The Pawscars – Get Voting. Ready? Go!

VOTING for the first set of Pawscar awards starts today. You can have your say by going to and click on the Pawscars button.

Marina Scott, representing DOG WORLD, with Di Johnson who announced the plans for the Pawscars just before best in show judging at Midland Counties

The awards themselves will be handed out at a gala dinner in the Metropole Hotel near the NEC on March 5 next year – the night before Crufts opens its doors. The awards will recognise success, hard work and effort in all areas of the pedigree dog show scene, and are about celebrating all that is good in the UK dog fancy. Inspired by the success of Jilly’s Jolly Jaunt, Pawscars will raise more money for good causes. Businesses of all sizes that serve the world of dogs are lined up to offer their support.

Pawscars is the brainchild of Gavin Robertson, handler of last year’s Crufts best in show winner Ch Soletrader Peek a Boo, or Jilly, and me. We have been overwhelmed by the warmth of the reception our idea has received.

Crufts best in show winner Ch Soletrader Peek a Boo

Awards presented on the night will be Championship Show of the Year, sponsored by Eukanuba; Training class of the Year and Breeder of the Year sponsored by Royal Canin; Journalist of the Year sponsored by Premier Animal Housing; Exhibitor of the Year sponsored by Dorwest; Junior Handler of the Year sponsored by Dog World; Steward of the Year sponsored by the Kennel Club; Trade stand of the Year sponsored by Fosse Data; Open Show of the Year sponsored by Lintbells; Breed Note Writer of the Year sponsored by Arden Grange; Judge of the Year, sponsored by Purina; Photographer of the Year, sponsored by Challenge and Mariners’ Choice; Unsung Hero, sponsored by Happy Dog; and an award for outstanding achievement which will be sponsored by the Peek a Boo Trust which will also launched at the event.

The winners of the Arden Grange/Dog World Top Dog, Royal Canin/Dog World Top Stud and Lintbells/Dog World Top Brood Bitch as well as the winner of the Purina ProPlan/Dog World Pup of the Year will also be honoured on the night.

We now have a full quota of sponsors. Last week we wrote out to the nominees and the response we have had from them has been really fantastic. It might only be the first year that these awards have been held but already people are getting right behind them and acknowledging what a constructive tool they could be in raising positive awareness of pedigree dogs.

I spent all of last weekend at the Ladies Kennel Association championship show held at the NEC in Birmingham – the same venue as Crufts. We use LKA each year as the venue for the launch of our new annual and its proximity to Christmas means that it is always a jolly show full of fun and laughter. But this year for me there was an extra dimension and that was all down to the amazing reception that the Pawscars are receiving. Several of those who have been nominated for awards came to see me and were absolutely thrilled to have been chosen. The sponsors are really happy to be associated with the event too. While Gavin and I had always conceived the idea as an event that would become an annual feature in everyone’s diary of favourite canine events we hadn’t quite expected everyone else to see it in quite the same quite as quickly, people are already talking about the Pawscars in 2015, 2016 and beyond.

We should probably have checked this before but we recently discovered that the American Humane Society runs an annual awards ceremony at which ‘Pawscars’ are given out but hardly anyone here in the UK is aware of them so I don’t think anyone is going to confuse the two.

Talking of LKA, the show had a completely new layout this year. For several years LKA used three of the five halls of the NEC – also home to Crufts – but the ladies on the committee decided it was time for a change and time to answer some of the criticisms leveled at shows held in the NEC relating to car parking and how far people have to walk from their car to their bench. LKA is now housed in some of the newer halls of the NEC and is much closer to the car parks. Some members of the committee admitted to one or two teething problems with the new venue, but I have to say that that if there were any the committee kept them well hidden and obviously dealt with them quickly and efficiently.

There was an exciting climax to the show. Two dogs were in contention to secure the Arden Grange/Dog World title of Top Dog. One of those dogs was Ricky, Standard Poodle Ch Afterglow Maverick Sabre who was in the US competing at the Eukanuba World Challenge and therefore would not be able to add any additional points to his top dog total. The other contender, Oliver, Wire Fox Terrier Ch Travella Striking Steel had to win best in show to tie as joint top dog.

AKC World Challenge Winner AfterGlow Maverick Sabre

Terriers were shown on Sunday and from the start of judging tension built throughout the day. Oliver went best of breed, then he won the terrier group but when it came to the final hurdle he just missed out taking reserve best in show under Frank Kane maij ghim runner-up top dog and leaving Ricky not just to secure the title of Top Dog All Breeds for 2013 but on the same day to take top honours in the World Challenge, what a day for the Afterglow kennel!

LAST WEEK I mentioned that Kennel Club members were due to vote on a series of proposals on how they should spend the £12m windfall they received from property developers who are planning to redevelop the area of London where the KC has its HQ, well members have given the go ahead to plans to buy sites up to the value of £4.5m to be used for canine activities.

Wire Fox Terrier Ch Travella Striking Steel

The centres – the General Committee is thinking of buying three sites – could be used for any purpose, including a general championship show, agility, obedience, and field trials training.
A championship show would need a site of at about 50 acres, KC chairman Steve Dean told those present at a special meeting in London, or a multi-activity site could be provided by, for instance, a 2,000-acre farm.

At the meeting, which was attended by only about 60 members, it was also agreed to buy a new freehold site in Aylesbury to replace the current leasehold one which houses the club’s registration and data services; to set up a legacy investment fund of up to £3m to fund projects suggested by dog people; and put £770,000 into the club’s pension scheme.
There will be tax relief on the projects, apart from the legacy fund, which would incur tax of nearly £700,000.

The proposals received unanimous, or near-unanimous, support from the members present, who were told this reflected the feelings of the around 400 members who used their proxy votes.
Prof Dean opened the meeting by remarking on how few members were there.

“This is either due to it being Christmas or a sign of huge approval of the proposals in front of you,” he said.
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AND there has been a timely present for enthusiasts of the Bracco Italiano and Havanese in the UK, Championship status has been allocated to both breeds with effect from 2015.
Shows have been allocated CCs for 2015 and 2016 are: Bracco Italiano – Crufts, Birmingham Dog Show Society, Scottish Kennel Club (May), Welsh Kennel Club, National Gundog Association, City of Birmingham Canine Association and the Bracco Italiano Society.

Havanese – Crufts, Birmingham Dog Show Society, Scottish Kennel Club (May), Welsh Kennel Club, UK Toy Dog Society, Darlington Dog Show Society and the Havanese Club of Great Britain.
Also under consideration is the possible allocation of championship status to the Cesky Terrier Club, Spanish Water Dog Club and Tibetan Mastiff Club of Great Britain.
The Kennel Club’s General Committee says it is awaiting receipt of acceptable breed club judges lists before final consideration can be given to the clubs’ applications.