Oh how sad for everyone involved!
I, as an active obedience exhibitor, am not really sure where I stand on whether or not groups should remain part of the exercise. Personally, I think it's silly to do an out-of-sight stay, when really, as responsible dog owners, we should be keeping our dogs in-sight at all times. For that reason, I wouldn't mind seeing the exercise traded out for something else. I don't think it would eliminate "attacks" at dog shows b/c those can happen anyway. You walk too close to a dog who lunges out to the end of the leash, or a dog gets away from his owner and goes after another dog, etc.
If the "stay" is still considered an important part of obedience in the eyes of the AKC, perhaps the Open version can become owners in-sight, but the stewards acting as major distractions for the dogs?
(Golden Retriever) Born 5/12/12, Adopted April 2014.
Wordsmith's Winsome Warrior
No titles (I'm too lazy now!), but an awesome hiking partner! "Quiz"
(Golden Retriever) 12/31/03 - 3/20/13
U-CD Tanbark's Number Two Pencil, JH, CDX, Can-CD, AX, AXJ, OF, RS-E, JS-E, GS-E, WCDex. I loved being this dog's partner! Watch him shine! "Zoie"
(Whippet) 9/8/00 - 3/28/14
Donmar-Valair Second Wind, CD, RE, MC, ASCA-CD, Th.D.
#1 AKC Obedience Whippet for 2004 / AKC and ASFA FCH Pointed