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NOHS – Five Years Later

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234 – November/December, 2017

BY CAROLINE COILE

When the AKC announced six years ago they were going to start a separate competition just for owner-handlers, it seemed too good to be true for many who felt they were up against impossible odds. I envisioned it as an extremely prestigious event that would be held at select large shows, per- haps only three or four per region per year. AKC’s vision was to offer it at as many shows as possible. While their solution made more sense from the viewpoint of encouraging owner-handlers to enter more shows, it probably has not helped raise the status of owner-handlers overall.

The National Owner Handled Series has undergone many changes since it was initiated. I’ve competed in it (ended up #2 amongst all breeds one year) so I have a lot of opinions. But I also drew on fellow NOHS competitors —-and non-competitors—- for their opinions of how NOHS has changed, and what still needs to change, to make it better.

The last time I wrote such an article the main complaints received were 1) competitors didn’t like showing under the same judge for NOHS and regular groups. The AKC now says: “A judge cannot be assigned the NOHS Group on the same day they are assigned that same group for the all-breed/limited- breed show.” 2) Competitors didn’t like having one person judge the entire event, or judges who had no experience in their group. The AKC now says: “The same judge cannot be used to do all the NOHS Groups at an event” and “A judge must be approved (including permit judges) for at least one breed in the group to judge the AKC NOHS Group, unless they are ap- proved for 1 full group then they may judge any AKC NOHS Group.” 3) Competitors didn’t like showing in small breed rings instead of large group rings. The AKC now says: “Larger rings must be used for the NOHS Group competition. It is advisable to convert two adjacent rings into one large ring as is often done for the regular groups.”

Many exhibitors complained about the eligibility requirements, namely many who had once had a stint as a professional hander were excluded. That rule was changed so that anyone who had not handled professionally within the last five years could show in NOHS. Some exhibitors feared that was opening the door for some of our more famous ex-handlers-now-judges to show, but to my knowledge none has done so and, really, why would they?

Click here to read the complete article
234 – November/December, 2017

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=135174

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