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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Issue: 06/07/2018

Missing critiques

Much has been said about missing judges' critiques. Our Dogs and the Kennel Club are reporting that considerable effort is expended in obtaining these critiques. 
Why, I ask myself are the show societies, who enter into a contract with judges, not taking up this responsibility? 
It is they that make the contract which is not being fulfilled, therefore they should take appropriate action. Even Crufts should follow the procedure. 
If show societies fail to get the judges to comply with critique writing rules in their contract they should, for courtesy's sake, announce the fact in the press. Some societies and breed clubs are diligent in following up critiques and take action if necessary. 
The judge's contract was drawn up by the Kennel Club so every show society from Crufts to the smallest show society should ensure that the rule is complied with. Alternatively may I suggest that the judge's contract should be modified.
Yours etc
Douglas Collier


How I agree with OD Opinion 22 June 2018 "Missing Critiques"
OD provide a fantastic archive for critiques, either searching by breed or show, long may they continue.
 There really is no need for the KC to provide a platform for critiques unless they are actually going to follow through and chase up outstanding critiques for each Championship show. That is the only time such a facility needs to be provided by them. 
If you have the tools - be seen to use them to advantage and of course for the benefit of the fee paying exhibitors. Show catalogues could be allocated to several individuals at the KC who will monitor receipt of critiques and mark them off as they were received, thus putting the ball firmly in the court of the overseeing Club, offenders could then be reported to the Judges Disciplinary Committee much quicker. Surely this is a better way of spending KC funds rather than providing a system which is not going to do any more than duplicate information readily available via OD which the KC already has access to?
 Breed Club secretaries know only too well the frustration in trying to chase up outstanding critiques on behalf of their members. In one of my breeds, when I was Secretary, I kept records of judges, entries and when critiques were published in the dog press (and still do). Judges were given 3 months, after which time I would contact either them or the Show Secretary directly, if there was no reply from this then I would then send a letter to the Kennel Club Chairman, copying in the Judges Disciplinary Department. Usually a critique was forthcoming quite quickly.
 However there are the usual continual offenders who do not produce critiques. A polite message to these judges, if you cannot produce a critique because you are judging too often then please accept fewer appointments so you CAN fulfil your contract with the Show Society, most Championship shows offer accommodation, food and/or travel costs so really this is being provided for no return. Consideration should be given to the exhibitors who enter under you and who DESERVE feedback on their dogs purely out of courtesy. I know of one person (and she knows who she is!) who wrote and submitted her critique within 2 days of judging a CC breed - well done. 
Sadly this is not the norm although there are a number of, in my eyes, outstanding judges who do produce critiques within a couple of weeks not months. Surely it is best to write said critique whilst the dogs are still fresh in your mind!
 The Kennel Club has a copy of all schedules and catalogues, can it not also produce a template for critiques which are sent to Show Secretaries which in turn will be sent out with all relevant paperwork once a contract has been signed. This template would incorporate the fact that a contract has been signed (giving date), it could also point out that unbiased action will be taken by the KC against those who do not fulfil said contract. Such information could include, judge's name, name and date of show and an example of good critique writing because some of these leave a lot to be desired as well. It could spell out the requirements for production of a critique and ask for a copy to be e-mailed to themselves, Show Secretary and dog press? Thus the same critique e-mail/letter would be sent to all three societies at the same time.
 Crufts of course is a show in point, if judges don't abide by the contract they have signed with the Kennel Club what chance do other societies have of contracts being honoured?
 It is up to the KC to sort this out and follow through. A few steep fines and a ban on awarding CCs for a decent length of time would solve this problem I am sure. Marks could be made against the name of said judge on the Find A Judge website, where secretaries could see a certain judge does not fulfil his/her part of the contract (so why offer them future appointments?) - it just needs a couple of examples of naming and shaming and examples being set for the whole system to change for the better. As judges will only be appointed from the KC lists in the near future, this is the time to look at letting it be known that such actions have been taken. Previously offenders would be removed from breed lists but as these are going to be defunct in a year or so someone has to take responsibility for action against non-critique offenders.
 Anne Russell

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