Taking The Lead

By Andrea Keepence-Keyte

Them's The Rules

Them's The Rules

There was an announcement this week from the Kennel Club reminding exhibitors about entering the classes that your dog is eligible for.

In the gazette there are always prizes being revoked due to dogs being entered in to classes that they have won out of. These classes are all classes except the age classes (which I hope are self-explanatory!). The only thing to consider for age classes is that the statement “age on the first day of the show” – which means that you could have a puppy which has a birthday say on the second day of the show which takes it out of puppy technically, however, because the dog is a puppy on the first day of the show they are eligible for puppy.

Below are the most common classes and their definitions. You must ensure that you are aware of the winning your dog has done and then enter them in the most appropriate class. I am sorry for the lengthy copy over but it is the only way to discuss and give examples properly.

The following definitions:

* applies to Championship and Open Shows only.
** applies to Limited Shows only.
Where there is no qualification, the Definition applies to all types of Shows.

BEGINNERS */** for owner, handler or exhibit not having won a first prize at any Show.

MAIDEN */** for dogs which have not won a Challenge Certificate or a First Prize at an Open or Championship Show (Minor Puppy, Special Minor Puppy, Puppy and Special Puppy Classes excepted, whether restricted or not).

NOVICE * for dogs which have not won a Challenge Certificate or 3 or more First Prizes at Open and Championship Shows (Minor Puppy, Special Minor Puppy, Puppy and Special Puppy Classes excepted, whether restricted or not). ** For dogs which have not won 3or more First Prizes at any Show (Minor Puppy, Special Minor Puppy, 38 F(A) Puppy and Special Puppy Classes excepted, whether restricted or not).

DEBUTANT * For dogs which have not won a Challenge Certificate or a First Prize at a championship Show where Challenge Certificates were offered for the breed (Minor Puppy, Special Minor Puppy, Puppy, Special Puppy classes excepted, whether restricted or not). ** For dogs which have not won a First Prize at an Open or Championship Show (Minor Puppy, Special Minor Puppy, Puppy and Special Puppy Classes excepted, whether restricted or not).

UNDERGRADUATE * For dogs which have not won a Challenge Certificate or 3 or more First Prizes at Championship Shows where Challenge Certificates were offered for the breed (Minor Puppy, Special Minor Puppy, Puppy and Special Puppy Classes excepted, whether restricted or not). ** For dogs which have not won 3 or more First Prize at Open or Championship Shows (Minor Puppy, Special Minor Puppy, Puppy and Special Puppy Classes excepted, whether restricted or not).

GRADUATE * For dogs which have not won a Challenge Certificate or 4 or more First Prizes at Championship Shows in Graduate, Post Graduate, Minor Limit, Mid Limit, Limit and Open Classes, whether restricted or not where Challenge Certificates were offered for the breed. ** For dogs which have not won 4 or more First Prizes at Open or Championship Shows in Graduate, Post Graduate, Minor Limit, Mid Limit, Limit and Open Classes, whether restricted or not.

POST GRADUATE * For dogs which have not won a Challenge Certificate or 5 or more First Prizes at Championship Shows in Post Graduate, Minor Limit, Mid Limit, Limit and Open Classes, whether restricted or not where Challenge Certificates were offered for the breed. ** For dogs which have not won 5or more First Prizes at Championship and Open Shows in Post F(A) 39 Graduate, Minor Limit, Mid Limit, Limit and Open Classes, whether restricted or not.

MID LIMIT * For dogs which have not become show Champions under Kennel Club Regulations or under the rules of any governing body recognised by the Kennel Club or won five or more First Prizes in all at Championship Shows in Mid Limit, Limit or Open Classes, confined to the breed, whether restricted or not, at shows where Challenge Certificates were offered for the breed. ** For dogs which have not won 5or more First Prizes in all at Open and Championship Shows in Mid Limit, Limit and Open Classes, confined to the breed, whether restricted or not.

LIMIT * For dogs which have not become show Champions under Kennel Club Regulations or under the rules of any governing body recognised by the Kennel Club or won 7 or more First Prizes in all, at Championship Shows in Limit or Open Classes, confined to the breed, whether restricted or not at shows where Challenge Certificates were offered for the breed. ** For dogs which have not won 7or more First Prizes in all at Open and Championship Shows in Limit and Open Classes, confined to the breed, whether restricted or not.

This article continues after the following advert:


OPEN * For all dogs of the breed for which the class is provided and eligible for entry at the Show

In estimating the number of awards won, all wins up to and including the seventh day before the date of closing of entries shall be counted when entering for any class. Wins in Variety Classes do not count for entry in Breed Classes, but when entering for Variety Classes, wins in both Breed and Variety Classes must be counted. A First Prize does not include a Special Prize of whatever value.

If you get to a show and realise that your dog is in a class for which it is not eligible for you MUST speak to the secretary of the show immediately. They will check the entry form to see if it is your error or a printer error and you will then be transferred into the class for which you are eligible regardless of who is as fault. If you are late and miss the class (even if you are not eligible for the class) you will not be transferred, you must speak to the secretary and get the transfer arranged beforehand.

The other limiting element that people often miss is that the definitions often mention owner and handler. This is mainly concerning special beginners or beginners classes. Ensure that you are aware of these restrictions as it applies to the people not the dogs.

I have seen CC’s and group placings revoked– it is sad for the exhibitor and the judge because these dogs are obviously of excellent quality and a mistake by the person doing the entries can result in this. Repeat offenders can and have been fined. It is also sad for the people in the “reserve” position – they miss the moment of glory so to speak and receiving awards retrospectively can be a little hollow.

If you withdraw from breed competition you cannot then enter further competition. For example if you win a puppy class and then withdraw from the post graduate class you cannot then challenge for best puppy or be present in any further classes. Also, if you withdraw from a class and then go into another class and win it that win is forfeit. If you accidently miss a class then you are also not eligible to enter further classes. If a judge has asked you to withdraw or dismissed you from the ring you are therefore not eligible for further competition.

The only time you can withdraw is to remain unbeaten as best of breed, best veteran and or best puppy (so after the competition of breed judging). Although, the rule has temporarily been changed that best of’s can now go in stakes classes (including AV classes) and if they are beaten (even by the same breed) then you can still be eligible for the group competition. This is why you can sometimes see two of the same breed now in the groups at open shows – in my opinion the KC need to tweak this rule and amend to say that only Best of Breed, Best veteran in breed or Best puppy in breed awarded from breed classes ONLY are eligible for the group competition. I just feel that if societies have made the effort to put breed classes on and source breed listed judges then it is a bit of the smack in the face if a dog that the breed judge did not deem worthy of being best of breed on that particular day goes through under another judge.

Also, where a breed is separately classified and the dogs and bitches are together in the same classes, a Best of Breed may be declared but only from those dogs which have received a first place in a breed class at the show, followed by Reserve Best of Breed. Best Puppy in Breed is then selected from all the puppies unbeaten by any puppy in the breed. So this could mean that a dog who has only met bitches in the classes can challenge for best dog and win best dog. But if that same dog did not receive a first prize it is not eligible for Best of Breed, although if the bitch that has beaten best dog wins Best of Breed then it is edible for Reserve Best of Breed.

It is important to also note that the only person who can ask an exhibit to leave the ring is the judge! The stewards can inform the judge but they have no ring control – all of that power resides with the judge. The only entity which can revoke awards is the Kennel Club – the only way you can object is to put down the £35 and complain to the KC. They will then investigate and if there has indeed been a breach of the rules they will revoke and reallocate awards. As frustrating as this can be this is the way it has to be done.

If you post your entries, make sure you get proof of posting – if you are challenged on this you need to be able to prove that you did indeed post your entry. If you cannot do this then technically you were not entered and therefore not eligible for competition!

It is for these very reasons it is important for not only judges and stewards to be aware of what the rules are but exhibitors! You can save yourself so much embarrassment and hurt by knowing the winning your dog has done and by knowing the rules.

“The rules of survival never change, whether you are in a desert or in an arena” – Bear Grylls

If there is anything you would like me to discuss or research and write about please do email me or contact me through Facebook. Also, don’t forget to email or call me with your news, results and gossip!

Andrea Keepence-Keyte
andi.keyte@hotmail.co.uk
01386 830908
07960086093


Disclaimer

Remember to click the green Wag or red Growl button below to react to this article, you can also leave a comment below.

React to this article:
Growl
29 Wags
Andrea Keepence-Keyte
I have had pet dogs all of my life, it wasn't until I met my husband and we moved in together that we got our first dog together. I really wanted a Labrador but my sister in law had just bred her beagle bitch and was expecting her first litter and my husband had his heart set on a beagle. So I am afraid to say he is completely to blame for what followed!

We'd love you to leave a comment below.

Articles you've not yet read:

2 Comments

  1. Primavista

    An interesting read and timely reminder of the rules and regs., especially after the recent discussions online regarding mixed class judging.

  2. Beauceron

    Thank you, this cleared up a lot of confusion for is coming from FCI!

Leave a comment