The Hovawart Club of Great Britain


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Breed Notes - 09 Feb 2010
Good news and bad news this week, wonderful entry for Crufts, 53 Hovawarts – if everybody turns up it should prove to me one of the best entries ever. I have a horrible feeling though there will be quite a bit of hanging around, and certainly time to shop and chat as we are FIFTH in the ring, 223 dogs (four varieties) have to be judged before we even get into the ring, and at 2 minutes a dog (which is never enough) that equals about seven and a half hours! This would mean we can’t really be in the ring before 4.30 at the earliest, assuming no breaks in the judging. One possible ray of light is that the judging order says “provisional”, so there might be scope to be moved if there is a vacant ring nearby. At least our judge is only involved in Komondors (10 entries), so will be as keen to sort it out as we will be. I do hope the powers that be can sort something out for us. As usual, Hovawarts always seem to be treated like poor relations, and after such a long wait all our poor dogs will be thoroughly exhausted and bored stupid. It’s such a shame, and I must admit we are considering leaving our youngster at home, as this degree of stress is just unacceptable. Once again, we have visitors from Germany to stay and it is getting to the point where I’m embarrassed at Crufts, and at a loss to explain why our breed always draws the “short” straw. Would German Judges and exhibitors tolerate such a delay in proceedings?

On a more general point, it is interesting to note the overall numbers entered in each breed. Crufts is the premier show for the Kennel Club, our showcase to the world, and therefore presumably entries will reflect this. Ours certainly match our club show, and exceed any other through the year. I notice that there are, I think, 22 breeds with Challenge Certificates that have smaller entries than ours, and half a dozen or so very close to our figure. To be fair, we are not alone in this anomaly, and other non-CC breeds have larger, some considerably larger, than ours. I think this only goes to emphasise the point Simon Parsons was making last year when he highlighted this situation. Maybe the Kennel Club could give this matter due consideration, and give all breeds a level playing field.

I was thrilled to see a really nice article in Dog Training Weekly entitled “Spotlight on other Breeds” where Elinor Anderson is interviewed by Susan and Gemma Henshaw. Elinor was asked several questions about training, and the article showed Nettle in a splendid heelwork position.

I don’t know how many of you will remember Terry Larrett, but I was pleased to receive an e mail from him and his wife this week, saying that after an absence of about 20 years, he was ready for another Hovawart. Once an enthusiast, always an enthusiast.

Further to the point I made about being late in the ring at Crufts this year, I have analysed the numbers for the rings as scheduled, and there is a wide difference in numbers, which hopefully means there will be scope for moving to a vacant ring for an earlier start. Our ring, 16, has potentially the biggest number, with 276 dogs, but ring 27 runs us close with 270. There are, on the first day, 4 other rings with 200 or more exhibits, but three of those are single breeds, or in one case a single sex of one breed. At the other end of the scale, there are 8 rings with less than 125 dogs due in. I also notice that a couple of the judges are scheduled to be in 2 different rings, and there could be a bit of a timing issue for them as well. Perhaps the Crufts organisers can address these issues before the day, and present us with a revised schedule on arrival, to avoid the chaos that we experienced in the past when trying to find a vacant ring for ourselves.

Elaine Betts

01544 318705

This article was posted on: 10-Feb-10