‘No process for using replay footage,’ says KC in agility controversy
AN AGILITY enthusiast who is claiming she was eliminated unfairly from the singles competition at Crufts is furious that the Kennel Club will not check film footage which might vindicate her.
Lucy Osborne, who has represented Britain in agility four times in foreign competitions, says footage is available which would prove her German Spitz Klein Radajasa Whirlwind Fling did not commit a foul.
Ms Osborne, who is believed to have spent more than £1,500 qualifying for Crufts by attending nine events across the length and breadth of the country, has written to the KC to ask why the film of such a prestigious event cannot be checked.
But the KC told DOG WORLD that there are no plans to use video footage at Crufts or any other UK agility event to prove or disprove what a dog actually did.
“The judge in the agility singles at Crufts had to make a split second decision, and there currently is no process for using replay footage to confirm a decision, at Crufts or any other agility event,” a spokesman said.
It was in the first and jumping round of the agility singles when Miss Osborne and Fling were eliminated for what was later said to be for missing the 11th pole of 12 in the weaves. Some competitors who have watched film of this say Fling completed the weaves correctly, and when DW looked at a slow-motion version it does appear that Fling does so.
Miss Osborne tried to ask the judge, Bill Glover, why she had been disqualified but claims she was kept away from him by officials.
When DW contacted him Mr Glover declined to comment.
Ms Osborne is now waiting to see if she receives a reply to her letter to the KC. She took to Facebook to explain more about the elimination which took place in the Arena at the NEC on the Friday of Crufts.
“There was total confusion on my face when I turned round on the course to see the judge eliminating Fling after the weave,” she said. “I’d watched her in them and was sure she did them correctly.
“I continued the rest of the course clear and by the end I’d mentally convinced myself that I’d messed up and maybe walked the course wrong. Feeling like a total idiot I asked what I did wrong and nobody knew!
“Then I was told she missed pole 11 in the weaves but I was so sure she hadn’t as I’d watched and she did them! I got hold of the live video which showed her completing the whole set…”
Miss Osborne said she understood that a judge’s decision was final and that she knew how tough a job it could be and only wanted official confirmation either way. She competed at Crufts three times with her previous dog Ben – an agility champion – and this was her second time with Fling, who needs one more CC to gain her crown.
DW’s German Spitz breed correspondent Vycki Brock, who also competes in agility, said she was dismayed by what had happened at Crufts, and called for video footage to be considered in the future.
“As an agility enthusiast, competitor and judge I felt extremely disappointed for Lucy and Fling,” she said. “After such a fantastic run in the Crufts singles I couldn’t understand why they were eliminated at the weave.
“I totally appreciate mistakes can happen with judging, but I think a different system should be considered for the future for this level of competition which would allow a competitor, or representative, to briefly speak with the judge.
“I even wonder if it’s time video technology could be used at Crufts to review a run and any accidental mistakes remedied.”