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Discover Dogs in Guernsey

Best in match, Mrs L Edwards, Newfoundland, Ch. Merrybear Thumper.
with Reserve Best in Match, Mr. M Torode, Dobermann, Sibovelds Alecium Guard

IT IS always nice when one can sit back and say, "That was a job well done". Well there is a group of Guernsey Dog Club members who can do just that.

Sunday 14th September 2003 saw the culmination of a great deal of work by Derryn de Carteret, Sarah Girard, Ann Vaudin, Carol and David Turner, Linda Smith and Chris Bligh. It was 2 years ago that Derryn had the idea of holding a Discover Dogs event to try to encourage new exhibitors and members. Because of the Club’s Centenary Show in 2002 which had been postponed from 2001 due to Foot and Mouth in the UK, this had to be put "on the back burner." During this Summer Derryn has done car boot sales, sold items on the internet, sold numerous things to her friends and also to many of us. Running such an event requires a considerable amount of revenue of which she raised the majority and also collected sponsors along the way. To those we say "Thank you".

As with every venture it was fraught with problems, sometimes especially difficult when you have not done anything like this before. Even as late as the week of the event there was a very strong possibility that there would be no pin boards for exhibitors to use! On an Island it is often impossible to find equipment that is urgently required. You has to beg, borrow or dare one say " steal " things. With 32 breeds being exhibited we needed a lot of pin boards!

The Club would have its own stand showing the Club’s history from 1901 and also selling novelties. The Registration Department would also have its own stand. Arrangements continued throughout the following few months, a programme was produced in house, posters designed and circulated, every sign known to man was made and laminated. Raffle prizes were sought from various business houses and many were most generous.

It was suggested that Peter Purves of Blue Peter fame and a Crufts commentator be invited to spend the week-end with the Club, commentate on the breeds during the parade, select the best breed stand and judge the Match on Sunday afternoon. Now, would he come to Guernsey, - YES, he would love to! He duly arrived Saturday afternoon in glorious sunshine, dinner with the organising committee in the evening and straight into work Sunday morning.

One thing he did enjoy was watching the beautiful sunset from his bedroom window disappearing below the horizon way beyond the bay. Alright for some!

The 32 breeds, sometimes numbering 2, 3 and even 5 together, paraded around the ring whilst Peter gave a potted history, description of the breed standard, temperament and type of work they were bred to do. The ring-side was packed and all enjoyed it, including one must say the dogs! The breed stands looked most impressive and a great deal of work had gone into displaying photos, breed standards, history of the individual breeds, and memorabilia from generations past. Old photos came out into the daylight! After careful consideration, which he said was not easy, Peter chose the Labrador Stand set up by Mrs June Le Conte as the best breed stand. £25.00 cash prize and a certificate were presented to a very surprised June! Well done, it looked lovely and was very interesting.

Members of the general public found this event most helpful and were pleased to see the breeds for themselves, ask questions of the owners and hopefully make the right decisions as to which breed would suit their life style. As we know all so important when choosing a dog.

After a break for lunch, the Match took up the afternoon with 56 dogs being entered. A record number of Veterans were entered which was lovely to see.

Judge, Peter Purves

Main winners

Best Puppy in Match, Mr Mrs A & D Le Page, Cocker Spaniel, Salabah Swanlake.
Reserve Best Puppy in Match, Mrs Jenny Renouf, Labrador Retriever, Jancerie Forbidden Forest.
Best Junior in Match, Mrs B Sebire, Min. Wire-Haired Dachshund, Stargang Standing Ovation for Bouvee.
Reserve Best Junior in Match, Mrs J Parkyn, C.K.C.S., Pauroi Candle in the Wind at Trigem.
Best Veteran in Match, Mrs P M Wood, Irish Setter, Woodwitch Athena
Reserve Best Veteran in Match, Mrs P & Miss L Morgan, Papillon, Blackpark Junior.
Best in Match, Mrs L Edwards, Newfoundland, Ch. Merrybear Thumper.
Reserve Best in Match, Mr. M Torode, Dobermann, Sibovelds Alecium Guard.
Sunday evening the committee had organised a dinner which was enjoyed by all. The President Mrs P M Wood thanked all who had worked so very hard to put this event together and she knew that all had enjoyed the day. She too felt the atmosphere was relaxed, friendly and happy.

Peter thanked the Club for inviting him and said he had thoroughly enjoyed his visit, thought the dogs were very well behaved and of an excellent standard. At times it had been difficult to place them. They could have easily changed places in the class. The atmosphere had been happy, friendly and as some had already asked if they could have a stand at the next Discover Dogs it was obvious, he said, that all were very pleased with the final result. He thanked the committee for his gift of a copper Guernsey Can commemorating his first visit to the Island and he looked forward to perhaps returning in the future!

A tired but very satisfied committee retired to bed Sunday evening with the knowledge that all their efforts had paid off and they are now thinking about another Discover Dogs in 2005.
Some people are gluttons for punishment!

Chris Bligh (Mrs)
Honorary Treasurer
The Bounty, Salines Lane, L’Islet, St. Sampson’s, Guernsey GY2 4FL
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