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Issue: 09/11/2018

Good foundations were laid

I read Stephen Clayforth's analysis of the problems besetting Open and Limited shows in last week's issue with considerable interest and, by and large, I think he sets out the background extremely clearly: it is an analysis which needs to be read very carefully by everyone.
However, there is one aspect which I would like to correct and that is the statement in his second paragraph which refers to the work of the small committee set up in 1999 to examine how best to educate judges and which, indeed, had a knock-on effect on shows. Stephen says 'without consulting any Open Shows they decided that various strictures were needed on the Open Show scene and started formulating draconian regulations to 'help' Open Shows'. 
This is quite wrong. Terry Thorn, Ronnie Irving, Ann Arch and I all agreed in serving as the Judges Working Party that whatever our proposals they must be in line with what exhibitors and show managements would find acceptable and, to that end, all general and breed show secretaries were sent a questionnaire which asked for their views and opinions on a number of issues and also requested their suggestions as to what would best benefit their societies. 
We also made presentations to the various representative committees of breeds and shows and requested their feedback. As I remember, we received well over 700 replies which were carefully analysed before we began our in-depth discussions. There were a number of innovations which we would have liked to have established but did not do so because it was clear that we would not be able to 'bring along' what would now be referred to as our 'stakeholders'.  All our recommendations were thoroughly examined and discussed and approved by the relevant subcommittees and the General Committee.
So whatever changes have happened since that time, the foundations were laid in consultation with and in agreement with societies.
Yours etc
David Cavill FRSA

Thank you

Through your letters page, I would like to thank all the readers and followers of my past columns 'From the Steward's Table' and latterly 'The Kim Lathaen Column' for their collective correspondence and input to both over the past nine years. It has been noticed by some that I haven't submitted anything since May 2018 and despite being harangued to do so again by many, I very much regret I am unable to write anything more for Our Dogs.   
I would wish to thank Mr. Vince Hogan for giving me the opportunity to start writing in the first instance and the advice and encouragement I've received from the editorial staff up to my last article. It's been an interesting and sometimes bumpy ride, but I've loved every second of it.
Thank you all so much for making my time at Our Dogs so fulfilling. It's been a stepping stone and I hope to be able to continue writing at some point if anyone is desperate enough to take me on!
I've made many friends and a fair few enemies I'm sure, but it was so worth it. I shall miss you all and it is with a very heavy heart that I sign off now for the last time.
Yours etc
Kim Lathaen

Thanks Kim, who knows? You may be back! Ed
Shows need to 
to gain entries

Looking at your list of entries closing recently, I noticed a show which I though had disbanded. 
This set me wondering if one of the reasons for the falling entries in Open shows was partly due to the apparent abandonment of advertising forthcoming shows in the dog press. There used to be pages of such ads, showing venue, date, judges etc, but in recent years these have dwindled to virtually nothing.
I know I am not the only one who has no computor and who does not regularly attend championship shows where show schedules are available, and my usual entry for a show used to be after seeing an advertisement and telephoning for a schedule.
If one can't get to a show to pick up a schedule and the show is not advertised, it stands to reason one cannot put in an entry. Perhaps show societies might give this some thought.
Yours etc
Audrey Quarterman

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