I have been reading and thinking about the decision made by UKC to no longer allow event staff to participate in UKC events which they are working. I am very saddened by this decision for many reasons. First and foremost I see this as the death of UKC events here in Minnesota. You may or may not be aware of how active a dog event area Minnesota is. There are very few weekends each year that there is not some dog event available, and in many cases more than one. This weekend alone, January 21-22, 2012 there are 4 that I am aware of, the UKC obedience and rally trial I am chairing, a ASCA event including conformation obedience and rally, an AKC agility vent and a USDAA agility event, all within the metro area.
There is a very small group of competitors in MN who do UKC. Those of us that do though, are the same group willing to work and hold these shows. We hold the shows, we chair them, secretary them and work them so that we HAVE the opportunity to play with our dogs. If UKC takes that opportunity away what incentive do we have to hold the events? Everyone in these clubs work and show. I know I would not have willingly given up hours and hours of time to hold a show and not be able to participate in one of the few weekends we have.
I love UKC, I had a wonderful time at Gateway in 2010, at Premier in 2011. But the basis for my ability and desire to do these bigger shows is based on my opportunities to show here at home. One of my dogs again is in the top 10 for conformation another managed to make the all star rally list. The one who is on the rally all star list did so by showing at our local shows. However, had I not been able to compete in a whole weekend’s worth of events he never would have had a chance as our opportunities are so limited. Had he not made the list, we would not be planning a trip to Premier this year. I know I am not the only person here who feels this way as the UKC participants have had many discussions over the last few days. Since our biggest conformation club locally has already stated they cannot go forward with these rules in place, our local performance club may not be able to either as we do share many event locations and costs. I am sure we will be discussion this at the event this weekend.
I see this as a death spiral for UKC, at least in here in Minnesota.