The Kennel Club writes “Following the popularity of the Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds Competition at Crufts, the Kennel Club has announced that it will take place again this year, culminating in a grand final at Crufts 2018.
To raise awareness of vulnerable British & Irish breeds, and to recognise those who are dedicated to their survival and prosperity, the Kennel Club created the competition in 2015. Although only in its infancy, the competition has already proved very popular and at this year’s Crufts, Trevor Hayward took the title with his Smooth Collie, Ch Clingstone’s Hot Shot at Foxearth.
Following comments made by competitors, it has been decided that only the Best of Breed winners at the group championship shows will qualify for the final, in order to raise the standard of the competition.”
Good, there is a showcase at Crufts but read the Press Release again: BOB at group championship shows will raise the standard of the competition. Huh? is the phrase that springs to mind as the logic rather escapes. Let’s take the breed we are as an example
Glen of Imaal Terriers will qualify at National Terrier and as that has already taken place it is known it’ll be Golden Spurs (sent forward by Peter Bakewell) that’ll be the breed representative. He’s a three year old, just starting to get it all together and should be fine but what if he had awarded the Bitch CC winner BOB? She absolutely deserved it but is still very young and chances are she’d be “in a stage” come next Spring-would seeing a naturally bit gawky youngster raise the standard? Glens now have Challenge Certificates and we play by the unofficial rules, if a judge has awarded you the CC you don’t enter under them again, so what if an NT judge is one that officiates regularly? A good selection of Glens wouldn’t be entering.
Also Glen of Imaal Terriers are a stripped breed. Some owners strip out after the Glen Association Show ready for Crufts and NT but others prefer their dogs to be just coming in coat for the Association Show so they are a bit long for Crufts and then they are stripped. Just one qualifying show for any breed that has a coat isn’t likely to “raise the standard” by anyone’s imagination that knows anything about dogs.
Wasn’t the whole idea of the previous points system one to get the so-called Vulnerables out and about and seen? Points were picked up in breed classes at both championship and open shows. If you didn’t want to, or weren’t able to, spend the money chasing around the big money championship shows you could still stand a chance of qualifying via the open show route. Everybody knows the best dogs don’t always appear at the best shows but that seems to have been forgotten. It was a competition that meant everybody, if they so wished, could have a go at because in the year somewhere there will be a few months when your dog will be in coat, there will be judges that like your type, she won’t be in season, will get the floor surface they like, there won’t be a bitch in season at home, it won’t be too hot etc. etc. Under these new rules “dedicated to their survival” (as per the press release) just means turning up to one show!