Samoyed of the Year 2004 Patton’s Eng/Ir/Int. Ch. Dilroth Bonnie Apollo pictured with the runner up Fremlin’s Glynsam Summer Storm at Icewind
Mrs. Sonja Hozeman from Holland was the surprise judge for the Northern Samoyed Society’s ninth Annual Samoyed of the Year. The event as usual was staged at the Novotel, Nottingham on Saturday, 20th November 2004 with 98 persons attending.
The dining room was brightly decorated with posters, pictures and balloons, all in the Society colours of red and white. Two striking Samoyed models, newly made this year, stood at each side of the Awards Table. The circular dining tables looked most attractive surrounding the area in which the dogs were shown. Fifteen puppies and 23 adults competed.
This year, society members were delighted when their Patron, Lady Margaret Hardy was able to join them.
The event commenced with a welcome drink at 4pm followed by the draw. The puppies were then paraded through the dining area, lining up to welcome in the judge Mrs. Hozeman, in whose honour a Dutch flag was hung on the wall.
MC for the evening was Mr Ken Warburton in place of the usual compere Gerald Mitchell who was judging abroad. Unfortunately this year a hand held radio microphone initially tended to disturb some of the dogs but eventually another microphone was brought into use later on.
Whilst the puppies and adults were being judged, the MC gave a running commentary on pet names and favourite habits of the dogs concerned. The puppies were then gradually whittled down from qualifying rounds until just the final four were left.
The results were announced in reverse order but this is the final result: Puppy of the Year Freer’s Taronakits Kottonsox for Nikara Runner Up Cains Naduska Gladiator 3rd Brooks’s Karasea Coetir Holly and 4th Middlehurst’s Roybridge Royal Diamond for Gemora.
There was much cheering but when peace was restored, a well presented three course meal was served. During the meal, the Society Chairman, Mr. Ray Taylor conducted what has now become quite a tradition, "The Auction". This year he was able to use a gavel which the Society had purchased in memory of their late Patron, Lord Hardy of Wath.
What an auction it was, quite possibly the best yet. The table was groaning with donated items and also two superb cakes had been made decorated with Samoyeds and the icing piped in the red and white Society colours. The auction raises money to supplement the event for the following year and to raise money for Breed rescue and other charities. One of the most amazing and successful items ever to be auctioned was an oil painting of a Samoyed completed in 1973 which had in fact been rescued from a house clearance in Stockport by Sue Cooke.
Just prior to the recommencement of the event, after dinner, a surprise announcement was made (well a surprise for me, anyway!). Seems there had been a conspiracy afoot by the committee and certain members and I were called forward by the Treasurer, Mr. Fremlin, to receive the Society’s Gold Medal Award. This came as a complete shock, since I understood that no award was to be made this year. However, I was honoured and delighted to be the recipient of this prestigious award. My thanks to all concerned.
Then on to the main event. Again the adult dogs were paraded and lined up for the entrance of the judge. Judging commenced with seven sets of three dogs competing and one set of two. Again numbers were whittled down to a final four. The tension mounted at this stage and a hushed silence descended. In reverse order, the winners were announced but the final result was:
Samoyed of the Year Patton’s Eng/Ir/Int. Ch. Dilroth Bonnie Apollo Runner up Fremlin’s Glynsam Summer Storm at Icewind 3rd Moody and Haffenden’s Ch. Novaskaya Azakhan Lafay 4th Hughes’s Ch.Syanaria Phantom. To the strains of "Simply the Best" the winners were surrounded and congratulated. Each winner, puppy and adult received a piece of crystal to keep and each qualifier received an engraved salver.
Next came the Bottles of Champagne for the Best Dressed Exhibitors: This was judged by Lady Hardy and Mrs. Rosemary Warburton. These went to Val Freer, the lady in black, what a night she had and her friend and fellow exhibitor Barbara Johnson dressed in gold. To complete the trio and all from this same table, the final prize for best dressed spectator went to Denise Shepherd. A great photograph of these attractive and immaculately dressed ladies was then taken, all clutching their Champagne bottles.
Dancing then got underway and something rarely seen before, dancing on the tables such was the spirit and merriment of the occasion
The function finished at 1a.m. but many just adjourned to the bar, eager for the night not to end. This hotel provides a fabulous breakfast and after this next morning many were reluctant to leave what had been another successful and enjoyable event.