The Hovawart Club of Great Britain


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Breed Notes (Dog World - Elaine Sharpe) 16 May 2017
I have been reading and trying to get to grips with the immense changes that the KC are proposing to judges’ education, qualification and appointments. The emphasis is very much on training and examinations, a far cry from the “old boy” network that has prevailed in the past, and such apparent impartiality must be applauded. One slight reservation I do have is the idea that people will be allowed to judge breeds at the highest level without necessarily having actually judged any dogs of that breed in a “live” situation, only having to encounter them as part of an assessing seminar. It also appears that the age-old custom of breed clubs having lists of people that particular club supports to judge the breed is to be scrapped in favour of an exam-led KC master list. This would seem to be taking away choice from the individual breed clubs, rather different from the continent, where breed clubs hold most of the reins. I am also a little concerned that those of a less academic bent will struggle, compared to those who take exams in their stride, and find writing, especially critiques, easy. I am reminded of one “old timer” whose critiques always read along the lines “I preferred 1 to 2, and 2 to 3” without much embellishment, but who invariably picked the dogs in the order of their quality, whereas there have been those who wrote books on breeds, gave wonderful, erudite lectures, but in the ring ended up with winning dogs that belied all their theories. I just hope that there will be room for the judge of few words but good “eyes” in this brave new world.
And then there is the cost…a proposed £26 per annum for each judge. Somehow, this smacks of inequality, when a breed specialist in one numerically small breed like ours will get the opportunity to judge maybe once every 4 or 5 years, and there are “all-rounders” judging week in, week out for the same outlay, often with the ability to charge fees for their services, an option almost universally denied the specialist. Perhaps the KC could give this idea a second think-through before the scheme goes live so there is some sense of fairness. I can see a drastic reduction in those specialists in the years to come, if only for this reason.
On the positive side, the Club, as part of their “big” weekend …September 30th & October 1st…are putting on a judging seminar, led by our patron from the Netherlands, Ans Schellekens, a very experienced judge of the breed, one of the top IHF judges. This is on the Sunday, and Ans is judging the main show the day before. Secretary Liz Whitmore has all the details, or do get in touch with me if you want to be involved. There will certainly be something for everyone that weekend, whatever else you plan to do this year, don’t miss out on this one.
This coming weekend, it is the Redditch Open show on Saturday, where all the rare breeds get classes, and SKC on Sunday. It is a tall order to do both events sadly, I note that SKC have 8 entries but I don’t know about Redditch. Bath, giving us classes for the first time, have 11 going under Gill Stockton. Don’t forget to enter the National Working and Pastoral Breeds Championship show at Malvern on July 15th. It is a special year for the Society this year, and if the weather is nice, there is, in my view, no more beautiful venue than the 3 Counties Showground at Malvern, with the hills in the background.
Elaine Sharpe 01544 318705
This article was posted on: 17-May-17