The Hovawart Club of Great Britain


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Breed Notes - 09 Nov 2009
We have just returned from a weekend in Edinburgh, where I had the privilege of judging the breed at the Working & Pastoral Breeds Association of Scotland’s Championship Show. My critique will appear elsewhere, but I would like to say that we had a lovely time north of the border, Edinburgh (apart from the road works) looked super in the sunlight, and at the show, the officials made every effort to sort out our ring problems with alacrity and understanding. The difficulty was that, as usual, we without CCs take second place to the “major” breeds. We are used to this, but we had a particular problem in that we were down to follow Rottweilers, who were being judged by a lady who we understood to be giving tickets for the first time. Quite rightly, she was being very thorough, and a quick, back-of-the-envelope calculation gave us a start time of about 3 pm. A new exhibitor, who hadn’t realised this was a possibility, went home on hearing this. Unfortunate, because we were found an unused ring before 1 pm, and were through in good time for the group. I am afraid that the lady who left will not bother a second time.

As I said, this time the problem was solved by good work from the show team, but it occurred to me that the practice of giving “not before” times, as I seem to remember one of the Birmingham Shows does, or did, would alleviate this frustration for the minor breeds. Had we had the instruction “not before 1 pm”, anyone waiting about would be doing it deliberately, and so long as the show does its calculations reasonably, there should be no difficulties for groups etc. You may say that people could work it out for themselves, but in the past we have done that unsuccessfully, always erring on the side of missing the class, which wouldn’t happen under the “not before” regime. One more thing that I should like to raise is the cost to the specialist judge of fulfilling the appointment. Reduced entry fees mean that Societies can’t even offer expenses to the single breed judge, so that it can be a real burden to the individual. Just as well that they insist appointments are 18 months apart! I hope that no potential candidates are put off by this aspect of judging. Maybe breed clubs could have some impact here.

At this point I should like to own up to a wicked thought. At the show, there were problems early on with the lights going out suddenly, and obviously unexpectedly. My long knowledge of Music Hall comedians kicked in, and I did wondered, as we were in Scotland, whether anyone had brought a shilling for the meter. I would like to state publicly that this mean thought has no justification in real life, all the Scots I have known have always gone out of their way to dispel this impression that they are “careful” with money.

You are always learning with dogs. Tilly, coming up to 12 years old, we know is an inveterate thief, but foolishly we still left a pair of kippers (uncooked), an acquired taste for humans, let alone dogs, just within reach if she really tried. You would like to think that the resultant sickness and diarrhoea would give her pause next time, but I have my doubts. Next weekend it is “Discover Dogs” at Earl’s Court. There are one or two of this year’s puppies going, so I think Acorn will stay at home….the last thing we need is a joyful reunion in front of a disbelieving public, absolute chaos!!

Elaine Betts

This article was posted on: 10-Nov-09