HANDLERS who use the tail and lead to lift their bests of breed or group winners at Crufts will not be allowed to take part in the group or best in show and will have to be replaced.
Judges and stewards have been asked to monitor lifting methods and if necessary report people to group stewards.
The amendment to the Crufts regulation has been made by the Kennel Club following the furore surrounding the lifting of last year’s Crufts best in show, the multi-titled Scottish Terrier Ch McVan’s To Russia With Love (Knopa) owned by Marina Khenkina from Russia, who was handled by American Rebecca Cross, although she lifted Knopa by the neck and tail, not the lead.
Ms Cross apologised afterwards and was officially warned by the KC subsequently. At the time the KC said: “It was made clear to the handler at the show that it is not acceptable to pick a dog up in this way, and despite repeated requests not to do so she went ahead.
“The handler is from the US where it is customary to pick up terriers in this way, but it has no place at Crufts and this is put in writing to all handlers before the show.”
The General Committee agreed to make the alteration last week.
“Exhibitors must not pick up dogs by their tails and leads when lifting them,” a KC spokesman said. “This is not acceptable. Exhibitors should note that such practice would constitute harsh handling and reports of such practice will be referred to the Committee under show regulations F11.
“If a dog winning best of breed has been handled as per the foregoing, the handler will not be permitted to handle the dog in the group and a replacement handler will be required for the dog to compete further. Similarly, if a dog is handled in this manner in the group an alternative handler will need to be appointed for best in show.
“All judges will be made aware of the regulation and ring stewards will be briefed to monitor this and refer any concerns to the group stewards.”