This year’s championship show was held at the Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke-on-Trent. This year the committee were delighted to be able to offer convenient car parking facilities for the exhibitors which allowed easier access to the show hall.
Best In Show
The judges at the show were Miss S J Pingree (Heatheridge) who judged bitches & Mr J Irvine (Vbos) who went over the dogs. Our referee Mrs R Brady (Bordercot) was needed today to judge the Brace and Junior Handling classes. During the judging of Best In Show the judges agreed to offer the award to Miss A Dyren’s ShCh FLATCHARM CHELSEA WHOPPER KCWGC.
Other major award winners were as follows:
Best in Show and bitch CC, Sh Ch Flatcharm Chelsea Whopper ; Best Veteran in Show, RBIS and Dog CC, Sh Ch Steelriver Blazin Hot at Blacktoft JW ; and Best Puppy in Show Deringwood English Oak
Reserve Best In Show Fox’s SH CH STEELRIVER BLAZIN HOT AT BLACKTOFT JW
Best Puppy In Show Mr M B & Mrs R MacDonald’s DERINGWOOD ENGLISH OAK
Best Veteran In Show Fox’s SH CH STEELRIVER BLAZIN HOT AT BLACKTOFT JW
Best Liver In Show MR R F & MISS K M LUTNER’s TELURN BETTER BELIEVE IT
A full list of the awards in each class are listed in the Results Sheet for you reference.
I was honoured to be given the appointment of Referee for this show, but in the event, all the joint decisions made by the two judges, Jim Irvine and Sue Pingree, were unanimous. I have to admit that I was delighted when their ultimate Best In Show winner turned out to be ShCh Flatcharm Chelsea Whopper, winning her 4th CC, for I had previously awarded her her first C.C. & B.O.B.
Brace (7, 3 abs).
In judging this class I was not just looking for the best matched pair, but also taking into consideration the combined breed quality of each pair. It was a close decision between the first two pairs – these four dogs were all of correct type, pleasing in head and expression, with excellent bone and free in movement.
1. Ross’ males Downstream Face The Music (JW) and Go With The Flow Ebony In Harmony At Qlocontrail (IMP NED) (JW). On the final circuit of the ring, the profile of these two dogs moving together was incredible – absolutely identical (and correct) in size, head carriage, topline and tail carriage and moving exactly side by side. It was like watching one dog and its reflection moving in front of a plate glass window, and that moment decided the placings.
2. Fox’s males Sh. Ch. Steelriver Blazin Hot At Blacktoft (JW) and Black Mica’s Likes It Hot At Blacktoft (IMP SWE) (JW).
My two main priorities in judging these classes were for the handler’s rapport with their dog and for loose leads. I did not ask for any fancy patterns, just simply asking the handlers to do exactly the same as I would ask any exhibitor when I am judging a show class, i.e. once round the ring all together, then, after going over the dog, to move the dog diagonally across the ring and back to me and then right round the ring to join on the end. I did, however, ask each Junior Handler to show me their dog’s teeth themselves. Later, I asked them individually to move the dog diagonally across the ring while I watched from the side, because this scenario can be necessary when a show ring is very small or narrow. Each of the three handlers realised it was necessary to switch their dog to the other side, and I was particularly impressed that the youngest handler, Molly Davis, waited until I was in position before she set off with her dog. All three handlers were polite, well-mannered and looking clean and tidy to complement their dogs; they all had a pleasant attitude, which resulted in their dogs also displaying a happy temperament – a handling skill which is so essential in order to bring out a Flatcoat’s typical breed characteristic for the judge’s assessment in the show ring.
6 – 11 Years (4, 3 abs)
1. Molly Davis. What a delightful rapport she had with her very enthusiastic dog. She spoke to her constantly, calmly and with encouragement, and without embarrassment. For such a young handler she had a remarkable degree of control and co-operation from her dog – they were working as a team. She was clearly well aware of what was required of her in the show ring. She may not have had any competition in this class, but she absolutely deserved to be standing in first place.
12 – 16 Years (2)
1. Lauren Huyton.
2. Georgina Mellor.
It was initially very difficult to split these two handlers. Both of them kept their dogs concentrating on showing when it mattered, both moved them at their correct speed and had them standing when required. I asked them to go round the ring twice together, with each one in turn being in the lead – neither of them moved up too close to the dog in front. It was the way that Lauren Huyton was able to get her dog to free-stand away from her, without it nibbling at titbits, which won her the class. It means that the judge gets a clear view of the head and muzzle and the dog shows its natural stance through the forequarters.
When the two class winners came together for Best Junior Handler, it was a hard choice. At one point, when sending them round the ring together, Molly was in front and unexpectedly had a “hiccup” (I guess simply due to some over-exuberance from her dog). She immediately stopped and, completely unflustered, regained control of the situation and carried on. To my mind, Junior Handling classes are not an obedience competition and dogs do unexpected things; it is the way the handler copes with the situation that is important to me and Molly coped perfectly. The whole glitch was over in a matter of seconds, with Molly unperturbed and her dog remaining happy and once again co-operating with her. She gained a lot of bonus points for that. But……..earning just as many bonus points during the same moment was Lauren. I was so impressed with the fact that she had not only been concentrating on her own dog, but had also been aware of what was happening ahead of her. She stopped immediately, giving Molly not only plenty of space but also the time to recover the situation. Lauren’s thoughtfulness, awareness and kindness was exemplary. So, still a difficult decision between them, but once again, Lauren’s ability to have her dog free standing away from her gave her the edge. Hard to achieve and only successful if there is true rapport between dog and handler.
One final comment….one of the prizes for the overall winner was a tin of confectionery and, standing in first place, on receiving her winner’s prize Lauren immediately turned to Molly and offered to share the sweets with her. What joy it gives to witness such kindness, good manners and sportsmanship from the young generation. A huge credit not only to the youngsters themselves, but also to those who taught them so well how to behave.
Rosalie Brady (Judge)