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October 30, 1992 Newsletter Volume 1, Number 1

Select an Article:

Please e-mail us with any questions or comments!


From Tom Crowe

For some time we at MB-F have entertained the idea of a NEWSLETTER to be sent to all those clubs whose shows we superintend. The idea being to keep clubs abreast of what's happening within MB-F and also within the world of Dog Shows. We intend to try to keep clubs informed of the latest rule changes, how to cope with them etc. We will be putting forth new ideas about shows and how they may be made to run more efficiently and to be more attractive to exhibitors and spectators. We will be soliciting stories and ideas from clubs which we will share with all our clubs. We have a wealth of background and experience we want to share to help, in some way, make the whole sport of showing dogs more fun and a pleasurable experience. It is now and has always been our belief that people come to dog shows to have fun and enjoy themselves. We also believe if they are not having fun and not enjoying themselves that we (the Superintendent, the Club, the AKC) are doing something wrong.

One of the recent things MB-F has done is supply each Club with a set of graphs depicting what the ravages of insidious inflation have done to incomes. Over the last five years prices on everything we buy or do have risen a staggering 23%. It is amazing how well the dog business has been able to cope with this problem. MB-F, in that period of time, has increased prices by less than 10%. Clubs as a rule have only increased their entry fees by a modest 19% during that same period. With those figures one might ask, how can such a business survive with increased show site costs, rising judges costs, etc.? The answer is simpler than one might expect. It's NUMBERS. Over the last five-year period the number of dogs being shown has increased enough to offset, to some extent, the rising cost of inflation. It is questionable, however, as to how long this trend can continue. The recent state of the economy may have a large bearing on our future. Our experience, however, has always been that in recessions entries go up and in good times they go down or remain level. As Max Riddle titled one of his books DOG PEOPLE ARE CRAZY.

There is a lot of talk about too many dog shows and poor quality of exhibits. Rubbish! We say exhibitors want more shows. How can we accommodate people who cannot travel long distances on weekends because of their jobs? How do we accommodate the many local areas where spectators want to see show dogs? How do we take care of areas where local people have a lot of interest and want to form a club in their own area? Why in Heaven's name would anyone want to stifle our life's blood, the new exhibitor, the interested spectator and potential puppy purchaser? It's beyond comprehension that anyone truly interested in our sport would want to put a cap on it. There is a group that proposes this and some of them have influence. Their argument is that fewer shows are the direct result of better clubs and better dogs come from better breeders. If we cut down on the number of shows and we still have the same breeders where are the better dogs going to come from? This same group tells us there are too many cheap champions being made as a result of too many shows. How can they come up with such nonsensical logic? Judges make champions. Good judges make good champions. Bad judges make poor or cheap champions. good judges withhold ribbons on poor quality. Bad judges are afraid to offend friends, handlers, club presidents, etc. by withholding ribbons. Certainly not fewer shows, but rather, good breeders and good judges.

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From Bob Christiansen, President

Computer technology plays a key role at MB-F. We constantly strive to update and enhance the systems used for mailing premium lists, processing entries, and printing catalogs. MB-F has seen the evolution of computers from the days of punched cards, magnetic and paper tape, to CRT screens and voice synthesis.

In the late 1970s we purchased our first true multi-user system. It was a Digital Equipment Corporation PDP 1170. It came complete with 128K of memory, 100 megabytes of disk, 12 serial terminals, and 2 line printers. All this great hardware cost a mere $200,000. What a bargain for a computer that could do what large expensive IBM machines could do. All software as written in house using the DEC BASIC PLUS language coupled with a data base manager. This system was interfaced to computer typesetting equipment through the use of paper tape.

During the early 1980s the typesetting equipment was upgraded and connected online with the PDP 1170. It was also during this time that we saw the introduction of the first personal computers. During the 1980s we also saw the development of a computer link between MB-F and the American Kennel Club. This link has enabled us to provide accurate dog information by cross referencing the AKC numbers on entry forms with the official registration records at AKC.

In 1983 we were chosen by Digital Equipment Corporation as a "beta" test site for their DECTALK voice synthesis project. This technology enabled us to provide "ROLF" as a means of making entries and inquiries. "ROLF" knows the phonetics of the English language and reads text normally displayed on CRT screens and allows callers with touch tone phones to use their phone keypads much like a computer keyboard. The 1170 served us until 1988 when it was replaced with a more powerful PDP 1184. the 1184 still ran the BASIC PLUS software but provided a faster processor and 1.2 billion bytes of disk storage.

The 1990s have now seen the introduction of powerful computer networking and fourth generation database languages. We have been instrumental in the development of a new language and network technology that allows multiple computer processors to do the work of a large mainframe computer.

The computer network consists of 4 486/50 mhz file servers with 64 megabytes of mirrored disk capacity. The disk mirroring provides total redundancy in the event of a disk "crash". We are always backed up with every byte of information written to two disks simultaneously. Each file server also serves as a terminal driver for up to 32 different CRTs or line printer devices.

All premium list copy and entry processing takes place in the network. Once entries are closed they are downloaded to the PDP 1184 for sorting, reporting, typesetting and final processing. Eventually the 1184 will be phased out and all processing will take place in the network. The network will provide advanced capabilities for clubs, members, and exhibitors with personal computers.

The future will allow protected but direct access to our systems where the public can make their own entries and inquiries. The future of dog show computing is exciting and will continue to help us cut costs and provide better service to the dog show world.

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From Fred Lyman, Executive Vice President

A big welcome to our newest clubs, Santa Cruz Kennel Club, Combined Specialty Clubs of Northern California, Santa Clara Valley Kennel Club and Sacramento Valley Dog Fanciers.

Dino and Barbara Marrazi have signed contacts for their April 1993 and August 1993 shows. We are happy to welcome them back and look forward to two great shows next year.

February 1993 will mark the first show produced by MB-F for the Santa Clara Valley Kennel Club and the Associated Specialties' of Santa Clara. We look forward to this new venture and helping them have the best shows they have had.

MB-F is proud to be selected as the superintendent for Sacramento Valley Dog Fanciers' first licensed show to be held on Sunday, October 25, 1992. We wish the club every success and plan to help the club have a top-notch MB-F quality show their first time out.

We are very pleased to be superintending 32 dog shows on the West Coast and look forward to increasing the number of events that we are involved in, in the the near future.

Welcome Coos Kennel Club
Coos Bay, Oregon 7/09/93

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From Guy Walton, Executive Vice President, Madison Heights

Our Michigan office has had a very successful year to date and is currently doing more shows than ever in our history. We do all MB-F, Inc. shows in Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Western Pennsylvania, Western Ney York, Kentucky, most of Illinois and some in Tennessee. By the end of this year we will have Superintended 163 All-Breed and/or Obedience Shows and 124 individual Specialty Shows (some of which are in a Combined Format, but each requiring a separate settlement) from this office. Additionally, we will have done 20 Package shows.

We have had several new Cluster Shows this year and some re-alignments of shows which were quite successful. We are eagerly looking forward to even more of the same next year.

The Michigan office has had many compliments on its new Group and Photographer Ramps and Signs which are brought to every single show. We also have our own garden gating for Group Rings and Special Events Rings which is available, where feasible by reservation and at an additonal fee.

As the Greensboro headquarters does, so have we taken a very active role in helping new and old Clubs plan their show site arrangements. We regularly inspect show sites, draw scale layouts, plan and order tenting, if requested by the Clubs. This benefits all concerned by allowing us to place dogs in appropriately sized rings and have an organized numbering sequence. Our office can subcontract any number or size of tents and often we are able to have all tents match in special Club colors.

A number of Clubs have complained they are losing money. We have informed them their Entry Fees are too low and they have not progressed with the inflation rate. We have assured them they need not be afraid of making increases. The Clubs that did raise their fees have been amazed that their entry totals were not affected and in fact, in many cases, there was an increase. We have explained the entry fees are the cheapest part of the Dog Show and if the exhibitors and handlers like the judges selected on the panel, the entry fee raise will not keep them home.

NOTICE: Are you aware the MB-F Michigan office is a distributor for Ring Matting? Available colors are Green, Brown, Black and Grey. Prices vary, depending upon volume. Contact: Guy Walton.

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Ever lock yourself out of your room while getting a bucket of ice?

SOLUTION: Before leaving your room, put your dead bolt on after opening the door OR pull the chain outside the doore and close the door on it.

DID YOU KNOW? Holiday Inns, as of January 1992, are required to have feather pillows available on request?


3607 N. University Blvd., Jacksonville, L. Very good all around Italian Food. Very large portions at reasonable prices.
1822 Main Street, Sharpsburg , PA (on the way to Kittanning KC show after the South Hills, KC show). Wonderful selection of delicious food.
Located in the Crown Center Mall in Kansas City, Missouri. Northern Italian cuisine with great appetizers.
6841 S. HWY 17 & 92, Fern Park, FL (Seminole, FL KC). If you want truly outstanding pizza, this is the place! It's out of this world. The rest of their Italian dishes are great too. Beer and wine only.

More restaurants next Issue.

People who know me are aware that strange things happen to me. One of my offices' favorites is the time I rented a car in Ft. Myers. Florida and since I had three weekends of shows on the West Coast, plus some meetings and a Road Show, I kept the car to commute to the other areas. When I was ready to come back to the Michigan office I returned the car to the Ft. Myers Airport. SURPRISE! The Airport was missing!!! It had been moved outside the city. There were NO signs or directions to the new Airport...so, naturally, I missed my plane. Not every one loses an Airport.

More Walton's Watermarks, next issue -- as 'Durante would say', "I got a million of 'em".

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From Dorie Crow-Mick,
Vice President External Operations

In today's litigious environment and the resultant rising insurance costs, it is incumbent upon every club to view each show site with a careful eye.

Outdoor sites must be checked for holes (which means grass must be cut and raked so you can find them) in the ring area and all other areas considered part of the site - anywhere an exhibitor or spectator may be in order to show or see the show.prAd placement should be indicated also. Some ads

don't tell what breed they are advertising and without a placement Hazards must be removed or barred from contact with your spectators, exhibitors and their dogs. Anything that could cut, scratch or trip must be cleared away. Holes must be filled in or staked. You should know our local fire regulations regarding the parking of motor homes. Fire lanes to the show site and within the parking area must be adequate. The day f the show you must police the grooming areas as well as the motor home parking to check that portable generators are kept an adequate distance from vehicles nd tents and people. Your premium list specifies generators are to be 100 feet from any tent under which the show is conducted. Check that those who re using generators are not leaving gas cans right next to them.aaoyindication the ad could be placed in the wrong section.

Do you have an emergency team on hand the day of your show? If not, do you ave first aid materials on hand and have you designated someone to be responsible for transportation to a near-by facility? Have you spoken with he closest facility to alert them you are having an event and may be in need of their services? Can they handle anything that might happen at your show? Dog bite? Allergic reactions? Heat problems? Sprains, broken bones? Heart attack? If you need their services, they will provide your club with written, comprehensive reports of any incident? Do you know your local/state regulations regarding dog bites? Some states/communities require a police report, proof of innoculations, etc.

Prompt, efficient handling of an accident or emergency can make a difference, not only to the victim, but to your club.

Be aware. Plan for these things. Don't wait until something happens.

If you use tenting, has your tent crew insured the tent stakes are adequately wrapped? Are all ropes off the ground, or out of the way of foot traffic? Are the tent poles secure? Have they filled in any holes they made while erecting the tents? Will they be on the grounds in case adjustments must be made?

At indoor sites have you checked all access doors, ramps for impediments? Have you planned for adequate aisleways in the grooming and ring areas for ease of evacuations? Have you made sure there are no hazards in the ring areas, grooming areas, spectator aisleways? No cords to trip over, no electrical hazards? Have you impressed upon your clean-up crew the importance of picking up promptly and mopping promptly to avoid falls?

Are any portable ramps or stairways secure? Is there someone responsible for keeping restrooms mopped? Are any permanent stairways unblocked; have they railings? Are any of the stairs cracked or worn in such a way to make them hazardous?

Have your club members been charged with the responsibility of reporting to the show chairman any hazard they may spot? Each MB-F superintendent goes over the grounds or building and reports beforehand anything they may spot. They also advise the show chairman during the show of anything they spot or is reported to them.

If your club members see an accident, do they know they should report it to the show chairman and to the superintendent so an accident report can be made? Once the nature of the accident or emergency is ascertained and the proper treatment is underway, all witnesses to the incident should be gathered, names, addresses and phone numbers taken, and statements taken. If you have a site layout you should note on your layout where the incident occurred. Get as much information as you can at the time of the incident. If there are any emergency service reports, police reports, etc. make sure our club receives a copy of each report done, and provide your superintendent with copies, too. If you do your own show and only use the printing services of a superintendent, save the entry forms, or pull the entry form(s) of any individual involved in an incident and keep with you their information on the incident.

This may seem like a lot of work, but three years down the road, when someone decides to sue your club for an incident that happened this year, it will be to your advantage to have kept good records. Remember, these records will be a large part of your defense in a lawsuit. And the successful defense of a lawsuit will help keep insurance costs in line. And, your foresight will help prevent such an incident from occurring at the outset.

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by Anna Tiedemann

For over 30 years I belonged to a kennel club serving in several offices and on numerous committees. The duties of Show Chairman and Secretary for the show committee fell on my shoulders often. In either of these capacities I was involved in the preparation of the premium list material to be sent to the Superintendent.

The proper form was filled in listing the officers, committee heads, etc. and the trophy list was compiled. The material was sent to the Superintendent by the due date without another thought.

Now I work for the Superintendent! If I had known then what I know now, my premium list material would have been prepared with a lot more thought behind it.

I know now that I should have typed everything (without strikeovers) because it is so much easier for the typesetters to read.

I would have made certain that our date and judges had been approved by A.K.C. and that the Specialty Clubs had received their approval for their date, judges and sweepstakes. Also, that the Specialty Clubs had provided all Sweepstakes information needed. It does cause a problem when the premium list is ready to be mailed and there are no approvals or Sweepstakes information.

I would also double check to make certain all the information I wanted in the premium list is clearly stated. Once, in the past, my club offered a trophy for 1st in a particular class and ribbons for 2nd, 3rd & 4th. I happened to win this class and questioned the Superintendent about the 1st place ribbon. I was told "You didn't offer one." We ASSUMED there would be one.

I remember not checkng the phone numbers listed by the motels. One digit was wrong in the number for the most popular motel. Whoever had the number that was printed must have been pulling their hair by the day of the show.

Because I lived in this particular city forever and knew the way to the show site blindfolded, I thought our directions were very clear. I realize now that we could have been a little more thorough.

With all that I have confessed to, don't you wonder how I got hired?

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Here are some creative things clubs are doing for their judges, officials and workers:

OLD DOMINION KENNEL CLUB serves a hot breakfast, complete with bacon, sausage, eggs, etc.

CAPE COD KENNEL CLUB brings a portable microwave (to their outdoor show as well) to warm up muffins in the morning. They also send a box dinner with each judge taking the long limo ride back to Boston.

CHESHIRE KENNEL CLUB sets up a grill and does individualized omelettes in the morning.

SOUTH SHORE KENNEL CLUB holds their show on grounds that has a tower with carrillon bells. At the lunch break everyone on the grounds is serenaded.

Many clubs, realizing the trend toward better health attitudes are providing a greater variety of juices, bottled water, and on hot days, pitchers of ice that melts for water all day long. Since juices and water are supposed to be better for you than carbonated drinks, especially on hot days, it would seem club hospitality people are right in sync with the times. Also, a number of clubs provide decaf coffee as well as regular coffee, and hot water for tea or hot chocolate

SOMERSET HILLS KENNEL CLUB has a local McDonalds that caters. This outfit brings their own set-up and feeds the masses all day. It's a unique change from the usual exhibitor lunch.

This is just the tip of the creative club iceberg. Does your club do something, too? Let us know.

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All Clubs are now required to have the "Red Book" - AKC's Dog Show/Trial Manual on hand the day of their show.

The option of holding back-to-back events is now available to every All-Breed Dog Club and Obedience Club.

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