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Scotland leads the way

One Englishman, an Irishman and the fifteen Scotsmen and women all arrived at the offices of the Scottish Kennel Club in Musselburgh on the bright and sunny morning of Saturday 23rd October and despite the beautiful weather they all had that sickly grey pallor and a distinct chill in their hearts!

The reason for this – they were about to undertake the very first ever Regulations and Judging Procedure (Obedience) Seminar and Assessments.

Three of the Scots were probably more terrified than the rest. They were presenting the Seminar and carrying out the Assessments, Carole Patrick, Ellen Herries and Sandra McIntosh, having undergone their training at the Kennel Club, were about to be thrown in at the deep end and it was now sink or swim time. They really didn’t need to be so worried as they gave an excellent presentation of Kennel Club Obedience Regulations and Judging Procedure. Drawing on their own wealth of experience as Obedience judges, as well as the experiences of their audience they gave a factual and often humorous insight into everything an Obedience Judge really should know before they ever step into a ring.

There was a break in the proceedings for a much-needed intake of brain food and it would be remiss if mention was not made of the absolutely superb spread laid on by Myra Orr & Catherine Bennett, two of the staff members at Scottish Kennel Club.

After lunch the finishing touches were put to the seminar. Then came the time the rest of the group were all dreading – the assessments – a forty minute time limit to answer forty multi-choice questions, with a pass mark of a minimum 80%, just to see if the contents of the seminar had really sunk into the old grey matter. Some were so keen to get it all over with that they were finished in ten minutes. Others took more time and paced themselves better but everyone finished well within the time limit.

You would have thought that would have been the worst of it over, but no; there then came what seemed an interminable wait (which wasn’t really) while the question papers were marked and certificates written for those who had passed the assessment.

You could feel the relief in the air when pass certificates were handed out to all but one very unlucky candidate, who had misread a question which unfortunately meant the difference between a pass and a fail.

What about the original question? The answer is they all went home, relieved that it was over but at the same time wondering why they had been so worried in the first place as it had not been the horrific experience they had expected. More importantly they went home having learned something about being a better Obedience Judge.

Andrew Kousourou
Secretary General SKC