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Issue: 12/01/2018

Missing critiques causing disillusion for exhibitors

I am in complete agreement with Susan Williams' comments on critique disappointment (OD Jan 5th).
 For a few years now I have been doing as Susan suggests, reporting directly to the KC on any missing critiques in my breed. As she says, the Breed Shows Team are most helpful and so far have only failed to obtain a critique on two occasions. 
One judge successfully claimed immunity because she was a substitute and had not signed a contract, although personally I cannot see that this makes any difference. The second will probably end up with a fine which gives me no satisfaction at all, as I wanted to read his comments on the very small number of dogs he judged.
It is amazing that Susan and her colleagues checked the critiques of every single breed for nine months, a truly Herculean task. It would be more practical if the KC appointed an individual in each breed to do this, in the same way as they ask for help in checking the Stud Book proofs. 
If a prospective judge is not prepared to write a critique there is a very simple solution: don't accept the appointment. In practice, of course, these judges never refuse an invitation and always turn up to officiate. 
I have yet to hear of a judge deciding that he cannot be bothered to judge the last couple of classes or award the CCs, yet they seem to have a problem with submitting a timely critique which should be considered an integral part of the appointment. Are some of them simply afraid of revealing their ignorance in print?
It is often the same small number of judges who are at fault, many of them household names in the dog world. They hold high positions in the KC or are Ch. show secretaries so are offered frequent judging appointments. They obviously consider that the rules do not apply to them as rather than setting a good example their critiques do not appear until months after the show. I consider that the degree of respect a judge has for their exhibitors is directly proportional to the time taken for a critique to appear. Exhibitors expend a great deal of money and effort to attend a show and it is rude and arrogant in the extreme for a judge not to acknowledge this by submitting a timely critique.
It seems to me that the only satisfactory way of remedying this state of affairs is for all subsequent judging appointments to be withdrawn from a judge who does not submit a critique within a reasonable period of time. Of course there are occasional extenuating circumstances but these are few and far between and, strangely enough, seldom seem to apply to the actual judging appointment. The overused excuse that the critique was submitted but not published is irrelevant as it should be the judge's responsibility to ensure that their critique appears in OD. There seems little point in making attendance at a critique writing seminar compulsory in the new JCF if the requirement to supply a critique is not enforced.
There is much emphasis at present on increasing the enjoyment which exhibitors derive from showing in an attempt to increase its popularity. One significant reason for exhibitors becoming disillusioned is the lack of critiques.
Yours etc
Jean Clare

No yellow thanks

On reading my Our Dogs this week, my jaw dropped to my knees when I saw that there was a photo taken at an Open show of a yellow flatcoat. I do not lay blame to either the paper or the photographer, but nowhere in the breed standard are yellows allowed in the show ring and should never be rewarded. 
I was taught by the old school in F/Cs and it was always known this colour can carry epilepsy! As pretty as they look this colour is not excepted in the standard, now I am aware we occasionally do get the odd yellow in some lines, but these are normally sold as pets with a no breeding on the paper work. 
We have enough with cancer in our breed without epilepsy being introduced. I lived with a crossbred with this as a child and no way would I wish this on our beloved fcs. I award CCs in this breed and would quietly tell the exhibitor this colour is not permissable.
That aside I can imagine yellow puppies being sold to the unsuspecting public at extremely high prices, a nice little earner. I sincerely hope not.
Yours etc
Sue Pingree

Unsung heroes

I RECENTLY saw an example of the above, the end of year Christmas Party of Porthill Ringcraft held at the Silverdale Community Centre. 
Centre of all arrangements was Sandra Mather - what a competent enthusiastic lady she is, nothing was too much trouble.
Some time ago I had been invited to judge the evening's Show in Newcastle at the Club. There was a class for almost everything, 4 to 6 mth and 6 to 12 mth puppies, Handled by a lady, then a man, the Best six legs, the Dog the Judge would like to take home, and then Junior Handling, the star of which was a five-year-old little boy who was a natural, handling a male Dalmatian, his sister joined in too.
Supper was hot pies and peas, followed by home made cakes, what a feast on a very cold frosty night.
Elaine Wall was the steward, handing out rosettes and setting up the winners for photographs taken by, yes, Sandra Mather. All can be seen on Porthill's Facebook page.
Dogs present included, an Akita, two Dalmatians, three French Bulldogs, a Yorkshire Terrier, a baby Pug, a Cocker Spaniel, and a Spitz, Fancy Dress followed. There were prizes for the dogs and beautiful rosettes for all.
Oh yes, we included some training and I think I can say that everyone enjoyed the evening.
It is Ringcraft clubs like this one that prepare dog enthusiasts to become exhibitors to keep the world of dogs going. Well done to Sandra and Porthill's Committee and thank you for asking me to be there as part of this super evening.
Porthill would welcome more members in the New Year, it is an experienced organisation, who are insured by the Kennel Club and run by very experienced people and cater for all breeds of dogs. Contact Sandra Mather on 01782323985 or email:
Yours etc
Jill Dixon
(Wallbank Gordon Setters) 


It was interesting to read about the famous Reynalton Bloodhounds of Mrs Nina Elms. She of course, bred several other breeds, including Bassets. 
Her Bloodhounds were used regularly in those times by the Police trailing criminals.  
I think there was an occasion she entered 40 dogs for a pre-war Crufts??!!  
My father bought a harlequin Great Dane from her towards the end of WW2, but at that time she had moved to Kings Somborne, only a 'stones throw', from where I now live. 
She was obviously a lady of great wealth. Highly educated and one of the very first women to qualify as Dental Surgeon.  
Yours etc
Jean Lanning

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