June 6-7, 2010
The AKC Board has backtracked, probably only temporarily, on it decision to charge conformation judges a $50 annual fee, and a $5-10 fee for each breed licensed to judge. I suspect this will come back with some modifications, but the premis will remain. Probably excluded will be judges who are delegates (as they cannot charge stipend) and Junior Showmanship judges.
This above probably stems from the sobering financial picture for the AKC: (Comparing 2010 to 2009) registrations down $1.1 million, and a total revenue drop of 7% ($1,039,000). The net surplus is up nicely however, due to dimished total expenses (Operating expenses have been reduced by $5.3 million over 4 years!), and a surprisingly favorable investment performance when compared with the market indices.
AKC is very pleased with the Grand Championship program, and though still a source of controversy and discussion with many judges (What exactly are the parameters for deciding a dog is "Grand"?), it seems to be succeeding in getting some of those retired champions off the couch and back into the ring.
Input needed: There will be a vote at the next meeting to eliminate Board term limits, which passed out of Rules and Bylaws by a close 6-5 vote. I would think this limit decision is only 2 years old, has not gone through a complete Board rotation cycle (4 years), and maybe increasing a limit from election to the Board to a 4 year hiatus instead of one, might implement the goals of the original plan. Your thoughts?
Usually I attend All Breeds or Parent Clubs: this session I went to the Dog Show Rules Committee: somewhat chaotic and disorganized, and I found a bit remarkable - if not juvenile - the throwing of rolled-up papers balls at a DIrector. I will probably go back to my usual pattern of meetings. There was however, a discussion to modify judging schedules in the afternoon of shows, so that the blocks are less restricted by 60-90 minute intervals, so that a judge can plow through all his/her assignments more quickly, rather than being accomodating to entry numbers, which does not factor in absentees of course. Importantly, what is underscored here, is that the scheduling is actually the Show Chair's prerogative, not the Superintendent's. ALso low number, small entry numbers would be judged first in this block.
I also attended both the Caucus - lot of discussion on the move to allow deaf dogs to compete in agility, which I bet will not be allowed - and the Forum presentation. The latter was a discussion of AKC relationship with Clubs, etc. And apropos of our recent discussion on the Standing Rules, here is the Order of Authority for our club (and all others):
Club Constitution and Bylaws
Rules of Order and Parliamentary Procedure
Apparently there is some move afoot to have classes for even younger puppies (4-6 months, 5-6 months?) which would not allow points (So what would be the point), but a couple of Veterinarian delegates spoke against this. Also the issue of neutered dogs competing in other than Vet classes at Specialties was discussed (fear that this would play into the Mandatory Spay and Neuter crowd).