Chairman Update 31st July 2020

Following on from my previous reports I have further updates following our latest Council meeting, which was held on Wednesday 29th July via Zoom video conferencing, once again a very productive meeting.


The Office has been receiving many questions regarding the resumption of trialling as lockdown measures are gradually relaxed. My apologies if my updates have not been totally clear on this. As you are aware the Society along with National and International trial Committees organise and run the Nationals, Internationals and World trials.

Local trials and Nursery trials are organised and run by local committees and are not run under the jurisdiction of the Society. Therefore, the current position is that local trials and nurseries do not need Society permission to go ahead. However, it is advisable that the organising committee ensures that there is suitable robust insurance in place and that all involved adhere to the Government guidance and regulations relevant to the nation where the trial is being held.

Until further notice, no National points will be awarded, and insurance will not be available from ISDS. Our insurance company have concluded that there is still a significant risk from COVID-19 and at this stage Council are not prepared to expose the Society and our Trustees (who are all personably liable for any claim made against the Society) to this level of possible liability. Council will continue to monitor the insurance and National points position and update Members when any change is deemed appropriate.

Charity Commission

Following the resignation of office bearers which took place on 18th June 2020, our Temporary Executive Officer contacted the Charity Commission to report the incident and seek advice. A ‘Report Serious Incidents’ process was completed and submitted to the Charity Commission on 26th June 2020. The Society has since received a reply from the Charity Commission which states that they are satisfied that the trustees are managing the incident to their satisfaction, and they recommend that the Society should review the Governance, and if any shortcomings are identified these should be addressed.


As reported in my previous Chairman’s updates, Council had already identified in advance of the Charity Commissions response and advice, that the governance of the Society has obvious shortcomings, these need to be addressed as a priority.

Council have sent out tender documents to three companies that specialise in governance matters. We have received quotes from all three companies, and these are now being considered. Council will report a recommendation to Directors shortly.

World Trial

The Office has been receiving many questions regarding the World Trial. Arrangements made for the 2020 World Trial have been updated where necessary for the 2021 Trial, which we hope will take place.

Many overseas Members are asking about qualification for the 2021 World Trial where competitors who were to represent their nation in 2020 are unable to do so in 2021. Society advice remains that each nation is given a number of competitor places to fill, and that nation is responsible for picking their own team. We would ask each nation to ensure that the dogs picked are of a standard to compete with the world’s best.

Unfortunately, many of the questions posed are impossible to answer in these times of uncertainty and constant change. Will COVID-19 allow the trial to go ahead? Will Brexit arrangements allow overseas visitors to travel to Britain with their dogs? All we can say at the present time is that Council will closely monitor the position during the coming months and inform members as soon new information becomes available.

National, International and World Trial Committees

I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge word of thanks to all our long-suffering hard-working committees who have spent months organising our 2020 major trials only to see all their work now placed on hold and then followed up with the ongoing process of reorganising. Hopefully all your efforts will be rewarded in 2021 with some spectacular trials.

Very many thanks to each and every one of you.

Live Streaming

Council have identified a company who specialise in live streaming and they are keen to work with the Society to provide a professional and polished live streaming experience to our Members, providing coverage of all our major trials.

I have had a very positive conversation with Carol Mellin. Carol is well known to you all for her live streaming of trials, which are always well received. How Carol achieves the results she does with what looks to me as no more than a mobile phone is remarkable. Carol however does agree that going forward live streaming of our major trials would benefit the Society, and on a professional basis with sponsorship advertising and possibly some commentary on the runs. Carol will continue to offer her services at individual trials which she very much enjoys.

The company we are talking with have offered the Society a day of live streaming from one of our trials, this will showcase what they can offer to our members, more details will follow.

Membership Survey

Since Helen and I took office earlier this year we have spoken on many occasions about the numerous benefits for the Society from carrying out a survey of our members, especially in relation to gaining sponsorship for the Society and our trials.

This is not a unique idea and has been discussed recently by the sponsorship committee. For example, the benefits of knowing how many sheep, cattle, 4x4 vehicles, quads, length of fencing, type of fencing etc, this type of information our members have would be invaluable when approaching potential sponsors. In short it is a “no brainer” and Council have authorised Helen to investigate a suitable person to carry out this survey.

If the Office is to progress, modernise and economise on processes we need to start to move towards and increase our electronic communication with our members to facilitate these advances.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kind Regards

Ian Fleming

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