Expectant, Rude And Unsporting
Poor sportsmanship is something I abhor. Recently I judged and one of the exhibitors made it very obvious that they were not impressed with my placings. Facial expressions, loud sighs and even laughter is incredibly rude and should not be tolerated. I genuinely do not care what people think of my judging either in breeds or in handling.
When I judge I judge to please myself and no one else, if I feel that I have done the right thing and feel good about the dogs or handlers I have placed that is all that matters to me.
I don’t judge in order to receive pay back, I don’t judge to keep people happy and I certainly don’t judge the way people say and or think I should.
When judging breeds I always try to judge to the standard. I have been pleasantly surprised sometimes when going over dogs in good and bad ways equally. I will put up what I like and what I think closely matches my interpretation of the breed standard. This may be different to what others have done and it may be the same – this is coincidence only.
Pulling faces, laughing, tutting, sighing and turning your back on me when I go to shake your hand makes you look the fool, not me. Mouthing off ringside will do you no favours either. And apart from that it is outright rude! Remember that judges can complain about exhibitors just as much as exhibitors can complain about judges….
When judging handling the worst thing I sometimes come across is the handler who struts in expecting to win and therefore does not perform as well as I know they can. They are just assuming that they are going to win. I make all my entrants work their socks off for placings in classes I am judging and it will not ever matter to me if you are a well known top handler or a relative newbie – I will place the person who deserves it after their performance on the day. There is a difference between confidence and arrogance and I think it is easily spotted. Never go into the ring expecting to win, go into the ring with confidence and work hard, perform well. Use every class as a learning experience and take on board what the judge tells you straight away – this is something that I always look for and will impress me if a handler immediately tweaks their way of handling as advised.
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Recently I have noticed that handlers are more and more staring out judges too. I have written before about how intimidating and off putting this is. Grinning like a Cheshire cat while staring the judge out as they move around the ring is also pretty bad manners. Be subtle and learn how to watch a judge without glaring. This is common in both handling and the breed ring.
"It is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done" Terry Pratchett
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