By: Susan & Gemma Henshaw
A sweltering July afternoon and as the dogs are flat out after their morning walk we have the ideal opportunity to sit down with a cuppa and catch up on who’s been winning in the Championship classes.
Saturday 17 May and the Scottish Kennel Club Show on the Royal Highland Showground at Ingleston, Edinburgh. Reading through some of the judge’s reports this is a show that truly knows how to look after its judging parties leaving them wanting for nothing. For the competitors, lovely big level surface rings, good catering and well run stays. Taking top honours under judge Steve Rutter in the Dog Ticket was an extremely delighted Andrea Little with ‘Borderlair Aerodynamic’, a first ticket win for this pair and with work of this quality it certainly shouldn’t be long before other wins at this level follow. Pat Wilson was judging the Bitch Ticket and she awarded her first place to Pat Watson with ‘Ob Ch Forever Magic It’s A Flicker’, who worked a round that was an ‘absolute delight to watch’.
The following day and some of the teams had made the long journey southwards overnight to Loughborough DTC show, this being day two of a double weekend run by this club, who have the running of it down to a fine art, including an excellent breakfast to start the day for the judges, a good meal at lunchtime and cakes for when they had finished. There were also many compliments regarding the constant supply of drinks to the ringside, which were most welcome on what turned out to be a very hot day. Competitors are well catered for, nice size flat rings, plenty of room to run the dogs, lots of camping space and a clubhouse bar!
Judging Dog Ticket today was Janel Fone and her first place went to Mary Ray and ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jeans’, giving yet another classic display of work at this level. Bitch Ticket judge Lyn Tozer awarded her top spot to Dot Watts and ‘Ob Ch Zygdann Rockin Frenzi’ another team who are a force to be reckoned with.
The weekend after and a long journey down to Cullompton in Devon for the Exeter DTC show. The first day of a double weekend which is fast becoming a very popular date on the show calendar. A friendly show on a lovely venue, unfortunately the weather wasn’t that kind this year and after a fine start to the morning it turned into a very wet day, but thankfully the ground held up well and didn’t cause too many problems. Judges praised the standard of the catering, especially the ‘amazing’ cakes. Taking up her first judging appointment at this level was Steph Woollam, judging the Dog Ticket class today and awarding her first place to Ann Rogers with ‘Ob Ch Moakies Mystical Warrior’, with ‘smart handling from Ann complimenting the dogs work’. Roy Newman was judging the Bitch Ticket and his top honours went to a delighted Jane Bint with ‘Janyjoy Jumpin Jaro’ showing great teamwork in a round to be proud of, and they finished with a clear scent.
Sunday 25 May and a journey for some teams to the north of the country for the second day of a three day show for Waldridge Fell DTS, and Sunday happened to be the one day that was fine and dry. The committee had the unenviable task of having to find a new venue at short notice, but they triumphed and many competitors and judges praised the almost perfect working area, the good-sized rings and the ‘excellence’ of the catering. Elaine Weelands was judging the Dog Ticket and her winner was Mary Ray with ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jeans’ who was described as ‘oozes talent’. In charge of the Bitch Ticket was Franny Herron, his first Ticket appointment and he awarded his CC to Linda Rutherford and ‘Ob Ch Lupitoonz Limelight’ this pair showing ‘well executed set exercises’.
The following Saturday and for some of the Championship teams working in today’s ticket it meant a ferry journey across to Northern Ireland to the Lisburn & District Show, another double weekend with the ticket show on the Saturday and an open show on the Sunday. A show that, reading through some comments, looks after their judges every needs, most of them mentioning the fabulous food and hospitality. Kate McCartney had stepped in to judge the Dog Ticket when the original judge Robert Harlow had to withdraw due to ill health, hopefully Robert is now recovering and I am sure we all wish him well. Kate’s top honours went to Linda Rutherford with ‘Ob Ch Sixela Rumr Has It’ with clean set exercises and ‘the dog working with controlled exuberance’. Making her debut judging at this level was Gemma Easton and her first place in Bitch Ticket was awarded to Linda Rutherford and the lovely ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Confidential’, this win meaning that all three of Linda’s dogs are now qualified through to Crufts 2015.
So into the month of June and on Saturday 1st the Championship teams journeyed down to Hampshire for the Petersfield & District DTC show at the Taro Leisure Centre. A good venue with plenty of parking spaces and some good dog walks leading off from the main working areas. This show also seems to fall lucky with the weather each year and today was no exception almost too hot at times but thankfully there was some shade around. In charge of the Dog Ticket class was John Higgins and his winner was Gill Winyard with ‘Ob Ch Jonjosam Drunken Duncan’ whose round was described as ‘free flowing and well schooled’. Bitch Ticket judge was Keith Gwillim and he awarded his top spot to a delighted Lyn Collins with ‘Gypton Just A Genius’. A first Ticket win for this pair and another new team going forward for Crufts 2015.
Sunday 8 June and day two of a double weekend in Runcorn, Cheshire for St Mary’s DTS show. Many people compliment this weekend, which is run by quite a small club, the extra support that they have from friends and family must make other clubs quite envious. Many judges commented that the catering was superb with ‘cakes to die for’ at the end of the day. The good size rings were unfortunately a little soggy underfoot after a very wet day on the Saturday but many judges adapted their rounds to miss the worst affected areas. Mary Ray with ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jeans’ took the first place win under Dog Ticket judge Eileen Lyons and Marie Cartwright with ‘Ob Ch Dodgin Fire Cracker’ won the Bitch Ticket under judge Janet Matthews.
Another wet and windy weekend awaited competitors who made the journey to the Newmarket & District CS show on the 14/15 June. This is another popular well-run show with many judges singing the praises of its organisation and friendliness. Good standard of catering for judges and competitors, flat rings and excellent service to the ring parties throughout both days. There was also many thanks given for the thoughtful gifts, judges received a dog lead, stewards a dog toy and score boarders were given scratch cards, although I haven’t heard of any millionaires as yet! Dave Gillet was in charge of the Dog Ticket class and his winner, after a run off for first place, was Sandra Spruce with the lovely ‘Dodgin Rags to Riches’. Bitch Ticket judge Wendy Hagger awarded her top spot to Jenny Gould with her powerhouse GSD ‘Ob Ch Zakanja Little Creature’.
Saturday June 21 and some of the teams made their way north for the double weekend at the Prestwick & District DTC show at Eglinton Country Park in North Ayshire. This venue has just about all you need for a dog show, numerous dogs walks leading off from the main show area and a camp site for those staying for the weekend and the organisers had obviously had a word skywards as the weather was just about right for most of the weekend, even managing to be a little too hot at times. Pamela Lochrie was judging the Dog Ticket and her winner was Janet Matthews and ‘Ob Ch Croftmist River of Krismoss’, showing ‘a lovely style’ and giving a faultless send away. Bitch Ticket judge Shirley Clowes awarded her first place to Kathy Russell and ‘Ob & WT Ch Ruskath Othentic Image TDex’.
The following day and some of the teams had travelled down overnight for the Surrey DTS show. This venue is set on a large field next to the river Thames, large fairly flat rings, ample parking and caravan space. The weather was for the most part extremely hot and this apparently did affect some of the teams, but sensibly stays over all the classes were reduced in length, a very wise decision. Dog Ticket judge Stella Henstridge awarded her top spot to Janet Bates and her lovely ‘Ob Ch Bluefizz Taika Chance On Me’ with ‘dog and handler producing an outstanding round’. Jessica Lewis judged the Bitch Ticket class and her winner was Dot Watts with her stunning ‘Ob Ch Zygdann Rockin Frenzi’.
So onto the last Championship show of June and the teams headed to Heaton Park in Manchester for the Northern Alsatian & All Breeds TS show, another double weekend, which with the cost of fuel these days are becoming more popular each year. The Championship show on Saturday 28 and an Open show on the Sunday. The majority of the judges seemed to agree that this venue is superb, with plenty of space for parking, a good exercise area and plenty of room around the rings. The catering tent supplying a homemade, delicious lunch for the judging parties followed by superb puddings. A very friendly show whose organisation covers virtually everything that a good dog show requires.
Janet Oliver had travelled all the way up from the south coast to judge the Bitch Ticket and was delighted to award her first place to an equally delighted Michelle Newman and her GSD ‘Kanya Keep Cool’, the round being worked with ‘outstanding handling and the dog being accurate and motivated’ Dog Ticket judge Herbie Watson’s top spot went to Mary Ray and the simply stunning ‘Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jeans’
So that’s wraps up the Championship shows for now, some new teams qualifying with style, some of the more established teams adding to their earlier wins, all making for the prospect of a good Crufts in 2015.