Well it seems there is a trend afoot – every time I enter an open show it snows and I cant go! Lots cancelled this weekend or judges unable to make it, but a few soldiered on through the snow and hats off to those that braved the weather to compete. At Scottish Toy under Sylvia Adamson, Evelyn Frames Elfallons Little Dragon was BOB, while at Oswestry under Alan McKenzie Mrs Barkers Goldamulet Amber Tone was BOB with Julie Hampsons Zerachiel Justin Illusion taking BPIB. At Retford CS under replacement judge Sherrill Goodwin Nick Higgs’ Touch Beauty Pride of The Motherland was BOB and Group 2, whilst his Fairy Vom Apfelland was ROB – both handled by Susan Higgs. Lastly and North East Toy, Marion Proctors Tramarllan Polar Icicle I believe was BOB although im unsure who the judge is. Big well done to all! Easter weekend is fast approaching and I heard on the radio this morning that snow is to be expected! With today being officially the start of Spring, one can but wonder if we will ever see the sunshine this year! Im sure all of us and the crested would love a bit of vitamin D! Entry figures are in for UK Toy with Christine Hinton attracting 114 dogs making 131 entries which is marginally up on last year. The Chinese Crested Dog Clubs open showing being held straight afterwards sees Stuart Smith with 88 dogs making 104 entries so a super jump in numbers for its first time to be held in conjunction with this championship show. Good luck to everyone showing and don’t forget the Chinese Crested Dog Clubs AGM is held directly after the open show ends, so if you are a member be sure to stay and have your say!
I was having a look at the Crufts catalogue and pulled some stats – of the 179 dogs entered the split was UK based dogs 69% and visiting dogs 31%. Of the 69% of UK based dogs 52% were UK bred and 17% were imported. Of the 52% of UK bred dogs 78% of these had UK bred parents both sides, but as a percentage of the total entry this was just 38% of dogs exhibited being bred from British Parents. Looking at the split of the 92 places given on the day 64% of these were to UK exhibitors of which 18% were Imported dogs, and 36% to Overseas Visitors. Most noteable however is that of the major awards only two Uk based dogs were selected and of these only one was UK bred. More to the point UK dogs did not feature at all in Open Bitch and only one in Open dog. So what do these numbers tell us? Well UK dogs seem to be on the decline – while they held the lions share of the entry and held their own in the class placings we have to consider that many of the classes are not eligible for foreign entries (Minor Puppy, Puppy and Good Citizen – unless qualified from a UK Show) and also that with the new Ruling for foreign dogs in Mid Limit and Limit this also meant most had to go into Open as any dog winning more than 3 CC equivalent was no longer eligible for lower classes. This ruling certainly seemed to prove confusing across many breeds however with lots of reports of over qualified dogs in lower classes, so something hopefully the Kennel Club will take more responsibility for in the future. But back to the numbers – I couldn’t help thinking that it was a shame to see UK bred dogs featuring so little in the top honours once again and even in the Open classes, and wonder what the Crested community in the UK could or should do about that? As a country who has been so influential in the development of the breed, it is very sad to see the lines so many put so much work into improving, ultimately fall by the wayside. Perhaps it is too late to ensure we maintain some of these important and influential blood lines which stamped in a breed type which is sadly becoming more remote every day. But how? How do we return the consistency and greatness of UK bred crested to dominate the showcase show of the year? What do we need to do in order to ensure our forbearers hard work is not lost? I would be very interested in receiving your opinions so we can share here, but surely we must now look at, and question why we have ended up where we have and what we can do about it? Yes if course its not all about Crufts – its one dog show, and you could argue that British dogs are behind most of the top dogs in the world today, but is that enough? Why aren’t we taking this forward and ensuring we produce the best for ourselves and home grow the talent in our own country? As someone who has imported more crested into the UK than anyone else, I can say its not a decision I take lightly – would I prefer to have quality UK bred dogs from health tested parents and safe matings – of course! But are they easy to find? I will let you answer that one. Food for thought for a cold rainy morning but feel free to email me your input as well as your show successes or news to firstname.lastname@example.org. Donna Crow