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Dog show scene paralysed

Issue: 20/03/2020

Photo: Vince Hogan
So close: an empty ring at Crufts, which went ahead after last minute talks. One week later and the show would almost certainly have been postponed or cancelled for public safety. 

The world has been gripped by the COVID-19 crisis and the dog show scene is not exempt. In a situation that rivals or even overshadows the crisis with foot and mouth disease some years ago, the dog show scene has been decimated with events being cancelled or postponed across the board.
Two of the more high profile shows due to take place in forthcoming weeks, the United Kingdom Toydog show and the National Terrier club show, have both cancelled their championship shows which were due to take place at Bingley hall in Stafford. 


The National Terrier Club said in a statement, ‘As a result of today’s Cobra Meeting advising reduced social contact, reducing unnecessary travel and those over the age of 70 to self isolate, it is with reluctance that the Committee and Officials have decided that the National Terrier Championship show on the 4th April should not go ahead. Thank you to the exhibitors for a wonderful entry and to the trade stand holders for their support. All will be given a full refund. Thank you to the judges.’

UK Toydog


OUR DOGS have been in constant touch with show organisers. UK Toydog said, ‘As a result of today’s Cobra Meeting where the Prime Minister urged restrictions on meetings, non-essential travel and asked the over 70’s to self-isolate it has become apparent that the idea of pressing forward with the forthcoming UK Toydog Show is untenable. We have therefore regretfully decided to cancel the show.
‘All exhibitors and traders will be issued with a full refund of their entry fees in due course but at the moment our priority is to ensure that all interested parties are aware of the decision.
‘Thank you all for your support, we had drawn a very good entry and we were all looking forward to welcoming you to the show.’
A slew of open, limit and other shows in the upcoming weeks have also cancelled their events following the government’s announcement on Monday to encourage ‘social distancing’ and for mass gatherings not to take place.
Whilst the government at the moment have not yet set a limit on the amount of people that can meet they have told people not to congregate in large numbers or even attend theatres, pubs and clubs. Clearly the advice given about non essential travel has sounded the death knell for shows in the coming weeks, and even months. 


In Scotland the government set a limit of 500 people meeting where an ambulance is required, which came in to force on Monday March 16.
Scottish Breeds Canine Club issued a statement to say the show was still going ahead. They said, ‘The Officers and Committee of Scottish Breeds Canine Club are monitoring the ongoing situation on a daily basis and will be guided by government recommendations.
‘At this stage we fall below the (500) number advised by the Scottish Parliament and do not use the emergency services to cover our event but rather employ private providers. Therefore the Championship Show is scheduled to go ahead as planned.
‘Any material changes will be advised via our website, Facebook page and FDS Ltd.’
Yet the Hound Association of Scotland cancelled their championship show saying, ‘Regretfully the Championship Show on the 11th April is cancelled.
‘Fosse Data will arrange refund of entry fees less their administrative fee. Paper entries paid by cheque have not been cashed and will be destroyed.’
On Tuesday, as we went to press, the Scottish Kennel Club issued a statement with regard to the Scottish Kennel Club Show.
It said, ‘We are currently monitoring the situation relating to Coronavirus and whilst we are hopeful that our show will go ahead, the safety of all our exhibitors, judges & helpers remains the priority.
‘Our postal entries close on Tuesday 24th March and online entries on Tuesday 31st March. In the event that we are unable to run the show, we will look at all possibilities in terms of rescheduling later in the year.
‘We would like to reassure exhibitors that entries will be refunded in such a circumstance, less an administration charge.
‘Please note: Can we ask exhibitors to check our Facebook page or the website for all updates relating to the Championship Show, rather than calling the office during this busy period.’

Birmingham National
A number of shows are still hopeful they will be able to carry on. The National Dog Show last Saturday said, “The Officers and Committee of Birmingham National Dog Show remain hopeful that our special ‘VE Celebration Day’ Championship Show will still go ahead from 7th - 10th May. Should we be forced to cancel then we will look at the feasibility of postponing our Show until later in the year. If this is not feasible we will refund exhibitor’s entry fees less a proportionate administration fee. We will also refund the companies that have pre-paid for Trade Stand space. We trust in typical ‘Dunkirk’ spirit, we can rely on your support. We are very encouraged by our entry to date and we hope this will continue”
The statement added, “We will provide you all with another statement after next week’s anticipated government ‘Mass Gathering’ announcement. If you have any questions in the meantime please e-mail our Secretary, Jennie Griffiths”

Southern Counties

Southern Counties are also hopeful they can still hold their event. Secretary Angela Cavill told OUR DOGS ‘First and foremost, the committee of SCCA would like to wish all our friends in the dog world all the best in this current crisis. Southern Counties has always appreciated our exhibitors, stewards & helpers and judges and this feeling that is almost like family is very important to us.
‘We remain hopeful that our 2020 Championship Show will still go ahead – currently we come just at the end of the time being suggested for avoiding social contact, but of course the situation is changing day to day.
‘We also appreciate that some people are very concerned about mixing with others at this time, for many reasons.
‘Our advantage is that our show is held outside, and if we are able to go ahead I will be contacting the Kennel Club to ask if there is a possibility of relaxing the strict rules on staying on benches. If we are unable to hold our show on our usual date we will look at the feasibility of postponing our Show until later in the year. 
‘If we have to cancel we will refund exhibitor’s entry fees. I think our exhibitors are aware that we have always been more than fair with refunding fees for various reasons over the years, including ones which would normally not merit a refund. We will also refund the companies that have pre-paid for Trade Stand space. I hope that we can rely on your support. This is a difficult time for all of us and I hope we can all pull together for the good of our sport.

Kennel Club statement

On Friday March 13th the Kennel Club issued a statement that said, ‘Advice on the situation regarding corona virus is changing daily and we strongly suggest that societies keep aware of updates as issued by the Department of Health, 
‘The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has said the Government is considering the question of banning major public events such as sporting fixtures. This is based on the impact on emergency service workers of attending these events. The Prime Minister has made it clear that current scientific advice is that the cancellation of major public events will have little effect on the spread of the virus.
‘In Scotland, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced that the Scottish Government is minded to advise the cancellation of mass gatherings of 500 people of more from Monday 16 March. Once again, this decision has been made primarily to reduce the workload on emergency services who usually attend these events.
‘The Kennel Club advises that, if holding an event, the Society follows main messages from Public Health England on personal hygiene. Therefore volunteers, exhibitors and visitors should be encouraged to maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene by employing the ‘Catch It. Bin It. Kill It’ ethos. It is recommended that additional signage and, if possible, bottles of hand sanitiser are provided, to prevent and slow the spread of coronavirus 
‘Societies should consider enhanced measures to help protect visitors, exhibitors, judges and volunteers against corona virus. Whilst in the ring during judging, it is strongly advised that judges request handlers to show an exhibit’s dentition to minimise the spread of infection.
‘’Exhibitors should be aware of current travel restrictions and guidelines, and adhere to these. All individuals without exception are expected to abide by the advice of their relevant governments and national and international laws with regard to self-isolation and restrictions on travel. However, it is advised that everyone should familiarise themselves with the UK government advice and make individual decisions based on their circumstances and if they have any concerns to seek the advice of their doctor.
‘With regard to the Kennel Club Building at Stoneleigh, the standard refund policy as included in the hire contract remains in place unless the Government issues instructions to restrict or cancel public events due to increased environmental and health risks. In this case, the hirer will receive a refund for funds paid to date or the deposit will be rolled over for a future event.’
OUR DOGS have contacted the KC to see if this position has changed following the new advice from the government and at the time of going to press we were awaiting an update. 

Knock on effect

The knock on effect to trade stands and businesses involved in the world of dogs cannot be underestimated. Many small traders rely on the dog show circuit to survive; in fact for many exhibitors and traders, the show circuit is a way of life.
Catalogue producers and printers are also on the front line in the crisis.
Speaking to us earlier this week Kathy Gorman, Managing Director of Fosse Data Systems, said, “Our company has always prided itself on good customer service and once more we are working with our individual clubs and societies to do what is best for them. With respect to possible refunds of online entry fees, we are liaising with each club and society on an individual basis to manage this in accordance with their specific needs and requirements. As exhibitors will be aware, some shows have been cancelled but others are postponing to dates later in the year. We acknowledge this is a fast moving situation and please be assured that we are monitoring developments on a daily basis for the benefit of all our customers and exhibitors”
OUR DOGS also contacted Higham Press who directed us to their website statement which simply said, “Due to the corona virus outbreak, some shows are cancelled. Details of these will be on the Show Information page, link above”.  Their site then listed relevant show cancellations 
Also affected will be benching companies. John Lloyd of Bannerdown told us, “As a company we are monitoring the situation very carefully in order to offer the very best service to our customers in what is already a very challenging time.

Our Dogs 

“It is very difficult for many of these companies to know what to do or say as we are all in uncharted territory” added Vince Hogan Managing Director of OUR DOGS. “We too would like to reassure our very loyal customer base that we will see this crisis through and will absolutely keep producing the paper both in print and online. Contingency plans were originally made two weeks ago and we have adjusted as each day brought a new twist”
Readers of OUR DOGS can be assured that the team in the office are ‘on the case’. Editor Ali Smith thanked the dedicated production and sales team and added, “we have been contacted by a number of writers and contributors pledging support and I would like to thank them all. We have plenty of breed notes and even show reports to appear in the next few weeks and have lots of interesting articles planned”
Onward and upward as they say! The dog show world has been through many crises and come out the other side. Dog people are known for the fighting spirit and that attitude has shown through in the many messages received by the paper.

Cancelled Shows

Date of Show Show
13 April 2020 Aberystwyth & DCS
5 April 2020 Angus & Kincardenshire CS Limited Show
5 April 2020 Australian Shepherd Dog Club of the UK AGM
29 March 2020 Basset Hound Club of Wales Open Show
21 March 2020 Beagle Club
18 April 2020 Beagle Club of Northern Ireland
5 April 2020 Belgian Shepherd Dog Association of GB
22 March 2020 Birmingham and District Fox Terrier Club Open Show
22 March 2020 Bitz 'n' bobz agility show
5 April 2020 Bouvier Des Flandres Club of GB
10 May 2020 British Chihuahua Club Open Show
18 April 2020 Cairn Terrier Association
22 March 2020 Chichester and DCS
22 March 2020 Cocker Spaniel Breed Council AGM
4 April 2020 Collie Club of Wales
17 April 2020 Delting Canine Society Limit Show
19 April 2020 Derby Canine Society
4 April 2020 Dumfries and Galloway CS
12 April 2020 Dustable and District CS
19 April 2020 English Setter Associ
5 April 2020 Flatcoated Retriever Society
12 April 2020 Fox Terrier Club of Scotland
5 April 2020 GSD Club of Wales April Show
5 April 2020 Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla club of GB Open Show
5 April 2020 Hyde and District CA
5 April 2020 Isle of Wight CA
21 March 2020 Isle of Wight Gundog Club
5 April 2020 Jack Russell Terrier Club Show and AGM
4 April 2020 Kingdom of Fife
4 April 2020 Lancahsire and Cheshire ESS Show
21 March 2020 Llandudno CS
5 April 2020 Maltese Club Open Show and AGM
19 April 2020 Manchu Shih Tzu Society Ch Show
22 March 2020 Mannin KA
12 April 2020 Midland Chihuahua Club Champ Show
12 April 2020 Midland Lhasa Apso Association
29 March 2020 Miniature Bull Terrier Club
28 March 2020 National Bedlington Terrier Open Show
29 March 2020 North of England Afghan Hound Club
4 April 2020 North of England Airedale Terrier Club
11 April 2020 North of England Irish Terrier Club show and AGM
22 March 2020 North of England Lhasa Open Show
4 April 2020 North Wales GSD
22 March 2020 Northern Cairn & West Highland White Terrier
19 April 2020 Old English Mastiff Show
4 April 2020 Omagh and District Open Show
22 March 2020 Oswestry Kennel Association Open Show
22 March 2020 Pennine & Scottish French Bulldog Association
22 April 2020 Penrith & DCS
3 May 2020 Pyrenean Mointain Dog Club of GB Open Show
14 April 2020 Ross and Cromerty Open Show
29 March 2020 Scottish Cavalier King Charles Spaniel AGM
22 March 2020 Scottish Rottweiler Club Open Show
11 April 2020 Scottish Siberian Husky Club AGM
29 March 2020 Shih Tzu Club of South Wales and Western Counties
22 March 2020 South and West Wales Cavalier Club Open Show
5 April 2020 South East Lhasa Apso Society
18 April 2020 South Eastern Toy Dog Society
29 March 2020 South of England Airedale Terrier Club
3 May 2020 Southern Alsation Training Society CH Show
22 March 2020 Southern Bichon Frise Breeders Association
29 March 2020 Southern Counties Bull Terrier Limit Show
21 March 2020 Team Foxash Fun Show
11 April 2020 Terrier Club of Scotland
21 March 2020 Three Ridings Labrador Club
5 April 2020 Tredagar & DCS
9 May 2020 Tunbridge Wells and DCS
22 March 2020 Welsh Terrier Club Open Show
4 April 2020 West of England Border Terrier Club
29 March 2020 West of England Cocker Spaniel Club AGM
5 April 2020 West of England Collie Society Open Show
21 March 2020 Westglen Premier Heelwork to Music
5 April 2020 Yorkshire Gundog Club AGM

Postponed Shows

Date Show
5 April 2020 Bolton and District GSD Club
21 March 2020 Border Terrier Club
5 April 2020 Chow Chow Club of Scotland
28 March 2020 ESS Club of Scotland Championship Show
22 March 2020 Irish Water Spaniel Association Open Show
22 March 2020 Minaiture Pinscher of the Year and AGM
12 April 2020 National Chow Chow Club
2 May 2020 Portuguese Podengo Club of GB
11 April 2020 Scottish Siberian Husky Club AGM
17 April 2020 Southern Counties Bearded Collie Club
11 April 2020 Swedish Vallhund Society Open Show
22 March 2020 Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of SW
22 March 2020 Wesh Springer Club of SW
29 March 2020 West of England Cocker Spaniel Club AGM

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