Archie is the ‘best of the best’!
Pup of the Year final 2007
A total of 10,000 dogs had competed throughout 2007 at the Ch shows, to win a place in the final of the POTY 2007. Just a maximum of 31 dogs from those 10,000 were selected by top honoured judges throughout the year.
As always, Purina Pro Plan along with Dog World, come together and create a fantastic event, held once a year. This year for the third time, the event was held at the Bedford Corn Exchange, Bedford.
Each year, a judge is selected for the final, and until closer to the event, the judge is left unknown. A fine specimen of a judge was selected for this year & incidentally, the first time that this judge had been invited to judge such competition. Mr Albert Wight of the Sharval Shetland Sheepdog fame, is no stranger to judging. He first awarded CCs in 1966, he awarded his first Best In Show at Scottish Kennel Club in 1986 and most honourably, judged Best In Show at Crufts in 2003. Albert is now passed to judge over 75 breeds with CCs over six groups.
The spectators were honoured to have yet again, top class commentary, who else, more better than Mr Frank Kane and Dr Jessica Holm, both whom we all know, take part in the Crufts TV programme every year.
Before the competition began, we were informed of the unfortunate withdrawal of one of the competitors, Aleski Atomic Kitten - Samoyed which was sadly lame on the day. Kitten qualified at Paignton under Jill Peak and was bred and owned by Allison South. Each dog entered the ring and were assessed by Albert Wight, before leaving the ring, to later return. As each dog was assessed, Frank and Jessica gave details of each dog and shared the characters of each dog with the spectators, most of these dogs ranged from chicken chasers to tree climbers, a wide variety of characters I am sure you would agree.
From those 30, we had a first shortlist of ten dogs, those dogs were, the Akita, Redwitch Ker-Ching, owned & bred by Jenny Killilea & Arlene Clure, handled by David Killilea. 'Simon' who qualified at Leeds under David Guy. He was born on September 3rd 2006, currently has seven Res CCs to his credit and has finished 2007 as Top Puppy in Breed, he is sired by the UK's Breed record holder, Ch Redwitch Heaven Can Wait. The Pekingese, Yakee You Do Something For Me, owned & bred by Bert Easdon & Philip Martin. Qualified at Bournemouth under Pam Blay. 'Romeo' was born on December 30th 2006 and he currently has two Reserve CCs to his credit & many Best Puppy in Breed awards. Welsh Terrier Saredon Diamonds R Forever, owned & bred by Judith Averis. 'Shirley' was born on November 20th 2006 and qualified at the Welsh Kennel Club under Brenda Banbury. She is the first Welsh Terrier to qualify for the POTY final, and has had a great start to her show career, picking up a CC and also notched up a Best in Show at a club show. Potterdale Star of Peebles, a Bearded Collie qualified at the Scottish Kennel Club under Stuart Mallard. Born on August 30th 2006, Rye has had great success so far. At her debut show, she took Reserve Best Puppy in Show at the Scottish Breeds Show at seven months old.
The Clumber Spaniel was also shortlisted, he being Vanitonia U Bet I Am. 'Rupert' qualified at Windsor under Valerie Foss. Born on August 26th 2006, Rupert was handled by co owner and breeder Lee Cox. Rupert has already gained a Reserve CC and multi Best Puppy in Breeds at Ch shows. From just two in this litter, Rupert's sister Vanitonia Wot A Liberty, currently has two CCs.
This is the first litter of Clumbers that Lee Cox has bred in 19 years, so I am sure that Lee is delighted with Rupert and his sister’s success. English Springer Spaniel, Rosannoch Berkano JW, qualified at Blackpool under Robin Newhouse. Tilly was born on August 18th & is owned & bred by Editha Rose. Tilly claimed her Junior Warrant title at 17moths old, already has a Reserve CC to her credit, a Best Puppy in Show at the Scottish Club Ch Show and has achieved Best Puppy in Breed at Blackpool, Leeds and Border Union. The Chow Chow and no stranger to this competition, Ch Towmena In the Frame. Framer qualified at Welks under Norman Butcher. Owned & Bred by Rodney Oldham, Framer was born on May 9th 2006, and has qualified for the POTY Finals, three times. In his show career to date, Framer has achieved six CCs, five of those with BOB and a Group Win & Puppy Group win at Ch Shows. He was Best Puppy in Show at Boston 2006. Norfolk Terrier Ch Belleville Sweetheart, qualified at National Terrier under Dave Scawthorn. 'Dizzy' was born on May 27th 2006 and is owned and bred by Cathy Thompson -Morgan. Dizzy gained her Ch title at 13 months old and also has three Reserve CCs, one of these which were won at the club's 70th anniversary Ch show. Moving onto the Beagle now, Ch Serenaker Devil in Disguise JW, Archie was born August 8th 2006 and qualified at Bath Ch Show under Patricia Clayton, he is owned and bred by Serena Parker and Graham Stevens. At just 17months old Archie has four CCs, and six Reserve CCs. He won fourth place at the Petplan Junior stakes back in October. The last of the shortlist was taken by the Australian Terrier Silhill Tufty with Sherex. Tufty was born on December 5th 2006 and qualified at Midland Counties under Ann Ingram. She is bred by Sue McCourt and Sheila Eardley, owned by Sue McCourt, handled here by Paul Eardley. Tufty has already gained a puppy group win and is also a Best puppy in breed winner at ch shows.
A second shortlist was made, after each of the dogs were given a movement assessment. The dogs were then shortlisted from ten to four, Chow, Beagle, English Springer Spaniel and the Bearded Collie. The decision was made by Albert Wight, that the Beagle, Ch Serenaker Devil in Disguise JW, with the runner up going to the English Springer Spaniel Rosannoch Berkano.
A presentation of a silver plate and gifts were presented to Serena & Archie for the success of POTY 2007, by Purina Managing Director Stuart Irvine and Breeder Managers Matthew Bostock and Jessica Rush.
After photos, everyone was escorted to the bar for drinks, before all being seated for the four course meal. It was nice to catch up with familiar faces throughout the drinks reception and to wish everyone all the best for the new year. It was nice to see Roger Stone of the world famous Vanitonia kennel, appear at the POTY finals, glad to see he is on the mend from his illness - all the best Roger on your speedy recovery.
The reception soon passed and all were seated for the meal. Before everyone had their meals served, Frank Kane kindly said grace.
After the meal, more presentations were made to the winners. Kerry Williamson of Dog World and Patricia Sutton - daughter of the late Catherine Sutton, presented the Catherine Sutton Memorial Trophy to Serena Parker & Graham Stevens, overall winner of the Pup of the Year 2007. The Ch Dialynne Gamble Memorial Trophy was presented to the Runner Up POTY winner, Rosannoch Berkano, this was presented to Edith Rose by no other, than the number one lady of the Dialynne fame, Mrs Marion Spavin, owner of the famous Ch Dialynne Gamble, who for many years has donated this trophy for this competition in his memory.
Each year, the breeder of the previous years winner is presented with the Rossut Jasmine Memorial Trophy. Sadly this year, breeders of Glendraterra Sunset Strip, the Smooth Fox Terrier, were unable to attend. Each year Dog World presents the Tom Horner Award of Excellence to someone who has consistently achieved the highest standards in some aspect of the dog show world. Kerry Williamson explained just some of the achievements made by this kennel, breeder of the UK record holder, breeder of the number one Akita in Japan, breeder of the number one Akita in America, and breeders of many worldwide champions. Dave & Jenny Killilea & Arlene Clure, were honoured for such an award for 2007. They had two dogs qualified for the final, both of which are litter brother and sister.
Congratulations to all the winners, and as Albert Wight explained in his speech at the lunch, each dog represented was a credit to their owners, breeders and a credit to the judges who had selected such fines specimens. Albert thoroughly enjoyed his day and thanked all involved.
'It was not an easy job, judging these dogs, but I did enjoy the challenge of selecting, the best of the best,' was his fitting, final remark.