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What Do You Think?

Ask the Judge - Jan/Feb/March 2010


In recent months I have seen Dutch placed that are chocolate torts, steels with ring color, and grays without ring color. Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the knowledge of judges who consistently place animals that should be disqualified according to the Standard of Perfection?
From Kevin Hooper:
Tough Question!  I believe this problem comes up due to the fact we have many more newer judges which may not be as familiar with all of the breeds.  It used to be that most of your judges were long time breeders and had the experience to recognize what was odd in the different breeds. Now, many of your judges have only been raising rabbits for five or ten years. 
The other problem is that many judges do not want to offend the exhibitors (and they do get offended – See Political Correctness).  Therefore, many will simply let these things slide.  If a judge does DQ for all that he sees, he will not be hired nearly as often – trust me!
As for what to do to correct this, it is a fine line.  It is your right, as an exhibitor to file a protest, but those can get rather hairy.  You can mention it to the judge after judging, in a tactful manner.  Or, you can write to the Judges Education Committee and let them know what you are seeing.  They will then put an emphasis on this in their efforts to educate the judges.
From Keith McNinch:
This subject should be written up and discussed in the ARBA Judges New Release.   I haven't received one of these in awhile but issues with other breeds have been well identified and documented for all of us to read.
From Glenn Carr:
I would have two suggestions with reference to the question being asked concerning these three DQ's being overlooked or for that matter any DQ being overlooked during judging.

One option would be to discuss the alleged error on the part of the judge with him or her not at the judging table but at some place and time away from everyone. Simply ask for a moment to discuss the matter. Have your facts correct including the animal(s) wrongfully placed if possible. If the judge is honorable at all he or she should explain why they placed the animal or apologize for the oversight. Remember all animals should be given the benefit of doubt with regard to DQ's. All should be done in a civil, polite, manner by all parties involved.
The second option would be to exercise ARBA Show Rule Section 48 which allows an exhibitor of the breed to file a protest with the show committee for a disqualified animal being wrongfully placed. I won't go into the full procedure. One can look up the rule in the Yearbook or on the ARBA web site. This option is not often utilized for many reasons but I assure you if you wish for those judges who "consistently place animal that should be disqualified" to cease doing so, this procedure should do it. Having a protest filed against one is not a pleasant experience. Both options should improve their knowledge.
Every judge misses a DQ now and again but your question sparked my response when the above quoted statement was a portion of the question.

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