The breed club judging lists from the seven groups could produce 23,000 judges.


The average salary according to AS HE in the U.K. is 27,600, and it would seem logical that all have to apply stringent financial planning to meet one’s outgoings. Sadly many, be it by a lack of financial knowledge or a believe that tomorrow brings healthier rewards fall upon hard times and loose everything. It would take the average salary worker eighteen years to earn half a million pounds and during a forty five year working life would earn 0ne Million Two Hundred Forty Two Thousand pounds. Forty five years of looking after every penny to keep one head above water and caring for one’s family and it’s future, just think about it for it is a road most of us have travelled, yet we witness other groups treating half a million as we would treat a penny.

It does seem quite incredible that the J.C.F can without a whim dream up such a controversial policy to be unleashed on every judge or future prospective one in the years ahead. The fact that this is costing a half million pounds in set up costs with a future two hundred thousands a year in maintenance costs would be laughable if not such a serious case of what appears to be miss management. Did the J.C.F present a drawn up plan detailing every aspect in potential earnings and expenditure to the Kennel Club financial & General Purposes Committee and was this then if approved accepted after scrutinization of every syllable and dot by the full General Committee before coming into operation. Certainly the general committee do seem to have amongst it’s members a number that have experience gained by management of there own businesses successfully over many years, therefore one cannot under any conceivable circumstances believe any would invest the sums involved in ones own business without a thought investigating of the presented facts.

Did not one member of the financial & General Purposes Committee or General Committee enquire to the number of judges within the Kennel Club jurisdiction along with the projected revenues over the coming years. Or did they accept from the J.C.F Committee that it was not possible to come up due to the complexity of the judging lists that nobody could give a detailed account of the numbers of judges, certainly this was the answer I was given. I will add that I was informed that they did later on have a rough idea of the number of judges that awarded C.Cs, well after all that’s all available on the find a judge web site so therefore was easy c not a big deal.

Was consideration ever given to whether the rumoured expenditure of about  £500,000 on the new IT system could be argued to be ‘a transaction in the normal course of business’ . Why because The KC’s Articles of Association say at Clause 6.2 “Except for: (1) a transaction in the normal course of business; or (2) a purchase, sale or exchange of securities quoted on a recognised Stock Exchange made on the recommendation of the Kennel Club’s advisors previously given in writing; the Board shall not have power to act in respect of any transaction involving a value on excess of £100,000 without the prior approval of the Voting Members in general meeting.” Approval I understand has never be sought!

Maybe a lifetime being self employed that started at twelve years old with a lollipop factory that kept the children of Peakirk happy, that was until knock at the door when my mother was not at business and someone asked for a tuppenny lolly. That brought to an end what could have become a global institution, but it taught me one factor that nothing is impossible. Consequently I turned what the Kennel Club found impossible into reality with the help of half dozen Facebook people. The original plan was to draw up a presentation that I would consider worthy of consideration for investment of half a million pounds in a business proposition. After analysing all of the judging lists within the Utility, Pastoral and Gundog groups we feel that it is a reasonable assumption that the other four groups would follow those of the Utility and Pastoral with the Gundog being the sole exception. The findings of this study clearly indicate within 5%, that the number of all U.K judges on A, B and C judging lists with all duplicated names removed stands at 13496.

So members of the J.C.F, Financial & General Purposes, General Committee and every member of the Kennel Club you just may now like to ask one question. Why if the R.S.P.B. are able to organise a countrywide garden bird count, then why this most magnificent governing body you are all esteem members of could not manage a far simpler judges count. My betting on that you most certainly will be able to realise the substantial income over expenditure should all judges participate in this ill conceived and badly thought out policy for that comes to the tune of £350896 per annum.

Providing the numbers was not impossible nor difficult it just required a disciplined business approach. While the numbers and possible finance are both significantly important one must never loose insight that the most valuable asset the canine world processes are it’s judges without whom everything would collapse in double fast time. The loss of just one judge will represent failure and the responsibility will not just fall upon the shoulders of the J.C.F , Finance & General Purposes, or General Committee, but far deeper onto the full membership. These are the voting members that elected all into office, and I suspect that when they cast their votes the last thing on there minds was carnage of and total unrest among the majority within the show world. The J.C.F committee drew up the present presentation from a basic idea that came from a fellow Kennel Club member. The Facebook voting group Dog Breeders and Exhibitors Point of View provided a number of proposals such as a ringside mentoring scheme, breed Clubs educational breed standard, that would compliment in detail the official breed standard owned by the Kennel Club, and on-line written exams. One can only wonder from whom came the recommendations to levy the annual fee on every judge that count net £350000 annually along with removing the judges list responsibility from all breed clubs.

The panic within the Kennel Club set in with the loss of many all-rounders within a short span of time in the late 80s and 90s, and this gave way to the birth of educating judges. Anyone remember the words of Kennel Clubs Judges Working Party in 1998 when setting up the now de-funked education program to look at the education of aspiring breed judges. The Judges Working Party designed the first seminars, aimed at breed judging and focused on Kennel Club Rules and Regulations and Conformation and Movement. The Judges Working Party was given formal status by the Kennel Club Training Board with the clear aim of 'Setting Standards for Education', its remit was expanded to include judges training across all Working Dog Activities disciplines. Did anyone ask today why it became such a failure, and now after twenty years of waste we are all to be subjected to more of the same that will see me writing another damming article in twenty years time.

But does it have to be that way, could it with vision learned from yesterdays failure, be turned into a better tomorrow. Yes I believe it can just by taking a simple rethink to whom education should be aimed at. Everything could be turned around with a vision that the academy could and should be free to all. Yes educations needed but from when and for whom?. Looking around the rings and listening to comments it would seem the general view is that the British dog scene does not have the depth of quality that it once had. Many feel that the loss of the big kennels is the main contributing factor, and while I agree I would also add that we have also lost that knowledge, wisdom and influence these breeders pasted on around the rings and benches. New people started off in the right direction, in fact from day one they began a journey of education that enabled one with time to venture into becoming the next generation of breeders and then judges. So today lets have all educational materiel available to everyone from the time of starting in this wonderful hobby and all free of charge.

Breed clubs must face up to the responsibility that they must abide by ones own club rules of which the objects are all on the lines to encourage and promote the breeding and exhibition ensuring that it conforms to the adopted standard. Breed clubs must understand that success is not governed by the size of bank balance and look to funding ones own breed education policy that should be to an agreed format across all breeds. Breed films are so beneficial in education of all interested in judging any breed but, more importantly, they over information to a wider range of people, from those about to enter a breed, to those of long standing. Of course a few of the minority breeds could struggle to finance a breed education program but this would not make it prohibitive for with careful official planning from the Kennel Club in searching for sponsorship could resolve this issue.

This alone would relieve the Kennel Club of the bulk of the set up costs and as a sign of goodwill should drop all annual fees for judges, and allow all breed clubs full responsibility for judging lists. This should all be available both on individual breed club and the Kennel Clubs web sites and would set up the most advance education program in the history of dog breeding, exhibition and judging and further more could all be achieved without the loss of any judges.

So members of the J.C.F committee its up to you, be remembered for success or failure, most certainly success can be derived from failure, sometimes it stares us all in the face yet we are just two transfixed in ones ideas that we reinterpret our failures as successes. Titanic had a plan called unsinkable, but then it hit the iceberg, so should you decide to plough ahead whatever the outcome then the times come one would hope for all of the Kennel Club members to stand up for everyone in the real world, outside of the Kennel Club membership. Please now listen take others vision on board and lets all focus our energies on what really matters and giving everyone a free referral library that will be available twenty four hours a day.

The quoted judging details are derived from the following. (This could be set out in a centre box)

Utility Group 3017 Judges - with all duplicates deleted = 1778.
Pastoral Group 3097 Judges - with all duplicates deleted = 1889.
Gundog Group 5904 Judges - with all duplicates deleted = 3206
Total Judges 12018 and with all duplicates deleted 6873 (a reduction of 42%)

Across all three groups there were 6873 Judges and with all duplicates deleted the total number of judges was 6527. (a reduction of 5%)
The four groups not counted would, I feel, follow the Utility/Pastoral trend; so by taking the total of these two groups divide by 2 and multiply by 6 and then adding the Gundog group would give a total of 14207 judges. From this number, remove 5% for duplicate names. This would leave on all seven group breed judging lists a total of 13496 judges.
Based on a Poll we ran in 2017,- 8265 judges would not be joining the academy thus leaving 5225 available judges.

Peter Clifton.