Sunday, December 5, 2010

Judges

I saw something at the last trial that was just, flat out terrific. We're often quick to criticize judges--booger of a course, called a contact that we thought the dog had, or is too quick with that refusal fist. However, I saw a judge at the last trial that really made me pause. There were actually two instances. During a dog's jumpers run, the first obstacle was a tunnel. The dog went in. Due to just a wierd coincidence, the dog in the next ring got a MACH. The crowd went nuts and cheered, whisteled and hooted. The dog coming out of the tunnel froze, blasted by this loud crowd noise and was totally confused. The judge came over to the handler and instructed her to play with her dog. She did. When the crowd noise died down, the judge told her to start her run again.

The second instance (the same judge) came in the next day's standard class. The handler and dog team started the run with jump, jump, teeter. A judge's whistle sounded. However, it wasn't the standard course judge. It was from the ring next door. The handler stopped, the dog refused the teeter. The judge saw her confusion and explained the whistle wasn't meant for her. The judge then asked her to go back and start her run again.

How kind, how generous that judge was to give these two teams a "do over" when circumstances really warrented it. I was very impressed by this; it restored my faith in fair play.

Have you ever seen a judge ask a team to start over?

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