Firstly, our National Junior Handler winner, Destiny Hamilton, ventured to Crufts in March and carried with her the hopes and best wishes of the entire Australian Dog Community. The International Junior Handling Competition at Crufts brings together talented young handlers from across the World to compete. In a fabulous final full of talented juniors, Destiny was crowned the winner to the delight of her family and all of Australia. The last Australian to win this title was Simon Briggs in 1987 … 32 years ago!
Show entries are still an issue in Australia, with some regions being more affected by a drop in entries than others. There are the usual reasons suggested to explain the decrease, but show organisers continue to employ innovative and encouraging initiatives to encourage entries. 2019 has seen Australia dealing again with a quite widespread drought and significant consequences exist for the nation and great hardship for many of our farmers, together with our inland waterways. The chance of bushfires increases, and at the time of writing, significant regions of Australia are under the threat of terrible bushfires, with some 450 homes and several lives being lost.
Australians have grown up with flood, drought and bushfire being part of their lives, but the effects of climate change seem to be increasing the occurrence and severity of consequences of these natural disasters. Again, our State Royal Shows, widely considered as the most prestigious of our All Breeds Championship Shows, continue to dominate our show scene. The major Royal Shows have now finished for 2019, bringing together many of the country’s top dogs, and some excellent breed entries.
Canberra Royal Show was conducted in late February. With a conformation entry of approx. 1492 exhibits, Best in Show judge Mr T Johnston of the UK selected as his top dog the Siberian Husky, Aust Ch Suthanlites Great Gatsby owned by J LeCourt and K Jacobson. Sydney Royal in April with an entry of approx. 2800 exhibits, was again a great success with the BIS judge, Mr Davor Javor of Croatia selecting the as his ultimate winner the Australian Shepherd, HK/US Gr & Aust Sup Ch Impact’s Pop Rocks GCG (Imp) owned by Mr T Thomas, Ms B West & Mr H Cong.
Brisbane Royal was the next on the calendar, with approx. 1934 exhibits, and BIS proceedings being judged by the very experienced Mr Kari Jarvinen of Finland. On this occasion, the top award was won by the Poodle (Standard), Aust Sup Ch Picardy Point of View owned by Mr M & Mrs L Boyd and Ms J Foulds. The next Royal to be conducted was Adelaide Royal, with an entry of approx. 1868 exhibits, in early September. This year, the very well received Mr Michael Leonard of Ireland was the Best In Show judge and he selected the as his winner the Afghan Hound, Int Ch Lux Ch Nld Ch SE Ch UK Ch Aust Sup Ch Alaqadar Rigoletto (AI) owned by Mr W Douglas & Dr A Tan.
Melbourne Royal, with an entry of 3102 exhibits in conformation, did not enjoy the best of weather this year, however the sun did eventually shine for “Specials Day” and the very well credentialed BIS judge, Mr Espen Engh of Norway selected for his BIS the Border Collie Aust Sup Ch Pukawidgee Nameof Thewind owned by Kezziah Kennels.
Perth Royal was conducted just after Melbourne Royal this year, with approx. 867 entries. Mr Pedro Delarue of Portugal was the judge selecting BIS, and he chose the Samoyed CIB Am Gr Ch Aust Sup Ch Fin Ch Smiling Snowball Luminous Pandora (Imp USA) owned by Ms Y Chen as the top dog of the show. As usual, the Show Dog of the Year competition is hotly contested, with several dogs competing strongly. Currently, the race appears to be between the OES, the GBGV, the Samoyed and the Chihuahua Smooth.
The 2018 Show Dog of the Year (Dogzonline competition) was won by the very well performed Puli, Am Silver Gr Ch Aust Sup Ch Cordmaker Mister Blue Sky owned by Mrs S Huebner and Mrs P Kelly. The largest All Breeds Championship Show of the year in Australia is the Sunbury Canine Club.
With an entry of over 1700 dogs, this event, which is conducted on the first Tuesday in November on Melbourne Cup Day, is a wonderful celebration of Dog Showing in Australia. There are many specialty and group specialty events conducted over the five days, together with two All Breeds Championship Shows, thus enticing interstate exhibitors to make the trip to Melbourne for this wonderful weekend. This year, the weather shone through, unlike the disastrous conditions of last year.
The BIS judge, Mrs P Cruz of Mexico, selected as her ultimate winner, the Samoyed CIB Am Gr Ch Aust Sup Ch Fin Ch Smiling Snowball Luminous Pandora (Imp USA) owned by Ms Y Chen. 2020 looms, along with many uncertainties. Will we be doing DNA tests for every litter in the future? Will neuter classes at shows continue to grow? Will the ANKC develop a set of consistent rules across all states for breeding, showing and judging dogs? And of course, how will national, state and local government regulations affect the small, dedicated and passionate breeders?
Photos by Pedini Photography, Ingrid Mastschke Photography, Ffire Photography and Animal Images Photography & Design