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Schnauzer seminar success

Hands on the Schnauzers
There was a chance for everyone to get their
hands on the Schnauzers

The Schnauzer Club of Great Britain held a breed seminar at Weedon Village Hall on Sunday, 14 October attended by 56 delegates and helpers.

Terry NethercottThe Seminar heard Terry Nethercott give an overview of what aspirant judges should strive to achieve on entering the ring - from the point of receiving the initial invitation for the first 3 classes, right through to signing the CC awards. He urged delegates to remember that one of the important factors was that they should be judging honestly and to the best of their ability, irrespective of friendship. He went on to say that until a couple of weeks previously he had a close friend in one breed and then he judged them at CC level, since when they hadn’t spoken to him! He wondered if they had thought he should have allowed friendship to influence his honest opinion. Unfortunately, it was an experience that resonated with more than just one or two of the CC judges present.

Terry covered in detail each aspect of judging; from use of the Ring, marking of Judging Book, suggesting points on critique writing and outlining how useful experienced stewards are. He finished his presentation with the advice to any judge, to enjoy each appointment, treat the exhibits and their owners with respect and be kind in write-ups, after all, these people had paid to obtain your opinion, but not to fall into the trap of saying things that don’t apply to the exhibit.

The audience then enjoyed a splendid lunch prepared by Club Secretary, Chris Browse, assisted by committee members Claire Morgan, Ros Hole, Andrea Dixon, Linda Jenkins, Gail Wise and Frances Krall, helped by Sue McGrann.

After lunch, breed specialist Chris Clay then took the audience through the breed standard, highlighting each key aspect, presenting images to prove each point. Interestingly, Chris superimposed images of the other sizes over each image – showing that the breed standard, by and large, proves that the Schnauzer family should and can be identical, except for height (and tail set in Giants). He had produced a fascinating wooden construction of a Schnauzer, which he then used to explain construction points, angles and the relationship of these points. Chris also showed images of his first Champion (a Peke), an extremely young Frances Krall (circa 1980) and finished by entertaining the audience with a photo of a even younger Terry Nethercott judging a Peke show in the 1970s.

In each session, questions were invited from the audience and the interplay and responses were found to be instructive and informative by almost everyone present.

The audienceThe final part of the seminar proved to be universally popular. The SCGB had invited currently exhibited CC winners to come along and allow their specific attributes to be discussed openly with delegates – not something some exhibitors feel confident enough to do. On the day, delegates were able to run their hands over the Giant, Cullens’ Ch Jafrak Philippe Olivier , unquestionably a superb example of the size; Bawden & Brown’s Ch Khanate Million Dollar Bay – the current top Schnauzer bitch; Clay’s Ch Silvamin Tom Brown – top Mini of 2005 and 2005 Schnauzer of the Year; Wareing’s Ch Caskayd Cruze Control, currently 5 CC winning Mini; Lockyer’s Ch Miccosukees & Miccosukees (2 CCs & 2 RCCs) and McDermott’s Lichstone Midnight Player, a CC & RCC winning B/S Mini & Alberto Alverez’ best Mini at Schnauzer of the Year 2006. These owners, with absolutely nothing to prove, generously discussed their dogs with the delegates, pointing out their many virtues and highlighting the faults they thought their dogs had. The response from the delegates was really encouraging; they all felt that the owners had been startlingly honest about their exhibit, some even suggesting that these handlers judged their own dog much more severely than most judges would.

It has to be said, that most aspirant judges of the three sizes will never have the opportunity of putting their hands on so many good examples of the three sizes, no matter how many Open Show classes they may judge. It was surprising, but possibly not unexpected, that whilst a number of very experienced CC judges were in the delegate audience, many aspirant A3, B & C List names were absent, probably because this type of seminar (sadly) no longer appears to form part of the KC ‘education programme’

It was an old-fashioned ‘transfer of information and experience’ opportunity missed by so many!
After the SCGB had expressed its very grateful thanks to both speakers, the owners of the seven ‘exhibits’ and the audience, the seminar closed at 4.15p.m with delegates, almost to a ‘man/woman’, saying how useful they felt the day had been.