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Long-time dog show chair candidly covers hiring judges, contracts, judging fees, and when perks are pertinent, like judges’ gifts...


Feb 2011

Vickie Haywood, Sports Editor


I am mad!!! Some times we have to vent and this is that time. The most positive thing AKC has done in recent history is settle the SCJA (Senior Conformation Judges Assoc.) question. Judges are CONTRACT LABOR!!!!!!!!!! They are Independent Contractors.  DEAL with it.


We are required to have signed contracts with our judges when we hire them, before we send the panel to AKC. And it is AKC that has the final say on whether they are HIRED. A contract spells out who will pay for what, when the person is to show up, to judge what assignment.


JUDGES: I as a club member, do not intend to pay for your pet sitting. I have to pay for mine to come show under you, or as a club officer, to take care of YOU that day. I do not wish to pay for your laundry bill while you are away. Pack enough clothing to last. Wash your panties in the sink-go commando- just do not ask me to pay for it!!!


AKC Judges are hired by contract to judge dog shows - that contract is between the kennel club and the judge.All the Extra “goodies” you ask for are just expenses passed on to the exhibitor.


Do not expect the show giving club to buy you steak or prime rib every night. Do not expect First Class air fare when my club is paying you.


Do not expect the Club to buy your alcohol. I want you fresh as a daisy for your assignment.


Do not ask for a rental car when there is a hotel courtesy van or club member service.


Do not expect the Club to put you in the BEST hotel in the area. We do the best we can with what is reasonably close to the show grounds.


I think it fair to ask that the rooms be inspected for bed bugs and other creepy crawlies. I will not ask you to stay where I won’t stay!


I frankly think AKC should cap judging fees. Yes of course I understand that judges licensed for All Breeds (precious few) are worth their weight in gold.


That means I as show chair, can use you to play catch up. One Annie Clark on a circuit is worth every dime and every box of Godiva Chocolates!! (Yes I once sent her a CASE of Godiva Chocolates - because she agreed to judge for me on a Monday after she had been in Texas for days and even split the airfare! THAT was the fair minded person she was. Oh to have 10 of her now. I personally picked her up at the airport and delivered her to her room… the room number was 911. I kid you not! She saved my butt!!!!


It is certainly fair to ask for special food. People have to watch what they eat. I have a few things wrong with me at 61. I can’t eat spicy anymore.  Some people are seriously allergic to shellfish, or lactose intolerant. I GET IT!!!! And so should a show giving club. But do you judges realize how difficult it is to plan food for a show these days?


Our insurance spells out exactly what we can and cannot do.  We have to deal with the arena, the grounds, and what they allow for outside vendors. In house food vendors can be very high priced. So, if you get a $10 lunch ticket DEAL with it!


And who the hell started the judges’ gift thing???? We are PAYING you. If you come for expenses only, you can have a gift…otherwise accept your check and say thank you.


EXHIBITORS: And you people out there that are paying to show at our show; say thank you too! Remember only 1 dog and 1 bitch of any given breed or variety get points on any given day. That means a whole lot of dogs go home with nothing.


VICKIE HAYWOOD - SPORTS EDITOR FOR THE DOG PRESSYou are paying for an opinion - you don’t like it - don’t enter under that judge with that dog again. I have a boat load of pretty purple ribbons that cost upwards of $50 each or more and earned me (my dog) nothing because there was no competition in my sex. I once finished a dog with 22 points! Seems ridiculous doesn’t it? Not my fault; it was strictly a case of majors being in the other sex and judges chose not to cross over points. It happens.


My long time mentor taught me “you have to pay the entry fee and actually walk in the ring to get a chance at a point so make sure you show up, be ringside early or ON TIME, never, ever late.

WHEW! I feel better now. THANKS!! Judge, exhibitor, club officers and volunteers; have a GREAT show and quit complaining. EST 2002 1102



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