Wednesday, 6 April 2016

REVEALED: "Tori" wins at Bolton GSD Show - but rules are broken

(Update 6/4/16) - video removed at request of copyright owner but you can view it here)

It's grainy, but clear enough to see movement... a video of Cruaghaire Catoria (being handled by the woman in pink) winning Open Bitch at the Bolton GSD Show on Sunday.

She went on to be awarded Best Bitch - her third CC (Championship Certificate) - which means that "Tori" is now, officially, a Kennel Club Champion.

It is absolute proof, should it be needed, that the GSD community in the UK is sticking two fingers up at - well, everyone.

Can the Kennel Club do anything about it? Does the Kennel Club want to do anything about it?

The only statement I've managed to get from them is this:
"The Kennel Club General Committee will be considering the wider issue of German Shepherd Dogs rather than an individual dog and its decisions will be announced in due course."
There is, currently, some confusion about whether or not the KC needs to ratify Tori's Kennel Club Champion status (as I reported a couple of days ago, she is already a British Regional Champion under WUSV rules) - with some observers saying it's not official yet. 

If that's the case, the video above might just give the Kennel Club some ammunition to refuse to ratify the win.

The first reason is the double-handling evident at the event.... the shouting//toots/noises used by those outside the ring to get their dogs' attention. It's something you only ever see (or hear) at the GSD ringside and it is supposed to make the dogs look alert for the judge (presumably because the dogs would otherwise slump into pained boredom?). It is expressly forbidden under KC rules. Indeed, ringside, there was a notice to this effect (see here)

It reads:
"The attracting of the attention of exhibits by any method from outside the ring is prohibited and the duty of the judge, steward or show management noticing such attraction to ask that it cease."
Although I understand that Judge Andrew Winfrow did ask people to stop it he was ignored - and he  continued to judge with it still going on.

You could argue, perhaps, that it's a minor point - just more evidence of how absurd the whole GSD showing thing has become. But, actually, it's a contributory factor to weak temperaments. You often see the dogs looking anxiously for their owners; something that shouldn't happen in a breed that is supposed to have rock-steady nerves.

And there was another rule broken at the show too - evidenced in the judge's critique at the end of the class. (His conclusion - that Tori has a "very good backline...this is a very, very correct female".) An oral commentary by a judge at the end of a class is forbidden under KC rules. 

It is unlikely, of course, that the KC would be brave enough to nullify the results for these two reasons. But, boy, it would stop the double-handling overnight. 

Andrew Winfrow is a German Shepherd breeder himself.  He has edited a book about the German Shepherd, the blurb for which describes him thus:

Andrew’s Sadira kennel of German Shepherds has enjoyed considerable success since the 1970s, winning the top female GSD title five times, as well as making up five UK Champions. Andrew is an international Championship show judge, and has officiated at Crufts as well as travelling worldwide on judging appointments. He is an assessor for the Kennel Club on conformation and movement, and is the UK delegate at the main WUSV meeting in Germany.

He sits on the GSD Breed Council (part of the Educational Working Party) and is a Member of the Kennel Club. He judged German Shepherds at Crufts in 2002. Here he is meeting HRH Prince Michael of Kent at Crufts that year.

Photo: Alan V Walker

Winfrow is, then, about as Kennel Club establishment as you can get, and here he is awarding a CC to the most controversial German Shepherd in recent history - even though (as you can hear in the video) he actually thought the dog that came second was more correct to the standard, other than that she was "bouncing slightly at the back end", and he admits that when Tori leans into the lead she looks "extreme").

The debacle rumbles on.


  1. Watching those neurotic cripples move is enough to make you puke!

  2. What an absolute shambles. Do you know what they remind me of? People on segs, there is something odd about the handlers movement too and the whole image is just laughable. The noise is ridiculous and unsurprising that some of the dogs are really jittery. As for the judge and his little speech at the end - P L E A S E - really?

  3. Oh sweet Cthulhu, they are ALL in hysterics, ALL the time.

    Show dogs have ONE JOB. One very easy, very stupid job.

    How can anyone who participated in that feel proud?

  4. 'Winfrow is, then, about as Kennel Club establishment as you can get . . .' No-one is going to move the KC, they will come out with something totally bland in a bid to dumb everything down because they can't afford to humiliate, hurt, or cross their own establishment. A bit like the secret societies, or brotherhood. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if some of these societies haven't already infiltrated the KC which is why they get away with what they do. At the moment the KC is only like a golf club or book club, they don't have any legislation behind them to throw any 'clout,' so if you're in their club you have to abide by what they say. It would be interesting to see how the KC would fall in step if we did have legislation through a proper chanel like DEFRA (OK DEFRA's not perfect, but there are more people qualified to do what they'r supposed to be doing in DEFRA unlike the KC).

  5. There is a 4th reason. She looked lame in the forehand. So hopefully someone will question why a dog that was more correct (at least in his eyes) was thrown over for this dog? Questions seriously need to be raised an answered. Judge has just about broken all the rules...should be removed.

  6. What an absolute joke, a ferkin travesty. The GSD 'Germanic' bunch are so far up their own arses, as well as each others, they can chew their food again on the way down. I'd like to see things from their point of view, but I can't seem to get my head that far up my arse. There are several groups of people in this world that I find unbearably obnoxious, and the 'Germanic' GSD group are all of them.

  7. The video seems to have been made private, unfortunately.

    1. Yes, I'm afraid the copyright owner asked me to take it down.

    2. It is currently still available here:

    3. Wanished! Das wideo is gone.

  8. Please correct yourself, just because a dog is awarded a third CC it does not automatically make it a Champion, it is always subject to KC confirmation.

  9. If that is indeed the case, it will be interesting to see the KC bow down to the breeders yet again by rubber stamping it.

  10. The GSD show crowd amaze me. There is more footage of 'Tori' showing the real, wonderful Tori....and you know what...she is still crabbing along dragging her feet, because she cannot change her construction. They also complain about the poor dogs sold to China after the Sieger Show, but still they worship at the temple.

  11. Not gonna comment about the dog, because I can't see the video, and obviously anything against the rules should not be rewarded. BUT double handling is not a bad thing in and of itself. Pretty much every working line ever is double handled. It implies nothing about the dog's nerve or attitude.

  12. Poor girl. If her back wasn't so crooked and her angulation so extreme, she would be a sound, functional dog.