22 January 2018

The second Championship show of the year took exhibitors to Staffordshire Showground or better known to many as Bingley Hall. It was a cold morning and the grass was covered in frost as if starched to every blade end and paths were slippery.

The Papillon’s were to be judged in Annexe B which has the steadfast reputation for freezer box temperatures. It did not disappoint, as the heaters were turned off mid morning the day then went on to get just colder and colder. Surely, this may be considered not acceptable by some exhibitors for a January show?

Papillion’s were scheduled to commence once the Affi judging who had an entry of 68 had concluded. It was a long day for those exhibitors who had arrived at the as show judging commenced at 9am with the Papillon eventual judging commencing at 1.30pm. To give you an idea how late things were, the Toy Puppy Group prelim judging was called as the Papillon Open Dog class was in the ring. Perhaps this might be a consideration for discussion at a committee meeting for next year when two breeds have respectable entries.

The Manchester committee do a first class job for the layout of the show and the blue carpet makes a magnificent backdrop for the dogs with each rings perimeter being white picket fencing, the BIS ring certainly looked the part. Up on the veranda there was a good array of trade stands covering all aspects for browsing and shopping.

At the helm for the Papillon judging was breed specialist Mrs,Queenie Bruce, who entered the ring looking very elegant in a green dress with cape and matching coloured high heel shoes. We were all cold wearing coats and fleeces, so I did feel for her as the time went on.

The stewards kept the days proceeding smoothly ticking along, working away quietly without drawing attention, so compliments to them both. The judge went over the dogs gently and kindly and gave all exhibitors a chance for the four paws to put best paws forward.

The principal winners were as follows; BCC/BOB Estelle Kirk’s Forever Autumn At Kirkchase, DCC Mr & Mrs Christian’s Tresor’s Kings Valiant Lancelot handled by a delighted Liz Bartram. Both Liz and Alan were delighted and what a lovely birthday present for Liz as it was her birthday the following day. For the RCC’s it was to be RDCC Sheila Wilkinson’s Lafford Inspector Morse In Poppywood JW and the RBCC Jean & Roger Banfield and Caroline Lee-Slater’s
Ch Jorgealin Cast A Spell For Kingshaven. BP went to Dee Olaf’s Tarnock Rock N Roll Rene. I did notice the BP was not present in the TPGP, which was a shame.

The first show of the year was Boston held at the East of England Showground. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the show and not a lot of information has come through but I am sure the Boston committee maintained their usual high standards that we have all come to know each year. Breed specialist Penny Robins was the judge and I sure she was pleased with her entry of 86/98.

The principal winners for the show were as follows; BCC/BOB Jean & Roger Banfield and Caroline Lee-Slater’s
Ch Jorgealin Cast A Spell For Kingshaven, DCC Lee-Slater’s Rozamie Monsieur Philippe, RDCC Katherine Bull and Mrs A Bull’s Altaya Star Attraction, RBCC Estelle Kirk’s Forever Autumn At Kirkchase, BP Mary Whitehill & Pat Urwin’s Paparottsie Talk the Talk, lastly BV Mrs P Davidson’s Cintarshe Candlelight shCM

The following announcement has been made from the Kennel Club. Champion Classes to be introduced for breed club Championship Shows.

The Kennel Club has agreed to introduce champion classes at breed club championship shows, with effect from 1st January 2018. These classes, which are not compulsory, have been brought in by the Show Executive Committee (SEC) following a recommendation from the Dog Show Promotion Working Party which recently announced a number of measures designed to improve the dog show scene in Britain. The winner of the champion class, provided it is unbeaten, will join all other unbeaten dogs or bitches to compete for the relevant Challenge Certificate.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Kennel Club has received feedback from a number of exhibitors that this concept would be a welcome addition to the show scene. The working party was of the view that the introduction of these classes at breed club championship shows would be a positive step as there would be a number of advantages in allowing exhibitors an opportunity to show a champion dog in this new class as well as another dog in the open class, for example. “There would also be benefits to newer exhibitors and to judges in being able to see more champion dogs which would assist them in the development of their knowledge and expertise in the breed.” This initiative will be reviewed by the SEC after a three-year trial period (1st January 2021). Not quite sure what this will achieve, but time will tell.

I would personally love to see RCC winners rewarded by having an opportunity and a challenge. As we all know for the last three years our Travis has been a major winner of 51 cc’s at the shows. If you have a winning dog in any breed that excels in type, conformation and showmanship this should be celebrated as giving focus to the respected breed. I do not believe there is a need for that dog to stop showing, especially if it is a young dog. For a ‘special dog’ of any particular breed their qualities should be savoured and their attributes given the rewards that they deserve to go down in history for everyone to see and not be put out to pasture in retirement.

I fully understand that with these circumstances there may be dogs that have missed a chance of a UK title, but some would say that is what makes the UK Champion title all over the world so special, it is not given easily. The acclaim the UK Champion title has globally is enormous, for this reason, so let’s not change anything and make it simple.

However, for what it is worth I will throw in my five pennies worth. My overall passion would be to see a consistent RCC winner be rewarded justly, giving encouragement to the exhibitor, handler or owners.

As a random park number figure, let’s just say 5 RCC, this would equate to a CC being awarded. This could be achieved for two cc’s and then the third cc would have to be won outright before a Champion title was awarded. This would then enable exhibitors to focus on a goal and give acclaim to receiving a reserve challenge certificate as a celebration instead of in some cases, a devalued disappointment. Who knows, an increase in entries could occur for the shows as exhibitors will be focusing and chasing a title that was achievable in the long term. So it could be a win, win situation for everyone, the exhibitor, Championship Shows Societies and the Kennel Club.

Any views on that, if so, send me a private message and perhaps we can get a sensible, logical proactive discussion going.

Whatever shows you are at next, enjoy, have fun, because after all that is what it is all about.