A touch of class by Marina Scott
NESTLED among the Cheshire countryside and ideally located just a few miles off the M6, the Crewe Hall Hotel provided the stunning backdrop to the 2010 Pro Pan/ Dog World Pup of the Year final.
As you drove into the entrance and along the poker-straight driveway lined by established trees and large signs from the sponsors, you knew the event was going to be special.
Located in extensive grounds, the Grade 1 listed building has been attracting refined guests since the 17th century, including the Queen, so it was no surprise that this year’s event had drawn a large section of the dog showing elite in terms of dogs, breeders, judges and exhibitors.
On the morning of the event, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect to start the day − clear blue winter sunshine and, thankfully for the dogs, it was also dry underfoot. This allowed those exhibitors who had travelled up in the morning to get to the event with plenty of time to spare and to appreciate the beautiful buildings and surrounding grounds and ensured the dogs stayed in pristine condition.
Array of goodies
The hotel mixes historic Jacobean and sharp 21st century architecture and the Pup of the Year competition was held in the new area of the site within the Events Centre. The ‘holding area’ contained spacious benches for exhibitors and the name of each dog had been carefully printed on hard-back banners and placed on the top of each bench. Each exhibitor was showered with an array of goodies from the generous sponsors which included many items such as bedding, dog food and a Dog World Annual.
In the next room, the green-carpeted ring was surrounded by a white picket fence and decorated with the sponsors’ names. The dogworld.tv team members were positioned at both sides of the ring to capture the dogs at their best.
The commentary box enjoyed a prime location at one side of the ring and contained two of the best commentators in the business, Frank Kane and Dr Jessica Holm. This duo, best known for their broadcasting work at Crufts, has been part of this event for the past six years.
The audience was made up of invited guests including show officials and judges of the qualifying heats. Another member of the Pup of the Year team who has become ‘part of the furniture’ was Anne Bliss, who has acted as chief steward for the past 20 years. Anne was supported on the day by Jim Peach and Denis Rockall.
Purina’s Liz Wood, UK and Ireland commercial director, kicked off proceedings right on time just after noon. She explained how the final can be a springboard to success and last year’s winner certainly made a great example of that. Lee Cox and Tom Isherwood’s Chinese Crested Ch Vanitonia Unwrapped went on to become Top Dog all breeds after winning a record eight best in show awards at all-breeds championship shows during a single year. Nora was not present for a lap of honour as her owners were relaxing on a well-deserved break in Jamaica.
Officiating at the Pup of the Year final was one of Britain’s most popular judges, Terry Nethercott, who has been judging dogs for more than 35 years. He is best known for his world-class handling and presentation skills with Pekingese, but has also bred champions in Whippets and Tibetan Terriers. He’s judged all over the world, gives CCs in 33 breeds and has the honour of judging the utility group at Crufts this year.
The finalists were given generous applause as they were introduced into the ring one at a time and the judge was able to take his first look at each puppy. There were 32 finalists listed in the catalogue as 32 qualifying heats were held at championship shows during 2010.
Unfortunately the Cairn Terrier, Stradivarius Petrushka owned by Ray Munday – who had qualified at Scottish Breeds – was absent. She had come into season and it was too late for the replacement to attend.
The qualifiers were of the highest quality, ranging from a tender ten months old to the mature age of 22 months. Some had already gained CCs or RCCs and a few had even gained their crown and had group placings or wins to their name.
Many of the exhibitors had qualified dogs for previous finals but a couple were fairly new to the world of sponsored finals. Kimberley McCosh from Lanarkshire had qualified her Lhasa Apso Luekiki Diemos to Spyaniki, this being only her second show dog. Exhibitors had come from all corners of the UK and the furthest travelled exhibitors, Jackie Stubbs and Lucinda Thompson, had made the trip all the way from Northern Ireland with a Rottweiler and a Whippet.
The puppies were brought into the ring in threes and judged individually. Mr Nethercott assessed the puppies quickly and efficiently and after putting his hands on each dog, he asked to see them move individually around the ring and up and down. The commentators kept the audience up to date with the details of each dog and their wins and some funny stories. But when one of Bert Easdon’s Yakee Pekingese refused to walk the whole length of the ring, Frank joked, ‘Come on Eileen!’, much to the amusement of the audience as this was the dog’s name.
It wasn’t long before all the finalists were asked back into the ring in number order and the judge selected a shortlist of 12. They included: the 17-month-old Lakeland Terrier Saredon Mack The Knife owned by Judy Averis and Tony Barker, who had not been shown since he qualified; the 16-month-old Great Dane Vanmore Sound Investment owned by Laurence Morgan-Evans, who has one RCC; the 16-month-old French Bulldog Ch Jafrak Pistols At Dorn owned by Frances and Jack Krall; the 17-month-old Longhaired Dachshund Ch Bronia Lotario, owned by Emily Mitchell who has four CCs, all with BOB, and a G1 at the Scottish Kennel Club; the 14-month-old Whippet Barnesmore Snoop Dog owned by Lucinda Thompson and who has notched up ten BPIS wins at open and championship level; the 16-month-old German Shorthaired Pointer Pawnic Henrietta of Malmelsa owned by Sarah Downey, who has been lightly shown as she has been successfully working in the field; the 14-month-old Tibetan Terrier Araki I Know You Want It owned by Ann Sinclair and Suzy Roffey who has one CC and one RCC; the 13-month-old Bichon Frisé Chasnaz A Touch Of Frost at Pamplona owned by Michael Coad; the 17-month-old Pekingese Yakee Ooh Ah Cantona owned by Bert Easdon and Philip Martin, who has three CCs and two RCCs; the 14-month-old Rottweiler Cotarinn Brothers In Arms for Sakanda owned by Jackie and Andrea Stubbs, who was unbeaten in puppy classes in Ireland and has two RGS and one GS with BOB; the 14-month-old Golden Retriever Rosinante Lover Boy by Tannadice owned by John and Brenda Taylor, who was BPIS at the joint Golden Retriever clubs championship show and also has two RBPIS at open level; and the ten-month-old Samoyed Nikara Diamond Dancer owned by Sue Smith and Val Freer, who is Northern Samoyed Pup of the Year, was PG2 at Boston and the previous weekend had taken BPIS at both an all-breeds open show and the Samoyed Club championship show.
Terry Nethercott made no hesitation in asking quickly for the award boards and chose the Bichon Frisé Chasnaz A Touch Of Frost at Pamplona as his winner for a delighted owner/handler Michael Coad. Bred by Leah Davis, he is by last year’s number three Top Dog all breeds Ch Pamplona Bring Me Sunshine. Raz is 13 months old and has been shown only three times at championship shows where he was BP on each outing. According to Michael, he has ‘a very laid back temperament, just like his Dad, Eric’.
Michael’s partner, Geoff Corish, who hasn’t been too well lately, was watching from the sidelines. Geoff piloted the Smooth Fox Terrier Ch Glendraterra Sunset Strip to win the event back in 2006, so the household are level pegging now for the number of Pup of the Year wins.
Runner-up went to the French Bulldog Ch Jafrak Pistols At Dorn, owned and bred by Frances and Jack Krall who have qualified five Giant Schnauzers for the final before. Percy was made up at Manchester following CCs at the Midland and Northern French Bulldog Club and LKA. As a puppy, he notched up several BP wins including PG2 at Bath. He apparently has a bad habit of gardening but perhaps is just trying to live up to his pet name.
Following photographs, exhibitors and visitors were guided through the maze of the hotel to the lunch in Crewe Hall’s Long Gallery. It made a perfect setting for an afternoon catch-up and before the buffet lunch was served, guests listened to the presentations which included the Catherine Sutton Memorial Trophy, which was presented by daughter Pat Sutton to Michael Coad, owner of the winning puppy.
Then Marion Spavin presented the Ch Dialynne Gamble Memorial Trophy to the runner-up’s co-owner, Frances Krall. As Lee Cox and Tom Isherwood were not present to receive the Rossut Jasmine Memorial Trophy (for the breeder of the previous year’s winner), Dog World’s managing director Stuart Baillie asked the audience for a big round of applause.
Then Judy Averis (Saredon) was presented with the Award of Excellence by DOG WORLD’s Simon Parsons. Judy has proved herself to be one of Britain’s most talented breeders, not just in one breed but in quite a handful of them. At any show where terriers are scheduled you are very likely to find not just one but two or even three of the best of breed winners come from the same kennel, and it’s not unknown for them to take first and second in the group.
The kennel is a household name in Welsh Terriers, Lakeland Terriers and Airedale Terriers and has produced champions in several more breeds. These include a Crufts best in show, a National Terrier best in show and countless more overseas. In addition she has acted as mentor to many young terrier people from all round the world, making sure the art of presenting a show terrier is passed down the generations.
After a short pause, Adrian Willson, Kerry’s husband, was invited to the floor to present the Kerry Williamson Memorial Award. It was almost exactly a year to the day since Kerry died so tragically young. The award was set up by Dog World in her honour to recognise the ‘unsung heroes’ in some aspect in the dog world.
For the first year, it was awarded to Chris Roberts, who has been secretary and trustee of the Cairn Terrier Relief Fund for more than 25 years. She also sits on the committee as secretary of the UK Cairn Terrier Breed Club and sets up Relief Fund stalls at breed open and championship shows. Adrian read out part of one of her nominations which read: "Her dedication and selflessness are incredible, she would move hell and high water to help a Cairn in trouble. No matter what time of day or night, however far she will have to travel, she can always be relied upon to help.”
After presentations were made to the judge, commentators and stewards, the guests were allowed to enjoy the food and drink well into early evening. Then it was time to say goodbye to another Pup of the Year. Next year hopes to be extra special as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. So remember to get your puppies entered in the 30 remaining qualifying heats to have a chance to attend Pup of the Year 2011.
Successful partnership by Simon Parsons
THE ASTONISHINGLY successful partnership of Geoff Corish and Michael Coad has now won Pup of the Year twice – and the honours are even.
Although they are known as Britain’s most versatile professional handling team, both their POTY victories have come with their own dogs – Geoff’s in 2006 with the Smooth Fox Terrier Ch Glendraterra Sunset Strip, co-owned with Jenny Thornton and Roger Bebbington, and Michael’s with his Bichon this year.
Michael started showing dogs in his native Ireland and his first breed was the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. His first titleholder, Ir Ch Perenvay Goolagong, was born in 1971, and from her he bred Ch/Ir Ch Karlina of Perenvay.
He then became interested in Standard Poodles and his first big winner came from Wendy Streatfield’s Leander kennel in the UK. While there he saw one of the early British litters of Bichons Frisés and fell for the breed in a big way. Wendy had imported from across the Atlantic and provided foundation stock for many kennels.
He ordered a puppy from Wendy’s next litter and Snow Shamrock of Leander crossed the Irish Sea. He sired five Irish champions and Bichons bred or owned by Michael scored the first Irish BIS wins for the breed.
On to the ‘80s and Michael came to live in England, eventually joining forces with Geoff who was already well established as a top handler and breeder. Before he emigrated he had obtained Tiopepi Mad Louie at Pamplona from Clare Coxall. He gained his title in both countries and Geoff handled him to the breed’s first UK general championship show BIS win at the Scottish Kennel Club.
The next big star was Ch Si’bon Fatal Attraction at Pamplona, bred by Marion Binder, who was also a BIS winner and was Top Dog all breeds, Louie having been runner-up for that award.
Further Bichon champions followed, including a Louie/Fatal son who then went to the US, but the next top winner was Ch/Am Ch Paray’s I Told You So, jointly owned with Phyllis Sewall and Lori Kornfeld from the US. Geoff and Michael admired him at a show in California and were later offered the chance to campaign him in the UK. Buster won many all-breeds BIS awards, the group at Crufts and was once again Top Dog all breeds.
In the last few years, Michael has dominated the breed winning with several homebred champions, among them Ch Pamplona Bring Me Sunshine. Eric was number three all breeds last year and has three RBIS awards. He is by a son of Buster and also traces back to Louie and Fatal.
Eric’s son Raz was bred by Irish-born, English-resident Leah Davis who has a small kennel of Bichons and Chinese Crested’s, producing some good stock in both breeds. Her best known Bichon was Raz’s granddam Ch/Ir Ch Rusmar Magic Jewel for Chasnaz, bred by Dawn Russell. She was mated to Ir Ch Rusmar Nzuri Rainbow to produce Chasnaz Opal Elegance, linebreeding to Ch Rusmar Magic Rainbow who can also be found behind Eric.
Opal Elegance produced two puppies, a dog and bitch, in her litter to Eric and Michael was impressed with both when he saw them at eight weeks. He saw Raz again at 12 weeks, by which time Leah had sold the bitch. He was determined that the dog wasn’t going anywhere so came to an arrangement with Leah, and Raz came to Pamplona. "I needed another male like a hole in the head,” he says but he felt Raz was a gorgeous puppy.
Like most from the line, he went through an awkward looking stage at around five months but quickly bounced back and his first show was Blackpool where he was BP under Eleanor Bothwell. He repeated this at Welsh KC under Ellis Hulme, and then qualified for the Pup of the Year final at Richmond under Patsy Hollings, since when he has not been shown.
Michael hopes to take him to some of the shows this year but he is still campaigning his sire.
Bichons, especially those descended from Buster, are one of those fortunate breeds where males can happily live together, and when I talked to Michael, he had four generations of males running happily in his kitchen.
Michael and Geoff share the trimming duties. Currently at home, Michael has one Standard Poodle, a few Bichons and now two Pyreneans – for years he has wanted to return to his original breed! Geoff breeds Lhasa Apso and French Bulldogs with the famous Sealaw affix, and they also sometimes have clients’ dogs staying. They are fortunate to have long-term, reliable kennel helpers, who move in if they are both away at shows.
We are sure we need not outline their successes in other breeds. Michael has produced several Standard Poodle champions, of which the best known was Ch Pamplona Something Special, a multiple BIS winner, Top Dog all breeds and CC record holder. He has also bred a Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund champion.
Among the many BIS winners they have handled are two at Crufts for Geoff, the West Highland White Terrier Ch Dianthus Buttons and Lhasa Apso Ch Saxonsprings Hackensack, and one for Michael, the Kerry Blue Terrier Ch Torum’s Scarf Michael. Geoff handled, and later owned, the Lhasa Ch Saxonsprings Fresno, Top Dog all breeds and CC record holder.
Friends were delighted to see Geoff enjoying Michael’s triumph at POTY for he hasn’t been too well recently. He is due to go into hospital for an operation on Saturday, and to stay there a week, so he aims to be back on top form for Crufts where he is judging.
Kerry Williamson Memorial award
WHEN DOG WORLD’s managing director Kerry Williamson died after a short illness in February 2010 it came as a huge shock not just to her colleagues but to all those in the world of dogs who had met Kerry.
Kerry joined DOG WORLD in 1979 where she was able to merge her passion for dogs with her career. Over the next 31 years whether it be as an exhibitor, a judge, a canine journalist or as managing director of the company when Kerry came into contact with people they remembered her. The many tributes to her that poured in after her death was announced spoke of her warmth, her kindness and her ability to get on with people.
In the months that followed her death the idea of the Kerry Williamson Memorial Award was devised by a group of her friends and colleagues. The idea behind the award was to reward and acknowledge the efforts of those who had selflessly used their knowledge, skills and given their time to the benefit of dogs and specifically those who had worked away behind the scenes, or had achieved notable success from just a small kennel.
DOG WORLD readers were asked to nominate people who they felt would be worthy recipients and through the last weeks of December 2010 and early January this year dozens of nominations were sent in.
"Readers had clearly understood the kind of people we were looking for,” says DW managing director Stuart Baillie, "we had nominations for people who had put huge efforts into their breed, those who had worked tirelessly to collect data on health issues and for those who had, over a very long period of time, made huge efforts to support the world of dogs in whatever way they could to help their peers enjoy the hobby.”
One nomination stood out and that was for Chris Roberts, secretary of the Cairn Terrier Relief Fund, a woman about whom one nominee said: "Her attitude to elderly dogs is commendable, she believes there is a right home for every dog.” While another nominee said of Mrs Roberts: "She would move hell and high water to help a Cairn in trouble... no matter what time of day or night, however far she will have to travel she can always be relied upon to help.”
At the Pup of the Year final last week Kerry’s husband Adrian Willson was there to present the Kerry Williamson Memorial Award for the first time. It was, he said, an award which perfectly reflected Kerry’s values and he spoke movingly about Kerry’s commitment to dogs in general and to her own breed, Tibetan Spaniels, in particular.
Adrian then presented Mrs Roberts with her award to great applause from the audience.
The Kerry Williamson Memorial Award will be presented each year at the POTY final and DOG WORLD will be seeking nominations for next year’s winner, towards the end of 2011.
Award of excellence
Each year Dog World gives the Award of Excellence to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the British dog scene, as a talented breeder/exhibitor or in some other field.
This year’s recipient is Judy Averis who with partner Dave Scawthorn, her son John and their team run what must surely be one of Britain’s most successful terrier kennels of all time.
Judy is a second-generation dog breeder as her father Les Atkinson was a famous professional handler, winning BIS at Crufts in the 1960s showing the Lakeland Ch Rogerholme Recruit. In her own right she has proved herself as a leading breeder not just in one breed but in quite a handful of them.
At any show where terriers are scheduled you are very likely to find not just one but two or even three of the best of breed winners come from the Saredon kennel, and it’s not unknown for them to take first and second in the group. The kennel is a household name in Welsh Terriers, Lakeland Terriers and Airedale Terriers and has produced champions in several more breeds including Wire Fox Terriers, Dandie Dinmonts, Kerry Blues and Irish.
Among top winners bred or owned at Saredon are a Crufts BIS winning Welsh, Ch Saredon Forever Young, two National Terrier BIS winners, the Welsh Ch Saredon Dressed To Impress and the Lakeland Ch Saredon For Your Eyes Only, and countless more overseas.
In addition Judy has acted as mentor to many young terrier people from all round the world, making sure the art of presenting a show terrier is passed down the generations.
Judge's report by Terry Nethercott
I would like to thank everyone involved with the organisation of this wonderful event. I had so many outstanding puppies to go over.
My eventual winner was Michael Coad’s stunning Bichon Frisé, Chasnaz A Touch Of Frost at Pamplona, completely balanced with lovely outline, good free movement, prepared and presented to perfection.
My reserve was Frances and Jack Krall’s French Bulldog, Ch Jafrak Pistols At Dorn, close to my winner, cracking fawn whom I would not change in any way- a real star.