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(Updated 8/7/01)

Spotlight on Hayley and Saphie!

Photo by Adam Ashby

Loud applause rang out from around the Dalmatian ring at Blackpool Championship show when Hayley Pigden, just 11 years of age, won the bitch ticket followed by best of breed with Phadante Norwegian Wood (Saphie) a 21 month old Dalmatian bitch owned by Marion Gibbs.

Hayley’s chance to handle came when Marion (who normally handles Saphie) had to stand down due to a recent back problem. When Marion saw two rings open up into one she realised she could not do the dog justice on the day and called in Hayley who has handled Saphie before, but only in Junior handling and open shows.

How wonderful for a judge with the reputation that Ann Arch has achieved over many years, to take seriously the handling of a minor when up against so many other experienced and acclaimed entries.

Hayley found it difficult to hold back the excitement of winning Graduate and Post Graduate before going into the challenge, but as usual she was cool, calm and collected when Ann Arch awarded her exhibit best of breed!