Judges are looking for the best exhibit which is presented on the day, and they always take into consideration early or late seasons, and weather conditions in the days leading up to the show.
Any special conditions throughout the various classes and sections must be adhered to so as to avoid possible disqualification and must disappointment.
Apples, pears, cherries, and plums should have stems left on but peaches, apricots, nectarines and most berries should not.
Citrus fruits should have stems cut close to the surface of the rind leaving green plump sepals. A tip with citrus fruit is that freshly picked fruit usually has a thicker pith which is not desirable.
Judges are looking for a fruit that is typical of the variety mentioned in the schedule; free from disease, insect or other damage; clean, bright and free from dust, and uniform shape and size.
Judges are looking for appearance, finish, colour, texture, flavour, aroma and decoration and presentation.
For bread, judges will be looking for a well-risen loaf with a good shape and neat clean sides with a rounded top. It should have a crisp golden-brown crust and a moist smooth texture.
When presenting your exhibits it is best to display them on a firm/rigid plate as soft cardboard ones can collapse.
When presenting biscuits for showing they should have a crisp unhanded appearance. There should be no flour or grease evident on the base.
Use EDSS vases in preference to own vases/glass jars – part fill with water, wrap the stem in paper (phone book pages), insert, top-up water and plug top with paper to ensure rose stands up firmly in the vase with approx 16 cm of stem above the top of the vase.
Cut roses the evening before judging. Take the water to the rose, not the reverse, so no time delay in the stem absorbing water. Keep rose in the fridge until leaving for the Show.
When presenting cuts, the number of cuts is counted at the top of the vase rather than checking the actual number of cuts. Check for separation of stems and ensure these are well above the vase top.
If rose stems are short, then wad the base of the vase to allow stems to show and show the rose to its advantage.
Foliage must be fresh and clean. If not, remove it.
Bleach added to the water will prolong the rose’s life.
Only the saddle, if possible in one piece, should be submitted in a clean bag. To preserve the integrity of the fleece there should be a minimum of disturbance to the lanket while removing as much dirt as possible to give a thoroughly skirted piecere moving all debris, secondary cuts, vegetable matter, hairy bits and coloured hairs not included in the class i.e. black hairs should not be found in a white fleece and vice versa. The saddle should then be folded so the tips are together with the cut edge on the outside. Further folding or rolling to fit into the bag may be necessary. Some fleeces may be too large to fit on a skirting table so 2 halves would be accepted and when folding the 2 sides together care should be taken to ensure the neck and flanks match up.
A pot plant is a total package of plants and the pot it is in. Both should be in top condition and complement each other.
The plant should be established in the pot (not just recently potted up) and should be clean of any damaged or diseased foliage flowers. Where appropriate, the leaves should be cleaned and shiny. No dead foliage under the outer leaves.
The pot should be decorative, not a plain plastic pot. It should suit the plant and be clean, with a decorative mulch of pebbles (as an example) to enhance the display.
Entrants are to supply a tray below their entry so that the pot can be watered during the show without damage to the shelving.
Unless the schedule states otherwise vegetables such as carrots, beetroot and radishes should have their tops cut back so as to leave about 75 – 100 mm. The remaining tops should be fresh without wilting or other damage.
Quite often it is the inside finish of an article in these sections which helps the judge decide between two equally good exhibits.
Judges will always look for original work.
Lamingtons should be made from butter cake mixture, show no soaking from icing and should be no more than 4-5 cm cubes.
Cake tins should always be selected in proportion to the size of the mixture. Loaf or bar tins should be used for orange cakes/date loaf. A seven-inch (18 cm) round tin for sponge cakes and never use a recessed or ring tin unless specified.
Judges will be looking for cakes that have fine texture without air holes even colour on top, sides and bases, height in proportion to tin size; no wire marks; and typical of the variety stated in the schedule.
Being a short fleeced show, alpacas need to be in clean paddock condition showing a clean breach and fleece with all bulky debris removed. As natural as possible is the ideal so manicured bonnets will not be acceptable although nails may be trimmed. When the fleece is combed or blown disturbance of the original staple structure should be avoided. Registration and farm code ear tags are acceptable.
Do not wash eggs as this removes the natural bloom. Clean nesting material in the days before the show is best, but if really necessary a slightly damp cloth may be used.
Read the schedule very carefully and ensure that you are adhering strictly to the requirements of your section including the subject. If it states that your photograph should be of a particular size or that it should be mounted in a particular way, then that is the way you must present it.
All work must be bona fide and original.
Wipe bottles over with vinegar to give them a clean shiny appearance. Ensure neat tidy labels. Know what category you are entering.
Knitting, Crochet & Sewing
Knitting and crochet should show evenness of stitching and tension; inside there should be no knots or loose ends and seams should be as neat as possible – experts suggest weaving seams together so they are perfectly matched.
Press embroidery well from both sides with padding underneath when doing the wrong side.
The presentation of the finished article should be appealing to the eye and easily accessible to the judges. Proof of construction from alpaca fleece must accompany each entry, that being a staple(s) of fleece and yarn for each component used in the construction.
Hints & Tips
Here is a booklet on Hints and Tips for Show Exhibitors, it is a guide for New Exhibitors. The booklet is 19 pages and is about 396 kb in size. A big thanks go to Candelo AH & DF Assn Inc who produced the booklet.