This page will address some of the issues with "finding" and the "care and feeding" of judges.
First, based on the class list and layout, you have an idea of how many divisions you'll need judges for. And then you have to factor in any "multiple judging" situations.
And don't forget to include any scheduling issues (including judge travel itinerary or other conflicts) that may increase the number of judges needed, or if other judges may need to fill in.
The best selection of judges is matching knowledge/experience of a judge to their assignment.
In addition, especially when dealing with novices/juniors, having a judge who can articulate their judging thought process and criteria is a great learning tool for those showers interested in improving their show entry.
Another thing to consider is providing a variety of judges. Having different judges, through the year, at different shows, provides more/different opinion to be judged.
And having specific, negative, feedback about a judge may induce you to select someone else to judge. (But relying on hearsay or innuendo should not blacklist a judge.)
Judges should be prepared to act in a "professional" manner in the course of judging. This means that in behavior and attitude, a judge should be focused on judging (rather than socializing), but able to communicate (when appropriate, such as between classes, not while judging a class) calmly and articulately with showers relating to placings. Selecting a judge for novices is very important to find one who can provide good explanations of their placings and judging criteria/rational to help in learning situation.
In the "good old days", many shows had enough funds to pay full travel expenses for one or more judges from around the country to fly in to judge. But times change, and sometimes all that a show might be able to budget is gasoline money (via an honorarium) toward travel.
But there are other things that don't "cost" much that may help attract judges. These include "free" entry to show in divisions not being judged, a vendor table, the show's special run, a special "thank you" gift, etc.
Obviously, it may be easier and less expensive for a local, or near regional, judge to participate. But when bringing in a judge from further away, providing compensation for all/part of travel expenses may be the only way to allow a judge to attend. Agree as to whether the show holder or judge will make and (initially) pay for travel arrangements, as applicable.
Judges are usually provided with meals while judging.
Compensation may be negotiated between show holder and judge, or a "package" just offered to a judge. Judges can be compensated differently.
It is important to be clear as to what compensation is offered for the work to be performed, when initially contacted, to avoid misunderstandings.
Many experienced judges have developed their personal criteria over years or decades. Most judges are flexible enough that they can utilize a show's specific criteria.
Criteria for halter/breed classes may include:
Criteria for original finish collector classes may include:
Criteria for non-original finish "workmanship" classes may include:
Criteria for performance classes may include:
A show may have a preferred order and importance of the criteria for each of the four sets listed above, such as for halter breed, conformation may be 40% of the total; breed selection 10%; breed/type ideal 20%; 20% condition, etc.; 10% judge's preference.
It is helpful to showers to know this information in advance by including it in the show packet and show program.
Judges are not judging, they need a place to sit down, get a sip of water and catch their breath. This could be a chair near their show ring, or a special "judge's area" for a larger show.
In addition, providing judges a clip board, pens, etc., is also needed. A judge with neck, back or knee problems, may want to consider some form of a rolling chair to allow for near "eye level" judging, rather than leaning over, kneeling down, to look at all the entries.
Judging reference information is also helpful.
Stewards to do some preliminary checking of entries is also helpful.
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