IS IT TIME FOR CHANGE?
O ver the past few years, a great deal of change has taken place in the dog show world. The National Owner-Han- dled Series has been added to many shows and is grow- ing every day. COVID-19 hit our country, causing the cancellation of thousands of events. Following the resumption of shows, we have seen many new protocols put into place, such as the wearing of masks, social distancing, a change in ring procedures, judges now not only marking their books but also pull- ing and handing out the ribbons, the Groups being divided into sections to allow for social distancing, the return to various outdoor/indoor undercover venues and, due to the reduction in the number of shows, a significant entry increase for many of the shows being held throughout the country. These changes have had a huge impact on the running of shows. Most shows start judging at 8:00 in the morning and, in many cases, Best in Show is not being com- pleted until 7:00 to 8:00 at night. Currently, judges are limited to a maximum of 175 dogs per day. But with many doing regular and Owner-Handled Groups, today’s judges may be judging between 200-275 per day. For many judges, this can mean anywhere from 8 to 11 hours a day standing, bending over, and judging. Those of us who do judge know that this means the day is not only physically demanding, but also mentally demanding. Calculate it over a three- to four-day period, and it is truly strenuous. Following the show, the judges barely have time to shower, eat dinner, and review their standards for the next day before they grab a few hours of sleep and are back at it the next day. BY WALTER J. SOMMERFELT
THOSE OF US WHO DO JUDGE KNOW THAT THIS MEANS THE DAY IS NOT ONLY PHYSICALLY DEMANDING , BUT ALSO MENTALLY DEMANDING.
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