Dog Shows, Inc.
Dog Shows, Inc.
Dog Shows, L.L.C.
Dog Shows, Ltd.
Rau Dog Shows, Ltd.
To: All American Kennel Club Event Participants
Regarding: AKC Online Entry Processing
The Dog Show Superintendents Association (DSSA) was formed in August 2002 to represent professional Superintendents in all-important matters impacting them and the Fancy overall and to bring well-defined responses and discussion to the dog showing public.
The Association feels attention needs to be brought to this topic and that your opinions deserve to be heard.
- What has happened thus far:
Topic appeared from time to time as an Item for Discussion under the AKC Boardís Business Committee.
In January the DSSA communicated to the Board and the AKC Conflict of Interest Committee its concerns with the AKC online entry concept. We received no response.
In April members of the Association Executive Committee met with AKC staff in Raleigh to discuss these issues.
In May the Association shared their concerns with all AKC Delegates.
In June AKC staff attended a portion of the DSSA meeting held in Chicago and this topic was among those discussed.
In July the Association polled the Delegates on this issue. The majority of the responding Delegates were opposed to the AKC online entry system
In September the Association shared the results of the Delegate poll with the AKC staff
In November the Association received a letter from Dennis Sprung confirming it was AKC's intention to proceed with online agility entries. Following successful implementation of that service they would extend an invitation to the Association to hold a meeting prior to a decision being reached on conformation entries.
- What the AKC Board of Directors has said:
In May 2004, the majority of the Board voted to approve "the exploration and development of an AKC Online Entry System."
- What Delegates have said:
We (the DSSA) appreciate the support we have received from many of you since
we brought this to your attention.
The DSSA is compiling the results and comments from a survey of Delegates. At present, 76% of the current responses agreed that AKC should not process entries.
SAMPLING OF COMMENTS INCLUDED:
"It's not broken, so let's not fix it!"
"In our opinion, this is handing more of a Club's autonomy over to the
"As a long time exhibitor, breeder, and now also a judge and delegate; I do not believe that the AKC belongs in the Superintendents business, they are a registry. A second point is that recent computer catastrophes in the last five years indicate that the AKC is not electronically capable of doing an acceptable job."
"It is outside AKC's charter and stated purpose to process entries."
"I think it's shameful that in view of you superintendents 'partnering' with AKC over all these past years in building our excellent show (competition) system that they now turn on you and try to steal part of your income system. There appears to be no end to AKC's lust for more income and more power."
- Fulfilling a Real Need:
Taking entries is a normal part of a superintendentís duties. Most of the superintending organizations already provide online entry systems for exhibitors in shows.
The process of accurately accepting event entries is very complex (online or otherwise). Accurate show parameters for every event are required for the proper accounting of fees and classes offered. The AKC does not have this information stored anywhere in their databases. It only exists in premium lists compiled by show secretaries and superintendents.
Developing a competent online entry system is not an inexpensive project. It has taken Superintendents many years and countless dollars to develop our online systems. Has AKC considered what it will realistically cost to develop such a system? Essentially, they will be spending many dollars to take in a small percentage of income that is presently split at least 10 ways.
Barbara Schwartz, former American Kennel Club AVP Events, wrote on this topic in the July 2nd, 2004 issue of Dog News. The article does not support the AKCís concept of processing entries.
- Conflict of Interest:
When the adjudicating body has a vested interest in the outcome of any dispute there is a conflict of interest.
As we have a professional or business interest in purebred dog events we are prohibited from becoming delegates, BUT, the AKC intends to compete in part of our core business of processing entries.
Is this the mission of a registration and governing body? The AKC controls clubs, superintendents and show secretaries with rules, licensing fees and fines. Event entries are a direct responsibility of the clubs and the agents they employ. AKC governs the terms (closing date, time, receipt of fees etc.) by which legal entries can be received. It is our opinion that AKC will create a dilemma by accepting any type of show entry for a club.
The argument that superintendents are afraid of competition is bogus. Also bogus is likening AKCís processing entries to an independent entry service, which is a for-profit entity and not in AKCís position to govern, adjudicate, license or fine. Superintendents, rather than fearing competition, are in the position of competing every day. Fair competition among the AKC Licensed Superintendents is the impetus for running more efficiently and producing better products and services, which has a positive impact on the sport.
The DSSA believes it is inherently wrong for AKC to be processing entries. One of AKCís roles in the sport is that of protector. Deliberately putting AKC into a situation that presents even the perception of a conflict of interest is a serious disservice to the Fancy and to the sport of purebred dogs.
DSSA believes there are better uses for the dollars AKC wants to invest in an online entry system.
What will happen to costs to clubs and exhibitors if superintendents lose income that is presently used to help keep those costs in line? What will happen next if AKC invests hundreds of thousands of dollars in an online system and it doesnít meet their expectations?
Promote new people into the sport, which in turn would benefit AKC,
clubs and exhibitors.
The promotion of purebred dogs along with the special bond that exists
between humans and canines. Aid in the fight against the anti-dog
Develop responsible ownership programs for ALL owners and their
canine companions, which could have the benefit of staving off legislation
resulting from irresponsible owners.
If you are associated with a kennel club, you may want to discuss this at your next meeting and if you have a Delegate, let him or her know your club's opinion.