Update from the 4th Height Supporters Group
Now the area meetings are over, we would like to thank very much the Agility Liaison Council Representatives who supported the inclusion of the Proposal on the agenda.
This involved others at the Kennel Club and even went as high as the Chairman, Steve Dean, so thank you to everyone concerned.
We would also like to thank the Reps for holding so many well run and informative meetings and all the people who made the effort to attend, give their views and vote. There can be no doubt that there was an overwhelming level of support for the introduction of a 4th height in KC Agility competitions.
We are also aware of concerns from individuals about the implementation of this change, with people quite rightly asking what does this mean for me and/or my dog?
The details and timing of such a change will be critical to its successful adoption, and we know we can rely on our Reps to take this forward.
We now have a real opportunity to get this right. It has been made clear that the adoption of this Proposal may be delayed until the end of 2015. The General Council could ask for any planned research that is in the pipeline on this issue to be completed, and the Chair of the Activities Health and Welfare Sub-Group has reported that research into jump heights will be completed by the end of 2015, according to their plan, although we have no details of what this research entails or is measuring.
Throughout 2015, working together as a community, we should do our very best to introduce this as equitably and efficiently as possible. There is time for consultation and consideration.
Seeking new knowledge and understanding through research about all aspects of our sport is essential, but it doesn’t completely displace experience and commonsense where there is nothing new involved. The KC has (quite rightly) lowered hurdle heights before without reference to research. We are confident that no evidence will be found to support the hypothesis that simply lowering a hurdle height is more likely to cause problems, as dogs have been seen routinely jumping similar heights throughout the agility world for several years.