updated 28/9/01
It's good to be back at Dundalk

TWELVE MONTHS ago, if anyone at Dundalk & District Canine Club's 53rd All Breed Championship show had suggested that this club's event in 2001 would be the first Championship event of the year held under IKC rules, they would probably have been rushed straight to the Central Mental Hostipal in Dublin writes Paul Scanlon

Little could we have imagined the consequences of the scurge of foot and mouth disease to the agricultal sector and livestock population in the UK and thankfully we in Ireland were spared the widespread culling witnessed across the water. Ironically the one area in the Republic of Ireland which was hit the hardest due to one case of foot and mouth disease was the Cooley Perinsula in Co.Louth not far from Dundalk. After seven months of non activity on the Ch. show scene, it seemed somewhat fitting that the Dundalk Club should lead the way in bringing the canine calendar back to some level of normality. With most of the major Ch. events of the year lost to the enforced cancellation in the national intereset it was a major talking point amongst exhibitors and fanciers that our rank and file could be weakened somewhat as many would discover that there is life outside dog shows. Indeed it has to be said that a fall away in exhibitors numbers must still be a worry for societies and the I.K.C.


However if the number of entries at Dundalk is anything to go by then the future may not be as bleak as first feared. The entry of 1,282 was up on last year and it must be remembered that this number was devoid of any cross water UK exhibits who were not permitted to exhibit at the show. Irish exhibitors seemed on this occasion to give the Dundalk club full respect for being the leaders of the pack in seeking to ensure that their event took place, and Harry O'Donaghue and his committee were rewarded with a keen mark of approval from the exhibitors.

Photos by Paul Scanlon Having examined all the group winners, Kay Creamer chose
the Pastoral Group winner Joyce & Des Manton's OES, Allmark Goes Ballistic With Scallywag
with the Westie Ann Taggort's Ch. Cooley Broken Promise, handled by Sinead, the Reserve.

Interestingly, after talking to some of the breed judges, they seemed to feel that the absentee rate was higher than normal but I would suspect that this in itself wouldn't have been a surprise to any of us who had begun to revel in regular Saturday morning lie-ons. Exhibitors had found different ways of filling their weekends and for some the motivaton just wasn't there to click back in to the showing mode.

On arrival at the show, it didn't seem in any way different from previous years' events, although I did feel that there was a larger then usual presence of the Civil Defence volunteers helping to keep the car parking organised. Whether this was just coincidence or not, I'm not sure. Walking from the outer car park onto the showground proper it immediately struck me what we had been missing for the previous seven months. Faces we hadn't seen for such a long time all seemed happy to be back on the show trail. It took quite a while to get to where we were going as it seemed so important to stop and say hello to those you met going across the showground. It struck me then, that as others had said to me while the shows were off, it's the people we missed as much as the shows themselves.

Photos by Paul Scanlon Adrain Collins was back on home soil to judge some Hound breeds.
He's pictured here with his Afghan BOB Appleby, Minchin and Edwards' Ch Valkor Xotic which went on to group 3.

As always with Dundalk the showground was well laid out on the green carpet-like grass of Cluskey Park at Dromiskin, the home of the local St Joseph's Gaelic Football Club. Each ring covering the judges table and area, Dundalk being one of the first Ch. shows to use them, and a good sized ring for breed judging is the norm here. I always feel that Harry O'Donoghue brings back invaluable experience and ideas from his travels officiating throughout the world and tries to put them into practice at Dundalk show, forever looking to improve the event and its running.

Dermot Drum was manning the Secretary's office which has the ideal view, upstairs in the club house overlooking the showground. The same view of the showground is also available in the bar next door which did an extremely brisk trade throughout the day with a lot of exhibitors catching up on the going on.

Photos by Paul Scanlon - Amanda Payne handled her and husband Jim's Boxer bitch Berwtnfa Honey to the B at Willow to top the Working group under Mrs C Barton from the USA. Barri and Maud Orr's Rottweiler Cicero Frankie was group 2.

The weather, thankfully wasn't too severe for the dogs, as in previous days if the show had been scheduled it would've been uncomfortable for most.

Kay Creamer, the very well known Gundog specialist and owner of the Cretoka Cockers was the Best in Show judge and she also ran the rule over the stakes classes and the junior handlers. Mrs Creamer kicked of the day's judging with the Junior Handling Association classes where her winners were James Hammond (10-12 yrs), Hayley Knowles (13-14 yrs) and Samantha Knowles (15-17 yrs).

Photos by Paul Scanlon - Denis Dowdall's Utility group winner was Lousie Garton's Dalmatian
Kasara Truly Scrumptious with Sarah Simpson's Lhasa Apso Ch Tasarnia Midas Touch, group 2.

In the Puppy Stakes, from a very respectable entry of 43 dogs, Kay chose another star in the making for Fances Toman, Ardenlee Desert Fox at Manto, the Pembroke Corgi who will have hard act to follow in his kennelmate Ch. Manto Leading Edge. In bitches, Ger and Larua Cox from Limerick will be at the Shelbourne Hotel again as their Bull Terrier Coxgal Pale Shasow took the top spot from 43 entries.

The group started to get under way around half past two and Ger Morris from Wales had an impressive group with some of the top winning terriers around at the moment to choose from, hitting the high spots again was Ann Taggarts Westie Ch. Cooley Broken Promise, the Pup of the Year 1999 winner, handled on this occasion by Sinead Taggart. She has four Res CC's to her credit and was Res BIS at Munster Canine last year. In Group 2 spot was Colin and Jane Pratts Border Terrier Ch & GB. Ch Conundrum Vagabond with Terrijay who I believe has moved to Ireland with his owners.

Photos by Paul Scanlon - Ben Allen gave the Toy group to Sandra Rainey's Maltese Angel Vision
for Khanthan with Robert and Heather Lamont's CKCS Moorfield's Le Tombeau in reserve.

Marie Hogarty's Cairn Ch. Cadagio Talk Of The Town was pulled in third while the Staff Bull Terrier Miller's Mourne Cyclone was Group 4.

With Mr & Mrs Krohane from the US being unable to fulfil their appointment and giving short notice to the show promoters, Joe and Nan Kirk stepped in to take up the relevent breeds while Amy Nugart from Northern Ireland took on the Pastoral Group judging.

Mrs Nugents choice for Group 1 was Des and Joyce Manton's OES, Allmarks Goes Ballistic With Scallywag who went Res BIS at last year's Cloghran Ch. Show under Mary Searson. 'Bomber' had also picked up some groups placings throughout last year and is a son of the big winning Int Ch Allmark Ralph Lauren. He is another who was a Pup of the Year qualifier in 1999. Group 2 was the Puppy Dog Stakes winner Frances Toman's Ardenlee Desert Fox At Manto.

Group 3 was another new resident exhibitor in John and Valerie Geddes Rough Collie GB, Ch, Ingledene Penny Lover while the Bearded Collie, Fowler's Carlindale Star Struck was Group 4.

Ben Allen was centre stage in the Toy Group and it was a large group for him to chose from Ben's choice for top spot was Sandra Rainey's American import Maltese Angels Vision For Khanthan.

Robert Lamont handled his and wife Heather's CKCS, Moorfields Le Tombeau to Group 2 with Marion Sloan's Papillon Sunshoo Ima Starlet, a daughter of the Crufts BOB winning Phalene Ch & GB. Ch Sunshoo Ima Movie Premiere, taking Group 3. Sean Carroll and James Newman's latest Pomeranian star Belliver Sunstorm took fourth spot. He had recently taken the Res. CC at Blackpool under Les Humpries and was also handled on that occasion by James.

Over in the Gundog Group ring Ann Ingram of the famous Tirkane Kennels was putting the BOBs through their paces and in the end it was a win for the GSP, Colm McLaughlin's Sh. Ch. Inishglora Ghillie, who I remember winning the Puppy Stakes at Bray Ch Show a couple of Years ago under Tom Creamer. Chris Laverty handled his Cocker Spaniel Laveris Belle Of The Ball to Group 2 and Cathy Loughlins Erinade Jackpot, the Irish Setter in third. In group 4, Emer Mooney handled her Irish Water Spaniel Maestro Of Currabell.

Photos by Paul Scanlon - Gundog group winner at Dundalk under Ann Ingram was Colm McLauchlin's
GSP Sh Ch Inishglora Ghillie, with Chris Laverty's Cocker Laveris Belle of the Ball in second.

Top spot

The Utility Group saw Denis Dowdall making Louise Garton's day by awarding her Dalmatian Kasara Truly Scrumptious the top spot. A daughter of the Casey family's group winning girl Ch. Clonmaggaden Princess, she had only recently taken the Res CC at the North of England Dalmatian Club and was Res BIS at the Airedale Limited show at Cloghron in January.

In group 2, it was Sarah Simpson's Lhasa Apso Ch Tasarnia Midas Touch who had been sent through to the group by June Wall. He had previously taken the group and Res. BIS under Frances Hickey at Hibernian Ch Show last year.

In group 3 it was Frank Barry's Miniature Schnauzer Barzer Celtic Storm, handled by myself. He had earlier beaten his litter sister Barzer Magic Moment for BOB. Their sire CH & GB Ch Clarkmars Freddie Starr was group 2 at Crufts.

Group 4 was another exhibitor travelling from Co. Clare, Michael Clancy's Tibetan Spaniel Ch Milbethan Toddie.

Margaret Martin judged the Hound Group and making his title on the day as well as Group 1 was Mr & Mrs Messenger's Irish Wolfhound Uella Adventurer.

Jackie Clyde piloted her Basset Dereheath Keegan At Gettistown into second spot having come through breed competition under specialist Denis Dowdall.

Lyn Appleby, John 'The Monk' Minchin and Jayne Edwards Afghan Ch Valkor Xotic, handled by Lyn was sent through by Adrian Collins, back adjudicating on home-soil. This bitch has previously taken a group in Cork and today it was a group 3 award. In fouth it was Gerry McFaul's Dachshund Ch & GB Ch Glasvey Lilac.

Mr C Barton from the US judged the working group and here it was a very popular win for Ber Jim & Amanda Payne's Boxer bitch Berwynfa Honey To The Bat Willow. Handled here by Amanda, it must have been very pleasing for this popular couple to follow on from their great win at Crufts where another of their charges Ch. Cutadash At Berwynfa took the bitch CC. Jim was missing today away with another of his hobbies, raising money for charity.

In group 2 spot it was Barri and Maud Orr's Rottweiler Cicero Frankie who's sire is the big winning Ch & GB Ch Rottessors Dollarmite At Tikaram also owned by the Orr's.

Sinead Taggart took another group placement when her Dobermann Supeta's Positively Perfect For Cooley was Mrs Barton's group at Drogheda last September. The Murrays Siberian Husky Ch. Cadohis Irish Mist was group 4.

It was good to see Cecil Williamson at the show as I believe he hadn't been too well of late but he was looking back to himself and in good form. Great also to see Brian Carroll there with his wife Maureen normally to be seen with Keeshonds and Samoyeds in tow.

Brian was looking well after a recent health scare and I'm sure everyone would join with me in wishing him the best of health.

Eamonn Murray, who we would be more accustomed to seeing with his Beagle's and PBGV's had his latest acquistion out on its first excursion. The standard Schnauzer Novahawk American Beauty was best A.V. Utility N/C for him.

So then the scene was set for the first Championship Show Best in Show winner to be chosen by Mrs Kay Creamer. Having examined all the group wiinners, Kay chose the Pastoral Group winner Joyce & Des Manton OES, Allmark Goes Ballistic With Scallywag with the Westie Ann Taggorts Ch. Cooley Broken Promise, handled by Sinead, the Reserve. In 1994 Joyce & Des had another big win at Dundalk, when their last O.E.S the late Dazzle took the top spot.

Photos by Paul Scanlon - Sindead Taggart handled her mother Ann's Westie, Ch Cooley Broken Promise to win the Terrier group under Ger Morris, with Pratt's Border Terrier Ir Ch/Ch Conundrum Vagabond with Terrijay in group 2 spot.

The remainder of the year in the showring will be very interesting to see just how much our hobby has been effected by foot and mouth. Already talk is of how much the year's events and competitions such as Top Dogs and Pup of The Year can be worked out. While it seems PotY will take a dog and bitch qualifier from each all breed Ch Show for the remainder of the year and the aim is to run the event as normal in early 2002, most of the other titles, such as Dog of the Year and Top of competitions will be viewed as being of less importance and less prestigious to those in the sport, due to the year that is in it. Hopefully the courage shown by the Dundalk committee will help others who might seek to re-schedule their shows before the end of the year. Whether they do or not, we all must take our hats off to Dundalk's organisers firstly for showing leadership by running their event and secondly for giving us a really good event to kick off the year's proceedings again. We all played our part in keeping foot and mouth out of Ireland, now let's play our part in getting our sport back to normality before it gets too late. And lets hope the playing field might become a little more level and our UK friends and exhibitors be permitted to support our events as soon as possible.



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