The North East of England Toydog Society and the Scottish Utility Breeds Club have become the first registered societies to be awarded group championship show status for over 35 years, The Kennel Club has announced.
With effect from 2024, the two societies will hold their group championship show in the North East and Scotland respectively and these will carry the usual Crufts qualifications.
The creation of these new championship shows came about as a result of the work undertaken by the project group developing a new model for Challenge Certificate (CC) allocation. It noted that entries in these groups had held up significantly better than in other groups, and therefore sufficient sets of CCs would be available to make a new show in each group viable. These CCs are in addition to those to be allocated to the breed clubs and general championship shows which will be announced in due course in line with the announcement for current general and group championship shows.
The Board agreed in principle to creating two additional group championships for the Toy and Utility groups and the Show Executive Committee (SEC) was asked to consider this. Following the usual process, relevant group open show societies were contacted and those which were interested were requested to submit an application.
In total, eight applications were received and following consideration of their initial applications the SEC selected a number of societies to move forward for further consideration. In addition, the SEC selected several of its members to form an interview panel for the subsequent stages of the selection process.
In agreeing to grant championship status to the North East of England Toydog Society for 2024, the Board requires the society to involve the Darlington Dog Show Society Ltd in its arrangements, as its local all-breed championship show society. The society is also required to schedule a significant number of partnership shows to bring added value to the show for exhibitors. The society’s future championship status will be subject to the success of its first show.
Similarly, the Scottish Utility Breeds Club has been allocated championship status for 2024 involving its local all-breed championship show society, the Scottish Kennel Club as mentor to as far as possible ensure a successful show. Championship status for further years will be subject to the success of its first show. The society has similarly been required to schedule a significant number of partnership shows.
Wendy Waters, Secretary of the North East of England Toydog Society, gave the society’s reaction to the decision: “We are absolutely delighted that The Kennel Club has granted us championship status. We look forward to entering this new chapter in the history of our society and we now turn our sights to holding our first championship show in 2024, which is such an exciting prospect.”
Jane Gregory, Secretary of the Scottish Utility Breeds Club, spoke of the club’s reaction to the news: “This is such a momentous decision made by The Kennel Club for our club. We are delighted to receive this news and thank everyone who has worked so hard in making the club's application and look forward to staging our first championship show in 2024 when a friendly Scottish welcome will be given to exhibitors from near and far.”
Said Tony Allcock OBE, Chairman of The Kennel Club: “The Kennel Club Board is very pleased to grant championship status to these two group societies. It speaks volumes that the last time this happened was in 1985, which just goes to prove that The Kennel Club does not undertake these changes without careful consideration. However, with the new CC allocation model in place, and toydog and utility CCs looking for suitable ‘homes’, this decision will no doubt be good news for exhibitors in the breeds in these two groups. I send my sincere congratulations to both Societies”