Monday, July 25, 2011

What they DON'T mention about Horse Show Judging

For the last 3 or so years, I have embarked on a new adventure...the adventure of Horse Show Judging. Now it's mostly just open shows and the county fairs (I am not what is considered a "carded" judge, so I can't judge breed shows), but here's what they don't tell you when you first start judging.
One of the perks of judging is that you're like the bride and her wedding, they can't start without you and you've got people running around seeing after you (do you need a water? what do you think about this? Should we do that?)'s fabulous...really...makes one feel VERY important.
But also being the bride, err judge, is that you can't make everyone happy all the time, like 4-H parents. Boy they can come on with a vengence if they feel their child was "wronged", and usually the parents of the unjustly "wronged" child are ususally the most clueless ones of all and want to argue about the most trivial things, when in all reality, had they read the RULE BOOK they wouldn't be arguing with the judge in the first place. These are also the parents that wonder WHY you don't have eyes in the back of the head to see one of the winners that had a mistake behind your back!
They also don't tell you...the show NEVER EVER starts on time...doesn't matter if the judge arrives 1 hour or 10 minutes prior...the show is at least ALWAYS 10 minutes behind schedule!
The judge has the extreme power of making a show go quickly or dragging it on (for what seems like days to some).
The judge also is taking their life into their own hands...don't believe me? Try standing in the arena with 20 out of control 4-Hr's running their horses almost on top of you (and then TRY to place the class).
They also don't tell you that it's not as hot as you'd think...and time passes's midnight already? really?
Most of the time you are up as early or earlier than the exhibitors to arrive (they usually hire "semi" local 1 to 2 hours away)
Yeah, judging has some pitfalls, trials and tribulations...I still like it...must be all that "power"...ha!

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