Twice a winner in 25 years by Simon Parsons, photos Alan Walker
TWENTY-FIVE years ago, at the Pup of the Year final held at the Whitbread Brewery in the City of London, Italian judge Beppi Benelli gave the title to the Scottish Terrier Stuane Enchanted, bred and handled by a promising young breeder Stuart Plane. At that stage he had already produced, in one of his earliest litters, a Crufts group winner, and down the generations many other big winning Scotties have emerged from his Sunderland kennel. Now, a quarter of a century on, he wins the Pup of the Year title again with another homebred Scottie bitch.
The 2011 competition, sponsored by Pro Plan and Dog World, was held for the second time at the Crewe Hall Hotel in Cheshire, and was celebrating 40 years since the first POTY final – that was judged by readers of the Daily Express!
Generally agreed to be the contest’s best venue since it moved out of London, it is just a few miles from the M6 and consists of a magnificent Jacobean mansion which has been extensively restored at various subsequent periods, notably by E M Barry, son of the architect of the House of Parliament, in 1870 after a fire. The interior decoration are a fascinating mix of original Jacobean, faithful reproductions based on the original plans, and dramatic Victorian work. To the side and rear have been added comfortable modern hotel facilities, including a suite which is the venue for the competition.
On arrival the competitors were greeted by members of the Pro Plan and Dog World teams and once their dogs were safely benched, tea, coffee and cakes were freely available. The lengthy, carpeted ring was in a next-door room.
The judging format was explained to each handler by chief steward Ann Bliss and her assistants Jim Peach and Dennis Rockall and in due course each one entered the ring individually, to be introduced briefly to the audience by commentators Frank Kane and Jessica Holm, whose double act has been part of POTY for a good many years now.
Next, the first of the qualifiers returned to the ring for its own examination, with two more waiting their turn, so all flowed smoothly.
Meanwhile the judge had been welcomed into the ring – ever-immaculate Derek Smith, in a three-piece suit with pink tie and handkerchief. A ‘dog man’ through and through, Derek has a distinguished record campaigning Rough Collies and Dachshunds as well as a lifelong interest in dogs of every breed. You will shortly be able to enjoy the story of his life in dogs, plus some of his remarkable store of anecdotes, when the DVD of Andrew Brace’s recent ‘audience with’ Derek is released.
To this eye at least, the competitors looked an exciting collection, many of whom will surely make a big mark in years to come. Indeed some have already made a pretty good start!
A few changes had been made to the original list of qualifiers. The Labrador who had won at East of England could not attend and was replaced by the runner-up, Julie Pike’s Samoyed Lireva’s Extreme Nobility. Shortly before the day, the Samoyed who had qualified at Manchester withdrew, and this gave an opportunity for the runner-up Whippet, Lynda Matthews and Don Foran’s Courthill Catch A Shadow, to travel all the way from Co Wicklow to compete. The Peke who had scored at UK Toy couldn’t come, and nor could the reserve, so there were 31 present from the 32 heats held at the general and national group championship shows of 2011.
Several breeds had multiple representatives and family connections. Two Samoyeds had qualified; as I said one withdrew but a third came in as a reserve. Jennifer Garry and Blueaegean Oracle Of Apollo had travelled even further than the Whippet, from Co Cork in fact, and unusually is also qualified for the Irish POTY final. There was a second Pekingese in addition to the one who withdrew, the latter was bred and owned by Bert Easdon and Philip Martin who also bred a competing Shih Tzu.
Partners David Guy and Stuart Plane were competing against each other with a Griffon and Scottie respectively. Neil and Angie Allan and Robert Harlow bred two competing Australian Shepherd littermates, conceived in the US by a Brazilian sire! A third Aussie was the youngest competitor, coming from the Dialynne kennel which like Yakee is represented here most years, though more often with a Beagle. There was a pair of Pointer bitches, litter sisters bred and owned by Annette Siddle.
Averil Cawthera-Purdy had two Pomeranians in competition, a homebred black and a Jersey-bred sable, and Lireva was in fact triply represented as Averil also bred the Samoyed who came in as a reserve.
Most remarkable achievement of all was surely that there were three Basenjis in competition, the first time we can think of that three littermates have qualified. There were bred by Dee Hardy and Trish Hallam in partnership with Sue Kite and Jeff Gillespie from the US, from the famous American imports Riley and Millie. This was a repeat mating and the first one also produced a POTY qualifier a couple of years ago.
I liked the way Derek judged – unhurried, giving all an equal look, but decisive when it mattered. Man Booker-style, he opted for a long list and then a short one, individually making an extensive cut of 17, such was the quality in depth.
In addition to the eventual final seven, the long list included:
Tim Jones and Steve Jepson’s Beagle Eardley Barb Dwyer, a RCC and championship show puppy group winner with BPIS at open shows.
Sarah and Rosemarie Jackson’s Maltese Benatone Pure Gold, a RBPIS and RCC winner from just two championship shows and BIS at a toy group open show.
Annette Siddle’s Pointer Wilchrimane Ice Crystal, handled by Matthew Oddie, a CC and BOB winner and BPIS at a group open show.
Michaela and Pat Hall’s Shih Tzu Yakee Jerry At Trick, a breed club BIS winner.
Janine Longhurst’s Australian Shepherd Allmark Spirit Of St Louis, handled by Paul Routledge, several BP wins, open show puppy group winner.
His brother, Neil Allan, Robert Harlow and Norma Gregory’s Allmark Indecent Proposal, handled by Angie Allan. What a litter – as another one is a ‘babychamp’.
Dee Hardy and Trish Hallam’s Basenji Tokaji California Dreaming, with four RCCs and top puppy last year.
Don Cawthera’s Pomeranian Lireva’s To Hell An Black, handled by Fay Matthews, BP at championship shows, BPIS and RBPIS at open shows, BPIS at a a breed show.
Diane Jenkins’ Norfolk Terrier Kinsridge Gung Ho, CC at a breed show and two RCCs.
Lisa and Leanne Bryant and Mark Nelson’s American Cocker Spaniel Nasailleen In The Buff, CC winner and BPIS at Belfast and Gundog Society of Wales.
All these had another chance to show off their movement and then Derek cut to his final seven.
Among these were:
Liz Dunhill’s Japanese Shiba Inu Ch Vormund Norma Jean, handled by daughter Michaella, winner of five CCs including a breed show and a group 3. She was joint top puppy with her litter brother who won the Petplan junior stakes final. She qualified at Scottish Kennel Club from John Thirlwell.
The second of Annette Siddle’s Pointer sisters Wilchrimane Ice Maiden, handled by daughter Amelia, winner of four RCCS, twice RBPIS at championship shows and many BPIS at open shows. She was Liz Cartledge’s choice at Blackpool.
Michael Parkinson and Brian Dillon’s Pointer Dillonpark Pellegrino, CC winner, BPIS at Bath, three RCCs, breed club BPIS, championship show RBPIS, BIS at group and breed open shows. Windsor qualifier, judge Meg Purnell-Carpenter.
Andrea and Stuart Livesey’s Pekingese Livanda Faberge, top puppy 2011, three RCCs, won at Bournemouth under Rodney Oldham.
Another of the Basenji littermates, Danny and Nicola Cullen and Toni Agnew’s Tokaji Texas Ranger, CC, BOB, group and RBIS at LKA, hound open show BIS winner, Frank Kane’s choice at the Houndshow.
Bevy of talent
The last seven had the chance to show themselves off once more when Derek moved them in size order and from this bevy of talent he elected for Stuart Plane’s Scottish Terrier Ch Stuane Florette, about whom you can read in more detail elsewhere on these pages, and runner-up to Glenn Davies and Mark James’ Tibetan Terrier Alilahs Xtra Well Dressed at Waterley, Ann Arch’s selection at City of Birmingham.
He was bred by Pat Tempest by multi-titled Ch Waterley Dressed To Impress ex Kashi Ulterior Motive by Alilah; an earlier litter bred that way had produced Glenn and Mark’s Ch Alilahs Very Impressed at Waterley who was made up also at the City. The siblings ended up top TT and top puppy respectively and the youngster, Alex, already has two CCs – they did the double at LKA – and a RCC.
Photos out of the way, we all moved to the old part of the hotel for lunch in the spectacular long gallery, watched over by busts on the chimneypiece of Sir Randolph Crewe, who built a house here in 1615, and another member of the family who was Bishop of Durham.
Just time for presentations to the winners and others, all pictured on these pages, and now it’s time to look forward to next year’s final. Already we have two qualifiers from Boston and Manchester and it’s quite possible that some more have yet even to be born. Who knows, POTY 2012 could be yours!
A truly sensational career by Simon Parsons
STUART PLANE has been involved in Scotties since boyhood – his parents worked for John Bailes (Glenrae Scotties and Lakelands) and alongside Reg Gadsden (Desert Scotties), the famous all-round judge. As a schoolboy he exercised Reg’s dogs every day and eventually accompanied him to shows, handling for the first time in 1966.
Later he started showing in his own right with the Scottie bitch, Desert Border Queen, dam of his first champion Stuane Princess Royale. She in turn was the dam of four champions including the bitch CC record holder at the time, Ch Stuane Highland Empress, winner of 18 CCs, BIS at Border Union and eight groups including Crufts. Another of his 18 champions was the 1986 Pup of the Year winner Stuane Enchanted, who won several CCs as a puppy.
He had always fancied the idea of owning a wheaten and eventually imported from a top kennel in the US Sandgreg’s English Garden at Stuane who became Britain’s first wheaten champion for about 30 years. She was mated to CC winner Stuane Sandman, a son of Highland Empress’ sister and younger brother to Enchanted, to produce Ch Stuane Sandcastle.
By then Stuart has imported a wheaten male from the same kennel, and Sandgreg’s Toreador at Stuane gained his title and proved a very important sire. Among his progeny was BIS winner Ch Mayson Petrina.
Stuart used him on Sandcastle to produce another wheaten champion in Goldilocks. When the time came to mate her he decided on an outcross dog, the virtually unshown Tamzin Coffee Bean from Ray and Ava Platt’s highly successful line. He had admired some of his early progeny in the ring.
From this Stuart kept Stuane Loch Guard, who enjoyed an outstanding show career with several group wins and placings and was BIS at South Wales in 2007. Tragically, Loch Guard died very young. Thankfully he had a very good litter sister, Stuane Loch Flora at Myrlea, the first Scottish Terrier owned by Gillian Marley and Philip Thirlwell of the well known Myrlea Tibetan Terriers.
They had won several RCCs with her but, on hearing of Stuart’s sad loss, with great generosity let him have her back, and in due course he made her up.
He did not keep anything from her first litter, and for her second decided to use the Swedish import Raglan Royal Connection with Brio. This beautifully bred dog, with some great British affixes close up in his pedigree, was a RCC winner in the UK and proved a super stud dog and has now sired seven UK champions. Stuart had used him previously and was pleased with the pups from the first litter. The next one, out of Flora, proved even better, not least because she self-whelped five bitch puppies in two and a half hours!
All five have been shown successfully including one in Serbia and another Stuart has also kept, but Florette was the one that caught his eye early on.
You often hear show careers described as ‘sensational’ but it is surely justified in this case. She came out, aged just under nine months at the ST Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association championship show last March, and Dan Ericsson from Sweden gave her the CC and then BIS over the famous Russian dog who had won BIS at Crufts 2010. Her next show was National Terrier where Ray Taylor gave her the CC and BOB. Jane Miller qualified her for the Pup of the Year final. BIS judge was none other than Dan, and she was his choice for BIS3 and BPIS.
Show three was the National. Jane gave her the CC and BOB, Harry O’Donoghue G3, Malcolm Murray the puppy group and Derek Smith BPIS. Derek was to meet her again some months later...
As she was still a puppy she had to claim an extra CC before claiming her title. That didn’t take long but meanwhile, just a couple of weeks after her birthday, she had won her first group at Border Union from Maurice Marshall. Her crowning CC came in style at Blackpool under Nellie Taylor and she went on to top the group (Andrew Brace) and RBIS (Bill Browne-Cole). This made her the fifth generation Scottie bitch Stuart had made up.
By the end of her extraordinary junior career she had taken ten CCs, all with BOB, no fewer than seven group wins, a G2 and two G3, plus another RBIS at South Wales, and she ended up in the top ten all breeds and second in the very closely contested terrier group rankings.
Stuart will continue to show her this year where his judging engagements allow.
Stuart has also successfully shown Sealyhams and Toy Poodles – last year a Toy bred by him became a champion and won a group – and occasionally handles the well known Donzeata Griffons of his partner David Guy. David also had a representative in the POTY final. Their success has been achieved while keeping a very small number of dogs, indeed at present Stuart has just three Scotties.
KERRY WILLIAMSON MEMORIAL AWARD
THE AWARD in memory of Dog World’s Kerry Williamson goes to an ‘unsung hero’ of the world of dogs, and is presented by Kerry’s husband Adrian Willson. This year’s recipient was Celia Bourne, dog warden for South Gloucestershire Council.
Why a dog warden? The tributes from those who nominated her speak for themselves: "She is that rarity among dog wardens in that she cares passionately about animals – to her the dog or any other animal she encounters comes first. He main role is obviously to collect stray dogs but Celia goes much further, frequently in her own time, taking home sick and injured dogs and cats. She spends hours attempting to find owners and if they can’t be found she tries to ensure that every one has a rescue space to go to when their time is up. She also tries to educate owners about animal, welfare, good breeding and the need for care and training of the dogs. She runs training classes form socialisation to advanced obedience and participates in many sports where she can include her own dogs.”
"She is responsible for the fact that in the last year not a single dog who has come into the council pound has been put to sleep.”
"Each year she organises a collection of food, bedding and toys for the dogs in the pound and the rescues that take them.”
"She has developed a great liaison with many rescue contacts and makes sure they get good information about the dogs to help find them the right homes.”
"Such an award would be a fantastic bridge between the show world, the rescue world and the general public.”
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
SIMON Parsons presented the Dog World Award of Excellence to Trevor and Birgit Hayward of the Foxearth Smooth Collies and Miniature Wire Dachshunds. Explaining why they had won, Simon stressed the Haywards’ commitment to one of the UK’s vulnerable native breeds for 40 years, during which time they have produced about 55 UK champions, plus more in Min Wires. These have included dogs who have made history in terms of breed and group success. They have also tried hard to widen the Smooth’s limited gene pool by exchanging bloodlines with breeders overseas, with great success. Many Smooth enthusiasts have paid tribute to Trevor and Birgit’s willingness to provide newcomers with top class foundation stock – a lot of the Foxearth champions have been made up by other owners – and to give every support, help, advice and guidance.
A few years ago they were involved in a serious car accident, after which friends helped out by fostering their dogs until they were back on track. Today they are contributing as much to their breeds as they ever did.
JUDGE’S REPORT by Derek Smith
WHAT a fantastic event this was – Crewe Hall is 'the' perfect venue to host such an occasion.
Needless to say, I was very honoured to be invited to judge the 40th anniversary final of the Pup of the Year and thank most humbly the organisres for their hospitality throughout the event.
Thirty-one dogs were presented to me and I made a first cut opf 17, such was the quality.
After moving them again I made a shortlist of seven – these were quite superb, definitely British dogs at their very best and a real headache to sort out. As commentator Frank Kane announced: "Derek has a real job on his hands” – and I did.
All seven were super specimens of their respective breeds, all in super condition and all showing their little socks off, a great credit to their handlers. They were the Scottish Terrier Ch Stuane Florette, Japanese Shiba Inu Ch Vormund Norma Jean, Pointer Wilchrimane Ice Maiden, Cocker Spaniel Dillonpark Pellegrino, Tibetan Terrier Alilahs Xtra Well Dressed at Waterley, Pekingese Livanda Faberge and Basenji Tokaji Texas Ranger.
Everything rested on that final run-off and by winner of Pup of the Year 2011 was the Scottish Terrier Ch Stuane Florette, lovely bitch, super head, eye and ears, so well put together, big ribs, the best of legs and feet, superb jacket in first class order, never put a foot wrong.
Runner-up to her was the Tibetan Terrier Alilahs Xtra Well Dressed at Waterley, loved him too, so pleasing in size and type, lovely head with dark expressive eyes, beautiful outline, so satisfying to go over, every hair gleamed, as sound as a pound. I felt two very worthy winners, but only a whisker separated them from their close rivals – well done.