09 February 2018

We had all better get our chorister vocal chords in practice as we will be singing in unison ‘The little goat herd’, for in October we are all setting off for the goat shed. This year at SWKA it will be a double show for Papillons on the same day. On Sunday 6th Oct 2018 it will be both the breed for SWKA and also running concurrently alongside in the ‘goat shed’ The South Wales Papillon Club will be holding their Championship Show. Lets hope it is a mild day for Oct as the ‘goat shed’ in simple terms, is a slatted barn type building and wasn’t the warmest last year. So possibly it will be thermals at the ready. Sue Stanbury has mentioned that the shows will run together with staggered start times, this is going to be fun and games that is for sure. The judge for SWKA will be breed specialist Mrs Hilary Joyce (Chappell) from Scotland and for SW Papillon Club it will be Toy Specialist Mrs Rita Morgan (Rimor). So make sure you make a note in your diaries.

Schedules for the SW club Open Show on Sunday, 8th April are available and on this occasion the breed will be judged by Evan Ryan and the Junior handling classes Kirsty Miller.

Elizabeth Patrick from Bonnie Scotland had a good day at the Caledonian Open Show winning BOB with Volpecula Tammienorrie Suniren. At the present moment the judge is unknown, sorry.

Two interesting articles this week, I would like to share with those that may not have yet read.

Firstly Geoffrey Davies wrote a well constructed article regarding the new judging scheme due to commence in 2019 in regard to the breed specialist.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE BREED SPECIALIST JUDGE. It is my opinion that the all judges are pivotal to the future of pedigree dogs. However, the true, honest breed specialists are of crucial importance, and one can readily understand the disquiet and concern that exists amongst so many committed breed specialists.

I estimate that there are approximately 6,000 breed specialist championship show judges in the UK. I am awaiting confirmation of this statistic. However, I think it to be a reasonable guesstimate. Of the estimated number, I know very few who spend any time “sitting at home grumbling”. But I do know of hundreds of breed specialists who have committed their lives and money to the furtherance of the breed which they support. Many of these honest, genuine and highly knowledgeable breed specialists are rarely given the opportunity to judge their particular breed at championship shows.

It is estimated that on average the specialist judges judge their breed once every three years. There are many who are highly successful in their chosen breeds, and have not judged their own chosen breed for over six years. It is a catastrophe that this knowledge and talent is not used to good effect. Of course, the Kennel Club cannot be held responsible for the selection of championship show judges. It is the general championship shows and breed clubs that select their own judging panels, and one can constructively comment upon how these judges are sometimes selected.

It is not a question of just paying £26 per annum for the privilege of judging a breed to which you have already given so much. It is the principle, not the money!

Let us look at the cost implications of the J. C. F. programme. A specialist judge who judges their own breed once every three years will pay a total of £78 for the privilege of officiating at ONE championship show. Those who are invited less frequently will pay in excess of this figure. I am told that the cost of funding the J. C. F. programme will be £500,000 per annum — a substantial amount of money. If there are 6,000 breed specialist championship show judges, the Kennel Club is expecting to recuperate approximately 30% of financing the cost of the J. C. F. programme i.e. £156,000, just from this group of people.

I am in favour of running a cost effective operation, but there are other ways of generating income e.g. many of the general championship shows have extremely healthy balance sheets. The Kennel Club challenge certificates are one of the major income streams that generate the income for these shows via entries drawn by the judges. Is it unreasonable for the Kennel Club to expect these championship shows to contribute towards the education and development of our judges? I think not, and I believe that a potential income of £150,000 could be generated by the general championship shows.

The Kennel Club is now a limited company by guarantee. On looking at the last set of accounts, the K.C.’s expenditure on salaries, pensions and expenses would give any serious minded business person cause for concern. The expenditure figure in these areas is, to say the least, excessive. Surely, a cost saving exercise could release a significant amount of money which could contribute towards the funding of the J. C. F. programme.

Whilst I acknowledge the importance of volunteers, no business can become too reliant upon them. The Kennel Club board of directors is responsible for developing the K.C. strategy, but it will be the K.C. members who will have the final say.

Napoleon once said that Great Britain is a nation of shopkeepers. I believe that the dog scene in the UK is a nation of breed specialists. The true breed specialist should be treasured and respected, and I hope that the Kennel Club, the general championship shows and the breed clubs will do all in their power to help, encourage and use the knowledge and experience of the breed specialists.

The second being a statement from the Kennel Club regarding the conduct for volunteers. That just about covers all of us at some time or other, me, thinks!

Kennel Club volunteer (in conjunction with the volunteer requirements). The Kennel Club recognises the importance of volunteers and makes every effort to ensure that they are supported and are valued for their contribution.

A volunteer is an individual who freely provides assistance to the Kennel Club on a voluntary unpaid basis and/or ad hoc basis (but not in an employment capacity). This may, for example include administration, working at shows and events.

Inherent in being a Kennel Club volunteer is an expectation of a certain standard of conduct and propriety. These responsibilities are not prescriptive but ought to be obvious within a bandwidth of reasonable expectation. They include extending respect towards everyone in the canine world – both at home and to those overseas.

In particular, a volunteer is expected:

    To demonstrate commitment and to make every effort to attend events/meetings as may be required
    To recognise that they are representing the best interests of the KC whilst they are volunteering.
    To do so, because they are volunteering their skills for the benefit of the KC, its competitions and events.
    Not to seek financial recompense over and above reasonable expenses agreed with the KC or organiser(s) in advance.
    Not to do anything to bring the KC or its members or participants into disrepute while volunteering and not to undermine confidence in the KC or its officers, or members, or members of staff.
    To treat members of staff, competitors and other participants with respect, recognising they have rights and obligations and contractual responsibilities particularly whilst volunteering and commenting on licensed competitions and events.
    To apply, sound judgement when using social media, respecting the opinions of others and not to engage in threatening, abusive or offensive activity towards others.

Not to publicly criticise nor do anything to damage the interests of or undermine confidence in the Kennel Club and its members including social media activity.

To be aware of and adhere to the Kennel Club Child Protection Policy and agree to DBS verification checks as appropriate.

A Kennel Club volunteer will understand that if he/she does not follow these principles and falls short of the expectations and responsibilities in being a Kennel Club volunteer that the Kennel Club may be obliged to implement and enforce the code including the possibility of terminating the volunteer.

So do any of our readers have a view on the two articles in question?

Next week I will cover the various successes at the Open Shows and also the results from The Papillon (Butterfly) Dog Club Open Show held on the 3rd Feb. February already, where did January go!

Enjoy the shows that you are attending, enjoy and have fun.