This time I want to tell you how our actions in the past year will affect the future of the FCI. I am not saying it is not important to summarise our achievements and to explain why we proceeded in a certain way, but I want to talk about our future as an international organisation, but most important about the future of our dogs worldwide.

Three aspects have been transcendental during the past year; cooperation and collaboration, innovation and preparation for the future. These three aspects will lead our organisation for the next year.

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Rafael de Santiago
FCI President
FCI Show Judges Commission - Activity report

As usual, our annual meetings were held in the first week of February. Our host was the Philippine Kennel Club. We are grateful for their kind hospitality and for our memories of an educative, meaningful and agreeable weekend with a nice and unforgettable trip to a beautiful Paradise along the beach in Cebu.

Next to the meeting of the FCI Show Judges Commission, there were also meetings of the FCI Show Commission in the same weekend. We always end up in a joint meeting to discuss topics that involve both show judges and show organisers.

Our work and discussion often lead to several proposals for the FCI General Committee. More and more non-European countries enter the Show Judges Commission and that is a great achievement. That’s why both commissions decided to once every few years have their meetings outside Europe. Only together we can make it work.

Nearly all proposals that had been sent to the FCI Board were accepted. This is the crown on hard work and good preparation by all of us. Thank you all for your cooperation! FCI General Committee’s decisions to turn down proposals have to be motivated more properly. Sometimes these are very short. We take the opportunity to discuss the decisions with the FCI General Committee and/or Office when we feel too.

Joint Meetings with our colleagues from the Show Commission

Like every year we also organised a joint meetings with the Show Commission. It is always the last meeting in our weekend during which we talk about topics that involve both commissions. But we also inform each other about the specific topics that can have an influence on the other commission.

In 2016, we talked about regulations for shows that affect judges and vice versa, the publishing of online catalogues, the ban of dogs and people at shows, the way to use online and digital systems in the ring, etc.

Mutual recognition of Judges by FCI and KC

A statement about the mutual recognition of judges by FCI and KC that the two Boards (FCI and KC) discussed in 2014 and approved in 2015 was withdrawn by the members of the KC. In 2016, the KC withdrew the agreement with the FCI because they were forced to by their members. We still wait for further development. Once again, judges are not treated equally in the world.

European Judges Directory

The FCI approved to coordinate this website from January 1st, 2014. More and more countries participate in this international list and more and more organisers use it to develop their judges lists for shows. In December 2014, an English version of the Administrator and User manuals was provided. This information was sent to the national canine organisations. The FCI General Committee decided this judges list to be compulsory for all members from the 1st of July 2017. We are glad we finally can use “one” judges list for the FCI worldwide.

Breed-specific education

Our aim to have a uniform education for every individual breed, developed by the country of origin of the breed, for international use became reality. Unfortunately, most countries did not answer our request to develop some breed education PowerPoint presentations. A lot of countries started to develop these education PowerPoints, but never sent them. These PowerPoints are not only very helpful in educating judges all over the world, they also give the opportunity to develop uniform education for national breeds that can be spread and used by the whole world.

Guidelines and instructions how to write a dog’s report

Throughout the last years, we often heard that judges have problems with writing good reports of dogs when judging. Basic guidelines and instructions about how to write reports and a list of words that can be used would be very helpful. It would also give judges better opportunities to find their way at shows where written reports are asked.

We prepared nothing more than guidelines about how to write a report and developed a list of the most common words used. It is up to the FCI countries to decide whether they use it in their education programme. The FCI Show Judges Commission submitted to the FCI General Committee to accept this document as guidelines and basic information about how to write a dog’s report.

Germany, France and Uruguay finished the German, French and Spanish translations of the glossary. They will be integrated in our final guidelines.

Our members are free to use these guidelines in our countries to educate our judges! And some countries already did.

The matter of “supposed incorrect nomination of judges” in some countries

Since quite a few years, the FCI has developed basic rules for education, examination and nomination of show judges and candidate judges. These basic rules must be followed and respected by all FCI members. We are highly surprised to hear very intense rumours that the nomination of group judges does not always follow the basic rules. We are now in discussion with the FCI how to control it and how to act when countries have not followed the rules for a long time. To us, the FCI General Committee should undertake more action and put pressure on their members who do not follow the rules. Judges worldwide should be treated equally, not only when judging, but also when becoming a judge. Therefore we keep on pushing FCI General Committee to act properly and actively.

Promotion of new judges

We also discussed in the joint meeting the way to promote young and/or new judges to judge at international level.

Assisting members and answering their questions

In 2016, we also regularly got questions from members regarding interpretation of rules, education programmes, nomination of judges and assistance on seminars and events. We are always willing to assist, together with our colleagues from the Show Commission Board. We also got several questions on the same matters, coming from the FCI Office, the FCI General Committee and our members and their countries.

In 2016, Mr John Wauben, the President of the FCI Judges Commission, was invited by the kennel club of Iran to educate their people for some breeds often seen in this country. Mr Wauben saw a lot of enthusiastic, willing and dog-loving people in a country that is still not that easy for dog-lovers. However the passion of the Board of the kennel club of Iran and its members will certainly lead Iran into a different way of looking at dogs.

In 2016, we were also involved in some FCI questions regarding judges, moving from non-FCI countries to FCI Countries. We are glad that FCI asks our advice about the nomination of these judges.

Further topics in 2016

Besides the above-mentioned topics we also spoke about:

Obligations for NON-FCI Judges officiating at shows. They should not only have the same rights, but also the same obligations when judging at FCI shows. We suggested an amendment to the Regulations.

Physical and mental health to judge in the ring. It was added to the Regulations that judges must be fit in order to judge the breeds assigned to them, paying respect to dogs and exhibitors.

We suggested to change the Standing Orders regarding the information regarding judges published in the official judges list. Next to the already-mentioned details, the national canine organisation should also mention the year the judge was nominated for his/her first breed. It is necessary to check whether the nomination of All-Breed Judges was done properly.

In 2016, the Executive Committee of the FCI Show Judges Commission was:
John Wauben, President (The Netherlands)
Adrian Landarte, Vice-president (Uruguay)
Anne-Marie Class, Secretary (France)

The President, Vice-president and Secretary met once to prepare the agenda together. Several topics were discussed in the past year by email and at shows. You will largely find these mentioned on the agendas of the commission’s meetings.

We thank Yves De Clercq and his colleagues from the FCI office in Thuin for the way in which our documents were at all times sent promptly and correctly translated for our members and our thanks also go to the FCI Board member Tamàs Jakkel who supported and defended our proposals.

Contact with our members

We tried to spread new information as soon as possible to our members. Members received several mails regarding our actions. We also inform our members about the FCI decisions regarding judges.

Again a year that passed very quickly. A year in which social pressures on our dogs and on ourselves as show judges intensified considerably in many countries. We must jointly make strong efforts for promoting fine, healthy, social and fit-for-function dogs. That will have to be a basic theme of our discussions and concerns in the coming years.

John Wauben
Adrian Landarte
Vice President
Anne-Marie Class