Northern Ireland Show Dog of the Year
Big wins for little dogs
Just as Dr Doolittle could captivate animals by speaking their language, so little Barleyfield Doo-little captivated the two main judges in the NI Pup of the Year finals. Proud owner Mrs Rosie Danter could hardly believe her ears when number 14 was declared to be Northern Ireland Puppy for 2001.
Young Annie, who is a Mini Smooth Dachshund, is no stranger to the top awards as in addition to winning BPIS at several shows, she has also won numerous groups and Best in Shows in Northern Ireland as well as winning the Puppy Bitch Stakes at Belfast Championship Show, 2000.
Annie has started to collect Green Stars towards her Irish title and she already has a Hound group placing at an Irish Championship Show. Rosie was truly lost for words when posing Annie and Pippa for the photographs at the end of the night. Who is Pippa, you may ask? Well, earlier in the evening Rosemary had handled another of her Mini Smooths, Ir Ch Marchmont Fan C Free, to the reserve spot in the NI Veteran of the Year competition.
So successful have the Queen's Island Canine Club's competitions for top Showdog, Puppy and Veteran become, that the committee took the decision this year to run the Puppy and Veteran Finals on Friday evening while the NI Show dog finals took place on Saturday. This may have led to a busy weekend for those exhibitors who had qualified for two or more of the competitions.
It was, however, an even busier weekend for the committee who were ably led by Secretary, Mrs Deidre Robinson. Members of the committee worked hard over the two days; setting up and taking down rings etc. takes time and effort, while most were also involved in the smooth running of the competitions either through assisting the judges in the ring or by organising the smooth flow of the exhibitors into the ring.
OUR DOGS were pleased to be invited once again to be the main sponsor of these premier Northern Ireland canine events. All the principal winners carried off beautiful pieces of engraved crystal sponsored by OUR DOGS as well as silverware courtesy of Pedigree Chum. All qualifiers received a commemorative rosette as well as an OUR DOGS diary so there will be no excuses now for missing closing dates as both English and Irish shows are listed.
All three competitions were held in the Highways Hotel in Larne. This is a great venue for canine events as it is easily found, there is ample car-parking and the large ring has a bar down one side! The hotel management go out of their way to be accommodating and appear to take a genuine interest in the actual events themselves (I saw several staff members standing at the ringside to watch the 'wee doggies). But - best of all - the food's great, especially the sizzling grill which comes highly recommended by some of the more portly dog fraternity!.
In a repeat of the format used last year, two judges separately judged each exhibit and awarded points up to a maximum of fifty. The judges this year were Mrs Angela Corish and Mr Mick Drennan. The sets of points awarded by the two judges are then totalled by the two scrutineers, Frances and Raymond Beattie. When ties for points occurred, the third judge, Mrs Maureen Gregg was called upon as referee.
The title of Reserve NI Puppy for 2001 was won by Milo, Norman and Heather Large's Irish Water Spaniel, Fynder True Reflection Of Coleenville. Bred by Emer Mooney, young Milo was Best Puppy in Show at the Irish Breed Championship Show in September. He has also won a grown up Gundog Group and reserve best in show at the Sligo All Breeds Championship Show. Norman handled Milo in the Pup of the Year competition; I thought, at the start, Norman's glow was a flush of success but then Heather spilled the beans: Norman, expecting inclement weather, was wearing a thermal vest! Although the Dachie had been an outright winner, the referee, Mrs Maureen Gregg, had had to be called in to decide second and third places in the competition as two dogs were tied on equal points.
As we now know, Mrs Gregg chose Milo for the runner-up spot. In third place then was Annie and Billy Cochrane's homebred Miniature Schnauzer, Kinorla Made Ya Look. Dooley will be also be attending the Pup of the Year finals in England; he qualified at Belfast Championship Show. His litter sister, Kinorla Just Blame Me is an Irish Pup of the Year finalist; Freya qualified at Bull Breeds Championship Show in October.
For the second year in succession, Stephen Lloyd was among the top winners when his homebred Lhasa Apso, Owenavera Bobbie Sox, won fourth spot; Stephen had won reserve NI Showdog last year with Owenavera Lying Eyes. As already mentioned, the Veteran competition had been completed earlier in the evening. Long Haired Dachshund, Gb & Ir Ch Pattaya Offenbach is well known as he has notched up many great wins on both islands including thirteen CCs and 14 reserve CCs. Simon and his owner, Gerry McFaul, have obviously decided that he is not yet ready to give up his winning habits.
Last November he won two back-to-back Best Veteran awards over one weekend; at the NI Hound Show and then at the Great Joint Dachshund Championship in England. He can now add the title of NI Veteran of the Year 2001 to his long list of credits. The next morning saw many familiar faces either sitting around the ring or busy in the grooming area as the judging for the Northern Ireland Show dog 2001 finals commenced.
Rosie Danter was still floating on the high from the night before. Her excitement from the previous night had been compounded by the arrival of a letter that morning from the Kennel Club confirming her new affix, Danterdax. Accompanying Rosie was Annie's breeder, Mrs Betty Davis, who had unfortunately missed the excitement of the big win the previous night.
Betty was also trying to come to terms with the fact that little Annie was now the proud processor of a great big title. During a break for lunch, Mrs Elaine Drennan judged the Junior Handling Finals. The overall winner was thirteen year old Kylie Petrie-Gould handling her Bichon Frisé while Brett Connolly handled his Maltese to win Class A for the second year in succession.
The same format had been used once again for the Show Dog finals. Mr Drennan and Mrs Corish judged each dog separately and the points awarded were added up. Two dogs were re-called back into the ring, the Red Setter and Rottweiler although no-one at this stage knew what position they were tied for. Mrs Gregg judged both dogs and handed her scores to the scrutineers. The four top positions were then awarded in reverse order. In four place was Bill Warke's homebred Dachshund, Gb & Ir Ch Glasvey Special Edition.
Ed, who has four CCs, is a son of Simon who won the Veteran finals the previous night. Simon was handled, as usual, by Gerry McFaul. In third spot was Barri and Maud Orr's Rottweiler, Gb & Ir Ch Rottessors Dollarmite At Tikaram. Oliver, who was the top winning Rott in the UK for two years, has also held the title of NI Rott of the Year.
A delighted Dorothy Park led out the Red Setter, Ir Sh Ch Lestannons Goldfinger At Linishglora to take the title of Reserve NI Showdog, 2001. She co-owns him with Jane Hough and Christine and Colm McLaughlin. That just left the overall winner to be announced.
And it was Mrs Marion Sloan,s top winning Phalene, Gb & Ir Ch Sunshoo Imamovie Premiere who was declared Northern Ireland Show dog of the Year, 2001. Bred by David and Carolyn Roe, Maxi Moth is famous throughout the Papillon world. She won her first CC with BOB at Crufts 2000; she then went on to win her second at City of Birmingham while her third and crowning CC came at Belfast the same year - such a lovely way to start the new Millennium.