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Hacking The Illustrated Standard – with Darle Heck

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108 – April, 2018

By Amy Fernandez and Darle Heck

What’s worse than serving on a Breed Standard committee? How about an Illustrated Standard committee? This has become an essential plank of the purebred education package over the past few decades and many clubs are currently into their second or third revision of this delightful task. It definitely needs to be done. “They are presenting the information to future breeders and judges.” No one understands this better than the neu- tral third party (i.e. the artist) brought on board for the ostensibly straightforward job of transforming this sacrosanct document into a technical manual. Darle Heck is best known as an all breed judge these days. Way before that she earned her stripes grooming, handling, and breeding generations of top winning Scotties and Wires under her Beinnein prefix. Since 2000 she’s also carved out a prominent career as one of the sport’s premier illustrators. Self taught, Darle is a refreshingly logical, frank, no nonsense individual. She seems like the right person to demystify this contentious and confusing venture. Darle says, “I have worked with clubs where the whole process has completely failed, and that’s difficult for all concerned because naturally everyone wants it to succeed.” Everyone goes into it with the same objective, and here’s some hard won advice on reaching that finish line.

Although it may seem like the obvious place to start, Darle’s first suggestion is to hold off hiring the artist. She says, “It’s kind of a soul searching process for the committee to define what they really need to accomplish with this project. They actually have to do a lot of that on their own, which is why I want them to have most of the writing done first. The amplification is the appropriate place to expand on various issues and help to explain certain traits.”

Think about it. Breed evolution never follows a smooth linear trajectory. Generally, it floats through long stretches of stability until something interrupts and redirects that equilibrium. Countless influences may inevitability rock the boat but theoretically, it will never capsize thanks to the breed standard. That pithy description is intended to rein in exaggerations and prevent the breed from running off the rails into the twilight zone of fragmented type.

Click here to read the complete article
108 – April, 2018

Short URL: https://caninechronicle.com/?p=142258

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