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Table Talk – April 3, 2019

Although there are varying opinions about the value of the National Owner Handled Series to the sport of purebred dogs, I am sure we all agree that the program has been a good way to interest in our sport, and increase participation.  It is important that everyone involved, i.e. exhibitors, judges, show committees, etc. continue to be mindful of the presentation of the event when it is offered at shows.  The very program that can attract new exhibitors to the sport can also scare those same individuals away if not implemented correctly.  Recently at a show owner/handler exhibitors were not called back into the ring and Owner Handled Best of Breed was not awarded for that breed.  When the affected exhibitors questioned the AKC Field Representative, they were told that they should not have left the ring before the Owner/Handled Best of Breed ribbon was awarded.  The exhibitors were dismissed by the steward, left the ring and waited outside the ring to be called back in, which did not happen.  What should the exhibitors have done?  Should they have politely reminded the judge/steward that Owner/Handled Best of Breed had not yet been awarded and they were eligible for the award?  If the gentle reminder did not work, should they have called for the AKC Representative?   Is this the responsibility of the exhibitor or the people in charge of the ring? I wonder what would have happened had the same judge not awarded the overall Best of Breed for this breed? My guess is the rep would have gotten more involved. In this specific circumstance, the owner/handlers did feel slighted (and cheated) and, hopefully, they will continue to participate in the NOHS. I hope that one experience like this will not scare them off.

When show-giving clubs decide to include the National Owner Handled Series event at their shows, perhaps it would be a good idea to put a reminder in the judge’s contracts that they will be expected to award the Owner Handled Best of Breed in each breed that has eligible exhibitors.  In addition, it may be a good idea to remind those being asked to judge the National Owner Handled Series groups to familiarize themselves with the breeds they will be judging in the group competition.  Show giving clubs should be sure to make arrangements with those that are expected to judge the NOHS groups, and not assume everyone is willing to do so.  This will help avoid having disinterested individuals judging the NOHS groups.  There have been several issues with people that judge the National Owner Handler Series groups not being familiar with the breed standards, and thereby not knowing the correct way to examine the dogs.  Examples include counting teeth on breeds that do not have full dentition in the breed standard, asking ramp dogs to go on the table, being more aggressive than necessary while checking bites or eyes, etc.  If everyone (exhibitors and judges) is mindful that a negative experience can send an up and coming show dog on a downward spiral, we may all be better off.  If those who are given the opportunity to judge not only National Owner Handled Series groups, but the 4-6 month puppy competition as well, take the time to familiarize themselves with the standards of the breeds they are going to judge, and the exhibitors maintain awareness that the individual judging may not be experienced and may need a bit of helpful advice, some of these negative situations hopefully can be avoided.  If we all do our part, we can continue to grow the program, and reap the benefits of increased participation in our sport.

I heard through the grapevine that this past weekend in Nevada a Merle French Bulldog was disqualified due to color; however, a blue Frenchie was awarded Reserve Winners Dog, which is also a color disqualification.  When situations such as this arise, exhibitors should not hesitate to go to the AKC Field Representative and report such judging mishaps. If the judge does not know the standard, they should not be awarding points.

The fancy lost a friend and mentor in the passing of JD Jones.  Don started his career in purebred dogs with a Schipperke but was better known as a German Shepherd fancier and popular AKC judge.  He was a great friend and mentor to many and the fancy will miss him greatly.  Godspeed, my friend.

On March 29th lightning struck Joe and Julie Hayes’ kennel in Waynesville, MO and their kennel, home, belongings and all but 14 of their dogs were lost.  The fancy once again has joined together to offer them support and assistance.  Those who wish to help can donate to their GoFundMe campaign.

I was very sorry to hear that David Haddock’s brother, Brad, passed away.  Our thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time, my friend.

Happy Anniversary to Dennis and Judy Melear, who celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary.  I’m sorry I didn’t see you in Louisville this year for more than a split second!

A very special Happy Birthday to Carol Harris who recently celebrated her 97th birthday!  Many more years of health and happiness to you my friend! You are a treasure to our sport.

Also celebrating birthdays this week are:  Stan Matsumoto, Tracy Swinson, Peggy McDill, Shelby Roberts, Carol Phillips, Sarah Perchick, Justin Van Deren, David Frei, Erin Karst, Chris Jones, Barb Ohmann, Lesli Smith, Ken Murray, Norm Fargo and Ron Scott.

There are so many 4- and 5-day circuits out there, my friends, please pace yourself and be careful. Your dogs will appreciate it, too.  Stop and smell the Cherry Blossoms and save time to chat with a spectator or two.

Cheers, my friends!  Until next time…

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Posted by on Apr 3 2019. Filed under Current Articles, Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  • August 2020