Scotland’s first YKC judges workshop by Marina Scott

Created: 06/10/2011

Scotland’s first YKC judges workshop by Marina Scott

SCOTLAND’S young dog enthusiasts were put to the test last month at the Young Kennel Club’s ‘Introduction to Judging’ workshop which was held at Lanark Agriculture Centre. Twelve promising young dog show judges from around Scotland took part in the workshop on Saturday September 17, with the day designed to help attendees learn the basics of judging pedigree dogs in breed competitions.
One of the attendees, Caitlin Forbes, sent this report to Paws…
SATURDAY  4.15am, another early start. It would take around four hours to travel to one of our local show grounds in Lanark, which would be home to the YKCs Introduction to Judging Seminar. This was the YKCs second judging seminar but first ever to be held in Scotland. It was apparent from the start of day that even though the day would be quite full-on it was also to be light hearted and fun, but most of all informative.
The day started with a hands-on seminar for those who hadn’t already passed. There was a 100 per cent pass rate (aren’t we smart in Scotland?).
We were then introduced to Steve Dean, the chairman of the Kennel Club, but in actual fact is a real person, who gave a talk on the anatomy of the dog. He treated us all like adults and is a really good speaker, due to this we all learnt a lot and I doubt any of us will be forgetting Steve Dean’s rules to remember in a hurry.
After learning a lot of the basics of the dog, we had a tea break and informal chat with Steve and among ourselves.
Gerald King, chairman of Crufts, then gave a presentation on ring procedure and ring presence. This talk taught us the job of the judge, steward and the competitors. There were so many things to remember, but he was so impressed with us that we all got an invite to steward at Crufts.
However, we were in Scotland and it did rain... A lot. The start of the heavy rain (so heavy it bounced off the ground) saw the start of the practical session with Valerie Foss, chair of the YKC and the 2010 Crufts BIS judge, this session was for us to put what we had learnt into practise. It was amazing. We had 13 different dogs to go over, 11 of which were different breeds which spanned over the seven groups.
Among these beautiful dogs was the 2010 Crufts BIS winner Yogi, and yes I did get overly excited over this, a few of us got to stand Yogi for photos and a group of us got to have a hug as well. There was also the Irish Water Spaniel, Merlin, who I got to stand, and who went on to win best in show at Darlington and just recently, G1 at Belfast. A big thanks to Stuart Plane, Murray Armstrong, Bert Easdon, Pat Dufty, Frank White, Chloe Auld and John Thirwell who all took dogs for us to go over and thanks to David Guy for sending a Griffon up country for us as well. And a massive thanks to everyone who helped set up the workshop and to all the speakers who gave their presentations. I would recommend this workshop to any young person who wishes to judge or even to any young person who wants to further their knowledge of the dog show world.
Here we come show ring, the judges of tomorrow are in training.

View the full article and all the pages from the JHA semi-final report here