Breeder banned from Crufts after threatening judge
Kennel Club disciplines man who lost his cool when Yogi the dog failed to get award at earlier show
Sunday 21 March 2010
A breeder whose pet dog has just won the canine world's highest accolade has been banned from next year's Crufts for threatening a judge at another show.
Moray Armstrong celebrated last Sunday as Yogi, a Hungarian vizsla co-owned by his wife, Kathryn, took the Best in Show (BIS) crown at Crufts. But his triumph was shortlived. Four days later the Kennel Club, the body that governs the dog show world, banned Mr Armstrong, who co-handles Yogi, from its events for a year. He had been threatening a show judge who placed the dog second at the Welsh Kennel Club championship last August.
On that occasion, after losing, Mr Armstrong implied he had some influence over the performance evaluation of the judge, Rachel Herbert, and said that she would not judge again. He blamed her for costing him the BIS title, a Kennel Club disciplinary hearing heard last week.
Mr Armstrong, who is a judge himself and is now unable to judge at next year's Crufts as planned, admitted saying Mrs Herbert was unlikely to judge again, and that her credibility would suffer because he would not have the chance to compete for BIS.
"We recognise it is essential that those showing dogs at events such as this maintain respectful standards in the treatment of judges and their decisions," declared a Kennel Club statement. "In this instance, Mr Armstrong's behaviour fell well below those standards. This was a repeated incident. All those officiating at licensed events are deserving of respect and the committee has a duty to protect them in this regard." The committee disqualified Mr Armstrong from attending or taking part in Kennel Club events, as well as judging them, for a year. It also fined him £500, ordered him to pay costs of £1,210, censured him and warned him over future conduct.
The club's statement quoted Mr Armstrong as admitting causing Mrs Herbert "undue upset and distress". He said: "I... accept that when my dog was placed second by Mrs Herbert, given its championship history, I was surprised by the decision and I accept that I made some unguarded and inappropriate remarks which were discreditable and prejudicial to the interests of the canine world."
Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today magazine, said the timing of the hearing was "peculiar". "I am shocked that you only get a year's ban for intimidating judges because we shouldn't have a win-at-all-costs mentality. I think the Kennel Club should have given a much stronger message that it's about the health and well-being of the dogs and it's not a game," she added.
Ms Cuddy said the incident tarnished "the whole concept of showing". "It's brought it back to the days of it being a bit scurrilous," she said. "It's not the image you'd hope the Kennel Club was going for, which was trying to make breeders seem more positive, trying to do all they could for the betterment of dogs."
Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, said the date of the hearing had been set "months ago" and that its timing after Crufts was "pure coincidence". The Armstrongs declined to comment.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Feminist quotes to inspire you on the International Women's Day
Oscar Pistorius trial: Never mind a media scrum – murder case becomes bizarre safari following the tracks of a wounded lion
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
International Women's Day 2014: Mothers and daughters describe their hopes and dreams in touching photographs
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...