Championship classes: readers have their say
Readers have been quick to comment on the Kennel Club chairman’s remarks in the latest Kennel Gazette regarding the subject of a specific class for champions. Here is a selection of them.
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Ronnie Irving’s comments are typical of the KC, the vast majority of people who use the KC's services have absolutely no say in the way it is run and the KC ignore the requests when we do want to see a change and we have absolutely no influence in it what so ever.
If all ethical and reputable breeders got together and set up an alternative registration system which only allows puppies from health tested stock and DNA profiled parents to be registered and ran their own shows which actually meant something then that is all we need, in fact I think with the ethical breeders that is all we want but sadly there aren't enough people willing to take the risk and that big leap of faith and get it going! If anyone believes it is worth the chance then feel free to contact me but I'm afraid people are all talk but not willing to do when it comes to crunch time!
As to champions’ classes well I wholeheartedly agree, the top winning dog in my breed has just taken the breed record but it comes as no surprise that they are members of the KC!
I think a Champions class will only work though if judges really stick to their guns and withhold awards to those specimens that simply don't come up to scratch, unfortunately not many will which means that if there are two in the class they usually will both get awards regardless as to quality.
I really think it's about time breeders thought about what they really wanted then did something about. The world of dogs in this country needs a big shake up.
If the KC is allowed to continue as is, without taking on board the views of those that use their services and allow people who mass produce dogs because the KC say they are 'only' a registration service, despite their own objectives being "To promote in every way the general improvement of dogs" then there will never be a real improvement.
However, I feel apathy will rule the day and there simply aren't enough of us willing to put in the effort and buck the trend. I do believe though that it is time for a New British Dog Registry that stands for all those that use it's services and truly believes in the betterment of individual breeds.
A Champions class wouldn't work in stopping the big winners, in Ireland, which has recently brought it in under FCI rules all you get is still the winner getting BOB, since medicore judges guessing that since its the last class so its the champion, so whoever’s in is one of the top dogs and gives them the top awards!
So in the long run, your limit classes would be your open and champion class would be a ‘New’ open. In terms of numbers and quality of entries, more champions could be created but then what about imports/ATC/ Int CH// as at say Crufts or Breed club shows. Where do they go - yes you've guessed the Champions class, so the poor judges wouldn't know WHO to put up and the poor open winner could be left missing our again!
Speaking as someone who has shown in a breed where a top winning dog (all breeds) was picking up every ticket at every show for some time I feel that the champions class could be a good idea. Many excellent dogs at that time went uncrowned and this small change in the system would have helped other exhibitors. The winner of the champion class would still compete for best of breed against the cc winners so would still be in the big ring for group and BIS competition.
Breeds do suffer when there is a big winning dog taking all the tickets and it can affect show entries and ultimately registrations. Although I admire the top winning dogs they can leave a detrimental mark on their breed that can take a long time to correct.
Personally a champions class would work in theory but I think it means that it shouldn’t come up against the champion of champions. There must be possibly two winners or maybe just one but I think that would drop the entries. I feel passionately about a Champions class simply because in some breeds the same dog always wins now wether that is because it deserves to, or because the face fits I don’t know! But I would say do this only in Open shows I don’t think it will be so popular there but may also bring the show dogs into the open shows which is what we desperately need!
I think a champions class would be a good idea, as we have over the years had a couple of CC winners dominating our breed and numbers are dropping at championship shows, although the KC won't reduce the CC allocation as we are classed as a 'vulnerable breed'. Many very good dogs have missed out on CCs and in some cases on their titles, as owners are reluctant to keep being knocked back with reserve CCs. I certainly think that three reserves should equal a CC, as three different judges will have deemed that dog good enough to be a Champion.
The FCI system is much more rewarding to exhibitors, with written critiques and an ‘award’ system for each dog entered, so no-one goes home empty handed and not knowing what the judge thought of your dog, which is what we pay for.
As for the Kennel Club Chairman's outburst, this surely goes to prove what we already knew - the Kennel Club is not a democratic organisation, and if this type of comment was made in a commercial or political enterprise, I feel certain that Mr Irving's position would be deemed 'untenable'.