05 May 2017 – Dog World

There are times in life that we all need to know that our friends are standing by to give support at our darkest times. Whether it be a reassuring word of love and understanding, or maybe a simple hug and smile to help face the challenges life throws at us. These scenarios, whatever the circumstances sap the energy from the family as everyone tries to desperately endeavour to come to terms with the reality.

It is with the heaviest heart I have to bring the sad news to the Papillon fraternity that the very lovely Jim Ness of the Chappell affix peacefully climbed the stairway to heaven with his loving family at his bedside.

Jim’s memory will stay with us all throughout time, who could possible forget that cheeky grin and twinkle of the eye that made us all giggle. One such legacy was to be known as ‘The Papillon Man’. This came about many moons ago at one of the Scottish Papillon Shows and that title had firmly stuck since. It all started when Jim was given a pair of pretty girly butterfly panties by Scottish exhibitor, Liz Anderson, from there a cape appeared and The Papillon Man was born and the legend remains that he can fly like superman. The Papillon Man made fleetingly ‘brief’ appearances, much to Hilary’s dismay at Aidan and Chris Foynes wedding and Ted Whitehill’s retirement from the Scottish Club. This was the Jim we all came to love, making people smile.

As you continue your journey up that stairway Jim remember your close family and friends thought you were the best. That is something for you and your family to hold close in their hearts for ever with immense pride.

Hilary, Michael, Nathan, Logan, Jim’s partner Wendy and close family have all been so brave, sending so much love to you all. xxx

Another stalwart of our breed is of course the legendary Anna McKnight of the globally respected Daneview affix who I mentioned recently of her passing. Anna was a very close friend to both Glenn and I. On our first introduction by Anna’s best friend Carolyn Roe (Sunshoo) we all got along famously.

Anna took the very young Glenn, who I think was about eight at the first meeting, dressed in waistcoat and tie under her wing. She gave him encouragement at the shows for his Junior Handling and whenever we were in her company she would guide him along with very often an ice cream as a special treat. They are such fond memories that will stay with us always.

With the help of Carolyn I wanted to express to you all what a great lady she was for our breed, the Papillon. For those of us that can go back in time we are all well aware of the knowledge and endearing love Anna had for the breed. Always straight to the point was Anna’s first avenue, but would help and advise anyone that asked her opinion. In simple words she was a gem in butterfly clothing.

For the newer people in our breed it is important that they know about the people that have helped to make the breed what it is today with the expertise of their breed lines. This is very much the case for Anna and the Daneview affix.

For Glenn and myself personally, Anna’s little Sean (Daneview Rhythm and Blues Sunshoo) gave us a truly special gift. He was the sire of our lovely Starlet (Ch Gleniren Starlight Kisses). Starlet of course went on to win 43cc and held the Breed Record from 2009 until Travis took it over in 2017. Anna was so proud of Starlet and at Northern & Eastern Counties Papillon Club Champ Show, sometime after Anna had been struck by a stroke we had the honour of making a special presentation to her and gave a talk about her life in Papillons. That was a very emotional moment for us all.

Anna lived in Aberdeen for many years and used to commute from there to the all breed championship shows clocking up thousands of miles a year. I have said many times the folk from Bonnie Scotland need a medal at the end of the year. Anna then moved to Lincoln with her late husband Iain and commuted from there and this is when she became best buddies with Carolyn and of course David.

Everyone will remember Anna’s husband Iain who went to the shows with Anna in their motorhome. My memory is of him sat at the entrance table at Drax for the NECPC Open show, I can see it clearly as if it was yesterday. Anna tirelessly looked after Iain in his wheelchair and was a continual strength to him every day.

In the very early days she bought Papillons from the Baluch Kennels of Mrs C E McGregor Cheers. She was also close friends with Bubbles and Clem Wood-Davis and they enjoyed holidays together.

Visiting the Specialty Shows in the USA and Canada on a regular basis was one of her favourite pastimes; she made many friends and thoroughly enjoyed her stays there.

Anna was a life member of the N&ECPC and had the natural gift of mesmerising you so you put your hand in your purse, pulling out a fiver for the raffle when you didn’t even know you had done so. When I took over from Anna for the raffle I had the teachings from an expert, many I know will agree with that wholeheartedly.

A highlight in Anna’s exhibiting and judging career was I am sure her judging the 2000 millennium year at Crufts. An honour so justly deserved.

For Anna’s children Malcolm and Marie and her grandchildren, you all have so much to be proud of knowing the simple fact that Anna was loved by so many people globally.

We and so many in our breed will miss you Anna, you gave us your heart and it will stay with us forever. A butterfly just flew from the garden to the stairway of heaven. Our love goes out to everyone, who holds Anna close in their hearts.

I have a couple of open shows to report. Katriona Milroy had a successful day at Suffolk Agricultural Society taking RBIS with Farleysbane Frilly Filly Of Farthinghall. Katriona is co-owner with Sue & Ian Victor and Emma McLaughlin. Also Katriona’s puppy Farthinghall Xit Stage Left took a victorious TPGP2. Breed judge was Jan Roosens (De Costalina) and the BIS judge was Roger Chaston (Bricklands).

At Leominster Canine Society Breed Judith King had a brilliant day with Skyvana Tom Thumb Sarasha who took TPGP4 under judge Mr R Smith (Othmese).

On to agility front, Gill Breen shone brightly. At the Platinum Agility Show her youngster Zoloto Skyla at Kylecroft after competing for just a few weeks won the Grade 3 agility, this win now takes her to Grade 4. Then at Springwood Park in Kelso, the award night for the Scottish Agility League took place. Gills home bred Papillon, Kylecroft Swift won his grade in the Scottish Agility League for the third consecutive year and is now grade 7. Well I think that is pretty good going and fabulous results for the Open Shows and Agility shows. Well done.

This has to be interesting news from the kennel for present judges and aspiring judges. Thought it has to be a must to read for us all. The Kennel Club has announced its long-awaited new Framework for the education, progress and approval of judges. It differs radically from the current system, based on ‘competency’ rather than, as at present, the numbers of dogs judged, which will no longer be a factor. Aspiring judges will have the possibility of progressing through seven stages, the ultimate being an ‘all-breeds judge’.

Breed clubs will be involved in providing breed-specific seminars and, subsequently, ringside observation of judges. A new departure is that before awarding CCs, judges will have to undergo mentoring by three breed experts. They will also have to pass a breed assessment, run by the KC with the support of the breed clubs. The clubs’ role will be drawn together by a network of Breed Education Co-ordinators, ideally one per breed.

Breed clubs will no longer need to produce judges’ lists as all judges’ details, and the level they have attained, will be kept on the KC’s online Academy. Judges will have to join this, at a cost of £26 per year which will include access to all the Academy’s resources.

For the first time, judges will have to refresh their basic knowledge by passing the online Requirement of a Dog Show Judge examination every five years. Other new requirements include passing an exam on writing critiques and another on ‘An Eye for a Dog’.

Before judging at all, those who aspire to do so must act as a steward, pass the Requirement exam and Points of the Dog assessment and attend a Conformation and Movement seminar.

The ‘Judges Competency Framework’ will be launched in January 2019, run alongside the current system for a three-year transition period, and be fully operational from January 2022. The KC is investing half a million pounds in judges’ education.

Judges who are already passed to award CCs, judge groups etc will retain their status; others who are on different breed club lists will be able to transfer to equivalent levels on the new scheme.

New group judges will have to award CCs in 30 per cent of the breeds in that group, and new best in show judges will have to judge three groups, in both cases stiffer requirements than at present.

A pilot scheme involving clubs from all seven groups and all five Stud Book bands will run from the summer this year, which will enable the KC to make any refinements to its proposals before the Framework comes fully into force.

A KC spokesman said: “For some time now the KC has indicated that the way dog show judges are educated needs to change. It is generally accepted that change is necessary due to a range of deficiencies in the current process – problems for show societies identifying available and competent judges, open shows being poorly supported, and lack of seminar opportunities and transparency in the approval processes. The Framework will provide a logical sequence of learning, practising, peer observation and examination and will cater for all judges at every level – it outlines a judge’s career path providing clear criteria for each stage. Each level will also confirm judging privileges, again making it clear to the judge and the show society who is eligible to judge which breed, and the number and the type of classes which may be judged.

“The KC’s established online Find A Judge facility will be extended to provide lists of all eligible judges across all breeds and for all types of show. The Framework will be administered through the KC’s modern online education platform – The Kennel Club Academy. The Academy is easy to access, available 24 hours a day and requires only a small annual subscription. As far as possible this provides for an efficient and ‘paperless’ way for judges to record their experience on their personal KC Academy page whether this be judging appointments or details of seminars attended, breed assessments passed and other education undertaken.

“All judges will be required to remain up to date with their general dog show knowledge with a mandatory online exam to be passed every five years. Breed clubs will remain responsible for providing breed-specific education, and the Framework will also require judges to undergo mentoring and ringside observation. Breed clubs will be required to support this activity and to work with the KC to facilitate organising breed-specific assessments.

“Clubs will no longer be required to maintain judging lists as the KC will be publishing lists of judges, across all breeds and all levels of show, via its Find A Judge facility.

“The Framework starts at entry level, before a person steps into the ring for their very first appointment, and goes all the way through to the rare position of an all-breeds judge – seven levels in all.

“Judges can remain at any one of the levels if they so wish and can also be at different levels dependent on their knowledge and experience of a range of different breeds at any given time.

“The requirement for judges to wait to be nominated to award CCs will no longer be applicable, as they will be listed as a championship show judge as soon as they have undertaken all the required education and assessment. This will open up what many see as a bottleneck preventing many suitably knowledgeable judges from awarding CCs.”

KC chairman Simon Luxmoore said: “These changes to the judges education and approval system are all about raising standards of judging across all levels, starting with the person who is thinking of taking their first few tentative steps towards becoming a judge of their own breed at open shows, right through to the vastly experienced breeder who has attained the status of an all-breeds judge at championship show level.

“Society is changing and these changes reflect this situation. The dog show scene has changed dramatically over the last 40 years or so. Whereas in the ‘60s and ‘70s, it was relatively easy for aspiring judges to accumulate numbers as a part of learning their craft at open shows where entries were plentiful, the reality is this is no longer the case, which has made learning more difficult.

“The KC was very mindful of this fact when it developed this new system, as it was keen to take modern lifestyles into account – dog shows these days compete with so many other pastimes for our attention and people work longer hours.

“A system which promotes efficiency while at the same time encouraging quality learning – based not on the number of dogs judged but on the judge demonstrating their competency to their peers – has to be very good news indeed for anyone who wishes either to become a dog judge or to progress further up the judging ladder.”

Take care on the way to the shows and remember the new speed regulations that have come into to force, big penalties, not a risk worth taking.