Do I dare bring this up? Ok, yes. I dare. It seems people love to gripe about judging. Although I haven’t heard much lately. Maybe I’ve just grown immune to it, or maybe I’m choosing not to look for it. Criticisms are more common than proposed solutions. One solution often mentioned is that we should not have trainers judging. Well, I’m not sure how we fix that. I think those who are professionals in the field are often the best qualified. Even if they’re not, it’s easy enough to get your judges card. Anyone can go out and do it. I could get my judges card but I really don’t think I should be judging anything.
What about the opposite solution. What if we went the way of dressage judging and had a week (or longer) course (actual course, not just a few videos and group observation/analysis at a show). The course could go in depth to describe the breed standard and division requirements. I think the class as we have it now assumes too much. It assumes you’re coming to the table with significant background knowledge and I think this assumption allows ignorant people to slip through the cracks (I’m not saying ignorant as an insult, I’m including myself in that group).
So, what if we made it harder to get your judges card? What if we were more proactive about outlining what constitutes a winning horse/performance? Do you think that’s a viable solution?