Friday, October 16, 2009

The Judge Did Not Get Top Call....

What do you do when you want to cancel a horse show and it isn't for weather conditions? Managers work hard and plan everything for a horse show only to have it come to the entry closing date with only 4 entries. Maybe it's the economy, maybe they didn't plan it well enough in accordance to conflicting shows within the area, maybe they need to revamp their divisions or restrictions to widen their clientele range.
So, they put out the word. Posting cancellations on their websites, online calendar sites and send out the word in their email lists. It's hard to cancel a show when it isn't for obvious reasons like a typhoon or a blizzard. But I would like to offer this tip to all show managers when cancelling a horse show. Ad this to your checklist for cancelling.


Yes, I showed up to judge a show on a very nice spring day. I had been booked for that show almost a year in advance. It was an annual show that was well attended from what I knew and had heard. Even if I had 24 hour notice, that is better than nothing. Sometimes I think because they have signed a contract with the judge to protect themselves from a no notice no show, they think that if the SHOW is cancelled, the judge will still require payment, partial or full, depending on contract requirements. Personally, I would not require any payment regardless of what a contract says, if I get at least 24 hour notification and depending on the circumstances, may waive fees even if it's less than a 24 hour cancellation. This particular show manager, did not even offer to compensate me for gas for driving to the show. I drove 210 miles round trip.
When I arrived at the show, the manager sort of hid from me, sending a child volunteer out to tell me they were just there picking up things from the showgrounds. I asked to speak with the manager and was told she was busy. HUH?????? So am I!!! I'm SUPPOSED to be judging a show!!
Finally with some pushing, I found the manager. I told her my mileage to the show and it seems I should at least be compensated for the gas to get there and that was being generous. Many judges' in this situation would demand payment in full.

So today's post is actually my venting after a few months of stewing about this particular show manager. I see where the show is being planned again for next season and they are already begging for sponsor money and have posted the judge they have booked. I would love to contact that judge to tell them my experience and to be wary but then I don't want to cause bad blood. It seems their returning clientele were not loyal to them last year and I don't want to sabotage any plans for their attendance in the future. Besides, every judge has to learn for themselves I suppose.

Blessings to all showing this weekend!

Send me a picture and I'll critique it in the fairest manner possible. Maybe that could be my next post!

1 comment:

  1. That's awful. The first person I contact when canceling is the judge. It's the only person not with the farm that's not going to have any idea. One time we canceled our show due to the Herpes outbreak in VA. She asked me if the riders at the barn wanted to have a fix-a-test and of course all the barn people agreed. We were preparing to pay her $50 per rider, but she only took $30 from us to cover her gas.


I am just one judge with one judge's opinion. Almost all of the classes I judge are based on the rules of USEF & AQHA. Judging a horse show is very subjective to the interpretation of the rules. Please keep this in mind when commenting.