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Is Crufts winner in real danger of disqualification?

Best in show at Crufts 2003 was Philip Martin and Bert Easdon’s Pekingese Ch Yakee A Dangerous Liaison. last year ‘Danny’ was reserve best in show Photo by Alan V Walker

DANNY, THE ‘third time lucky’ Crufts best in show winner faces the prospect of entering the record books again – this time for being the only Crufts winner to be stripped of his title.

According to a report in last Sunday’s Scottish Sunday Mail, Pekingese Ch Yakee A Dangerous Liaison owned by Glasgow hoteliers Bert Easdon and Philip Martin, faces investigation and possible disqualification by the Kennel Club after undergoing surgery for ‘a facelift’.

Later on, the article almost grudgingly admits that the surgery was on the dog’s throat, rather than on his ‘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 is 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 he had a throat infection, and would not have affected his looks.

And he pointed out that Danny was already a champion show dog - even being named as Reserve Best in Show at Crufts last year - before his operation.

Bert said: "Dogs take ill and have to be fixed up, then you can show them again. We haven't done anything wrong."

The Kennel Club have written to Mr Easdon and Mr martin querying the matter and are waiting for a response from them.

Mr Easdon spoke to OUR DOGS last Monday, stating that he had been "inundated" with calls from the media following the Sunday Mail’s "revelation". "I’m a bit loath to say too much, as the matter is currently ongoing between ourselves 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 had been carried out by the vet because conventional treatment of Danny’s throat infection for pharyngitis and tonsilitis 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 said, "We were unaware of any issue relating to this dog. The KC 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."