While I only have a handful of judges that have gained a prestigious spot on my DNS list, there are certainly some that I prefer over others.
In my attempt to get away from a flashy, top 5 dog on a big name handler, I have found myself researching and attempting to seek out those judges that have in the past loved Remmers or judge that I think would put her up in the absence of so named big handler.
For those of you who have ever truly specialed a bitch know the challenges that face you. 9 times out of 10, they aren't as big, flashy and even tempered. In the BC breed, most don't carry the dripping double coat that a dog does. In my case, all of the above apply. Remmers, while a decent bitch, is moderate, lightly coated, doesn't have flashy markings and can be, well, a "bitch" from time to time. I will not be kennel blind and tell you that she does have her faults, but also strengths as well. All dogs do.
I have walked out of the ring more than once (in fact I have lost count) with the wonderful BOS red and white ribbon, only to have the judge of the day tell me what a wonderful border collie she is or thanking me for showing them a true specimen of the breed. While I do appreciate the comments (as usually you are left wondering what the judge was thinking), I do find it frustrating to take second string to a dog that was more than likely chosen for the wrong end of the leash. Sigh.....I think I could spend an entire blog on this alone!
The other factor that I have to face is what I can afford to do. Let’s face it; I'm not made of money, despite what people think. I don't have a backer. Wish I did, but every trip is my hard eared money. I only have two weeks of vacation a year that I can spend on dog shows. For the most part if the show isn't with-in a 1/2 days drive of me, the chances of me going are greatly reduced. Every entry must count since I can't be out showing every weekend.
Since I live in the middle of no-where and Nebraska doesn't have a ton of home grown shows, I'm forced to drive. I consider a close show 5-6 hours away and now that I'm faced with the challenge of chasing judges, I'm looking at close to be 7-9 hours. Tough when generally I can't leave until noon on the day before the show and have to be to work the Monday after.
So how to choose.....here is my attempt at triaging my shows.
1. Shows must be within a day drive. No more than 10 hours at best.
2. Judges must be ones that have either put Remmers up in the past or where she has gone BOS with multiple bitch special entries.
3. I must attempt to get away from the big name handlers. While I know anyone is beatable at any point, so am I.
4. Judges must be ones that will look at the correct end of the leash. Tired of judges that pick the big name handler, because it is "safe". Be brave, be bold, and put up the dog that should win, please.
With that being said, I sit here and continue to research and mapquest destinations. For the most part, I believe we have a plan for the summer....will it work or not? Stay tuned and see!