Sunday, 8 March 2009

Crufts 2009

This year unlike those before I fell for the propaganda about working dogs demonstrating how it should be done and how BASC would together with Gamekeepers prove that working gundogs were the best. All good in theory and in fact BASC asked that all dogs entered as working have a signed declaration from a Gamekeeper to the effect that this entrant had worked regularly on his or her shoot.

Well I suspect that some of these werent checked at all let alone closely. How can a dog blatantly of show stock which refused to pick up a dummy be honestly signed off as working for a shoot. Kennel Club judges programmed by years of show breed judging must have found it difficult to select working dogs over show stock and it showed when a dog so blatantly from show stock entered by a retired keeper who really should have known better refused the retrieve.

In the keepers ring there were just five entrants, only two were male and one was retired. At least the winner was a worker.

My bitch Sassy was selected as 3rd Best Bitch in the Working English Springer Spaniel class and I was so proud. here she is resting after her efforts;




All in all I think that BASC needs to look at how it is organised and promoted and to push the Kennel Club to allow Judging from those to whom a working breed isnt alien and also to the National Gamekeepers Organisation to find out why only 5 keepers turned up out of the 1400 registered as working in the UK!

Here are the boys practising before the show opened.

The boys were ok and Ben with Spartacus received a fourth place, a reserve as did Sassy in their respective classes;
I'm pretty sure that we wont be going back which is a pity as it started out quite enjoyable but to be kept in until 4pm as exhibits just took the piss frankly. I wouldnt have minded but we had finished at about 11 am and having been up since 3 am was enough to fray my temper.
BASC could have been a little more organised but I suspect that they were tied to the Kennel Club rules which helped no one and did little to ensure that a good steady flow of working dogs was there for the public to see. The Any Variety classes should have been split further as they were oversubscribed and the last but I didnt like was the kennel Club rules and conditions didnt arrive until long after the money was paid and only days before the event.
If I was an uninformed member of tyhe public looking at the spaniels I would be hard to decide what was a good working spaniel as the judges certainly didnt help! At least we had lots of appreciative comments from those members of the public who could tell the difference.

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