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New KC training board to improve show scene

Last week the Kennel Club announced the formation of a new board to accelerate and oversee the training of everyone involved in shows from organisers to judges. The move comes after the Judges’ Working Party stepped down after about five years of meeting and consultation with various committees at the kennel club.

Terry Thorn who was on the original JWP will chair the new board which met on November 5th. for the first time. The Kennel Club press release, issued last Thursday, said:-

On recommendation from the Judges’ Working Party, the K C General Committee recently agreed that this group should stand down. However, at the same time, it identified a pressing need for a group to oversee the training of all those involved with the staging of licensed shows, from the organisers to the judges and the ring stewards. In line with its previous comments on improving the dog show scene for all concerned, the General Committee recognised the need to set achievable standards and has now established the Kennel Club Training Board. Broadly speaking the Board’s terms of reference are set out below:

"The Board will consist of up to five members, including a Chairman, appointed annually by the General Committee.

a. To establish a framework for the training of: Judges (breed specialists and multi breed), Club officials, Show organisers, Ring stewards
b. To encourage and maintain high standards of judging with particular reference to the soundness, health and well being of the dog.
c. To encourage and maintain high standards of ring stewarding and show organisation.
d. To provide educational guidance for judges, stewards and show organisers.
e. To work closely with those organising training seminars.
f. To recommend the accreditation of and to oversee the work of the Kennel Club Accredited Trainers (Show)."

The members of the Board have been drawn from a number of areas and include experienced judges, Kennel Club accredited trainers, and those who have an involvement in the new group judges development programmes. These are: Terry Thorn Chairman, Dr. Ruth Barbour, Gerald King, Mrs Eleanor Bothwell and Peter Winfield.

The Board held its first meeting on the 5th November and covered a wide range of subjects, concerning the re-appointment of Kennel Club Accredited Trainers, preparing guidance notes for evaluators and assessors, as well as discussing the way in which more opportunities can be created for the assessment of judges.

The Kennel Club recognises that the opportunity for people to gain practical and hands on experience of judging and other canine activities is not as great as it used to be. The importance of creating more formal training opportunities is increasing in the dog game as it is in all spheres of activity today. The Training Board does, however, recognise that since our sport is still a hobby, a balanced mixture of hands-on practical experience and more formal training is necessary for the future. It will endeavour to ensure that this balance is maintained and that good, practical experience continues to be recognised as well as the more formal approach demanded by modern attitudes.

The Board will be making reports and recommendations to a number of Kennel Club sub-committees and anyone wishing to put forward ideas or make contact with the Training Board can do so in writing to Kathryn Symns, Assistant Secretary, The Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges Street, London W1J 8AB.

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