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British Collie Club’s ‘Rough Collie of the Year’

Photo by Tony Iley
Anne Hollywood with BIS Ch Amalie Look Who’s Black (tricolour), Margaret Masterman (representing the sponsors), and Christine Collins
with RBIS Ch Salsina Celtic Rosebud at Triburle JW (tricolour)

THE British Collie Club’s ‘Rough Collie of the Year’ competition has become a ‘must’ in the diaries of most collie fanciers, an event which has been built up through years to one of great prestige, the top prize being a much sought-after award.

However, this year’s competition received a major set-back, at the eleventh hour, when the British Collie Club had to put it back a week due to an unforeseen clash with the Midland Collie Club who themselves found out, again at the last minute, that their championship show had to move to the 18th as their venue had double-booked, and the only date the Kennel Club could give them was the same date as the Collie of the Year feature.

To the British Collie Club organisers’ credit, they knuckled down to finding a solution and with the very considerate cooperation of the Quality Hotel staff whose Penkridge, Staffs, establishment hosts the event, the show went ahead on the 25th, with unrivalled success.

Fortunately, all three judges were able to fulfil their commitment, hurried letters of explanation were sent to the qualifiers and guests, with the result that only two dogs were unable to compete.

The subsequent attendance was thinner than usual, so all things considered, the whole shebang went off extremely well and those who stayed for the evening’s disco-buffet were bopping away until events came to a conclusion at 1am with most moving on to the lounge where supping was resumed until 3am!

There were some very bleary-looking eyes in the morning at breakfast, I can assure you.
Collies who won a CC or RCC during 2005 are invited to attend the competition which is judged by two breed experts and one all-rounder. Jean Catliff (Mallicot) and Fran Kaye (Danfrebek) represented the breed while Gordon Rual of the famed Gilcoru affix officiated as the all-rounder.

Generously sponsored by Royal Canin, the judging system has been devised over a period of years to produce an exciting and un-influenced system of judging.

It invites no possibility of collusion, each judge selects tables by draw, they then go over every exhibit and move them. The judges are asked to score each exhibit by points out of 100 to meet the criteria of their interpretation of the Breed Standard.

The points are then totalled by an independent adjudicator, the top four being placed and announced to the ringside, in reverse order.

Treasurer Alan Staniland acted as master of ceremonies and introduced each dog for the judges to assess and move, and best male was awarded to Ann Hollywood’s tricolour, Ch Amalie Look Who’s Black (Ch Amalie Deep In My Soul ex Amalie Dixie’s Black); second was Rob and Naomi McDowall’s blue merle, Ch Birkmyre The Advocate (Ch Lynmead Lust In The Dust ex Ch Jasand Blue Vein at Birkmyre); third, Gee McEntee’s tri, Gerian Sundance (Gerian Sunset ex Gerian Black Stockings at Kirikomi) and fourth, Caz Waterhouse’s sable and white, Lynmead Simply In My Soul (Ch Amalie Deep In My Soul ex Ch Lynmead Simply Charming. All the dogs were, interestingly, home bred.

There was a short interval where a quiz was conducted, cleverly devised by Jo Hodges with questions all pertaining to the dogs’ names. Winners were rewarded with bottles of plonk.
The bitches went through the same procedure, and again the first four were re-introduced in reverse order.

The top bitch was Christine Collins’ sable and white, the recently crowned Salsina Celtic Rosebud at Triburle JW (Salsina So Handsome ex Salsina Celtic Rose); runner-up went to Gee McEntee’s tri, Gerian Sunberries (Ch Amalie Deep In My Soul ex Gerian Sunblush; third was Dave and Sue Randall’s blue merle, Ladnar Maid Sweet JW (Atendus Made Step By Step ex Ladnar Mayd Of Dreams) and fourth, Sally Humphries’ sable and white, Ch Sandiacre Sexclusive to Shasam (Ch Samhaven Addiction ex Sandiacre Spare My Blushes). Only the runner-up and third were home-bred, though the winner goes back on Christine’s lines.

Quiz answers for the bitches were totalled with again bottles of wine awarded while adjudicator \Mike Coulson gave a final points check and, for the first time ever, both top dog and bitch amassed the same score.

This called for a run-off by the three judges (no penalty shoot-out here!), and they chose Ch Amalie Look Who’s Black as Rough Collie of the Year with Ch Salsina Celtic Rosebud at Triburle JW the runner-up.

Ch Amalie Look Who’s Black won his CCs under Jean Morgan (Bath), Angela Hodgson (London Collie Club) and Gwen Beaden (South Wales Kennel Association) though Ann was not there to see him win his crown as she was judging in Germany. Caz Waterhouse showed him to his crown but Ann was quick to find out and celebrate as the mobiles were working overtime.

Ironically, Christine made up Ch Salsina Celtic Rosebud at Triburle under Aileen Speding at the re-arranged Midland Collie Club the previous week, so she is still on cloud nine.

Rosebud won her first CC under Barry Makepeace at WELKS and her second, coincidently, under Ann, at Bournemouth. All three CCs came with BOB and the bitch goes back to her own breeding.

Margaret Masterman, top Borzoi breeder for 2005, represented Royal Canin to present the prizes and the ‘good fun’ manner in which they were received, with obligatory banter, was indicative of the mood of the occasion - everybody joined in with no starchiness whatsoever in proceedings.

Many thanks must go to Gwen Beaden, Brian Hawkins, Jo Hodges and Alan and Jean Staniland who, on behalf of the committee, spent many hours organising the day’s events and considering the added burden they were laden with owing to those late rearrangements, deserve a big pat on the back.

The club awarded beautiful rosettes and framed certificates to all qualifiers, and the best of sex and BIS rosettes looked absolutely magnificent. All received generous products from sponsors, Royal Canin who do so much to promote these occasions.

Following the buffet, and as the alcohol reduced the inhibitions, the disco soon attracted the regular partygoers out to strut their stuff though, as midnight approached, there was a dreadful imbalance of the sexes. Only Tony Iley, who kindly took the photos, and myself represented the males who were hopelessly outnumbered by the fairer sex. But we coped.