The girl is actually a “lady of the night”, but anyway, they live a short but intense love story. If you are courageous, you will be lucky tonight, says one of the verses.
He is a retired army officeer, so has now time to concentrate himself in club work and show organising. He often works as a ring steward or show instructor, and he is known to love Ireland. He often spends his summer holidays in Ireland and I’ve seen him working there also as a ring steward during his visits.
Of course he has made a lot of friends there and has now also an Irish bred dog, an OES. I believe it all started when he got to know some Irish judges who were judging in Finland. So every year there is a bunch if Irish judges officiating at Kotka, this year only two, Anthony Kelly and Sean Carroll. One of the judges had travelled far, Rita S Walker from Canada.
She is a Borzoi enthusiast herself and was judging the Borzoi specialty on Sunday in another place, but did some other Sighthound breeds on Saturday at Kotka. The show was an international one over two days. There were about 2,500 dogs entered. Because Kotka is not far from the Russian border, there were a lot of Russian exhibitors.
The first day was sunny and warm, actually hot, but on Sunday it was cloudy, chilly and finally when the group finals started, also came the rain. The showground is a lovely park at the seashore, and when the wind comes from the sea, it can be very strong. Like in some other outdoor shows on the coast area nowadays, the geese have caused some extra work because the rings must be cleaned from their droppings.
When the park was crowded by dogs and people, the geese stayed away, but some flocks of them were flying over the place cackling loudly like complaining that others had taken over their park. The BIS judge was Mrs Tuire Okkola, one of our own all-breed judges, herself a second generation Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder. She has also been very active, determined and effective in club work, was long time the President of the Staffie club and now chairs the Terrier Club.
One of Saturday’s group winners was absent from Sunday’s BIS final, the Golden Retriever, Int Ch Daily Rays Charming Star, owned by Riikka Aholammi. He is already nine years old and was also 2nd Best Veteran in Show on Saturday. There was another show in the western part of Finland and he had gone there – to experience real pouring rain. The Best in Show winner was the Siberian Husky, Int Ch Snowfrost Silver Stone, owned and bred by Tarja Veijonen.
He didn’t care about the weather, of course Huskies should tolerate even much worse weather conditions. He has been shown frequently, and this year in every show he has been in, he was at least BOS. Every time he was BOB, he also got a group placing.
As a matter of fact this was his second BIS win this year in an international show, we saw him winning at Imatra Easter show, not far from Kotka. He comes out of American, Canadian and Spanish lines and has passed also the sled dog test. Second place went to a representative of a very rare breed, the Bernese Hound, Ch Karhutarhan Istuva Härkä, owned and bred by Anu Rahikka. This dog has been a great ambassador for the breed, he has been shown quite a lot and not without success.
He has got several group placings and wins this year and was once even Best in Show, which must be the first time for this breed over here. He has been travelling around and collected many “Winner” titles from various countries, including Amsterdam World Show last year. Third was one of the Russian visitors, the Gordon Setter, Gordon Hall Unique Performance, owned by Ekaterina Shalygina.
This was their second time in Finland, they were already winner two years ago at Helsinki Winner show where this bitch got CC and Res CACIB, but this time it was even better, she got “everything”. Fourth was the English Toy Terrier, Int Ch Bonwild Little My, owned by Minna Rakkolainen but was handled by the breeder Sari Laitinen. It doesn’t happen often that this breed wins the tough Terrier Group, but this little one has been placed several times this year.
She was obviously suffering from the weather being small and short-haired. Most likely she would have gone even higher if it had been a warm day! It was the widely travelled White Swiss Shepherd, Int Ch Veshukan Yori, owned by Tino Jalonen, who won the Pastoral group.
This dog has Ch titles from no less than nine countires, the most exotic one being that of China. He indeed went to the World show this year in Shanghai and won there. He was at Crufts this year, too. He has many group placings and “Winner” titles from various countries. He has passed the “character test” which is needed for the Ch title, but he has also done well in an unusual trial, water rescue trial which was originally created for Newfoundlands but also other breeds can take part in it.
Many Finns like to try also other interests than shows with their dogs. The Leonberger from Russia, Ch Beautiful Pride Sultan, owned by E V Obolskaya, won the FCI group 2, which is very big and consists of most of the large working breeds. This was his first visit to Finland and immediately hit the bullseye. The Dachshund group winner was once again the Miniature Longhaired, Rodels Rambling Rose, who just did the same a week earlier at Kuopio.
She was also BIS in the Dachshund specialty last year and has done well elsewhere, too. The owners are Pia Iivonen and the breeders Heini and Perttu Ståhlberg, sister and brother who are usually handling, like now. The Miniature Poodle, Int Ch Miniwin’s Made In Heaven, owned and bred by Nina Björnström-Lehtonen, was not for the first time on the winner’s stand either. She has taken a BIS win this year, last year even more, at least four. She had a litter in the spring and that’s why she hasn’t been shown so much, but is now back looking better than ever.
The Sighthound group was won by the young Whippet, Barnesmore Silver Bells, owned by Sanna Norhio-Hanski. This bitch was born in UK, bred by Felicity Thompson, but has very international background. In spite of her young age she has taken some group placings already.
The breed and group judge Arne Foss from Norway, himself a Whippet enthusiast, was ever so thrilled to have her and many other top quality specimens in his ring. As this show was sponsored by Royal Canin, there was Best Junior in Show contest, sponsored by RC. I had the pleasure to judge this competition both days, which is not easy when there are so many nice youngsters.
Anyway, on Saturday I liked most the Old English Sheepdog, Czarlinda’s Quite Easy To Love, owned and bred by Merja & Erno Lindahl. She is just one year old but had taken already 10 CCs and some Res CCs, amazing! Her dam was BOB and 2nd in group. On Sunday the winner was another amazing yearling, the Miniature Pinscher, Pinserella’s Dark Knight Rises, owned and bred by Johanna Tammiala, got his sixth CC on the day.
His sire was BIS two weeks earlier in the Eukanuba Summer Show and one of the brothers won group a month ago. A remarkable family! Best Veteran on Saturday was the Afghan Hound, Int Ch Scaramis Unusual Me, owned by Salla Suokas & Liisa Airas, now ten years but floating around the ring easily like a youngster. She has had two litters and is a mother of two champions. She is a daughter of the legendary Int Ch Agha Djari’s Urban Cowboy, who was Dog of the Year some years ago. On Sunday the Irishman, Anthony Kelly, chose an Irish breed, the Glen of Imaal Terrier, Int Ch Gleann Una Noonan, owned by Sanna Savilahti, as his Best Veteran.
She has really been travelling during her long and successful career, she has such a long line of Ch and Winner titles that it takes several rows in the show catalogues. She, too, has had two litters, among her offspring there are four international Champions.
Best breeders’ group on Saturday was, for the umpteenth time Tarja Hovila’s Adamant’s English Springer Spaniels, on Sunday the Samoyeds from Ikiliikkujan Kennel, bred by Elise & Rainer Lehtinen and their daughter Heidi Saarikko. This win was particularly nice for them, because the Spanish judge Carmen Navarro Guisado is a Samoyed breeder herself.