The most important decision an ABC member can make regarding the ABC shows – the Futurity, National and Regional – is nominating and electing the judges for those events. Unfortunately, when it came to the 2015 Regional nominations, the ABC blew it.
Here’s what happened: The ABC Judges Selection Committee (JSC) posted the criteria listed at the bottom of this page (Appendix A) to the ABC website sometime in February 2014. These judging criteria were also included in the nomination packets for the 2015 Regional that were mailed to every ABC member and member club in March or April. Take a look at Item 2 in Appendix A, and then look at Tom Latta’s analysis of how these criteria would have affected past judge selections (Tom's analysis is also at the bottom of this page).
Now look at Item 5 in Appendix A: “Must not have judged the Futurity, Regional BOB and ABC National BOB within the 10 years prior to his or her nomination for any assignment.” That means that the judge who did the Futurity this year cannot be considered for the National or Regional till at least 2024, even if she applies for an AKC judge’s license today!
But that’s not the worst of it. Not only is Criterion 5 absurd, it’s not the requirement the board approved! Somehow, in translating those criteria from the boardroom to the website, the wording became hopelessly scrambled. On top of all that, apparently the JSC has known for a while that the wording was not correct, but even though the deadline for the 2015 Regional nominations was May 31, 2014, an “explanation” wasn't posted to the website till May 29. Also, there’s no link to the explanation from the criteria and the unapproved judging criteria are STILL on the website! Oh yes, and only five (5) nominations were received for the 2015 Regional. If you’ll take another look at Tom Latta’s analysis, you can see why. A nomination would require some serious research, and most people simply don’t have the time to do that.
You know, everyone makes mistakes and everyone realizes that the ABC directors and committee chairs are unpaid volunteers. But the Judges Selection Committee has been working on these criteria for over two years! And actually, the only thing ABC members asked them to do in the first place was to set a reasonable limit (5 years? 7 years?) on how often someone could judge each of the three ABC conformation events. At the very least, these criteria should be removed from the website while they’re being revised, and once they've been revised, the membership should be allowed to vote on them.
Bottom line: The 2015 Regional nominations need to be reopened ASAP. If the board can’t come to a swift consensus, then the ABC President needs to make an executive decision.
Email your ABC directors and let them know that you want input into this supremely important ABC policy:
Barry Wyerman firstname.lastname@example.org
Beth Downey email@example.com
Bridget J. Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce & Judy Voran email@example.com
Diane Kowalchyk-Morris firstname.lastname@example.org
Ginny Shames Arribatali@aol.com
Jill Hootman email@example.com
Karen Emerson firstname.lastname@example.org
Korinne Vanderpool email@example.com
Linda Abel firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Middagh email@example.com
Sharon Steckler firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Abraham email@example.com
Teresa Kaminski firstname.lastname@example.org
CRITERIA FOR JUDGES FOR THE ABC NATIONAL SPECIALTY, REGIONAL & FUTURITY