I am writing to you with concern as to how much we (the exhibitors are losing) along with Our Dogs.
My concern is over the KC's decision to take judges' critiques under their umbrella, their argument about being able to control makes some sense but that is all.
I have since the mid-eighties enjoyed reading the show reports, not just about my breed but it is a great learning ground to read other breeds critiques, you can learn a lot about how to (and not) write a critique by sitting reading group, stake classes etc judges critiques.
I would not be surprised if 50% of exhibitors (and judges) even knew the KC have their own website for judges' critiques and looking at KC website I don't think there is 10% across the board critiques on it.
I personally think that we are becoming totally under the KC thumb, we cannot criticise, make a comment, if you're on a committee or officer you are a volunteer of the KC, therefore, work for them in a voluntary role! What happened to we used to work for the membership those that put us in those roles, we work for a breed club as both a privilege and to give something back to the members.
But the latest round of "we must not" has I feel gone too far, we are either going to lose Our Dogs or see the paper reduced by half along with staff, some of us actually like the old "nostalgic" ways of receiving and reading the show reports, some of us even cut out their reports (I hold my hands up to that) I still have the show report when Manchester was last at Belle Vue when I won BP, the write up was great "Farewell to Belle Vue" we don't have that personal touch on a website!
What about those that don't bother with laptops etc? The next step is we will find we will have to pay to subscribe to the KC site if we want to read the judges critiques, yes we pay now to Our Dogs, but we get a whole lot of paper, not just an impersonal website relating to one topic!
Food for thought
Just wanted to run this idea by you, for our up and coming trainee judges.
This is driven by a need, as a secretary, of Hull & East Riding C.S. to recruit new committee members. We run on minimum, always. On Tuesday, I attended an open show, which has been running for years in conjunction with the agricultural society, and the secretary had only one committee member available and her husband on the day. This was dreadful for her especially as she has been very unwell herself recently.
In East Yorkshire we have lost three societies in very recent times. Driffield C.S, Beverley C.S., East Riding Gundog - just quietly disappeared!
My idea would be that as trainee judges have to attend seminars, learn stewarding etc, and in gundogs do field days, that they should be required as part of the process to sit for AT LEAST, a two year period, ACTIVELY, on a local canine society committee.
There would be many benefits. Firstly they would learn the other side of putting a show on, selecting judges, stewards, making the exhibitors welcome and balancing the books (and become in some cases a little more tolerant of the organisation needed to make the day happen!)
Secondly, and perhaps even more important, there would be new, often younger people, who might develop a liking for society work and stay to take clubs forward. Thereby stopping the ending of so many clubs, especially in more rural areas of the country. Committees, as has so often been said, are getting older- we need new blood.
I would stipulate that they should NOT join General championship show committees, as those are not the ones who run smaller shows either, Limited or Open. Nor do those societies participate in Ringcraft training or Match nights. They should start lower down, in more active societies.
These are things a true all round dog person should experience, from the other side if they truly want to be a good, even top judge. I hope this will give you food for thought,
Couldn't care less
I understand that there was some difficulty associated with the KC chairman's speech at a Welsh Kennel Club dinner being live streamed.
Several years ago I wrote to the KC requesting that their rules prevent the use of mobile phones for live streaming private, members only breed AGMs to unknown persons. Their reply was that they could not care less - politely.
The WKC dinner in question was not a members only event. Presumably the KC should therefore care even less than not caring at all for a members only AGMs.
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