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19 September 2020GOOD NEWS

Major Trials

Council discussed the major trials planned for 2021 considering the continuing COVID-19 problems. Plans are in place to hold the four Nationals, the International and World Trial. There is a determination that the Nationals and International should go ahead if at all possible. It is very difficult to make concrete plans and statements when the goalposts are constantly changing on an almost weekly basis. Council have however discussed the possible options open to us if circumstances do not allow for our normal showcase events to take place. Worst case scenario is possibly a basic trial with only competitors and necessary officials attending, no spectators. If this was the case, live streaming could take the action to our Members. I emphasis these are only contingency plans at this stage.

Plans for the World Trial are also being kept under review and further information will be released in the coming weeks.

I thank all Members for their understanding and patience, and hopefully we can all look forward to normal service being resumed by our next trial season.


Open and Nursery Trials

Many Members who are running Open and Nursery trials are asking for more guidance. To this end one of our members who is a solicitor by profession, has very kindly volunteered his help to draw together the necessary guidance and advice that anyone running an outdoor sporting or leisure event needs to adhere to. The document will now be submitted to the appropriate Government department who deal with dispensations for outdoor leisure and sporting events. Approval from this department would give all committees and individuals organising trials the comfort that they are properly compliant. In addition to the overall guidance and advice, organisers need to ensure they have insurance cover and check if there are any local authority restrictions exclusive to their immediate area. We are hopeful that this document will go onto the Society website next week.


Open Trial Points

Council discussed the issue of when the award of points should resume for open trials. There is a fear among Members that we will end up with a generation of talented young dogs which cannot compete at forthcoming Nationals because they have not had the opportunity to gain the necessary points in open competition.

After considerable discussion it was decided to commence awarding of open points from 1st October 2020.

Council ask that Members exercise caution in travelling long distances to other areas in the pursuit of open points for their dogs.

Please see the ISDS website www.isds.org.uk/trials/trials-diary for clarification of how to ensure trials being hosted are considered as Qualifying trials for National trial points.

This is a great start to helping us get going again.

27 August 2020Autumn is not far away

Autumn is not far away so our AGM is looming with

more than the usual questions to be answered.

03 July 2020From the new ISDS chairman

2 July 2020

Update from the Chairman

Following on from my previous report I have further updates following our latest Council meeting which was held last night via Zoom video conferencing.

For members that are not aware of the management structure of the Society, I will explain. When I took office earlier this year, a Senior Management Team was in place, consisting of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, four National Presidents and the Executive Officer. The Senior Management Team were responsible for an element of the decision making for the Society. In addition to this management structure, the Society holds two Council meetings each year, and in exceptional circumstances an extraordinary Council meeting may also be held. This system presents both positive and negative aspects. My personal view is that Council, as a whole, have not been involved in enough of the decision making for some time. I want you to be confident that all the affairs of the Society are being dealt with in a proper and professional manner, I have therefore now included the full Council in all correspondence, emails, and management decisions. It is essential going forward that you all have confidence in the management of the Society.

At last night’s meeting, Ireland co-opted Robert Goligher on to Council to fill the Casual Vacancy as a result of the recent resignations.

Council are very keen to fill the vacancies left by the resignations in Wales, and I as Chairman will be writing to the Welsh Directors to engage with the members, to establish National representation going forward.

During the meeting our Temporary Executive Officer gave an update regarding accounts and the Society office. Finalised accounts are almost ready to be submitted to the Auditors, and with a deadline of 31st August 2020, this will be achieved. It should be made clear that the delay of accounts which are normally presented at the AGM has no sinister undertones regarding the financial position of the Society, it is merely a combination of a new employee being appointed to manage the Society audit by the auditors, and a change of Executive Officer in mid-February. When the financial accounts are presented it will become apparent that the Society is in a relatively healthy position.

Council have also considered the financial impact on the Society regarding the lack of major trials this year, however, income from major trials, while very important it is not the Society’s main source of income. Membership and Stud book activities are what keeps the Society afloat, and we are pleased to say that the volume of work relating to mating's, transfers, pedigrees and registration of pups has remained extremely high, and we have been pleasantly surprised in the number of new members the Society has attracted in the recent months.

Council would like to share their gratitude for the fantastic work carried out by our team in the office, especially during Covid-19 lockdown. They have been working remotely since 23rd March and continue to do so. They have maintained their high standard of work and professionalism throughout, have remained positive and overcome any complications that they have been presented with, they have kept the heart of the Society ticking. It is extremely apparent that without procedures in place to work remotely we would have been in a very different situation, and the backlog of work that we would have been presented with when able to return to the office would have been extraordinary.

In the short period of time that our Temporary Executive Officer, Helen, and myself have been in post, it has become increasingly evident that the Society suffers from a lack of proper governance procedures. Council are currently working from a 2008 Constitution, and recent experience suggests that our procedures need strengthening, and where they are missing, they need incorporating. The ISDS has developed and become a large organisation, and must be managed accordingly, good governance is a huge part of the development of the Society going forward. Council has instructed that we initiate a professional firm that specialises in all areas of governance, and when additional information becomes available, we will report further.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kind Regards

Ian Fleming


02 July 2020update

30 June 2020

We continue to be informed by our insurance company that they can not provide the insurance for the Society to hold Sheepdog trials.

In addition to this we find ourselves in the situation that each of the home nations have differing rules regarding the do's and don'ts relating to Covid-19 movement and gatherings.

Current Government guidelines have not been extended to the extent that would allow for trials to take place. In England for example, from 4th July 2020, there is no limit on the number of people allowed to meet, provided they are just from two households and they keep 1 metre apart.

Therefore due to our insurance restrictions and with the current differing Government guidelines for each nation, unfortunately we currently do not endorse the hosting of trials.

We are awaiting advice from Defra regarding holding sheepdog trials and hope to have some positive news any day, and although we can not provide the insurance for trials, for those of you that would like to hold a trial regardless of insurance, there will be some guidelines to assist you. We have been informed that strict instructions from Defra will be provided and must be adhered to to ensure the safety of attendees.

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