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KC Chairman’s Speech
Welsh Kennel Club Dinner 2007

Each year it is traditional for the Chairman of the Kennel Club to speak at the WKC dinner ... one of the few dinners now left on the circuit.

OUR DOGS is pleased to publish the contents of Ronnie Irving’s speech...even the bits where he cannot resist mentioning the dog press!

‘Thank you Peter (Guthrie - ex Secretary of The Royal Welsh AS) we appreciate all of what you’ve said and I know what a friend you’ve been to the WKC in particular and to the world of dogs generally over the years.

Subjects which were suggested as topics but which I felt were unsuitable for a social occasion such as the WKC Dinner!

Accredited Breeders Scheme

Should talk about the Kennel Club Accredited Breeders Scheme and how important it is that we get as many really well established breeders as possible into it as members of the scheme.
If we don’t show DEFRA and the government that we have support for that scheme, goodness knows what they’ll impose on us from above.

Far too many established breeders think that they are above any breeders scheme and, I have to say that, many years ago I’d have agreed that they were right, but today the situation is very different and I’m absolutely convinced that if we ourselves don’t come up with a fair, reasonable and (most importantly) a well supported KC Scheme by which to regulate breeders, the civil servants and the government, aided and abetted by some of the animal charities will come up with one which is mandatory under the law. What that would look like, goodness knows, the mind boggles.

Pedigree Sponsorship

How grateful we should all be that it’s lasted as long as it has. Pedigree have done us proud for many years. Since they started they’ve moved the British Dog Show scene to a totally different level of presentation from what it was and they’ve played a major part in making it what is, in my opinion, the best in the world and during that time they’ve actually rescued SOME of today’s most successful societies from previous financial difficulties. We should sincerely thank them and show our appreciation for all of that.

Future Printing of Ring Numbers and Prize Cards

Of course the news of their pulling back will put quite a strain on many of the societies they have supported in the past.

The Kennel Club is very aware of that and has offered practical and financial advice to those who need or want it. I am also pleased to be able to announce here and now that the Board of Kennel Club Services Ltd have, this week, agreed that the Kennel Club will pick up a tab previously paid for by Pedigree and will pay for all of the standard prize cards and ring numbers for all of the group and general championship shows that need/want them, at least for the next year. That way the KC will be able to help in some practical way while we all evaluate the extent of the problems for the future.


I’ve been writing letters recently to high profile people who, along with their partners or spouses, both show and judge and I’ve been telling them that if they don’t start to be a bit more careful about how exactly they are perceived to behave, we’ll have to begin to bring in more complicated rules and maybe we’ll even have to curtail some of their ambitions to judge, by being that bit harder on them when they come up for CCS in the future?


What can I say about the dear old canine press that I haven’t said many times before.

Moan maybe about their scandalising headlines?

Where they march us up to the top of the hill and exaggerate subjects - like the imminent demise of the Kennel Club’s Show Centre Project at Stoneleigh one week (despite being told by us that this was nothing at all to worry about) only to march us down again the following week by telling us - surprise, surprise - that there is nothing at all to worry about.

Ah Well - Never - as the cynics say about some newspapers - Never should the editor think of letting the actual story spoil a a good headline.

Thanks and congratulations

So in the end I decided not to discuss any of these things but instead Peter, just simply to thank you for your very kind remarks.

To congratulate the Welsh Kennel Club Officers and Committee and the staff of The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society on the tremendous work they have done after all the rain to allow this show to happen at all - I think it is a miracle and they deserve our sincere congratulations and wish the Welsh Kennel Club every success with the rest of it’s 2007 Show.’