With all due respect I know the game very well...Not chickens, but Politics in competition. My experience with for example,the karate tournaments.I have two boys that competed since they were five years old...After a few years one decided to do something else and the other one decided to go all the way through In sparring and kata.In the beginning it was clear that he was the best in his division but there was always a few Darlings of the of the league the ones that were affiliated with a lot of the judges...heck even one Sensei would buy lunch for the judges that were always at the tournaments...many times comments from the spectators and other parents were that we got robbed. After a while I said to tell my son " you know what? Be the best that you can be and eventually they won't be able to ignore your scores" he started competing for himself for his own personal records and eventually all the posers couldn't compete with him because he just became so good... when he started to compete for himself everything changed. Long story short I think when I reach what I want in my chicken endeavor s, I'm not going to bother to show them I'm not going to be chasing other people's opinions.
I think the chicken show thing is great but I don't think it's for me.
If you don't want to breed to the standard or show or either that's your prerogative. There's plenty of Leghorn threads where breeding to standard isn't the focus.
Personally, I'm breeding to the standard whether I show or not. I like the bigger, better-built dual-purpose birds and the standard provides a guideline for me to keep in mind when I select my breeding stock.
If you are choosing not to do that what IS your selection criteria, out of curiosity?