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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Issue: 17/11/2017

Such a shame

After reading the recent piece in Our Dogs about the Crufts judge, Mrs Pauline Luxmoore-Ball, stepping down from her judging appointment, I feel compelled to write a response to make some clarification. 
I was aware of the social media content and commented on it myself when I saw our breed and club had been brought into discussion. The private group on facebook was the only place that this was discussed. The thread ended on the 12th of October. The Canadian Eskimo Dog and Greenland Dog, which are both rare non cc breeds, have only once had any specialist judge at Crufts since the breed was split back in 2001. 
Formerly both breeds were known as Eskimo Dogs, and anyone who judged them pre-2000 would have indeed judged what is now known as a Greenland Dog, as all dogs at the time of the split bar four were re-registered solely as Greenland's. 
This split was initiated by the Greenland Dog Club. The judges chosen for Crufts have usually been the same for both breeds, all rounders or those that form what we term as policy judges; that are qualified to judge the working group or Best In Show. 
The Canadian Eskimo Dog Club has been working very hard over the last few years arranging several seminars, also including the use of Greenland Dogs into the hands on part, and contrary to what was stated we do have a judges list that is regularly updated and is available on request. 
The Greenland Dog Club has only recently held a seminar, the first in 12 years, and published a judges list on its website, although without any criteria and containing judges that are retired and deceased! 
One of the most interesting factors in this is that, regardless of Mrs Luxmoore-Ball's association with the KC Chairman, she in her own right is the only female judge since 2002 that gives tickets in the two of the four sled dogs in the working group and has attended all four breed seminars! Also she has owned, bred and worked more than one of the four breeds. 
The only other judge to be on par to this is indeed Mr Luxmoore who judged both breeds back in 2016. As I'm aware judging appointments are given far in advance and if the criteria and lists had been made available then I am sure things would have been different. It's a real shame for the breed and the judge that a fantastic opportunity to have someone, not only qualified but rarely interested in the sled dog breeds, made to feel in such a way by people, more to the point generally not even remotely involved or interested in the future of sled dogs. 
Incidentally the person who initiated the post has apologised to the CEDCGB and many people have messaged publically and privately with support. In a time where people are constantly complaining that the various breeds do not receive judges with experience or interest in their respective breed,s this kind of witch hunt certainly doesn't do any breed any favours at all!  
Yours etc
Racheal Bailey


Harmful suspension

The case of the judge who has been banned from judging for two years is sad and strange too. 
Exhibitors and people at the ringside where the "offence" was committed cannot determine what she did wrong. However, a nameless evaluator from the KC could. This begs the question; who are these faceless evaluators? Are they at every Champ or open show? And why are they not named? 
Surely, the evaluator should be able to state publicly what he/she saw the judge doing that was wrong in the KC's eyes. Then all judges, exhibitors and people at ringside could learn and adjust their behaviour. Is this too much to ask? 
The KC has talked of being more transparent and accountable, but a one sided case like this is not helping their cause. It still appears that it is "do as we say, or else" when the KC has a situation like this.
If I had a pound for every time that a judge has turned his/her back on me in the ring or spoken to exhibitors in/out of the ring, then I would be rich. And according to the KC, there would very few judges who were not on a two year suspension.
Again, the KC needs to listen to the exhibitor, the one who pays the money  that keeps the KC going. Failure to do this will eventually do them harm.
Also, you highlight the judge who has been fined for common assault at a show. Will the KC put him on two year suspension, or is assault acceptable in their rule book?
Yours etc
Andrew Height   


Thanks OD

I just want to thank the team at Our Dogs for putting together a lovely feature to celebrate the Northern Kerry Blue Club's 70th Anniversary (issue 10th Nov 17)
On behalf of the club, we would like to thank OD for  your support and the super rosettes and the coverage of the show.
Many thanks.
Yours etc
Carol Ramsay
Chair person Northern Kerry Blue Club


No justice

The recent story of the 'tough' penalty meted out to famous Whippet breeder and exhibitor, Judy Manly, was unbelievable!  
 For me it immediately raised several  initial important points.   1. It appears the decision for the suspension came from the Judges Sub
2 We are not told whether this then followed normal procedure,, ie the Judges Sub  decision then being endorsed  by the Board?      
3 The Evaluator, whose identity is protected (is this fair?). 
4  Was the Evaluator requested whether he/or she needed  to declare an interest?  Vital points to be addressed, before the complaint against Judy Manly could be heard.
 This lady's whole life are her Whippets. She has reached the dizzy heights of fame that most breeder/exhibitors only dream about.  
Having judged for 14 years a number of Hound breeds, in addition to Whippets, she was invited to judge at the LKA  last year, (first time CCs) with one of the best entries of the year.   What a CV.!!  Where could one find anyone better qualified?
So what was the terrible crime of Judy?   There were a number of things, apparently.   She was unprofessional and discourteous?    In that she spoke to exhibitors in and out the ring.  What's wrong with that? Often chatting to an exhibitor puts not only them at ease, but also their dog.  I and other well known judges are often seen chatting to exhibitors.   Frequently finding afterwards it is a novice at their first show, thus enabling them to go home having had a nice day.   
Then apparently Judy 'stood at the table with her back to exhibitors'.  This charge seemed completely nonsense.    As those who judge know, one has to complete judge's slips after each class and check entries and absentees of next class,with their stewards.  This can only be done at the judge's table, with one's back to the rest of the ring.  The suspension, now dated as from September 1st 2017, virtually means almost a three year suspension.
It seems Judy has a legion of supporters, but this does not take away the trauma she has had to endure for many months. 
Now aged over 60, she reveals that for most of her life she has only the use of one lung.  She spends most of her time,miserable and weeping, and I would think also many sleepless nights!  For most,this would be  a recipe for a, nervous break down, or worse.
It may be of some comfort for Judy to know that she and others, Members and Non-Members,have  recently  suffered  the rough butt of Kennel Club 'justice'.
One could well ask is there no milk of human kindness, left at the 'HEART' of the Kennel Club? 
Yours etc
Jean Lanning


Please rethink

The committees of both the Fox Terrier Club and Smooth Fox Terrier Association wish to support the Open Letter sent by the Border Terrier Club to the Kennel Club regarding the discontinuation of the Judges Competency Framework, over which there has been no consultation at grass roots level. 
At recent meetings the feeling was that this puts an added burden on to the officers of breed clubs who are all volunteers plus the financial implications on clubs is unsustainable in the long term. Also numerically smaller and vulnerable breeds do not have the personnel to fulfil all the roles you are proposing, an Education Officer, mentors etc. as well as the usual officers and committee required for the smooth running of a breed club.
Surely a pilot scheme should have taken place prior to the announcement of the JCF, rather than after and representatives from breeds across the groups should have formed a working party rather than the Kennel Club merely serving all clubs with a fait accompli. 
Having recently spent some time in consultation with the KC over judging numbers and criteria for awarding CCs for both wire and smooth fox terriers, it now seems that whole process was a total waste of time, thought and energy.  We urge the Kennel Club to re think and let the judging training process return to the status quo.
Yours etc
The Officers and committee members of the Fox Terrier Club and Smooth Fox Terrier Association


Hope the dogs are ok

I have been following the live stream of the World Show, and was most disturbed to see on saturday morning, in the second large ring, a man doing an act with different breeds of dogs, doing tricks, and he proceeded to juggle a Jack Russell, throwing it up in the air with one hand and catching it with the other.
I thought that circuses were banned for this many years ago, and it is now creeping in to the dog shows,I was fearful that he would miss catching this poor little dog, and it would crash to the floor.
I think these acts should be looked at before putting it to the public, and as you are sponsors to this show, do you want to be associated with this?
Yours etc
Elizabeth Montgomery (Ms)

OUR DOGS has always been proud of its association with this show, and we still are. However, we do realise that overseas shows are often more of a spectacle than UK show, this is one of the reasons so many people travel to them. These are always done safely, and would not be allowed if there was any risk to the dogs. However, OUR DOGS has no say in the running of these events outside of the dog showing, which is the only part we are involved with. Ed
    

Coton Breed Standard

Your breed notes correspondent rightly reported that the Kennel Club published the new Standard recently. 
For accuracy it is no longer an 'Interim' Standard.  Our committee noted her reference to 'halos' that were ascribed to an unnamed judge, and wish to confirm that they have never been part of the breed standard.  Her references to 'round' eyes in the new standard fails to recognise that the Interim standard that has been in place since the 1990s specifically calls for round eyes, and the FCI standard has always mentioned round eyes in their general description of the breed.  
The journey to reach the new breed standard is recorded on the Coton de Tulear club website www.cdtclubuk.org. for those who wish to get an accurate picture of the process.
Yours etc
Jim Murdoch
Hon Secretary
Coton de Tulear club of the UK

The breed notes in this week's issue hopefully clarify the above points. Ed

Well done Leipzig

I have just returned from the World Show in Leipzig, my first time abroad with a dog to show.
I travelled with some friends, also newbies to overseas shows. One if us did well, the rest of us got nothing at all, but what an amazing time we had, and what a show!
It ran like absolute clockwork, we were so well looked after from the minute we arrived at the venue. So much to do and see, lots of trade stands (but not at the expense of room for the dogs!), and some great shows put on for us dog lovers.
I cannot believe I have not discovered showing abroad before now, it's an absolute hoot.
I just hope that Brexit and the effect it will have on the Pat Passport scheme will not stop me just as I get going!
Thanks to all organisers for a most fantastic show.
Yours etc
Eve Gomez

Evaluators must be impartial

I READ interest the news of the judge who has been suspended for apparantly behaving discourteously whilst judging Whippets at LKA last year.
I cannot understand two things here: Why did it take seven months for the KC to contact the judge in question? And why wasn't the eveluator named?
Surely an impartial eveluation of judging would give both good and bad points of the appointment? And what if the evaluator is someone who harbours a grudge against a judge, for whatever reason (and Lord only knows there are enough grudges in the world of dogs!).
If I was the judge, I'd be doing my best to find out exactly what is going on here, and I would be asking some very serious questions in order to get back to what I love doing most, judging. 
Yours etc
Name and address withheld
 

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