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18/1/02
K.C. is to organise events conference

The Kennel Club is to organise a 'Canine Events Conference' for interested parties to have an input into the world of dogs and the way in which it is develops in the 21st century.

The conference, scheduled to take place on April 19th at the Kennel Club's Clarges Street headquarters, will bring together representatives of the canine world including the specialist press, Pet Food Manufacturers' Association, the trade stand holders, show secretaries, exhibitors and representatives of the Scottish Kennel Club.

The event was approved in principle by the General Committee last week and was mentioned two days later in a speech given by KC Chairman Mr Peter James at the Friskies/Dog World Pup of the Year final.

Last October the Kennel Club issued, via the press office, a discussion document entitled 'the Promotion of Canine Activities' which went some way to posing several questions about the future of open shows and how best to encourage greater participation at various events. The paper was put out to the KCLC Breeds Council, the KCLC Shows Council, the Show Executive Committee and the Working Trials, Obedience and Agility Sub-Committee.

The Kennel Club expressed concern at the dwindling interest in participation in canine activities amongst existing and potential competitors/exhibitors; Cconsequently, a Working Party was set up to examine the trend and to devise ways to promote canine activities.

The Working Party has made a number of proposals, which the above Councils and Sub-Committees have been invited to consider. Feedback and further views and ideas will then be referred back to the Working Party for discussion. (Those from the KCLC Breeds Council are featured in this week's issue on page 14, Ed.)

These included a proposed amendment of the Champion Regulations, so that dogs would be required to attend at least five Open Shows before they can be declared a Champion or Show Champion. This requirement, said the proposal, would improve the quality of dogs being entered for Open Shows and contribute to the training of judges by affording them the opportunity of judging superior dogs.

This proposal was favoured in place of putting an entry qualifier on Championship Shows, as it was considered that this would have a detrimental effect on entries, particularly in the lower classes. There was also a proposed introduction of a new award only available all Breed Open Shows, i.e. an Open Show Certificate of Merit.

Following on from this, it was suggested that a special variety stakes class could be scheduled at General Championship shows, open only to those dogs which have qualified for such an award.

Proposals

It was proposed that a flyer was included in Kennel Club correspondence re. registrations, transfers etc., giving a brief outline of the potential canine activities open to new owners (showing, obedience, agility, working trials, field trails etc.) The flyer would advise those interested to contact the Kennel Club call centre for more information.

It was also suggested that the Kennel Club would select six Open Shows in a particular region and target new owners by inviting them to attend, having identified them through transfer records. The Kennel Club's presence at these shows would be advertised in local press.

At these selected shows an information pack would be made available. There was a proposal for a special class for Companion Dog Club registered dogs (ie. first time exhibitors) to be scheduled at Open Shows. It was envisaged that carefully selected judges and stewards for these classes could advise novice exhibitors on all aspects of showing their dogs. The winners of these classes would attend a grand final at Discover Dogs.

It was proposed that registered societies should be permitted to hold Exemption Dog Shows, with a percentage of the profits going to charity; also, Special Events for breed clubs and general canine societies could be encouraged.

Further consideration could be given to allowing entries on the day at appropriate shows, said the proposal. Whilst the recommendations from the committees and councils will be given every consideration it is thought that the forthcoming Canine Events Conference agenda will deal with similar issues on a much broader basis with contributions from the various delegates, all of whom will be specialists in their own field.

The move comes at a time when Kennel Club members will be considering the various options in relation to opening up membership at the AGM in May.