following the Cavalier Club’s 2017 AGM:

Sunday 14th May the Cavalier Club held its AGM at Yew Lodge, Kegworth and our then Acting Chairman, Rob Dix, took the meeting through a very ordinary Agenda.

As is usual the Members hear the Chairman’s Address and Rob paid tribute to the hard work of the Chairman whose shoes he had stepped into and then read Elaine’s report for the previous year. Due to personal reasons Elaine resigned on 28th March which was after the closing date for the Club’s electoral process to be able to hold an election for the members to select their choice of Chairman.

Rob added to Elaine’s address with an update of the first few months of this year and finished by thanking all the Officers, Committee and Secretary for their hard work and continued support.

Rob thanked the Treasurer for her comprehensive "accounting" report and said, "So we are doing ok then, we’re not about to go bust!" Thankfully we have had a good year and the Club is in a healthy financial position. At this point Rob informed the meeting that our Membership Secretary, Liz Latteck, still in recovery from her operation would really like her time back to herself to better enjoy her dogs and whilst she has continued to maintain the system it was now time to handover to someone else. We are very grateful to all the time and effort that Liz has put in to the job and hope that our Treasurer knows what she has let herself in for by volunteering to take on an additional task. Thank you both! Rob Dix is going to look after the on-line shop so will be on a mission to collect stock from the Midlands over the coming weeks in order to fulfil!

Before Rob knew it the Agenda had moved on to this year’s structure for Committee and he announced that Rick Aldous had re-stood for another 3 year term and that I had been the only person that who stood for Committee and therefore there was no election. At this point I must thank Veronica Hull who stepped down this year having served her 6th year for the Club – 5 of those years I was Chairman and feel I must record the contribution that Veronica made. First to arrive at every event and last to leave; kindly applying herself to every task from stewarding, working with the heart & eye vets, to slaving in the kitchen! Veronica also dispatched all the online orders for us until Elaine took on that task when she joined the Committee. Most importantly Veronica found time in her busy life to trawl the internet for any health information for the Club keeping us abreast of any developments including those in other countries (more exciting news further on). I very much hope that Veronica will continue to help me with this as I usually only get to see the news once or twice a week let alone have time to trawl the net!

From the Cavalier Club’s Health Sub-Committee – Veronica gave their report and within it was some very important news: Just 2 weeks ago a very exciting announcement was made by the American Cavalier KCS Club at its Charitable Trust Banquet at the 2017 National Specialty. The American CKCSC Charitable Trust will be leading the way to help fund the company Rejuvenate Bio Genetic Therapies (partnered with the Harvard Medical School and TUFTS University (Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine)) on a Cavalier Heart Failure Study. It is a completely new approach to lengthening the lifespan of dogs with an MVD murmur and is achieved by altering the dog’s DNA with an injection that turns on the genes that will stop the progression of heart disease via a genetic route, thus buying valuable years for the heart sick dog. This study proves that as time passes protein levels are disrupted, causing damage to the valves of an ageing heart, which in turn eventually causes cardiac failure. This new therapy re-balances the proteins and to date has been very successfully tested on mice. The ACKCSC members, exhibitors and guests raised enough money in one evening to fund the next phase of this study where Cavaliers will be given the new genetic therapy, starting next month. The promise being that this is a once in a lifetime injection that will continue to halt progressive heart disease for 8+ years and it could be available on the world market as early as 2019.

After the AGM closed I spoke to those present wearing the Kennel Club’s Breed Health Liaison Representative hat which is totally independent of the Cavalier Club. It is a role that I take seriously as it is in place to ensure that information from the Kennel Club is relayed to all the breed clubs and vice versa.

I advised that there is going to be a new Pilot Scheme for Cavalier Hearts. It is not ready to role out yet and I don’t want to speculate before the protocol is defined. What I can tell you is that it will involve doppler and probably 3 times in a dog’s lifetime. The Veterinary Cardiovascular Society are very aware that whatever scheme is going to be in place it has to be affordable and at this stage believe that they can deliver that by doing group sessions of between 15 and 20 dogs in a day. It was outlined that Echo detects a Mitral Valve Prolapse where there is one, compared to auscultation, where an ‘innocent’ murmur can occur without Mitral Valve Prolapse, and Mitral Valve Prolapse may occur without any murmur being detected (when using auscultation).

The Kennel Club has recognised the need to have a Heart Scheme Working Party and have included representatives from the Cavalier Breed Clubs, Cardiologists and Genetic Researchers to help pull it together. It is intended that the Pilot Scheme of auscultation and doppler will run alongside the Cavalier Club’s heart scheme of basic auscultation and both sets of data will be looked at. The Cavalier Club is pleased to announce that Liz Smith, Scottish Cavalier Club Secretary is prepared to input this data on to a spreadsheet for us. The Cavalier Club is very grateful to Lesley & Graham Jupp for continuing this task for so many years.

Putting hearts to one side – can I just remind you all to check your breeding stock are up to date with their DNA tests for Dry Eye/Curly Coat and Episodic Falling – don’t get caught out believing they are hereditary clear, remember to check the youngsters registration certificates. You also have a duty of care to remember to check the status of bitches coming to be mated!

The Kennel Club has informed me that there is going to be another Health Working Party early summer to discuss a CM/SM scheme.

Switching hats again to that of KC Breed Liaison Representative I took the opportunity to remind members to take a look at the UK Judging System and the new Judges Competency Framework.

It is a new system for the education, approval and listing of every level of judge from those who aspire to, right through to Open Shows and those who go on to give CCs etc. It will be launched in 2019 running along current system for 3 years. There will be mentoring and ringside observation by experts and be supported by a network of Breed Education Co-Ordinators.

Change is needed due to a range of deficiencies in the current process – problems of show societies identifying available and competent judges, open shows poorly supported and lack of seminar opportunities and transparency in the approval processes. The Framework will be administered through its online education platform – The Kennel Club Academy and requires small annual subscription!

I would suggest all those that are judging and those that aspire to judge take a look on the Kennel Club’s website:

When you have had a good read – if you have any concerns that you would like me to raise on your behalf please let me have your concerns.

Before our members departed David Sedgbeer, as one of the Trustees of the Registered Charity: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rescue & Welfare gave an update to the meeting. We were pleased to learn that the charity has managed to re-coup much of the miss-appropriated funds and was in a more than healthy position! There had been few calls on its funds over the last year and where any dog rescue is involved it is always the background help that is required, i.e. transport of dogs, vetting of homes, safe temporary housing, i.e. kennelling.

At the Committee meeting following the AGM the Committee elect a Vice Chairman and this year they had to choose both an Acting Chairman and a Vice Chairman which will take us through to the next AGM when the Membership will have the opportunity to elect the person they would like to serve for the next three years. Whilst Rob was quite happy to remain on the Committee he felt that he would not be able to fully commit to the role of Acting Chairman due to current health issues at home. Suffice to say a big thank you to Rob and we wish both his wife, Chris and his good, self speedy recoveries and less hospital appointments! Having only vacated the hot seat just 12 months ago your Committee have nominated me to be the Acting Chairman to carry us through to the next AGM and I will do my best to serve the Club in that capacity. Jeanne Boyd was nominated and accepted the role of Vice Chaiman.

Sheena Maclaine
Acting Chairman

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