NATIONAL Gundog – a show that gundog enthusiasts like you and me mark off on the calendar a year in advance. It’s marked as a ‘must enter’ show or a ‘must visit’ show purely because of the fact that it has, and always will be, a show where those wrapped up in this group can enjoy their own little slice of heaven.
From HPRs to Pointers and retrievers to setters, there is something for every visitor scattered about the show, which is set beneath a backdrop of the rolling Malvern Hills. Made up of over 1,200 hectares, the hills and common encase the Three Counties Showground, providing an idyllic setting for the show that is the catalyst of the show gundog world.
The hobby hasn’t had much luck with the weather recently and unfortunately a few of the year's ‘summer’ events have had to be cancelled. However, despite the weather predictions for the showground, the rain managed to hold itself to only one or two torrential downpours during the day.
There were no last minute judge changes on the day, and in spite of the Olympics and the Paignton show next day, the society was pleased to announce an entry figure of 2,740 dogs making 3,703 entries, up 56 dogs and 99 entries from 2011.
Any regular visitor to the event will have noticed that things were not the same. There were no grassy outdoor rings this year and the outside rings were few and far between on concrete footing. This decision was made by the committee due to the condition of the ground and the forecast rain which did, as if by magic, descend on the show.
Various rings were scattered around the ground in the Wye, Avon and Severn Halls, and in the catering car park. The committee did well to cope with the curveball the weather threw at them, and despite the location of the rings, the show ran well. This did, however, dampen some of the exhibitors' spirits, all of which the committee dealt with promptly.
By mid afternoon, the speaker system echoed throughout the ground with an announcement for everyone: Jessica Ennis was leading the women’s heptathlon and we’d won two gold medals in the rowing. It’s true, Olympic fever had gripped the show and everyone stopped for a moment to cheer and clap. Team GB? Team show dog.
A new addition to this year's show was the senior handling classes, which were split into three categories: 25-45 years, 46–59 years and 60 years and over. Young Kennel Club member Amelia Siddle had the task of judging the classes. Well known for her part in the Wilchrimane Pointer kennel, Amelia is a keen handler and won the YKC stakes overall at Crufts this year.
Handling a Gordon Setter, David Alcorn took first place in the 25-45 category while in the 46-59 category Stuart Bird handled his German Shorthaired Pointer to the top spot. In the 60 years and over category, David Wilmhurst and his Labrador took first place.
It was a mad rush to escape from the downpour shortly before best in show and it was one of those showers that seem to last forever. The stewards promptly began to disassemble the stakes and handling ring to prepare it for the climax of the show.
Judging for the main event began at around 5pm, with the proceedings, concluding with the puppy group, finishing around 7pm.
Unfortunately there wasn’t the usual gathering of spectators around the best in show ring. Perhaps this was to do with the Paignton show holding the gundog group on the Sunday. Many of the exhibitors at the show were gearing up for the long haul drive down to Exeter – dog dedication at its peak.
The day finished with the Irish Water Spaniel pinching the best in show spot and the German Shorthaired Pointer taking reserve.
In the puppies, the Clumber Spaniel took best puppy in show with the Gordon Setter securing reserve.
Unfortunately the weather had put a dampener on making the most of the idyllic setting, but in all honesty, with that thick black cloud looming overhead, I know where I would have preferred to be.
Report by Victoria Wilkins
Best in show judge Kathy Gorman, a true gundog lady through and through, was escorted into the ring by National Gundog’s president Rosemary Davies. Kathy, known for being associated with both Brittanys and Welsh Springer Spaniels, started judging at championship level in 1987, awarding her first CCs in 1992. She awarded the first set of Crufts Brittany CCs in 1997.
Throughout her life, Kathy’s feet have been firmly cemented in the world of dogs and she is now vice-chairman of the Brittany Club of Great Britain.
Kathy selected a short list of ten for her final look, with the four placed dogs featured in the photgraphs and captions.
Those not in the top spots included Annette West’s Hungarian Vizsla Junetta Celina, who won her second CC; Lynne Hinton’s Pointer Sh Ch Fleurfields Flambeau, now on his seventh CC; Richard Stafford’s Labrador Sh Ch Kimvalley Star Attraction of Farnfield, who won her 19th CC; travelling all the way from Denmark and securing her show champion title from three UK shows, Rui da Silva and Charlotte Hansen’s American Cocker Dan/Bel/Port/Sp/Lux/Sw Ch Truly Yours Royal Secret; Tricia Bentley’s Cocker Spaniel Sh Ch Canigou Secon Tan Rose, now the breed record holder for the black and tan colour on seven CCs; and the Weimaraner, Gil Simpson’s Sireva Vista, made up on the day.
There were a handful of notable wins and first CC in the adult group including a memorable win for Terry and Gillian Pearson in the Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla ring. To a huge ovation from spectators, they did double by winning the BCC and BOB with Lanspar Havvisi and the DCC with Lanspar Kolibri, a first CC for both. Another first CC came in the Sussex Spaniel ring for Alison and Richard Chambers’ Jessemyns Arun Victoria.
The winner and runner-up from best puppy in show are pictured; third, travelling all the way from West Lothian, was Margaret Murdoch’s Large Munsterlander Celtaur Loch Glashan who also won the RCC. In fourth was Jane Wild’s Golden Retriever Fenwood Ell Masterpiece at Bluewaters who had completed his JW at the show.
Best in show
It gave me great pleasure & pride to be chosen to judge best in show at National Gundog Association’s 2012 championship show. I thank my fellow judges for sending through a lovely selection of best of breeds some of which were exceptional. My final short list included the Irish Water Spaniel, German Sh Pointer, Irish Red & White Setter, English Setter, Pointer & the Hungarian Vizsla.
I had no hesitation in awarding BIS to the worthy Irish Water Spaniel, Sh Ch/Am Ch Whistlestop’s Elements of Magic, presented to perfection as usual. He has such a lovely masculine head with attractive eye & expression & is such a wonderful character. Mature in body, he has lovely barrel ribs & a square outline; excels in front & rear angulation & moved very well throughout the competition. Shown in beautiful quality coat & hard condition; a real credit to his handler.
RBIS was the German Sh Pointer Lux/Dutch Ch Gamebourne Bedazzled, which caught my eye on the first look around the ring. So balanced & well put together & shown in excellent hard, muscular condition. Lovely feminine head & intelligent expression; excelled on the move really striding out & in harmony with her young handler.
G3 was the Irish Red & White Setter Sh Ch Corranroo Connexion, very glamorous, in lovely coat & condition yet so masculine with elegance. Lovely bone, angulation & depth of chest; well developed over loin. Really strode out on the move covering the ground well.
G4 was the English Setter Sh Ch Mariglen Blue Flame For Christter, such a lovely example of the breed, so well constructed with good bone, excellent spring of rib, good lay of shoulder & return of upper arm. Masculine well-proportioned head & not over done in any way. Shown in lovely coat & hard condition. Movement true both coming & going displaying correct slashing tail action.
BPIS, out of a lovely line-up of best puppies my final shortlist included the Gordon Setter, Hungarian Vizsla, Large Munsterlander, Pointer, Golden Retriever & Clumber Spaniel all of which were very sound & typical examples of their breeds.
BP was the outstanding Clumber, Vanitonia The Buck Stops Ere; not only beautiful in outline but also absolutely exquisite on the move, displaying excellent reach & drive. Masculine, well proportioned head but not overdone in any way; excellent angulation throughout, good depth of chest & spring of rib for age. Pleasing quality & texture of coat & presented to perfection.
RBP was the elegant Gordon, Lourdace Fulcrum, such a typical example of the breed. Beautiful well proportioned head with melting expression, excellent bone & angulation throughout with nothing exaggerated; coat of good colour & quality. Moved soundly covering the ground well in harmony with handler.
PG3 was the Large Munsterlander Celtaur Loch Glashan, which caught my on entering the ring, I was particularly attracted to his beautiful head & expression; so well constructed throughout with excellent bone, depth of chest & nicely developed over the loin for age, moved soundly covering the ground with long strides; shown in excellent coat & muscular condition.
PG4 went to the Golden Retriever, Fenwood Ell Masterpiece at Bluewaters, very mature for age, shown in beautiful coat of excellent quality & thickness, masculine head with lovely eye & expression; well placed shoulders, good return of upper arm, excels in depth of chest & spring of rib, good bend of stifle with well let down hocks. Very well balanced in outline & moved well both coming & going.
BRITTANYS (M Young) – D: Orde-Powlett’s Patouche Gucci. B: Howse’s *Patouche Diablesse.
ENGLISH SETTERS (Ms G Williams) – D: Sayers & Dennis’ *Sh Ch Mariglen Blue Flame for Christter. B: Grimsdell’s Tattersett Air Of Elegance.
GSP (G Hargreaves) – D: Harris’ Sh Ch/Am Ch Vjk-Myst Sterling of Barleyarch. B: Brown & Harrison *Lux/Dutch Ch Gamebourne Bedazzled.
GWP (Mrs B Abbishaw) – D: McCullough’s *Sh Ch/Ir Sh Ch/Am Gr Ch/Int Sh Ch/Ger Ch Timo Il v Bockenhagen at Kimmax. B: Rose’s Kavacanne Infredible.
GORDON SETTERS (Mrs S Woodhouse) – D: Halliday’s *Yennadon The Druid. B: Tong’s Sh Ch Liric Par Xcellance with Kellizlot.
HUNGARIAN VIZSLAS (K Groom) – D: Harper’s Sh Ch Pitswarren Planet. B: West’s *Junetta Celina.
HUNGARIAN W/H VIZSLAS (R McMaster) – D: Pearson’s Lanspar Kolibri. B: Pearson’s *Lanspar Havvasi.
IRISH R/W SETTERS (Mrs C Schofield) – D: Griffin’s *Sh Ch Corranroo Connexion. B: Howatson’s Sh Ch Vanders Vida Loca.
IRISH SETTERS (Mrs M Mitchell, dogs; Mrs B Berry, bitches) – D: Gisby & Pike’s *Sh Ch Suteresett Milky Way with Scarletti. B: Muir & Ostman’s Copper’s Prima Bubblerina.
ITALIAN SPINONI (Mrs D Hardie) – D: Roberts’ Hastabbi Crazy Diamond for Mirkwood. B: *Sh Ch Alfigio Amelia.
LARGE MUNSTERLANDERS (Mrs L Scott) – D: Hargreaves’ Sh Ch Ghyllbeck Rapax. B: Reader’s *Sh Ch Celtaur Atlantic Seal.
POINTERS (Mrs S Welch) – D: Hinton’s *Sh Ch Fleurfields Flambeau. B: Rose’s Sh Ch Ridanflight Rangiora.
RETRIEVERS, CHESAPEAKE BAY (Mrs J Miller) – D: Balmforth’s *Arnac Bay Avenger for Neashalee. B: Morris’ Penrose Jump Ship.
RETRIEVERS, C/C (R Ellinor) – D: Lacey’s Gladrags Captain Morgan of Fleetpaw. B: Solomon’s *Elkysar Eytukan.
RETRIEVERS, F/C (Mrs H Murray) – D: Walker’s *Rainesgift Hucklebery Finn to Lizzlog. B: Brostam Berglund & Rosio's Sw Ch Don’s Linen Silk.
RETRIEVERS, GOLDEN (D Shields, dogs; Mrs J Bearman, bitches) – D: Macdonald’s *Sh Ch/Ir Sh Ch Flyngalee Northern Lights. B: Wight & Grimmett’s Haydene In Love with Tafuta.
RETRIEVERS, LABRADOR (Mrs S Marskell, dogs; A Brown, bitches) – D: Rawlinson’s Fullwell Fair Trade with Halshimoor. B: Stafford’s *Sh Ch Kimvalley Star Attraction of Farnfield.
SPANIELS, AM COCKER (Miss S Crummey) – D: Bryant & Nelson’s Nasaillen In The Buff. B: Da Silva & Hansen's *Dan/Bel/Port/Sp/Lux/Sw Ch Truly Yours Royal Secret.
SPANIELS, CLUMBER (Mrs L McGillivray) – D: Monaghan’s Sh Ch Tweedsmuir Dambuster. B: Dunne’s *Bimbiks Graziella for Richley.
SPANIELS, COCKER (Mrs J Pretty, dogs; Mrs C Welch, bitches) – D: Parkinson & Dillon’s Dillonpark Pellegrino. B: Bentley’s *Sh Ch Canigou Secon Tan Rose.
SPANIELS, ENGLISH SPRINGER (Mrs T Topliss) – D: Mitchell’s *Sh Ch/Nord Ch Barecho Hold Your Horses at Peasblossom. B: Calvert’s Calvdale Diamond Heist.
SPANIELS, FIELD (K Smith) – D: Harding’s *Sh Ch/Ir Sh Ch Kingsmist Eternal Knight. B: Stone’s Sh Ch Elgert Cadenza for Sonnetend.
SPANIELS, IRISH WATER (Mrs J Webb) – D: Carruthers & McDaniel’s *Sh Ch/Am Ch Whistle Stop’s Elements Of Magic. B: Ford & Wasson’s Luckpuddle’s Weekend Warrior.
SPANIELS, SUSSEX (Mrs J Holgate) – D: Graham’s Sh Ch Nyliram Night On The Tiles. B: Chambers’ *Jessemyns Arun Victoria.
SPANIELS, WELSH SPRINGER (Mrs D Roberts) – D: Graham’s *Sh Ch Nyliram Blazing Star. B: Harrison’s Sh Ch Glenbrows Tribute to Weslave.
WEIMARANERS (M Egan) – D: Whitehead’s Sh Ch Gunalt De Ice at Stridview. B: Simpson’s *Sireva Vista.
BRACCHI (Mrs K Newman-Jones) – D: Norman’s *Gunstrux Captain Pugwash. B: Adamo’s Zakro Angelina.
GLP (Mrs M Nixon) – D: Wilks & Moss’ Ir Sh Ch Arany’s Falco. B: Wilks & Moss’ *Nancy v Auwelt mit Arany.
KOOIKERHONDJE (Mrs E Kennedy) – D: Whybrow’s *Unosta Kaspar. B: Miller’s Millhanger Bunny.
RETRIEVERS, DUCK TOLLING (Mrs M Edridge) – D: Smith’s *Camusmor Glen Scotia at Dallyvista. B: Macleod & Hussey’s Camusmor Madjestic Vision.
SPANISH WATER DOGS (Mrs E Farningham) – D: Berry’s *Hollutrix Montez. B: Egginton’s Valentisimo’s Pacopilik.
IMPORTED REGISTER (G Haran) – D: Nelson’s Lagotto, Gaesten Zippy Zingo. B: Stephenson’s Lagotto, *Emmroche Borghesa.
Why? Paignton has with official approval got in the way and next year it will be worse. No dog paper stands at Malvern as they cant be in two places also, many traders didnt appreciate having to pack up and then drive overnight to set up at Paignton.