a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Monday, June 11, 2012

Judging Assignment

Okay, I have that FIRST judging assignment under my belt. :0)  I was a wee bit nervous before the big day.  There are SO many rules in AKC.  I read the rule book three times the week before and asked a few 'grey area' questions of other judges.  I even went as far to make myself an A course and B course cheat sheet with suggested scoring, etc.

Thank goodness my scribes were top notch.  Thank-you AJ and Heather.  There isn't really any time to look at cheat sheets or the rule book, for that matter, when the first dog starts.  You have to think FAST.

You just watch closely and call it as you see it.  In fact, since the B course was a light entry, I pretty well knew where the individual dogs landed as far as placements.  But, on A course, I didn't have a clue until I handed out the ribbons. :0)  Not totally true, I knew my number one dog, because the run was that nice, but there were many 'nice' "close in scores" runs.
Kind of funny because the handlers knew their scores, but the judge didn't.  They can look at the score board as they are posted.  I'm still out there judging, so I don't know the placings until I hand out the ribbons! 

The ducks gave me a bit of a headache.  They would move 3 feet this way and then 3 feet that way, go through an obstacle, come back out the same obstacle, etc.  Plus, the other difficult thing for me to judge was the A course sheep, outrun, lift, and fetch.  Now, one would think that would be easy, but it wasn't.  Sure it was, if the dog ran straight up, but what about the dog that stayed wide and the sheep left the hay before the dog arrived.  I kind of had to look to see if the dog would cover on the outrun and maybe go to 1 or 2 o'clock to bring them back on line.  When the sheep are already in motion it's hard to judge a lift :0(

Anyway, this experience gave me some things to think about for the next time, so I am more consistent. The one thing I noticed in the field, if you have a wide turn off your drive panels, you are already losing on-line points towards the next obstacle since you have to try to get them back on line.  Tight turns are a big plus.  And, keeping your head in the game until the very END.  Many handlers lost unnecessary points at the hold and repen on the A course.   Hopefully, what I viewed as a judge will help me become a better handler with my own dogs

Everything ran like clockwork on Sunday.  I think I had 47 dogs to judge and we were done by 2:30 PM.  B course sheep, B course Geese, A course Sheep and A course ducks.  And, that was with a lunch break.  Mike Burks did most of the stock setting with a little help from his friends.  That's why most of the trial ran like clockwork :0)  Jan did a great job as trial secretary.

Kathy Roberts and her hubby, Ted, came both days and did our lunch.  Kathy is just the most fabulous cook.  The lunches were AWESOME.  TK, pictured above, made his cowboy cherry cobbler in the cast iron dutch oven.  YUM!  The cherries are in full bloom right now in Leona Valley. 

Actually, there were 3 individual trials.  B course sheep, A course sheep, and the birds were combined, A course ducks and B course geese.  This is a iphone pic of me awarding High In Trial, A course, to Stacie and Molly from the Intermediate class.  Stacie also took HIT from the Intermediate class on B course.  And, on top of that, after all was said and done, we find out it was her birthday!  Now, that's one heck of a birthday present!!!!!

And, I'd be remiss if I didn't say thank-you for the judge's dinner on Saturday night.  I'm telling you, Wayne and I haven't LAUGHED that hard in ages.  Good food, good company and fun times.  Plus, Joe did an excellent job picking out great presents to award for the first places, HIT and RHIT.  These trials aren't cheap for the people putting them on and the exhibitors entering, so it's always nice to come away with a little something. :0)

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