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Judge with chip on shoulder?

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  • Judge with chip on shoulder?

    We had a bizarre experience with a judge this weekend. This judge (who we had never shown in front of before) went off the deep end about something as my daughter was sitting on her pony at the endgate about to enter the ring (she is 4). He did it in front of us (rider and parents), the trainer (who his rant was directed against) and several kids in the barn and their parents.

    Whether he was right or wrong (technically) is not the issue (though people who overheard it said he was full of hooey). But I think what he should have done is pulled the trainer aside and discussed it with her, out of earshot of everyone else. Instead, my daughter heard the whole thing, raised voice and all, and thought she was doing something wrong. She then said she did not want to go into the ring, although she did go in after we talked about it and did just fine.

    Afterwards, I approached the judge and asked him (nicely, I wasn't a jerk) in the future if there are any issues, to simply pull the trainer aside and deal quietly with her instead of making a spectacle. I described to him the effect that his rant had on my daughter, and he seemed completely dumbfounded and unable to understand, although he agreed to keep it more quiet if there is a "next time".

    I did not bring it to the attention of the show organizer, maybe I should have. We have shown in several of his shows, and will be showing there again in a few weeks. We are not complainers and are pretty laid back, but this guy really seemed to have a chip on his shoulder. Finally, yesterday afternoon, we overheard him complaining that kids who do Walk Trot should not be allowed to do Lead Line. Wow, is it really that big a deal? The show organizers certainly don't think so...

    Other posters had problems with judges on a power trip?

  • #2
    I would not have reprimanded a judge.

    IMO, you disrespected the power structure of the show and the "but my kid was traumatized!" might not be a compelling enough reason in the judge's opinion.

    I don't think you can criticize someone and then ask him to act charitably toward you when you want something. And why do you want your kid who is proficient at walking and trotting by herself to go kick some leadline a$$?

    I don't mean to be overly critical of you, but I think you are creating a misguided tempest in a tea pot to think of the judge you saw as being on a power trip.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

    Comment


    • #3
      really? do some people stick their kids in leadline JUST to win ribbons when these kids are capable of walk/trot classes? Thats weird.....is leadline supposed to be competitive?

      Snicker, snicker!

      Comment


      • #4
        BWW, I absolutely think it's a BIG DEAL for kids who are capable of guiding a horse around a ring on their own at a walk & trot are being allowed to cross-enter in leadline. Shame on the money-grubbing (or unconscious) show committee for allowing this. Shame on the trainers for allowing this.

        And yes, I'm serious.

        Carol
        www.ayliprod.com
        Equine Photography in the Northeast

        Comment


        • #5
          Eh, maybe he was having an off day. Or maybe he is like that all the time. Who knows? I have to say, I agree that kids who are capable of doing the walk trot classes are pretty overqualified for leadline.

          And did you get permission from the show manager or the steward before you approached the judge to speak to him?

          If not, that is a HUGE faux pas. At a USEF show, it is absolutely against the rules, and against convention at any show.

          Comment


          • #6
            Am I on glue, or are you not even supposed to talk to the judge at a show without going through the stewards first?

            I could very well be making that up, but I thought talking to the judge was a big no-no.

            ETA: MHM beat me by a nose with the answer to my question!!!
            Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.

            Comment


            • #7
              There is a rule, and it is pretty well observed H/J shows, both recognized and unrecognized (less so in eventing).
              • NO competitor may speak directly to a judge without first getting permission form the Steward (or if no steward, the secretary or show manager).


              So by speaking directly to the judge you made a MAJOR protocol gaffe.
              Janet

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

              Comment


              • #8
                Add me to the group that thinks if your kid can do walk trot they should not be in lead line. I agree with the judge on that.

                I can not imagine a parent walking up to the judge and reading the judge the riot act....so out of line.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  To be clear, I did not reprimand the judge. I simply asked him to handle his criticism a little differently. He was not even judging her class, he just walked over to us. This judge needs to develop some skills to learn how to deal with people. If I acted that way to my clients, out the door they would go, and I would have nobody to blame but myself. It's just basic human relations. I could not care less whether he is a judge or not...we all pay good money and take the time to show, and he is not above constructive criticism, no more than any of the rest of us are when we fall short. As far as doing the Lead Line, it's a fun (and free) thing they do in the Grand Prix ring just before the big show begins and everyone is there watching. Why not do it? She has fun....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Next time (and if you show long enough there will be a next time when you have a problem with the judge), simply head into the show office (or find an official) and ask to see the steward. Then make your complaint to them. Even a small little show will want to know and have it recorded. The Judges are hired by the show management and it is just the correct way to handle it through the show system (not directly with the judge). Also, you can always skip the show where you know that a certain judge will be if you have had a problem before. I call it voting with your pocket book! I am not excusing the judge's behavior, but it is really important for the show management to know about the situation and handle it accordingly. I hope you have a great time at the next show
                    Certified Spiritual Medium/ Animal Communicator
                    www.heatherevebristol.com
                    www.meliorastables.net

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I get not cross entering leadline and walk trot at shows like Devon where leadline is actually placed. But at every other show I've been to, leadline is always a tie for first place amongst every single competitior so I guess I don't really the harm in cross entering?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't mean to hi-jack the thread but I am also curious about talking to the judge. I spoke to the judge at one of my first shows this summer. I am new to showing and my trainer told me that I should ask about seeing the judges card.

                        I was not asking to dispute anything but to get an idea of how they judge and what they look for. I ask the office manager who called the judge over at the very end after the show was over. She graciously reviewed two of my jumping rounds. The judge didn't seem upset but I did explain that I was wanting to see for the knowledge not that I was objecting.

                        I was planning on possibly doing this again as it did help me understand a little better what the judge is looking for. Not just did they get the correct number of strides down the lines and get the flying changes. So am I going to get marked down by theses judges next time. Is it really a bother to them?
                        The Love for a Horse is just as Complicated as the Love for another Human being, If you have never Loved a Horse you will Never Understand!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well...I don't think a kid old enough and/or big enough to do the walk trot all by themselves should be allowed to show in the leadline against those too young/scared/inexperienced/just too darn small to get around by themselves either. What little kid wants to go back to beating babies with mommy leading them once they can do it by themselves?

                          But if I was hired by a show that allowed it? I'd keep my mouth shut and judge it.

                          However, it is against show ring protocol and any applicable association rules for a judge to "pull the trainer aside" to speak to them before they judge the class in question. It is also not proper to speak with the judge without asking management.

                          If the judge was so far out there behavior wise? Whyever would you want to go alone to him, a total stranger, and point out how he could better have handled it????? Show or not I don't think that was an appropriate choice.

                          The proper thing would have been to go to show management and tell them you feel the judge behaved badly in front of your DD. Then THEY can get both sides of the story and talk to him.

                          Next time, just tell management. OP was out of line to approach the judge and tell him how to behave.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So here's how the power hierarchy goes:

                            Show management ultimately works for the competitors who pay to play at their show.

                            Judges work for show management.

                            If you want to influence the judging or classes offered, you stop by the show office and compliment what you think they are doing right. E.g. "Thank you so much for allowing the W/T kids to go in leadline as well. It's so nice to have several opportunities for the little ones to get in the ring on show day."

                            If you want to speak to the judge, you also ask for permission and the right time of show management. Usually, you only ask for constructive criticism of your kid's rides. Then you graciously take the ideas offered and thank the judge for his input as well as taking the time to help kiddo get better.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              OK - I didn't understand that it was the OP's 4 yr old daughter who was cross-entering. No, that doesn't change my opinion. And I'll refrain from offering my opinion about a 4-yr-old doing W-T.

                              C
                              www.ayliprod.com
                              Equine Photography in the Northeast

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                By the way, it was the Steward who had the rant, not the Judge

                                Wow...on the Lead Line thing, it's always free, no charge, and usually in front of the Grand Prix audience just before the Prix commences. I see no harm no foul for a 4 year old to do that, even if she is in Walk Trot. I might feel differently if she was 10 or something....

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by BWW View Post
                                  Wow...on the Lead Line thing, it's always free, no charge, and usually in front of the Grand Prix audience just before the Prix commences. I see no harm no foul for a 4 year old to do that, even if she is in Walk Trot. I might feel differently if she was 10 or something....
                                  OK, I don't get who said what to whom. In your OP it sounded like the judge went off on your trainer, now you say the steward had the rant??????

                                  Regardless, this sounds like a rated show so you were at fault for going directly to the judge if that is what happened.

                                  And you might feel differently if you had a 2 year old in that leadline.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by BWW View Post
                                    To be clear, I did not reprimand the judge. I simply asked him to handle his criticism a little differently. He was not even judging her class, he just walked over to us. This judge needs to develop some skills to learn how to deal with people. If I acted that way to my clients, out the door they would go, and I would have nobody to blame but myself. It's just basic human relations. I could not care less whether he is a judge or not...we all pay good money and take the time to show, and he is not above constructive criticism, no more than any of the rest of us are when we fall short. As far as doing the Lead Line, it's a fun (and free) thing they do in the Grand Prix ring just before the big show begins and everyone is there watching. Why not do it? She has fun....

                                    How is "asked him to handle his criticism a little differently" not a reprimand if the judge A) is within his rights to do his job as he sees fit and *never* to change things up because a competitor tells him to; and B) Your input was unsolicited?


                                    I only mention this because one of the great things I got from horse showing as a kid was a sense that I didn't need to be afraid of judges and how to accept what they thought of my riding on that day. After all, I'd later have to take the same things from teachers, coaches, professors, bosses and the rest. So if you are unhappy with judging and kiddo is a little put off, the best thing you can do is help her cope with the judge, not make a big deal about it.
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Crazy4aOTTB View Post
                                      I don't mean to hi-jack the thread but I am also curious about talking to the judge. I spoke to the judge at one of my first shows this summer. I am new to showing and my trainer told me that I should ask about seeing the judges card.

                                      I was not asking to dispute anything but to get an idea of how they judge and what they look for. I ask the office manager who called the judge over at the very end after the show was over. She graciously reviewed two of my jumping rounds. The judge didn't seem upset but I did explain that I was wanting to see for the knowledge not that I was objecting.

                                      I was planning on possibly doing this again as it did help me understand a little better what the judge is looking for. Not just did they get the correct number of strides down the lines and get the flying changes. So am I going to get marked down by theses judges next time. Is it really a bother to them?
                                      It's not a bother as long as you go through the correct protocol, and ask about your own performance, not others in the class.

                                      The correct protocol involves asking the steward to check with the judge, and going at a time that is convenient for the judge.

                                      If the judge has been judging all day without a break, and you decide to stroll up there on your own right when the judge has a two minute window of opportunity to use the rest room, believe me, that's a problem!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by BWW View Post
                                        We had a bizarre experience with a judge this weekend. This judge (who we had never shown in front of before) went off the deep end about something as my daughter was sitting on her pony at the endgate about to enter the ring (she is 4). He did it in front of us (rider and parents), the trainer (who his rant was directed against) and several kids in the barn and their parents.

                                        Whether he was right or wrong (technically) is not the issue (though people who overheard it said he was full of hooey). But I think what he should have done is pulled the trainer aside and discussed it with her, out of earshot of everyone else. Instead, my daughter heard the whole thing, raised voice and all, and thought she was doing something wrong. She then said she did not want to go into the ring, although she did go in after we talked about it and did just fine.

                                        Afterwards, I approached the judge and asked him (nicely, I wasn't a jerk) in the future if there are any issues, to simply pull the trainer aside and deal quietly with her instead of making a spectacle. I described to him the effect that his rant had on my daughter, and he seemed completely dumbfounded and unable to understand, although he agreed to keep it more quiet if there is a "next time".

                                        I did not bring it to the attention of the show organizer, maybe I should have. We have shown in several of his shows, and will be showing there again in a few weeks. We are not complainers and are pretty laid back, but this guy really seemed to have a chip on his shoulder. Finally, yesterday afternoon, we overheard him complaining that kids who do Walk Trot should not be allowed to do Lead Line. Wow, is it really that big a deal? The show organizers certainly don't think so...

                                        Other posters had problems with judges on a power trip?
                                        I'm now confused........in your initital post you state "judge" but now you are saying it was the steward! Which is it? If the steward was going off on a trainer, then I will assume that the trainer did something really bad for such an outburst. Most stewards will approach the trainer and speak to them in private! But, I do agree with everyone else here, you should never walk upto a judge and tell them off.......actually I would never approach a judge for any issue, I would go to the steward or show office and explain what had happened and let them deal with it.
                                        Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

                                        Comment

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