FCI Style Critiques and Gradings

March 22, 2018

 

With a breed specialist judge officiating at our Championship Show, the FLCNSW have arranged with our judge to include written critiques and FCI gradings. At the same time, class judging, awarding of challenges, etc shall be undertaken as per ANKC regulations. 

 

The following article is intended to help exhibitors understand what to expect on the day.

 

Judging Process
Each class will commence as exhibitors would normally anticipate, with all exhibits entered in that class entering the ring in catalogue order. 


As each individual exhibit is examined, our judge will evaluate that individual dog according to the breed standard. Judging is expected to be similar to normal individual judging, with visual and physical examination, and exhibitors requested to move their dogs in the normal anticipated patterns (triangles, out and back etc) as required by the judge.

 

While our judge is assessing the exhibit they will provide a verbal critique, which will be transcribed by our critique writer. Exhibitors should anticipate these critiques may be audible to those standing immediately ringside.

 

At the conclusion of individual assessment, the judge may provide the exhibitor with a grading ribbon (with the exception of the baby puppy class), indicating their evaluation of the exhibit. These ribbons may instead be placed with critiques. Gradings will be noted by the critique writer on the critique forms.

 

Once all individual exhibits have been assessed, the judge will then select 1st to 5th place winners in that class in the normal way

 

At the conclusion of class judging for each sex, all class winners will return to the ring for normal ANKC challenge and reserve challenge judging.

 

General special judging will also be as exhibitors would normally expect and will follow ANKC rules.


Critiques
The written critiques will be available for collection by exhibitors at the end of the day. A copy will be retained by the FLCNSW and may be published in post-event communications with members and exhibitors.

 

The Finnish Kennel Club’s GUIDELINES FOR JUDGES AT DOG SHOWS IN FINLAND, includes the following explanation of critiques, which is likely to provide some explanation of what exhibitors will receive (although please be assured these will be in English):

Each dog is given a written critique of approximately 20–50 words, which the judge dictates to the ring steward in his/her own language. The critique should include the judge’s overall assessment of the dog and its quality, and it should cover the main merits and faults of the dog. The critique for a non-excellent or non-very good dog should indicate the reason for the grading.

 

Gradings
FCI type gradings, with associated ribbons, will form part of individual judging of all exhibits over 6 months.

 

Baby Puppies will still be critiqued, and will be eligible for a HP (Honorary Prize) grading and ribbon (violet ribbon). The judge may award as many HPs as he chooses, although this is likely to be limited in number. There will not be a grade provided to other baby puppies who do not receive the HP.

 

An explanation of the gradings possible are below, with words taken directly from the Finnish Kennel Club’s GUIDELINES FOR JUDGES AT DOG SHOWS IN FINLAND:


EXCELLENT (red ribbon) may only be awarded to a dog which comes very close to the ideal standard of the breed, is presented in excellent condition, displays a harmonious, well-balanced temperament, and is of high class and has excellent posture. Its superior characteristics in respect of its breed permit that minor imperfections can be ignored; it must however have the typical features of its sex.

Note: in Finland only those exhibits awarded an Excellent grading may also at the judge’s discretion be awarded a CC quality grading (pink ribbon). This will in no way impact on the judging process for challenges which will follow ANKC rules.

 

VERY GOOD (blue ribbon) may only be awarded to a dog which possesses the typical features of its breed and which has well-balanced proportions and is in correct condition. A few minor faults may be tolerated, however none of a morphological nature. This award can only be granted to a dog that shows class.

 

GOOD (yellow ribbon) is to be awarded to a dog which possesses the main features of its breed however showing faults, subject to that these are not concealed.

 

SUFFICIENT (green ribbon) must be awarded to a dog which corresponds adequately to its breed without possessing the generally accepted characteristics, or whose physical condition leaves something to be desired.

 

DISQUALIFIED (grey ribbon) must be awarded to a dog that
does not correspond to the type required by the standard;

- displays behaviour clearly not in line with its standard or is aggressive;

- has testicular abnormalities;

- has dental flaw(s) or a jaw abnormality;

- shows a colour and/or coat imperfection or clearly shows signs of albinism;

- does not appear healthy;

- shows some fault(s) listed in the breed standard as eliminating faults.

 

Dogs that cannot be awarded any one of the qualifications mentioned above should be released from the ring with:

CANNOT BE JUDGED (brown ribbon) – This rating is given to a dog whose gait and movement cannot be assessed (dog does not move, constantly jumps up and down around its handler or tries to get out of the ring);

- to a dog that constantly avoids the judge so that it cannot be examined to inspect its bite, teeth, anatomy, construction, tail or testicles;

- to a dog that shows traces of operations or treatments that appear like attempts of deception;

- if the judge has reason to suspect operations intended to correct some fault in the dog (e.g. eyelids, ears, tail).

 

Please note that Gradings will not impact on judging for challenges like they do in Finland. Challenge awarding will follow ANKC rules. So, for example, in a situation where no exhibit in a particular class receives an excellent grading, this will not preclude the class winner for competing for the challenge.

 

The Exhibitor Experience
While exciting, the process of judging will be a somewhat different experience for exhibitors than what they are used to in the normal all-breeds ring. Of course, this can only ever be one judge’s opinion on the day, however it is still a great privilege to be able to receive a critique and grade from a breed specialist, as well as hearing their thoughts on other dogs.

 

The learning from such an experience will be invaluable. It is certainly anticipated that individuals may wish to discuss and reflect on the judge’s assessments or determinations with friends, as part of their learning process. However, out of respect and courtesy for our judge, please ensure any commentary is kept discrete and well away from the ring.

 

Please come prepared that it is not expected that every dog will receive an Excellent grading. This is never the case in Finland, and indeed, in many cases, particularly for young or immature dogs, exhibitors will show great pride in a Very Good grading. A general glance at most show results for Lapphunds in Finland would see on average approximately 50% of dogs receiving an excellent grading, 30% a very good grading, and 20% a good grading (other gradings are less common), give or take. Across classes that percentage differs, with younger classes seeing far less of the Excellent gradings, and sometimes none. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect a similar result for our show.

 

We hope you thoroughly enjoy the day, and take great benefit from learning, both about your dogs and those around you. I am sure all exhibitors will maintain the good sportsmanship and respect for our judge, that we are known for and is often commented on favourably from those who have previously judged our breed. 


Article courtesy of the Finnish Kennel Club and republished with the kind permission of the Finnish Lapphund Club of Victoria

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