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(Updated 13/8/01)

KC drops 'eighth group'

THE much criticised ‘eighth group’, in which best in shows from FCI shows on the continent were to compete at Crufts show from 2002 has been abandoned by the Kennel Club.

Two weeks ago its future was on the agenda at the Kennel Club Finance and general Purposes Committee meeting. The statement released last week said that, ‘. . . the International Group will not now go ahead due to lack of support from overseas shows. The number of show taking part in the qualifying rounds for Crufts is growing steadily but is insufficient to justify the holding of this special group competition.’

With the relaxation of quarantine in February 2000 it was perceived that dogs and bitches competing 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 was due to be judged by Mrs Pamela Cross-Stern.