Crufts... 76-year-old ‘evicted’ from the show
18 Mar 2010 02:15
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A 76-YEAR-old woman
taking part in the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme
display teams was told to leave Crufts after the
Kennel Club claimed her five-month-old German
Shepherd puppy was unsound.
Pam Edgington (Starkstrom), who has been in the
breed for 50 years and is an accredited breeder, was
dismissed after one of the show’s vets declared her
puppy showed ‘an abnormality in her hindquarters’.
Mrs Edgington, whose
GSD won the Good Citizen classes at Crufts in 2007,
‘08 and ‘09 and this year was second, was told by
officials she could not wait on the benches until
her team had finished but must leave immediately.
The person who gave her a lift to the show had to
get passes to leave the show to drive her back to
Staffordshire to pick up her car, and then return to
“My puppy was having such a lovely time talking to
the people and children – even enjoying the noise,”
Mrs Edgington said. “But the vet came to look at
her, bent down and fussed her, stroked her back end
and said she was unsound. He didn’t ask to see her
“He said, ‘Sorry, you will have to leave
immediately’. Ten minutes later I was gone. The KC
said that if an official says a dog is unsound it is
in breach of KC regulations. I had to be evicted.
Couldn’t I have been asked to withdraw from the team
and sit on my bench and read my book?
“They didn’t ask me anything or ask me to give my
side. The sad part is I am an accredited breeder;
all my dogs are hip scored and health tested. But I
won’t stay in the ABS now.
“You don’t exercise youngsters as you have to let
their bones grow. You don’t want to mess them up so
it is better to leave them alone until about nine
months old. My puppy is extremely loose and I have
no intention of doing anything with her. But because
the KC is so strict now on this business – what they
call being unsound. She isn’t – she is a baby and as
such she is loose.
“I felt so humiliated and sick about it all. I am
76, I can do without this. Crufts won’t be getting
any more entries from me. They have taken what was
probably my last Crufts and ruined it.”
Mrs Edgington has
only four GSDs – the puppy, her grandmother, mother
and sister. On pastoral day at Crufts her dogs took
a second and third.
“That’s the difference between an adult and a
puppy,” she said. “But the KC has a vendetta against
GSDs; they are targeting us.
“I feel sorry for the club who asked me to take part
– and angry too. The reason they asked me was
because I am 76 and I have a youngster who I’m
training and they thought it would be fun for me.
But it wasn’t, it was a nightmare.
“Everyone I know is behind me – they’re all
appalled. In 50 years I have never been so
A KC spokesman confirmed that a GSD was excluded
from the Good Citizen ring.
“This decision was taken upon the advice of the
Crufts vet who felt that the dog showed abnormality
in the hindquarters,” she said. “We are dedicated to
ensuring that Crufts is a celebration of healthy
dogs, and in a display ring, where there is no judge
to make an executive decision, it is particularly
important that the vet takes the responsibility for
ensuring that all dogs are sound representatives of