Rat Show Articles

What is that judge doing now?! Or... the correct way to approach a judge.

Ann Storey

Ok, it’s happened to lots of us. Either you get your critique after the show, or, if you are someone who is watching the judging you become aware that the judge has made a mistake.

I’m not talking about differences of opinion here, such as the colour of a champagne or the way in which one judge may grade one fault over another but genuine misinterpretations of the standard. Examples may be faulting an Irish for not having a tail stop or thinking that a cinnamon should have ruby eyes. Other mistakes may include problems with the challenges where the correct rats have not been bought back or numbering errors.

Now this can be hard to do, but it’s important that these faults are bought to the judge’s attention as otherwise they will carry on making the same mistake over and over again, which is not really fair to the judge or the exhibitors.

However, like everything else there is a right way and a wrong way to go about this:

Don’t: Loudly point out the judge’s mistake within earshot of the judge, scuttle round all your mates at the show whining and whispering about it, go online as soon as you can get your phone out or write a letter of complaint as your first action.

Do: If you are at the show, approach the Show Secretary and tell them. They should then take appropriate action. If the problem is a misinterpretation of the standard then they must approach the judge and talk to them. Ideally, the show sec should ask them if they have a copy of the standards and if they haven’t, give them a copy and then point out the possible discrepancy. If it’s a problem with the show mechanics, then they should tell them what the problem is. If the judge is having problems with the challenges then offer them the help of another judge.

If it’s a problem with a misinterpretation of a std and you don’t notice until you have your critique then if you are still at the show you should speak to the judge privately, but otherwise as soon as possible after the show. When approaching a judge about this please be polite, we all make mistakes. For instance you could ask them to clarify the comment concerned as you can’t see where it says that on the standard.

If you are not happy with the response then you should bring it to the attention of the General Show Secretary and the Standards Officer. If you feel that you can’t approach the judge yourself then you can ask the show secretary to do it.

One thing that can’t be done however is changing places after the day. I am afraid if a rat is placed wrongly on the day then that stands. There is no retrospective judging.