By: Susan & Gemma Henshaw
A series of articles on what’s been happening in the Championship Classes this year – this article covers March to May
This years Championship season should have kicked off with the Midlands Border Collie Club’s show on March 30, but this year the weather decided to coat many parts of the country with snow, with many areas suffering a complete ‘white out’.
The ground for the Midlands BCC two day show and the Border Collie Club of GB’s one day show, was unfortunately one of those ‘white out’ spots, the photos on the net showed the ground completely covered in very deep snow, so the decision was made on the 25 March to cancel all three days, giving competitors from both this country and abroad time, hopefully, to cancel their own travel arrangements.
We then had quite a long wait until the next Championship show, which was held by Knightswood DTC at Thornton in Fife, Scotland on 21 April. This venue being described as superb, lots of space for competitors and dogs with good sized working areas. Winner of the dog ticket under judge Doreen fry was Lynn Hillary with ‘Highyews Moi Pikta Kyon’ and taking top spot in the bitch ticket was Kathy Ingham with ‘Ob Ch Ruskath Portent Image’ the judge for that class, Sarah Jane Campbell saying that the dog ‘showed style with commitment and precision in all exercises.
Bank Holiday weekend at the start of May gave us three shows in a row, Burnbank DTC in East Kilbride, Scotland held their show on 4 May, thankfully the weather had dried up but it was bitterly cold across the ground, many of the judges praised the club for their hospitality, bacon rolls at the start of the day, a carvery lunch and hot drinks and cakes at the finish of judging. The dog ticket went to Jan Matthews with ‘Ob Ch Croftmist River of Krissmoss’ under judge Anne Marie Parker and judge Anne Shearer awarded her top honours in the bitch ticket to Karen Davies with her ‘Ob Ch Stillmoor Celtic Banner’, whom she described as ‘really working as a team’.
The next day the handlers had the drive south to the ever popular Rugby DTC show, this ground spreads over quite a large area, with good sized rings, excellent catering and ample room for exercising the dogs. Judge Roy Neal awarded his bitch ticket top spot to Marie Cartwright and her lovely ‘Ob Ch Dodgin Firecracker’ and winner of the dog ticket under judge Fred Burns was Mary Ray with her stunning ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jeans’.
To finish off the Bank Holiday weekend Leicestershire GSD Club held their show on Monday 6 May at Hinckley in Leicestershire. Another hugely popular show, a good flat working surface and plenty of room around the rings. The dog ticket was won by Steve Frazer with his ‘Ob Ch Gwynfair Classical Gas’ under judge Wendy Hughes, who described the dog as ‘absolutely committed to his work’. The bitch ticket, judged by Tony Deegan went to Mary Ray with ‘Ob Ch Red Hot Foxy Music’, another lovely accurate round from this handler.
May 11 and the Championship handlers travelled to the Wirral Alsatian TS show, this year the society is celebrating their 60th Anniversary. Many of the judges stating that this is a very well run show, the society making everyone feel welcome, thankfully the ground had held up after horrendous conditions in the week prior to the show. Dog ticket went to Suzy Tooley and ‘ Ob Ch Woughstock Wynsome Hartze’, described by judge Alison Gresty as a dog who was ‘totally focused on the job in hand’. Judge Sheila Taylor awarded the bitch ticket win to Kathy Ingham and ‘Ob Ch Ruskath Portent Image’ who are always a very popular team.
The competitors moved north into Scotland on the 18 May for the huge 3-day Scottish Kennel Club show, Breed, Obedience, Agility and many other disciplines of dog sport being on display over the three days. The top honours in the bitch ticket went to Gemma Easton with ‘Ob Ch Redistedi Mission Pawzible’ who gave a stunning display of heelwork with style and accuracy according to judge Sharon Dunstan. Janet Matthews with ‘Ob Ch Croftmist River of Krismoss’ were the winners under judge David Banks in the dog ticket.
A long journey south for some of the teams the next day to the Midlands for day two of a double weekend held by Loughborough DTC, always an impeccably run show, excellent catering for the competitors, ample room for parking and camping with large areas for exercising the dogs. Lou Jackson judged the bitch ticket and from working in the running order to being the eventual winner of this class was Dot Watts with ‘Ob Ch Zygdann Rockin Frenzy’. Continuing her ‘purple patch’ and winning the dog ticket under judge Roy Page was Mary Ray with ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jeans’.
So onto the 25 May and the Exeter DTC show, set in stunning countryside with a river running by the edge of the showground making a very picturesque setting for this show. Described by many as ‘a show that people should put in their diaries for next year’. Judging the dog ticket was Pat Watson and her first place went to Pandy Hannay with ‘Ob Ch Dodgin Mister Moon’ a dog that works with power and accuracy. The bitch ticket was awarded to Philomena Barnes with ‘Ob Ch Bheinn Bewitched’ with a round described by judge Herbie Watson as ‘worked with very good heelwork and solid set exercises’.
The following day those competitors that had the stamina headed north again to Tyne & Wear for the championship day of the three-day Waldridge Fell DTS show. Many competitors have a mini holiday at this superb venue, which apart from being set in splendid countryside has a very friendly atmosphere. Janet Matthews was judging the bitch ticket and awarded her top spot to Pat Watson with ‘Ob Ch Forever magic It’s Flicker’, who works with ‘sheer determination and dedication’. The dog ticket went to Mary Ray and ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jeans’, under judge Shirley Clowes, another superb round from this team and their fourth ticket win of the year.
Susan & Gemma Henshaw