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Ridgeback is Junior Warrant winner of the year

This year's Junior Warrant saw 57 dogs qualify for the semi-finals with the groups represented by 17 gundogs, 11 pastoral, 10 utilities, eight working, seven hounds, three terriers and two toys. The owners had travelled the length and breadth of England and Scotland for this event.

The judges for the semi-finals were Mr Michael Quinney and Mr Albert Wight. Neither of these gentlemen need any introduction since they are both well known and highly respected all-round judges.

The semi-finals were judged simultaneously, Mr Quinney in ring 1 and Mr Wight in ring 2, which must have kept even the very capable Bernard Hall on his toes when it came to giving the commentary.

Each judge had their complement of dogs do a parade and then they went over every specimen before making their shortlist. Michael Quinney made a shortlist of nine while Albert Wight took his dogs down to eight.

Each judge was able to send through five dogs and Mr Wight sent through the Afghan Allakari Kaska At Quaisuma JW; the Rhodesian Ridgeback Imbali Kipenzi JW; Tibetan Terrier Verony What Else JW; Whippet Loroli Fancy That For Derodan JW and the Akita Ruthdales Mr President at Hachibi JW. It was interesting that the selection had two bitches and three dogs because Michael Quinney also sent through two bitches and three dogs, they were: Afghan Afterglow After Dark At Warrenoak JW, Staffie Tikkurilan Wicked Witch JW,English Setter Wansleydale Storm Magic JW, Weimaraner Leyenna Riff-Raff JW, and Cocker Spaniel Annilan Mister Rust JW.

The judge for the final was Mrs Ferelith Somerfield, another of our well known international all-rounders, and she was presented with a lovely line-up of dogs to go over.

The PAL Scruffts competition raised over 8000 for the NCDL; pictured here with the cheque are Paul Groves,
UK Sales Director of Pedigree PAL, co-judge June Minns, Clarissa Baldwin of the NCDL, and co-judge Ricky Tomlinson.

She went over the six dogs and four bitches, put each one through their paces and took another look at each one before making a shortlist of four. They were the Afghan Allakari Kaska At Quaisuma JW belonging to Miss Borash, Miss Betteridge and Mr Hearne, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Imbali Kipenzi JW owned by Mr & Mrs Craig, Mr and Mrs Needham's Staffordshire Bull Terrier Tikkurilan Wicked Witch JW and Miss Ward and Mr Samria's Rhodesian Ridgeback Imbali Kipenzi JW.

Another look and Mrs Somerfield's mind was made up, the overall winner was the Rhodesian Rigeback and reserve to the Weimaraner.

Mr Peter James, Chairman of the Kennel Club presented the trophies to rapturous applause and it was clearly a popular choice.

Diana Rich

THIS WAS a lovely event and an interesting assignment which I was very happy to undertake. The noisy, participatory audience and the whole event is good for the dog and I thought it was excellent for pedigree and crossbred alike.

When the dogs paraded before me I was aware that I was only able to draw out five and the Weimaraner, Leyenna Riff-Raff, caught my eye immediately. He then went on to the reserve spot under Mrs Somerfield. I was taken by his excellent breed type, his construction and that showed positively with his movement. He had a lovely temperament and was in very good condition. I understand he works - well done.

Junior Warrant of the year winner, 2001 the Rhodesian Ridgeback Mr and Mrs Craigie's Ch Imbali Kipenzi,
pictured with judges Michael Quinney, Albert Wight and Ferelith Somerfield, and KC Chairman Peter James.

I liked the very feminine Afghan, Afterglow After Dark at Warrenoak, who didn't make the best of herself when I approached her, tending to tuck herself into her body giving an impression of lack of neck which is quite satisfactory with her good shoulder to go with it. A beautiful silky coat of red colour, I also particularly liked her lovely ringed tail and she looked impressive on the move.

The black Stafford, Tikkurilan Wicked Witch, still immature, but I thought she was full of quality and breed type and she moved positively fore and aft, superb muscle and immaculate condition.

The orange roan Cocker, Annilan Mister Rust, I liked very much indeed. For his colour I thought he had very good type, a lovely expression and he moved showing what a merry Cocker he was.

The orange belton English Setter, Wansleydale Storm Magic, I liked immensely. She was beautifully presented and a joy to do over. Her lovely temperament and melting expression made her very typical.

Michael Quinney

I WAS pleased to be invited to judge one of the semi-finals of this competition and was delighted to learn that my co-judge was the redoubtable Michael Quinney with the final being carried out by the delightful and so knowledgeable Ferelith Somerfield.

The venue is ideal: the gate seemed enormous so a goodly crowd spectated.

I have to confess to being a tad disappointed with some of the exhibits. I had expected that the quality would be extremely high. Regrettably I found it not to be. One or two which appealed had to be discounted on performance alone where the occasion seemed to get to them and they failed to present the confidence and temperament typical of their breed.

The five I sent to the final were the Afghan Allakari Kaska at Qualsuma, almost black bitch, very typy. Lovely neck and shape, but narrow in front, excellent hind angulation and profile action, well coated. The Rhodesian Ridgeback Imball Kipenzi, stunning example of the breed and for me an easy winner. He is a classy dog, beautifully headed and bodied, wonderful condition and muscle tone, seldom puts a foot wrong in stance and in circling the ring is quite dominant with his free flowing action. Mr Quinney & I were equally delighted when Mrs Somerfield made him the overall winner. The Tibetan Terrier Verony What Else handled beautifully on the table, stacks so well, lovely size and square outline. Spooked in the big ring - a great pity. The Whippet Lorroll Fancy That for Derohan. Not particularly attractive in colour but ultra sound and a real daisy cutter on the move. A hint more arch over the loin would complete the picture. Stunning condition and the tightest of feet. The Akita Ruthdales Mr President at Hachibi, most attractive, all male head, neat ears, so well boned with a well-set tail, excellent presentation and moving really well.

The others which I considered but which just failed to get through were fabulously conditioned and presented Cocker Spaniel Othamcourt Sunkist at Cascadia, the b/w Pointer Medogold Midnight Romeo & OES Mellowdee Must be Magic at Kalaju.

Albert Wight

The Final

IT WAS just my luck to have to, once again, follow the talented Mary Ray into the ring. Along with the rest of the huge audience, I had watched spellbound while she demonstrated how she used the clicker method in training her dogs.

On this occasion she was using the most delightful Shetland Sheepdog, and I am sure she would have no idea how much her choice of breed would please mainly Albert Wight of course as he has done great things in the show-ring with Shelties, but also myself who has a special place in the breed.

It was a great display and my heart sank as I realised how boring ordinary dog judging is to the general public - indeed I believe it would be boring to most people after watching Mary Ray.

Still, there was nothing I could do about it, but enjoy myself in my own way, and this I did with some interesting dogs sent forward by Albert and Michael Quinney for me to judge. Some had already won top awards, and others are obviously on the verge of doing so.

After examining and moving them all individually I took one final look at them as a whole and at this stage two of them failed to make the most of themselves. So the four finalists were: the Afghan, Allakari Kaska at Quaisuma; the Ridgeback, Ch Imbali Kipenzi; the Stafford, Tikkurilan Wicked Witch; and the Weimaraner, Leyenna Riff-Raff.

One more round of the ring and it was the Ridgeback, who looked superb throughout and who dominated the ring, who took first place, with the Weimaraner, again moving with such drive and purpose, who came second. These are very good dogs and I am pleased that so many people stayed to watch and also see KC chairman Peter James present the prizes.

Going back to trying to increase spectator interest in the judging of dogs, I wonder whether the Junior Warrant Winner of the Year Competition might not be the place to try out some kind of explanation by the judge of what, in this case she, was looking for. I do not mean in a critical sense, but rather why she was putting her hands on certain areas of the dog, what she was looking for in examining the head, and also what she hoped to see when the dog was moving.

I think it would be worth trying at a place like Discover Dogs where the audience is almost entirely pet-oriented and also there are only eight dogs to judge.

Ferelith Somerfield

Judge Ricky Tomlinson picks three-legged Kati as the Pal Scruffts Family Dog of the Year 2001!

Katiryllis (Kati) from Eastbourne East Sussex (owner Mrs Daphne Greenall) has won the Pal Scruffts Family Dog of the Year competition at Discover Dogs.

The final that was co-judged by TV star Ricky Tomlinson, saw all of the regional winners fight it out for this prestigious accolade of the year. The competition is in association with The Kennel Club and has raised over 8,000 for the National Canine Defence League.

The heats for Pal Scruffts have taken place right throughout the year and all of the winners competed at the grand final at Earl's Court. There were four qualifying classes at the final: Handsomest Cross-breed Dog, Prettiest Cross-breed Bitch, Best Cross-breed Rescue and The Cross-breed The Judge Would Most Like To Take Home

Kati, who won her heat of prettiest bitch went on to win the Family Dog of the Year prize.

Like many of the other dogs in the final, Katie has an incredible history. Not only was Kati abandoned at a young age but she did the impossible and survived horrendous injuries after being thrown under a juggernaught. She now only has three legs as a result of the accident. Says owner Mrs Daphne Greenall: "Kati has been to hell and back but can still smile with the best of them. She's a very brave dog indeed."

Says Ricky Tomlinson: "It is great to see so many family dogs recognised by this event and so much money raised for such a worthy cause. I fell in love with Kati as soon as she came into the ring - a real dog with a very heart warming story."

The winners were:-

1st Monty owned by Mrs Julia Millard of Stradishamm, Suffolk
2nd Sandy owned by Mrs Joan Sambrook of Shrewsbury, Shropshire
3rd Murphy owned by Mr and Ms Steve and Lisa Newnes and Nash of Brockworth, Gloucester

1st (and Family Dog of the Year Winner) Kati owned by Mrs Daphne Greenall of Eatbourne, East Sussex
2nd Wilow owned by Mrs Ann Raymond of Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk
3rd Tess owned by Mrs Christine Bailey of Telford, Shropshire

1st Luke owned by Dr S Ife of St Austell, Cornwall
2nd Joey owned by Mrs Asher Gregory of Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk
3rd Rosia owned by Ms Frances Trewinnard of Herne Bay, Kent

1st Ben owned by Miss Wendy Wass of Brandon, Suffolk
2nd Troubadour owned by Mr John Dillon of Barnoldswick, Lancashire
3rd Buster Bear owned by Mr Mark Brunsdon of Roehampton, London