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IMHO – Three Ways To Improve The NOHS Experience

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126 – April 2019

by Elaine Lessig

We asked experienced AKC judges two questions about current issues affecting our sport. Here’s what they had to say…

ELAINE LESSIG – AKC JUDGE

Name and explain the three greatest assets of the NOHS from your personal perspective.

For me the greatest asset of the National Owner-Handled Series (NOHS) is the exhibitors who enjoy the competition. This format provides them with the opportunity to showcase the dogs they own and show to fellow exhibitors and spectators. For the owner-handlers who also breed the dogs they show, the quality of their breeding program can be recognized to a greater degree than ever before. Friendships develop in this environment that brings a new vibrancy to the show scene. Now we all appreciate that these assets are achieved in both the breed ring and the group ring. It has been exciting to see the program grow and expand.

From a judge’s point of view, describe three ways to improve the NOHS experience for the exhibitors.

All programs in our show world can and should improve over time. The first improvement would require NOHS judges to be approved for the group/groups they judge in conformation and NOHS. Judges should come to the NOHS with the same knowledge and experience base as they have in the regular conformation ring. Exhibitors in both rings warrant that respect. As NOHS participation has grown by leaps and bounds, we need to recogize this growth with increased ring size.

There is a definite need to provide the adequate space required to properly examine and gait each exhibit. Presently, that does not always happen. Judges’ schedules should be adjusted to accom- modate and provide ample time to do a thorough job before and after the NOHS assignment. This has become one of the greatest assets to our show scene. Let’s cherish it!

DAVID KITTREDGE – AKC JUDGE

Name and explain the three greatest assets of the NOHS from your personal perspective.

The most obvious benefit is the increase in amateur exhibitor participation in the sport.

As judges, we have all seen an in- crease in breed-level participation, due to both the Grand Championship and the NOHS programs. This is a healthy trend for clubs, exhibitors and judges alike.

Many worthy dogs are “retired” upon finishing their championships, because of the cost of mounting a professional campaign. This program allows exhibitors unable to campaign a dog the opportunity to showcase their breeding program. NOHS al- lows many of these dogs to be seen and to achieve.

The program allows for recognizable achievement on a more level playing field. It is an opportunity for owner-handlers to compete with their peers and have those accomplishments recognized and rewarded.

From a judge’s point of view, describe three ways to improve the NOHS experience for the exhibitors.

In general, my three points can all be lumped into a category called treating the process with importance and respect.

First and foremost, the best way to foster interest and enthusi- asm for this program is to provide for adjudication by knowledge- able and interested judges. The AKC has taken some steps to reduce the burden on judges, but it’s not necessarily knowledge- based. I personally now tell clubs that I am willing and honored to judge NOHS groups for the three groups I currently judge in. Exhibitors deserve to be judged by those who have studied and have had experience in their breed and group.

Secondly, the show-giving clubs and superintendents need to schedule judging in a manner that accommodates NOHS group judging and doesn’t treat it as an afterthought. A proper schedule needs to be posted and announcements regarding the order and location of each activity made.

Click the link below to read more from AKC Judges, DAVID KITTREDGE and CLAIRE (KITTY) STEIDEL.

Click here to read the complete article
126 – April 2019

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=161165

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