– making up an international champion isn’t all that it seems
Patricia Fieldhead and one of her Pyreneans
When the new regulations for Pet Passports came in, this opened up new opportunities for using stud dogs and for showing. As with any new frontier it warrants careful research. So I studied the DEFRA regulations, got my dogs their pet passports and read up on all the veterinary information for what needs to be done before going; for example, if going to southern Europe, getting heart worm cover etc and the requirements on re-entry.
Then I researched the showing side of things. I read the information on showing in Europe on the KC website, read the FCI regulations, read articles on showing in Europe in the dog press and annuals. Having assimilated this information I decided to campaign for my International Beauty championship (IB Ch) rather than targeting one of the national titles.
According to the FCI for an IB Ch in a breed that doesn’t have working trials you must get four CACIBs in three different counties and with three different judges with at least a year and a day between the first and the last. Plus in my breed your dog has to be at least 15 months old to get the CACIBs. From the KC information I knew that the KC regarded CACIB and CAC/CACS/Major Green Stars (depending on the country) as being equivalent to CCs. So at an international show if you get the National ticket, say CAC and the CACIB, this counts for show entries in the UK as being equivalent to 2 CCs.
To my surprise I have done rather well, having collected 4 CACIBs in four different countries, however in under a year. With another two shows organised along with the travel arrangements planned outside of the year. Until I was recently on the phone to the KC arranging some paperwork that I needed to get one of my national CACs confirmed. I thought I would check on what the procedure was to claim the IB Ch, as has to be done through your own KC.
According to the KC you just send in your CACIBs and they will forward them to the FCI having checked that your dog is an UK Champion! Which surprised the h*** out of me, as nowhere in my careful research had there been any mention of your dog having to be a UK champion.
When I queried this I was told that it was an FCI rule that if your dog came from Scotland, Wales or England you had to be UK Champion in order to be able to claim your IB Ch. However due to the ‘special political’ situation in Northern Ireland you don’t need to be an English Champion and in fact you don’t even have to get your CACIBs in three different countries you can get them all in Ireland! It is only GB dogs that need a national title to be an IB Ch, no other nationality of dog needs this.
On pursuing it further I was told that there was nothing the KC could do as it was an FCI rule and that possibly I should take it up with the FCI, also that the KC had ‘widely’ publicised this fact. I would dispute the fact that the KC has ‘widely’ publicised the rule as it is not even mentioned in their information on showing in Europe.
I have not come across it in my research and having spoken to people who make a habit of reading practically everything the KC publish it was not apparent to them either. I phoned the FCI to be told that they are aware of this situation, however they could do nothing about it as it was not their rule it was the KC’s. They do not mention this in their rules as it is not a requirement for the IB Ch. They also mentioned that they have had a number of phone calls from angry GB exhibitors on this issue.
So I am now, an angry GB exhibitor as well. I have gone through a lot of time, trouble, money and stress to campaign a dog for an IB Ch only to find now that she is not eligible. Also if the KC had advertised this requirement in places like their guidance on showing in Europe then I would have spent my time and money going after a national championship rather than the IB Ch. What adds even more insult to injury is that I don’t even know where to vent my anger about this rule; neither organisation will admit to it being their rule.
IF it is an FCI rule then: why is the KC sitting back and allowing the FCI to discriminate against British dogs and worst still not treat the dogs within its province, equally?
IF it is The KC rule then: Why is it interfering with a FCI title? Why is it not treating dogs within its province equally? Why doesn’t it at least have the guts to admit what it is doing? And why, oh why is it discriminating against its own dogs?
The more you think about this rule the more discriminatory it is. Dogs that are bred in Britain and exported can become IB champions without being English champions. Dogs imported to GB who are already IB champions get to keep their IB champion status despite not being UK champions?
Getting any championship title just means that you have met certain rules, which is why having some national titles is worth more than others due to the relative difficulty in getting them. The qualification for an IB Ch title is recognised worldwide. When we show abroad we are ambassadors for our breed and our country.
Other countries are not going to realise that there are extra rules for British dogs to be IB champions; they are just going to think that British dogs are not good enough to measure up to the IB champion yardstick! It is already harder for a British dog to become an IB Ch as we cannot get two of the CACIBs in our own country and just travel for the other two. We have to travel for all four of them to other countries and whichever country you go to you have to cross a large amount of water which adds time and cost to the process.
Discriminating against a human because of their nationality is illegal and not socially acceptable so why does the KC and/or FCI see this as being acceptable with dogs?
OUR DOGS asked the Kennel Club to comment on the points raised in this article and we hope to have these for publication in next week’s issue