Owners fined over conditions of dog kennels were Crufts judges
Owners of dog kennels which closed down after they were fined over the conditions were judges at Crufts.
Fiona Scholes, 64, and Raymond Scholes, 70, shut down Lucknow Farm Kennels in Blymhill on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border after a damning investigation found dogs water bowls were left empty or overturned, their bedding was dirty and wet, and the runs outside were littered with faeces.
Both have been judges at Crufts, the world's most famous dog show, as well as several other high-profile Kennel Club competitions.
Mrs Scholes, who at one time was the youngest person to judge the golden retrievers, marked the gundog group at Crufts in 2017 and the flat-coated retrievers in 2010. Her most recent judging appointment was in January this year at the Manchester Dog Show.
The Kennel Club confirmed Mr Scholes had also judged at Crufts, and his most recent competition appointment was at the South Western Golden Retriever Club in March last year.
The pair were convicted and fined a combined £5,482 for eight breaches of their license at Staffordshire Magistrates Court after the South Staffordshire Council investigation, which also found that dogs' paperwork was out of date, and that the kitchen area used for preparing food was in poor repair and dirty, with open food bags.
Fiona Scholes said: "Our customers were actually very upset that we closed.
"My husband went to renew the license in January last year and the council accepted the cheque. If it was that bad they wouldn't have accepted us. We closed straight away after the investigation.
"I've been a judge for a long time. I was the youngest person to judge the golden retrievers."
She said they have no plans to judge Crufts in the pipeline, and the Kennel Club confirmed they will not be involved this year.
A spokeswoman for the Kennel Club said: “We have a code of best practice for judges and issues arising from the contravention of the code are referred to the Judges Committee, which reviews and takes appropriate action.
"We will always follow up relevant criminal convictions with an investigation and impose disciplinary penalties, if appropriate.
"Due to fairness of process, the Kennel Club is only able to provide the general position and is not able to discuss specific cases.”
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