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(Updated 3/8/01)

Kennel Club reconsider the eighth group idea?

THE FUTURE of the much criticised ‘eighth group’, in which best in shows from FCI shows on the continent could compete at Crufts show from 2002, looks doubtful.

Last week its future was on the agenda at the Kennel Club Finance and general Purposes Committee meeting.
With the relaxation of quarantine in February 2000 it was perceived that dogs and bitches from the continent would give another dimension to competition in the British showring.

But the move attracted criticism from those who thought that to compete at ‘premier league’ level overseas exhibits should also compete in Crufts breed classes with the rest and not get a ‘bye’ to what effectively was a ‘favoured’ eighth group. The first scheduled group is due to be judged by Mrs Pamela Cross-Stern.

The question of breeds still on the imported breeds register, cropped or previously unseen in this country had also been apparently overlooked. This led to a hasty rule change last year when the prospect of a crop eared exhibit winning abroad and qualifying for Crufts 2002 became and real possibility.

As we good to press an expected Kennel Club statement was unavailable and may, we understand, be issued next week.