Bernese News 21st September 2016



Trish Goodyear emailed;

"Flo aka Harvestbank Fields of Gold attended the resurrected Thame and Oxon County Dog 
Show on Thursday 15th September where she went Best in Show.  Our judge for the breed 
was Mr Russell Mosedale, Group Judge well respected Mr Terry Munro and well known and 
again well respected Best in Show judge Mr David Cavill. 


Photo courtesy Trish Goodyear

"I was over the moon as Ivy, Flo's mother, won this event four and a half years ago. The show
was very well run and I was given two trophies to keep and some beautiful rosettes". 


******

Marian Scott emailed; 

"The entries for the Northern BMD Club Open Show have been extended to Wednesday 28th
September and I will be at the GB Club Championship show on Saturday 24th with some
schedules should anyone need one."

****** 

At Darlington Championship Show 2016
all-rounder judge Peter Jolley had 53 entries with
11 absentees across 14 classes. 

Winning his 3rd CC was Julie Baldwin's Guiness Record From Christofland To Fortonpark
(Imp Czech). Almost 3 years old he was bred by Hana Chovancova and is a son of Ch
Sennenhund Rossii Senator x Desert Rose From Christofland. 

Reserve to him was Lynn Atkinson & Lee Reynolds' 2 year old Meadowpark Secret Blend.
Bred by Bernice Mair & Carole Hartley - Mair he is sired by Ch Tjofselinas Z Diamuz At
Fortonpark JW (Imp Swe) x Meadowpark Royal Blend.  The Reserve Bitch CC went to his half
sister, Meadowpark Bright N'Breezy also bred by Bernice and Carole. Owned by Leena
Pawlyszyn, she is 2 1/2 years old and a daughter of Ch Meadowpark Whispers Breeze.

The Bitch CC and Best of Breed was awarded to Michele Gurney's homebred, 5 year old Ch
Monalou Fanny Craddock JW. She is sired by Ch Bernerdalens Uno Amigo Bueno x Ch
Monalou Perfect Recipe.  Michele also bred the Best Veteran, Francine Edge's Monalou Dutch
Affair JW who is 7 years old and by Ch Barancourt vd Weyenberg x Monalou Golden Girl.   

June Miles' homebred Jaybiem Burli Shassi (Ch Jaybiem Yeuben Chozen JW ShCM x
Meadowpark Sweetest Thing At Jaybiem)  took Best Puppy.
Congratulations.

******

Helena Turner (Tangyachates) has requested I republish the letter I included in Bernese News
issue of 14th September 2016 and so it is reprinted bellow followed by other associated comments
and correspondence all of which were supplied by Helena.

o~O~o

"Thank you to all male dog handlers for your support regarding showing at Stoneleigh. 

"I have sent a copy of my letter (31.8.16) to the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of GB together
with a list of names ofthose in agreement. An acknowledgement has been received. 

"I wish to publish the content of my letter [below] for the benefit of those that haven’t seen a copy 
and for those showing bitches as the health and safety aspects also apply. 

"I would be pleased to receive any further comments or opinions. Please contact me by 
telephone 01797 226566 or 07511 614804 or by email tangyachates@hotmail.co.uk 

o~O~o

31st August 2016                                                                    
Helena Turner
 
For the attention of the members of the committee of the BMDC of GB

Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain – KC Venue at Stoneleigh

I have been a member, almost since inception, of the above Club, have been a keen supporter
of Club events in the South of England and try to encourage new memberships. 

I would like to thank the many officers and the committee over the years for their dedication to
the Club and I am extremely grateful for the hard work done by the current committee making
events memorable occasions.

Many members regret that our once world famous Bernese Weekend is now two separate events.
The Autumn Garden Party and Working Weekend incorporating carting, obedience, agility, KC
Good Citizen and all the social and fun events. This is now held at Priors Marston in early 
September and the GB Club Championship Show held later in September. I am under the
impression that this unfortunate split was due to the dissatisfaction of the Stoneleigh venue. I 
stand to be corrected if this is not the case.

I would like to focus on the GB Club Championship Show as I believe that this once prestigious
show is being downgraded. In 2013 the show was held in the amazing inside space at the Kennel
Club Building. In 2014 and 2015 on arrival, I expressed my disappointment that a decision had 
been taken to hold the show outside in the two paddocks. I have since spoken with two of the
committee members and was told by each `The consensus of opinion was that the show be held
outside’.  I am therefore writing on this occasion with my views regarding
a) the welfare of the dogs and
b) the safety of the handlers. 

I will for ease of reading list by numbers the areas which I feel are of concern:

1.1       Heat causes both stress and distress for our heavy coated breed.

1.2       The most important requirement appears to be that the show should be held outside. It is
not a garden party nor is it just a social occasion.

1.3       People travel long distances and at great expense to compete in this particular show and
            to view the progress of the breed.

Welfare of the dogs

2.1       In the early morning the temperature may wel be sunny but cool but the heat in 2014 and
            2015 increased during the morning and became unbearable for the dogs (and people) from
            midday when the older dogs were being shown.

2.2       In these conditions one cannot expect the dogs (specifically the males) to give their best.
            Reluctance to move well and when standing having to face into the sun.

2.3       At General Championship Shows there are water butts and/or standpipes available and 
            a vet on site. Our dogs are a heavy breed with thick dark coats and I know many feel the
            same as I - to put our dogs in a risk situation from heatstroke is irresponsible.

2.4       May I suggest the hire of a combination of fans and cooling fans if the forecast is hot weather. 
            Two companies with depots in Birmingham are able to help and I have attached an estimate 
            from CAS-Hire, their recommendation between 4 and 5 units.  The other company is Andrew 
            Sykes. I am not technically aware but even just a  couple of fans to move the air would be 
            appreciated I am sure and would be seen as being responsible for the welfare of people and 
            dogs

2.5       I would like to request that the schedule and catalogue include the telephone number 
            of the vet on call. (This may be required on arrival.) However, if anything happens by the 
            rings, by the time one retrieves the car, loaded andgets the dog to the vet (25-30 minutes
            if one doesn’t get lost!) is a considerable delay if heat stroke is identified. With such a delay 
            the chance of survival is very much reduced..

Safety of handlers

3.1          I do not think that the two paddocks that are used outside are ‘fit for purpose’.

3.2       I fully understand that the Kennel Club are responsible for the upkeep of these paddocks
            and not the committee.

3.3       One year the grass was so long that members of the committee were forced to do
            maintenance.  A mower was obtained and the ‘bitch’ ring was cut but the mower broke down
            half way through cutting the ‘dog’ ring!!      

3.4        Half the ‘dog’ ring had cut grass all over it and the other half was long grass.

3.5        The ‘bitch’ ring, although it might be classed as being more level, was very slippery as
             the ground was still wet and several of the puppies fell when turning.

3.6        The ‘dog’ ring has a long slope to it and dogs look bum-high going down, round the bottom 
             tails act like rudders and are often high then there is the long hall back up the slope and the 
             dogs do not appear to be moving freely. In fact one year the judge could not identify if a dog 
             was lame because they all appear to move badly!!

3.7        There have been both uneven patches and bare patches in the ‘dog’ ring and handlers, 
             concentrating on the surface of that ring, found it difficult to show their dogs to advantage.

3.8        Why is it now generally thought that there is a ‘dog’ ring and a ‘bitch’ ring? It would have 
             been fairer to alternate each year.

3.9        The parades etc are held in the `bitch` ring so I assume the committee must feel that is 
             the better ring.

3.10      The judge’s tables in the rings are too far away from each other, both near the building 
             but both in the right hand corner so it is quite a walk to check when showing bitches and 
             dogs especially when the PA system breaks down!!

3.11      There have been complaints that the grass areas around the outside of the rings smell. 
             Could this be due to the fact that when a previous hire took place the dogs were inside 
             and the verges were used as exercise areas?

3.12      Finally there is a great risk of handlers tripping up. There are many members still 
             showing at 50+ 60+ 70+ and even 80+. Of course youngerhandlers can fall victim too. It is 
             well known that there have been falls over theyears with long term serious consequences.
             The falls that come to mind:   

Wendy Westlake (hyper-extended knee) unlevel ground,    
     Trish Goodyear (shoulder) - trip,  Gill Rumble (broken wrist) – wet grass,  
and Sonja Gorbould (knee ligaments). 

I understand that a risk assessment should be done at every show. I would be grateful to know who
is responsible for carrying out the assessment for this show also to see the risk assessment records
of the past two years. 

I am aware that the above remarks are my opinion only, from a competitor's angle and as an owner
concerned for my dog.  The many points raised are not meant to be a professional risk assessment.
However, I have conducted my own survey of 53 club members that mostly show males.   Majority
of names were taken from the dog entries of the 2014/2015 catalogues of the GB Championship
Shows. I was unable to contact a very small number of those entered in the catalogues due to
holidays and consideration due to the loss of their dogs and with the duplication of names in
2014/2015 catalogues my mini survey of 53 members/exhibitors has been extensive. One can see
from the attached list, 41 (plus me) agreed with my comments, a further 11 exhibitors agreed in
principal but 7 had not seen the final draft of my letter and 3 decided not to add their name to list
enclosed.

One observation I would like to include here is that although entries generally have gone down this
ought to not apply to what should be the most important Championship Show of the year for Bernese
owners.

      Entries in 2013 = males 80 (total 196), 2014 = 79 (total 183), 2015 = 57 (total 158).


It is interesting to note, the statistics from the 2015 entries show less of a reduction in the bitch  
classes. 

I hope you find this interesting and I respectfully request that the committee reconsider working our
dogs outside in the sun/heat in paddocks not fit for purpose.

Please confirm receipt of this letter within 4 days and advise me when you will be bringing this matter
to the attention of the committee and when I will be informed of any decisions made. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Helena Turner

o~O~o

NB  I (Jude) have NOT reproduced the responses to Helena's letter that readers of Bernese
News issue dated 14th September 2016 chose to post on my personal Facebook page as
those people have not been approached and asked for permission to reproduce their

comments here.
 

o~O~o

Helena Turner issues public statement 19th September 2016

My response to the posts on Jude Simonds' Facebook site

My ‘mini’ survey was with those competitors entering male dogs in the 2014/2015 GB Club
Championship Shows that would have experienced showing their male Bernese in the `dog` 
paddock’ officially known as Ring 3 /West Hall. I was happy when I received comments from
those that show bitches and to hear they also wanted to be included.

Comments received on Facebook


I published my letter with the intention of inviting members that show bitches to let me have their
comments by phone or email. The comments received were posted on Jude Simonds` facebook
page and therefore it is not clear if all members have read these comments. To date I have not
received any feedback by phone or email.

It is clear that those making comments on facebook have not read through and therefore have not
fully understood the basis and purpose of my letter – the welfare of the dogs in the heat and the
safety of the handlers because the two paddocks outside the West Hall are not fit for purpose.


I believe the 20 points I raised were facts and not my opinion, however many of the comments on
facebook were opinions and were focussed on an obvious strong preference to show outside rather
than inside the Kennel Club Building.

I have chosen not to comment on facebook in answer to the posts, 16 members, but instead to
respond in this one document to the points those members raised.

I am honoured to have receive two top awards at the GB Ch. Show with Bernese that I have bred.
First: The Bitch CC and BIS in 2008. The show was at that time held outside in good weather at
Sacrewell and was enjoyed by all. Second: The Dog CC in 2013 and the show was held inside the
KC building with the noise of a thunder storm on the building’s roof. I have shown in various venues,
and my dogs are experienced in showing in all conditions. I agree, with a good safe outside venue
and a sunny but cool Autumn day it can be very pleasant working outside.  

One is never going to please all:

Many commented the state of the Paddocks being, ‘dangerous’, `I agree they are uneven`, `...they
could be improved’ and  ‘…running on unprepared, rough ground’.  One person said they would
prefer outside even on uneven ground!!  Some even said they didn’t think the surface was any worse
than other shows!! With reference Ring 3 ‘dog paddock’ I personally find that hard to believe.

One is never going to please all:

Another comment, ‘I’ve learnt from experience that males and heat don’t mix.’!!  I certainly agree, I
believe males come alive working outside in the cold and rain but not at the expense of safety. One
understands the grass can become slippery if it is/has been raining and with heavy dew on an
Autumn morning. Both rings have their problems. Uneven in Ring 3 and Ring 4 the dense grass
takes a long time to dry out with the surrounding trees. 

One is never going to please all:

To show a dog to his best advantage within the required safety restrictions is all we can expect,
we must live in the real world and cater for all. To show what the Bernese is bred to do or
capable of doing is not necessarily the most important consideration. Otherwise shows will have to
accommodate working in water, hunting and a variety of other situations!

Two most prestigious dog shows, Crufts and LKA, obviously held indoors at the NEC, yet I do not
hear complaints about wanting to work outside or that a continuous discussion takes place about
working inside at these events. The size of the rings in the Kennel Club building could possibly
exceed those at the NEC.

My reply to other points raised in the facebook comments:

*    It is not necessary to accept `rough terrain’ at the GB Championship Show, in my opinion
      I know of no other venue that provides for this.

*    I believe that handlers with whatever disability do take responsibility for their own safety,
     unfortunately they do not always have family or an assistant to call on to perform the task.

*   Throughout the summer there are enough outside shows to satisfy everyone. As I pointed out,
     in the heat there would be a vet on site and in the rain well you may just get wet.

*    Not everyone owns or has transport to carry cages/pens to set up inside the hall.

*    With reference the telephone number of the vet being available on the schedule and catalogue
     no-one thought this was important!  It was once, as it appeared on schedules and catalogues
     including the Championship Show, Sacrewell Farm in 2008.

*    The schedule states that the show will take place at the KC Building, not until one arrives at 
      the show does one know if it is being held in the ‘NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE’ paddocks.

It is clear that there has been no fair ‘consensus of opinion’ for this show over he past years and
it appears there will not be one this year.  I hope my survey and the named supporters enables
the committee to make a fair assessment of conditions when the risk assessment for this particular
show on 24th September 2016 takes place. The North Rings facing the East Hall are certainly
more level and manicured. If an outside area was secured elsewhere at Stoneleigh (and there are 
other flat grassed areas) and found to be satisfactory (safe) for both dogs and bitches and handlers.
I do not think there is a problem with working outside.  ‘Slip, trips and falls’ are mentioned in the 
advice given by the Kennel Club for risk assessments (see table below).

I have become more and more concerned over the years when watching the activities of handlers,
some with obvious disabilities and others with age related problems, and feel my letter must be
taken seriously regarding the safety of the handlers. I am not an expert in insurance but the
following are a consideration:

*    Has communication taken place with the Kennel Club regarding the surface and condition of
     these South Rings? Ring 3 being very uneven and Ring 4 can be excessively wet. They are
     absolutely fine for dog exercise areas, not so sure about picnics!!

*    If these paddocks are being used `free of charge` does this mean 1at your own risk`? Does the
     insurance cover these ‘rings’. Is the person doing the risk assessment responsible?

*    If the GB Club is aware of the concern by handlers in advance of the show how valid would
     cover be?

*    If the insurance company is affiliated with the Kennel Club does this present a legal problem if
     a claim is made?

*    I would consider a claim as I have gone to the effort of pointing out my concerns with the
     support of other members that have experienced using Ring 3. For example, because I am the 
     driver what would I do if I cannot drive home because of injury?

Maybe this year the forecast will be rain!!

Helena Turner


 o~O~o

From BMD Club of GB to Mrs H Turner 17th September 2016.


Dear Helena

Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain - KC Venue at Stoneleigh.

Further to my acknowledgement email of 1 September, I write to respond to your emailed letter
of 31 August.

As I mentioned, the committee is not due to meet again until mid-October, obviously later than
the club Champ show to which you refer and it has not been possible to fully consult on all the
points in your letter.

This reply is therefore from me as Club Secretary, Show Secretary and Show Manager of the GB 
Club's annual Breed Championship show on Sat 24th September 2016.

May I start by reminding you that the decision of whether to judge indoors or outdoors at any
licensed KC show ultimately rests with the show manager AND the judge/s.

Answering each of your points (roughly) in order:

*    As my report to the 2012 AGM detailed, following the successful Champ show weekend at
Stoneleigh in 2011, marking the club's Ruby Jubilee, it was clear that we could no longer justify
the high cost of hiring the KC building for two whole days.  Whilst the Championship show funds
itself by way of the entry fees, the fun day element of the Sunday event does not attract the
revenue to afford the hiring of the KC site.  It was after 2011 that we took the decision to split the
event as we felt members would not think it a wise use of club funds to run a fun event at such a
loss.

*    Firstly we moved the Garden Party to Roade near Northampton Very quickly though the
popularity of the one day garden parties grew and weekend long events developed. We outgrew
that venue and have since chosen to move to Priors Marston Sports Club where the club has
established a base for storage of club assets etc. and the membership that attend tell us the venue
is ideal as it is not a public playing field like Roade and camping space is plentiful for those wishing
to make a weekend of it.

*    Re your points 1.1 & 1.2. In Europe Bernese are regularly shown in high temperatures outside.
The committee do not treat the annual Champ show as a garden party. The most important
requirement for the committee is that we have a venue large enough to accommodate our needs
for a show and that meets all the statutory KC requirements e.g. square foot per dog entered.  If
the KCs own venue cannot tick all our boxes it is unlikely we could find anywhere else available
and affordable. May I point out that an enormous amount of equipment is required to make a show
run smoothly and to be able to hire a venue that provides all that and avoids the need for committee
members to have to store at home and transport every time is a true benefit. There are so many
factors which affect the selection of a show venue. No venue suits everyone and when people
aren't happy it would be really helpful if viable alternatives were suggested for the committee to
consider.

*    At the KCs purpose built show venue the outdoor rings (the Paddocks you refer to) at
Stoneleigh are provided foc and the club committee have always taken the view that as a working
breed, if the weather permits, the dogs should be shown outside. Indeed, the committee have
always been aware that the majority of members/exhibitors prefer to exhibit outdoors whenever
possible. There has only been one year when the weather forced us to judge indoors (the year your
own dog was awarded the dog CC I recall) but with the size of entry there was a consensus that the
hall was very crowded with two show rings and attempting to accommodate the obedience ring and
a photographer's area too (in fact the Obedience judge opted to work outside in the rain as her ring
was too small). As I mention above, ours is a working breed and the committee believes that the
majority of owners and exhibitors would always opt to show outdoors, even if the weather is
inclement.

*    Of course health & safety is paramount and in that year we were forced inside due to the heavy
downpours which flooded the outdoor rings (& of course that year the show was held in October
not September). If the heat on the day of the show was likely to be so excessive that there would
be insufficient shade, or it was likely to be too wet to be safe to run on grass, the committee would
of course make the required dynamic risk assessment on arrival early int he morning and discuss
with the judges where it would be best to hold the show. Indeed it is a requirement of any KC
licensed show to make such dynamic risk assessments and to produce evidence to any KC Field
Officer in attendance. It is also a KC requirement to provide wet weather show space if judging
outside. We always set up rings indoors in case of their need. 

*    As I've said, Risk Assessments are drawn up for all KCLicensed events; it is a requirement of
the KC. Should you wish to view the RA for our event please come to the secretary's table on the
day of the show and I will gladly show you. This is possibly a first.  The RA is usually for inspection
by any KC Field Officer at the show, to prove that the show management have assessed the risks
arising from organising the event. However, we have nothing to hide and will gladly show you our
RA.

*    There are several water outlets located around the KC Building,both inside and outside.
However, may I remind you that the welfare of all dogs is the individual responsibility of the owner.
The committee cannot be held responsible for irresponsible behaviour by individuals. Indeed as
show manager I am constantly aware of the measures most exhibitors go to to ensure their dogs
are comfortable throughout the day, whether locating crates indoors or under trees and/or sitting
themselves under trees, to bringing protective gear such as space blankets and cool coats for their
dogs whilst waiting for judging. Others sadly are happy to leave their dogs in hot cars and as you
know there are strict KC rules around that behaviour. A vet on call for the duration of the show is
also a KC requirement. Contact details and directions are always clearly displayed and available
from the secretary's table at each KC licenced show. Details of the Vet on call are also printed in
the catalogue. Our selected vet is in Warwick, a straight forward 15 min drive from Stoneleigh;
possibly closer than most members' own vets to their home. I hold clear directions at my table and
would issue to anyone in need immediately plus phone ahead to tell the vet to expect an arrival.

*    I am not quite sure if your suggestion of hiring industrial fans and air coolers is intended for
indoor or outdoor use but clearly outdoors would be useless and I am sure the KC would not permit
use or hire of such within the building. There are strict rules for use and deployment of electrical
equipment at the KC Building as there are at any public building and there are natural ventilation
grilles deployed within the structure of the KC building, designed to provide fresh air to the halls
when occupied. However, if cooling equipment were required that is another down side of judging
inside in my view. I am strongly of the opinion that industrial strength fans would be noisy and
potentially very disturbing to young dogs in attendance and many people would complain about
them.

*    The club always requests the grass rings be cut for the show and this is usually met. You cite
an example of one year when the grass was partially mown because the caretaker's mower failed
on the previous afternoon, during show set up. It was not rectified by the committee but the caretaker
himself, as best he could. You pay the committee an enormous compliment in assuming we rectified
this. I have no idea where the committee would have acquired a mower at such short notice.

*    No matter what time of year, grass is always slippery with early morning dew. Again clubs cannot
be held responsible for everything and it is the responsibility of exhibitors to act sensibly and wear
sensible footwear until the moisture has burnt off. This is of course always the case at any general
champ show where judging takes place outside as a matter of course. Indeed the "falls" you refer to
later in your letter all took place at general championship shows, not GB Club events as I recall.

*    We do not consider the traditionally used "bitch ring" the better ring. It is simply the middle ring,
with obedience being held in the far ring, arguably further away and darker/wetter than the other two
rings. Traditionally the bitch entry has been larger so we opt for them in the centre ring. We bring
the CC challenges and major awards into the centre ring for logistical reasons.However, you are
wrong to say this has always been the case as the BiS process has been held in the "dog ring" e.g.
2014 (Joanne Sutton/Peter Jolley - Jeannette Green referee), this clearly simply suited the scheduling
of the day and demonstrates we are not fixed on the 'bitch ring", it is just a convenience issue.

*    The reason the judges tables are located where they are is so the stewards can keep in contact
with me as show manager. I still walk miles at a show keeping in touch with everyone. Can you 
imagine the same on the scale of a general Championship show?  I'm afraid your comments here
are unjustified.

*    The KC provides the PA for our event. It is a fixture of the building. In fact it is easier to hear
announcements outside than inside in my experience and we have had complaints about the PA 
being too loud. May I also remind you that under KC rules it is the exhibitors responsibility to be
aware of the progress of judging? This is why shows are bound by KC rules to stick to the order
of judging as stated in the schedule so that exhibitors can arrange to be at the ring at the correct
point in proceedings. We do however clearly announce at the start of the day that should any
exhibitor have dogs & bitches & find their classes clashing, to tell the stewards or me and, without
making any promises, we will do our best to manage the judging to accommodate them. This is
not always easy as it can inconvenience many exhibitors to cater for one.

It is clear to me Helena that you are not necessarily aware that there are many rules and regulations
applicable to dog showing under KC licence. Most are listed in any show schedule but there are also
many KC rules that a club or society must follow when running a show, hence my position stated
above. These mandatory rules cover Health and Safety as well as procedures so many of the issues
you raise are already catered for by compulsory processes present at all shows.

I note your observation of the decline in entry figures year on year. I am afraid that this follows the
same trend as dog showing generally although I am sure for a prestigious club show the choice of
judge may have just as much of an affect in some cases.

Thank you for taking what can only be considered a straw poll of exhibitors. I took the opportunity
at the recent City of Birmingham show to speak to a few of those who you quote. I'm not sure many
of them supported (or were indeed aware of) your list of criticisms. I did hear from many regular
exhibitors who categorically told me they did not want to be associated with your letter and most
definitely prefer to show outside whenever possible.

Whilst the committee I have spoken to do not agree with many of your observations or comments
(and are of course well aware that you have the choice of whether to enter our show or not) on
reflection, we will conduct a survey of all who enter this year's show - which incidentally will be
judged outside if the weather is likely to be favourable, unless the judge/s feel they would be better
inside. We hope this will give us an indication of the majority view on your comments.

In addition, I am told there has been much comment on a certain Facebook group supporting
showing our working breed outside, since you chose to share your letter with Jude Simonds who
then published it on line.

We look forward to seeing you on 24 September Helena. 

Yours sincerely,
Karen Bird Hon Secretary

o~O~o

Karen Bird to Helena Turner -  permission to publish by email of 18.9.16. 

 
Not quite sure why this is a matter of "fairness " Helena.

Feel free to share my letter, I stand by its content.

We will see what the outcome of our straw poll is next Saturday but I imagine that is a foregone
conclusion 

Look forward to seeing you on Saturday next

Regards

Karen Bird
Secretary BMD Club of GB

o~O~o

 
Helena Turner to BMD Club of GB 19th September 2016.                                                                                                    
For the attention of Karen Bird and the Committee of the BMD club of GB

Thank you Karen for your very detailed letter dated 17th September.  I do understand that you
haven't had time to consult the rest of the committee and the next committee meeting is not until
mid-October, after the show.

Your letter goes into great detail about the rules and regulations by which you have to work within
and you have clarified those where you can. I will admit that I have not got the expertise in
organising a show like you have, however, most of the rules and regulations are published for all
to see so that one can investigate and learn.

I tried to be specific and economical with words in all the points I raised but will not be commenting
on the bullet points in your letter with the exception of 2.5, 3.8 and 3.12 in my letter.

2.5      I still believe that the telephone number of the vet on call can be included on the schedule
           and catalogue in all future shows. There is no reason why not.

3.8      I have been attending Stoneleigh regularly over the years and the dog classes have always
           been held in Ring 3. I did say the parades (and other events) were always held in the `bitch`
           ring, however, I concede in 2014 BIS was held in the dog ring.

3.12    I agree the accidents I quoted did not happen at Stoneleigh and I certainly did not, and do
           not believe, I gave the impression that they did. But they did happen and in conditions not
           nearly as bad as Rings 3 and 4 at Stoneleigh.

So to the last few paragraphs on your page 4.

With reference to the declining entries at all shows. My reference to the entries over the past two
years at the GB Club Ch. Show clearly reflects the decline is more noticeable in the dog classes. 

My letter reflected my concerns about what is classed as a safe working environment? Another
concern is, for the past two years I have been told on arrival ‘The consensus of opinion is that the
classes are held outside.’ Recently on phoning two members of the committee I was given the same
answer. This is a worry as I am not aware as to how this consensus was arrived at.

Without knowing if the consensus was the agreement of club members or the committee, I decided
to do my own investigations but with just the members that show male Bernese. As, I believe, the
males are more susceptible to heat and injury.  I am sure that you will agree that my survey showed
that approximately 80% of the members surveyed were in agreement with the conditions as I
described.
The majority were not top breeders.
The majority were +50 years and many + 60 or + 70.
Many just want to enjoy their day out without risk to their health and the health of their dog.

There were others that agreed in principal with the safety problems but I made sure I respected
their wishes and did not add their names to the list I sent to you. Of course I did not publish any
names on the bernerinfo site.

I am quite surprised that you approached some of the competitors at City of Birmingham Show and
did your own mini survey. This would have been just a few days after you received my letter and
many would not have had the time to go on the bernerinfo site. From Higham's site I could see there
were only 13 dog entries and I had spoken to only one of these and as I did not list the name you
would not have known who this was.

I spoke to only two of those entered in the bitch classes and one I did not include on the list I sent to
you therefore again you would not have known who this was. The second member I did include on
the list but I have not heard if that person wants to withdraw their name, of course if that was the
case I would be pleased to do.

I am being specific here as I do not want to appear unethical. I have kept confidential the names of
those that did not want to be named but of course they know who they are. But I am disappointed
that when you approached the members some may not have been aware of the reasons for my
approach to the committee and, therefore, understand that it is not just a question of indoor/outdoor
showing. I feel your approach to them was unfair and your comments are unofficial. You say
clearly in your letter, “This reply is therefore from me as Club Secretary…..” and not from the
committee.

Your letter of the 17th states:  “We will conduct a survey of all who entered this year's show - which
incidentally will be judged outside if the weather is favourable, unless the judge/s feel they would be
better inside. We hope this will give us an indication of the majority view on your comments.” 

A further email from you dated 18th states: “We will see what the outcome of our straw poll is next
Saturday but I imagine that is a foregone conclusion.”

With this prejudice, your influence and intended procedure I have to object on your choice
of the way forward. I am sure there are many guidelines in organising a fair survey.


One cannot:
     a.         unexpectedly catch people on arrival or during the day without knowing if the members
                 are aware of the issues.
      b.         expect people to comment on something that they haven’t experience.
      c.         expect the members to make judgements on health and safety issues. 
      d.         disrupt the show with these issues as everyone has enough to do.
      e.         move forward with a survey when the committee has not been consulted.

The risk assessment is the responsibility of the person carrying out the task and must be
accountable. On arrival at the show people will be preoccupied, may hear but not understand
the questions which must not come across as 'Do you want to work inside or outside? Finally I
do not want to be responsible or blamed for the need for this poll on the day of the show.

May I suggest that if it has already been decided that the judging this year is being held outside
(weather permitting) then set the rings up with the bitch entries shown in Ring 3 (The Dog
Paddock) and the dogs shown in ring 4.  To alternate the judging in each ring will be seen as fair
and appropriate if judging is to continue outside.  Also, consider using ring 3 for Junior Handling
and the Champions Parade. This will enable all competitors to experience both rings. Therefore,
after the show, a survey of the bitch handlers can be made when they have experienced both
rings and are made aware of the issues.

This can be the only way forward and I hope the committee will have sight of this letter and agree.
 
Yours faithfully,

Helena Turner

******


RICHMOND CHAMPIONSHIP SHOW 10th September 2016 

A disappointing turn out numerically with the entry of 60 being sadly depleted by absentees. 
It would be unfair to criticise the breed overall on the evidence I saw, but noticeably over short 
muzzles lacking any strength and fullness were too recurrent, heads are too narrow and getting 
the eyes the right shape and colour to give that Bernese expression, was somewhat difficult. 
Profile action in many cases flatters to deceive as it does show reasonable reach and balance,
but coming and going is another story!  However, I was more than happy with my top winners 
and was delighted to read on my return home, that the best of Breed went on to Group 3 
Well done. 

Puppy Dog  (2 entries, 1 absentee) 
The only dog present did, regrettably, have to be withdrawn as he went lame on the go round
and his owner wisely retired him.

Junior Dog  (3, 2) 
1st Barsby & Bonham's Halesbern Naughty But Nice.
Pleasing head, well defined stop and
well set ears.  I feel he could have that shade more strength in muzzle. Enough neck, excellent 
wither height and spring and depth of rib combined with well weighted bone and good substance
throughout. Coat a bit harsh for me.  Balanced side action but somewhat wide in front.

Post Graduate Dog  (6, 1)
1st & Reserve CC Hasting's Bernemcourt Liv'n On Prayer
. Outstanding in coat preparation,
positively glistening with well being and he shone as though under a spotlight. Lovely height, 
beautiful head with excellent strength in foreface, well defined stop, dark well shaped eyes and 
such good ears.  His head carriage is so good, he has excellent width and depth in chest, tight 
elbows, is level backed with such good strength in upper thigh.  Such a positive, thrusting side
action and he has the air of being a class act.  Should surely go on to his title. 
2nd Blenkinsopp's Mountain Crystal Don't Forget Me at Thiesbern (Imp). A well coated dog,
all male in head and expression, not quite such a well shaped eyes as the winner but his head 
balance and well set ears help his cause. Bags of substance throughout, level in back, in super 
muscle tone and his smooth striding profile action got him the 2nd placing. 
3 Vaychkus' Flintas Kalnu Suo (Imp)

Limit Dog  (7) 
1st Bridge's Kernow Something.
Things looking up here with this very handsome headed dog 
whose eyes and expression are very much me.  Shown in excellent coat, he moved around the 
ring with a free, positive stride, good tail carriage and with seemingly little effort. He is so well 
ribbed, good width in chest and lovely weighted bone. I just wish he had a little more reach in 
neck to complete the picture and which told against him in the challenge. 
2nd Rothery's Glamrock Graffiti Artist. Another with lots to like. Super coat for colour, texture 
and presentation.  I loved his head with such good muzzle length and strength, beautiful eyes 
and such a kind, knowing expression.  Hocks a little lacking in being let down enough and seem 
to run straight through from the lower thigh with no curve. Quite sound in profile,just not the drive 
of the winner. 
3rd Hyland's Charmsway Adventurer. 

Open Dog  (4, 1) 
1st CC, Best of Breed & Group 3 Mair, Hartley-Mair & Dybdall's Ch Meadowpark High Class. 
I admired his father enormously and this one is a very worthy successor. He is so good in all 
respects, clean head of real quality, super eyes, ears and expression. Good reach of neck, level 
back, ribs  carry well back to a short loin and that gentle rounding over the croup. Bags of  
substance throughout, spotless jacket and the best mover in the entry. Positive, lovely straight 
hocks when rear viewed and straight in front. Lots more to come from this one, I'm sure. 
2nd Wright & Kirk's Materabern Good Friday.  Big, tall, very handsome headed dog, good 
ribbing, supple loin and well angulated hindquarters.  A credit in coat and side on he keeps his 
shape on the move.  Front action when fore viewed held him back. 
3rd Rumble's Bernfold Donner By Glenbrienz. 

Veteran Bitch  (3) 
1st Flanagan's Collansues Rock Goddess.
 What a happy, light footed young looking bitch this 
is!  Nicely headed, lovely bright eyed expression, shown in excellent coat and she drifted around 
the ring with such a positive stride.
2nd  Rothery's Glamrock Future Legend. Smaller made all through but with quite stunning eyes 
which are the right size, shape and colour to make you look again. Not quite the strength in muzzle 
of the 1st but she is fairly compact in length/height balance, has excellent width in second thigh 
and in profile she is balanced and keeps her shape.
3rd Stannard's Bernbienaime First Love At Kohbern.

Puppy Bitch  (10, 6) 
A very mixed class indeed.
1st & Best Puppy Miles' Jaybiem Burli Shassi.   I thought her a comfortable winner as she is 
the most advanced in body, action and finish. She has the best head, is so well ribbed, fairly level 
backline, lovely bone and feet and was the most settled in action. 
2nd Green's Bernerdalens Quest For Fame At Waldershelf (Imp). A little plain in head for me 
and she is probably at that in between stage of development with that slight dip in her topline as 
though she still needs to drop behind.  Nice for size, she lacks to coordination on the move of the
winner. However, she does have a decent neck, was in super coat and a lovely temperament.
3rd Flippance's Tickbern Upto Jenna At Nenebern.

Junior Bitch  (2, 1) 
1st Page's Halesbern Star In The Skye
. Good for size and length/height proportions. Scores in
having a good neck, level back and that smooth curve over the rump. Her head is well balanced 
with a good stop and neat ears. Shown in excellent jacket, her front action was one of the best 
but she needs to tighten in hock.

Yearling Bitch  (3, 1) 
1st King's Ecalpharas Moonshine Over Leapingwell.
Scores in spring and depth of rib with well 
defined withers and lovely width in chest.  Enough neck, level back and smooth croup all aid her 
cause. Pleasing headpiece, very good muzzle and easily the most balanced side action in this class.   
2nd Page's Halesbern Skyfall. Litter sister to the previous class winner butt so different. She is a
good size and general proportions but she lacks the spring of rib and needs to gain bodyweight.  
She has a quite lovely headpiece with such good eyes and a delightful expression.  She has 
sufficient weight in bone, her coat was fine and well presented and she is so balanced in profile
action.  Bit gay with her tail which could settle with maturity.

Post Graduate Bitch  (6, 1)
1st Flanagan's Collansues Mountain Angel.
 I liked her for her overall balance, body development, 
reach of neck and outline with such a good ribcage and fairly compact loin. She does tend to let her 
backline dip on the stack but on the move she has a light, free stride with correct hock use.  
2nd Coombes' Halesbern Calendar Girl. Immaculate in coat but carrying a little too much weight. 
Pleasing head planes, eye could be more almond shaped, strong muzzle, very good neck and head
carriage.  Just a little over happy with her tail when moving which spoils the picture.
3rd Hyland's Bernfold Celeb Laila Mo At Charmsway. 

Limit Bitch (5,1) 
1st & CC Bailey & Williams' Carabaz Rubinas Sky At Timarabai.
  I thought easily the best 
headed bitch of the day with that look of quality and such beautiful ear set, eyes and an expression 
that it is hard to resist her. Clearly of her sex, she is middle sized, good substance throughout, well 
laid shoulders, ribs carry well back to a supple loin and nicely moulded croup.  She can be a little 
slack in backline on the stack, but once moving her shape is stunning. To me her sheer breed type 
carried the day and I was happy to award her her first CC.
2nd Mies' Meadowpark The Sweetest Thing At Jaybiem. For me her head has good length in 
muzzle and is amply wide in skull which is flat but she has not quite the softness of Sky as the stop 
is not pronounced enough.  She is well boned, was in stunning coat condition, is so well ribbed and 
her backline is firm and level. Carrying a little too much weight over the shoulders.  Good side action 
but preferred the hock movement of Sky.
3rd Blenkinsopp's Northmeadow Porsche At Thiesbern.  

Open Bitch  (8, 3) 
1st & Reserve CC Stannard's Meadowpark Beach Blend At Tangychates
. A top class bitch but 
just that shade over long in length for me which detracts from the overall appeal in outline. Lovely 
head, eyes, ears and expression, ample neck, good chest width, well angulated both ends and her 
sound, free profile action won her this class. Excellent coat and she is so responsive to her handler. 
Should make up.
2nd Mair & Hartley-Mair's Meadowpark Special Blend. Lovely quality head and expression, more 
my shape in profile being more compact in loin.  Excellent bone and spring of rib, in good coat and 
so well muscled aft.  Not the tightness in front of the winner but side viewed she can motor with ease.
3rd Goodyear's Harvestbank Fields Of Gold JW ShCM.
Judge - Albert Wight





Jude Simonds 
bernerinfo@aol.com
  

 

 





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