All exhibitors head for Stafford for Toy Day at Manchester Championship Show. What a cold, wintery day with a mixture of snow, hailstones and rain. Oh the joy of the early mornings in this climate, trying to convince yourself it is sunshine all the way. The dogs give you that glare when woken with the look, ‘You have to be kidding’ and you are in two minds whether to agree with them, that bed and the electric blanket are a better option. But we exhibitors are made of sterner stuff, I think, well it sounded convincing!
For us Stafford is our closest show so who are we to complain when other folk have hours to travel. Papillons were in the annexe B for this show and on this occasion we were second in the ring following Japanese Shiba Inu. Mr Graham Hill was judging their breed and he had a good entry of fifty two dogs. Due to this the Paps didn’t get in the ring until around noon, but all is good. This doesn’t happen very often and I personally think you have to go along with what is best for the layout of the show and society. Although we were second in the ring we felt it was best to get there early and get settled in for the day. As a bonus point it gave everyone a chance to browse the trade stands, of which there were many, without worrying that you were going to miss your class.
Stafford is always a busy venue and noise levels are at a premium, the main hall, which is the centre hub, resembled Euston Station throughout the day with folk coming and going. The society, certainly do make the best of the space available and the rings are of a good size, with the BIS area looking very lush with blue carpet and an array of floral decor. The dogs really do look fabulous on this colour, especially the white dogs as it just enhances the already pristine appearance.
Trade stands looked to be having a busy time with folk getting their last minute goodies before Crufts ascends on us. The balcony, where the bulk of the stands were was full to capacity; it was a pleasure to see as they play a big part of the show scene. They put a huge amount of effort into the shows both putting up the stands and then on the last day dismantling. When leaving on the last day my heart went out to them as is was dark, freezing cold, horrible slush, snow and ice. There they were shovelling the snow so they could just get their vans loaded. The thing that impressed me most was the friendship as they were all helping each other out of their various situations. This is the part we, the exhibitors never see, we just expect them to be set up ready and raring to go for us, but hats off to them all in coping with whatever the English weather decides to throw at them.
So let’s get back to what we had all come for, the showing side of the day. What a special day it must have been for our Papillon judge Mrs Stephanie Rickard who had travelled all the way from Australia to judge our beautiful breed, it was a good entry of 120 dogs which must have delighted her. So we thought we were cold, what on earth must she have been feeling!
She arrived in the ring looking elegant and immaculately dressed in an olive green suit and immediately with the help of her two professional stewards Maureen & Terry Donovan commenced judging. The day went smoothly along and the judge gave the air of being in complete control as a number of the classes had large entries. Mrs Rickard went over the dogs on the table in a manner of gentleness yet directness, which is exactly what an exhibitor is hoping. All were given the opportunity to walk the dogs, putting best paws forward. Even though the judging had started midday she finished well in time for the TGP starting.
The principal winners for this show were as follows; DCC / BOB/ TGP1 Irene & Glenn Robb’s Ch Gleniren Shootin Starmaker Sunshoo. The TGP judge was the very experienced Toy Breed Specialist Mr Carl Sparrow (Casarow). Earlier in the day Travis also won the daily heat of the Eukanuba Champion Stakes under Mr Kari Jarvinen (Finland). This was truly a momentous day for Travis as it was his thirtieth cc thus becoming the Dog Breed Holder Record. A compliment indeed as the previous Dog Breed Record Holder had been the very beautiful CH Tussalud Storyteller owned by Mrs Kay Stewart. Disney has been a legend in his own right, and always will be, I must admit one of my favourites. Travis still has a way to go as the outright Breed Record Holder as our very own Starlet (Ch Gleniren Starlight Kisses) has 43cc’s.
BCC was a delighted Pat Munn with her pretty little girl CH Mad About Saffron for Ringlands, BP Tom Isherwood’s Afterglow Lord Helpus (naf taf) who also took the RDCC and TPGP3 under Mrs Jill Peak. Then going on to win the Dog World Puppy Lincoln Stakes overall under Mr Per Iversen (Norway). Many congratulations on a super show for you. RBCC was Sue Victor’s Lafford Kandy Floss with Caroline Lee-Slater handling and lastly BV Jane Thompson and Sandra Austin’s Jhanakia Highland Destiny. Congratulations to all the principal winners and class winners on the day.
Congratulations also to the committee of Manchester who put on a professional and well run show, a busy show for them, but it ran like clockwork.
The count down begins, can you believe it is just six weeks till we all will be meeting up at Crufts. I so enjoy meeting and greeting friends from far off shores. What an exciting day it will be for those exhibitors entering Crufts for the first time, a new experience they will not regret. Just make sure you bring two pairs of shoes, the feet start yelping as the day goes on.
For the Pap world there is a little respite for February with no major championship shows. The SOE Pap Club are holding their Open Show with judge Mr Tony Allcock MBE on the 13th Feb . N&EC Pap Club are holding a seminar on the 7th Feb. Those that are attending their local Open Shows, please remember to let me know your TGP wins upwards also any other snippets you think that we would be interested in hearing.
Wrap up warm, take care on the roads and look forward to catching up with you over a cuppa reading the DOG WORLD breed notes.