2018 Bac Meeting Minutes
July 17, 2018


Article by Lynette Coil

 We thank Russ Arend for forwarding the BAC Minutes from the June meeting.

    2018 The 81st  Annual Beagle Advisory Committee Meeting

The teleconference meeting was called to order at 10:00 am on Wednesday June 20, 2018.

Mel Stewart called role. All members were present.

Mel then introduced the AKC staff in attendance. They included Jim Odle and Robert Oliver, AKC Field

staff, Caroline Murphy, Karen Reuter, Lisa King and Dawn Salpeck Performance Events Operations Staff

and Doug Ljungren, E.V.P. of Sports & Events.

Mel Stewart and Doug Ljungren welcomed and thanked the committee members.

Mel Stewart: Let’s start with number one on the agenda, AKC official measuring cards. As of June 1stthe AKC will no longer accept official measuring cards at AKC licensed Beagle Trials. Judges who fail to measure beagles in accordance with procedures will jeopardize their judging privileges. We had to do something to bring this back into compliance. I know that this is inconvenient for some of you but it got to be such a problem, we just had to step in and do something. You would not believe the number of complaints, pictures and emails we received from beaglers. Having said that I will open the floor to allow you to speak both pro and con.

Wayne Heckley: I think tightening the official measuring cards is welcome, I do think a lot of people see the problem. We do need a method eventually to continue to obtain official measurements. I can go on and on with examples where it is required, as long as at the end of the day we do have some method of getting official measurement card. I think however, whatever standard you make in tightening it up is a good thing.

Format      2016   2016   2017    2017    Change   Change

                  Trials  Entries Trials  Entries  in Trials  in Entries

Brace          278   10,994   265   10,506.      -13          -488

Gun Dog       73     7,224     77      8,058         +4         +834

Large Pack   57     5,324    64       5,521        +7         +197

Small Pack     9        183       9         150         -               -33

Small Pack 

Option          286    24,551  297    24,499      +11         -52

2 Cple Pack   68      4,092    77      4,592       +9        +500

Total             771   52,368  789   53,326     +18        +958

Mel Stewart: Let’s start with number one on the agenda, AKC official measuring cards. As of June 1st, the AKC will no longer accept official measuring cards at AKC licensed Beagle Trials. Judges who fail to measure beagles in accordance with procedures will jeopardize their judging privileges. We had to do something to bring this back into compliance. I know that this is inconvenient for some of you but it got to be such a problem, we just had to step in and do something. You would not believe the number of complaints, pictures and emails we received from beaglers. Having said that I will open the floor to allow you to speak both pro and con.

Wayne Heckley: I think tightening the official measuring cards is welcome, I do think a lot of people see the problem. We do need a method eventually to continue to obtain official measurements. I can go on and on with examples where it is required, as long as at the end of the day we do have some method of getting official measurement card. I think however, whatever standard you make in tightening it up is a good thing.

Mel Stewart: Yes, we are looking down the road. There will be cards in the future, we just have to figure out how to keep control of them and not let them get abused.

Jim Campbell: On the official measuring I agree with what you are saying, but we are dealing with people, and people has a tendency to be biased. I am trying to find a way to help fix this problem but right now I think we need to cancel all official measuring cards. All dogs are to be measured before the winners pack, and that will help curtail a lot of this problem. If you have an official measuring card where that dog does not have to be measured the problem will continue.

Mel Stewart: Well that is one thing we were up against Jim. You are right on page 23 on procedure 3, measuring first paragraph it says: “a brace at small pack trials and field trials run under small pack procedures all the hounds called back by the judges for second series in a brace trial or for the winners pack in a small pack trial shall be required to be measured”. So, that is why at the federations I know I have been asked if a hound qualifies to get to the national why does he have to be measured again?

Simply because it’s a licensed trial and the rule is dogs are required to be measured. There is no option so it’s the same for a field champion or anything else. It’s an on‐going process now.

Mel Stewart: Anyone else? Ok that brings us to the second item on the agenda which is the status report on Licensed Federation Derby Stakes and Licensed Field Champion only stakes. We did receive a overview that Russ Arend sent us and the derbys are up this year on the federations in the brace world.

To my knowledge I don’t think any of the gun dog brace ran any, they were still in doubt as to how it worked. We will see more of them next year, but all six of the brace federations did run a licensed event for derbys and the entries were up overall 21, is that correct Russ?

Russ Arend: Yes, that is correct.

Mel Stewart: The floor is open if anyone wants to expand on it a little bit.

Russ Arend: I can give a little bit more information. We have six federations, the very first one just to let you know what we are going through, we had an unusual thing that has not happened in years but the host club within two weeks prior to the trial realized they had a predator issue and they did not have enough rabbits to hold a federation. So we had to move it 50 miles away. They did a great job but then it snowed, and we had ice storms during that trial so we had troubles at what usually is our biggest event. At least three of the others went up, which we were happy with. A couple others either held their own or dropped a little but that stops a trend where every year we were doing less and less. The other two things we did to help and they were both successful, the American Brace Beagling Association put up an award program that the outstanding derby’s in the four different  classes within the six federations would  each get $500.00 and that was

paid for out of our American Brace Beagle Association, that caused some interest plus the licensing and since that time I have talked with two or three guys who won the trials and they say it really seems good we picked those points and we picked up a license win we could use they were really pleased. As far as I know we had no problem in terms of people running a derby. We are happy at how it goes.

Mel Stewart: Thank you Russ, of the six federations four of them were up in numbers in 2018, that is over 50%.

Doug Ljungren: Overall I think entries were up 6%. What Russ is saying is it has changed the trend. It changed from constant downward to a little bit of an upward, so that is significant.

Mel Stewart: In the mid‐western I do know that you all had a real problem because of weather. I thank you Russ for that report. Anybody else?

Mel Stewart: Now that brings us down to discuss Field Champion only.

Doug Ljungren: Caroline Murphy in the office ran a report towards the end of May. At that point there were five Field Champion only events that were licensed, one of which was the Deep South.

Jim Campbell: The Deep South we have the potential to grow. I think we are going to be successful in the Deep South with that.

Mel Stewart: Some people in some of the formats think once a dog finishes they should leave the dog on the shelf. This is a format you can continue to run a dog and if he meets the requirement he can be a 2 or 3‐time champion. The program is moving along and we appreciate the clubs and the federations that participated. Any comments from the committees about those two items?

Mel Stewart: We will move on to the item on the agenda dealing with spayed and neutered dogs participating in field trials. You vote how you feel regarding this subject. I would like to ask Ms.

Anderson, does the National Beagle Club allowed spayed and neutered hounds to run in the events you have?

Jessica Anderson: Yes, sir we do.

Mel Stewart: I know the 2‐CP does because they asked for it in the beginning and we allowed that.

Having said that I will open up the floor to any discussion on the subject. Do I have any comments ont that

Jim Campbell: Mel, I would like to make a comment. I have moved around throughout the Deep South to the different licensed events and I would bring this up and I would tell them to get back to me and give me their opinion on it, and they did. The majority of the people said that a spayed and neutered hound does not do anything to improve the sport or to improve the hound itself. They keep referring to the rule book about bettering the breed, they don’t see how a spayed or neutered hound can better the breed. I know we talked about the sire and dam of the spayed and neutered hound and being able to go back to that they said that information would be available anyway so it was overwhelmingly the majority of the beaglers of the Deep South reported back to me to vote against spayed and neutered hounds at licensed events. That is just the people that reported back to me. I would say 7 out of the ten were against it.

Mel Stewart: Anybody else?

Rick McDonald: I have to echo what Mr. Campbell said. The people I have talked to around the UBGFand different circles have the same thought process as the Deep South on the situation and most of them I would say 90% I have talked to, were against it also.

Mel Stewart: Well, you people represent them that is why we have it out for discussion.

Russ Arend: I only had one person that was against this. Most of them could not see how it would hurt our area. I talked to a lot of people that said if that would help the clubs, we are for it. So, I had the opposite experience as some of the SPO people had, we are not hung up one way or the other, but they are not against it.

Mark Malloy: I polled every club I represent which is close to 100, and of that 100 I only had two in favor and then a question was brought to me was are the show beagles allowed to compete?

Doug Ljungren: Breeds are not allowed to be spayed and neutered in Conformation. Across all Performance field events, they are allowed except for beagles, so there is a divided house on this

subject.

Jessica Anderson: I think the reason we allowed spayed and neutered to run is just for their longevity.

We can talk about the betterment of the breed, which is very important. But when it comes down to the individual beagle I have had to spay and neuter due to medical conditions and I would hate to take that hound out of circulation because of that. I am just more in favor of what I can do for the beagle rather than sitting in a kennel. I can take it on the road and run it in competition because I think that is better for the individual hound. I spay all of my bitches over the age of 7 or 8 if I am not breeding at that point. It provides for a much healthier kennel situation as well, less chance of urinary tract infections and problems. It just seems to create a calmer atmosphere. I do think it’s strange we are the only breed that doesn’t allow spayed and neutered and I wonder if there was a time that these other breeds did not allow spayed and neutered, did they see their numbers go up when they did, and was it better for their sport, did it encourage more participation because I think that is probably the most important thing to help our sport to survive?

Doug Ljungren: That is a good point Jessica. All the field events and Conformation at one time were thought of as breeding sport. It boils down to how you think of the sport. Is this for the betterment of the breed or is this a fun thing to do with your dog? People have dogs and they want to go out and do something with them and have fun. Each sport has come to their own conclusion on this. As you mentioned there are reasons to manage your dog sometimes or they get infections where you need to have them spayed. Those people still want to do something with their dogs. The sports that have allowed it have seen a slight increase.

Mark Malloy: Another thing, as you know we run all age consistency awards and they are tied into the Purina Award. There is a fair amount of money given away and the fellow that was talking to me, he regularly runs for that and he said he can see a guy spaying a female, because when their female comes in heat they miss a couple of trials because the classes are combined and they can’t go so they are chasing points the competition gets pretty heated between them guys, you can’t miss any trials if you

are running for it. He thought it would be an unfair advantage for a dog that spays a female he would not have to miss any trials as opposed to him, when his females come in heat, he would have to miss Trials because of it.

Jim Campbell: That is pretty much been talked about in the Deep South, most of what we talked about here has been discussed throughout the Deep South and the consensus of the small pack option here in the Deep South is against spayed or neutered hounds for whatever reason.

John Edwards: I was just reflecting on the conversation and I agree with Jessica, there are times that a female has a bad prolapse or whatever and she is field champion and you are wanting to support this field champion award. A lot of people have connections with the dog for pleasure and to penalize them because the dog has to be neutered for health reasons doesn’t seem right. I am in favor of letting them run, I don’t see a problem.

Bob Kimber: I represent a lot of clubs through the Heartland Federation and the International Federation, well over 100 and the Wisconsin clubs, there are 10 Wisconsin clubs and they tell me that they were not in favor but all the other clubs of all the other federations they have indicated to me they have no objection and they would like to see it passed because they are under the opinion we need all the field trials entries. I just wanted to pass that along.

Jessica Anderson: I just have question, we know the 2CP have been doing this for just a short while now. Have they seen an increase, has it been a well supported idea, have people been showing up with a lot more spayed and neutered and is it increasing participation?

John Stuckley: I do know from the statistics that we have had a 500 increase over the year in entries.

We haven’t paid much attention to how many are spayed and neutered. Nobody really looks.

Jessica Anderson: Has there been any back lash from it. Has anybody not competed because of the new policy?

John Stuckley: Nobody has had an objection to have a spayed or neutered dog in the class.

Mel Stewart: I will say this, Jessica in the years they have been running the 2CP, I have never been asked about that question. It certainly has not slowed down the entries. It’s not an issue in the 2CP.

Wayne Heckley: I had heard mixed opinions from my federation, they went back and forth quite a lot.

Now I still consider it a breeding sport but I am in favor of it because I believe you are still promoting that blood line and so I don’t see any harm in it, I only see good in it.

Mel Stewart: As you can tell in the discussions there are pros and cons. The AKC’s position is neutral.

It’s up to you .

Doug Ljungren: Brian brought it up last year to put it on the agenda. Maybe he has a comment.

Brian Bush: As far as the Mid‐West Federation goes, I brought it up at federation meetings and everybody there said let the dogs run. As far as who brought it up a little bit ago that running for the points for the year in the males and females combined and spaying the female so that she can run all year and not miss a trial, I have not heard of that and that is not a problem for the Midwest as far as that goes. I guess I am not looking at it as a competition advantage, its more for the medical side of things,like Jessica was saying. I have field champions that I had to get fixed. Never been able to breed her but that does not take away from what she is or what the blood line is.

Jason Deal: I believe that there is good information being presented by Jessica and Wayne. Myself and other people in our club have had dogs that suffered from medical conditions. It’s kind of frustrating when you travel that amount to trials and you put in all those entries over the years to try to get your dog to become a field champion and then you have medical issues come up and now you have to spay or neuter and then you can no longer enter that dog. All that training and time spent to try and get thedog to be an AKC Field Champion is lost. I think everybody in our region agrees to have spayed and neutered entered in field trials.

Mel Stewart: If there are no more comments, we will take a vote on this and move on to new business.

I will call your name and if you are for passing this vote yes, if you are for not passing this vote no.

Jessica Anderson Yes

Jason Deal Yes

Bob Kimber Yes

Jim Campbell No

Robert Miller Yes

John Edwards Yes

Russ Arend Yes

Wayne Heckley Yes

John Stuckwisch Yes

Mark Malloy No

Rick McDonald No

Bryan Bush Yes

Ray Ann Cole No

Mel Stewart: 9 yes/4 no, so it passed.

I appreciate your input on it, because there are many pros and cons to start with, that is why we bring it before the BAC. I will ask Doug when will that go into effect.

Doug Ljungren: It has to be approved by the Board. I’m not sure off the top of my head how long it will take.

Mel Stewart: That brings us to new business to discuss and put items on the agenda for next year. Any comments?

Robert Miller: I would like to address the delegates. For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Bob Miller and I run traditional brace. I represent the Eastern and North Eastern Federations I joined my first club in 1960 it was Orange County Beagle Club in Middletown, NY. At that time, there were 24 brace clubs in NY state, today there are three. The reason I am addressing you is because Traditional Brace at least in my area is rapidly approaching extinction, if we have ten years left I would say we are lucky. Many beaglers who I have talked to asked me why the American Kennel Club doesn’t allow clubs to hold two classes instead of four in areas where entries are low. For example why can’t a club advertise that their licensed trial will be run with one class with 13” and 15” combined females and one class of 13” and 15” combined males. Some clubs are doing this already especially with the male classes since there is often less than 6 entries in one class. This can be accomplished by adding one paragraph to chapter 9, section 1, description of classes and championship requirements. I believe this proposal is crucial to the survival of traditional brace and I hope you will agree. I believe this option can be used in any format except 2CP if desired. The additional paragraph can read as follows:

At a licensed or member beagle club field tria,l a club may run two classes as follows one class of 13” and 15” combined bitches and one class of 13” and 15” combined dogs or one class of 13” combined bitches and dogs and one class of 15” bitches and dogs combined.

I think this would be paramount to our traditional brace. It’s only an option it does not have to be done.

Mel Stewart: When we make these rules, we are looking at across the table. This came up a couple of years ago, that is the reason we agreed that if entries close and there are fewer than six entries in the class, the committee has the option to combine by sex or gender. You can advertise that and some clubs do, if we have fewer than six we will combine.

Russ Arend: I agree with Bob, on one side of what he is saying if that will help clubs that are struggling along those lines we need to do what we can but there is also a disadvantage. We have in our sport several people that are running a lot of dogs and a few people that are running one or two and I don’t want people to think if we suggest we do that, it’s going to have any effect on increasing entries. Let me give you an idea myself and several of my friends we might go to a trial and run 12 little males. There is no way when they combine the class we are going to run 12 dogs. We might run 6 and 6 and so there is no way we can combine them, so with those people that run several dogs it will decrease the number of entries. If it’s advertised that way and a guy would know going in that, that is the way it is, then it’s up to him to run or not. People with several dogs like me, I wouldn’t go because I would want to go where I can run both classes, I am not opposed I am just saying there are two sides to it and it’s not all good.

That is just the other side of the story.

Wayne Heckley: Is the proposal just to make it traditional brace?

Mel Stewart: I understand that the first thing the gun dog people will ask me is why do we not allow them to do the same thing?

Any more comments?

John Edwards: I think one of the things is the advertising of it. You still have the option of combining when the people get to the trial but the people going to the event, if its advertised, it makes it con-

venient as far as getting judges. If it was a club that does not have a lot of entries they can advertise a certain way especially with the males. There are some areas that do not have a lot of males and they can advertise that way and that could save travel for some.

Mel Stewart: Anymore comments?

If no more comments let’s vote on it. If you vote yes that is to put it on the agenda to be voted on or discussed next year, no vote we do not put it on the agenda, understood?

Jim Campbell: Before we vote, is that just for brace only?

Mel Stewart: No, that is across the board

Mark Malloy: Can we change that to be brace only at this point?

Mel Stewart: We can if you want to. In 2001 this committee passed that we would designate on the titles of dogs as they finished for their championship. A brace champion that finished in traditional brace he would get a BR in front of his field champion. Either Gun Dog Brace or SPO would get a Gun Dog Field Champion designated, Large Pack would get an LP, 2CP the pack itself would get a Hunt Test Champion on the pedigree.

Doug Ljungren: If we said it was just for brace, is that a concern to the gun dog delegates?

Jim Campbell: The Gun Dog is against that.

Doug Ljungren: I am not sure that Jim understood my question. The Gun Dog people are against it forthemselves, that is understood. Are they against it to allow brace people to do it?

Jim Campbell: I am not opposed to allow brace to do it but for the small pack and gun dog brace I don’t think we would want that.

Mark Malloy: I know the gun dog guys in my region will not want that, but If you amend it to leave as an option for the traditional brace I think we can come to a common ground here and it will get what some are asking, we can vote on that.

Mel Stewart: Ok, let’s say this proposal is for traditional brace only. People keep in mind we are only voting to put it on the agenda which gives each of you a year to discuss to discuss and vote for next year.

Any more comments?

We will now vote, yes means we put it on the agenda for next year or if you vote no we do not put it on the agenda for next year.

Jessica Anderson: Yes

Jason Deal: Yes

Bob Kimber: No

Jim Campbell: Yes

Robert Miller: Yes

John Edwards: Yes

Russ Arend: Yes

Wayne Heckley: Yes

John Stuckwish: Yes

Mark Malloy: Yes

Rick McDonald: Yes

Bryan Bush: Yes

Raye Ann Cole: Yes

12 yes/1 no, the majority voted to put it on the agenda to vote on it at this meeting next year.

Robert Miller: I would just like to thank everyone for their participation and realizing our situation.

Mark Malloy: The NE Beagle Gun Dog Federation has asked me to bring forward, to put on agenda to disallow spayed and neutered dogs to run in 2CP trials?

Mel Stewart: Given the committees vote on spayed and neutered in field trials, I don’t think it makes sense to entertain that proposal.

Jim Campbell: They asked me to bring up about the disallowing the tracking collars at a field trial event.

Mel Stewart: That has been discussed thoroughly and there are stiff restrictions on the clubs that use it.

In your large pack areas where you talk about some of those enclosures that are 300 hundred acres, and if you are looking for a dog in those kinds of grounds you need a tracking collar. The rule says its only to be used after the dog has been eliminated from competition, and that means you cannot turn it on until the dog has been eliminated from competition.

Jim Campbell: My next question is would that be optional for the club to allow that?

Mel Stewart: In the rulebook, it reads if the hound under judgement wears a collar it shall be a well‐fitting collar with nothing hanging from it, other than tags for identification. Hounds may wear tracking collars at the option of the handler. So, it’s the option of the handler right now.

Jim Campbell: That is where the problem comes in, “the option of the handler”. Technology has changed and some clubs worry about abuse. I can program my collar into my I‐Phone and I leave my transmitter in my truck and use my I‐Phone to control my hound.

Mel Stewart: At this time, would you like to change the option of the club?

Jim Campbell: I could go along with that rather than with the handler. If it’s the option of the handler I am strictly against that.

Mel Stewart: So you want to change it to the option of the club to allow, is that right Jim?

Jim Campbell: Yes, that is correct.

Mel Stewart: We could vote on that right now, we do not have to wait a year. Any comment on that?

Do you want to vote to do now or put on agenda and vote next year?

Comments?

Jim Campbell: The Deep South people they are not for leaving up to the option of the handler. They are trying to eliminate the dishonesty of people doing things.

Mel Stewart: What does the committee want to do? Is there any objection to vote to change the word from handler to club at this meeting. If there is please let me know?

We are talking about changing the word handler to club. If a club does not allow it then you cannot use a tracking collar, it would have to be stated in the premium list. If you vote yes, that is to change the word handler to club. If you vote no, that is to leave the wording like it is:

Jessica Anderson Yes

Jason Deal Yes

Bob Kimber Yes

Jim Campbell Yes

Robert Miller Yes

John Edwards Yes

Russ Arend Yes

Wayne Heckley Yes

John Stuckwisch Yes

Mark Malloy Yes

Rick McDonald Yes

Bryan Bush Yes

Raye Ann Cole Yes

Its unanimous and we will change that word from option of the handler to the option of the club and you must advertise you cannot use tracking collars.

Jessica Anderson: When does this become effective?

Doug Ljungren: We will work on it and communicate the effective date to the sport.

Mel Stewart: Any other subjects you want to bring up?

I appreciate your time today.

Doug Ljungren: I thank you for your time. It was an interesting and thoughtful discussion.

Caroline Murphy: Your thoughts are always appreciated; the next meeting is a year out so whatever you can think of to improve the sport between now and then please let us know.

Meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.


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