By 1970, there had been two unsuccessful attempts to disqualify the Blues, and this action left what the WCA later called “an unsettled condition.” And so once again the issue of what to do about the Blues was formally addressed.
The WCA Tries to Disqualify the Blue Weimaraner Again in 1970
The WCA took the position that “the continuous breeding of such Blue Weimaraners is detrimental to the breed” (December 5, 1969 Board Meeting Minutes – PDF) and continued to handicap the Blues by doing such things as banning advertising of Blues in the Weimaraner Magazine – PDF, the official publication of the Weimaraner Club of America, as well as by preventing publication of letters which complained of the WCA’s bias. (See paid advertisement in the Graymatter publishing the omissions from the Board Meeting minutes – PDF.)
In January of 1970, the WCA membership received official notice – PDF of a plan for a membership vote on whether to disqualify the Blues. In this official notice, the WCA Board “recommended disqualification” to the membership and presented a timetable of how the arguments would be presented before vote. Of note, the WCA did not present the club members with the opportunity to vote to classify Blue as a separate variety. WCA President Ted Jarmie in a letter dated January 27, 1970 to the Southland Weimaraner Club’s Graymatter newsletter (February 1970) states that “The Board could see no reason for… recommending a contrary course [from the 1965 membership vote] such as accepting the blue dog or forming a variety for it.”
The first few months of the Weimaraner Magazines in 1970 published pro and con arguments for the disqualification, all the while the WCA Board took a strong stance of being for disqualification. (See letter to all Weimaraner Owners from the WCA Board of Directors – PDF in the March 1970 Weimaraner Magazine.)
The WCA Does Not Get the Two-Thirds Vote To Change the Standard
Despite the fact that the WCA continued to limit pro-Blue sentiment in the magazine, in the May 1970 Weimaraner Magazine – PDF, there is a small note in the Membership Meeting Minutes that “The referendum ballot was 588 to work with AKC to revise the existing standard disqualifying blue and black coats, while 422 voted to leave the standard as is,” and “President Jarmie said that the standard would stay as it presently is worded since there were not sufficient votes to constitute two-thirds of the membership voting.”
The WCA Board Re-doubles its Efforts in Round Two
In the New Board Meeting Minutes published in the May 1970 Weimaraner Magazine – PDF, the Board took the position that they would “work toward disqualification of the blue.” The Board refused to document pro-Blue sentiment discussed in Board meetings in their minutes and also refused to publish letters to the editor that pointed out the WCA’s bias. (See paid advertisement in the Graymatter publishing the omissions from the Board Meeting minutes – PDF.) In reaction to complaints, the Board put a moratorium on the subject. Many felt that the WCA was forcing its will on the membership.
Perhaps most damning to the Blue cause was a copy of a letter from the German Klub discussing Weimaraner coat color variations and its accompanying English translation which appeared in the April 1971 issue of the Weimaraner Magazine. The translation of the German letter is slanted towards the Board’s stance on the issue. The letter and translation are discussed further here.
According to Elizabeth Wood, “after two rounds of voting, and in spite of more than a hundred letters written to AKC protesting the change, the Standard was revised once again” (Wood). Results from the August 1971 vote – PDF as certified by the Jack Aulik Law Offices showed 711 votes for the disqualification of “a distinctly blue or black coat” and 245 votes against disqualification of “a distinctly blue or black coat.” On this basis, the Blue Weimaraner was disqualified.
There have however been allegations that the WCA’s ballot was deliberately unfair and inaccurate due to lumping black coats along with blue coats since many felt that Blue Weimaraners were purebred but black coated Weimaraners were products of cross-breedings. There have been further allegations that the “against” votes that had the “black coat” crossed out on the ballot (so that the ballot read “against disqualification of a distinctly blue coat
or black coat”) were considered tampered and not counted.
AKC Approves the Change and Explains Reason for Approval of Disqualification
In December 1971 the AKC approved this change effective December 1972. AKC’s letter approving the revision of the standard acknowledges that “a number of letters” were received from fanciers who favored Blues. The letter explains that one of the main reasons for approval of disqualification was to clarify for judges what “darker than mouse-gray” meant (which up until then was categorized as a “very serious fault”). While acknowledging that “the silver gray color of the Weimaraner coat is a distinctive feature of the breed,” the AKC never implies that the Blue coat color is aberrant nor incorrect — no value judgment is made. Indeed, the letter specifically mentions that Blues will still be registerable, and that there would be “no reason to fear that the outstandingly good qualities of any blue dog or bitch could not be passed on to future generations of the breed without retaining the darker color.”
The 1972 standard reads “Disqualifications – A distinctly long coat. A distinctly blue or black coat.” The 1972 Standard is our current standard.