Toy Super Challenge
is voted a big hit! writes Ron Stewart
in Super Challenge was the Pug, Carol and Stella Kirks
Ch Hattella Fresh Parsley JW, pictured with the judges
FLAILING before dramatically beckoning, arms extended, his chosen
winners for Best Brace... Penny and Ian MacDonald (of Pug fame).
That concluded the judging of the more social of activities
late in the evening, of the Three Toy Breed Super Challenge.
Immediately prior to that, the other awards had been given to
Diane Fry (Amantra) for Best Groomed; Jenny Brown (Sensayuma)
for Best Presentation and Alison Mount (Pollymops) for Best
Mover. All winners received outlandishly ostentatious plate
sized rosettes proclaiming their achievements.
The whole event covered an afternoon Super Challenge involving
King Charles Spaniels, Pugs and Affenpinschers. Hosted by the
King Charles Spaniel Club, it had been conceived by Ron Stewart
(Marchog) and organised by him, along with Rita Lloyd (Cwmhaf)
and Jackie Portingale (Jacrianna). A year in the arranging,
it was not without its challenges, including an hotel which
would accommodate so many dogs. In that regard, and many others,
the Hanover International Hotel, Bromsgrove, came up trumps.
The identity of the judges was intended to be a secret until
they were introduced on the night, although some slips occurred.
Originally two were appointed from the USA, but both fell ill
during the weeks immediately preceding the Challenge.
The first withdrawal with four weeks notice presented
no problem; Howard Ogden, who had already been promoted from
visiting personality with responsibility for doing the draw,
to commentator (when Andrew Brace fell victim to the rearrangement
of a prior engagement in South Africa) was further promoted
The second call off, only two weeks prior, was more disconcerting
but, fortunately, Tom Mather (Barklots) stepped into the breach.
So only one of the original invitations made it on the day was
Bill Browne-Cole (Travella).
Qualifications to participate were that between Richmond Championship
Shows 2001 and 2002 a dog had to win a CC or a RCC, or a Best
Puppy, or three firsts in qualifying classes.
In the end 57 of the 64 places were taken, but three call offs
on the Friday evening reduced the entry (and caused a midnight
shuffle of the dinner seating plan).
The draw for the Challenge was made prior to the judging. Antony
Bongiovanni, representing sponsors Royal Canin, drew the numbers
for the Special Puppy contenders (up to 18 months old on the
day); the remainder, and greater part of, the draw being made
by breed columnists John Fothergill (KCS), Alison Mount (Pug),
Toni Teasdale (Affenpinscher, DW), Ann Collins (Pug, OUR DOGS)
and Vanessa Cox (Affenpinscher, OUR DOGS). The final numbers
were drawn by Shealagh Waters and Wendy Boorer, Chairmen respectively
of the King Charles Spaniel and Affenpinscher Clubs. Involvement
was the byeword of the day!
The judging system called for each pair of dogs to be seen by
one judge; the judges rotating for each pair coming into the
ring. Only for the finals did all three judges appear in the
ring together to pass judgement.
Their conclusions were that Best in Super Challenge was the
Pug, Ch Hattella Fresh Parsley JW of Carol and Stella Kirk;
Reserve was Affenpinscher Ch Zipaty Dreamed A Dream for Orlock
JW of Mhairi Brown and Andrew Oliver. Best Special Puppy was
the King Charles Spaniel Amantra Character belonging to Diane
Fry and Tracy Jackson. Honours all round!
Tom Mather had to depart after the judging to another engagement
so could not join the company as it re-assembled for dinner
after a wash and change into evening finery. The hotel provided
an excellent meal with the dessert a particular triumph!
After dinner entertainment was provided by a local disco for
dancing, but also two solo spots from baritone Anthony Stuart
Lloyd (son of Rita) who held the audience enthralled with his
singing (and who is available professionally!) Howard Ogden
provided the commentary for a Parade of Champions of all three
breeds, to the enjoyment of all (and the embarrassment of more
than a few!), and finally, after the super swift execution of
the obligatory raffle, came the novelty judging
Overall the consensus was the whole event had been better than
merely a success; those who were there want it again. The most
heartening aspect was that the aim of having a prestigious dog
show together with a social activity across breeds can
The organisers would like to thank all those who participated
on the day, throwing themselves into the spirit of the occasion
(with special mention of the Pug contingent), sponsors Royal
Canin, and Patsi Ann who contributed support too.