Planning for the (Melbourne) National Show celebrating ACF's 40th year is rolling along, with a team of organisers from all over the country.
Sponsorship and website are in West Australian hands; the Show Secretary and Treasurer lives 4,500km away, in Queensland, while the Chief Steward lives almost halfway between, in the centre of Australia, in Alice Springs.
Add a Show Manager from the island state, Tasmania, and an Assistant Show Manager from Adelaide, South Australia and you have:
a) an interesting logistic situation and
b) an absolutely national show in every sense of the word.
The National Show (long) weekend comprises not only the show but also various meetings, one of which is the Judges' Guild AGM and seminar.
For the seminar, we are thrilled to have as guest speaker (for the first time in Australia for the cat fancy) Dr Leslie Lyons, of UC Davis. The site.
A recent highlight (and excellent PR for the cat fancy) was an hour-long documentary which was aired nationally, called "Supreme Cat".
This was filmed over several days of activity in the cat section at the "EKKA": the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland's annual show, which attracts many hundreds of thousands of spectators.
The viewer was able to share the hopes of various exhibitors and watch the progress of some exhibits from open class judging through to the finals, which culminated in the selection as Supreme Cat. This year's winner was a glorious tawny (ruddy) Abyssinian: Osiris (V) Talk Dirty To Me.
Lesley Morgan Blythe
International Liaison Officer,
Australian Cat Federation Inc
With no actual meeting of the CCCA Council since our last report, the main focus of all our Affiliates has been the culmination of a year of showing with final points totted up, and the presentation of 'Cat Of the Year' Awards at a variety of Gala events. Some of these elegant top cats from around Australia are presented here.
Other major advances have fallen on the shoulders of the CCCA Secretary Mrs Shirley Sargent, who has spent her summer 'holiday' carrying out a number of directives from the last CCCA meeting. CCCA is also reorganising and re-formatting its entire breeds standard booklet, following the CFA/USA annual updating of changes and additions throughout the entire document.
Many congratulations to Elsie Hummerston’s handsome Cornish Rex Neuter, Champion & Supreme UK & Imperial Grand Premier Chrisan Camelott for sweeping the board at the GCCF Supreme Show to become the Supreme Exhibit 2011. Last year Camelott became the Supreme Neuter, but this year he took the crown and won the top place. It was the culmination of a great Supreme show with some superb cats in competition and on exhibition. Many thanks and congratulations are due to Celia Leighton and her team for a superb event thoroughly enjoyed by the visitors. The Supreme Adult was the handsome Persian Bi-Colour, Mrs Ambler’s UK & Imperial Grand Champion Tytherton Ralph Lauren and Supreme Kitten was Teresa Cole’s very smart brown tabby & white Maine Coon, Isadoryou Mr Bojangles. Congratulations are also due to the breeders of these three superb exhibits, each an example of the best to be found at GCCF shows. Full details including the full results and pictures can be found at http://www.supremecatshow.org/.
An Open Forum has been planned which will take place in February 2012.
The aim is to allow a full and proper discussion regarding various proposals to alter and update the GCCF show awards system including Breed Classes, Title Classes, Best of Breed awards etc. The Forum is open to anyone with an interest in this subject who would like to attend and/or contribute their views. If you do attend, you will also be able to stay on forthe Council the Council Meeting as an observer if you wish to do so. Ideas gained from this discussion will form the background to future Council decision on the GCCF’s awards system.
It is not intended to change the system for the 2012/2013 show season to allow recent changes and possible effects or consequences to be evaluated. Two proposals from the National Cat Club and the West Country Cat Club have been submitted and are already under discussion. They were first presented at the June 2011 Council Meeting but the topics at the Forum will not be limited to these. The Board is looking for the views of exhibitors and hopes many of you will take advantage of this opportunity to express your opinions. Full details of the proposals submitted from the above two clubs can be found at:
First Household Pet Bronze Olympian
Congratulations to Carol Walker and Pat Creaton on the success of their beautiful tortie & white household pet, Olympian Bronze & Imperial Grand Master Cat Rainbow Dreamcatcher (Dream to her friends) who was the very first Household Pet Olympian Bronze Winner.
Dream gained her Master Cat title under the old Coventry & Leicester CC’s scheme, then, when the GCCF launched titles for the HP Section, won her Grand Master Cat and Imperial Grand titles in straight shows! 2011 saw the introduction of the new Bronze, Silver & Gold Olympian titles and we are so proud that in October, Dream became the very first Household Pet to achieve this highest award. In a total of 3 Grand, 15 Imperial and 6 Olympian classes, Dream has been beaten only once, although, it has taken her 3 attempts to win her first UK Grand Master Cat!
“Dream” came from the Lancashire Cat Rescue when we supported their Open Day back in 2005.
UK & Olympian Bronze Imperial Grand Premier Coontastic Nijinsky is from a magical mating between Champion Lacocoon Hey Jude x UK Imperial Grand Champion & Grand Premier Coontastic Rafaella(RIP). Nijinsky, Jinx to his friends, is a magnificent brown tabby and white Maine Coon born on 27/10/2005 and bred by Angie and Rocco Barletta. He was one of a litter of five and what a super litter it was, with all five becoming highly titled cats.
Jinx has had an amazing show career to date. Since the introduction of the new Olympian class in June 2011, Jinx has been awarded 8 Olympian certificates and 1 Reserve Olympian certificate. He gained his Bronze Olympian title on September 10th at the Wyvern Show (the same day as Star!). Jinx, just 6 years old, has been awarded numerous BIS wins since he was a young kitten and has won many other awards with the two Maine Coon breed clubs. He was overall Best Exhibit in 2008 and 2009 with the SLHCA points system. He became an Imperial Grand Premier at just 23 months of age and went on to gain 21 Imperial Grand Premier Certificates and 10 Reserve Imperial Grand Premier Certificates. His very proud owners are Jill & Stephen Bunce who thank proud top breeder Angie for their handsome boy!
The Cat Welfare Trust Report:
The Cat Welfare Trust is the Fancy’s own charity, set up by the GCCF in 1988. The Trust Deed was written to enable funds to be used for the widest possible range of activities to benefit cats. Currently the work of cat rescue is undertaken by GCCF member clubs and so the Trust has turned to other ways of improving cat welfare.
Three projects have been completed so far, all of which have been funded because the subjects were of particular interest to pedigree cat owners and were not likely to attract commercial funding in their initial stages. Project four is now underway.
The Project: MHC Diversity
Being undertaken by:
Professor Tim Gruffydd-Jones, University of Bristol
Dr. Lorna Kennedy, University of Manchester
Dr. Leslie Lyons, UC Davis
Sum of grant to be made: £15,000
Introduction: The objective of the study is to characterise the genes that are responsible for a key component of the immune system in cats, and how these genes vary between various breeds and random bred cats. This knowledge will have widespread, long-term benefits to feline health through helping breeders to select for resistance to a range of diseases, in particular infectious diseases, mostly notably FIP. The study will also objectively determine relative levels of inbreeding of various breeds and whether the gene pool is dangerously narrow, thereby putting specific breeds at risk of inherited disorders and disease susceptibilities.
In recent years, considerable progress has occurred in the understanding of genetic control of the immune system. The immune system is crucial to the maintenance of health, particularly by providing protection against infectious diseases. A key part of the immune system is the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC). The MHC plays a pivotal role in the control of infectious diseases by presenting antigens (a substance that can stimulate the production of antibodies and combine specifically with them) of infectious organisms to other components of the host’s immune system so that the foreign proteins can be effectively destroyed.
MHC genes have been subjected to “positive selection” to enable protection against a wide range of infectious diseases. The development of breeds often narrows the variation of the MHC due to inbreeding, the effects of using only a few foundation animals and by avoiding outcrossing. A selection process, such as exposure to an infectious disease that kills many individuals before breeding age, such as FIP, can also affect the genetic diversity of the immune system. Thus, breeds that show susceptibility or resistance to infectious diseases, including FIP, may have specific genetic variants of MHC that are unique to the breed, or at a very high frequency in the breed.
Doctor Kennedy has been instrumental in characterising MHC diversity in dogs and marked differences exist between dog breeds. This genetic variation has been shown to have an important influence on the ability of individual dogs to develop a protective immune response to rabies vaccine, and is considered a crucial factor in explaining marked differences in susceptibility of different breeds to canine parvovirus. The MHC variation also influences breed susceptibility to a range of important canine diseases such as diabetes mellitus and hypothyroidism. No major survey of MHC variability in different populations of cat breeds has been published, although there is sufficient preliminary data suggesting major genetic differences exist between cat breeds. Cat breeds have been shown to be genetically distinct and to arise from different regions of the world. However, the current studies have been limited to cats from the United States. Breeding standards and practices can vary for the same breed in different registering bodies of one country and between countries, and the genetic constitution of cats in the UK compared to the US has not been evaluated.
Bicolour, Harlequin and Van Persians & Exotics
The NZCF has adopted a proposal put forward by the Persian and Exotic breed sections that will change how Persians and Exotics ‘with white’ are registered and shown. Until now we have had two categories of ‘with white’ Persians & Exotics – bicolours and harlequins. However, confusingly for overseas judges and breeders, our harlequins were in fact cats with van markings (colour confined to head and tail with up to two small body spots). Bicolours were allowed any amount of white from a minimum of white on face, legs and stomach, to just below the amount of white that a van shows.
The proposal sought to remove this confusion by renaming harlequins, vans, and introducing a new category (as is recognised in some overseas registries) of harlequin – a harlequin being a white cat with coloured patches that amount to more than two small body spots.
Our new system of classification should make more sense to overseas breeders and judges!
Christchurch continues to experience numerous aftershocks. some of large magnitude. However rebuilding is commencing. There is a pressing need for cages to accommodate cats for periods of up to many weeks as when people have to vacate their houses for repair or rebuilding they are often accommodated in motels – who require that all pets be caged. In addition, shelter organisations are short of cages. NZCF has been able to purchase cages with funds donated for earthquake relief and make them available on loan as and where needed. If this proves workable and the need continues, we will purchase further cages. We are extremely grateful for the generous donations that have made this possible.