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Cavalier Club divided over resignations

The Cavalier Club has received a lot of attention since the Pedigree Dogs Exposed programme was aired. The programme caused a rift between a number of members and Mrs Margaret Carter who, as a committee member, was acclaimed by the Pedigree Dogs Exposed programme makers Passionate Productions to have been a concerned breeder, and whistle blower on what was going on in the breed. As a result a Special General Meeting was held and a vote was taken to remove Mrs Carter from the committee.

As the Cavalier Club now readies itself for the AGM an announcement was issued last week by Mrs Hilary Jupp, which reads as follows:

‘The Electoral Reform Society (yesterday) notified our Secretary that it had received only one nomination for the 2009 Committee Elections. That Nominee is Mrs Margaret Carter. There being only one nomination, a ballot of the membership will not be required and, in accordance with the Rules, Mrs Carter will rejoin the Committee at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM).

‘Mrs Carter will rejoin the Committee having been removed as a committee member at a recent Special General Meeting. I do not wish to continue to serve the club under such circumstances. After much consideration, and with the deepest regret, I have decided to resign the Chairmanship, with effect from the forthcoming AGM.

‘Our Vice Chairman, Sheena Maclaine, has also resigned for the same reason as myself, with immediate effect. She will, however, continue as Show Manager for the next Championship Show in February. Our Secretary, Annette Jones, has likewise tendered her resignation and this will take effect from the next AGM.’


Since the announcement was issued Margaret Carter has said in The Times (19th January edition): ‘I have been beaten, they have won, but at what cost? The top showing people and breeders are the ones most threatened by health testing. They either want to win in the show ring or make money and they don't want health problems talked about.” The Times report further reported that she will be writing to the Electoral Reform people who deal with CKCS Ballots to withdraw her nomination.

Prior to going to the Times Mrs Carter had written to Mrs Jupp informing her that she was going to withdraw her nomination and was advised by Mrs Jupp that she had to inform the Electoral Reform people. As yet the club has not heard from the Electoral Reform organisation that Mrs Carter has withdrawn her nomination, and so until this has been officially announced the club will have to assume that she has not withdrawn the nomination. Club Secretary, Annette Jone,s told Our Dogs that until the AGM it will be business as normal for the club.

It would appear that the Cavalier Club could be the loser, if Margaret Carter withdraws her resignation then Passionate Productions and Margaret Carter could use this against the club as was recently seen in the Independent newspaper (November 10th edition), where both were complaining of unfair treatment, by dog breeders. Ms Carter told the Independent that she too received threatening and abusive emails accusing her of wanting to "ruin" the breed, which is prone to syringomyelia. The cavaliers are an endangered species because of their lack of genetic diversity, but the big breeders are in denial so they took it out on the messenger.


In the same article Jemima Harrison, who made the documentary with her company Passionate Productions, said the programme was the subject of an Ofcom complaint filed by the Kennel Club, who say that the film was unfairly edited. This is something most dog breeders and dog lovers realised at the outset, and was subsequently proven in a series of messages on an internet forum where Ms Harrison told dog breeders that she had made the decision to abandon balanced and fair reporting for the “Wow” factor, and that the cavaliers featured in the film were bred by pet owners.

Either way it appears that this is yet another trial the Cavalier Club will have to overcome and no doubt will in time prove to be the stronger for it. It also serves as a warning to other clubs that members should be prepared to put forward their names for committee places, so that there will always be a vote for each place on the clubs committees.

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