steward and served on the FEI Nomination Committee from 2013 to 2017. César is an International Grand Prix rider and trainer. He has been General Secretary and Dressage Chairman Argentinian National Federation from 2003 until today. He has served as Chef d’Equipe in Pan-American Games and Chief of Mission in multiple WEG events. César has been a team member in South American and Pan-American Games in Grand Prix.
César begam to compete in show jumping at the age of 16, but decided to show only in Dressage, first national and then international traveling in America and Europe. Today he spends his days judging, riding, and sometimes training. His other passions include gardening and breeding show dogs.
Hans-Christian Matthiesen (DEN) 5*
Hans-Christian Matthiesen is the current President for IDOC, International Dressage Official Club and a member of FEI JAG (Judges Advisory Group). He is a former member of FEI Dressage Technical Committee and has Judged European Championships, World Championships, WorldCup Finals, as well as Olympic Games. He is a former Chef d’equipe for the Danish Junior/Young riders.
Hans-Christian is a Veterinary Surgeon, specializing in orthopedics, lameness problems, riding/training related problems in horses. He works in a fully equipped equine hospital, north of Copenhagen with 11 vets. He was the team veterinarian for Denmark for nine years, including three3 Olympic Games.
Live north of and close to Copenhagen, with partner and daughter. He lives near Copenhagen with his partner and daughter.
Janet Foy (USA) FEI 5* Dressage Judge, Young Horse Judge USEF “S” Dressage Judge
Janet has judged all the major shows in the United States and Canada including the NA Young Rider Championships and the 2019 Pan American Games. Janet judged the Paris World Cup Finals in 2018 and the 2019 European Championships. Janet has been honored to judge many top CDI-W and CDI 5 in the world including the famous Aachen 5. Janet has also been to Australia and South America, judging in Brazil and also judging the Central American Games in Bogota and the Central American Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico.
Janet is a former member of the AHSA and USEF Board of Directors and well as a former Board Member for USDF. She currently served on the Dressage Sport Committee and the International Disciplines Council. She also is a member of the USDF “L” Faculty.