We invite your COMMENTS
below but first, this background. The breeder-owner of two top winning, top ranked dogs looked at the panel for the
Supported Entry shows at Louisville and decided to go IF a certain male special
wasn’t going to be there. She entered, booked a flight, and waited. When the
returns showed only her dog and one other known male special, she and a friend
confirmed their flights.
Imagine Kathy Schoeler’s surprise when the dog that she knew wasn’t entered
appeared at ringside and was shown! Quoting from Mrs. Schoeler’s letter to AKC
“The Superintendent (Onofrio) was called to ringside and was told by ______ that
there had been a mistake and that #16 was a dog, not a bitch. The Superintendent
made the change in the judge's book from a bitch to a dog.”
The letter continues “The Superintendent was questioned about the substitution
and stated the only change they were told to make was from a bitch to a dog,
that (the handler) had made a mistake on on the original entry form and
therefore they made the change.”
Darrell Hayes, Assistant Vice President of Judges’ Operations, and certainly a
person of authority, was at the four-show cluster event. He was asked how the
dog could be shown when everything, including the registration number on the
original entry form, was for a bitch. Mr. Hayes said there was nothing he
could do to stop the dog from being shown (true) and he suggested that the angry
exhibitors write to Barbara Schwartz, Assistant Vice President of Show
Mrs. Schoeler contacted TheDogPress.com and explained the situation, furnishing the editor
with a copy of the letter of complaint. There were several other official
complaints filed by exhibitors. Mrs. Schoeler was more than a little
confused and upset, based on a personal experience in which she could not show
her top special’s dog when she had accidentally printed his litter brother’s
/two-digit number at the end of the otherwise correct registration number and
Mrs. Schoeler said “The Corrections Form is just that. It is to
allow us to correct a mistake such as name spelling, d.o.b., breeder, etc. The
assumption however is that it is an error having to do with the actual dog that
is to be shown. The purpose of the corrections form is NOT to change which dog
Our editor agreed and thus began a complex investigation. There exists an
unwritten guideline that allows two corrections to an entry form - any more than that
is automatically suspect according to one of the dog show superintendents we
contacted. TheDogPress.com learned that the Superintendent could not have
prevented the dog from going into the ring although there is some debate as to
whether or not the AKC Rep could have tactfully discouraged the dog from being
shown over the next three days. The judge’s responsibility is to focus on what
goes on in the ring so it is not within his/her jurisdiction to question changes
in the judges’ book.
This entry form mistake was perceived by those present as deliberate trickery. The
"dog that wasn't entered" was the current top ranked dog in the breed and a sensible person would think twice before
making a long flight to show against an outstanding dog under judges who have
previously expressed appreciation for the dog.
Common sense and honesty
notwithstanding, AKC ruled that the wins stood
even though the registration number on the original entry form was that
of the bitch, causing the Superintendent’s computer to print the bitch’s
information in the catalog. The handler was allowed to make a correction to the
registration number so that the dog could be shown.
It is alleged that the
handler, hoping to induce unsuspecting exhibitors to show up with their male
champions, and being very aware of how the system operates, may have
deliberately put the wrong information on the entry form so that the entry would
show a bitch special entered and not the dog that she was bringing. No one will
ever know but we feel certain that such situations will be looked at closely by AKC in the future.
and handlers have an unimaginable bag of tricks. Continuing to enter a finished
dog in Open is not forbidden but doing so show after show and then going to the
Super’s office to “move the dog up” is a bit more inventive
and should raise questions in the Super's office. Web information or
printed returns will indeed show fewer dogs of that sex entered in Best If Breed
competition. The Champion is
then “moved up” through a correction to the entry form made the
morning of the show. The judge is completely
unaware of the ruse so there is no disadvantage in the deception.
In same-color breeds,
substitution is not uncommon. Breed supporters and even some judges who later
may see the actual dog are left to wonder
how “that dog” finished. Dogs that finished by proxy are
seldom seen again unless owned by a novice so blissfully unaware of the
handler’s dishonesty that they decide to show off their new champion by owner-handling the dog.
Kathy Schoeler, owner of the #1 Breed Points dog and also the #1 (bitch) in All
Breed points, both being shown simultaneously, pointed out that
she could have entered her Best In Show bitch’s information but used the top
breed dog’s registration number and then just decided which
dog to show upon arriving at the show and assessing the competition and whether the breed points
were more important for the dog or the chance for a Group win were more favorable for
the bitch. Handlers with a full load are less likely to employ that particular
deception but unfortunately, it happens.
The superintendent’s are aware of such dishonest tricks but they are obliged to
accept “corrections” at the handler’s word and leave it to AKC to
monitor the frequency with which such errors are made on that handler's entry forms. Does that happen?
See the AKC Show Operations interview and decide. Is blatant deceit
accepted rather than stir up a possible lawsuit?
Your editor was unable to reach Darrell Hayes for comment but Mrs. Barbara
Schwartz, Assistant Vice President of Show Operations, was politely and
professionally willing to discuss the matter. On that basis, we asked for an
interview and AKC agreed. You will find it interesting and informative.
Read the interview and then share your opinions in COMMENTS which the webmaster set up
especially for "entry form deceit". What other deceptions or tricks have you heard
about? We can assure you that AKC would like to know the answers so that Show
Operations can close the loopholes.
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