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Whilst a large proportion of shows are now running the Royal Canin Non-Pedigree Stakes, there are still some who have not come on board. Whether this is by design or default, we thought it might be useful to show managers, and exhibitors, if we provided a resume of how the Stakes works in the hope that more clubs may join in to offer their household pet exhibitors the opportunity to take part in the competition.

Following the demise of the former Whiskas Stakes, in 2002 four regional competitions were set up by willing individuals to plug the gap. Two were independent and two were sponsored by Royal Canin, who this year also took over sponsorship of one of the independents, resulting in three regional Royal Canin competitions, each with its own Final. Whilst this is working well it is hoped eventually to move towards a wider coverage - preferably every show in the country joining in with more regional sections - increased conformity of classes, prizes and rosettes, and, ultimately, each final becoming a semi-final, culminating in one Grand Final encompassing the winners from each region.

Whilst basically the three competitions are the same – set classes, the same at each show running the competition, one overall Winner per show being chosen from the class winners to qualify for free entry to the Final, this overall winner then being unable to compete in the competition again until the next competition year - the classes and prizes vary slightly.

The North and Midlands are identical with five standard classes: Black, White, Black & White Shorthair; Tabby/Tabby & White Shorthair; Ginger/Ginger & White/Tortie/Tortie & White Shorthair; AC Longhair/Semi-Longhair and AOC Shorthair, and prizes being Royal Canin product vouchers and rosettes, the first to third in each class being awarded a rosette and a voucher for a 2kg bag of their choice, with a further Overall Winners rosette and 4kg voucher for the heat winner.

The Western competition has four classes: Longhair/Semi Longhair Self; Longhair/Semi-Longhair Non-Self; Shorthair Self, Shorthair Non-Self with prizes being: 1st £6 Royal Canin Voucher: 2nd £4 voucher: 3rd £2 voucher + rosettes. The overall winner on the day from the four class winners wins a £10 voucher + Overall Winners Rosette. Each overall winner on the day qualifies for Free Entry to the Final in January with prizes of £50 voucher, £30 voucher and £20 voucher.

The qualifying years vary slightly. The Northern and Midlands competitions run from the 1st of August to the 31st of July with the Finals at the end and middle of September while the Western Challenge competition runs from October to October with the Final in January.

The only input required from Show Managers is to hold the classes and run the advert in both schedule and catalogue, then to provide Royal Canin with final numbers in order that the correct amount of prize vouchers and rosettes can be sent. Whilst we do realise that there will be some cost implications in providing a full page advert, this is usually more than offset by the income from the entries into the classes.

Obviously all of this goes to the club with no outlay as all rosettes and vouchers are provided by Royal Canin. Our aim is to have a heat of the Stakes at every cat show in the country, with shows able to choose which of the competition heats they would like to hold, irrespective of where they are located. For example, a small breed show in the Midlands may actually have the majority of its household pet entries from the north and will, therefore, opt to hold heats of the Northern competition, or a north-eastern based club may draw more entries from the Midlands area and, therefore, opt to hold the Midlands heats.

We hope that those of you not already running the competition will consider joining us and, hopefully, increasing your household pet entry as a result. For further details please email or telephone any of the following.

John Robinson (main co-ordinator and Western Challenge) on 07810 881400 or e-mail

Christian Romeril (Royal Canin) on 07770 814703 or e-mail cromeril@crownpetfoods.co.uk
Janet Tonkinson (Midlands) on 01782 641190 or e-mail janet.tenaj@btinternet.com
Carol Walker (Northern) on 07855 842707, 01772 321869 or e-mail on rcstakes@srpcc.co.uk