ON THE final day of Crufts the Basset Hound best of breed became the latest victim of the Kennel Club's new high-profile vet checks.
Ch Buzz Lightyear at Dereheath, owned by Derek and Heather Storton, became the sixth Crufts BOB to be refused entry to the group; he joined the BOB Neapolitan Mastiff, Mastiff, Clumber Spaniel, Bulldog and Pekingese. The Basset was also top male in the breed in 2010.
Mrs Storton said: "This has been my life for 20 years and now my life’s work appears to be worthless. Unless there are changes in the regime we won’t be entering any more shows. I am not going to the shows coming up that I have already entered.
"If this continues I am going to cancel my membership of the Assured Breeder Scheme.”
The Basset, who was judged today by the UK’s top judge Zena Thorn Andrews, failed because the vet, Alison Skipper, said he had ectropion and secondary conjunctivitis.
The dogs who failed their vet test on Saturday were the Mastiff, Diana Yemm's Ch Secret Charm Avec Dibest, who was BOB at Crufts two years ago, and the Neapolitan Mastiff, Sonja Smidova's Lux/Slo Ch Ithani. Similarly to the Clumber Spaniel on Friday, the Mastiff was failed for showing signs of ectropion with secondary conjunctivitis, according to vet Alison Skipper. The reason for the Neapolitan's failure is not known.
They join the Pekingese, the Bulldog and the Clumber as the six breeds to fail.
Mrs Yemm told DOG WORLD that she had never had to take her bitch to the vet and she had never needed any treatment to her eyes.
"The vet said they were slightly inflamed but it has never caused her problems," she said. "This doesn't prevent her from being fit for function. The vet said the problem was very slight."
On Thursday and Friday at Crufts the dogs who failed were Jim and Jean Smith's Pekingese Palacegarden Bianca - who has since been evaluated by the Smith's own vet, Mark Lee's Bulldog Ch Mellowmood One In A Million, one of the year's top winning bitches in the breed, and the Clumber from Croatia, Lana Levai's multi Ch Chervood Snowsun. None of them was allowed through to represent their breeds in the toy, utility and gundog groups in the main ring on Thursday and Friday evenings, just as the Mastiff and Neapolitan Mastiff breeds were not represented on Saturday.
The Kennel Club would not reveal why the Peke and Bulldog failed the new checks - introduced to Crufts this year and carried out on Thursday and Friday by UK Toy vet Will Jeffells - and said it would not do so for any of the 15 high-profile breeds although the reasons will be given to the club by the vet involved. However, DOG WORLD has discovered that the Clumber was failed after the vet said she was suffering from bilateral ectropion and secondary conjunctivitis.
The owners have no recourse to appeal.
Pekingese were judged by Bert Easdon, Bulldogs by Pat Perkins, Clumbers by Ferelith Somerfield, Mastiffs by Mrs S Windham and Neapolitans by Jeff Horswell.
Others checked today by one of the 'independent' volunteer vets chosen by KC chairman Prof Steve Dean and British Veterinary Association past president Harvey Locke were the Chinese Crested, the Chow Chow, the French Bulldog and the Shar Pei.
The KC introduced the vet checks for BOB winners at all its general and group championship shows to ensure they are showing no visible signs of problems due to conditions which affect their health or welfare.
"The veterinary checks were introduced to ensure that dogs with exaggerated features do not win prizes," said KC spokesman Caroline Kisko on Thursday evening. "The independent vet decided that the Pekingese and Bulldog should not pass their vet checks and therefore they did not receive their BOB awards and will not be representing the breeds in the remainder of the competition."
Look, we can all sit and scathe these new rulings, but at the end of the day I welcome them. ON THE DAY if the dog is not acceptable health wise "for any reason" then it should NOT progress. End of story. Whether it is something simple like an eye infection or not. The KC have my backing in this instance whereas I have been so detrimental to them in the past. Crufts is about excellence - nothing more and nothing less - no place for second best. Exhibitors and Judges are NOT veterinary professionals. Yes this kind of action might now spur me back into the show ring and not stay away from it. Time to sort the chaff from the grain and get healthier breeds all round. Go KC!
The vet checks were always going to be contraversial but the KC decided to invite independent scrutiny of the 'high profile breeds' and therefore has to take the results of these inspections 'on the chin'. I believe the KC was right to finally take a stand over health but this should include all breeds and not just the 15 that they singled out. I really feel for the owners of the dogs who have failed these inspections as they have been thrown to the lions. I also feel for the judges concerned who must be very disappointed by this outcome as I'm sure their decisions were carefully considered knowing that the dogs would face a vet inspection. My major concern over all of this is to do with fairness - what about the other CC winner? Why aren't they inspected too - afterall they could have the same condition that excluded the BOB from the group and yet still keep their award, hardly a satisfactory situation.
Bird Dog, 11/03/2012
I understand the logistics....but why just vet the BOB winners, according to this vet the dogs DQ weren't fit to be exhibited, so if the KC is serious about showing they are responsible this vetting should be done before showing. The way it has been done makes your Judges appear to be idiots and quite frankly irrelevant.......might as well get the vet to be the judge
It was obvious that some breeds were not going to pass the vet check, as show dogs from those breeds have nowadays such extreme features that virtually none of them can pass. I hope this starts to change. Let's do it for the dogs.
sadly lots of uneducated people that do not know how much work the breeders do to ensure good health are commenting on this page. most dogs will have minor faults that would mean that they would fail the health tests, the reason the bulldog failed is appalling, not breed related and definitely not because the bitch is exaggerated in any way, in fact i would fail the test as i have a small scratch on my cornea due to a gardening accident! dont make assumptions or believe evrything you read. the tests are supposed to cover the things the judge can see, how could she possibly see a spec on the cornea ? instaed of naming and shaming these beautiful dogs, name and shame the vets, the kc officials that thought this was a disqualifying fault. well done for ensuring that the entries at general champ shows will fall, none of know if we can ever trust the word of KC again.
To the breeds who have PASSED the health checks. This is not by accident these breeds have been perservering to improve over the years and obviously they are getting there! So well done Pug, Frenchie, Chow, GSD, Crested, Dogue, Saint and others!
Spotty Muldoon, 10/03/2012
Crufts is exactly the right show to introduce these vet checks. The eyes of the doggy world are upon us and although the process will need tweaking in future, it does send out a clear message that health comes first. Of course there will be uproar - there should be. Our complacency about certain breeds having icky eyes, or snorty breath, or cheesy skin folds must end. As must our complacency in the breeds outside the 15 "high profiles" .
They should have vet checked all the entries before judging. If they feel there is a problem in the breed then why would they only check the BOB dogs? there may have been other dogs in the breed that didn’t fail the vet check or maybe the entire entry would have failed. I don’t see any REAL concern about health issue’s if there was REAL concern the whole entry would have been tested not just the BOB. This is Animal Rights Terrorist at work once again.
I feel KC have shot themselves in the foot here and done more damage than any TV programme ever could.
What do these vets' decisions say about some of our top, most experienced judges, top dogs and the top breeders both in this country and in the world.
No right to appeal? I cannot see that that is legal and had I been affected by this I would fight tooth and nail and take this to the highest court in the land. These vets may be independent but how do we know they don't have a personal axe to grind? We are apparently not even to be told whether it was the same vet who failed each dog or on what criteria.
I don't even have one of these "high profile breeds" but I am still utterly horrified at what has happened and the unfairness of it.
I think that the CC winners in the 15 high profile breeds for the remaining championship shows should not challenge for BOB. A BOB does not have to be declared anymore, so nothing to stop people not competing beyond Best of Sex.
This I think would send a clear message to the Vets, and KC.