It was just one of those shows....

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Black Feather, May 19, 2009.

  1. Black Feather

    Black Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you ever been to one of those shows where you wonder what on earth was the judge thinking? I have all the respect in the world for most judges, but this past weekend really was an eye opener for me. I've been showing for over 15 years now and I can honestly say that the judging this past weekend was the worst I've ever seen at a show ever. Birds with wry tail actually placing well in classes? I'm not talking mildly wry tailed either....obvious from 30 feet away wry tail. There were other situation as well. The worst type wyandotte placing as BB, a rosecomb with a folded over earlobe taking Ch. RCCL etc. It was so pervasive that it didn't even upset me in the least after a while. Oddly enough the best bird in the building did manage to take grand champion, but that was the only one. I wasn't the only one who had this opinion either.

    Anyone else have any judging horror stories?

    Urban coyote
     
  2. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    I have to say posts like this push one of my buttons [slightly]. I wasn't at the show you're referencing & so didn't see the birds you're referencing. As such I can't refute your descriptions & will take them at face value.
    That said, I do know that absent glaring problems like wry tails & folded lobes you really don't know much about a bird until you get it in your hand. At every show I've ever gone t, before & after becoming a judge, I've heard people wonder what the judge was thinking. I can't speak for anyone else but when people occassionally ask me about placings I'm only too happy to explain why I did what I did. I know all judges don't feel this way but I also many who are also happy to explain a decision.
    One of the things I discovered when I started the judging apprentice program is that judging is a lot harder than it looks. The number of birds a judge handles in a day can vary greatly but I've judges at shows where I did over 700 birds in a day because that was what the show's timeline demanded. Every single one of those birds has to be taken out of the cage & evaluated at least once. The only exception is for birds that are obviously ill or infested & that doesn't happen too often.
    I remember a class of 40+ Whitw Cochin Bantam Pullets I judged a couple of years ago. There were 2 birds in the class that weren't competitive. I had some of them in & out of the cages so many times Ijust about wore them & me out. Or try judging a class of Black Rosecomb Pullets that includes 15 of Rick Hare's birds. Enough to make your brain cramp-they're all good.
    A chicken in a show has, in most cases a minute or 2 to make an impression on a judge. If it's tired, about to lay an egg or just not in the mood that time passes them by because the judge has to finish.
    Do judges make mistakes? Of course they do. Have I ever made a judging mistake? I know I have. Some I've caught & corrected, some people have pointed out to me & I've corrected those too. I'm also sure there have been some that went uncorrected. It's not an easy job & you're bound to disappoint someone.
    So, before you're too hard on a judge try to keep some of this in mind. Most judges do a pretty good job most of the time but most also make some mistakes.
    If you don't already try clearking for a judge sometime & ask them about their decisions. AGAIN, MOST ARE HAPPY TO ANSWER. eVEN BETTER, JOIN THE APPRENTICE PROGRAM & GET A LICENSE. wE CAN'T HAVE TOO MANY GOOD JUDGES.
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    By & large most judges do a great job at what has to often be difficult decisions. But I have seen or heard of few instances of bad judging.

    First case was where all buff silkies were disqualified for having some black in their wings/tails. None had a lot, but all had some. That is not a DQ--it's listed as a defect, but not as a DQ.

    A few cases where a judge did not care for a breed, and his markings reflected his/her personal preferance. Even those benefiting from that expressed that the choices were incorrect.

    A case where a judge commented that silkie tails are supposed to be carried low, and marked down the birds with proper type.

    As I said, these are not the norm--most judging is well-done! But there are exceptions.
     
  4. Black Feather

    Black Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey NYREDS, I totally appreciate the opinion, but honestly, this show was not particularly well done and I've heard about past issues with this individual before. Don't feel too offended as poor judging happens as well as good judging....it happens and life moves on and I don't find it completely inappropriate to discuss ones experiences as long as it's done in a civil manner. That's why I don't list names or places. As I said, I'm not upset about it and I will certainly attend the same clubs show next year. It does make me scratch my head though when some pretty obvious issues with a bird are ignored and the bird is placed in the class. It would be like having that class of rosecomb pullets of Rick Hares and placing the one with the folded lobe over equally good birds without. It was just odd to say the least and I was wondering about other peoples experiences.

    UC
     
  5. Mrs. Turbo

    Mrs. Turbo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2009
    ky
    I saw a few unusual choices at our show......but then again, every judge is different....spring is a bad time to show anything....we left all of our chickens home this time and just entered a few bantams. Breeding is really hard on them.
    On a side note......a snowy call hen won BB....I sure would like to get some of those eggs. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  6. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    Maryland
    I can't comment too much on judges at poultry shows because I haven't shown chickens that often...but in general, I know what you mean when you say "it was just one of those shows...." I show horses (hunters), and sometimes you just have a judge that keeps you wondering just what the heck they are thinking all day long. I had one of these shows last weekend myself. Strange, all-over-the-map judging. A large class with 20+ horses early in the weekend comes to mind--the horse that placed 2nd had a particularly bad trip, with missed lead changes, bad distances, and even adding a stride down a line or two (for those not familiar, these are glaring technical faults that should keep you out of the ribbons in a class this size). Now, if everyone else in the class had done worse, you would understand. But there were a lot of horses that went very well! No need for that horse to place 2nd! We almost complained to the show steward right then and there, and the horse was one of OURS! It was that bad!

    We did end up making a complaint to the steward when the judge leaned out of her booth and made very rude comments to one of our riders when she pulled up her horse in the middle of a course because he didn't feel right (as in he was possibly in pain). Before yelling at the rider, she radioed to the gate person to ask if she had completed the course. She had only jumped 2 jumps out of 8--the judge wasn't even watching!! Unacceptable for a judge to not even know if someone had completed the course or not. But I digress--that is just rudeness, and different than odd placings.

    The thing we always like to say when we can't figure out a judge's rationale when placing is "you're paying them for their opinion." Which is really what it all boils down to. Yes, there are technical points and obvious faults that a judge should use while judging, and it's not right for a judge to ignore these specifics when placing, but at the end of the day it is just, well, an opinion.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  7. McSpin

    McSpin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My daughter was showing rabbits for awhile. It was very interesting because as the judge handled the rabbit, he talked about what he saw and it was written down on the judging card. I don't know if this was just in the novice class or if it was in general, but I thought it was a great way of doing it. We never had any questions when done as to where my daughter's rabbits needed improvement. This is something I think any show organization should consider doing.
     
  8. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Not really offended at all-hope I didn't sound too defensive. I too have seen some things that have made me scratch my head but as I tried to convey, in many cases, if you didn't handle the bird it's possible the judge saw something you couldn't see from the aisle.
    But you know what-it's just a chicken show. I enjoy going, looking at birds I rarely see, talking to old friends & meeting new people. If on rare occassion I win that's cool too.
     
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    in many cases, if you didn't handle the bird it's possible the judge saw something you couldn't see from the aisle.
    But you know what-it's just a chicken show. I enjoy going, looking at birds I rarely see, talking to old friends & meeting new people. If on rare occassion I win that's cool too.

    Absolutely​
     
  10. blackred

    blackred Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Everyone wants to win or at least show well, anyone who says different is lieing. It is just that some people care more about winning than others.

    Anytime that you see a judge place a bird that you feel shouldn't have been placed and in particular if that bird beats you, it hurts. I allow it to tick me off for about a minute then I move on.

    Same thing with winning, only you never hear people talk about it. There are times when I win and shouldn't. I feel happy about it for about 2 minutes then I move on.

    Bob
     

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