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Bedlington Terrier of the Year

From left to right: Judges Eileen Needham, Craig Richardson and Monica Boggia-Black, and Bedlington Terrier of the Year Christine & Harvey Bell's Champion Mollora Destiny at Bluetyke, runner-up Edd & Viv Rainsbury's Sevray Just Rumours and Bedlington Puppy of the Year Dorothy Owen's Bisbee Benvenuto

The very first Bedlington Terrier of the Year contest was held at the Village Hall in Middleton Cheney, on the hot afternoon of 17 July, and proved to be a very successful and enjoyable day.

Many of the winners from the 2004 Championship Shows had taken up the invitation to compete for the titles of Bedlington Terrier of the Year and Bedlington Puppy of the Year 2004, and all had qualified by winning a CC, RCC, BOS where no CCs were on offer, or BPIB.

Judging at the prestigious event were top all-rounder Monica Boggia-Black, cool, elegant and charming as ever, breed specialist Craig Richardson with his usual cheerful and forthright demeanour, and terrier specialist Eileen Needham, who brought her in-depth knowledge to the proceedings. The event was hosted by the Bedlington Terrier Association, whose committee members worked tirelessly all day to make sure everyone, exhibitors, guests and dogs, were kept happy, and was supported by the Midland BTC.

The judging of the event followed an excellent four course lunch, greatly enjoyed by all, in a very social and happy atmosphere, and was overseen by Chris Pick, Patron of the MBTC, who acted as Master of Ceremonies all day, and gave a brief commentary on each dog as it was being assessed by the judges.

Beautiful challenge trophies were on offer to the top winners: the BTA presented an antique silver salver, the Barbara Butcher MBE Memorial trophy, engraved with a head study of a Bedlington, for Bedlington Terrier of the Year, and the MBTC presented a large silver cup, the Ron Clay FZS Memorial Trophy, for Puppy of the Year.

In addition, the BTA Chairman, Eileen Nicolls, donated pieces of engraved Waterford crystal to the winners. The BTA provided commemorative rosettes to each exhibit and special rosettes for the winners. Thanks to the support and sponsorship from a number of companies, each exhibitor went home with gifts of dog food, shampoo and coat spray, and ring clips, and the top winners also had sacks of dog food, presented by James Wellbeloved, and Dorwest vouchers.

The puppies went in for assessment first, with each judge going over every dog, and marking them on a points system. Eventually topping the lot was Dorothy Owen’s home-bred young girl, Bisbee Benvenuto, who had qualified by winning BPIB at SKC and Driffield last year. This super youngster has since added to her successes during 2005, by winning RCCs at National Terrier and Birmingham, and RBB at Three Counties.

The judging for Bedlington of the Year then began in earnest, with the dogs first in for assessment. The eventual two highest scoring dogs on the day, Judy Thompson’s Champion Jetsway Harvey Wallbanger, who completed his title earlier this year, and who qualified for the event with RCCs at National Terrier, Birmingham National, Southern Counties and MBTC, and Edd and Viv Rainsbury’s Sevray Just Rumours, who qualified at Midland Counties (RCC) and LKA (CC), were called in to challenge for top dog, with Just Rumours coming out as the winner. He has also continued his winning ways in 2005, by taking two further RCCs, at National Terrier and Birmingham.

After a brief break for strawberries and cream, the bitches followed, with the challenge between the top scoring pair of Harvey and Christine Bell’s Champion Mollora Destiny at Bluetyke, who won the RCC at the NBTC show in August, on one of her few appearances in the ring last year, and Yvonne Bannister’s home-bred Miteymidgets Myaquila, who qualified with the RCC at Blackpool.

Top bitch was declared to be Destiny and, after a run-off between the dog and bitch, Destiny came out the eventual winner, to be declared Bedlington Terrier of the Year for 2004.

Everyone present agreed that the event had been a lovely occasion, and plans are already in hand for the next contest, which will be hosted by the Midland BTC and supported by the BTA, to find Bedlington Terrier of the Year and Bedlington Puppy for 2005.