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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Issue: 29/06/2018

Competency must be tested

SINCE THE KC announced its checks/schemes to improve judges' competence, we have seen so many people criticising this move. 
However, the shambles I witnessed at a recent premier open show where BOB is a Crufts qualifier proves we need some kind of test.
The judge in question, obviously an aspiring all-rounder, judged three breeds, each with a total entry of around 15-20 dogs. When they got to our breed (their third), they physically awarded BOB, with the duly signed big green card, to the winner of junior. The winner then went on the win second in the Group.
As I have been following this exhibit with interest, I was keen to read the critique, BUT, when the critique did appear, the judge accredited BOB to the winner of Open. Add to this that the BOB card handed to the winner was actually printed for the breed they had judged prior to ours.
So, it is good that competency is to be examined, many exhibitors enter under these people blind to their ability/experience, and novices take their judging quite seriously, this this judge certainly needs to be tested before they merrily add another to their list of successful appointments to help them climb the latter. 
Yours etc
M P Jefferson

The great import debate

The question of imports has been discussed on a closed breed forum group debating if imports to the U.K. get a fair chance here in the show ring unless they are within the kennels of the top people.
Once only the brave few imported new bloodlines to help with the genetic pool and to stop from the over breeding of the same lines to the same lines.
It wasn't easy to bring dogs in and quarantine was expensive to do. Now with the Pet Passport it has become a lot easier to import new breeding lines, and also to take dogs abroad to mate.
However, are these imports that come here getting a fair go in the show ring or are they being held back because they are imports, or can it be said that they do better when certain people show them?
Exporting has been something many breeders in the U.K. have done for years and more often than not these dogs have gone on to take top honours throughout the world, as well as to produce champions when bred from.
How many brave breed judges (and not just in my own breed)  will put an import up no matter how good it is. Unlike all rounders who are less likely  to know the dog being shown is an import, whereas breed judges who show know exactly which dog is or isn't. Or do they fall by the way with all rounders do. Maybe a bit of a wager might not go amiss to see how they do under certain judges.
Why do these imports fail to get off the starting block because they are held back or is it the quality of them that lacks the merit of top awards.
Often we may see these dogs at a few shows and then they are gone due to the exhibitors not getting amywhere, but that can be said of UK dogs here also.
Long has the debate on colour raged within my breed, the Shih Tzu, now the most popular colour seems to be black, but while colour was discussed other foreign exhibitors and breeders  wondered why do imports seem to fall by the wayside here.
Some young dogs come in and start off well but do the breed judges hold them back while all rounders put them up as they aren't in the know of where they are from. For sure males tend to better than females here or is it many won't show an import female.
It seems to range on the debate and many feel that it is easy to see what is happening in the breed with live feed filmed for the world to watch, judges are now easily seen while certain imports have a following that they didn't even know they had.
Sometimes watching it seems better fun than watching the lastest episode of Corrie, as we guess which place down the line the import goes. Surely these young generation of dogs deserve a place within the ranks of those imports that the older kennel have successfully campaigned to the title of champion.
For sure it would be interesting to see how they would do in the groups here against our other breeds. 
Yours etc
Mr C Michaels

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