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Top dogs all set to gather

Ch Am Ch Heatherhill Shock N Awe
The winner of the 2007 Canine Supporters’ Contest of Champions was the Australian Shepherd Angie & Neil Allen, Robert Harlow & Penny & Dan Richards'
Ch Am Ch Heatherhill Shock N Awe handled by Angie Allen

There is nothing in the calendar that can compete with the Contest of Champions for the quality of the dogs and the glamour of the occasion and for many years it has been a showcase of the very best of British dogs.

Every show and, especially the company sponsored competitions provide quality dogs, of course, but ‘The Contest’ focuses on those dogs who have been the top winners in their breed throughout the previous year so they are consistent winners over a period of time rather than winning one competition ‘on the day'. I remember that one year a senior member of the Kennel Club expressed surprise that they recognised so few of those present and I explained that, by and large, they are the exhibitors and breeders who actually breed and show their dogs, week in and week out and are seldom invited to attend the aforementioned events. This year there has been an unprecedented response with at least two people complaining that they had not received a letter of invitation and who had to be told that their dog was not actually qualified to attend!

The only drawback to the Contest is that KC regulations insist that the maximum number of dogs at such an event cannot exceed sixty-four. The Contest has a ‘first come first served’ approach and so some breeds are not represented

The system used at the Contest is for each judge (who are established all breed judges from overseas and not known to anyone outside the committee prior to the event) judge eight rounds of the knock-out competition in succession so no one can know which judge is to judge which pair.

This year’s Contest is being held as usual at the Thistle Hotel, London Heathrow. All rooms at the hotel are fully booked but there may be some last minute cancellations for the event so it would be worth ringing 01932873239 if you would like to go. There are no freebies - even the Our Dogs team (Di Rich is doing the report and I am taking the pictures) are paying for their tickets as does every member of the Committee who attends. The Canine Supporters Charity’s aim is to raise funds for the promotion, study and research for the welfare of dogs and there are no 'administrative' costs at all. Every penny raised goes to canine good causes.