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Dog of the Year finale to Dalmatian Centenary

Dalmatian of the Year 2003 & Best Bitch Mrs Janet Kay’s Ch Kaytian Kats Broomstick JW

by John McCarthy, at the ringside

THE NORTH of England Dalmatian Club brought its centenary year celebrations to an end in January by running the Dalmatian of the Year 2003 (DOTY). The event, now in its eighth year, was held at the Sheffield Moat House Hotel. Entry to the competition is by invitation only; the competitors must have won a CC or BPIB at a championship show, or at a breed club show, during the previous 12 months. This qualification is harder to obtain and more sought after than qualification for Crufts.

The match is split into three sections: Special Puppy age 7-18 months, then Dogs and finally Bitches with the winning Dog and Bitch competing for the title ‘Dalmatian of the Year’.

First the qualified puppies are introduced to the audience and the draw for the first round takes place. The dogs then leave the room and the judges are brought in. This year Chris Pickup, Maggie Mulholland and Keith Nathan were the surprise officiates. Despite much speculation the names had not surfaced during the run up to the event.

Now the match got under way, each competitor was applauded in and out of the ring, as round followed round, until the judges reached a decision. Hayley Pigden’s young dog Tyrodel Mercury Cougar stood centre of the ring to be declared Dalmatian Puppy of the Year 2003.

A short break and the male dogs got under way, the finalist this time being Marie Kenyon’s handsome Ch Marricdale Mr Millionaire JW. With time pressing on the bitches replaced the dogs and soon found their finalist. Janet Kay’s lovely Kaytian Kats Broomstick JW. Finally the two winners came forward to challenge for the title and after long consideration the three judges filled in their votes and the Chairman announced the Dalmatian of the Year 2003 to be Ch Kaytian Kats Broomstick JW. Lord Kirkham, the Club’s Patron, who earlier had awarded medals and certificates to each competitor, now came forward to present each of the winners with a silver cup, a bottle of champagne and a large bag of Pedigree Professional.

The last event of this centenary year had come to an end. During the last 12 months the committee had run Champion, Open and Members shows, in addition to obedience, agility and a Good Citizens events, barbecues, dinner dances and Fun Days. Each event was fully supported by an enthusiastic group of members. Now they fired the starting gun on 2004 with an evening of food, wine, music and song.

The first qualifiers for next year’s match have already been found, and speculation on the names of next year’s judges is already rife...!