Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567
Danny in the clear

Photo by Alan V Walker
Remember Best in show at Crufts 2003? It’s now official Philip Martin and Bert Easdon’s Pekingese Ch Yakee A Dangerous Liaison is still best in show! ‘Danny’ is pictured with Crufts Committee Chairman Mr Peter mann, judge Mr Albert wight, former KC Chairman Mr Peter James who presented the trophies and reserve BIS Ron Ramsay’s Kerry Blue Ch Torum’s Blue Bayou handled by Geoff Corish. Speaking to OUR DOGS earlier this week judge Albert Wight commented, ‘. . . you can’t improve on perfection’.

THE Crufts best in show winning Pekingese Ch Yakee A Dangerous Liaison has been cleared of any alleged breach of KC regulations prohibiting the exhibition of dogs which have had veterinary treatment altering their natural conformation, writes Nick Mays.

A statement issued last Tuesday said ‘Following its meeting on April 15th the Kennel Club General Committee would like to confirm its position, regarding the Crufts Best in Show winner Pekingese Ch Yakee a Dangerous Liaison, and an alleged breach of Kennel Club regulation F(B)3 which prohibits the alteration of a dog's natural conformation or any acts likely to deceive a judge.

‘This matter was brought to the Kennel Club’s attention and investigated after it had been alleged in both the national and international press that the dog’s owners were in breach of the above regulation following a supposed ‘facelift’ on the dog.

‘Having thoroughly researched the matter and taken veterinary advice, the Kennel Club can now confirm that no breach of its regulations occurred. The dog had undergone surgery to alleviate an acquired respiratory tract condition but, as this procedure did not alter the natural conformation of
the dog, 'permission to show' was not required from the Kennel Club.

‘Said Ronnie Irving, Kennel Club Chairman; "This issue, and the way that it has been handled, will send out a positive message to all dog exhibitors and to the public at large, that should we receive any significant information on possible breaches of Kennel Club Regulations, we will conduct a thorough investigation and make a definitive decision on the results."

‘Mr Irving continued; "As far as we are concerned, this matter is now concluded and we look forward to Crufts 2004 on the 4 – 7 March 2004 at the NEC, Birmingham."


Speaking to OUR DOGS the best in show judge Mr Albert Wight who had following the story closely said,‘I am delighted that this matter has been cleared up. The dog is exceptional and well deserved his award, you cannot improve on perfection’

the ‘story’ surfaced in a report last month in the Scottish Sunday Mail suggesting that Danny, owned by Glasgow hoteliers Bert Easdon and Philip Martin, faced investigation and possible disqualification by the kennel Club after undergoing surgery for ‘a facelift’.

Later on, the article grudgingly admitted that the surgery was on the dog’s throat, rather than on its face, but even so, the strict KC rules state that any dogs which undergo any treatment that may alter their appearance face a ban from competing.

Owners of show dogs have to supply a vet's report showing when and why any surgery was performed, in order that the KC may grant certification to allow the dogs to be shown, if the surgery is deemed not to be cosmetic.

But it was alleged that Mr Easdon and Mr Martin failed to disclose a throat operation Danny underwent at Glasgow University Vet School last June.

Mr Easdon, 49, told the Sunday Mail that the surgery was necessary to correct a problem with the champion peke's breathing after it had had a throat infection and that it did not affect his looks.

According to the article, Mr Easdon said that Danny was already a champion show dog - even being going Reserve Best in Show at Crufts last year - before his operation.
He added: "Dogs take ill and have to be fixed up, then you can show them again. We haven't done anything wrong."

The article also stated that the Kennel Club had written to Mr Easdon and Mr Martin querying the matter and were waiting for a response from them.

Mr Easdon spoke to OUR DOGS the day after the Sunday Mail article had appeared, saying that he had been "inundated" with calls from the media following the Sunday Mail’s "revelation". "I’m a bit loathe to say too much, as the matter is currently ongoing between us and the KC," he said. "However, I’m getting a detailed report from my vet who has been away on holiday until this week. The report will confirm that the dog had a routine throat infection."

Mr Easdon admitted that surgery was involved, but that it had been carried out by the vet because conventional treatment of Danny’s throat infection for pharyngitis and tonsillitis had failed.

"It certainly never changed his appearance and I didn’t think I had to tell the Kennel Club all the details," he added. "Danny has been famous since he was seven months old when he gained his first CC and since he was 10 months old when he won his first best in show. I think someone’s tipped the papers off out of jealousy at his win, even though after winning Crufts he’s now retired. I just hope it all can be sorted out amicably."


A Kennel Club spokesperson commented at the time, "We were unaware of any issue relating to this dog. The K C implements a permission to show procedure whereby, if a dog requires a surgical operation that may alter its natural conformation, then the owner needs to apply to the Kennel Club in writing, with a supporting veterinary letter, outlining when the dog was operated on and why. The request is then considered by the Kennel Club General Committee and a decision is made as to whether permission to show shall be granted.

"The office has instigated a provisional check of correspondence and it would appear that permission to show has not been requested by the owners for the dog in question. Following standard procedure, the office has therefore written to the owners to request their comments and we should be in receipt of a response shortly."

In the intervening period, most of the daily national newspapers picked up on the ‘Danny story’, although not with as much vigour as would normally have been the case, due to the conflict in Iraq. Most of them parroted the Sunday mail story with all its inaccuracies, lading on the so-called ‘facelift’ aspect of the operation. Only the Daily Mail paid much attention to the salient facts – having most likely gleaned these from OUR DOGS.

None of the media coverage added any new dimensions to the story and it appeared that the nationals quickly lost interest, possibly because there was some important international news to occupy their attention for a change.