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Judges' workshop shows the right way forward

The second year of the Judges' Development Programme organised by the National Terrier Club, concluded on Wednesday and Thursday January 16 and 17 at the canine Academy near Nottingham.

This was the fourth two-day workshop session to be held by the club in line with the Kennel Club's plan to help in the development of judges on a group by group basis. To date, sixteen terrier breeds have been included and the sessions are considered, by those attending, to have been very successful.

A good deal of lively and well informed discussion emerges in these workshops and terrier judges generally seem very keen to take part. A number of other ideas on the development of terrier judges have been put forward by delegates and will be considered by the National Terrier Club and the Kennel Club when the future of the scheme is reviewed.

The breeds dealt with over the two days on this occasion, were the Scottish Terrier covered by John and Sue Gaskell, the Sealyham by david Winsley and Biddy Horn, the Cesky by Norina Evans, the Bedlington by Viv Rainsbury assisted by other bedlington enthusiasts, and the Border Terrier by Kate and Ronnie Irving.

There were twenty candidates attending on this occasion, all of whom already must have previously been approved for at least three terrier breeds at championship level before being invited to participate.

A number of these are already established group judges. Many of the candidates attending had previously awarded CCs to some of the breeds concerned. A panel of establishes terrier specialists has been appointed to assess new candidates and provide its views to the KC Judges' Sub Committee.

These views will be used when the candidates come up for approval to award CCs to the breeds concerned. The judges Sub Committee has confirmed that it will, in future, pay particular attention to the views of such group society Judges' Development Panels in arriving at its decisions.

So far, the National Terrier Club (in its second scheme year) and the National Working and Pastoral Breeds Dog Show Society (in its first scheme year) are the two group societies which have launched their programmes of workshops. The National Gundog Association, the Hound Association and the UK Toydog Society is also making good progress toward adopting the scheme with some dates already fixed for 2002.

A spokesman for the National Terrier Club said "We would like to thank all those who have assisted us in putting on these workshops including those who have given their time to make presentations on the breeds covered. We would also like to thank, in particular, those who have brought dogs along.

Without them the sessions would not be nearly so useful." l The National Terrier Club plans to run a further two day session on November 13 and 14, 2002 with others to follow in 2003. The breeds to be covered will be announced at a later date.