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North of England Dalmatian Club
Dalmatian of the Year and Dalmatian Puppy of the Year

Held at the
Moat House Hotel,Sheffield
Saturday, 19 January 2002

CH TOMMY BROCK, who won the first North of England Dalmatian Club ‘Dalmatian Puppy of the Year’ contest in 1995, claimed the title of ‘Dalmatian of the Year 2001’ on January 19, at the Moat House Hotel, Sheffield.

Owned by Christine Gatford and shown by her husband Don, he is currently the breed record holder with 41 CCs and is now a veteran at seven years old. Unbelievably, he was their first Dalmatian and first show dog!

Three of his progeny also qualified for the competitions, including the multi-BIS-winning Ch Buffrey Arrabelle at Daedalus, who was not competing.

Dalmatian Puppy of the Year 2001 was Karen Goff-Leggett’s Teddy Blue of Washakie, who qualified at BUBA in December at just six months old. Karen is no stranger to top honours and indeed bred and owned the first North of England Dalmatian of the Year winner, Ch Washakie Indian Summer; she also did the double in ’96 when Summer regained the title and her Ch/Am Ch Washakie Dancing Brave won BD.

Dalmatian Puppy of the Year 2001 was Karen Goff-Leggett’s Teddy Blue of Washakie,
who qualified at BUBA in December at just six months old. He is shown here with
judges Susan Gatherall-Graham, Terry Nethercott and Betty Neath.

Best opposite sex Dalmatian of the Year 2001 was the late Malcolm and Christine Johnson’s Tynevale Triple Trouble, winner of two CCs as well as BIS at the Dalmatian Club of Scotland open show. Talking to Christine after the competition, she told me that ‘Trip’ was really Malcolm’s dog, so this must be a very special win for them.

The two competitions are conducted on a match basis, with the three judges (usually one all-rounder and two specialists) being announced on the day, after the draw for the first round has taken place. Event Manager Maggie Mulholland and her team had their work cut out trying to replace the all-rounder, Michael Quinney, at the last minute when he was taken ill the day before and admitted to hospital (I believe he is now out of hospital and, hopefully, feeling much better).

Best opposite sex was awarded to Christine and the late Malcolm Johnson’s
Tynevale Triple Trouble, pictured here with judges Susan Gatherall-Graham,
Terry Nethercott and Betty Neath.

After spending hours on the phone trying to locate someone who could not only ‘fit the bill’ but who was available at such short notice, they tracked down Terry Nethercott on the morning of the event, who just had time to get some things together and drive up to Sheffield for the 1.30pm start. A popular figure in and around our rings, he was also judging the Pyrenean of the Year competition the next day, so a busy weekend for him!

The two specialist judges were Susan Gatherall-Graham and Betty Neath.

This year there were 22 puppy qualifiers, 14 adult dogs and 13 adult bitches (two of whom did not compete). In order to qualify puppies must have won BP at a Ch show at which CCs were on offer or BPIS at a club open show; adults qualify by winning one or more CC during the year.

The puppies are judged in a mixed-sex match but they are ‘seeded’ according to age so that, as far as possible, the youngest puppies do not compete against the oldest puppies in the first round (what a good idea). The adult dogs and bitches are judged separately, so the final round consists of the winning dog and bitch.

All the competitors were not only introduced to the ringside before the competition (without the judges being present), they were all called back into the ring afterwards to receive their certificate and medal from club president Joe Neath, a nice touch which must have made their day really special.

Rose Lamb pictured with husband Peter. Rose is the organiser for the club handbook,
and Peter enjoys himself at dog shows! (He also videoed the judging during the day.)

One competitor in the adult dog competition arrived late, after the draw, but due to the generosity of the other competitors was able to participate in a threesome in round one – nice to know there are still plenty of kind, understanding people out there!

The venue was ideal for such an event, with the light, airy, carpeted room large enough to accommodate a huge ring plus two rows of seating for spectators down both sides and a few around the entrance to the ‘collecting room’. Several well known figures from outside the breed were among the crowded ringside, including Stuart Mallard and Rod Oldham, Doug and Jackie Kitchener and Carol Harwood and daughter Melanie.

Due to the size of the ring, both dogs in each pairing were able to be judged simultaneously, which kept everyone’s interest throughout the afternoon; and the results of each round were not only announced by compere and club chairman Dr John Stevenson but also projected onto the wall so that even those on the opposite side of the room could keep their programmes up-to-date – a simple yet excellent idea.

50th Birthday boy at the event was Peter Winkup who was surprised by partner Donna with a ‘Dally’ cake. Peter is pictured with well wishers on the night.

Experienced ring stewards Ann Bliss, Stef Kazana and Alan Smirthwaite kept everything running smoothly, while Alan Cuthbertson kept an eye on things in the collecting area.

To round off another successful event, about 130 exhibitors, spectators and officials stayed on for the dinner, entertainment and live music, which I hear was ‘fabulous’ with everyone having a good time – some of them only getting to their beds in the wee small hours!

The after-dinner speaker was OUR DOGS Managing Director, Vince Hogan, who not only entertained everyone but with the assistance of Mike Manley, helped to raise over £100 for breed rescue!

President Joe Neath, surrounded by a bevy of beauties including his wife Betty (left)
who judged on the day, Secretary Maggie Cuthbertson and event organiser
Maggie Mullholland.(right).