Judges' development programme progresses
THE SECOND two-day session of the National Terrier Clubs Judges Development Programme took place at The Canine Academy near Nottingham on Wednesday and Thursday January 17 and 18 following the previous sessions held last November.
A spokesman for the National Terrier Club said, The workshops are regarded by those attending as very successful. We hope that by the end of December 2001, a total of 11 terrier breeds will have been covered in this on-going programme. Were very grateful to all of those who have led and helped at the sessions and to those who have kindly brought dogs along. Without them this whole exercise wouldnt be possible. We feel that this programme is sure to do a great deal to help increase the pool of knowledgeable terrier judges in the UK.
It was The Kennel Club which proposed the formation of these group programmes. It is intended that they will aid the development of younger judges whose progress may otherwise be slowed up by some of the provisions of the new regime brought about by its Judges Working Party. Judges eligible for the programmes must have awarded CCs to at least three breeds in the group.
Candidates who already judge another group, and have awarded CCs to two breeds in the particular group concerned, can also join the project. A panel of established terrier specialists has been appointed to assess the candidates and provide its views to the Kennel Club Judges Sub Committee. These views will be used when the candidates are considered for approval for CCs in the breeds concerned.
The Judges Sub Committee has confirmed that it will pay particular attention to the views of such group society Judges Development Panels. While The National Terrier Club is the first of the Group Societies to take up this suggestion, other groups have agreed to follow.
The second two day workshop session attracted a turnout of about 14 candidates on each day, most of whom were terrier specialists. Those present included some judges who award CCs to almost the entire group and many who are already established Group Judges. All felt that they had learned much in the exercise. Monica Shuttleworth, Secretary of the National Terrier Club, was thanked for all of the work she had done in preparation for this and the previous session.
The breeds covered over the latest two days were Cairn Terriers and West Highland White Terriers on day one, with Staffordshire Bull Terriers on day two. Workshop leaders included Ferelith Somerfield on Cairns, Sue and Andrew Thomson on West Highland White Terriers and Clare Lee and Malcolm Boam on Staffords. Needless to say John Bunting, Chairman of the National Terrier Club and Monica Shuttleworth, Secretary, both Cairn enthusiasts also contributed on that breed as did Paul Wilkinson on Staffords. A total of 14 dogs were used as examples during the course of the exercise.
As well as covering particular breed issues, a number of other topics were discussed by the group. All were enthusiastic to see if there may be ways to improve the future of the terrier breeds - some of which are currently struggling, if not for survival, certainly for greater support, popularity and recognition.
The next two-day workshop for candidates will be organised on November 7th and 8th and the breeds which, it is hoped, will be covered then will be Kerry Blues, Airedales, Skyes and Dandie Dinmonts.
The Terrier group may be the first to embark upon this programme - but it is understood that The Kennel Club has received positive indications from most of the other six groups that they too will take up the system soon.