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Spot on!
Success for Dalmatians at first
Carriage Class to be held in over 30 years


Seven Dalmatians entered the first carriage class in over the 30 years at the Hereford and District Driving Group’s Spring Show in Marlbrook near Leominster on 4th May.

Carriage ClassThis class was conceived to test the dogs’ working instincts and training and to demonstrate the Dalmatian in one of its historic roles.

The class was judged jointly by Claire Wigmore, a senior British Driving Society judge, and Joy Claxton, a life long driving and Dalmatian enthusiast and a committee member of the British Carriage Dog Society.

Competitors were judged partly on the horse and turnout, and partly on the way of going of the dogs, with the weight of the judging with the dogs. Drivers were requested to simulate a right hand turn at a road junction, with dogs being expected to stay with the carriage whilst it halted to look out for (imaginary) cars. Judging criteria included the position of the dogs, the consistency of their way of working and their focus on the task in hand.

Carriage ClassResults were a close run thing, but Alison Burgess’s veteran dog Woody (Washakie Indian Magic – by Ch & Am Ch Washakie Dancing Brave x Washakie Indian Sunset) took first place running between the wheels of a Norfolk Cart driven by local driver Ray Williams. Second was a pair of dogs, two year old litter brother and sister Fenris and Freya (Loki the Snow King and Freya Snow Flurry – by Ch Fincham Trade Wind out of Washakie Iowa) running under a John Willie cart driven by Anne Dickens. Third was Spinner, a two year old liver bitch owned and handled by Avril Pluck driving an exercise vehicle.

Carriage ClassFourth was Mr Darcy, a rescue dog, and Maggie Gallop; fifth was Merlot (Rowland Rioja by Count Chameleon at Kalsidoni out of Cedarcull Shona) and Jane Friend; Sixth was Fonzi (Deovolante Don Alfonso by Carriagestar Jesse James x Konavlje Cosi Fan Tutte at Deovolante) and Chris Cleland.

The class drew a large number of spectators, as this was a real innovation and a most unusual and attractive site in the ring. We hope now that the working Dalmatian will go from strength to strength in the carriage driving world.

The British Carriage Dog Society web site contains lots of information about the Society and working trials competition and exercises, full results for every year, judges' biographies, dogs’ biographies and details of sponsors and supporters.

For those Dalmatian owners who are not yet members, it also contains details about the Society, its constitution, biographies of committee members, and how to join. For more information see www.carriagedog.org or contact Alison Burgess on 01435 813267.