papers - opinions - discussion

Breeders ISCWT and their dogs open meeting - 30.4. + 1.5.2005

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Eurodogshow 2003

(What is the use of valid breeding standards FCI)

I decided to write my feelings from European exhibition, held in Bratislava in adjacent Slovakia, with time lapse of few days. I was in need to gain distance and also to decrease my emotions on acceptable level.

In catalogue (2) October 4 I am unable to find piece of information considering as really important. Usually it is possible to find such words in catalogues as judge (e.g. in the catalogue of the 12th Moravian-Silesian National Exhibition, September 20-21) Quoted sentence: "In the course of judging and title awarding judge follows valid standards, FCI regulations…"

On a web page and also in printed materials Järvinen Kari from Finland was announced as judge to assess a breed of Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier (ISCWT). None of exhibitors was notified of referee alteration. Surprisingly, MVDr. Jan Nesvadba - CH was made a judge. Although he is well-known person among judges, definitely, he is not "typical judge" for ISCWT.

30 ISCWTs were judged in total. A great number of exhibitors came from Czech Republic (5 males and 8 bitches), followed by Russian exhibitors (5 males and 4 bitches), then Italian exhibitors (3 bitches), German exhibitor (1 bitch), Hungarian exhibitor (1dog) and exhibitor from Austria (1 male). In the open class - bitches, appeared another 2 ones although not announced not only in the catalogue but also in its supplementary materials. One of them obtained V2 res. CAC, the other V3. On the board appeared only their numbers, owner names and origin stayed hidden. One of them, maybe, belonged to Italian exhibitor.

After result declaration of young males class everybody knew what is going on in the next assessments. From young class to class of champions, Anglo-American type of dogs gained a victory. Most of appreciated dogs carried minimally on of excluding imperfections, as is written in valid standards of breed - other than wheat coloration, dark attributes, cotton, woolen and dim structure of coat, tail carried over the back. So, I am enquiring of myself to this sentence…"By judging and titles award judge proceeds in agreement with valid standards, FCE regulations…"

After assessment of open class - bitches, a victory gained a nonstandard average bitch belonging to Italian breeder to a detriment of very good-looking (standard appropriate) bitch from Germany (V4), when show ring was empty, few of us seized an opportunity and ask a referee to pay attention to us. A question was asked, whether he is aware of fact that his assessment is in contrast with valid standards of the breed.

Obviously he was pounced upon with this question, he told something about nice heads of appreciated individuals and looked for standard copy in his pockets, he became unsure. Then in last 2 categories, it seemed that other person judged. In the champion class, a bitch from Czech Republic gained a victory, afterwards the same bitch reached highest titles - CACIB and BOB, V2 res. CAC, res. CACIB obtained also other Czech bitch, both of them of Irish type just as next Czech representative from veteran class with appreciation VI.

My apology to MVDr. Jan Nesvadba, he had a right (either he himself or leader of the show ring) to banish us from the show ring and disallow any discussion. To a certain degree we could be excused by a fact that our dogs were mostly assessed so we should not be suspected of effort to prepare conditions for better start of our dogs. Most importantly it was a great opportunity to exhibit untenability of present state. Cynology is a beautiful and demanding hobby and owners-exhibitors should be unified but not splitted. Breeders of original Irish type of Wheaten are in their belief (with good reason) that the true is on their side they are supported by standards of country of origin - Ireland. On the contrary, those who prefer Anglo-American (Scandinavian) type argue by fact that on many exhibitions they are able to gain highest appreciation. They do not want to accept surpassing of valid standards of this type although being of attractive look.

I am aware of Anglo-American (Scandinavian) type (I)SCWT is currently bred also by breeding stations having fine-sounding names and eminent breeding results. Nevertheless, because these stations are represented by eminent specialists, in many cases not only breeders but also judges all at once, it would be fair to warn people who are interested in this Wheaten type that in spite of entire attractivity it is also necessary to consider some problems e.g. penalization for non-standard attributes on exhibitions arranged by FCI. And by means of fine-sounding names to endeavour a separation of those two types in future.

Current state is certainly unsatisfactory even for owners of Anglo-American (Scandinavian) type. One example for all. In the year 2001 the World Exhibition of Dogs was held in Portugal. A title of World Winner was gained by a dog of Anglo-American type. Next year Exhibition was held in Amsterdam. The same dog gained only VD because valid standards were strictly kept.

Certainly, these both types deserve rightful assessment which is not allowed at current state. Explanation, very often used, pointed at alleged exhaustion of Irish type and tendency to its recovery by means of Anglo-American type does is without foundation. Well, depletion of Irish type can occur in future, this is warning, but from other reasons. ISCWT has noted in its standards, that this is breed with long maturation period of time. In today's hurried world is less and less of those who are willing to wait for "swan hatched from ugly duckling". Puppies of Anglo-American type have richer coat, are better sold due to their teddy-bear-like look and many of breeders choose from among this way. A coat of adult individuals lacks this very special shine, characteristic wheaten coloration, thus those attributes what this breed found its admirers for. It is not about better formed skeleton, on both sides it is possible to find individuals showing its imperfection, but it is more difficult to find out those defects where good trimmer can play with coat and makes "miracles". Eyes compensate hand in case of blind people. They are able to "see" by touch what others by eyes. Judges, please forgive me for these words, are not blind, although sometimes one have feeling that they are. But in case they are blind, they would not make an assessment in time because they are time limited by few minutes.

Myself, I am unknown breeder among fine-sounding names of persons who bred and still breeds these beautiful dogs, on the other hand I feel very strongly about retaining of original Irish type of ISCWT in form resulted by years of work of such personalities as Irish breeder, judge, Mrs. Maureen Holmes and many others zealous breeders.

Jitka Koláčková
breeding station ISCWT

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