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KC Chairman reneges on judging undertaking

Issue: 31/05/2024

With the Kennel Club AGM approaching, the biographical notes required by candidates on seeking election or re-election to the Kennel Club Board have shown a significant change of direction for the KC Chairman Tony Allcock.
Mr Allcock has revealed that he is going back on the important undertaking he gave on becoming Chairman; namely that he: “would not accept further new breed championship show appointments for the duration of his tenure in office.”
In these notes, the Chairman states his personal position, saying “In a spirit of openness and transparency, I would like to highlight that after a four-year self-imposed moratorium from judging new breeds at championship show level, it is now my intention to seek approval for those breeds which I am duly qualified to judge. The anticipated cessation of the ‘traditional judging qualification route’ including the ‘grandfathering rights’ at the end of next year has contributed to this decision. This has been supported by the Board. It is not however, my intention or that of my partner, to show dogs.”

BACKGROUND

Mr Allcock was appointed as Chairman of the Kennel Club in June 2019, at a time of considerable unrest amongst KC Members and, referring to the Chairman’s undertaking not to expand his judging portfolio, Our Dogs said at the time: “Events in the last two weeks have moved fast at the Kennel Club. The new Chairman and Vice Chairman have been quick to make some very positive announcements which have gone down very well with the dog showing public and with KC Members alike.”
A week later the paper went on to say: “A statement was issued two weeks ago that the Chairman and the Vice Chairman were both: “aware of the importance of the need to achieve a unified and cohesive Kennel Club, serving all its Members and associates”; that: “Neither the Chairman nor the Vice Chairman will accept further new breed championship show appointments for the duration of their tenure in office”; and that “Neither will the Chairman nor the Vice Chairman exhibit at shows from 31 July 2019”. 
We added: “These announcements were the first sign that the need for change had been recognised. And they received an unqualified welcome on social media. All of these statements and the speed at which they have been issued augurs well for the future and is very much welcomed.”

POSITIVE RECEPTION FORGOTTEN
That important positive reception and reaction from exhibitors now appears to have been forgotten and the Chairman’s undertaking currently seems to be on the point of being cancelled if re-elected.
Mr Allcock now states that his current move has the support of the KC Board but it is understood that this support is far from unanimous.   
That is not surprising as members of the Judges Committee, many of whom are judges of multiple breeds, are still respecting the wishes of Members expressed at the 2019 Kennel Club AGM. On that occasion a proposal was made by Mike Gadsby that they should not expand their judging portfolios beyond those breeds for which they were then approved. That proposal, despite being opposed at the time by the Board, was approved by Kennel Club Members with a very substantial 69% majority. Since then, the Judges Committee Members have respected the Members’ wishes.
It was following that Members’ vote that the Chairman made the undertaking that he is now preparing to abandon.