The brevity of a press release issued by the Kennel Club earlier this year belied the importance of a decision made - albeit a long time in the making- in February 2005 by the General Committee.
It concerned Mrs Yvonne Franklin (Frymad) in Bulldogs who distributed anonymous letters within the Bulldog fraternity, including to breed clubs, which made derogatory and untrue allegations about Mr Paul Kent (Hyten) who awarded CCs for the first time at Manchester this year.
Whilst the matter had troubled the Breed Council for some time, the Kennel Club used its ultimate sanction by withholding its permission for approval to award CCs in the breed for three years.
Late in July the KC reaffirmed its view but stressed that the ban only applied to championship show appointments. Why it did this is unclear as Mrs Franklin had not appealed.
Conclusive DNA evidence linked Mrs Franklin to the widely circulated letters which damned Mr Kent. A civil case was prepared and the claims were supported by DNA evidence. Counter-claims were eventually retracted and Mrs Franklin admitted what she had done and wrote to breed clubs to apologise for her actions.
‘Apathy and inaction seemed to reign supreme on this matter but I am glad that this is now concluded’‚ said Mr Kent speaking to OUR DOGS earlier this year.
‘I feel it is important for anyone to protect their integrity and I am glad the Kennel Club has taken a stand on this’‚ he said.
Although it is unclear if this is the first time that this has happened the Kennel Club’s action sends a clear signal to judges and exhibitors who may consider this type of behaviour acceptable.
The press release said:-
‘In line with the current drive to improve standards and following the publication of the Code of Best Practice for Judges and changes to the Show Regulations to support the code, the General Committee at its last meeting considered a case involving conduct incompatible with that expected of a Kennel Club approved Challenge Certificate Judge and issued the following statement:
‘The Committee discussed the alleged breach of Kennel Club Code of Best Practice for Judges in respect of the reported conduct of Mrs Y. Franklin arising from the distribution of anonymous letters with a widespread circulation within the Bulldog Breed which made derogatory and untrue allegations about a Judge. The Committee noted that court action was issued against Mrs Franklin which culminated in her admission and apology.
‘It was agreed that Mrs Franklin should be written to, stating that the Committee would withhold approval of any nomination for her to award Challenge Certificates for a period of three years.’
Reference was then made to Kennel Club Regulations F8 and F(1)24.f. - the first of which says ‘Judges at Kennel Club licensed shows must judge in accordance with Kennel Club Breed Standards. Judges are also expected to maintain and abide by the highest standards in accordance with Kennel Club Rules and Regulations and appropriate Code of best practice as published from time to time.’
Regulation F(1)24.f says - ‘The committee shall have the power to grant, withhold, suspend or cancel the approval of any Judge, Referee, Judge of Group competitions or Judge of Best in Show.’
What is now clear is that the judge can now officiate, if invited, at open and shows where CCs are not on offer. This is a restatement by the Kennel Club who also have written to Paul Kent and the Bulldog Breed Council on this matter.
Our Dogs Opinion