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City showcase for clubs

New KC Building at Stoneleigh
New KC Building at Stoneleigh

As exclusively reported in OUR DOGS recently, the City of Birmingham Canine Association has now launched its initiative to help smaller breed clubs and at the same time enhance its own event later this year.

Bill KingNine breed club representatives attended the meeting at Stoneleigh on Wednesday January 20th chaired by Mr Bill King, Chairman of City of Birmingham Canine Association, to discuss the plans for the Association’s promotion and showcasing of numerically small breeds at its Championship Show in September and its plans for these events to continue to grow year by year. The meeting was an opportunity to share a vision for the future, with the excellent facilities on offer at the Kennel Club building being made available to breed clubs to run their own open shows as ‘back to back’ events within the City of Birmingham Show.

Representatives from the invited breed clubs present at the meeting were J Hayward and K Parris, The Bracco Italiano Society; J Bloomfield and Ian Murray, The Spanish Water Dog Club; Wayne Morris, Gaynor Morris and Carolin Alcock, The Havanese Club of GB; Liz Stannard and K Begg, The British Bolognese Club; Pamela Jeans-Brown and Richard Gardiner, The Tibetan Mastiff Club of GB; Elaine Short and Jean Pritchard, The Finnish Lapphund Club of GB; Betty Judge and Karen Bayliss, The Portuguese Podengo Club of GB; Chris Schofield and Chris Morgan, The Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla Association; and Jeanette Harrison, The Miniature Bull Terrier Club.

Mr King opened the meeting by introducing the members of the Committee present, Mr Keith Young, Secretary; his wife Mrs June Young, Assistant Secretary; Mr Stuart Milner, Chief Steward and Mr David Bell, Show Manager, outlining the concept of the plans before handing over to Mr Keith Young for more in depth information.


Mr Young began by saying that this showcasing was something new to general championship shows and would, hopefully, be a forerunner for other societies in the future. Breed clubs are being offered the use of the superb building, rings, seating, and use of limited kitchen facilities. The Breed Club would select its own judges and stewards, and run their ‘area’ in much the same way as they would at any open show, including producing their own schedules, catalogues, and running their own raffles should they wish to do so. Entry fees would be paid directly to the Clubs. City of Birmingham would supply all ring facilities, and schedule the breeds after CC breeds so that exhibitors would be able to show at both shows. Best in Show at the respective Club’s Open Shows would, should they not also win Best of Breed at Birmingham, be invited to enter the Group Ring for a lap of honour prior to the group judging.

Mr Young also mentioned that the City of Birmingham would provide veterinary cover, medical cover and security cover in the car parks, which would be shared by all exhibitors at both events. The unentered dogs tent, near the entrance, would also be open for use by all exhibitors, run by The Midland Golden Retriever Club for the duration of the show for a small fee. Admission to both shows would be free as would the car park facilities, enabling all exhibitors and spectators admission to not one but several events.

The Kennel Club Building would be divided into sections for each club, with a maximum, at present, of four breed clubs per day, corresponding with the groups at the Championship show this, hopefully, will increase as the years progress, and it is envisaged that some clubs will progress to CC breeds and numbers of exhibitors will increase thus allowing them to ‘move on’ and other breeds to take their place in the showcase breeds area. Breed Clubs who decide to commit to involvement in this, the first such event, will be included in future years and their feedback is important to City Of Birmingham for further development of this innovative new look.


Keith YoungAll breed clubs taking part would be expected to provide spectators with some educational literature, and perhaps even have special people designated to welcome visitors and talk about the breed with them. They would be allowed to decorate their ‘area’ the morning of the show if they wished, and would be required to begin their open show at 9.30am – giving them plenty of time to finish judging and then be able to exhibit at City of Birmingham afterwards. Cleaning of the ring and ‘area’ would also be the responsibility of the clubs.

The breed clubs will, unfortunately, be required to limit their catering to just refreshments and biscuits. City of Birmingham will, however, provide, at cost price, tickets for their excellent VIP lunch time catering facilities for breed club judges and committee which must be ordered in advance of the event. Any refreshments sold by the breed clubs would be income for the breed club, as would sale of catalogues and raffle tickets.

Overall the basic cost to the breed clubs would be £50.00 plus any lunch tickets they wished to purchase.

A tour of the Kennel Club building followed, Mr Young pointed out the various ‘areas’ that would be allocated to each breed club, and the excellent facilities available within the building.
The conference rooms will be in use during the show for various veterinary seminars/presentations made by Rutland House Veterinary Group and sponsored as last year by Our Dogs and Dermapet; final arrangements have yet to be finalised, but this would also attract exhibitors and spectators for the breed club open shows, and make full use of the building each day.


Discussions followed with questions from the representatives. One of the main questions, and probably the most important to the Club’s, was the problem that some of them already had licences for their shows this year and how would this affect those licences. Mr Young suggested that the Clubs contact Katherine Simms at the Kennel Club who will be happy to deal with their queries. The Kennel Club is keen for this initiative to succeed and he said they had agreed to be ‘flexible’ with this venture and would help the Club’s taking part.

Overall the club representatives were extremely satisfied with the concept and all were very interested in taking part in this venture, subject of course to agreement by their respective committees. Liz Stannard commented that this was a great idea and would help the smaller clubs to showcase their breeds and promote interest in the breeds from not only other dog show people but also the general public who attend Championship shows, at an extremely low cost for such a prestigious venue.

Mr King drew the meeting to a close, thanking everyone for their interest, and reminding them that with the short time before schedules need to be produced for the City’s show, it is essential that Clubs let them know their decision as soon as possible. There were several other Clubs, not invited to this initial meeting, who had expressed an interest in the initiative and hopefully more would be included in future years.

OUR DOGS spoke to Liz Stannard Secretary of Leeds Championship Show, who said: “The idea is great and it will surely help some of the numerically smaller breeds to have a second show during the year at very little cost. City of Birmingham are fortunate to have the facility of the KC building in the area of their show as most of the other general championship shows would have liked to have run with this idea. Logistically it would be impossible for many, certainly for us at Leeds as our ground is in full use on all three days, so I am quite envious of the City in the nicest possible way!

I was surprised to hear that a small number of breeds had not taken up the invitation to even go and see the venue and hear the plan, to my mind very short sighted. This not only gives two opportunities to exhibit on the same day but showcases the breed to other people including judges and prospective owners which in these uncertain times must be helpful.”

OUR DOGS in its capacity as the International Media Partner to The City will continue to monitor progress and also report back to readers. It envisaged that OUR DOGS will be present within the halls at the time and we hope to offer clubs special arrangements for features on their groundbreaking shows within a show.

All clubs who decide to stage their event within ‘The City’ should contact our Advertising Director John Holden (0844 504 9006) for details of special advertising rates to launch the initiative and also John Jackson (01924 848743) our Photographic Coordinator to book a winners gallery.

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