Are you Competing?
All competitors are welcomed at the ATA Convention, but we need to address an issue..... ethics and fairness?
Is it fair to other competitors who did all the work on the competition piece themselves to compete against someone who had over the shoulder instructions at a "hands on" workshop?
If you answered "no", most everyone would agree with you. If you answered "what is the problem", "I did the work myself", and "all they did was just gave me instructions".
Lets examine this view: if you were taking a multiple choice quiz at school and you had a tutor standing over your shoulder to tell you to pick a different answer would that be fair to everyone else. No it wouldn't, so why would a taxidermist think it would be OK?
The overall objective is to provide a level playing field for all competitors and fairness to all.
If you plan on competing, do what is fair and ethical. If you attend a "hands on" workshop or receive "over the shoulder" instructions, learn all you can then go back home and mount a new piece for the show. This will keep you from being a one hit wonder and give others who did not get instruction the same chance you have to win.
If you think about it, why would anyone be proud of winning an award with a mount that they could not reproduce again without major outside help.