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Double handling condemned by KC

THE KENNEL Club recently targeted the issue of double handling and have issued a reminder to exhibitors, judges and show organisers to me clear that the practive is prohibited under Kennel Club Regulations. The KC re-iterated that despite frequent reminders that this practice is unacceptable, it nonetheless continues in some breeds and in certain cases can even be said to have increased in recent times.

Serious safety issues arise from the sometimes frantic activity seen around some rings. This is a habit of which those members of the public visiting dog shows strongly disapprove and it can provide an extremely hostile environment for visitors to the show and for those competitors who do not indulge in the practice. In addition the KC sought to ensure that all canine competition is fair and that all exhibitors enjoy the highest possible standards in their hobby. Double handling does not allow all exhibitors an equal and fair chance of winning.

The Kennel Club will no be adopting a strict approach to this activity and all exhibitors, judges and show organisers are reminded of the provisions of the Regulations in respect of double handling: Regulation F 5 In the event of any major contravention of Kennel Club Rules and Regulations, in particular attraction from outside the ring, the\ Guarantors and/or such members of the Show Management to whom the Guarantors have delegated such powers may order that judging in specific classes, breeds, rings or the show be abandoned.

Regulation F (1) 17 h The attracting of the attention of exhibits by any method from outside the ring is prohibited. It is the duty of the Judge, steward or Show Management noticing such attraction to ask that it cease.

Regulation F (1) 30 (13) A dog may be disqualified from any award whether an objection has been lodged or not if proved to have been attracted from outside the ring whilst being judged.
To help societies police these Regulations, exhibitors, judges and show organisers should also be aware that the Kennel Club has agreed a form of escalation procedure to allow for enforcement of these provisions. The procedure is in three stages:

1. Request: If attraction is observed, firstly the judge and/or then a senior officer of the society will make a polite request for the activity to desist.

2. Warn: If the conduct is extreme, or continuing, and/or is causing disruption, then a senior officer of the society may enter the ring and suspend the class until it stops.

3. Suspend: If the attraction restarts then the exhibitors may be warned that if it continues, and a further request has to be made, then the class will be abandoned.

Where a person attracting the attention of dogs from outside the ring is an exhibitor/competitor or joint owner and is readily identified, he/she should be reported to the Kennel Club for a breach of Regulation F(1) 17h.

The abandonment of a class is clearly an outcome that benefits no-one, but it is nonetheless a necessary final step to ensure that the practice of double handling is prevented and to allow all exhibitors to compete in a fair environment. Exhibitors who see double handling taking place should report their concerns to the management of the show immediately.

Failure to prevent outside attraction using this procedure could place future show licences in jeopardy.

In addition to the responsibility of show officials to deal with this issue, judges too should recall that they are approved by the Kennel Club on the basis that they will uphold Kennel Club regulations and observe its various codes of practice for judges. It is their responsibility to play a full part in preventing double handling when they are judging. They are reminded that failure to do so may result in the Kennel Club reviewing their future status as a judge.