PolyStandard

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When I grow-up I want to be a TICA Champion too!

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We have been asked why the Maine Coon polydactyl is not accepted for show
status in the Championship Rings around the world.

Why has it taken all these years to just apply for championship status?
Aren’t MC polys descendents of original stock that was up to 40% polydactyl naturally occurring in the wild?
Why were MC polys allowed to be registered in Associations as a full pedigree Maine Coon, but then disqualified from the ring?
Why didn’t it make any difference when it was determined by geneticists and medical experts, that there were no quality of life issues with the MC poly?
Why did the original breed standard for Maine Coons include the poly, only to be replaced by a second standard with the poly removed?

Why? Why? Why? 
These are all valid questions
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Acceptance of the Maine Coon poly has been discussed in one form or another, since the 70’s. Much of the work for introducing the breed Maine Coon was done many years ago by the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association (MCBFA). The MCBFA was creating a breed standard for the breed that the various cat associations could use in their own Associations. The MC poly was part of this proposed standard. But there were some that did not favour the inclusion of the poly. In fact there were even some that did not care for the non-poly either, feeling the Maine Coon was, as some put it: “a barn cat”. As discussions continued and politics and personal likes/dislikes entered the picture, it was decided that rather than risk acceptance of the entire breed, it would be better to take the poly out of the picture for the time being. Depending on whom you talked to, many say it was just a temporary thing and that once the Maine Coon was accepted, then the poly would be brought back into the equation after acceptance.

One of the strange things that emerged, as the breed and show standards were adopted by the various Cat Associations, was the fact the Maine Coon poly could be registered as a full pedigreed Maine Coon. It could be used for breeding programs, used as foundation stock and for the most part was accepted as any other Maine Coon. It was just not allowed in the show ring. Some breeders worked with polys in the background as breeding stock for their non-poly show cats. Others felt the poly was a defect, in spite of the research and literature that was available, even in those times, that showed polydactylism in the Maine Coon was nothing more than a benign trait. A few of these “elitist” breeders began calling for the culling of the poly to eliminate it from the pedigreed MC gene pool. MC Breeders that worked with polys were shunned in their circles. There were even a few that did both; railed against the ‘defective” poly, and yet used poly blood lines in their breeding and show programs. This is a rather interesting dichotomy and somewhat of an indefensible stance “Bad press” (mostly unfounded stories and fear-mongering) for the “poly” continued through the years.

By 2005 an unofficial estimate placed the poly population at 2% of the total Maine Coon population. But with a lot of research and seeking out many breeders and fanciers around the world who also felt the polys belonged in the show ring, a common cause and goal was formed. Breeders and Fanciers banned together to begin the task of acceptance. TICA allowed the MC poly to be shown and judged as a Maine Coon in the New Traits Division. PolyTrak was formed to document as much information as we could about the Maine Coon polydactyl for the benefit of research and to try and confirm or dispel the many stories floating around Maine Coon world about polydactylism. Good, bad or indifferent it was important to approach the idea of acceptance from fact and not from “wives-tales” handed down through the years.  It was also during this time, with the talk and publicity about the Maine Coon poly, that a sudden increase of breeders and fanciers working with polys was noted. The list of Catteries on PolyTrak working with MC polys more than doubled in 2007. Unofficial straw polls, both in the USA and Europe, showed a high rate of acceptance (over 90% in some cases) on the idea amongst the Maine Coon community for the inclusion of the Maine Coon polydactyl in the Championship Ring. So with the wave of interest in the MC poly, a mountain factual paperwork, and a group of hard working and knowledgeable “poly-people”, it was time to begin the formal road to acceptance.

In September of 2005 TICA accepted the Maine Coon polydactyl into their Advance New Traits Division.  Here for the first time a Maine Coon poly could be shown and judged, although they were not eligible for Championship Status.  This provided the "poly" much needed exposure and a chance for Maine Coon show people to have their cat evaluated to the same standards as their regular-footed counterparts.  

In late 2008 after a couple of years of hard work by two poly breeders, The New Zealand Cat Fancy became the first major Cat Association to embrace and accept the polydactyl Maine Coon for full Championship status, leading the way for other Associations to follow.

In April 2014, PolyStandard, filed with TICA an “Application for Advancement to Championship Status” to have the Maine Coon polydactyl brought into the Show Ring for CHAMPIONSHIP STATUS
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Once  the "Application" was filed, PolyStandard was required to absorb the costs of mailing ballots Worldwide for every Maine Coon Breed Section member in TICA.  This was a rather large expense.  Many responded to our call  for help with these expenses and PolyStandard is truly grateful for all that contributed to our cause. The ballot issue was not successful, however the percentage of YES votes increased dramatically from a vote by MC breeders in 2004.  Now as PolyStandard prepares for another vote in TICA we once again are asking for your help.  In addition any money raised for paying for ballots and mailings we are asking for your contributions for promotional materials, advertising at local and regional cat shows throughout the World in all Cat Associations and for "Poly" presentations to various groups.  The group is doing all of this on a volunteer basis and financially from their own pocket.

It is time for the Maine Coon poly world to step forward and help in anyway you can. If you are a Maine Coon Breeder or Fancier that works with polys...a Maine Coon Breeder or Fancier that doesn’t work with the polys, but love them just the same as their counterparts...or just a person that feels these great cats deserve full recognition in the Cat world, instead of culling them into extinction, we need your help and support. Don’t let a few do all the work and bear the cost, so that you and your poly can enjoy the fruits of their labour and efforts. If ever there was a time to join together, this is it ladies and gentlemen!!!!
If you would like to help out we have a contribution account setup to accept donations.
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Make your donation Now!
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If you would like to help in any way or you have a question about this project  you may use the inquiry form at the bottom of this page or just drop a note to polystandard@polytrak.net and we will give you details and information, or you may join the group’s working Yahoo area at: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/polystandard/join.

 Please be assured that any money that is donated will be used 100% for expenses related to the acceptance of the poly for championship status. Those donating will have their names kept confidential and can receive a copy of the donations, expenses and balance (with names removed) by email at the above address at any time. Please also note that PolyStandard group and its members are not a registered charity or tax exempt organization, so unfortunately donations are not tax deductible in most cases. We also have another fundraising site to help raise money for the application expenses.  It is our PolyStandard Merchandise site where you may purchase hundreds PolyStandard items with our logo.  This site is:  http://www.cafepress.com/PolyMCs.  All profits from merchandise sales will be used in our fundraising campaign.  

Thank You in behalf of PolyStandard and in behalf of Maine Coon polydactyls everywhere who need your help to be recognized as one of the world’s truly GREAT CATS!  

Thumbs Up Poly Lovers!


  FORM 7:

YES.  I WOULD LIKE TO HELP WITH ACCEPTANCE OF THE MAINE COON POLYDACTYL FOR CHAMPIONSHIP STATUS IN THE METHOD LISTED BELOW IN COMMENTS.  CONTACT ME BY THE EMAIL LISTED BELOW.

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NO.  BUT I DO HAVE A COMMENT OR QUESTION LISTED BELOW.  WE WILL RESPOND, IF DESIRED, TO THE EMAIL ADDRESS BELOW.

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MY EMAIL ADDRESS (REQUIRED).  ALL ADDRESSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL AT POLYSTANDARD/POLYTRAK
EMAIL: 

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