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Veteran Stakes

What a marvellous competition Pedigree have given us for the last twenty years. I felt privileged and honoured to be invited to judge this last final of the Pedigree Veteran Stakes.

Having attended this prestigious event for many years both as a spectator and competitor, I knew the standard of competition would be extremely high and that my task would be difficult when it came to deciding on a final five. So many great dogs who have carved their names in the record books were appearing here still healthy, fit for function and having enjoyed a long and happy show career. All were obviously delighted to be showing their paces again on the big occasion.
Interestingly, this year the ring was dominated by the gundogs with almost half the finalists coming from this group. After going over all the dogs and watching them move, I reduce the class to eight before making my final decision. These were the Saluki Ch Baghdad Foreign Affair at Lokhandar, Pointer Sh Ch/Ir Sh Ch Hookwood Top Man, Australian Terrier Ch Millvalley Heather Belle, Welsh Corgi Pembroke Ch Penliath Shooting Star, Siberian Husky Ch Forstal Kaliznik, English Springer Spaniel Sh Ch Trimere Tuscany, Flat-Coated Retriever ShCh/Norw/Fin/Sw Ch Almanza Roundabout and Miniature Poodle Ch Minarets Secret Assignment.

Into first place went the Miniature Poodle Ch Minarets Secret Assignment. The youngest on the day at just over 7 years and the last qualifier of 2008. I had never judged him before and was so impressed by his fabulous head and expression, sound, correct construction and superb movement. An object lesson in presentation and handling I've never seen him look so well. He put on a faultless performance to win the 2008 final.

Second was Pointer Ch Hookwood Top Man, one who belied his 10 years and is compact and well constructed and was outstanding on the move.

Third went to the Saluki Ch Baghdad Foreign Affair at Lokhandar. I awarded him his 4th CC some years ago and he went on to win the Group that day. He hasn't changed much since then, also 10 years old and still moving with a true and light action and looked so impressive in side gait.
Fourth, and this time an 8 year old bitch, was the Springer Ch Trimere Tuscany. Feminine, compact and well boned with the balance required of this breed. In wonderful body condition with gleaming coat, her good construction was reflected in her sound movement. Looked a picture going round.

Finally, in fifth place, was one of my favourite dogs of all time the Pem. Corgi Ch Penliath Shooting Star. It’s hard to believe this bitch will be celebrating her 12th birthday later this year. She has a superb head and expression, excellent body and perfect outline in stance. Her coat is beginning to show the signs of age but she can still show the breed how a Corgi can move.

Thank you Pedigree and thank you Manchester for staging this marvellous competition. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of getting hands on so many fabulous dogs.

Anne Macdonald

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