19 February 2016 – Dog World

Three weeks to go to magical Crufts 2016. Many exhibitors will be getting up before the birds have had chance to shake a feather, heading down all roads leading to the NEC. It is always an exciting time for both the seasoned exhibitor or at a fit to burst excitement level for the first time exhibitor. Alarm clocks at the ready as it is an early start for the Papillon exhibitor with an 8.30 am start in Ring 29, Hall 5. For us this year it will not be quite such an early morning rise more an amble over from the Metropole Hotel to the Hall. The previous evening we are joining the celebratory Pawscars event at the hotel. Having not been at this event before, we are so excited. Gavin Robertson from the famous Soletrader Kennel and Simon Baillie Managing Director of Dog World organises the charity evening with lots of stupendous awards on offer for the nominees of each category. One of the awards is for us to receive Travis’s Top Dog All Breeds Trophy for 2015. Proud, we will be fit to burst.

Here is a little bit of the history about the Pawscar and Peek A Boo Trusts and the good they are doing.

Back in 2013, Jilly’s Jolly Jaunt was an outstanding success, raising just short of £50.000 for good causes and bringing the world of dogs together in a quite remarkable way. The story could have ended there, but two weeks after the Jolly Jaunt were distributed to Great Ormond Street Hospital, Dog Lost and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust the next chapter of the story was started which led to the inaugural PAWSCARS on Mar, 24th 2014 at the Metropole Hotel NEC.

On that evening awards were made that recognised success, hard work and effort in all areas of the pedigree dog show scene and was a celebration of all that is good in the world of dog showing in the UK. It also established the PAWSCARS as a premier event in the UK pedigree dog world calendar and what is even better is that the PAWSCARS will raise money for good causes and with the backing of some of the biggest businesses in the industry.

The PAWSCARS is just half because in March 2014 The PeekA Boo Trust was launched. It was set up to encourage fundraising throughout the world of pedigree dogs and is charged with distributing funds to children’s and canine charities. It is hoped that individuals and groups involved in the show dog scene will get behind the Peek A Boo Trust and hold their own fund raising effort, no matter the size of the event every £ will count.

The PAWSCARS and The PeekA Boo Trust were the brainchild of Gavin Robertson, handler of the 2013 Crufts BIS, Ch Soletrader Peek A Boo, or Jilly and the Dog World Managing Director Simon Baillie.

When Jilly’s Jaunt raised such a phenomenal amount it was realised by both Gavin and Simon of Dog World what could be achieved for charities. Meeting at Windsor Champ Show they discovered that they were thinking along similar lines. Shortly after a meeting on the M25 services the concept of the PAWSCARS and the Peek A Boo Trust was born.

At the PAWSCARS the dog show community will be able to nominate those individuals, organisations and businesses they believe worthy of recognition. The PAWSCARS committee will then take forwards a shortlist for a public vote. The lucky winners will receive their award on the night.

The majority of the awards will be voted on by the public with the awards presentation on the night. The PAWSCARS committee will also aim to recognise those often unsung heroes who will be invited to join the PAWSCARS Hall of Fame and The Peek A Boo Trust’s award for Outstanding Achievement. In addition the PAWSCARS will also recognise the winners of the Arden Grange / Dog World Top Dog, Royal Canin / Dog World Top Stud and Yumega & Boost / Dog World Top Brood Bitch competition annually.

What a fabulous achievement one that Gavin, Simon and the whole of the dog world can be proud of. This years PAWSCARS is on Wed, 9th before Toy Day.

Whilst on Face Book it came to my attention on one of the groups that our Crufts judge had posted his resume of his journey in the canine world. I know that not everyone has mastered the Face Book lingo and therefore cannot keep up with current information available. So I thought it would be a good idea to include in the breed notes for everyone to see.

How exciting it must be to receive that Kennel Club letter to say you have been invited to judge your breed at Crufts. That has to be the epitome of the wish bucket list, so what a magical moment for our 2016 Papillon judge Mr Mark Whitehill (Martika). I would take a guess, on a scale of 1-10 that it is going to be a bursting ten factor for Mark Whitehill’s Mum and Dad, Mary and Ted Whitehill of the Amicae Kennel and also a proud moment for Bonnie Scotland. Guess it could well be kilts and bagpipes celebrations all the way. I am sure every one of us will be wishing our judge a brilliant and memorable day.

So, here is Mr Mark Whitehills resume taken from the FB group Papillons at Crufts, enjoy.

Whilst not a fan of social media, I appreciate that some breed enthusiasts may not know my personal history within the breed, given I am not an active exhibitor or breeder these days. I understand the entries for the show are now closed (so I cannot influence the entry by this post ! ), as such, I hope this gives you some idea of who is in the middle of the ring on the day judging your dogs.

Involvement in the Breed:
Some thirty years plus ago, my mum and dad started in the breed and as a result I grew up around the dog world and Papillons (there was also a Norwegian Behund at one stage). From an early age I started showing the Paps, and by the time I was a teenager I was the main handler for the dogs, under my mums Amicae affix. During the time when I was actively showing I handled five of my mums breeding to their UK Ch titles.

I then decided it was about time I got my own affix and I went for Martika. I went on to add another UK Ch under the Amicae affix, but owned by myself, and of the few litters I bred, 1 UK Ch under the Martika affix.

Unfortunately then the real world came calling and university, career and having three girls have taken top priority and my days of showing and breeding have been on hold for a number of years. Thankfully I passed on my handling tips to my mum and she has continued the success without me, indeed showing one of my dogs to Toy Group and RBIS at WELKS.

I have continued to have a Papillon as part of the family and each time the girls visit their gran when there are pups around, I run the risk of them sneaking one back home. The girls don’t have the showing bug, but who knows, one day it might just happen.

Before the days of breed seminars, I was given advice on all aspects of the breed by some of the top breeders of that time. I was very fortunate in that some very knowledgeable breeders took the time to help me, be that with grooming, trimming & showing as well as understanding pedigrees, breeding lines etc. Looking back, part of my day at the shows was talking to these exhibitors about dogs, breeding programmes, lines, type and all round breed knowledge.

I spent a few of my summer holidays as a youngster with Anna McKnight (Daneview ) who would spend time teaching me about the anatomy of the dogs, the breed standard and how to “go over “ a Papillon. She would go over the dogs with me, helping point out the good and the bad. The knowledge I gained from Anna and others in the breed was priceless
Judging Experience:

I first started judging the breed when I was around 17. I remember my first appointment was at a Newmarket open show, I think it was the late Susie Jones (Shimna) who was on the committee and set up this opportunity. Anna McKnight drove me to the show and stewarded for me that day, (I suspect keeping an eye and making sure I had put into practice what she taught me). I recall having around forty plus dogs entered and my BOB was one of Mike Foster’s (Noveau ) young dogs who went on to become a UK Champion. I was very grateful to the exhibitors who trusted me to judge their dogs given my age and this has stuck with me through my judging career.

My first Championship show appointment was East of England in 1997, when I was 23. I have since judged the breed at UK Championship shows on a further seven occasions since, with my last appointment in 2011.

Crufts is a unique show in the dog calendar and I want it to be as special an occasion for me and most importantly you the exhibitors. I remember winning BOB at Crufts handling Kay Stewart’s Ch Tussalud Storyteller, and it did feel different to any other show.

When I was invited to judge Crufts which seems a long time back now, I took the decision to turn down a further judging appointment in the breed. Indeed I have not been to a show now for a number of years to watch the breed.

When I step in to the ring on 10th March I fully expect that it will be the first time that not only will I have had the opportunity to judge the dogs entered but also will actually have seen. I think this will be the first time that has happened for me as a judge. I hope you find this post useful and most of all, I hope you enjoy the day. (Mark Whitehill)

Lovely resume, I am sure for many of the exhibitors it will bring back many fond memories and for the newer exhibitor you will now know the judge’s history having been given you an insight to his canine journey.

No shows to talk about this week. Hopefully next week I will have received news and snippets from the South of England Papillon Clubs Open Show where the judge is Mrs Christine Foynes (Lafay).

Take care on the roads and enjoy your shows.