The winning line up at last weekends Pedigree Stakes Finals 2000.
S Hattrell-Browns Schnauzer Ch Khinjan American Express.
Mrs Clare Coxall;
Veteran Stakes judge Mrs Clare Coxall with her overall
winner Sarah Hattrell-Browns eight year old Schnauzer Ch Khinjan American
Express and Kate Nicholson of Pedigree Masterfoods.
Handler of the Year,
Mr Andrew Brace
Pedigree Junior Handler of the Year winner Charlene Kirk with her English
Springer and Mrs Frances Chapman-King who made the presentation with Mr Bill
King of Pedigree Masterfoods.
Champions Stakes winner
Irish Wolfhound Mrs J Malleys Ch Ainsea The Diplomat.
Mrs Pamela Cross-Stern.
Winner of the Champions Stakes Mrs Jean Malleys
Irish Wolfhound Ch Ainsea the Diplomat.
The three judges pictured at last weekends
Pedigree Stakes 2000 final Mrs Clare coxall, Mrs Andrew Brace and Mrs Pamela
All Photos by Vince Hogan
See below for Show and Judges Reports
best just gets better!
by Kathleen Walton
the 22nd Pedigree Special Stakes Finals were held at the Hilton Birmingham
Metropole Hotel situated at the NEC. After a pleasant and very sustaining
lunch, guests made their way into the elegant Palace Suite to the soothing
background music by Strauss. Tiered upholstered seating backed with red velvet
screens all the way around the enormous flower-bedecked ring afforded everyone
an excellent view of the proceedings. The guest list read like a Whos
Who of the world of dogs - including many well-known championship show
officers, prominent breeders, Kennel Club staff, not forgetting of course
the judges from each of the heats.
Bernard Hall was the commentator for the day, ably assisted by his wife Rosemary,
and they were situated at a high table in one corner of the arena
looking down onto the throng below. Before proceedings began, Bernard reminded
those present that the previous day it had been Ken Bullocks funeral
and that the day before that Sir Dudley Forwood had died - two men who throughout
their lives had contributed greatly to many aspects of the world of dogs.
VETERAN STAKES FINALS
The Veterans were the first to take to the ring with representatives from
every Group except Toys. There was only one absentee - Donna McDougalls
Pointer Sh Ch Adstock Jacobite. Clare Coxall, looking elegant in a purple
silk suit with matching shoes and tights, performed the task of judging the
Veteran Finalists efficiently and with authority. Included in the finalists
was a Parson Russell Terrier, Mr & Mrs Philps Ch Mindlen Hoolet
of Muhlross; the first of the breed to win a Group at a General Championship
Show and also the first of its breed ever to qualify for the Pedigree Stakes
Many of the Veteran qualifiers were over 10 years old; none of them showed
their age, all being very sprightly on the move. Of the 24 qualifiers present,
Mrs Coxall pulled out 10 which were moved again and then she shortlisted seven
- the Afghan Ch Tejas Conquistador, Standard Poodle Ch Vanitonia Queens
English, Siberian Husky Int/Sp/Port/Ir Ch Artic Blue Chancellor, Border Collie
Sh Ch Dykebar Future Glory, Schnauzer Ch Khinjan American Express, Japanese
Shiba Inu Ch Vormund Im Smartie, and the Lhasa Apso Ch Saxonsprings
Each one was moved again individually then all together and just before she
announced the winner, Mrs Coxall turned to the audience and said that she
was spoilt for choice. She then pointed to the Schnauzer, which had moved
effortlessly and faultlessly around the ring on each occasion, as the winner,
with the Border Collie Sh Ch Dykebar Future Glory in second place. The third
spot went to the Standard Poodle, fourth was the Afghan Ch Tejas Conquistador
and fifth the Siberian Husky Int/Port/Sp/Ir Ch Artic Blue Chancellor. Beautiful
tall lidded crystal goblets were presented to the first three placings by
Kate Nicholson of Pedigree Masterfoods.
PEDIGREE JUNIOR HANDLER OF THE YEAR
Without much ado, we went on to the Pedigree Junior Handler of the Year Final
with a full house of fourteen finalists comprising one representative from
each group in each of the age groups 6-11 years and 12-16 years. The judge
for this event was Andrew Brace looking resplendent in his flamboyant turquoise
beige and white jacket (I heard someone behind me whisper that it would have
looked very nice draped over their settee!) complete with turquoise tie.
Bernard Hall anounced that Andrew had spoken to the juniors in advance of
the competition to inform them that he was going to judge it just like any
other class i.e. they would have to move conventionally in a triangle and
up and down with no fancy moves or tricks being requested. This
annoucement provoked a spontaneous round of applause from the audience. The
details of each Junior Handlers hobbies and aspirations for the future
was relayed to us by Bernard, many of them wanting to be either a vet, veterinary
nurse or wishing to care for animals in one form or another. However, we learned
that one girl, Charlotte Nickel, spends her spare time participating in inter-school
wrestling competitions and another, Aliz Jesica Brawn practices kick- boxing
as a hobby! Daniel Petrie, born in 1993, won the crowds heart as he
was far and away the smallest and probably the youngest, finalist and yet
was handling an upstanding German Shepherd Dog. We were enthralled to learn
that he too participates in wrestling and indeed would like to be a professional
wrestler when he grows up!
Mr Brace judged all the finalists and then had the unenviable task of shortlisting
six. Bernard Hall quipped I think Andrew has got to the point where
he is either going to ask the audience or phone a friend to which Andrew
nodded in agreement! The six handlers shortlisted were Charlene Kirk, Rebecca
Sharfraz, Stacy Rotchell, Thomas Barnett, Nikki Rual and Kathleen Partner.
They were then taken away to meet their new charges - dogs from
the Veteran Stakes which had been loaned for them to handle during the next
round of the competition.
During the changeover of dogs the audience were treated to a wonderful demonstration
of Heelwork To Music by Mary Ray and her Working Sheepdog Kizzy. They demonstrated
a new routine to the music of Flatleys Lord of The Dance - there wasnt
a dry eye in the house by the end of the performance!
The final six Juniors, all from the 12-16 age group, then came back into the
ring; this time handling the new dog which they had only just met. All were
seen individually again and then it was back out of the ring to collect their
original dog for the final appraisal by the judge. The eventual winner was
Charlene Kirk whose prize was a fully paid up trip to the Amsterdam Winner
Show in November 2001 plus £75 cash. In second place was Stacy Rotchell,
third was Nikki Rual, fourth Thomas Barnett, fifth Kathleen Partner and sixth
Rebecca Sarfraz, all winning cash prizes. The presentations were made by Bill
King from Pedigree and his wife, Frances.
After a welcome break for tea, we all re-assembled and the next item on the
agenda was the presentation of the Treetops Shield to the Junior Handler who
qualified for the Finals the most number of times during the year. This was
won by Charlotte Nickel who qualified 65 times during 2000 and who has qualified
over 200 times over the past four years.
The presentation was made by Suzy Roffey from Pedigree.
CHAMPIONS STAKES FINALS
The Special Champion Stakes final took on the same format as that of the Veteran
Stakes. There were three absentees in this competition - Mr & Mrs Greenways
Lakeland Terrier, Ch Rayfos Fire Medicine; Mrs Taylorsons Irish Wolfhound,
Ch Shanimarle Bay Brigand and Mr Woods Miniature Longhaired Dachshund,
Ch Wildstar Withawhisper.
The judge for this event was the elegant Mrs Pamela Cross Stern. It was interesting
to note the appearance for the second time during the days proceedings
of the Siberian Husky, handled in this event by Major Kevin Bingham, one of
the co-owners. After making a thorough assessment of each finalist, Mrs Cross-Stern
pulled out ten dogs and then made her final shortlist of five which were the
Old English Sheepdog, Irish Wolfhound, Siberian Husky, Miniature Poodle and
Pomeranian. They were all lined up for a last look before Mrs Cross Stern
moved them around the ring together and made her winner, to thunderous appaluse,
the Irish Wolfhound, Mrs J Malleys Ch Ainsea The Diplomat. He is apparently
bullied by all his female companions at home - arent we all?
commented Bernard Hall - a rather dangerous quip considering his wife Rosemary
was sitting beside him!
In second place was the Pomeranian, Miss C Smiths Ch Moonrae Ebony Hot
Shot; third place went to the Miniature Poodle, Ch Navarre Is Exemplary; fourth
the Siberian Husky (also fifth in the Veteran Stakes) and fifth the Old English
Sheepdog, Ch Allmark Ralph Lauren. The presentations of another set of beautiful
crystal was made by Mr Mike Davies, the Managing Director of Pedigree Masterfoods
in the U.K.
The day was rounded off with a spectacular celebration dinner, disco and dancing
until the small hours attended by 360 guests. Next year the judges will be
Veteran Stakes Mr Frank Kane, Junior Handlers Miss Sarah Pettit and Champions
Stakes Mrs Val Foss.
Artist Dr Jessica Holm (right) is left
holding the baby at the presentation of her painting of last years Crufts
BIS Kerry Blue Ch Torums Scarf Michael to owner Mr Ron Ramsay. Mike Davies,
(right) Managing Director of Pedigree Masterfoods made the presentation.
Photo by Vince Hogan
THE PEDIGREE Stakes Finals are, without doubt, THE event of the canine calendar
year with 46 champions competing in the two show dog events - the Veteran
and Champion Stakes.
All of the dogs have fantastic records in the show ring - multi CC winners
- breed record holders - group and best in show winners and an international
I feel very privileged and honoured to have been asked to judge the finals
of the Champion Stakes on two occasions - in 1989 and again this year. I believe
it to be the most exciting event in dogdom in Britain and, I think I can say,
in the world. These are not idle words - think about it - the record of these
dogs speaks for itself - they are the creme de la creme and every one is a
very worthy champion.
The anticipation of this assignment sets the adrenaline going from the time
the invitation is issued. The day arrives and - in my case - I was completely
absorbed in the events taking place before it was my turn. Then,
I was in the ring confronted by 21 truly beautiful dogs - four finalists were
absent. As I made a preliminary walk down the line I was struck by the immaculate
presentation of all the exhibits and by their calm, confident manner.
After examining and moving each dog I made a cut of 10 - the Pug, Miniature
Poodle, Newfoundland, English Springer Spaniel, Lhasa Apso, Old English Sheepdog,
Irish Wolfhound, Siberian Husky, Pomeranian and Welsh Corgi Pembroke.
Another circuit of the lovely, large, green carpeted ring and more deliberation
on my part.
My final cut of five brought me to the OES Ch. Allmark Ralph Lauren. Muscular,
strong, compact, well textured coat and an eager, powerful mover. He went
into fifth place. Number four - Int. Span. Port. Ir. Ch. Artic Blue Chancellor
- the Siberian Husky - light and graceful on the move, well proportioned and
under his double coat a strong well made body. Into third place the black
Miniature Poodle Ch. Navarre is Exemplary - lovely long, refined head, compact
and well ribbed up, really dense coat, proud and elegant on the move. Second
place went to the buoyant black Pomeranian - short coupled with well rounded
barrel - the most enchanting head and expression with black eyes glinting
with mischief. Truly the mighty atom, he ran very close to the
winner who was at the complete opposite end of the scale Ch. Ainsea The Diplomat,
the Irish Wolfhound. A very majestic and proud dog with a commanding appearance
each part of the dog in unison with the other. Full of muscle and in superb
hard condition, his harsh coat and easy, true gait finishing the picture and
I was delighted to make him the winner. He gave his all and filled the ring
with his presence.
Finally, I would like to thank Pedigree Masterfoods, with special appreciation
to Mr Mike Davis, Managing Director, Mr Bill King, European Breeder Development
Manager and the Pedigree Breeder Team for the organisation of this very special
event, for their marvellous hospitality and for a wonderful weekend in every
respect and I speak not only for myself but on behalf of all of their guests.
Veteran Stakes judge Mrs Clare Coxall
receives her crystal memento from Kate Nicholson of Pedigree Masterfoods.
Junior Handling Final
I WAS delighted to be invited to judge the Juniors at this very special event
and I thank Pedigree and their team for their hospitality.
Before the competition I had asked if I could have 10 minutes with the Juniors
to try to relax them and assure them I was not there to catch anyone out,
emphasising that I would be asking for basic triangles and circuits of the
ring with no complex patterns. I also stressed that I would not appreciate
handlers hopping over their dogs just because I happened to glance at a left
foot! In the past some of our Junior handlers have become a little too theatrical,
as the object of the exercise is to find the handler who makes the judge notice
their dog, rather than themselves.
The overall standard was high and the lower placings were very closely contested.
The winner impressed me from the start. Charlene Kirk came in originally with
an English Springer and they were instantly as one. Clean and sensibly dressed,
Charlene did an excellent job of stacking and has that rare ability to create
an outline in seconds, the mark of a good handler. She paced her dog well
and whilst conscious of where I was and what I was doing she did not eyeball
me in any way.
On the changeover she came into her own with a German Shepherd. She looked
as settled with this dog as she was with her original charge and adapted her
handling technique in such a breed-specific way that I cold have easily believed
she had been in Shepherds all her life. Polished, but in no way fancy, she
has great hands with her dogs and used her spare time to talk to and encourage
the dogs she was handling. All in all I felt she was a comfortable winner,
and she could handle my dogs any day.
Putting up the strongest challenge was Stacey Rotchell who started off with
a well-schooled Beagle which she made look good both set up and when gaiting.
She really excelled in the second round with a Vizsla as, like Charlene, she
adapted her style of handling perfectly and got every ounce out of a breed
quite different from her original choice. Once again, she was clean, smart
and in no way flamboyant and I felt she was a worthy second prize winner.
Third was Nikki Rual, perfectly turned out for the occasion, her Briard was
not the most co-operative yet she tried to bring her round quietly and calmly
and at no time lost her cool. Gaiting at a perfect pace, she did very well
in the first round. Given a Sealyham in the changeover she wasnt quite
as in tune with the requirements of her second breed as Charlene and Stacey,
but she still did well enough to take this high placing.
Fourth was Thomas Barnett, who, like Nikki, had to coax his original charge,
a Great Dane, somewhat, but he did so quietly and without undue fuss. He could
have been a little sharper on the stack, both with this dog and the Schnauzer
he had in the changeover, but again here was a well dressed, sensible looking
Junior who has considerable ability.
Fifth was Kathleen Partner and she was one of the front-runners from the start
as she has wonderful hands and did a lovely job of setting up both her original
Bedlington and the Irish Setter who didnt really help her moving on
the changeover. Superbly turned out and with great empathy with her charges
she may have been higher had she been less keen to maintain eye contact with
me at all times, which can be a little intimidating.
Sixth was Rebecca Sarfraz who started off with a Lhasa Apso and then had a
Standard Poodle. Again, smart, unflustered and sympathetic, I felt she could
have sharpened her charges a little more on the stack, and she didnt
quite get the Poodles pace right, but she too has a natural rapport
and I am sure will go on to have many better days.
All the Juniors did a great job under pressure, and I must also mention Daisy
Jones who won the award for the best of the 6-11 age group, and the diminutive
Daniel Petrie who won the hearts of the crowd with his German Shepherd.
I wish them all the very best for the future.
Andrew H Brace
Mary Ray pictured with Working Sheepdog
Veteran Stakes Final
TO BE the judge of this unique event is one of the most prestigious and exacting
appointments in the canine world. Even before you step into the ring, you
are aware of the formidable amount of knowledge sitting around the ring, and
that you are about to judge some of the best veteran dogs in the country.
The ring itself is fantastic to work in, plenty of room to move the dogs and
the lighting is perfect. The walk, from seeing the last dog round the ring
and back to the table, was rather like walking a gauntlet, it seemed so long.
And then you forget everything around you, with the sheer pleasure of judging
some really wonderful dogs. There were 25 to judge, and I had to be pretty
strong minded to just leave 10, which were: the Japanese Shiba Inu, Mrs L
Dunhills Ch Vormund Im Smartie, eight and a half years and so
typical of the breed, with that special expression and in such good coat;
the Lhasa Apso, Mr K Woosnams Ch Saxonsprings Lineka, ten and a half,
presentation perfect, so positive on the move, just looked the part. I left
these two in right to the end, and then there were not enough placings left;
the Border Terrier, Mrs K M Irvings Ch Dandyhow Cleopatra, eight years,
in such hard condition, used herself perfectly, good coat and true expression;
the Irish Setter, Mr R Botts Sh Ch Autumnwood Prince of Tides, a pleasure
to go over, so well put together, could have been fractionally more positive
on final movement, so paid the price in hot company;
the Norfolk Terrier, Miss E Matells Ch Cracknor Call My Bluff, has that
typical jaunty attitude, in full coat, hard body and pleasing expression;
the Siberian Husky, Messrs Bingham, Holmes and Madruga and Ms Pezzis
Int/Sp/Port/Ir Ch Artic Blue Chancellor, nine years, in placing the five dogs
left, and they all deserved any one of the positions, it was hard; they all
could have won. He is a delight to go over, everything is right, superb body
and condition, placed fifth; the Afghan Hound, Mr Gadsby & Mrs Does
Ch Tejas Conquistador, nine and a half years, there is one thing you can say
about her, she has attitude and she used it, so feminine, on top form; placed
fourth; the Standard Poodle, Miss S J OHiggins Ch Vanitonia Queens
English, at 10 and a half, one of the oldest, and under her lovely coat is
a super construction and condition. She flew around the ring with true Poodle
movement, and that attitude was so great to see; third place, so fantastic
for her age; the Border Collie, Mr and Mrs J Ritchies Sh Ch Dykebar
Future Glory, at 10 and a half years again one of the oldest, in such superb
condition you felt she could work up the highest hills all day; covered the
ground going round the ring effortlessly, second place; the Schnauzer, Mrs
S Hattrell-Browns Ch Khinjan American Express, eight years old. Well,
what can I say about my winner, he was so hard all over, I think every muscle
had been primed, from front to back, and the look he can give you, I loved
his expression. You can say with ease, he was on top form. His movement was
such that he powered round the ring with such outstanding drive. They say
athletes work to reach their peak in training for the Olympics, well it was
his day. He had to go first.
I must say a big thank you to all the handlers, especially those left at the
end. They watched and anticipated everything I asked, so I was not distracted
from judging their dogs. Our handlers can match anyone in the world.
Last of all, the biggest thanks to Pedigree Masterfoods. I have been to every
one of their events over 22 years and to be given the chance of judging a
final at one of the top events in this country will remain one of the highlights
of my judging career.
Mr Bernard Hall ably assisted by his wife Rosemary gave
informative commentary on the proceedings.