Best Puppy in Show was the Manchester Terrier B Foxwood Layla bred by Barbara Bishop. Handled by Tamara James with breed judge
Manchester Terrier Club of New South Wales is the only club
in Australia for Manchester Terriers and they held their specialist
Championship Club Show on the 11th April. This is held on
a large, dedicated dog showground in Penrith near Sydney.
It is a splendid site with restaurant, clubhouses, showers
an all mod cons. The ground is laid to mown grass with concrete
pathways between groups of rings.
On this day, most of the Terrier breed clubs also held their Championship shows and the BOB and BP go on to compete for BIS. It is their 'National Terrier' with approximately 900 dogs. Most have traveled very long distances, so caravans and trailers and mobile homes are parked overnight. We were not allowed to meet up with anyone before the show and we are grateful to the ex-Irish Betty Stepkovitch of Smooth Chihuahuas and Australian Terriers for collecting us from Sydney in her dogmobile.
The day was sunny and cool, for them, 24C. The dogs were super and they had attracted a record entry of 38 dogs, which some General Championship shows don't get in the UK. They also had a record entry of 60 registrations in 2003. All the dogs were worthy of the competition and all could stand up in line with us in the UK. I could have chosen from about 4-5 bitches for my Best Bitch. All would get my vote against some of our current crop of bitches. Fronts and heads were certainly better and none looked like out of work ETTs.
Their dogs were fine, but we have such strong dog classes now in the UK that we should still just take a few top spots. My BOB was a smashing bitch. Ch Southgate Silver Buckle, owned by and well-handled by Robyn Bates, bred by Dianne Hull and her partner. She had that quality of head, front, topline, movement and details, which are rare currently. The Australians could also teach most about showing MTs, using the length of the lead with little fussing and stacking. The Challenge Dog and Runner Up was the dog owned by Keith and Karen Irwin, Ch Dixiedaly Man To Be. Nicely put down, and handled by Karen, Windypark breeding.
We all then assembled for the Best in Show and BPIS. The Manchester was not placed for BIS and gloom descended on the Manchester Terrier crowd. Adrian Warmsley, a well-known and respected Terrier man, judged the puppies as well. We waited as the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd were pulled out and the Manchester Terrier puppy, Foxwood Layla, was called as BPIS! This is the first time to my knowledge that this has happened at a Championship Show. The crowd, including all other breed exhibitors went wild, as they all knew something very special had happened. Bred by Barbara Bishop, Foxwood Layla is a super puppy by any standard of any terrier breed, and very well handled by Tamara James. Perhaps other breed exhibitors will wonder why this very old breed has not had more success in the 'big' ring, as do Manchester people. It was very exciting to have broken our duck; but it needed an Australian Judge to achieve it.
The evening was a wonderful sit-down meal, followed by two part illustrated talk, and at the Australian's request, Sophyla's first 30 odd years. Then a longer talk on the Manchester's finer points, not the Standard. These Australians know that as well as we do, as their Standard is the one we use in the UK. I am not sure these days if it is still the KC's Standard, marketing companies, Public Relations Corporation or both, or a publishing company, but it is the one we still use. I was honoured to be asked to judge, entertained and generally looked after. Thank you to the MTC of NSW.