In the stock show world, it’s a shame how often folks end up burning bridges that could have been amazing connections. It’s a common sight. Someone faces disappointment when a show doesn’t go their way, and instead of reflecting on how they can improve, they resort to criticizing the winners, their fellow exhibitors, judges, or show officials, deflecting blame and setting those bridges ablaze.
The competitive nature of showing is great, but it can get messy. Jealousy, gossip, and drama sneak in, and what’s worse, they’re often fueled by totally bogus info. We see it all the time: folks are defending the crooks and smearing the real champs, all because they got the wrong scoop.
That piece of scalding gossip you’re about to dish out might just be a twisted tale someone has totally concocted. Or perhaps, they’re manipulating your involvement to use you as a pawn in their own conflicts. Maybe they’re pointing the finger at others instead of facing their own mess. Maybe they’re barn blind and can’t see the true strengths and weaknesses of their animals. There’s also a chance they’re projecting their own unethical actions onto innocent crews who are genuinely doing good. Or hey, maybe they’re just addicted to the drama rather than leveling up their stock show game.
What’s really sad is that sometimes truly good people can get tangled up in this chaos the most—simply because they’ve aligned themselves with the wrong people unknowingly. They end up burning bridges with those who could genuinely offer them the most support.
So think twice. Think twice before you ignite that gossip, spread that rumor, make that accusation, send that text, write that salty Facebook post, send that letter, make that call, file that protest, and burn that bridge.
Question, yes. Speak up against wrong, absolutely. But, make sure what you’re doing is actually rooted in truth, not lies or witch-hunts. You could be hurting the people who don’t deserve it at all.
The stock show world is a tight-knight circle. Yes, sometimes you have to burn old bridges to build new ones. But, what if you’re the one who’s wrong? Trust me, you might need to cross that river sooner than you’d expect. And, you might be surprised how many times you need to cross that river in the future. So, that bridge—do you really want to set it on fire?
And if you find yourself on the wrong side of a burnt bridge, it’s never too late to mend it. Perhaps it’s time for an apology and a sincere effort to rebuild that connection into something even stronger than before.
We’re stronger when we’ve got each other’s backs. When you put us “stock show people” all together, we’re a force to be reckoned with. In the end, we can all achieve more by being at peace with our fellow exhibitors and building a community where true friendships triumph over cutthroat competition.