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Judging decisions deferred

The Kennel Club General Committee recently agreed to defer its decisions on inviting breed judges to officiate at DFS Crufts 2014 by one year until late 2010. The Committee has considered the timing of such invitations, and came to the view that nearly five years forward is too far ahead to enable judges to give a sensible undertaking that they would be fit and available to complete the appointment.

There can be considerable pressure on show societies to secure their preferred judges well in advance of the show in question, but planning too far ahead can lead to problems. Judges may feel pressure to accept an invitation without any real knowledge as to their likely availability or fitness to undertake the appointment, and then later inadvertently breach judging contracts very much to the inconvenience and disappointment of all concerned.

Recent years have seen an escalation of the trend whereby if one General or Group Championship Show Society issues contracts for a year well into the future, many others feel obliged to follow suit. By refraining from making appointments for judges at DFS Crufts in 2014, the Committee hopes that all societies will similarly consider only inviting judges within a more reasonable time frame - for the benefit of all in the showing and judging world.

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