Another great European Dog Show

At the time of writing the Czech canine organisation (CMKU) is hard at work on the last preparations for the FCI European Dog Show 2014 in Brno. The number of entries is impressive almost 15,000 dogs + those who take part in the circuit breed club shows.

The CMKU which back in 1991 also organised the EDS – also in Brno – is an experienced organiser and I am convinced that the event is in the best hands and that the FCI Europe Section will be proud of the show when the results are available.

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Jørgen Hindse
President of the FCI Europe Section
The difficult art of judging canine perfection

The Federación Cinológica de Cuba’s College of Judges

Nelson J. Borroto Agüero, chairman of the Federación Cinológica de Cuba’s College of Judges, give us details about the work of this organisation on the Caribbean island.

I met Nelson J. Borroto Agüero, Chairman of the Federación Cinológica de Cuba's (FCC) College of Judges, under the burning sun of September in Havana, while he was hard at work during the latest national championship for all breeds.

Thus, in the midst of all the comings and goings of the show, this great dog connoisseur – who came to the canine world as a breeder of Dobermanns and Great Danes – filled the publication’s readers in on what goes on inside the Cuban College of Judges.

The Federación Cinológica de Cuba’s College of Judges was founded in the mid 1990s and a group of us, all people who had gained experience through our own Associations, became members. We then started to pave the way for what was to come. Back then I was a member of the College, a position I held for a number of years until I was elected chairman in 2005.

The job of the College is to implement a rigorous training strategy in order to develop its judges, so it promotes the courses that candidates need in order to be properly trained, prepares the appropriate examinations and handles the official appointment of the judges.

In order to join the College, any potential candidate must be at least 25 years of age and have studied to pre-university level or equivalent and must present a curriculum vitae to show what s/he has achieved in the dog world over this period, that s/he is an active member of the Club or Association which is putting him or her up for membership - and this evidence must go back at least five years - that s/he is a breeder with a registered kennel name, that s/he has dogs registered in at least five litters of the breed and/or breeds which come under the responsibility of the Club or Association which is putting him or her up for membership and that s/he has been actively and responsibly involved in the dog world and shows for at least three years, having acted on at least eight occasions as a judge’s secretary, for a minimum of one year, in order to be fully cognisant of both procedural problems and the rules.

Once these requisites are met, the College of Judges needs to make the candidate undergo a preliminary written assessment in order to give him or her the opportunity to show that s/he has basic knowledge in the following areas: anatomy; how dogs move; genetics and the rules governing both national and FCI shows.

The College of Judges will provide the candidate (once s/he is accepted) with a course of Theoretical and Practical training, provided that s/he has passed the written preliminary assessment; the time the course lasts will be in proportion to the series of meetings which are held, provided that the required subjects are tackled, and the required pass rate is a minimum of 70 points. The aim of the course will be to help the candidate to gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the following topics: the College of Judges, how a Judge should behave, principles and procedure in the ring; the Origins of Dogs; Dog Anatomy, Morphology, and Movement; Hair and Chromatology; Zoometry; Genetics, Health and Temperament; Breed Classifications; Breed Perfection Standards; Zootechnical Functions; the terms most commonly used in breed perfection standards; Aesthetics and handling, and Rules.

“From the moment when you are appointed as a national judge, which only allows you to judge at national shows within Cuba for a period of at least three years, in order to be able to award international points also within Cuba, now for a minimum period of two years.

Once these latter two years have elapsed, you will be able to judge international shows outside Cuba although only for the breeds for which you hold an international licence, and you will be entered on the Federación Cinológica de Cuba’s list of international judges.

Once appointed, the judge must continue with his or her training by taking part in the College’s activities, attending training meetings, conferences, seminars, meetings, taking breed or group examinations, judging, etc.

S/he will add breeds or groups to his or her accreditation list, from the FCI’s ten breed groups, s/he will only be able to examine one group per year for the first five years, and after these first groups s/he will be able to examine more than one group per year, but will only be able to reach the position of an FCI International Judge for All Breeds ten years after his or her appointment", remarks the chairman of the College.

The College currently has various judges among its members. There are four international judges for all breeds, two partial international judges, three national judges and one who is accredited only for the German Shepherd breed.

Can anyone become a judge?

Although you need a lot of experience to be a judge, anyone who meets the aforementioned criteria can achieve this. There are no age or gender-related limits apart from having to be 25 years old in order to join, provided that you have the physical and mental abilities to carry out the duties, you can join or continue judging.

What are the main activities in which the College gets involved?

The College of Judges takes part in all of the FCC’s events, and those in other FCI member countries. Here we hold a four-day Pan-American event, there are two international competitions also lasting for four days, one two-day national competition and we are now adding two events lasting just one day, at Cienfuegos and Varadero.

As final considerations Nelson J. Borroto pointed out the passion needed, first and foremost, by anyone who takes on the responsibility of judging Canine Beauty Shows, which means that you have to meet all the standards of breed perfection, and taking on board the enormous importance of its contribution to the health, well-being and development of all thoroughbred dogs.

“It’s absolutely vital that you feel an extraordinary love for dogs”.

René A. Castaño Salazar

© Caridad Linares
Judge: Nelson Borroto Agüero
Pups category
Dog: Portabales Eternal Sunshine
Handler: Livan Fumero
© Caridad Linares
Judge: Nelson Borroto Agüero
Category: Pup
Dog: Casta de Nobles Sunrise Marsella
Handler: Yusdenis Vega