Maximising entries & minimising costs
The Kennel Club General Committee has approved a recommendation from the Dog Show Promotion Working Party to introduce an additional six new all-breed championship shows, on a three year trial basis, which will take effect from 2019.
The new all-breed shows will be Bath Canine Society, Darlington Dog Show Society, Ladies Kennel Association, Leeds City & District Canine Association, Manchester Dog Show Society and Windsor Dog Show Society.
The working party was conscious of the feedback it received from the surveys and focus groups it conducted at the start of its work, and in particular the fact that exhibitors wanted more competition nearer home and on weekend dates. As a result, the working party's main focus in making this recommendation has been to encourage the retention of existing exhibitors by offering more opportunities to compete for a Challenge Certificate across the country and throughout the year. The recommendations enhance the show scene and consequently offer exhibitors a fair geographical spread of shows, a fair spread of shows throughout the year and a fairer spread of weekend group rotations.
In 2019, 2020 and 2021, there will now be ten all-breed championship shows in a calendar year, which includes the above mentioned shows as well as the established all-breed shows: Crufts, Birmingham National, Scottish Kennel Club (May) and Welsh Kennel Club, all of which will be required to abide by the following criteria from 2019:
- The show cannot exceed the established number of days of its current championship show
- The group days must rotate each year to provide each group with the opportunity of a weekend day
- Initiatives should be in place to enhance the exhibitors' experiences of the show and the promotion of Kennel Club aims and objectives
- The society should offer partnership shows to other registered clubs and societies
- Classes must be scheduled for all breeds allocated Challenge Certificates by the Kennel Club
From 2019, these all-breed shows will have exclusivity over their show date and no breed club championship show dates will be approved during the course of these shows.
The working party is keen to encourage partnership championship shows and recognises that there are, in some cases, very good reasons for clubs to hold their championship shows on a back-to-back basis with a general or group championship show. Therefore there are two exceptions to this new policy - breed club championship show dates will be approved if held on the same date and same venue as the all-breed championship show, or where the breed club championship show is held on the day before or the day after the CCs are scheduled at the all-breed show and the club's venue is a reasonable distance from the all-breed show.
The working party is of the view that introducing this new show date approval policy will have a positive effect on show entries by encouraging breed clubs to hold their shows alongside the all-breed show to maximise entries for both shows, as well as minimising costs for the exhibitor and the potential to improve finances for the breed club.
The allocation of all-breed status to ten shows, and the proposed allocation of CCs to the remaining regional general and group championship shows, is subject to a three-year trial period, during which the working party will be monitoring on a regular basis.
During the wide ranging discussions on the working party's proposals, the General Committee directed that special consideration be given to the allocation of CCs to numerically small breeds to ensure that the additional CCs for these breeds were reasonably proportionate to the number of dogs being exhibited. The CCs allocated for these breeds to the six new all-breed shows were therefore moved from those previously allocated to the regional general and group championship shows.
However, in doing so, the working party considered it important that as far as possible these particular general and group championship shows must maintain their viability. Therefore it was agreed that as 'compensation' for losing CCs for numerically small breeds, each show society should receive an allocation of CCs for numerically larger breeds. Consequently these shows will also benefit from this new allocation.
The working party is confident that the removal of CCs for numerically small breeds from regional general championship shows, would prove financially advantageous for these shows. It would remove the necessity for them to schedule classes for breeds which did not attract good entries but required considerable input in resources, for example selecting and appointing judges and their subsequent travel costs. Removing such breeds and allocating the CCs to the all-breed shows, and replacing them with numerically stronger breeds, should attract good entries and therefore have a positive effect on each show's finances.
The creation of these new all-breed shows has resulted in around 260 extra sets of CCs being added to a total allocation of just over 3,500 sets of CCs across 163 breeds; this is approximately a seven per cent increase on the 2018 allocation. This is fewer than would have been needed to create the six new all-breed shows without any benefit to the remaining general and group championship shows.
No breed club CCs have been affected by this new allocation, and the breed club allocation will continue to be reviewed on an annual basis.
During its discussions on this proposal, the working party noted there were a number of breeds with a high number of clubs but where the breed's show entries were falling. Whilst strongly encouraging breed clubs to enter into partnership shows, the working party will be entering into discussions with breed clubs to discuss ways to increase show entries whilst continuing to offer exhibitors the same number of opportunities to compete for a CC. These consultations are likely to start during the summer.