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Lhasa Apso Inter-Club
Challenge Competitions and Gala

Reserves (l to r), Sp/Port/Eng Ch Shiawandi Ga Ga, Ragoosa Curium Princess
and Lisimo I Love to Boogie, pictured with Terry Poole, one of the judges
and Cheryl Holmes, Secretary of the event.

The Lhasa Apso Inter-Club’s Challenge Competitions and Gala have, over the years, grown to be a highlight in the calendar of breed enthusiasts. Whether or not one has qualified a dog, it is a great social event, so many come along just for the interest and fun of the occasion.

The management of the well-chosen venue of the Honiley Court Hotel in the Warwickshire countryside must surely rub their hands in glee when a high proportion of the participants book in for an overnight stay, to enjoy the weekend to its full.

This event has come a long way since its beginnings in 1989, when it was a much more casual affair, with home-made ‘eats’ in an informal venue. I remember one year a black mat was laid out on the grass area outside, because the weather was good, but the grass a little long! This is a jointly organised event, but I know that Cheryl Holmes has done much of the organising for several years now, assisted by many pairs of helpful and enthusiastic hands.

Everyone meets around lunch-time and as always there is much speculation as to which people milling around the hotel without dogs might be the team of three judges, for, except for the odd occasion in the past, this has always been a closely kept secret. This year it was Wendy Cain, Josie Richardson and Terry Poole who had the honours, their names and those of the dogs paired being pulled out of a ‘hat’ (actually it was a very pretty waste-paper basket!) as the day progressed. However, before all this happened all the exhibits were paraded with their details so that they could have their moment of glory out of the judges’ earshot.

Highly reputed

Unfortunately there was no microphone system operating this year so Sally Pointon, who was commentating, had to exercise her vocal chords to the full.

The first competition, for the Thelma Morgan Trophy, was for those dogs and bitches that had been declared Best and Reserve Best of Sex at all breed club shows during 2002. Thelma was highly reputed in our breed, and was Our Dogs’ Breed Note Correspondent until I took over from her following her death, shortly before these competitions commenced. There were 31 Apsos entered and 24 were present, these finally whittled down to the last three, from which the judges jointly decided on the winner and reserve. The winner was Gillian Holland’s Deelayne Ever Decent, handled by Claire Bloomfield, and this was quite a family affair for Claire is the sister of Madaleine Lewis whose Sp/Port/Eng Ch Shiawandi Ga Ga, co-owned with Vicki Noble, took the Reserve award. Madaleine was also the breeder of the winner.

The second competition was for the Brackenbury Memorial Trophy, in memory of the late Beryl Prince, breeder of the first champion to gain his crown after CC’s were re-allocated for Apsos in 1965. This competition was for dogs and bitches having won a first prize in a Veteran class at breed shows during the prior year and 8 were present on the day. The winner, for the second year running was Mr and Mrs Church’s Tirkane Daffy Duck, handled by son, Shane. Runner up was Jo House’s Ragoosa Curium Princess.


To close the afternoon, which was a very full one, the Puppy and Minor Puppy winners competed for the Daphne-Hesketh Williams Memorial Salver. Like the other ladies, Daphne will be long remembered, not least for the many years she served as Hon Secretary of the Lhasa Apso Club and for the fact that is was she who owned and campaigned Ch Brakenbury Gunga Din of Verles to that first post-war title.

Ten puppies competed for this trophy on the day, though some were already looking like mature young adults, having won their qualifying classes around a year ago. The judges selected Julie Hazelhurst’s Patarch Prim and Proper as the winner, with Teresa and Alan Wiehe’s Lisimo I Love to Boogie in Reserve.

And ‘boogie’ was certainly to be the theme for the evening when, following a tastefully selected meal with equally tasteful table decorations, the Apso fraternity let its hair down once again at this annual event and partied until the early hours of the morning.

At breakfast the following day I enquired how long the post-disco ‘drinks’ had gone on and Joan Scarll announced that she had been talking fish (she and husband John have a fish farm) until well into the morning. All I can ask myself, is how on earth everyone looked so bright at breakfast? Though there were just a few exceptions, as you can appreciate, but nothing to do with fish!

Competition winners (l to r), Deelayne Ever Decent, Tirkane Daffy Duck and Patarch Prim And Proper at Corrols, pictured with judges, Wendy Cain, Terry Poole and Josie Richardson.