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My Blue Heaven’s Easter success!

An Our Dogs special report

WHICHEVER VERSION of Gene Austin’s 1920s Number 1 hit song you prefer, one thing is for sure, the song has become a great standard over the decades with numerous artists and bands recording the song in various styles.

Best in Show at the Combined Canine Club International Show held on Easter Saturday at the National Show Centre was Cathy Loughlin’s Irish Setter, Ir Sh Ch Rohanmor My Blue Heaven. ‘Jona’ was Top Dog for Group 7 in 2008 and was Best in Show at Dundalk last September. They are pictured with the judge Cathy Delmar and Rosemary Daly representing Connolly’s Red Mills who sponsored the show.

‘My Blue Heaven’, however, has become the name known to many on the Irish show scene as that of Cathy Loughlin’s top winning Irish Red Setter who has had a fantastic campaign in 2008 and who has now continued her success in this year’s events, most notably at the Combined Canine Club International Championship Show on Easter Saturday at the National Show Centre in Dublin.

Sh Ch Rohanmor My Blue Heaven was collecting her second Championship Show Best in Show having been Tom Creamer’s winner at Dundalk last July under blue skies at the Marist college. ‘Jona’ was collecting her eleventh group when Carole Goode of the Warringah Labrador Retrievers selected her at Combined Canine Club’s Easter Classic as her Group 7 n cont from front page winner.

The Combined Canine Club hosted the Pup of the Year 2008 finals held on Easter Sunday. From the panel of judges it was Mr Alberto Cuccillato from Italy who was chosen to judge the last 8 from the 30 finalists.
His winner was Cathy Neill’s Miniature Schnauzer, Kensbridge Kotton On Kwik. ‘Solomon’ qualified at Dublin Dog show in December and was the youngest dog of the 30 qualifiers on the night, just 3 days out of puppy.
Eukanuba sponsored the event and they were represented by Mike Bloxsome. Also pictured is Des Manton of ICP.

Later in the day it was another Cathy who made the day for the Rohanmor team when Cathy Delmar of the Shillelagh Terrier Kennels judged Best in Show and pointed to Cathy Loughlin’s charge. It was something of a weekend dominance for those ladies named Cathy, as the Combined Canine Club’s Pup of the Year also resulted in a big win for another Cathy, this time Cathy Neill of the Kensbridge Show Kennels, but more on that win to follow.

An entry of 1,648 dogs including agility and obedience competitors took part in the event and there was a great spread of judges from across many nationalities for this very well run International show which was sponsored by Connolly’s Redmills who were represented by Rosemary Daly Meehan and Sean Meehan.

Runner-up Pup of the Year was the Australian Silky Terrier, Romwal Maid in Wales. ‘Kizzy’ is owned by Kelly Lawless, who handles her, and her breeder Roymayne Freer. pictured far right is Mike Bloxsome representing the sponsors, Eukanuba

Taking the Reserve Best in Show award was David McKenna’s Group 1 winning Bouvier Des Flandres Ch Nokolaev Colarado at Davdeir who had been Ann Cuthbert’s choice to head the group earlier. It was the Group 5 winner, Gill and Trevor Rogers’ top winning Japanese Shiba Inu Ch/GB Ch Jiltrain Jack the Lad who took third in the BIS line up and BIS 4 went to the Miniature Schnauzer, Kensbridge Murphy Himself, owned by the Mann family and handled by his breeder, Cathy Neill.

Cathy Delmar also judged the Best Puppy in Show competition and from a strong line-up she chose Louis Hogan and John Yek’s Pekingese male, Pearlstone Pak Choi who was continuing a great run for this kennel’s 2009 team.

The show was the first part of a double header for the Combined Canine Club’s hardworking and dedicated committee as the annual Pup of the Year event would take place on the following day, Easter Sunday.

Last in, first out as the Kotton is high!

The second part of the Combined Canine Club’s major events of the Easter weekend took place at the Red Cow Moran’s Hotel as the annual Pup of the Year Final took place in one of the most well known hotels in Dublin. The 22nd chapter of this event’s history was a fine affair with a large number of fanciers, supporters and exhibitors nicely kitted out in impressive style for this black tie event which, as always, is one of the highlights of the show year.

The committee, lead by John and Joan Walsh, once again pulled out all the stops to ensure an enjoyable evening for all.

Twenty nine of the thirty qualifiers arrived at the hotel to challenge for the prestigious title of Irish Pup of the Year 2008 which was sponsored by EUKANUBA and supported by ICP and it was a case of ‘last in, first out’ when Cathy Neill’s Miniature Schnauzer, Kensbridge Kotton On Kwik, took the title under final judge Alberto Cuccillato from Italy after he was selected from a panel of six judges to make the final decisions.

Three judges had earlier been selected to do the hands-on section of the preliminaries judging and it was Ireland’s John Muldoon and Ger Cox along with Russia’s Boris Chapiro who awarded the points in that section along with Annuka Paloheimo from Finland, Lis Beth Carlsson Liljeqvist from Sweden who also had an input with scoring points for qualification at that stage.

The winner had been the final qualifier of the year for the event as he had been Stephen Minogue’s choice at the Dublin Dog Show Society Championship Show on 27th December. He may have been the last qualifier to be paraded in to the ring at the Red Cow Hotel but this was to be no hurdle for ‘Sullivan’ as he firstly took enough points to gain his place in the last eight to receive further consideration after the dinner was served.

There was a very welcome prize of a Trophy, Rosette and 500 Euros for Cathy to take home to Northern Ireland and finish off an impressive weekend for the Kensbridge team who had also topped the Group 2 competition the previous day at the International show with another Kensbridge-bred charge, Kensbridge Murphy Himself who finished the day as BIS4.

Taking the runner-up spot in Pup of the Year 2008 was Kelly Lawless and Romayne Freer’s Australian Silky Terrier, Romwal Maid in Wales who had qualified back in June of last year at the Munster Canine Association Championship Show where John O’Gorman of the Parkpoint Pointers was the judge. Sean Carroll and James Newman’s Pomeranian Belliver the Ultimate Creation was third while Amos and Jones’ Miniature Poodle Kertellas Coolaulin Private Dancer took fourth.

Fifth overall was Colm and Rose Hastings OES Bearamor Daydream at Raggletaggle with Ashling Connolly and another of her Ashmair Bichon Frisé team, Ashmair Hey There Delilah, continuing their good run in this event taking sixth, having won the final for 2007.

Taking seventh was Jackie and Barry Knowles’ Cocker Spaniel Rushmi Journeyman while Sarah Blount handled her Japanese Shiba Inu, Sakanda Teruorashi, to eighth place.

Story by Paul Scanlon
Photos by Caroline Reynolds
Show Dogs Ireland

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