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Updated 19/01/2001

Border Counties top dog Competition

Club Chairman Peter Howard making the presentation to former Border Counties Gundog Club Secretary Maureen Pearson.

KEEN COMPETITION in a friendly atmosphere was the order of the day at the annual Top Dog competition run by Border Counties Gundog Club.

A total of 31 dogs were entered for the contest at the White Heather Hotel in Kirkbride near Carlisle. All had won either BOB or BP in breed at the club’s two open shows earlier this year.

The four-round knock-out match was judged by three of the country’s top Gundog specialists - Cynthia Griffiths of Gordon Setter fame, Barbara Hargreaves who specialises in Large Munsterlanders and American Cocker enthusiast and all-rounder, Frank Kane.

And for supporters and exhibitors alike, the event was a thoroughly enjoyable day, with super dogs, lots of prizes, good company and a splendid Sunday lunch for everyone.

Before the final line up was decided, former Border Counties Gundog Club Secretary, Maureen Pearson, was in the spotlight as she was presented with a painting of two Sussex Spaniels by a local artist, by the Club’s Chairman, Peter Howard in appreciation of all her hard work for the club.


Maureen, who had been secretary for 16 years, is still an active committee member of the club and her advice and help is particularly appreciated by the new secretary, Julia Lynn.


The title Top Dog went to Ruth and Doug Martin’s young homebred black and white dog, Sh. Ch. Sunhouse Pure Genius. Aged only 17 months, he had recently gained his title at the Setter and Pointer Club Championship show after an impressive series of successes over the past few months.


For Ruth and Doug, who live at Rowlands Gill near Newcastle, the Top Dog win completed a fantastic weekend. Their homebred English Setter dog, Sunhouse I’m No Fool, had won best in show the day before at Gundog Breeds of Scotland Championship show. He also won his way through to the last eight at the Top Dog competition.


Runner up to the Top Dog was Tom Graham and Mrs D Bailey’s Sussex Spaniel dog, Sh. Ch. Daelyb Just Jiving. Bred by Mrs Bailey, this local dog was repeating his success from two years earlier when he was also runner up in the competition. Tom’s breed record holding Welsh Springer Spaniel, Sh. Ch. Russethill Royal Salute over Nyliram, was Top Dog in 1997 and 1998.


The Top Dog for 1999 was Mrs Barbara Ganarin’s homebred English Springer Spaniel dog, Sh. Ch. Berkenbar Duo and this year, he made the journey across the Border from Kirknewton again to win third place in the contest.
The award for fourth place went to Glenntree Admiration, a Junior Warrant holding Cocker Spaniel bitch bred by owner Mrs J Glennerster from Blackpool. She was particularly pleased as she won the first Top Dog competition in 1996 with Admiration’s mother, Glenntree Fascination.


The winner and runner up took home magnificent crystal donated by Pedigree Masterfoods with cash prizes donated by local hauliers R J Murray and Sons. Each exhibitor received a rosette courtesy of W C F Country Centres and medals donated by the Club as well as goody bags. And everyone had a chance to win prizes from the mega-raffle.


Other sponsors of the event included Blendbetter Dog Foods, Carlisle Cathedral Enterprises and Simpsons as well as Eukanuba, Denes, Gilpa, Pascoes, Vitalin, Purina ProPlan, Seven Seas, Sherleys, Smart Toff’s Bedding and TDP.


After the difficult decisions were taken and the final line-up chosen, the judges were full of praise for the quality of exhibits, the friendly atmosphere and the excellent lunch!


Frank Kane said: “I think it was a very relaxed event with quality dogs and excellent catering. It was a social affair but the competition among the dogs in the last round in particular was very close.”


For Cynthia Griffiths, the day had been full of difficult choices with dogs that were all of good quality. “It was a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere for handlers and dogs,” she said.


Barbara Hargreaves also enjoyed the day and was relieved there wasn’t too much bending down to dogs to do after the lovely lunch! She added; “It’s been a very well organised event and the committee has worked hard. It’s nice to see a Club that works hard to give something back to the exhibits”.


And entries are already coming in for the Club’s Open show on January 28 at The Sands Centre in Carlisle from exhibitors keen to win BOB or BPIB and qualify for a chance to win the Top Dog of 2001 competition.

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