Wow. This thread makes me really question my sanity for becoming a FT judge and having my integrity questioned on the internet by a bunch of people that did not see everyone run from the line and take notes on each and every performance.
I have only been involved with FT for 6 years. not long, but I have been a stakes chair or FT chair for every trial my club has held in those 6 years and I have had the pleasure to train with some of the best in the sport.
I personaly have not seen one case whare a judge was being dishonest, I have seen things and setups that I did not like, but nothing that was perposley unfair or dishonest. The one thing I have seen a lot of is handlers coming off of the line commenting how there dogs pined the marks or did a wonderful blind when in reality there dog did average at best and as soon as the callbacks or placements are called out the bitching and complaining starts about they are getting screwed and they surely did better then Billy Bob over there so the judges must be dishonest or blind. Example One handler last year got a standing ovation by the gallery on a hard land blind to that was requiring lots of handling and he lining the bind well I was up on the line taking birds at that time and I heard the one judge say to the other "I don't know why their clapping that dog was at least 30yds off line"! I guess what I am getting at is unless you have watched every dog from the line and taken detailed notes give the judges the benefit of the doubt the just may have seen something you didn't.
PS the best and most successful people in a compeditve sport I have ever seen have always taken there lumps and went and worked harder not bitch and complain about how unlucky they are or how so and so is out to get them.
luck is when hard work and preparation meets opportunity