14th October 2018

 

Chairman’s synopsis of the Whippet Breed Council meeting held on 14th October 2018.
Only one breed club out of eleven was unrepresented at the meeting, (due to extreme weather in their own area) so we had excellent attendance once again. It is wonderful to see both the enthusiasm and commitment of the Breed Council moving forward.
We began by holding a minutes silence in memory of Nev Newton who had passed away a few days before the meeting and a mere 6 months after his wife Edith. Our sympathies to Editha Newton and family on the loss of both of her parents in so short a time. They will both be missed by many of us.
The Breed Council had received a letter of complaint regarding unsporting behaviour and unpleasant comments on social media at, and after a recent European dog show. The Breed Council has no disciplinary authority, but there was much discussion on this unpleasant side of the dog world and the council agreed that it would like the Chairman to release a statement reminding judges, exhibitors and spectators of the codes of best practice and of the standards of behaviour and sportsmanship expected by both the Whippet Breed Council and the Kennel Club, both at home and abroad. You will find this elsewhere on the Web site and Facebook pages.
The Breed Council’s web site and Facebook pages are serving as a useful enlightening tool for both communicating and dissemination of information. Both ‘webmasters’ have been updating the sites with relevant material promptly. Well done to both Russell and Mark! The only way we can keep the lines of communication open to all whippet owners is to have a forum that they can access easily, where breed information can be posted. Please feel free to ‘share’ so that the message is spread.
The Breed Education Coordinator has been very busy with informing and educating judges, mentors and speakers regarding the JCF. If you are unsure about anything to do with the new system or where you fit into it, please contact Pam Marston-Pollock by email on whippeteducation@gmail.com. Pam is both prompt and helpful, and her role is there to assist us all in this transition.
There had been discussion previously regarding the possibility of a ‘Whippet Themed Lunch’ at the Kennel Club in Clarges Street, London. This would allow those attending to see around the Kennel Club building, library etc. but in particular the opportunity to see works of art, books and other breed specific items which may not normally be on display to the public. Why not come along and enjoy a splendid lunch with other like-minded whippet people. Wednesday 6th February is the date that was set. The themed lunch is open to anyone who wishes to attend. There is no requirement to be a member of the Kennel Club. If you are interested in attending, contact the Secretary Mr Russell Sykes. The cost, including the lunch, is expected to be £37.50 which includes tea/coffee on arrival, pre-lunch drink, 3 course lunch with wine, a glass of bubbly, coffee and chocolates. A guided tour of both the library and the gallery tailored to the whippets. A day not to be missed!
Miss Fiona Mycroft and a colleague shared an excellent presentation on their ideas for holding a special event named UK WHIPPET SPECIALITY – this would be a new Whippet Of The Year event. Various ideas were suggested for this event and I’m sure that Fiona would appreciate your input, suggestions and support. She has compiled a ‘survey’ to see what sort of support there would be for an event like this and you will find the link on both the Website and Facebook pages.
Breed Health Co-ordinator Jo Whitehead updated the meeting on current Health topics. Jo told us that in the first quarter of 2019 she will have to submit any relevant whippet specific data that she has to the Kennel Club for their new Breed Conservation project. The Breed Health Co-ordinator role is a big one, and Jo will be appointing a sub-committee to assist her.
But the real highlight of the day was regarding the Breed Council’s application to alter the whippet breed standard. The Secretary Mr Russell Sykes read out an email from the Kennel Club regarding the change. The application had been successful and the whippet breed standard will be changed from: “Colour: Any colour or mixture of colours” TO “Colour: Any colour or mixture of colours, except merle”. Very good news for those wishing to protect both the purity and health of the pure-bred whippet. The amendment to the standard will be published in the December 2018 issue of the Kennel Club journal, and the Kennel Clubs website will be updated from 1ST December 2018. The FCI will also be notified by the Kennel Club and requested to return the FCI standard back to the UK version along with the amendment.
Finally, at close of business, the date of the next meeting, which includes the Annual Meeting was agreed as Sunday 27th January 2019 – the ANNUAL meeting will be followed by a Full Breed Council meeting. The venue is not set as yet but will be in the Coventry area.
Once again, the Breed Council is delighted to invite anyone who would like to attend a council meeting, simply contact Russell Sykes and he will ensure that you have all the details in advance of the meeting.

We hope to see you soon.

Ann Beckett-Bradshaw

The Whippet Breed Council held a meeting at the Sports Connection at Ryton on 29th July 2018. This is a synopsis of the meeting by the Chairman Ann Beckett-Bradshaw:
 
I was delighted to be able to commence this meeting with a full complement of all 11 whippet breed clubs! The Northern Ireland whippet club have not been in attendance for some years and I was very pleased to be able to welcome their representative to the council meeting.
 
Also in attendance as our guests were the Sporting Whippet Club and, to my delight, several observers. To keep the Breed Council working efficiently we must involve ‘the future’. We have a duty to encourage and guide those who express an interest, so that they are primed and prepared to continue in the best possible way.
 
In April, the Breed Council notified the Kennel Club of several unauthorised changes to the English version of the FCI whippet Breed Standard. After consultation with the FCI, the Kennel Club informed the Council of the FCI’s response and advised the Council on the way forward. It was pleasing to have the support and guidance, along with timely responses from the Kennel Club regarding these changes.
 
The whippet Club of Italy had attended the Whippet Conference in USA with a beautifully prepared flyer, outlining their plans for a whippet conference in 2022, so if the UK has any intention of organising a whippet conference, it is clear that planning must begin soon, to be ready for the future!
 
The web site, ably managed by Mark Smith has had a revamp and a change of web address. Unfortunately, the old address is still working (although it doesn’t do anything other than load the opening page) so please take note that the new and correct address is www.whippetbreedcouncil.com . Updates will continue to appear on our Facebook page too – The UK Whippet Breed Council.
 
One of the main subjects which had been proposed in advance, was a change to the breed standard regarding the colour Merle. A few years ago, the Kennel Club had invited the Council to address this, but the vote had been for the standard to remain as it was. At that time, it was considered that there was little likelihood of there being any issue, as Merle is not a colour inherited by whippets. However, the council was more recently made aware that there were in fact, whippets registered with this anomaly in Europe. All eleven Breed Clubs voted in favour of sending an application for change to the standard regarding colour. 
 
The Whippet Of The Year was discussed. Sadly, as there had been no offers to organise this event from (either) a club or any group of individuals, the decision was made to suspend WOTY until further notice.
 
There was an interesting presentation by Pam Marston-Pollock, regarding the JCF. Pam outlined her role as the whippet Breed Education Coordinator (BEC) and explained to the Breed Council how the education of upcoming whippet judges will proceed. 
 
Jo Whitehead gave us an update on matters to do with health and heart screening. Serious consideration should be given to re-testing whippets, and continuing to screen them, particularly as they move through veteran and into the older age groups. Only when more of this information is made available will there be a clearer picture to those collating the data. 
 
The late Edith Newton was a staunch supporter and valued member of the Whippet Breed Council for many years. Almost 30 years ago, at her request as Breed Council secretary, I sent my own judging CV to her. As a mark of both respect and remembrance, the Breed Council stood for a minute’s silence, remembering also other whippet ‘people’ who had sadly been lost this year. 
 
I felt the meeting was enthusiastic and positive and although a tremendous amount had been achieved, it was felt that a further meeting should be held this year. The date was set as 14th October 2018 and as before, any individual who would like to attend as an observer, will be welcomed and should notify either myself, or Russell Sykes, so that we can send them the details.

©2018 by The UK Whippet Breed Council.