Friday, October 12, 2018

Kennel Club Leadership Under Fire

The Daily Mai
l reports
that the top management at the Kennel Club is under fire:

The under-fire chairman of the Kennel Club has quit after losing a vote of no-confidence in a private board meeting, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Simon Luxmoore stood down along with committee chairmen Mark Cocozza and Jeff Horswell after allegations of mismanagement and bullying, as we reported last week.

The core charges are mismanagement and bullying and yet the trio will remain on the board of the Kennel Club in a move that one critic, Geoffrey Davies, has branded a 'fiasco'.

Kennel Club members had called a vote of no confidence, alleging that the three top officials had lowered the club’s reputation, victimized protesters, and “failed to provide sound leadership”.

The brouhaha was kicked up when Mr. Horswell openly laughed and ridiculed the placing of dogs at the Birmingham Championship show and Mr. Luxmoore threatened a journalist trying to tape his comments at the Welsh Kennel Club dinner.

A letter signed by 250 protesters, a sixth of the Kennel Club's membership, said: “We are unanimous in the belief that our historic Kennel Club is being wrested from us and is not in the safe hands we need to guide us forward into the future."

In response, club executives called in Farrer & Co, solicitors to the Queen, to fight the challenge. They also sent a “muzzling” letter to the club’s 1,497 members, warning that organisational rules forbid talking to the media, on pain of expulsion.

Behind it all, of course, is money and ego. The Times reports:

At the heart of the dispute lies a battle for the future of an organisation that was set up to run dog shows and oversee stud books but has morphed into a highly successful business. The club has a turnover of £21m a year, 240 staff and a lucrative monopoly over the registration of pedigree dogs and events such as Crufts.

Five years ago, its board of directors transformed it from a club into a private company. It then sold the building it had occupied for 50 years, in Mayfair, central London, to developers in exchange for a new office block nearby and £12m cash. Some was used to buy a £3.4m Northumberland grouse moor to hold field trials for gun dogs and bloodhounds. Last year came plans to build a £2.4m “customer relations” computer system to target the UK’s 10m dog lovers.

The protesters say the commercialisation has gone too far and the money is being spent too fast, with losses last year of £677,000. “The idea was to use these databases to make lots of money through marketing to members and owners, but the feeling is that we are becoming a business and not a club,” said one manager.

The Kennel Club brings in a lot of money, but does it actually do anything positive for dogs?

The short answer is no. 

No working breeds was ever created or improved by the Kennel Club, but every working breed has been compromised or ruined there under the twin burdens of bizarre show ring standards and exaggeration, and the requirement that dogs be inbred within a closed registry that gives zero points for health, zero points for work, and zero points for temperament.

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