Fit for purpose?
In June 2017 I wrote to the Kennel Club asking whether they would consider including the Working Gundog Certificate as a suffix on a dog's name, in the same way that the Show Certificate of Merit is treated, particularly as at present the only award for working gundogs is that of Field Trial Champion.
In July 2017 I received a reply stating that the Field Trials Committee and liaison Council had considered this on NUMEROUS occasions (so I am obviously not the only person to have suggested this!) and do not support the proposal. Their reason being that it would not be appropriate as the award is not obtained in competition.
The WGC is obtained by assessment by a KC recognised assessor. The dog and handler have to carry out various tasks, dependant on their breed. If all the tasks are completed satisfactorily (the assessment takes all day) the WGC is awarded. Our College Graduates do not have to compete against each other to obtain their 'suffixes' (B.vet.med etc) they are awarded if they are good enough!
I considered the reasons given by the Field Trials Committee and Council for their rejection of this proposal to be rather weak, particularly as the KC is trying to promote "fit for purpose". Surely an accolade added to a dog's name proving that its working ability has been retained can be nothing but a good thing for dogdom. It could never replace the title of Field Trials Champion, but perhaps would allay the assumption of many, that most gundogs cannot do a day's work!
In July 2017 I wrote to the Kennel Club again asking if they would consider this matter again as there are many good working gundogs that have no way of being recognised. It would also encourage young potential handlers to enter the world of working gundogs.
In September 2017 I sent a reminder, with a copy of my letter of July 2017. On the 20th November 2017 I wrote to the Kennel Club asking when I could expect a response. To date I have not received a reply.
I am somewhat disappointed in the Kennel Club's lack of response, and am surprised they advocate ignoring letters. I can only assume the "fit for purpose" slogan is not being taken seriously!
You don't ask, you don't get
Time and again I have heard that 'these days' no one is willing or suitable to take on the onerous task of being an All Breeds Championship Show Secretary.
It may therefore come as a surprise if I tell you that the LKA received twelve applications following our recent invitation for applications to fill our position of Secretary and every one of these had a great deal to offer in terms of aptitude, experience and suitability to fulfil the role.
They came from nearly every region in the UK - the South West, Wales, Eastern Counties, the North East, Northumberland, North West and of course the Midlands and South East.
They spanned a wide range of ages too (from mid 20's - 60's) and demonstrated considerable knowledge and ambition in their CV's. Sadly of course we only had one position to fill at the LKA, but please other Committees do not think that no one wants or can do this job. There are clearly many in our midst who have both the Secretarial and administrative skills, linked to a sound grounding in show organisation and dogs in general. If you do not ask for these people to come forward then you will never know who they are and the opportunity to harness their talents will be lost.
Owt for nowt!
Your esteemed columnist Mr David Cavill hits the nail on the head regarding the quality and absence of true journalism in the these Internet-driven days.
I think I am correct in saying when I lived 'up t'north' the saying was 'tha' doesn't git owt f'nowt'!
Bill Moores (Retired Northerner)
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