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Kennel Club to elevate ‘rare’ breeds to championship status

This process will begin with an annual allocation of three sets of CCs, and will later increase to seven sets until eventually, under stage one of the new CC allocation model, 13 sets

The Kennel Club has announced it has agreed that a “phased and transparent” system should be introduced in order to elevate certain “rare” breeds to championship status. 

This process will begin with an annual allocation of three sets of CCs, and will later increase to seven sets until eventually, under stage one of the new CC allocation model, 13 sets.

It said it is acknowledged that some rare breeds currently draw better annual entries than some existing CC breeds, but “do not have the same opportunities to win titles”, and that “for this reason a working group was formed to look into this matter”.

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At present, breeds can progress from no CCs to 13 sets, and the group’s board said that it “feels that this is an enormous leap in one go”, and it has therefore been agreed that intermediate levels be introduced. 

Moving through the various levels will reportedly be dependent on the breed’s average entry and the number of approved judges.

Breed clubs for potential CC breeds will be requested to make a full presentation, which will include health, breeding lines, conformation and temperament.

The Kennel Club said the rationale behind this update is that it will “allow breeds to adjust to championship status” and “also ensure that there is a sufficient pool of judges for the number of CCs on offer at each stage of the process”.

Kathryn Mansfield, Kennel Club secretary, said: “This limited allocation approach to CCs is surely a more sensible way forward and very exciting news for the ‘rare’ breeds and indeed is nothing new. 

“Research of the Stud Books of the 1950s and earlier reveals numerically small breeds often had just a few sets, with some breeds losing CC status for some years, most notably the Field Spaniel. Publishing this policy mirrors the Board’s view that the allocation of CCs should as far as possible be open and transparent.”

She added: “Some of these rare breeds, which have over many years never achieved great numbers in the show ring, nevertheless manage at regular intervals to produce dogs worthy of competing at group level, so it will be a very positive step when we can finally welcome them into the family of breeds with championship status.

“In the case of existing CC breeds, the ultimate outcome of a continued fall in entries could trigger a period of consultation with the breed club over the breed’s continued championship status.”

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