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Eukanuba Golden Oldie Competition
Golden Oldies show the way

When you look at the dog show calendar there are dozens of special competitions: Pup of The Year, Superpup, Junior of The Year, Top Dog, Supermatch ad infinitum. However there never seems to be many which cater specifically for veterans.

I suppose that's what makes Pudsey Ringcraft's Eukanuba Golden Oldie rather unique. Because Pudsey is a Ringcraft Club the competition has to be run under match rules so any dog with a CC is ineligible. I think this makes it even more unique, in fact a bit special.

What this means is that any half decent dog with a caring owner who has chosen to keep it rather than move it on because it's past it "show by date" has to be in with a chance. Even if they don't win they'll still have had a damn good evening.

Perhaps it's because it's an event for genuine dog lovers who keep their dogs for ever that makes it my favourite event. I've covered the Golden Oldie since its inception and I've had the pleasure of meeting some real characters, some with 2 legs and even more with 4. Winners are genuinely applauded and nobody throws their dummy out of the pram if they lose (It's true). You've heard of a dog fun day, well this is a dog fun evening.

All the more sad then that this was to be the last Golden Oldie held by Pudsey Ringcraft.
So to the nights activity. In keeping with all previous ones the judge came from overseas at his own expense. Tonight's judge was Gerard Hickey from Ireland. 27 clubs were represented with exhibitors coming from all over the North of England and some from the Midlands, bringing dogs from all 7 groups. Before he set to work he, like the rest of us, sat down to a first class buffet meal provided as usual by Anita Broadbent and her mother Joyce.

The first round is a straight match and the winners only announced when they've all been judged. Then the second round is between all the match winning dogs to decide the 2008 Eukanuba Golden Oldie and Runner Up. This year it was perhaps fitting that the winner was the dog representing Pudsey Ringcraft Club, a 10 year old GSD Wakanda Junior of Bollingbroke Sh CM owned by Christine Mirecki and her daughter Elizabeth who handled him. The Runner Up was the Northern Borzoi Assocition's representitive Enolam Tsarina, 9 years old and owned by Adele Conroy.

The third round is between all the dogs who didn't win their match to decide the Plate Winner and this year it was The Basset Fauve De Bretagne Club's 9 year old Lone Survivor at Kerazig owned by Karen Higgins. The final presentation of the evening went to the oldest exhibit. This was a 15 year old Cocker Spaniel Sotecas Gypsy Rose owned by Julie Smith and representing Colne Valley CA. There was a bit of confusion because the date of birth in the catalogue was misprinted and showed her being 2 years younger than she actually is. It’s the first case I’ve ever known of a female wanting her date of birth correcting to show she’s actually older than people thought
As always, no one went home empty handed. Erica Greenwood was on hand to give out bags of dog food on behalf of Eukanuba to all exhibitors and likewise Eileen Jackson to give out goody bags on behalf of Our Dogs.

Whilst Pudsey Ringcraft are to be congratulated on the organisation which was as slick as ever, I really must say a big thank you to both Eukanuba and Our Dogs. Both have supported this event throughout its life and this does help to make it a very special event. Exhibitors don't always realise what it takes to put on an event like this, (especially those who have never served on any committee). For organisations such as Eukanuba and Our Dogs to support such events is a massive boost.

Watch this space!

As I said earlier this has always been one of my favourite events. Senior dogs have heard it all and seen it all before. That's not always so apparent when you're trying to get their attention to photograph them. Some are as deaf as posts, some really need specs and some just can't be arsed! It's great.

It really would be sad to see this event fold. As to whether another club is prepared to take it on all I can say is watch this space !