Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567
The problem with being British!
by Patricia Fieldhouse

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales when you fulfil all the criteria for an IB Ch published on the FCI website and go to apply for the title, you will find that there is an additional requirement of having to be a UK Champion. The only place this requirement has been published other than in my original article (January 21st) as far as I can make out, is in two KC press releases back in 2003.

Furthermore you are likely to be told, like I was, by the KC that it is an FCI rule and then told by the FCI that it is a KC rule. It was the frustration of these schoolyard responses from what should be two responsible and ‘with it’ organisations, which leads me to highlight this conflict.

May I congratulate Caroline Kisko on an extremely well written response (February 4th). Any politician would be proud of it, especially as it avoided answering the main questions. To paraphrase the response: It said on the one hand FCI championships are harder to get than a UK Championship. On the other hand they are cheap championships. It implied that the KC is responsible for the UK Ch rule, and then implied that it is the FCI’s responsibility. Oh, and if you're daring to question the situation it is because you have inferior dogs who are incapable of getting the ONLY award of merit - a UK Ch.

Is this ‘The reason that a UK title (or certain wins for non CC breeds) is required is that the KC wants to maintain standards for UK dogs - not an unreasonable requirement in our view’ an admission that this is the KC requirement. It is one thing for the KC to decide not to recognise IB CH if they so wish (which would be a shame). But they should not be actively interfering and stopping people from obtaining the award for use outside of the UK.

This time I will put my questions as multiple choices so that there is less wriggle room:

Question 1) whose rule is it that you have to be a UK Champion before you can be an IB Ch? A) The KC, B) The FCI, C) a joint agreement between the KC and the FCI. If the answer is option c) then -

question 2) who was the original instigator of this rule A) The KC or B) The FCI?

Question 3) where is the fact that there are different criteria for British dogs to be IB Champions clearly published?

Where the KC and I both agree on is that there are different championship criteria for breeds with working trials to those breeds that don’t have working trials. We are also in agreement that different championships have different values depending on the relative difficulty in getting them. I’m also in agreement that the KC has a duty to maintain the standards for UK dogs.

I would also add that they should protect and promote the interests of UK dogs both within the UK and abroad. This should be done in a fair and even handed, non-discriminatory way. However, they should not have double standards. The KC rules state if you win a CACIB in an FCI country then you must treat it as being equivalent to a CC when entering shows in the UK.

The Kennel Club F Regulation (A) states "In the following Definitions, a Challenge Certificate includes any Show award that counts towards the title of Champion under the rules of any governing body recognised by the Kennel Club." To become a UK Champion you have to win three CCs. To be an IB champion you must obtain four CACIBs (in three different countries etc) for non working trial breeds.

So as the KC rates the CACIB as being the same as a CC it is illogical for it to imply that an IB Championship is inferior to the UK Championship, which is why a British dog is required to have one to be an IB CH.

Inferior

I also deeply resent the KC implications that my dogs are inferior because they are not currently UK Champions. I would point out that there have been many BIS at Crufts that were not UK Champions and did not go on to be made up into UK Champions. Is the KC saying that these dogs are inferior? The KC’s response implied that the ONLY award of merit is a UK Champion which has upset quite a few people with awards such as Junior Warrants, stud book numbers etc.

By implying this the KC is devaluing some of its other awards. Also I am sure that in any breed people can point out dogs that are not of the best quality that have been made up into UK Champions and dogs which have not been made up into UK Champions which are of a better standard than some of the dogs with the title. I would also point out that rather than being one of the "number of UK exhibitors show overseas purely to obtain a title on a dog that may not be of the quality to win anything of merit in the UK", the only reason my dogs have their pet passports is because they are bitches that I want to mate to overseas stud dogs to bring new genes into this country. One of my reasons for going after an IB championship is so that I get to see a wider range of dogs and they get to see mine. This makes it easier to talk to breeders about lines as they can see what I have and I can see what they have.

While the KC is correct in that the AKC does not recognised any other championship other than its own, I would point out that this probably has a lot to do with the fact that they do not have the same sort of monopoly that the KC does, as there are multiple kennel clubs in the USA: the AKC, UKC, NCA, ARBA and rarities to name a few of them. To my knowledge all of them have championships and none of them recognise other championships. However owners are free to collect as many championships as they like both inside and outside the USA. The AKC does not prevent people from doing this, nor advertising with these champion titles or using them with the relevant organisations. It is just that they are not added to the AKC’s registration system, nor can they be used or taken into account when entering AKC shows. At least they are consistent in their approach!

If the KC does decide not to recognise IB championships on imported dogs into the KC (which is what their reply states they are considering), then they will be being even more inconsistent than they are currently, without a major policy shift and re-writing a number of their rules. I think that the KC would be very short sighted in taking this step. The KC is already considered, by many of the European exhibitors I have met, to be a very arrogant and snooty organisation. If the KC takes this step it will only enhance this view point and do nothing for international relations. Potentially it could make it harder for UK breeders to import the best breeding stock from overseas.

I think the KC may be inaccurate with their quoting to the ‘Good Friday’ agreement as an explanation to why Northern Ireland dogs do not need to be UK Champions to be IB champions however I am not an expert in Irish politics.

The fact that British dogs are required to be UK champions before they can apply for the IB Championship title should be published on the websites of either the FCI or the KC and preferably both. It should also be mentioned in bold type in the KC’s guide to showing in Europe, especially as KC staff are giving out that this requirement has been ‘widely publicised’ by the KC.


Last week OUR DOGS asked the FCI these simple questions:-

Whose rule is it that you have to be a UK Champion before you can be an IB Ch? A) The KC, B) The FCI, C) a joint agreement between the KC and the FCI.

If the answer is option c) then who was the original instigator of this rule A) The KC or B) The FCI?
Finally we asked where is the fact that there are different criteria for British dogs to be IB Champions clearly published?

The FCI replied - ‘Further to a meeting with the KC, the FCI Executive Committee decided that should the KC wish that a dog be UK Champion BEFORE being eligible to apply for the FCI Title of International Champion, we (FCI) should respect their opinion and we agreed with it.

‘Each kennel club has its own reasons and has its own policy and the FCI is wanting to respect this. The KC represents the interests of all UK breeders.’