Dog Focus Features

Sweeping Changes Revitalises Show Scene

Sweeping Changes Revitalises Show Scene

In the biggest shake-up to the open show scene for more than a generation, the Kennel Club has announced new measures to increase interest in this important and essential side of dog showing through the introduction of three new awards. In addition, the qualifications for the Junior Warrant award and the criteria for premier open shows have been changed to encourage more entries and give confidence to show organisers to schedule more classes and more breeds. There are also moves to bring Canine Activity back into Cities and towns and encourage dog owners generally to become involved through Companion Shows, "have a go " Agility and fun events sponsored by the Kennel Club. Mark Cocozza, chairman of the working party, said: "With these reforms, we want people to look at the wider picture. Regulations have been relaxed, eligibility for awards expanded and simplified and the awards and titles are now available throughout a dog"s showing career, all with the aim of encouraging more exhibitors at open shows. The Kennel Club can put the infrastructure in place, but in the final analysis, the success of a show very much depends upon the willingness of the society to put on a good event and upon exhibitors supporting it. Three new awards, being introduced in 2019, are the Show Certificate of Excellence, Open Show Winners title and Veteran Warrant.
"So pleased to read that IR breeds can now earn an award. This will give a boost to exhibitors, and hopefully encourage societies to schedule IR classes on a regular basis." - Sheila Atter

" I'm sure this will encourage and I'm pleased to see an age stipulation in place too making it a fair shout for all breeds whatever their rate of maturity" - Geraldine Cove-Print

" At last! I can imagine owners of IR dogs will be over the moon that their dogs will finally be able to gain some recognition for their qualities, and this should bring a much needed boost to entries at open shows. Certificate of Excellence to the KC! " - Jay Horgan

"Interesting concept, a shame that Rare and Imported Register breeds can"t win it, as they can"t earn a JW. " - Sheila Atter

"I can see a rolling up of sleeves to be the first OSW. Again good for entries and the show societies just need to make the influx welcome so they come back again!" - Geraldine Cove-Print

" Everyone loves a title and this will give exhibitors something new but still meaningful to work towards. Some really joined up thinking from the Kennel Club. Hooray! " - Jay Horgan

"In a breed like mine, where nearly all our top winners are veterans this will, I'm sure, be very popular. My one worry is that we might see dogs that really should have been left at home being dragged around shows in the hopes of winning their last few points. Why is this not open to IR breeds? " - Sheila Atter

"Am I the only person who immediately thought Camper Van? Just as well they chose not to go with Veteran Diploma.Like Sheila I am concerned that dogs that really should be at home by the fire will be carted round for just one more point as we already see with jaded juniors. Perhaps this is where Judges have to get their big girl pants on and be honest with the exhibitors instead of the usual enjoying her day out?" - Geraldine Cove-Print

"This is very close to my heart as Veterans are so often an afterthought with the 'next new puppy'always stealing the limelight. With the focus on health and longevity across all breeds (if not, why not?!), this new title will be a great benchmark of the real quality of a kennel. Dust off the oldies! - Jay Horgan

Mark Cocozza, chairman of the working party, said: "With these reforms, we want people to look at the wider picture. Regulations have been relaxed, eligibility for awards expanded and simplified and the awards and titles are now available throughout a dog"s showing career, all with the aim of encouraging more exhibitors at open shows. The Kennel Club can put the infrastructure in place, but in the final analysis, the success of a show very much depends upon the willingness of the society to put on a good event and upon exhibitors supporting it.

"These enhancements to the show scene follow on from previously announced initiatives including the relaxation of the "beaten dog" regulation, the allowing of judges not on B lists to judge 4(6) classes of a breed at open shows provided a puppy class is scheduled, and the requirement for breed clubs to work with general open show societies to schedule classes where input on the choice of judge will be offered. We are hopeful that these initiatives will make exhibiting at open shows a much more attractive prospect in the coming years."

The Kennel Club has further announced that the winner of Best Imported Register will be eligible to compete in the group at open and championship shows and, in a move designed to encourage novice exhibitors, the Kennel Club is to sponsor a Special Beginner Group competition, for a two-year trial, at participating general and group championship shows as of 2018.

In a further move, general canine societies can now choose whether to schedule a Premier Open Show without having to achieve the established five class average. The show must be run on the group system and schedule 50 per cent or more of the recognised breeds in each group. Dogs placed 1st to 4th in the group and 1st to 4th in the puppy group will all qualify for Crufts. This along with the recently announced requirement for breed clubs to sponsor classes will provide more opportunities for exhibitors to qualify for Crufts and more opportunities for judges to gain valuable hands-on experience.

Kennel Club Show Regulations have been changed, with effect from 1st January 2018, to formalise the current suspensions to allow dogs to be entered into variety classes without having to have been exhibited in a breed class. These changes also include allowing dogs declared Best of Breed, Best Any Variety Not Separately Classified but beaten in variety classes to challenge for the group and best in show, and similarly beaten puppies may challenge for the puppy group and best puppy in show.

The Best Puppy regulations have been simplified and are now the same for open and championship shows. Up to now there were different eligibility regulations at these types of show. The eligibility for Best in Show at open shows not judged on the group system is now the same as at shows judged on the group system - only dogs declared best of breed and best AVNSC are eligible to compete for best in show.

The working party has also changed the Best in Group regulation to allow dogs declared Best Imported Register to compete in the relevant group and/or Best in Show competition at both open and championship shows. This is an improvement for these breeds which will no longer have to be satisfied with a mere lap of honour in the group ring.

Structural Changes

Mark Cocozza said: "This open show shake-up represents the change which people have been telling us they wanted throughout a lengthy consultation process. Now the changes have been announced, we very much hope that everyone will work together to use these innovations to revitalise entries at open shows. We also hope that show societies, working alongside breed clubs, will provide the opportunities for exhibitors to work towards these new titles and awards and that exhibitors will increase their support for open shows.

"We have amended awards, brought in new ones and tried to be as inclusive as possible; for example, by allowing the Imported Register breeds to be able to work towards gaining the new ShCEx title and allowing points to be gained from variety classes at open shows. This in turn will give judges the opportunity to learn about the numerically smaller breeds while at the same time giving the breeds themselves valuable exposure. We are also hopeful that show societies will be encouraged to schedule more classes for breeds such as these.

"But these changes will only be effective in improving the open show scene if everyone works together. The Kennel Club can provide the tools for the holding of successful shows, but unless the shows are well supported by the exhibitors and well run by the show societies, the reality may be rather different.

"The breed clubs also have a part to play in this whole process - by encouraging show societies to give their breed a judge of their choosing and an attractive classification and by publicising the show to their membership. Together we can all make a difference if the drive to succeed is truly there. These changes are aimed at making open shows as thriving as they were in previous decades."

The Junior Warrant will offer more points from more classes to improve opportunities for numerically smaller breeds to gain their JW title. There will be more points to be won at open shows but fewer dogs to beat to gain the point, and exhibitors can begin working towards the new-style Junior Warrant as of 2018 with any puppy born on or after 1st July 2017.
"Badly needed - it is impossible under the present points system for a JW to be won in many breeds. This might make it possible!" - Sheila Atter

"OK, well that means at least seven visits to an Open show. Excellent news for some breeds" - Geraldine Cove-Print

"Goodness me. The Kennel Club have been listening hard. How refreshing that these changes are not just little tinkerings but are actually meaningful. It seemed quite counter-intuitive that the KC had previously changed the JW scheme ostensibly to prevent people over-showing young dogs, whilst simultaneously requiring them to beat at least two others in the class for points. This was virtually impossible in low entry areas and actually meant owners trawling the country to find shows with sufficient entry numbers. This change will have a big impact on those exhibitors" - Jay Horgan

"This will have a massive effect north of the Border where they already strive to put on as many classes as possible without incurring extra fees, they can now apply for Premier Show status instead of being in the frozen out North" "And the best thing about this? It will not be a competition sidelined into a minor ring , newbies will get a taste of success and encouragement" - Geraldine Cove-Print
"Brilliant! A little bit of recognition at last for some of the most dedicated exhibitors on the show circuit." - Sheila Atter

"Classes averages really did constipate the system and thrilled to see Best IR able to compete in the group" - Geraldine Cove-Print

The Changes in Detail

Revised Junior Warrant Qualifications

Eligibility Criteria A dog must gain 25 points whilst it was between the ages of 6 and 18 months. An application for a Junior Warrant should be made by the dog"s registered owner at the time of qualification. An application will be considered up to six months after the date of qualification. A minimum of 3 points must be won at Championship Shows where Challenge Certificates are on offer for the breed. A minimum of 7 points must be won at Open Shows or Championship Shows where Challenge Certificates are NOT on offer for the breed. Only one point may be claimed from any one Open Show or a Championship Show where Challenge Certificates are NOT on offer for the breed. Junior Warrant holders will be awarded a Kennel Club Stud Book Number. The title "JW" may be used after the name of the dog on show entries and in catalogues. Championship Shows - Scale of Points Breeds scheduled with Challenge Certificates Junior Warrant points may be claimed from classes or for awards where Challenge Certificates are on offer for the breed provided three or more dogs of the breed were present Available points:
- 3 points for each First Prize awarded in a Breed Class where Challenge Certificates are on offer
- 3 points awarded for Best of Breed where Challenge Certificates are on offer (only valid if no Junior Warrant points are gained by the dog by winning a breed class or breed classes at the show) - 3 points for Best Puppy in Breed where Challenge Certificates are on offer (only valid if the puppy has beaten two other puppies of any sex) Breeds scheduled where Challenge Certificates are NOT on offer Only one Junior Warrant point may be claimed from classes or for awards where Challenge Certificates are NOT on offer for the breed provided two or more dogs of the breed were present; Available points:

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- 1 point for a First Prize awarded in a Breed Class where Challenge Certificates are NOT on offer provided two dogs are present
- 1 point awarded for Best of Breed where Challenge Certificates are NOT on offer (only valid if no Junior Warrant point was gained by the dog winning a breed class at the show)
- 1 point for Best Puppy in Breed where Challenge Certificates are NOT on offer (only valid if the puppy has beaten one other puppy of either sex) (only valid if no Junior Warrant point was gained by the dog winning a breed class at the show) Any Variety Not Separately Classified One Junior Warrant point may be claimed from AVNSC classes or awards provided two or more dogs were present in AVNSC Available points:
- 1 point for a First Prize awarded in an Any Variety Not Separately Classified class
- 1 point awarded for Best Any Variety Not Separately Classified (only valid if no Junior Warrant point was gained by the dog winning an Any Variety Not Separately Classified class at the show)
- 1 point for Best AVNSC Puppy (only valid if the puppy has beaten one other puppy of any sex) (only valid if no Junior Warrant point was gained by the dog winning an Any Variety Not Separately Classified class at the show) Notes: Exhibitors may count a dog as having been present in a class provided it was entered in that class and was present in its first class at the show. Best of Breed/Best AVNSC and Best Puppy in Breed/AVNSC - only one claim can be made where a dog has been declared both Best Puppy in Breed/AVNSC and Best of Breed/AVNSC. Open Show - Scale of Points Breed classes Junior Warrant points cannot be claimed from classes or for awards at Open Shows scheduling the breed with less than two dogs of the breed present. Junior Warrant points are only valid if the dog has beaten one other dog in the breed. Available points:
- 1 point for a First Prize awarded in a Breed Class
- 1 point awarded for Best of Breed (only valid if no Junior Warrant points are gained by the dog winning a breed class at the show)
- 1 point for Best Puppy in Breed (only valid if the puppy has beaten one other puppy of either sex) Any Variety Not Separately Classified Classes/Any Variety Classes Junior Warrant points cannot be claimed from AVNSC or AV classes or for awards with less than two dogs present. Junior Warrant points are only valid if the dog has beaten one other dog in AVNSC/AV. Available points:
- 1 point for a First Prize awarded in an Any Variety Not Separately Classified Class
- 1 point awarded for Best Any Variety Not Separately Classified (only valid if no Junior Warrant points are gained by the dog winning an Any Variety Not Separately Classified class at the show)
- 1 point for Best AVNSC Puppy (only valid if the puppy has beaten one other puppy of any sex)
- 1 point for a First Prize awarded in an Any Variety class Notes: Exhibitors may count a dog as having been present in a class provided it was entered in that class and was present in its first class at the show. Best of Breed/Best AVNSC and Best Puppy in Breed/AVNSC - only one claim can be made where a dog has been declared both Best Puppy in Breed/AVNSC and Best of Breed/AVNSC. Only one point may be claimed from any one Open Show.

Introduction of Show Certificate of Excellence (ShCEx)

The Show Certificate of Excellence will replace the existing Show Certificate of Merit, subject to a transition period as outlined below. The points system will be based on that applying to the current Show Certificate of Merit, but subject to the following significant changes:
- A Show Certificate of Excellence will be issued to a dog achieving 50 points at General and Group Open shows. (Note: number of points required for existing Show Certificate of Merit is 25).
- Points to be gained by a dog aged 18 months and over. The age stipulation is to provide for a range of awards for which a dog may qualify over the course of its life i.e. Junior Warrant, Show Certificate of Excellence, and Veteran Warrant. (Note: the existing Show Certificate of Merit is not time sensitive and no minimum age is stipulated). Scale of points will be as follows: A minimum of five points must be won in Group competition at show(s) judged on the group system.

1. Five points for Best in Show at a General Open Show or Group Open Show judged on the Group system.

2. Three points for Reserve Best in Show at a General Open Show or Group Open Show judged on the Group system.

3. Nine points for Best in Show at a General Open Show not judged on the Group system.

4. Seven points for Reserve Best in Show at a General Open Show not judged on the Group system

5. Five points for Best in Show at a Group Open Show not judged on the Group system

6. Four points for Reserve Best in Show at a Group Open Show not judged on the Group system

7. Group placings will obtain the following points (Multi Group Shows only):

1st - four points

2nd - three points

3rd - two points

4th - one point

8. One point for Best Any Variety Not Separately Classified. (AVNSC Hound, Gundog etc. winner of overall Best AVNSC)

9. One point for Best AV Imported Register

10. One point for Best of Breed

11. Only points won after 1 January 2018 may be counted towards this award The Title "ShCEx" may be used after the name of the dog on show entries and in catalogues. Proposed transition period In order to accommodate exhibitors who have already accumulated points towards a Show Certificate of Merit and who wish to proceed with a claim for that award, the following arrangements apply: Claims for Show Certificate of Merit will be accepted up to 31 December 2018. Claims received after that date will not be processed. Points towards Show Certificate of Excellence may be counted from awards received at shows held on or after 1 January 2018. Points may not be counted twice, i.e. if used to claim a Show Certificate of Merit, such points may not be used in any subsequent claim for a Show Certificate of Excellence. If an exhibitor is found to have claimed for both the Show Certificate of Merit and the Show Certificate of Excellence using the same points, awards may be removed.

Introduction of a Veteran Warrant (VW)

The Kennel Club"s view is that the introduction of a separate award for veterans will encourage exhibitors to enter additional dogs at general open shows. It will also form part of a range of awards available to a dog throughout its showing career. The objective being to support entries at open shows, points may only be claimed from general open shows and no points will be available at championship shows. Accordingly, no Stud Book number will be issued to dogs awarded a Veteran Warrant. Claims for a Veteran Warrant will be made via an online claim form, available in due course. Scale of points A total of 25 points, in line with the requirements of the Junior Warrant award, will be required to claim a Veteran Warrant. Points may be claimed from general open shows only, from AV Veteran, or Veteran Stakes classes. Points may not be claimed from breed-specific Veteran classes or from AVNSC Veteran classes. Points will be available as follows:

1st place - 4 points

2nd place - 3 points

3rd place - 2 points

4th place - 1 point

Points may only be claimed for dogs aged seven years or over on the first day of the show. No maximum age has been specified. The Kennel Club is of the view that the exhibition of older dogs should be left to the discretion of exhibitors, noting that there are significant differences across breeds. Only one claim may be made from each show. The Title "VW" may be used after the name of the dog on show entries and in catalogues.

Introduction of Open Show Winner Title (OSW)

A dog attaining both the Junior Warrant (under the new system) and its Show Certificate of Excellence award will be awarded the "Open Show Winners" Title which may be used in front of a dog"s name.

Revised Criteria for Premier Open Shows

Premier Open show status will be granted to any shows scheduling 50% or more of the breeds separately classified in each group, this will only apply to shows held on the group system, non-group shows will not be eligible for premier show status. Dogs placed 1-4 in each group, and 1-4 in each puppy group, will qualify for Crufts the following year, as a result of which more dogs will gain opportunities to qualify for Crufts.


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1 Comments

  1. talesin

    Would also like to see a Champion ONLY class at open and Ch shows in breed classes. Too often there has been a worthy champion winning every CC at General Championship and Breed Shows and brings down entries especially in small numerical breeds. Bring in a Champion Only class and give a new title for the winners to compete for an eventual Supreme Champion competition at the end of each year. This will encourage more exhibitors to compete and NOT make 'cheap' Champions as has been mooted before now. Another way to encourage more exhibitors would be to change the criteria for awarding CC's and have for example, 3 Reserve CC's count towards a full CC?

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