Owner/breeder Mitch Johnston was delighted with yet another BIS win. Reserve Best in Show was the fabulous Cocker Spaniel, Sarah Amos-Jones’ Sh Ch Veratey Vincenzo at Cassom JW. Unfortunately there were no lights in the ring and judging had run on, so when the Puppies were called in first one car then a few others came to the ringside and turned headlights on.
Winner of nine Cc altogether but six of these as a veteran. Runner up was Welbourn, Dowsett and Tyler’s Ir Ch Zumarnik Hot Pursuit ShCM. Some lovely examples of the breeds had made it through to the groups, making the choices difficult for the group judges. The Pastoral Group was judged by Richard Kinsey with his final four choices the Polish Lowland Sheepdog Lucy Mottram’s Ch Mybeards Hero.
Second place to the Australian Shepherd AKC ASCA Ch Wyndstar Magic Marker, handled as usual by Melanie Raymond. Tracy Irvine was third with the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Ch Born To Be Your Salt Dog (Imp Hungary). Fourth to the Pyrenean Kenyon and Ward’sCh Charibere Simply special at Chezanne JW ShCM and this was also his choice for Best Veteran in Group.
Best puppy was Claire Stafford with the Sheltie Rannerdale Showmaster. Robin Newhouse did Working topping the group with the Boxer Ch Lanfrese Argento destined to go Best in Show later. Runner up was the Newfoundland Suzane Blake’s Am Ch/Ch Mainland Anchorbay Now I Know My ABC’s. Billy Henderson was delighted to go back home to Ireland with a second CC and group three with the Dobermann, Ir Ch Irrestible Tuwos Dobgrace (Imp Romania). Jim Donnelly was fourth with his homebred Great Dane Primus Breakin Rules.
Robin’s Best Puppy was the Dobermann Supeta’s Whole Lotta Rosie with Sharhyste owned in the partnership of Brannan Graham and Sue Mycroft. Best Veteran was the Bullmastiff Shadowguard High Octane at Islekeeper owned by the Spencers. The only group on Friday was Gundogs judged by Mrs Liz Cartledge and she chose the super Cocker Spaniel Sh Ch Veratey Vincenzo at Cassom and a delighted owner Sarah Amos Jones went on to win Reserve Best in Show on Sunday. Second place in her group was Richard Bott showing the Imported English Springer Spaniel Sh Ch Atre-Wave’s Standing Ovation for Allenie.
Third was Joanne blackburn Bennett and Angus McAra’s Pointer Kanix Naughty Nancy and new Champion Curly Coated Retriever Talismanic Bag of Tricks was fourth ending the day on a high for cameron Stokes and Carol Johnstone since this is a first ever Champion. Best puppy was the Johnston’s GWP Glenquin Athena who ended the weekend as RBPIS and Best Veteran was Macgregor’s Large Munsterlander Sh Ch Jaudas Fame and Glory. Saturday was Hounds and Terriers with John Walton Hadden in charge of Hounds. He selected the Deerhound owned and bred by Natalie Heathcote and mum Sue Finnett’s Ch Hyndsight Because the Night who is the mother of last week’s new champion and BOB at Darlington.
Second place was the Whippet Aarminias Princess of China at Bowdonia owned by Mandy Thomas. Third place to another group regular at the moment, the Basset Hound Ch / It Ch Switherland Smart Image owned and bred by Phil Freer. Finally place was the GBGV Ch/NL Ch Tarmachan Ice Diamond owned by Fiona Buchana and Michael Mclaren and also homebred. Best hound Puppy was Tim Jones and Stephen Jepson’s Beagle Eardley Anna Sasin. Best Veteran as Rusty Grayson’s Basenji Ch/Int Ch Tokaji American Gigolo at Embeau JW Sh CM.
Terriers were judged by Ger Cox from Ireland – his first time doing group in UK and he chose the Wire Fox Terrier Ch Travella Laketrix Set To Strike owned by Sue Brown Cole and Victor Malzoni - yet another popular winner this year. Runner up was the Bull Terrier Morris and Heath’s Ch Bluepoint Kittiwake. Third place to the WHWT Multi Ch. Hopecharm Prince Harry (Imp) who later also took BVIS on Sunday and completing his group was the Skye Ch Verumamicus Aurora of Brakemill JW owned by Jane Curtis. Best puppy was the Manchester Terrier Digelsa Double Top bred by Mick Oxley and already on 3CC.
Best Veteran was the WHWT. Sunday we had Utility judged by Robin Searle and his choice was Jason Lynn showing the Standard Poodle Ch Afterglow Poppa Don’t Preach and the Shar Pei Ch Ashowai Ready to Rock JW ShCM owned and bred by Andy and Heather Morris was runner up and also Best Veteran in group.
Third place was given to Michaela Dunhill hall with her Japanese Shiba Inu, Ch Vormund Sinister and final choice was the French Bulldog Cund and Harrop’s Ch Chelmbull the Aviator. Best puppy was the Keeshond Kichagai Boy is Back in Town for Watchkees owned by Mrs Harris. Norma Inglis judged Toys for the first time choosing the Maltese Ch Benatone Gino D’acampo. Sarah Jackson bred this and owns with Angela Egan.
Sarah has owned bred or made up 33 champions so far! Owen and Ossowski’e Affenpinscher Ch Darkle Hawker Harrier was runner up completing a lovely day for judge Michael Boulcott completing his last ever appointment. Brian Rix had the final spot with his 31st champion Ricksbury Royal Heritage JW. Made up today. Best puppy was the ETT and Best Veteran the Maltese Ir Ch Zumarnik Hot Pursuit CW12 ShCm.
Well with the groups complete it was time to get on with the finals and winning the Eukanuba Champion Stakes was Melanie Raymond with the Australian Shepherd AKC ASCA Ch Wyndstar Magic Marker (Imp USA). This is the current Top Dog All Breeds – 18 CC and several groups and BIS so far. Melanie had a great weekend taking Group two plus did the double in Beagles with two homebred exhibits.
Eukanuba Puppy Stakes was won this weekend by Tim Jones and Stephen Jepson’s Beagle Eardley Anna Sasin who had also won BPIG on Saturday. Ir was getting quite murky when the Best in Show was called in and Rodney Oldham steadfastly worked on to choose the Boxer and the Cocker Spaniel. The ringside dwindled sharply as it got darker and cars came to the ringside to shine their headlights in.
Best Puppy in Show winner Nick Gourley remarked it almost looked romantic in the low light! It was close on 8pm, when the proceedings completed and photographs taken. Earlier in the weekend I had spoken to Martin Freeman the Secretary who had praised his team for their dedication and hard work.
He welcomed new Committee members Messrs Bradish, Halbert and Kinsey and spoke warmly of Nellie Taylor who had recently retired after running the office for 45 years. Her helper Kay Woodward had taken over this duty. His chief steward Keith Derry was in charge of stewards and rings and he too had his usual helpers who came along every year to give a hand. Stewards here also receive a bottle of wine as a little gift. This committee comprises only men, and women are seen in the backroom roles running the office, judges hospitality and stewards room.
Another tradition here is that Group judges and all Committee wear evening dress when the Groups are on. This has been done since the start of the Society and is still upheld. Not everything is about tradition though and recently the Society set up a Facebook page to pass on news and keep everyone up to date, with lots of posts prior to the show showing the set up. The Society has been separate from the Agricultural Show for a few years now, but the President The Lord Kirkham still arrives on the Sunday along with some of the other Agricultural Show committee. This time we aso welcomed Mrs Farnsworth, widow of the late Rob Farnsworth, who was a regular here, as well as Mr and Mrs Johnstone.
Over the weekend a few judge changes had been made and the Committee want to send warmest wishes to Chris Bexon for a speedy recovery. Chris’ judging was taken on by Fran Kaye. The weather was super on the first three days and I turned a whiter shade of pale when Chairman Keith Pursglove told me the team had sacrificed more than 16 vestal virgins to guarantee the sunshine.
I asked where they had sourced them and he said the team had waylaid them when heading to the coast! Maybe need a few more next year Keith to get four days’ sun! The layout was the same as last year and exhibitors remarked on the ease of parking and proximity to the rings.
Trade stands however were a bit away from the main area and several remarked they would have preferred to be more in the ‘body of the kirk’ as they say! Sunday had some showers but just before the main ring events it became heavy and darkened the skies considerably.
The schedule had mentioned apparently that prejudging would take place in adjacent rings and this was done on Friday but abandoned for the rest of the weekend resulting in late finishes every day since one judge was in charge of the group, puppy group and veteran groups.
Since the show had received positive comments and posts over the three days it is such a shame that Sunday was dismal and overran by a fair bit. The work done up to that point by the Committee is considerable and it must have been disheartening for them. No doubt though that there will be lots of ideas for changes for next year to ensure an earlier finish.