EARLIER THIS month the Irish Kennel Club received a letter from the Kennel Club telling them that with effect from May 2004 five point Green Stars won at shows in Eire will not be accepted as a qualification for Crufts 2005.
The letter was aired both last Monday and last week by the IKC (General Purposes Committee) when the announcement was discussed.
Each year around 250 dogs qualify for Crufts via the five point system, the threshold for which is set each year based on the numerical success of breed entry figures from the previous year.
This year just under 200 Irish dogs were entered at Crufts show.
It is thought that the Irish Kennel Club has been asked to nominate one show per year - probably the St.Patricks Day show - to act as a qualifier show for Crufts, in line with other FCI countries and consistent with a Kennel Club press release issued this week.
It is believed that dogs which win the Junior Dog or Bitch and Open Dog or Bitch classes will then be eligible to enter for Crufts show, but the mechanics of both this and the show concerned have yet to be confirmed.
This week the KC issued the following press release regarding Crufts qualification from North America:-
the past three years agreement has been reached with a number
of countries to hold qualifying heats for Crufts
at one show nominated by the national kennel club.
With the addition of North America and Canada to the PETS Passport Scheme in 2002, the AKC nominated its National Invitational show as the qualifier for North America for 2002.
While this provided a stop gap measure to give some North American exhibitors the opportunity to qualify, it was not ideal since it is by invitation only and the size of the country would suggest that more exhibitors should be given the opportunity to take part.
Following discussion with the AKC it has been agreed that there will be a qualifying show for each breed that is recognised by the Kennel Club (excluding those with traditionally cropped ears). These will be the National Breed Specialties and will be one show per breed chosen by the Parent Breed Club. As with the Invitational the qualifiers will be the Best of Breed, Best of Opposites and Award of Merit Winners (if offered).
OUR DOGS spoke to the Kennel Club this week who were unable to comment until the IKC response had been discussed. The IKC said a press release will issued shortly but that it hopes that further discussions will take place on or before their committee meeting on June 3rd.