So Unfair

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Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2004
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Some people from our barn went to a nearby show today at a local farm. What I thought was unfair is that the judges horses, daughters, and friends and others that were involved with putting on the show continuously placed no matter how many mistakes they were making. This show was indeed fixed and I for one who was the only one to correctly finish the obstacle course with my mini lost to her daughter that failed to walk over the bridge and when backing had steped over the poles. This was very upsetting and many peple were upsetted about this show. My trainer says to not get upset and said that somtimes you need to suck it up and be the bigger person and that this happens often even at a national level. Is this true? My trainer who has been showing for many years says that somtimes its who you know that helps you place, I do not think this is right. What is also upsetting is to dish out a good amount of money for a show and have it judged unfairly.
That is not right. I always thought that they couldnt be judged by there family or firends or something like that. I would have lost my mind and said something.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. We had something simliar happen at the last show I went to, and you can't help it. Since it was a local show(sounds to me like an open show) there probably weren't any rules staying that the judges horses and family mebers couldn't compete. It does get fustrating, but I just look at those shows as a way of refining my horse and myself(kinda like a schooling show). Otherwise I get too upset about how things are happening. I competely understand that it isn't fair that who you know helps you place, but thats how some people work unfortunally. It isn't fair to the rest of the exhibitors who have worked hard, but sometimes you can't help it.

I have shown under a personal friend being a Judge~!! And doing so This guy and His ex wife were harder on me then the others...So I would not worry about such things as that... These 2 friends of mine, Knew, I knew what the horse should do and look and act.. So they judged me at a higher standard then others..But I still placed 2nd and 3rd in the halter classes~!!
Yes, it was an open show with both mini, horse and open classes but it was still upsetting. Even though it wasnt a big show and didnt really mater I feel that it still should have been judged fairly.
It certainly isn't fair...just know YOU were the best and so do the people who weren't even if they are the ones holding the ribbons. There can be some politics in showing. Chin up and step proud and show us some pics
I hope im not sounding like a sore loser because that isnt the case at all... to me it isnt even about placeing it is to just do your best and have fun. I was very happy with my horses performance today so regardless was a ok day but i still feel bad about the people that should have placed that didnt.
There are rules to Judging, and Judge's family and horses are NOT allowed to show under them...not here, anyways.

There are also ways to send complaints in to the Associations in reference to improper behavior by a Judge, and/or any rules broken by said Judge; at any shows that were ruled by them. Was this show following any specific Association's rules?

said that somtimes you need to suck it up and be the bigger person and that this happens often even at a national level.

By god, if it does happen at a National level, then I am happy I don't waste my money to show at that level. I will not tolerate anyone breaking rules, for or against me or anyone else. I am big on "fair-play", and that's a fact.

I know how you feel! Been there, done that , watched my kids get beat. Anything said to the type of people that run a show like that is just sour grapes to them. We have a long background showing cattle and I judge several shows a year. often there are exhibitors i know very well there. Some times some of my own 4-H members ( usually I don't know any will be there). I tend to be harder on the people I know than the strangers. It's not intentional but I know looking back I have been. I can't imagine just putting friends at the top of the class because I know them or the family! How could you ever show up again at a show???

I watched a mini halter class last year that had a dwarf showing in it. It had an over bite visable from 100' . the judge checked teeth and the dwarf won! There were at least a dozen good minis in the class.

Keep your chin up and be proud of how well you and your horse performed!!

I hope im not sounding like a sore loser because that isnt the case at all
I don't think so. I think your feelings were justified. Unfortunately I have been in that same situation...and after a few shows....(yep, I went back for more!!
) decided that enough was enough. Funny how for some reason this year they are'nt hosting any shows on their property. People get tired of things like this and move onto greener pastures where competition is somewhat fair. At least thats what I did...and I think a few others did the same as well.

Hope you can find another show grounds close to you where you can enjoy the competition and know that someone is not gonna unrightfully place just because they're related!
Been there done that, and now I have a list of 4 judges that I will not waste my money on. Not just on judging my class but the entire show. Sometimes its just way to obvious. So you arent whining at all. Its just wrong and I hate it when that happens. Actually you just have to laugh thats what I do! Wait for the next show.
In Halter it is the Judges opinion only so not much can be done. In Obstacle and Jumping there are RULES. If you are sure of your facts, and have witnesses, you should have lodged a formal complaint. This is a situation where you will be asked to put your money where your mouth is!!!
I was discussing this with a few other friend's recently - specifically about one judge in our area that no one likes to show under - to much personal bias on her part. If she doesn't like you, you're getting the gate!

One friend mentioned that as this was something a few of us just won't bother to go to the shows, we really need to let the show manager and the club/association know why we won't attend certain shows if this peson is judging. Otherwise just boycotting really doesn't help.

I'm surprised a judge is allowed to judge their own horses or those of their children. But I'm not familiar with open show rules. It is true in Halter it would be hard to prove as it is the judges opinion, but there are rules for Obstacle, so how that occurred is questionable!
Unfortunately, that kind of thing happens and if you show, it's a matter of time before you run into that kind of situation. I understand how upsetting it is, but you have to decide to put it behind you because it's already happened and you can't change it. I found that I got angry over that or similar things a lot more often at the local / open shows than at the registry shows. But, there are things that happen even at the registry shows.
I was in my first mini show last year, and in one of my classes, one of the judges did not even come anywhere near me and inspect my horse at all. I watched like a hawk and I know I was not even given a glance or judged at all.

Angry? Nope. Disappointed, yes, very much.

My trainer says to not get upset and said that somtimes you need to suck it up and be the bigger person and that this happens often even at a national level

Your trainer is right and I agree. Listen to her. Suck it up. But she will also tell you that sometimes these things happen, not always by no means, so don't let it sour you to more showing. There are plenty of fair judges out there to show under that will give you a fair appraisal.
I agree with SueC ! It SHOULD not be happening, It should be in the laws and by laws of ANY commitee putting on a show! These kids and adults work hard and the entry money isn't always easy to come up with..

Believe me I was a hard core horse 4-H leader for MANY years and I expected only the best etiquette and sportmanship from all my member, kids and parents alike.

If I saw a parent I thought was out of line I confronted them right there. Its supposed to be fun, and a sport! That political nonsense has no place especially in LOCAL shows..come on people!

As far as the National level , well I showed Great Danes with and without a handler, hand champions and though everyone knew my dogs some didn't know me..that's because I refused totally to play their games! It's stupid! Is a win REALLY worth all that? It makes you look foolish and selfish!

If this is flaming , let me have it, but I will tell you in mY club and at OUR local shows there was no room for all that. We ran an honest fair show and ours were packed all the time!

If this is flaming , let me have it, but I will tell you in mY club and at OUR local shows there was no room for all that. We ran an honest fair show and ours were packed all the time!

I dont think you out of line at all by saying this. I think that if you are to put on a horse show you should be fair about it. Many people were upset and i for one will never atend a show by these people again. My next show is in Showhegan next week so hopefully it will go better. Hope to see some of you there!
Unfortunately this is going to happen at times. We as exhibitors are the only ones to stop it.

If we are on the show cmmittees dont bring those judges back, if we can afford to boycott a show that they are at, do it and let it be known why to the show management.

Fortunately, these types of judges are few and far between. I have been at shows that I could do no wrong according to a judge and I have been at some where i was not the teachers pet as well and both places can be frustrating. One time I was embarrassed to accept a ribbon I received as I totally blew the class and should have been DQ'd. Although I did not receive first I did take a 5th in a very large class and I honestly should have gotten the gate.

Bottm line is, there is always a next show and a chance to start over, have fun and let it go, it's not worth the stress.
Unfortunately you have 2 choices. To forget about this and not show at that one again, or do something about it.

If you want to do something about it, find out the judge's qualifications. I don't know of any associations who allow family members, or show personnel families, training clients etc to show under them. A well written letter to any of the associations he's carded for, including 4-H should have an effect.

I had hired one judge who had come across as very cold and distant (AMHA). Numerous judge's cards were turned in complaining about him. Shortly after the show, I received a call from the judge, asking if I had noticed any problems. I told him exactly what my opinion was, as well as some of the other show officials, and the next time I hired him he was quite different.

But some just don't learn. I knew one judge who told a lady that she should have someone else show her horses because she was too heavy, and he didn't place "fat" people. Another told a guy with a nerve damaged leg that he should have someone else show his horses because he couldn't move well enough to show them properly.

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