Negative Judge's Comments...

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Jul 25, 2013
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NSW, Australia
I hope this doesn't sound like a sore loser's rant, but I'd like to chat about this.

I took my stallion to his first show for the year last weekend. It was a tiny agricultural show (to give perspective, the local village has a population of 70 people). There were a total of about 6 Miniatures there including my horse, and only one other competing in his class. He was placed 2nd out of 2, which I would be fine with, except for the judge's comments and the quality of the winner. The little colt that beat my stallion was very cute and I'm sure his owner loves him as much as I love Bambi, and I don't care that he beat my stallion, but I honestly think my stallion was the better horse in the class, and not just by a little bit. A lot of people show for fun at this level, and sometimes the horses competing aren't top quality. The colt that beat him was also shown in the Miniature Pony classes, which is against the rules.

Anyway, you win some, you lose some, and I was fine with the 2nd place (he was Champion at the same show last year) until the judge said to me why she placed Bambi 2nd. She told me he was 'terrible type' with a 'bad neck' and that she 'really didn't like anything about him' and told me she had 'judged a lot of Miniatures'. She was really quite rude and I was a bit shocked to be honest. She had nothing positive to say about him at all and I left the ring feeling really upset. Even if that was her honest opinion there are nicer ways to say that to a competitor, or she could have said nothing at all and just left me with the 2nd place.

Bambi is 3rd generation bred by me, and I am proud of him. I started showing him at age 3 (he is 4 now) and in his first show season he rarely came home without a championship and was supreme multiple times. He is National and State Grand Champion in halter and harness. He has won best trot, best head, best colour and best presented at National level.

He has done far better than I ever expected and yet this judge's comments really hurt. I've never been spoken to by a judge like that before. I put so much effort into him and he always looks his best at the shows, and last weekend was no exception. I guess I'm just trying to figure out why the judge hated him so much and if anyone has had similar experiences at shows?
Hey Kizmet,

I don't show so I am the last person to be giving advice on showing, rules , regulations or whether the judge has a heart in her chest or not. Just wanted to say don't be disheartened by her comments use them to drive you further to where you want to be
Very unprofessional conduct on the part of that judge. I would consider contacting whoever hired her. Perhaps there have been other complaints.

When our animals are insulted, we tend to take it personally. You behaved a lot more professionally in the show ring than the judge did.
I would be furious about it. There is one thing a judge is there to do and that is judge, not tear people to shreds. If they don't like a horse all they have to say is that it is not their type. Conformation should come well above personal opinion on the type of the horse!
Some people just haven't got the temperament (nor the tact) to be a judge. Just because they judge does not necessarily mean they know good conformation when they see it. Perhaps she really did not like your horse's conformation. She should not have made such negative comments --but there are those who think they are being helpful, and teaching you about conformation....I know one like that, and it is the reason she will never be hired to judge around here! No show needs a judge that is likely to offend exhibitors with rude comments about their horses!

Ignore this gal and carry on enjoying your horses.
Wow judges are supposed to give constructive criticism, not deconstructive. I would call and complain, that's ignorance on the judges side. And I understand that everyone has there preference as to conformation, but if he has won so much in the past then she should not be judging. And if that's him in your avatar he is beautiful. You have come too far in your breeding to be brought down
It has been my experience(30+years showing many different breeds)that a small agricultural show often hires a judge that I call ONE SIZE FITS ALL.They often hire someone who has a license to do many breeds and disciplines and may not be of great quality in any of them. Show management is often on a small budget so they get who they can get.I would also complain to show management regarding the rude manner in which you were treated.IMO the judge needs to work on her PEOPLE skills.Don't get discouraged.When you show you pay your entry fee and you get the opinion of 1 person.Sounds to me like you are very pleased with what you have bred and that is the most important thing IMO.You live with this boy daily and sounds like you really are satisfied with him.Keep on showing and put that judge on your Do Not Show Under list(right at the top with highlighters.
I don't know a ton about judging but after being a collegiate equine judging team and showing 4-5 years-- that is not the type of comments a judge should give. If your horse had a bad neck they should explain like--short neck, ewe neck, More specifics on the faults of the horse. The reasons your judge gave are not legitimate or professional. If you have it written down or recorded I would let the show committee know in a calm and respectful tone (not saying that you aren't but I'm sure they get a lot of gripes). Best of luck to you. The horse is your avatar is beautiful!
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Agree with all above.....A judge should give constructive advice, not destructive. Some shows actually allow exhibitors to see judges notes on their cards, which is helpful.

It's good to remember that result was just ONE person's opinion on that particular day. (And that one person may not know her butt from her elbow about minis!)
Oh wow, I don't show either, but that hurt my feelings just reading what she said. I Think your horse is gorgeous.
Did you ask the judge why they placed your horse where they did? If not, it's very odd that they voluntarily offered reasons.
I agree with Bevann. Having shown horses over many years, I know which judges I do NOT want to show under! When I get a show bill the first thing I look for is who the judge(s) are and make a showing decision right then and there. There is no point in showing under a judge who obviously (and vocally) did not like your horse in the past. Save your money to go to another show. Also, some shows have evaluation of judges and the show to fill out if you ask for them. Don't get discouraged and keep up the good work you are doing with your horse.
I have never been treated like that at horse shows, but yes by a dog show judge. I still regret not complaining about her as she was out of line. She told me that she only gave me the blue because I was the only one in the class and if she had her way she would have sent me out with no ribbon.

That person had no idea if I was new to showing, what her comments could have done to me, what they did do to me. I did show a few times after that, but eventually I quit, sorry to Anoki and my loved Lily who had nothing to do with this incident but it just stuck in my craw and eventually made me want to quit.

The dog I was showing was having a great time, happy, I was happy, to some she may have been a mis mark, she was on the edge but she loved to show. What was the harm, really in just leaving us alone to have our good time?

No judge should give anything other than constructive comments, how to improve, why the other animal was stronger, and only if you ask!

The last thing needed is to drive people away by being nasty.
I agree with Bevann. Having shown horses over many years, I know which judges I do NOT want to show under! When I get a show bill the first thing I look for is who the judge(s) are and make a showing decision right then and there. There is no point in showing under a judge who obviously (and vocally) did not like your horse in the past. Save your money to go to another show. Also, some shows have evaluation of judges and the show to fill out if you ask for them. Don't get discouraged and keep up the good work you are doing with your horse.
Im so new to the scene i dont know judges. But i now know at least three from last two seasons and why they didnt or did like me lol
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Try not to take it personal, have had it happen also .... took my little guy to a rated show one weekend, he took 3rd in a large class ... next weekend went to a local open show that had a bunch of minis, mostly pets .... he got the gate and the winner was a very cute Thelwell type tiny mini shown by an adorable little girl ... oh well, life goes on.
So many times at the shows we go to, which are all sanctioned shows by the way, the standing joke among the trainers and breeders/folks we see at many of the shows. Is it is not the judges that are wrong, but rather us for paying for someone's opinion that knows less than than we all do about the horses and what makes a good horse.

Judging is course subjective and opinions abound. With each of us being competitive or we would not be there in the first place what I would suggest is that you take an honest look at your horse, remember this unprofessional behavior, remember their name ad refuse to show under them again.

All in all most judges really are pretty durn good and each has a style/type of horse they like. Which is fine, all I ever ask of them is to be consistent, refuse to use politics to place the horses and to be cordial/professional in the ring.

Sounds to me like this judge needs to find something else to do with their time and definitely learn a little tact along the way.

Good Luck and enjoy yourself,
I agree John. What a horrible experience. I would just have to consider the source, and yes, place the judge on the list to never attend again.
Wow. Not nice, and uncalled for. I agree with the others
I know how opinionated it can be. One judge said " he looks grumpy" so she placed me last in each class. Shes one of my favourite characters though, i love watching any show she judges or just listen to her outside the ring. Shes a hoot!

Most of the time i just get told they are too fat but others of the same fatness seem to place lol so sometimes i think its ME who is too fat

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