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Tuesday, 07 January 2020

Boston & DCS 2020

Featured Written by Our Dogs - Sally Pointon
Best in Show at Boston was the Sealyham Terrier, Speedy, aka Ch Ir Ch Forlegd Xlrate Lightning MC Queen At Thornberryhall CJW 19 CW 19, owned by Mr A Daly & Mr K Crockett, pictured with group judge Jeff Horswell. Best in Show at Boston was the Sealyham Terrier, Speedy, aka Ch Ir Ch Forlegd Xlrate Lightning MC Queen At Thornberryhall CJW 19 CW 19, owned by Mr A Daly & Mr K Crockett, pictured with group judge Jeff Horswell. Alan Seymour

BOSTON & DCS is, as many of you will know, the newest of our general championship shows – and the first championship show each year since its inception.

This four-day show, held last week at the Exhibition Hall, East of England Showground, was the society’s 14th championship show (the society also holds a popular evening open show in May, at the Newark & Notts Showground – details of which will appear in Newsround before entries closing during April). Despite the CC allocation being the lowest by far for a UK general championship show (with just 23 sets of CCs), this exhibitor-friendly show still attracts a large entry – and the overall entry was up again this year by 60 dogs, with 5200 dogs making 7028 entries (this entry included many ‘foreign’ dogs and exhibitors).

I have been reporting on some of the UK’s championship shows for nearly 30 years - and this one in particular since its inception. When I started (back in the 1990s) there was no internet, no FBook, no social media – and it was essential for a ‘reporter’ to be on hand at the show to collect information about the show and any incidents which may have occurred during it – including of course details about the main winners and any other special achievements.

With the start of a new decade – and of course easy and almost instantaneous access to the results (via social media and live streaming) - I have decided with this report to concentrate on the show itself, rather than regurgitating the group placings and results, which are all very well covered alongside this report, both in text (via a full list of results and the group judges’ critiques) and through the many photographs.

I will highlight any very special wins – and will be happy to include any I might have missed in my Newsround column next week, so do please contact me if you would like anything in particular mentioned that I do not include here. 

Contrary to some ‘rumours’ on social media, this fabulous venue has been booked by the society for the foreseeable future – and next year’s championship show dates are: Thursday January 7 until Sunday January 10 (this society does not rotate the groups, so as usual the working and pastoral breeds will be judged on the first day; the gundogs on the Friday; the hounds and utility breeds on the Saturday; and the toys and terriers on the Sunday).

Due to its relatively low allocation of CCs, Boston championship show schedules a plethora of non-CC breed classes as well as AVNSC, AVIR and AVRB - plus many stakes classes with good prize money on offer; all BOBs and BPIBs receive a metal lapel pin as well as their lovely rosettes – and this year engraved crystal was on offer for the top spots, kindly donated by Linda Pack.

There were no changes to the officers or committee; however, unfortunately, three of the committee members were unable to attend the show due to ill-health or injury (hope you all get on the mend soon), so it is just as well the society has many ‘friends’ and helpers who were on hand to fill the void. Usually the show has a three-day set-up, but this year (due to another event at the venue on the Monday evening) they were ‘allocated’ just two days, which must have put even more pressure on the already depleted committee – but you would not have known there was this additional ‘complication’.

I noticed there were some ‘new’ stewards in addition to the society’s ‘stalwart stewards’ this year. If you would like to offer your help next year you might be surprised (and pleased) to learn that stewards at this show are ‘paid’ £10 per day plus a lunch ticket (which can be exchanged for another £10 if you don’t want lunch) - and those stewards with caravans are also entitled to a free ‘pitch’ and hook-up.

This society has always been forward thinking – and taken on board any suggestions for improvement; last year there was a ‘photo booth’ for use by anyone to take an ‘official’ picture of their dogs – this year the backdrop was sponsored by Our Dogs and Birdbrook, with the society’s ‘logo’ (the Boston ‘stump’) included – and it was well used on all four days.

Talking about photos – in every show schedule there is a ‘notice’ about photography and filming which states that ‘it is a condition of all those attending the event that no filming or other form of recording may be taken or made at the venue without express written permission of the organisers ….. press accredited photographers are provided with permission to take photographs ONLY for use in newspapers, magazines and internet sites – this is for news purposes only. There is no objection to the general public taking photographs or video film of general views of the show, provided that these are for private use only. Specific dogs may be photographed only with the approval of the exhibitor.’ The ‘notice’ goes on to say: ‘No photography or filming is permitted in breed judging rings whilst judging is actually taking place. However, judges may allow it to happen at the end of classes or after the CC is awarded.

Filming and flash photography is allowed from outside the rings at all times unless the operation of the camera is actually affecting exhibits. However, if a powerful flash unit is used or it is clear that exhibits are being affected, a ring steward or the judge is empowered to stop the person concerned.’ With people taking photos and live streaming on their smart phones these days (witnessed ringside at many breed and group rings), I wonder where we all stand on this ‘rule’? An ‘official’ TV crew from Malta was at the show filming – but I do know that they had permission from the organisers. 

My ‘highlight’ of the show this year was the ‘donation bucket’ (in the society’s colour - orange – of course!) on the secretary’s table in aid of Australian wildlife, which raised a staggering £2000 (maybe more) over the four days; exhibitors, helpers, spectators, visitors all gave generously – some donating their winnings or lunch money; and the society has pledged to match the total donated (as well as donating all spectator dog entry fees), so hopefully more than £4000 will be making its way to Australia to help wildlife injured during the terrible ‘bush fires’. Well done Boston – what a great idea! And well done to everyone who so generously donated! (Boston has promised to let us all know exactly how much money was raised – and then doubled; and to whom it is going to be sent.)

Another ‘good news’ story was relayed to me by Shelagh Jones on Thursday; she had left her purse in the Ladies (I expect many of us have done this, too, at one time or another), and was delighted to discover that some kind soul had handed it in to the secretary ‘intact’. Shelagh said that she would like to thank the good citizen (whoever you are) – and to let them know that she donated £5 to the ‘wildlife fund’. On Sunday I witnessed yet another ‘good deed’ – another exhibitor had lost her phone and was extremely grateful when she discovered that it, too, had been handed in to the secretary; and a wallet was left on the secretary’s table, and I believe returned to its rightful owner. These are just some of the ‘incidents’ that occurred during the show – so remember, if you lose something at a show, go along to the secretary’s office – you never know, it may well have been handed in.

A reminder to exhibitors to not only enter the correct class – but to make sure they wear the correct exhibit number when entering the ring. I know the stewards are there to check the exhibit numbers, but sometimes things do get missed, and a simple thing like wearing an incorrect number can cause a lot of work ‘down the line’. Wearing the wrong exhibit number can easily happen, especially if an exhibitor has more than one dog entered. This happened on Saturday, and the repercussions on Sunday for the secretary meant a couple of hours sorting it all out. 

All shows are required to have an ‘incident’ book and an ‘accident’ book, to record anything that may happen during the course of the show.

I know that the paramedics were called a few times for a couple of falls (one in the passageway between the atrium and the restaurant, another who sought treatment on her wrist after a fall making her way into the show, which I am told was later confirmed as a broken wrist; and I believe another exhibitor sprained an ankle). These things do happen, and it is good to know that there is always help on site for such eventualities.

It was good to see Gordon Urquhart at the show on Sunday; as many of you will know he lost his beloved wife Cathy in November; he had a good day, with his Blackpark Maltese winning the toy Breeders Group, which hopefully gave him a ‘lift’.

I am pleased to report that all of the Category 3 breeds passed their vet checks; and that the show scored an ‘excellent’ from the field officer.

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The weather was changeable over the four days, but mostly dry and ok for travelling. Bearing in mind that exhibitors with long journeys on the first two days may also get caught up in work-day traffic, the start of judging on Thursday and Friday was scheduled for 9.30am, which does help a bit; unfortunately there were accidents and/or hold-ups on many of the major routes across the country on the first day, which I think delayed some exhibitors who hopefully got to the show in time for their classes; judging on the Saturday and Sunday was scheduled for a 9am start.

This show has puppy and special beginners groups in addition to the ‘BOB’ groups. Even though these additional groups are pre-judged in another ring, this show likes to bring these ‘extra’ groups into the main ring after the ‘BOB’ group winners have been decided each day, for their final selection. This is a great opportunity for these puppy and special beginners to have a ‘taste’ of main ring competition – but even though they are pre-judged, it does add more time and pressure to the smooth running of the end-of-day events. It was decided on Sunday to bring the winners of the seven special beginners groups into the main ring before the start of BIS, which meant there was still a good ringside to perform to (which I think was the reasoning behind the introduction of this relatively new ‘group’). All of the special beginners groups – and BSPBIS – were judged by Richard Kinsey. BSPBIS went to Beresford’s GSD, Hamadryas Isolde for Karmavonbez; RBSPBIS was Downie’s Sealyam, Eleighwater Axel.

BIS was judged by Jeff Horswell, who also judged the two groups scheduled on Sunday: the terrier and toy. The group judges on Thursday were both undertaking their first championship show group judging appointments: Joe Smith (working); and Allyson King (pastoral). The gundog group was judged by experienced group judge Pam Blay on Friday; and two more ‘new’ group judges officiated on Saturday: Pamela Mottershaw (hound), and Hazel Fitzgibbon (utility).
From the seven group winners, two were puppies (the Chow Chow and the Lagotto Romagnolo – a first such win for this breed here in the UK); and the pastoral group winner (the Samoyed) will be 10 years old in March! The working group winner was the Neapolitan Mastiff (from a breed entry of 14) – another historic first win for this breed here in the UK.

Finally, after four busy days, we were ready for BIS. Jeff took centre stage, and once he had put all seven group winners through their paces the boards came out for the penultimate time. BIS went to Alan Daly and Ken (handling) Crockett’s imported ATC Sealyham Terrier from Sweden, Ch/Ir Ch Forlegd Xlrate Lightening McQueen at Thornberryhall CJW19 CW19, who has 9 x UK CCs, 3 x UK G3s, and was Top Terrier and No 4 Top Dog All Breeds in Ireland last year; RBIS went to Val Freer and Sue (handling) Smith’s evergreen top-winning Samoyed, Ch Nikara Diamond Dancer JW, winner of 4 x BIS, 16 x BVIS, and 21 x G1s!

All of the puppy groups and BPIS were judged by Mark Ord – a first such appointment for him, too. From his seven group winners he selected the Foxs’ homebred WHWT, Hillsted Sweet Destiny, for BPIS; and Vorrias’ homebred GSD, Windgunn’s Matheos, for RBPIS.

The show was over by about 6.15pm, which wasn’t bad going. I know the committee, helpers and stewards all work really hard to make this an inclusive, friendly show; and as committee member Leila Tarabad said over the loudspeaker on the final day: thanks must go to all those who gave up their time to make this show such a success – and of course to the trade stand holders and sponsors – without whom there would not be a show at all. See you all next year! 

Photos by Alan Seymour

Read 1624 times Last modified on Tuesday, 21 January 2020
More in this category: « BUBA 2019 Manchester 2020 »

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