THE EASTERN St Bernard Club set new standards of excellence and interest at their symposium focusing on the breeding of large and giant breeds held at the Sports Connection, Ryton last weekend.

30th July 2017

Tan Nagrecha and Di Johnson created the event and brought together a superb and knowledgeable panel of experts which included Mike Gadsby, Tim Hutchins, Francis Krall, Derek Smith, Ken Sinclair, Liz Dunhill and Mark Cocozza.  It was expected that perhaps 40 or 50 people would attend but in the event over 130 applied for the 100 places so there was a long waiting list. Tan Nagrecha told Our Dogs that the idea for the seminar came from a conversation which indicated that however well-educated and trained were judges there was little point if breeders did not have the tools to ensure fit and well-bred dogs.  He continued, 'There is much to be said for understanding the genetics and mathematics of breeding but attaining quality was as much about art and science.'

Helen Davenport Willis wrote. "There was a great deal of common sense talked by those present and the focus was about grass root breeding principles and not pitched above individual's heads. Malcolm Willis' name cropped up many times, by way of his legacy, offering sensible genetic advice to breeders. He was a stock person in that his mantra was, "don't throw the baby out with the bath water"; added to which he always believed the UK had the best climate for, as well as many, talented breeders.'"

Jenny Gunn said: "It was a most enjoyable and informative day.  The experienced panel covered all of the topics discussed with great professionalism.  The Eastern St Bernard Club has great vision when organising events - their previous event was equally innovative and they deserve much praise for their efforts.' 
Amanda White said: "it was a brilliant way to spend Sunday, listening to inspirational speakers. Not all breeders discuss their experiences and points of view on breeding. We have all come away thoughtful and inspired".

Norma Window, who praised the super venue, food and organisation, said: "the panel were very informative in their experience and knowledge for breeders new and old. More events like,  I'm sure, will benefit the dog breeding /showing world.  Roll on the next one."

Taken with kind permission from Our Dogs - issue 4/8/17