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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Issue: 17/08/2018

No rosette, no show!

I feel I must reply to comments on Rosettes! Rosettes! (Have Your Say, 10 August)
I look forwards to receiving rosettes when lucky enough to get placed.
First place prize card and first place rosette are given in the ring, but at most Open Shows you have to take your prize card to the Secretary's table to get said rosettes.
Regarding paying for rosettes. I and many others donate on the entry form for rosettes,  plus for catalogue and entry fees. Stewards do work hard as do all members which is much appreciated.
As to the fate of Rosettes, I proudly display all the rosettes of my dogs past and present. They are much easier to display than prize cards.
Maybe an alternative,  if you want your hard earned rosettes, take your prize cards and exchange them for rosettes, thus the card would be used again.
Lastly I always look in the Catalogue to see if rosettes 1st to 4th are given, if only first are given I will not enter!
Yours etc
Mrs Pat Milner

Critique writing thoughts

Having, two months on, submitted to you for publication my judging critiques from Southern Counties and Three Counties, I accept I am late but am not yet in that euphoric state of my life where I am partnered and retired. That would free me up so much better!
So, I have no "beloved" to tend to my every whim whilst I hit the computer. I still work 24 hour shifts, and double shifts through the week, to be available to judge and/or undergo judging assessments and be educated at breed seminars of a weekend. I have seven Griffons of varied ages/infirmities and am still breeding the Beauviews even if showing has had to be put on the back burner.
I'm no hero, and certainly not unique, but DO aim to write a decent, explanatory critique as opposed to the "very nice" dross! It does take time and I use the process to continue to learn as I will note a query in my judging book to later check breed specifics as well as discovering what I got wrong! I always carry breed standards and on this occasion was privileged to be "hands on"  many newly imported breeds for the first time.
I will later go see what the likes of Albert Wight or Espen Engh have written in their critiques, as the best exponents of the genre, but, again, so I can consider how close to the mark I was . . or was not!
It used to be that you 'entered for the judges opinion' that was a critique reference. I wonder to what extent that still applies or has been replaced by seeing what you get. It tempts me to write that dross just to comply with KC requirements. No one is hauled up for doing so. No one seems to check for quality or relevance. Breed notes rarely seem to discuss any considered comments by a judge that may be of many years' standing but rather, more likely, print a list of those critiques still missing.
Back in the day there was often a "ringside report" by an all rounder so you didn't get the judges' opinion at all. I accept that this is a different age and change is needed to address that and so I support the JCF that I hope WILL be more embracing and bring on a generation of allrounders better placed to combine such a career (for such it is for those committed enough) with work and raising families that run alongside the dog game rather than competing against it.
We can dispense with individual, ball-aching critique writing by introducing Grading. It will just take a second to put a tick in a box on a pre-printed card so that EVERY exhibit goes home with the judge's opinion, not just the first two. It has cost the same to enter each dog and we will consign to history, with a strike of a biro, that dreadful lament "I was thrown out with the rubbish" when exhibitors in the Open class compare and discover all five placed were graded of CC quality. Equally a consistent run of "Goods" will help the exhibitor realise this particular dog is in Post Graduate for its foreseeable future!
I would pilot it at each of the all CC breed Ch shows from, say, Manchester 2021 onwards. The published critique will then still be required BUT as an overview of the breed and limited, individually, to the top winners and any others the judge considers worthy of a mention
I do believe this will improve the quality of our judges as they will have to concentrate on formulating their opinion on each exhibit, that they are about to commit to with that tick in the box, without being sidetracked by "personality" or "friendship" issues! 
So the original point of this letter is twofold:
1. To get you to guesstimate how many critiques I have written (longhand!) for just these two shows, judging AVNSC / Import/ Rare breeds on four days at Southern Counties and half a dozen breeds over three days at Three Counties BEFORE you lodge your complaint to the KC that yours is unpublished.
2.In the hope that there may be a Greek/Turkish wrestler-type reading this who is feeling unloved and likes to cook & clean and pick up dog pooh!
I have asked the Editor to hide away the answer at the bottom of another page. My thoughts are now with the typist, my handwriting being, evidently, seen as a challenge!!
Yours etc                                                                              Howard Ogden
Thanks Howard! The answer can be found at the bottom of page 10...Ed

Pop up fine dining!

Like Chris Window (Have your Say, 10/08/18), I was somewhat surprised to read about the Kennel Club's restaurant. For a minute, I thought that there had been a printing  mistake and somehow a five star hotel brochure had been mixed up with the Kennel Gazette.
 I cannot see how the money spent on that benefits the canine world when only a very small percentage of people will ever get to eat there. So, in this age of trends, would the KC like to take a "pop-up" version of their restaurant to Crufts next year for all to enjoy? Think how much more money they would make for the job they supposed to be doing!
Yours etc
Andrew Height 

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