Once again the Siamese Breed Council Breakfast was the highlight of the Annual. Thank you to everyone who spent so much time and effort to make it such a huge success.
A big part of the success of our yearly awards breakfast is directly related to our wonderful Breed Council members, who sponsor all of the awards and make it possible for us to celebrate the achievements of our best cats each year. We definitely have the most involved, most dedicated and hard-working BC membership of any of the groups, bar none.
This year I would like to extend a special thanks to the following people: To Kathy Baron for organizing the awards presentation and for collecting all the sponsorships; to Kathy Loveland, for designing and making the lovely centerpieces that five lucky people were able to take home from this year's breakfast; to Kathryn Brady for saving us money by combining our awards with the larger NAR award order; to Linda Alexander for getting a fabulous speaker on the topic of liver disease; to Ron DeWilde for a beautiful booklet and to Mary Kolencik for lending us all her past expertise and experience to be sure that this Siamese Breakfast measured up to previous ones. And last but never least, a special thanks to Allene Tartaglia, whose hard work so often goes unnoticed, but without which none of the things we have come to depend on at these meetings would get done.
This year the Siamese breed was honored with a national win in the kitten division: GC NW CSA's Mariah was our best kitten and the first kitten to get a national award in 15 years. Mariah is a beautiful chocolate point, bred by Valere Hull and Vicky Edwards and owned by Steven and Valere Hull, and B. Ferrell. She placed tenth in the national standings and was Best Kitten in the GSR. Mariah also received the last GC RW Rifkees Satin Doll of Mrlyn, DM award. This award, which has been given by Ellyn and Rico Honey for the past ten years to honor the cat that is at the heart of their breeding program, was retired this year.
The best Siamese in championship also received a new award, created by Georgia Headley to honor GC NW New Moon Eclipse of Rogers Hts, DM. This award was created to honor "Clipper", a sealpoint male born in 1970 who sired an astonishing total of 35 grand champions and one grand premier, to produce the most number of Siamese grands sired by a male. (Ch Singa Mikado, DM produced 39 grands, some of which were Oriental Shorthairs.) The first New Moon Eclipse award went to GC RW Minghou's Dancing Slippers, a sealpoint female bred and owned by Pat and George Muise. "Dancing Slippers" was also the 6th best cat in the NAR this year.
Best premier was a lovely lilac point neuter, GP RW Geishagoll Wondrous Heart, bred by Constance Goller and owned by Elizabeth Jennings. "Wonder" also resides in the NAR, giving this region the distinction of having the best Siamese in both championship and premiership for the 2003/2004 show season. "Wonder" also received the Cathy Hummer award, given by Alex Brash and Gerald Horan to the best Siamese in premiership.
The Harriet Little award, given by Deborah Knorr and Nick Spencer, to the best chocolate and lilac point in championship, went to GC Shimasu's Monterey, a chocolate point female bred by Taryn and Debbi Stevenson and owned by Debbi Stevenson; and GC RW Luin's Legolas, a lilac point male, bred and owned by Lee Genet. "Legolas" was also this year's second best cat in championship and finished third in the SWR.
This year's winner of the GP NW Ojus1 Jesse James award for best sealpoint in premiership went to GP Alexy Seal Lee Wabbit of Avec Joie, bred by Dianne and Bruce Alexy and owned by Betsy Dark and Diane Alexy.
We also added ten additional cats to our Distinguished Merit category, among them two lilac point males. This brings the total for the Siamese breed to 171 (40 males - 131 females). We are currently attempting to retrieve pictures of all of these cats, as eventually we would like to publish a comprehensive list of all DMs, with pedigree and offspring information. If anyone has a picture that they can contribute, please contact either Ron De Wilde, Mike Franks or Mary Kolencik to arrange to have the picture added to the Siamese BC database. This is the history of our breed and incredibly important to preserve for future generations, so please look back through all your old photographs if you have had the honor of producing one of these remarkable cats.
Our Lifetime Achievement Award winner this year was Ed Davis. Ed has produced, in collaboration with Donna Davis, some of the most important of all Siamese that made significant contributions to this breed, and he also began a new breeding program after moving to California. His cattery has produced numerous grands, regional winners, and Distinguished Merit Siamese. We apologize to Ed for not having the tribute, written by Sybil Zaden and Donna Davis, included in the awards booklet, but have included it in the newsletter. It will be available on the website.
Last year we began a new tradition for the Siamese Breed Council, having a professional speaker to discuss a topic of interest to the Siamese Breed. This year's speaker was Dr. Susan Randell, DVM, whose specialty is feline liver disease, and whose practice is in Longwood Florida. Dr. Randell is also affiliated with the University of Florida School of Veterinary Medicine, where she conducts research into feline liver disease.
A most important point in Dr. Randell's talk is that 60-76% of all liver disease patients can expect to make a full recovery, depending on the underlying causes. Even more can be success stories if treatment is begun early and carried out aggressively. This is one illness where we can expect to see substantial improvement and a good quality of life, so treatment is worthwhile pursuing. Dr. Randell described the types of tests used to detect different forms of liver disease and the types of treatments available, and which ones had the best success rates. The one negative in her talk was in her discussion of liver amyloidosis. Amyloidosis is a condition where insoluble fibrils replace normal tissue in an organ and both reduce function of the organ and increase its fragility. Dr. Randell stated that this is not a curable disease, and that it may be genetic. It is important to eliminate these cats from our breeding programs if possible, as apparently liver amyloidosis may have some genetic link to the Siamese breed. If you need more information regarding this disease, or if you wish to contact Dr. Randell regarding amyloidosis, please let me know and I will provide you with her contact information.
Elections were held this year for Regional Directors and CFA Officers. There have been changes in several of these positions, most of which will be good for the future of the Siamese Breed. We have a new President, Pam Delabar, and a new VP, Kitty Angell. Both Kitty and Pam have supported the Siamese breed council's decision to require the 8 generation pedigree and I have no reason to suppose that they will change their minds at this time. We also have four new regional directors: Dick Kallermeyer in the NWR, James Watson In the GSR, Loretta Baugh for the GLR and Regina Shaffer in the SWR. Peg Johnson, Linda Berg and Debbie Kusy retained their seats. Both Dick and James were very supportive of the Siamese BC's wish to retain the 8 generation pedigree and Loretta and Regina stated that they would consider the wish in the larger context of other CFA issues, so I am hopeful that we will retain our 8 generation import requirement when it goes before the Board again this February.
The annual meeting on Thursday, June 24th, between the CFA Board members and the Breed Council Secretaries was very productive. There was very good discussion on a number of topics. The eight generation pedigree issue took much of the time allotted, with many BC secretaries voicing their concerns that this was an important issue to their BC, or they saw it becoming one in the future. We are not alone in our desire to protect our breed, and I believe the Board realizes how important an issue this is to the breeds. George Eigenhauser, outgoing SWR director, stated that CFA was a registry and that what affects registration is not Breed Council business. It was pointed out to Mr. Eigenhauser that registration has requirements, and that those requirements are informed by pedigrees indicating the type of breed that is receiving the CFA documentation. The two cannot be separated. What makes CFA what it is, is what backs up those registrations. I have attached my comments to the Board on the subject with this newsletter. I have to once again extend my sincere thanks to all members for providing such a strong vote with which to go to the Board. This Breed Council is truly extraordinary. Several BCSs stated that they had received little to no response from their membership when asked about retaining the 8-generation pedigree, either for or against. The Siamese BC, on the other hand, provided the Board with a clear indication of its feelings with a very strong return of the ballots sent out in May. You need to all pat yourselves on the back for your willingness to take action when called upon.
There were several other topics discussed that are of interest to the Siamese BC. For one, the CFA Board is considering listing the top ten breed awards, similarly to how the BC already does it, and providing certificates to the owners of the award winners. It was the consensus of the BCSs that if possible they would like to be able to distribute these CFA certificates at the BC Award ceremonies. This would enhance our own awards, and not distract from them. This is something the Board appeared to consider favorably and will attempt to coordinate.
Another topic that caused a great deal of discussion was the way in which a breed council secretary could bring a show standard issue to the attention of the judges in between scheduled judging schools and educational seminars. I raised this issue because of the discussion earlier in the year on the list on mottled paw pads. When I attempted to explore the possibility of educating the judges on this one issue, I found that there was no avenue open for this. The Board was very receptive to the BCS's concerns in this area and also felt it would be a good vehicle for judges to address if they had any concerns or noticed any negative trends in a particular breed. Peg Johnson and Jo Ann Cummings are going to work together to come up with a format for interaction between the judges and breed councils. Norm Auspitz also stated that as the education liaison BCSs can contact him directly and he will place information on the judges' list.
The Havana Brown BCS gave an interesting summary of the outcross program that the HB breeders began a few years ago. She stated that it has been very successful, has revitalized the breed and doubled the number of catteries currently breeding HBs. She thanked both the ORS and the Siamese BCs for allowing the use of chestnut ORS and chocolate point Siamese in this effort, and stated that to date no pointed AOVs had been born.
One other point of information was raised: CFA can now provide to individuals a total amount of CFA services provided on an annual basis for those interested in using this information for income tax purposes. You must contact CFA directly to obtain this information; it will not be distributed unless requested.
There were procedural problems with the LAA this year that have caused the need to revise how the candidate selection will be done in the future. This year, due to allegations that were raised about the candidate and the need to investigate those allegations, the nominee did not get sent out to the entire BC for a vote. There was lack of communication between the committee members and we had no procedures in place to deal with this type of situation. Therefore I have revised how the nominating process goes forward in order to prevent this type of situation from reoccurring.
The timeline for receiving nominations will be moved up to January 1st of each year. Any nominations received after that date will be considered for the following year. All nominations will be sent directly to the BCS, rather than to an individual committee member. The BCS will complete a packet that comprises the candidate essay(s), the list of qualifications, and a worksheet for each committee member to review the nominee's criteria and will send this packet to the committee to arrive no later than January 15th. All committee members will be required to return the worksheet to the BCS by February 28th at the latest. If all three members agree on the nominee, then he/she will be presented to the BC for a vote. If the members do not agree, the BCS will appoint a chairman who will arrange for discussions, review, more information gathering, etc, and will present their decision to the BCS no later than March 31st. If no consensus is arrived at this time, the nominee will be held for the following year, while the committee continues to resolve any issues pertaining to the nominee. If the committee decides to go ahead with the nominee at the end of March, he/she will be presented to the BC for a vote at that time.
I have also decided to make the committee itself a revolving committee. Each member will be asked to serve three years, and will become the Chairman of the committee in their third year. The outgoing member will be asked to recommend up to five individuals to fill their place. Selections for the committee will be based on length of time in the Cat Fancy and as a Siamese breeder, regional location, integrity, and service to CFA and the Siamese breed.
I have attached a copy of the required qualifications and the procedures for nominating an individual for this award. These qualifications are also posted on the website, but I will be sending out a copy with one of the newsletters each year from now on.
To recap: We had another wonderful Breakfast at the Annual with exceptional awards and exceptional cats to honor with the awards, and another excellent speaker. The new Board appears at to be strongly committed to breeds and their importance to CFA and I am hopeful that we will retain the 8-generation pedigree requirement for all imports. I think we are off to a good start this year.
Good luck to everyone this year in the show ring. Here's hoping that this year's crop of Siamese produce just as wonderful cats as last so the NAR Annual will have as much to celebrate as this past one did!!
Siamese Breed Council Secretary
4 Byard Street
Johnstown, NY 12095
518-762-1465, fax: 518-762-1406