Wednesday, May 22, 2013

RESDA Judging Clinic

More from the other side of the clipboard: RESDA held a judging clinic last weekend that was quite an enjoyable and interesting day. The person who organized it did a fantastic job of outlining the points to cover for the day.

RESDA Open handlers who have been in the club for at least two years are called upon to peer-judge for one trial per year. Each year there are approximately twelve judging opportunities and all of those slots need to be filled, or else the possibility of dropping trials start to come into play. The names are drawn out of a hat (literally) at the annual meeting in February and assigned to the various trial dates planned for the year. The extra names (if there are any) are assigned to no-points days in which they will clerk or set out or a similar all-day job. This year we didn't have enough people to judge, so some adjustments were made. I hope that this judging clinic will encourage some handlers to try their hand at judging. When we run in a RESDA trial we know that next time we could be in the judge's seat; it keeps everything really fair and thoughtful.

I went into the clinic with the idea of soaking up what others had to say and adding to my knowledge of RESDA. I am happy to judge in the way that the majority leans as long as it follows the idea of practical dog and stock work. The underlying theme of the day was, in fact, "when in doubt think about what is practical dog and stock work".  Every little thing is not covered by the rules and by-laws. Judges have to assess the trial field or arena, the stock, and other details about the situation and judge accordingly.

At the end of the clinic, five actual runs were scored by the group and then discussed after each one. We didn't have to really pretend to make mistakes because the sheep provided options for scoring questions to pop up! Most of the scores were within a fairly close range of one another; it was nice to hear that there was relative consistency. Coal and I were asked to participate in a demo run. He was last in the order, and did a really nice job.

Thanks to all who worked on setting up this clinic. I think it will be really productive for the future of RESDA.

And completely unrelated, I unpacked my camera yesterday.




I found some pictures from February at Hopland at the pro-novice trial. Handlers are shown walking the course before the trial started.  I am missing the green landscape; everything here is turning brown. The foxtails are winning, and the dogs have no work. Enjoy the green!


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