I hate revisiting old posts I start and haven’t finished. Sometimes I look at them and wonder who on earth wrote that or what was I thinking. Other times life gets in the way, I get busy and forget about the “brilliant insights” I had lol. This is one such post – I found the shell of a rough draft in my email draft folder that I started writing on my flight home from Crufts. Its so hard to believe its already been three months since Crufts.
I made a second annual pilgrimage to the United Kingdom for Crufts. I had a wonderful time with my friends and dogs. I also tried my hand at showing again and handled a 9 1/2 month old puppy bitch that belonged to a friend. The beautiful girl I showed last year did not compete as she was out of coat (her winter coat had shed and the new coat had not fully come in) and was not in tip top form. This year went smoother than last but I’m still not sure this showing thing is for me. I got really nervous and after composing myself from a wardrobe malfunction we performed well enough in the ring to take 3rd place in the puppy bitch class and the lovely little girl Molly is now qualified for Crufts 2013!
I was so distracted by socializing and watching the competition I didn’t manage to take any pictures this year. Ok, so I actually took 5 pictures before I got caught up in the moment. Luckily another one of the people showing in my same class had her mother there to watch and she used my camera to photograph us both. Whew, at least I have a couple photographs of the event.
Some of you may have heard about the controversy this year – the atmosphere took a sour turn when the Kennel Club announced they were requiring the breed winners of 15 breeds they deemed “high profile at risk” to have a veterinarian examination before they would be allowed to compete in the Group competition. What was supposed to be a brief visual exam (basically, the same sort of once over the judges give) with out apparatus turned into a full on veterinary exam using an ophthalmoscope and bam! 3 of the high profile breeds that were shown that day did not pass the vet exams, all failing the eye exam. There was very little talk about the controversial exams until the first day finished and the firestorm ensued.
Over the next four days of competition 6 of the 15 high profile dog breeds failed the vet exams. The Pekeneese, the English Bulldog, the Clumber Spaniel (for eyes of course. The vet who was not familiar with the clumber did not take into consideration the “bred for purpose” of the Clumbers eyes), the English Mastiff, the Neapolitan Mastiff (the judge actually withheld the winner) and the Basset Hound. I had the opportunity to speak with a few of the Clumber Spaniel breed people at Discover Dogs. The disappointment over what had happened was overwhelming. They felt betrayed by the organization that was supposed to govern and protect them. Several Facebook groups have cropped up in protest and to lobby for reform.
Unfortunately, the Saint Bernard is on the KC’s high profile list. There was a lot of tension during the competition and everyone was on pins and needles awaiting the vet exam results. While the breed winner, a beautiful saint bitch I might add, passed the vet exam this year, the saint bernard will have this hanging over its head teetering on disaster from here on out. What this will mean for the future of the breed the other breeds on the high profile list and the English Kennel Club in general is yet to be seen.
Dog World TV posted an interview Marina Scott with the Kennel Club chairman Steve Dean after the recent KC AGM. The main subject on the agenda, which has upset many exhibitors, was the matter of Best of Breed veterinary checks. The interview sheds some light on the recent changes and where the Kennel Club plans to go from there.
Who knows whether we will see sweeping changes in the breeds or whether the fall out will see its way to the American Kennel Club.