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Eukanuba World Challenge

AKC announces new Grand Champion title

The American Kennel Club has announced that it will begin offering the Grand Champion title at AKC Conformation events.

This new title will be available to AKC Champions of Record, giving the opportunity for Champion dog owners to return to the show ring with their dogs and further showcase the quality of their breeding stock. Competition for this new title will begin at AKC all-breed, group and specialty shows on May 12, 2010, concurrent with the implementation of the 2010-2011 AKC Point Schedule.

Robin Stansell, AKC Vice President of Event Operations said: ‘AKC Conformation is meant to be an evaluation and showcase for breeding stock. Many Champions are retired after earning their titles and this creates a dilemma for breeders. We are excited to offer the Grand Champion title as a way to encourage these quality dogs to return to the ring. AKC Companion and Performance events offer multiple titles to celebrate achievement in competition at various levels in the sport. It is only natural to offer a Grand Champion title to Conformation exhibitors so that they too can compete and excel with their dogs at a whole new level.”

Competition for this new title will be judged during the Best of Breed/Variety competition at all-breed, group and specialty shows. All Champions of Record entered in the Best of Breed/Variety competition will be eligible to compete for Grand Championship points. There is no additional entry fee. Grand Championship points are awarded, at the judge’s discretion, to the following placements: Best of Breed/Variety, Best of Opposite Sex, Select Dog and Select Bitch. Select Dog and Select Bitch are Champions that were recognized as the top quality of their sex after BOB and BOS have been awarded.

Grand Championship points are calculated using the same AKC Point Schedule as is used for Championship points. (Dogs entered in non-regular classes are not counted in the computation of Championship or Grand Championship points.) Champions of Record including champions that are non-regular class winners (i.e. Veterans Class Winners) or dogs that have been “moved up” to Best of Breed competition for the show are the only dogs eligible for Grand Championship points. Although Winners Dog or Winners Bitch can win Best of Breed or Best of Opposite Sex, in no case will they be eligible for Grand Champion competition.

Grand Championship points may be awarded to eligible dogs as follows: Best of Breed – All dogs of both sexes in the breed or variety exhibited in the regular classes and Best of Breed competition will be counted; Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed - All dogs of the same sex in the breed or variety exhibited in the regular classes and Best of Breed competition will be counted and Select Dog or Select Bitch – The total number of dogs of the same sex in the breed/variety defeated in the regular classes and BOB competition will be counted. (i.e. 2 dogs less than the total number of the same sex)

Completion of the title requires all of the following: Twenty five Grand Championship points; Three “majors” (three or more points earned at a single show) won under three different judges; At least one or more of these points won under a fourth judge and the exhibit must have defeated at least one other AKC Champion of Record at three shows

Starting in 2010, dogs who earn their Grand Champion title will receive an invitation to the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.

David Cavill told OUR DOGS: ‘The new board announced by the AKC is exciting news, in that light our own Kennel Club may change the way in which awards are awarded - this might be the first sign of a more flexible approach in the future in the UK as well as the USA. Like much of the AKC structure it is hugely complicated, but the principle is sound and allows exhibitors to compete at another level. For many years exhibitors in the UK have, for instance, been asking why a Reserve Challenge Certificate, (despite the judge acknowledging that the dog receiving it is ‘worthy of being a Champion’) has no value unless the dog winning the Challenge Certificate has fallen foul of the regulations so cannot retain the award. A Grand Champion award might allow not just one but two more levels, the Grand Champion, Champion and, perhaps Reserve Champion. Can it be so hard to think outside the box?’