Afghan Hound claims first Show Certificate of Excellence award

One of a number of new titles on offer at open shows

An Afghan Hound, Am Ch Suni Asia Wish Upon A Star by Sumahari ShCM ShCEx, belonging to Sue Virgo of Selby, North Yorkshire is the first dog to claim the new Show Certificate of Excellence (ShCEx) title.

This award was introduced by the Kennel Club at the start of 2019 among a series of measures designed to improve the open show scene. The ShCEx replaces the Show Certificate of Merit (ShCM) award, introduced in 2003, and the major differences are that the new award requires 50 points (instead of 25), points cannot be won before 18 months of age (instead of six months) and Best AV Imported Register wins now count.

For dogs which qualify for the new award, the title ‘ShCEx’ may be used after their name on show entries and in catalogues. Points can be counted for wins from 1 January 2018 onwards.

Other new measures introduced at open shows this year have included the Open Show Winner and Veteran Warrant awards as well as breed supported entry classes.

‘Wizz’ is owned by Sue in partnership with James and Linda Hicks of Florence, Texas, USA who co-bred him in 2014 using frozen semen taken from Sue’s homebred stud dog, Ch Sumahari Starturn JW, born 1996, on Am Dual Ch Asia Soraya Tazi of Suni.

Wizz arrived in the UK in 2016 since when he has performed well at open shows, winning his ShCM title in 2017 as well as eight BIS and four RBIS, among other wins. At championship shows, he has twice won his day’s heat of the Eukanuba Champion Stakes as well as a Reserve CC and Sue hopes to campaign him more now he has matured, in the hope of winning his UK champion title.

Wizz qualified for the ShCEx award by winning two BIS, two RBIS, six hound groups as well as two other group placements.

On attaining the award, Sue said: “Having gained Wizz’s ShCM in 2017, we thought it would be fun to try and gain the new ShCEx award. Little did we know how short the campaign would be. In just 15 weeks and nine shows, he achieved the points. The highlight, other than gaining the final points, must have been winning BIS at the Coventry Ladies’ Kennel Society premier open show on New Year’s Day in 2018, as the entry was more than 1,000 dogs.”

Just to prove he is a dual-purpose dog, Wizz won his Junior Courser title in the US before coming to the UK. The discipline of lure coursing involves chasing an artificial lure and is judged on categories such as follow, speed, agility and endurance. 

On the new ShCEx award, Sue said: “I do hope awards such as this will help to improve the open show scene. With the inclusion of points for Not Separately Classified wins, it means exhibitors do not have to travel further afield to find breed classes and can support their local societies. The fact that the Kennel Club is recognising dogs’ achievements at open show level with the new title, as well as the new Veteran Warrant and Open Show Winner titles, can only help.

“Open shows are massively important for many reasons, not least the chance for judges to hone their craft as well as for novice and seasoned exhibitors alike to have the chance to chat and exchange views on not only their breeds but to see others, in a more relaxed atmosphere than that of championship shows.”

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Kennel Club sends huge congratulations to Sue and Wizz on the achievement of the first ever ShCEx award. 2019 marks the start of a number of measures designed to improve the ‘dog show experience’ for exhibitors at open shows and the enthusiasm of Sue and other competitors augurs well for the future of such events in the UK.

“All breeds are eligible to win this award, including those on the Imported Breed Register, so it will be interesting to see just which breeds claim this title as the year unfolds. 2019 is shaping up to be a very exciting year indeed for the British open show scene.”

More information on the new Show Certificate of Excellence award, including a claim form which outlines the point system, is available on the Kennel Club website. All enquiries should be emailed our team.