By: Susan & Gemma Henshaw
So the end of the Championship classes for this season and we now have a complete list of all the marvellous teams that we will see on the green carpet at Crufts 2016
To bring our articles up to date we start on Saturday 22 August at the Welsh KC show in Builth Wells, the only show on the circuit that has just the championship classes. Pat Watson was in charge of the Ch C dog class and her rather delighted winner was Bronwyn Bartley with ‘Bheinn He’s A Gift Forever’, they joined the list of first time ticket winners for this year, it’s been a few years since Bronwyn has qualified a dog through to Crufts so we wish them all the best for the day. Judging the Ch C bitch class was Herbie Watson and he awarded his top honour to Linda Rutherford and ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Confidential’, their seventh win of the year so far and a fantastic round as usual.
The following day and a journey across to the other side of the country to Kent for the Ditton DTC show, another two day event and the Sunday certainly had the best of the weather, raining in the morning but clearing just after lunch, most judges agreeing that this is not only a superb venue, but the hospitality is excellent, the organisers supplying a hearty breakfast and a delicious hot lunch. Judging the Ch C dog class was Wendy Hagger and her winner was Jenny Lunn and Ob Ch Longhalves On A Rhythm, a stunning round and this win earning the dog his Obedience Champion status. Hazel Troth judged the Ch C bitch ring and her red rosette went to Suzie Tooley and ‘Everush Olympic Flame, leading for most of the day with an excellent scent exercise ensuring this win.
Saturday 29 august should have seen the teams compete at the Cambridgeshire DTC show, but the show was cancelled and so far there is no news as to whether the show will be on next years calendar.
Having had the Saturday off the teams headed on Sunday 30 August to the Wakefield DTC show, a well-run show, the drinks service to the rings was greatly appreciated, as was the excellent lunch and they even managed to book good weather for the day In charge of the Ch C dog ring was Emma Lavender and her first place went to John Higgins and ‘Lupitoonz Prince Charming’, a first ticket win for this pair and John is another handler who has been missing from the Crufts qualifiers for far too long. The Ch C bitch class judge was Roy Bland and he awarded his ticket to Karen Davies & ‘Ob Ch Stillmoor Celtic Banner’ who after some close calls this year put in a lovely round topped off with a perfect scent to gain this win.
Monday 31 August and the turn of the Worcester DTC show and unfortunately, once again, the day was blighted by rain. This is an extremely well run show on a double weekend, a good venue with super catering for not only the judges but the competitors as well. The judge for the Ch C dog class was Sue Garner and her top honour went to Mary Ray and ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jean’s, their fifth win of the season, the round worked with attention to detail, style and commitment, what more can be said about this team. Steph Woollam was in charge of the Ch C bitch ring and her winner with a ‘round of pure class’’ was Linda Rutherford and ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Confidential’.
Saturday 5 September and Lichfield and District DTS show in the Midlands, a lovely venue at Dartmouth Park, with plenty of walks for the dogs, the lunch in the pavilion was well received and the home made cakes would have apparently given Mary Berry a run for her money. Judging the Ch C dog class was Mick Vessey and his winner was Philomena Barnes with ‘Ob Ch Forever Magic It’s A Gift’, another classic round from this team. Then just to make it a rather good weekend Philomena also took the top spot in the Ch C bitch class under judge Sharon Dunstan with ‘Ob Ch Bheinn Bewitched’.
The following day the teams headed north to the Kilbride DTC show held at Brancumhall Playing Fields. A well organised and friendly show with great catering for the judging parties, with lots of home made desserts and cakes on offer; the rings are a good size with a well-mown surface. The judging of the Ch C dog class was in the hands of Eileen Lyons and her top spot went to Kathy Russell and ‘Ruskath Magical Image’, then not to be ‘outdone’ Winston’s litter sister ‘Ob Ch Ruskath Makana Image’ took the Ch C bitch title under judge David Strickleton, a fantastic weekend for Kathy and her dogs.
Saturday 12 September and the teams moved down to the Thames DTC show at Ockwell Park, Maidenhead. A lovely ground for a show even with some of the restrictions due to replanting there is plenty of room for everyone. Many people were also making use of the large area at the rear of the showground for exercising the dogs, all this plus good size rings and a stay ring ideally situated away from the main rings. There was excellent judges and competitors catering plus a small array of stand to peruse. Judging the Ch C dog class was Sarah Delaney and her top spot was awarded to Philomena Barnes and ‘Ob Ch Forever Magic It’s A Gift’, giving a display of superb set exercises and almost faultless fast pace, this team are certainly on a roll. Peter Lubbi was in charge of the Ch C bitch ring and his winner was a delighted Madge Thompson and ‘Ob Ch Forever Magic It’s Trendy’, who put in a cracking round and topped it off with a superb Scent.
The following day and off to the midlands for the Coventry DTC show, excellent hospitality, topped off with constant service of drinks to the ringside, lovely big rings which for the main had very level working surfaces. Pat Batchelor was in charge of the Ch C dog ring and her top honour went to Dot Watts and’ Ob Ch Ziggdan Zyco’, giving a display of their usual top class teamwork. Kamal Fernandez was judging the Ch C bitch class and his winner was Jenny Gould and ‘Zakanja Beewyched’ a dog described by the judge as ‘full of verve, attitude and drive’, their second ticket win of the year.
Saturday 19 September and for many of the teams a week long visit to the George V Playing fields venue at West Bromwich, with two clubs running double weekend shows, both exceptionally well run, superb ‘bowling green’ working surfaces, good catering and they even managed to book good weather. On the 19/20 it’s the turn of Birmingham & District GSD and judging the Ch C dog class for them was Roy Page and he awarded his red rosette to Sharon Dunstan and ‘Murellas Just Jasper’, just 6 years old this boy and now starting to make his mark in the ticket classes, this was a very confident display, their first ticket win but more are certain to follow. Bev Hughes was judging the Ch C bitch class and her top spot went to Marie Cartwright and ‘Ob Ch Dodgin Firecracker’, real teamwork from this pair, superb handling which complemented the dog perfectly.
Onto Saturday 26 September and after some extra training and a fair bit of fun for the competitors who stayed on for the week, it was the turn of BAGSD to hold their weekend show on the same venue and again the weather held fine, just a slight breeze across the showground, ideal working weather. Lou Jackson was judging the Ch C dog class and after scent and stays took their toll her top spot went to Mary Ray and ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jeans’, an early birthday present for Levi for the Sunday, with a display of superb set exercises and flowing heelwork, they make it look so easy. Judging the Ch C bitch class was Steve Barnes and his winner was Linda Rutherford and ‘Ob Ch Lupitoonz Limelite’, another absolutely classic round of heelwork and sets from this team.
The following day and many of the teams made their way across to Caldicot Castle for the GSD of Wales show. You really could not ask for a better venue than this one, the castle grounds are lovely, plenty of room for exercising the dogs, good working surfaces and superb catering. Steph Woollam was in charge of the Ch C dog class and her winner was a delighted Jessica Lewis with ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Casanova’, flowing heelwork, lovely set exercises with handling which perfectly suited the dog, with this win they join the other teams who will be going to Crufts 2016 as newly crowned Obedience Champions. Judging the Ch C bitch class was Pandy Keyte and her top spot went to Jodi Lunn and ‘Longhalves Fast ‘N’ Furious’, beautiful teamwork making the round look effortless.
Into October and across to Essex and on Saturday 3rd the Elm Park DTC show, first rate organisation and lovely catering for the judging parties, the day started in a shroud of fog but that lifted and in the afternoon the sun was out and dried the ground up. Russell Becque judged the Ch C dog class and awarded his first place to Sandra Spruce and ‘Ob Ch Dodgin Rags to Riches’, they produced a round of precision, with stylish heelwork and finished it off with a textbook scent. The CH C bitch class judge was Keith Gwillim and his winner was Madge Thompson and ‘Ob Ch Forever Magic It’s Trendy’, another round of teamwork at its best, their second win of the year.
The following day and on the same ground it was the turn of Thurrock DTS to put on their show, slightly better weather, sunny for the most part, again superb organisation and the judges were well looked after. Nick Buxton was in charge of the Ch C dog class and his delighted winner was Ria McGovern and ‘Bekim Surprise Surprise’. The judge of the Ch C bitch class was Shirley Clowes and her top spot went to Kathy Russell and ‘Ob Ch Ruskath Makana Image’, their third win of the year.
Sunday 11 October and the teams headed to the Cheshire DTC show, a lovely venue with masses of room, good size rings and a flat working surface. Stepping in to judge the Ch C dog class was Kathy Mangan and her winner was Mary Ray and ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jeans’, who gave another display of marvellous teamwork and this earned them their seventh win of the year. Judging the Ch C bitch class was Jessica Lewis and her top honour went to Linda Rutherford and ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Confidential’, there are not many more plaudits that you can say about this team, winning their ninth ticker of the year. A brilliant day for the Colliewood’s.
Saturday 7 October and the penultimate Championship show for this season, run by the East Grinstead & District DTC at the South of England showground, Ardingly. Cold weather and a biting wind greeting the competitors but thankfully all the rings are now in the main building. Judges were well catered for at the ringside, a welcome hot lunch and home made delicious cakes. The sand surface and echoing acoustics of the building does cause some dogs a few problems especially in the higher classes with send away and the DC exercise.
In charge of the Ch C bitch ring was Delia Steadman and after a close fought run off at the end of the day she awarded her top spot to Kathy Russell and ‘Ob Ch Ruskath Makana Image’, who gave an accurate, well worked round, twice. Judging the Ch C dog class was Kit Clow and completing a superb double her winner was Kathy Russell and ‘Ob Ch Ruskath Magical Image’, this win earning the dog his Obedience Champion title.
Saturday 14 October and back down to the south of England showground for the last Championship show of the year run by the committee and members of Tunbridge Wells DCS, unfortunately this is the last show for this club, such a shame as there is always a good festive atmosphere around the rings and a last chance to gain that ticket to Crufts. John Higgins was in charge of the Ch C dog ring and his winner was a delighted Steve Frazer with Ob Ch Gwynfair Classic Gas, the team putting in a very confident performance. Judging the Ch C bitch class was Anita Neal and her winner was Linda Rutherford with Ob Ch Colliewood Confidential, who gave a display of total teamwork topped off with drive and power.
So the end of the season for the Championships shows, there have been many great rounds, new teams qualifying for Crufts and quite a few going there as new Obedience Champions, all making for an exciting Crufts to look forward to.