The Chairman’s View from the ‘Coal Face’ 2023/24
by Frank Winder (Chairman: Weimaraner Klub of Gauteng)
As we, the Weimaraner Klub of Gauteng regard ourselves as the ‘custodians’ of the Weimaraner Breed in South Africa and in recognition of this responsibility, we aim to achieve success in various critical areas relating to the breed and its development.
These include attention and adherence to the Weimaraner Breed Standards as laid down and underwritten by the Kennel Union of South Africa (KUSA), by promoting excellence in breeding and by promoting Field Work (a factor very important in sustaining the natural instincts of the breed). These involve a focus on key genetic components. Furthermore, our emphasis is on promoting an ethical approach, beyond reproach, in all our Klub activities and above all, making it an enjoyable and endearing experience for its members and their Weimaraners. The ultimate objective is to develop, successfully, the South African Weimaraner Community as a whole.
What is sure is that the Weimaraner Klub’s, incoming committee and the community must be aware, as never before, of the disastrous, social, and economic circumstances prevailing, especially in South Africa, presently, and for the foreseeable future. We must do all we can to ensure cohesion and growth to protect our Breed against these potentially negative influences.
We have had against the odds, an extremely successful year in 2023/24 (since the last Annual General Meeting), which as often happens with good things, eventuated from a dire start.
2023 broke on the Weimaraner Klub of Gauteng as any year might do, going through its paces as it does, and the annual Open (Non-Championship) Show was convened on 29th January and successfully concluded with the annual prize giving.
Unfortunately, the Klub had clearly not been doing as well as it might have done in the various activities and objectives of such a club. This was quite possibly because of an inertia that had crept into the way the Klub was being managed. Even Renee Minny (the then Chairman) sounded her concern at the lack of support for the Klub in committee meetings as well as in her year-end report at the last, dramatic and mind boggling Annual General Meeting (11 March 2023). Because of the significance of that AGM, there is no alternative but for me to comment on it and the immediate aftermath, and the now positively evolving situation. Detailed aspects are recorded in the Klub’s Committee Meeting minutes as part record for posterity.
The minutes of the 2023 AGM is presented for adoption at this meeting, as are those of the subsequent SGM. It must be pointed out that the outgoing Chairman’s Annual Report (which forms part of the agenda of the previous AGM 22/23 and which technically is under discussion at this meeting is not considered to be complete and is a one-sided document). These findings relating to that Chairman’s report have been recorded in the Klub’s Committee Meeting Minutes. It may be argued that they are the Chairman’s view and that she is entitled to hold those views, but they should not be considered as a comprehensive record of the Klub’s activities for the year. In view of the events which transpired and her involvement in what unfolded later in the meeting, we can only assume that the contents of the next paragraph of this report is particularly valid under these kinds of circumstances.
We must note that the minutes of the last AGM are, maybe surprisingly, but understandably NOT CONSTITUTIONAL (see par 20 of the Constitution) as the Klub’s constitution expressly states that in event of there not being the Honorary Secretary present , the Chairman should call on the meeting to nominate someone from the floor to act as secretary (this action does not appear from the minutes of the meeting to have been the case). We assume that that such a ruling could be intended to prevent the possibility of the minutes of meetings becoming biased or misrepresentative.
The fact is that during the 2022/23 year, up until the last AGM, potential changes and proposals for renewal were proposed by committee members but for one reason or another they were not implemented or were merely postponed.
The Annual General Meeting was held at the Gold Fields Kennel’s club house in Linksfield on 11 March 2023 and it was indeed an extraordinary experience! After the usual initial business had been discussed the Chairman pointed out perceived difficulties and the decline of the Klub over the years and in apparent consequence, thereafter `advised that she had wanted to bring about a proposal which would affect the future of the Klub and which therefore required a ‘minimum quorum’, which at the particular meeting did not, unsurprisingly, materialise.
It must be pointed out that the way in which this was handled by the, then Chairman was also unlikely to have been constitutional. The reason for this is that the proposal does not seem to conform with any option in the constitution as it seems to have been intended to apply to a possible change to the Klub’s constitution or even the Klub’s state of existence. The method of application for inclusion of such an item on the agenda, clearly necessitates the introduction of the application to the committee prior to the AGM to evaluate and discuss the proposal before its inclusion in the agenda. This is clearly in order to ensure that the committee has ample opportunity to evaluate the proposed item and so that it does not take the committee by ambush. The committee (as such) was NOT notified of the existence of such a proposal. There was NO agreement to allow the inclusion of the ‘proposed’ item and the question is begged as to why this was not done? (see par 23 of the constitution)
At that point six members of the existing committee (including the Chairman and Vice-Chairman) indicated their wish to resign with immediate effect, which (being apparently, so well choreographed), one could not help but to assume, in all probability to have been part of a preconceived plan. This action immediately rendered the committee as it then stood inquorate, and the future of the Klub was dramatically in the balance.
Some quick foot work by the remaining three committee members ensured that the required Special General Meeting was subsequently convened, and a new committee was established in terms of the KUSA requirements so that the Klub (which is over 40 years old, with much acquired tradition and value assimilated over the years) could be saved and that the breed would remain in tested hands. These rare components are safe now, to be utilised and developed further for the benefit of the Klub.
From that moment events for the Klub remarkably, started to improve with a new and energised committee focussing on two primary aspects: One was to retain and restore the focus on the Weimaraner Breed and the other to regenerate interest and a sense of belonging by members of the Klub and the Weimaraner Community as a whole.
Another immediate concern was to appeal the application by another (recently established) Weimaraner Club – ‘The Working Weimaraner Club’ (which by inference indicates the possible intention to convey the idea that it is the only ‘Working’ Weimaraner Club) to acquire affiliation to KUSA (and consequently, acquire the benefits that that might mean to it). It seems that there was little regard for many factors which could, and did, work unnecessarily to the detriment of the Weimaraner Breed and split the Weimaraner Community as a whole. The other interesting factor is that the Chairman, secretary and treasurer of this new club appear to comprise ex-members of the old committee of our Klub.
The primary threat was that for no realistic reason, the greater Weimaraner Community faced the imminent possibility of becoming divided, a dangerous position for the breed at a time when membership of the Klub already was in decline. Also at stake was the Weimaraner Breed as a whole in South Africa and its integrity. In these times in which we South Africans exist; Breed Integrity is hardly a consideration for most of the general public. A very risky scenario, indeed.
It is significant that the Klub has subsequently progressed remarkably in all aspects of its operation.
KUSA’s initial response to our appeal was to consider mediation in this regard, which action was strongly supported by our Klub in view of what are seen by the Klub as being benefits for the promotion of the breed in all respects. This application was never concluded and KUSA (in spite of many attempts by the Klub to come to some kind of beneficial outcome) has not actually addressed the issues raised or attempted to bring them to a cogent conclusion.
The Klub’s new committee proceeded to ‘grasp the nettle’. It focused and started with the execution of various programmes and activities, which included the brilliant relaunching of the WhatsApp Group, Klub website, and associated Facebook page. They had been inexplicably taken down following the exodus of committee members. This was done without warning and seemingly with malicious intent, to deliberately hamper the possibility of our Klub being able to regain its feet in the turmoil. It would be hard to imagine that this was undertaken with the idea of leaving the Klub with ‘honour’ in mind. The regaining of access required considerable leverage and persuasion. The old Website and FaceBook Page had both lapsed into obscurity and obsolescence due to lack of activity and interest.
This new approach has resulted in remarkable increases in activity on social media. Marketing the Klub became a priority and highlighted renewed vigour and commitment and the balance of the year has been filled with achievement and good fellowship among the members. A key facet has been to make the Klub experience not only aspects beneficial to the breed but also fun for the members. Both website and FaceBook page are worth a visit (
Committee and Committee Meetings
Committee meetings have been held successfully, monthly throughout the year and have been well supported and although influenced by the ever present ‘load-shedding’ were by-and-large held on ZOOM.
Support for KUSA (FTLC and DOGSPC)
The Klub is affiliated with KUSA and has representation on two sub councils: the ‘Field Training and Liaison Council’ and the Provincial Council (DOGSPC).
The Klub recognises and supports KUSA in what it does and its importance for the Klub. It is the only overriding organisation to control canine interests in South Africa and therefore represents a vital factor in the life of the Klub.
What is notable under this heading is that subsequent to the previous AGM, the FTLC (of which the ex-Chairman is ironically, secretary, and clearly with support of the ‘Working’ Weimaraner Club, addressed the issue of lifting the bar as far as the required standards for judges for the Shooting Rating tests were concerned. While this is not negative the timing of it was done regardless of any prior consultation with our Klub, the standards were lifted by the FTLC. This in effect made (under the circumstances) our Klub’s access to the Shooting Ratings tests (which our Weimaraner Klub originated, after considerable negotiation with KUSA), even more inaccessible in the short term.
Field Work
The Klub recognises that field work is critical to the breed in order to ensure the stimulation of the genetically derived, hunting instincts of the breed. This is an aspect equally important as the physical conformation of the breed.
Field training – this aspect should best start at an early age for the puppy. A Weimaraner has natural instincts and abilities which form a part of its identity and is written into the ‘Breed Standard’. This is a guide followed in terms of breeding and is a measuring stick in terms of ‘Showing’ Dogs.
2024 is the year in which the Weimaraner Klub will start to implement an achievable hunting/field training programme.
The Klub did not host a ‘Shooting Ratings’ event as it would under ‘normal’ circumstances have done. This would have been an impossible task to have been accomplished, taking into account the severe damage which had been done to it.
It is currently investigating this aspect and has held successful, field orientation events such as the one to the hunting lodge ‘Uitsig’ owned by Theuns Oelofse who also operates ‘North West Wingshooters’. (for further information please view the Klub’s Facebook page)
We have also launched an active programme and commitment to reconnect with the various other gundog clubs falling under the auspices of KUSA.
In showing support for both KUSA and its programme relating to the training of aspirant judges. The Klub under the able direction of Robyn Louw took part in a valuable and unique opportunity for the Klub to promote the breed in a very personalised and direct way with new KUSA judges undergoing tutelage, by means of direct communication and interaction at an event initiated and run by the Gundog Club at the Goldfields Club.

The ‘Show-ring’ and Training for it
We, as a Klub are very fortunate in having some of the most decorated and experienced members in South Africa with very significant accomplishments in the Show-ring. These accomplishments extend all over South Africa and even overseas.
The Klub held a ‘fun’, show ring training day at ‘Prime View Adventure and Leisure Facility’ prior to the Klub’s Championship Show. It was well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by all and this was reflected in the success of the Championship show. The Klub’s two experts on the art of ‘showing’ presented to those who attended and put them through their paces practically.
‘Showing’ of pure bred (KUSA – Kennel Union of SA – registered) dogs is critical for ensuring the future conformation of dog breeds. It can also be a challenging, and exciting event and has a significant social component.
During the year, the Klub’s Weimaraners have acquired more than their ‘fair share’ of titles:
The Klub understands that not all new members of the Klub are in tune with methods of showing and before important shows it often offers some basic training for new members and a ‘brush-up’ for the more experienced ones.
The Weimaraner Klub Championship Show is an annual event and provides an opportunity for the owners of registered dogs to test the conformation against the KUSA standards and other dogs on show, in the ring with a KUSA judge. The rating of entered dogs is the result and prizes for the various categories are presented at the annual prize giving, the date of which event is to be shortly announced. The show was a huge success with a considerably larger attendance than was the case for many years.
It is regrettable that the ex-Chairman decided to retain four trophies (because of sited personal reasons) when returning the Klub’s collection of trophies to the Klub. This is referred to in the Treasurer’s report as would be correctly anticipated.
Similarly, The Open Show was an incredibly well organised and enjoyable event (held in conjunction with two other Gundog Clubs – which added to the level of excitement and the enjoyment of the day).
Significant achievements during the year, were:
• Klub Weimaraner of the Year – Sup Ch Gatebeautiful River Jordan
• Klub Weimaraner Puppy of the Year – Pheasants’ Fancy Chanyalew (Zeiss)
• Gundog Group 1st place – Ch Bright Caipirinha Imperium Star (extraordinary for a ten-year-old)
• National Weimaraner 2023 and Reserve Gundog Champion 2023 – Ch Gatebeautiful Moon River of Pheasantsfancy (Hannah)

Good breeding is a very important aspect to the Klub and its breeders who must be registered as KUSA members and must adhere to the highest Klub standards and the KUSA regulations relating to breeding. There is a strong ethical component as well as an exacting emphasis on good animal husbandry. This includes a huge focus on genetics which involves a deep understanding of the breed and its various components.
An aspect that has become very relevant is the prevalence today, of very poorly bred Weimaraners which seem to be purchased by an unfortunately large and growing uninformed element of the public which is only really interested in the ‘puppy price’. This is a concern of the Weimaraner Klub as the ‘Custodians’ of the breed. Good and responsible breeding is one of the important building blocks and core values of the Klub. The sad state of many of the Weimaraners (non-Klub dogs) in South Africa is an indicator to us of the aspects of education which need the attention of the Klub. It is a very real threat to the breed.
Breeding has come into focus and Klub Breeders (registered with KUSA) and who have communicated with the Klub relating to their breeding activities, have bred some fine litters during the year:
Pheasants’ Fancy
The Post Script:
In summation, the 2023/24 year has been an eventful one for the Klub, as you will appreciate when considering this report. From a tenuous start, the Weimaraner Klub of Gauteng has ended it on an extremely high note and is casting its eye forward to effectively develop and exploit every opportunity that lies ahead. We have gathered an enthusiastic team around us which is focused on promoting the Weimaraner Breed and we are looking forward to tackling the challenges and opportunities ahead.
This report may be an unusually long and detailed one, but there is good reason for this and it has been my considered responsibility to place the details of this year in the life of the Klub on record. It is important to ensure that the unfortunate events which so nearly negatively affected the Weimaraner Breed in South Africa are accurately recorded so that similar situations may not happen again. This kind of occurrence should make the members of KUSA and other like-minded clubs aware of the considerable damage that can be caused under these circumstances and how easily it may occur if one is not wary.
What is sure is that we have the interests of the Breed at heart and will do all that is feasible to ensure that its interests are held high.