WELL WASNíT Crufts fun! I certainly enjoyed it and Iím sure you did too. We are lucky that the worldís greatest dog show is ours to be a part of. The Young Kennel Club ring ran like clockwork and full marks to the team of seniors who worked hard to achieve this and also to those who manned the YKC desk so well throughout the show.
Iím sure youíll also all want to join me in congratulating Lucy Smith on the birth of her baby boy just before the start of the show. I think Iím right in saying that he becomes the first YKC member of the newly launched Rufus Club, for new born to six years. We missed you at Crufts Lucy but you didnít need to worry about the show going on with Pat Dufty and Ray Morland keeping their eyes on the ring and Jane Fullbrook and Claire Tuck in the office and anywhere else needed, things were always going to be fine.
Watching the groups and other finals it was so good to see both current juniors and juniors of previous generations doing so well and I couldnít help noticing a few who now form part of the Crufts excellent stewarding team.
For those of you who were just spectating this year, why donít you have a go at qualifying yourself for one of next yearís YKC finals. The preliminary rounds have already started but itís not too late to join and start competing. The joining is the easy bit. The annual membership fee is £12 and for this you get the right to enter all YKC competitions and a membership pack which gives you details via the beginners guide as to how you can start competing. During the year you will get through the post Fetch, the YKCís quarterly magazine. You can also request a free ticket for yourself for both Discover Dogs which is in London in November and next yearís Crufts. As you can see the £12 membership buys you quite a lot even if you donít want to go to any of the events or enter any of the competitions. As has always been the case you donít have to own or even have the use of a dog to join. The idea is that the club is for any junior from, now, birth to 24 years who has an interest or just a love of dogs.
Range of activities
Having said that competing is great fun and if you can you should have a go. There are competitions across the whole range of activities with dogs and so you can pick and choose what you specialise in and also your dogís capabilities. For those of you who are attending shows the two most obvious are the YKC stakes which are held at most championship shows and YKC handling. With the stakes, if you win a class or are placed behind a dog that has already qualified, you have automatically qualified for this final at Crufts. With the handling you need to look at the published list of qualifiers held at specified championship and open shows. With this competition to qualify for Crufts you have to win your age range class, only a first will do and it must be at a qualifying show and only in a YKC class.
For those whose interest lies away from the breed show ring there is a comprehensive range of obedience qualifiers, agility competitions and now both heelwork to music and grooming, all of which you can train for and enter qualifiers for.
A gentle reminder to those of you who are already YKC members, to enter any of next yearís qualifiers you do need to have renewed your subscription. If you havenít please note the rule is: If you enter a Crufts qualifier and you have not previously paid your membership fee then any award will not count towards qualification for Crufts. Proof of membership fee payment will be required in order for an award to be accepted and confirmed as a Crufts qualification. This is only fair so check and if you havenít paid, get it done!
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