WHEN I was asked as Chairman of Huddersfield if I thought we could take on the Golden Oldie, now that Pudsey had decided to stop doing it, I had no hesitation in saying we could. However, thinking you can do something and actually achieving it are two different things. I have to say, though, that the committee of Huddersfield really took to the task and I was very proud of their efforts in making sure the event was a success.
An event like the Golden Oldie can’t be the event it is without some generous backing and in Eukanuba, Barry Medforth of Westgate Giftware and Our Dogs we had the best. Pudsey’s formula has always been a successful one so there was no real reason to change it - if it ain’t, broke don’t fix it. The venue at Thorpe Willoughby was the same and the ticket price was the same. Each exhibit must be a veteran and because the event is held under match rules the highest qualification any exhibit can have is a Reserve CC. This I feel is most important because it ensures a level playing field.
We wanted to maintain the tradition of having an overseas judge -whose name was kept secret until the actual event - and we were extremely pleased to have as judge for this year the Our Dogs Channel Islands reporter Ro Cox of Tiroen Irish Setters, who hails from Jersey. We had that old friend of Golden Oldie ‘The One and Only’ Maurice Webb as Master of Ceremonies and the very experienced Stewart Irving as Show Manager. The experience of these two ensured that the activities just flowed in a very slick and organised way.
The first thing, however, was the food. If you get wrong that which kicks off the event, namely the buffet, then things could start to go downhill. But no worries on that score. The empty plates returned were testament to that.
To start the competition every competitor was asked to do a lap of honour by way of introduction. As they left the ring they were presented with gifts by representatives from each of the sponsors. The competition matches then got underway and here we differed from previous by announcing each match winner as they were judged.
During the break, after the individual matches, a presentation was made to the judge. This was donated by Westgate Giftware and was a plate with a painting of the judge with one of her Irish Setters. The painting was done by James Skerrett.
Once everyone had checked to see if they’d won anything on the fabulous raffle we settled down to continuing the competition. All the match losing dogs came back into the ring and the judge then selected the Best Loser. This was the 8-year-old Weimaraner, Ladwey Intention, owned by Lynda Yewdall representing Huddersfield & DCA.
The match winners were then brought back in and The Eukanuba Golden Oldie 2009 was selected. This was the 8-year-old Cocker Spaniel, Amaroanne My Father’s Eyes, owned by Mr R. & Mrs Y. Lowery and was representing North of England Spaniel Club. Runner-Up was Otley Canine Society’s 7-year-old Standard Poodle, Kirkinner Sky’s the Limit With Sympika, owned by Mrs J. & Miss L. J. Lloyd. The final award, which to me sums up the spirit of Golden Oldie, went to Northern Alsatian All Breeds Training Society’s 14-year-old Shetland Sheepdog, Abuela Rupert the Bear, owned by Mrs M. Haigh as The Oldest Eukanuba Golden Oldie.
Finally, a presentation of trophies to each of the four winners was made and then President of Huddersfield & District Canine Association Tim Jackson brought the event to a close by thanking everyone. A sentiment with which I wholeheartedly concur.
I couldn’t finish this report without paying tribute to Peter Broadbent and Pudsey Ringcraft Club. They invented Golden Oldie and must therefore take credit. We at Huddersfield are only carrying on where they left off. I suppose they could have just sat back and left us to it but they didn’t. All the way through they have supported and encouraged us. They haven’t interfered in any way but when we wanted some help or advice they were there.
Before I shut up can I tell you that a measure of the success of this event is this. Due to the feedback we’ve had already it looks like we will have to move next year’s event to a bigger venue. See you there.
I had intended to leave my report there on a happy note. Unfortunately, I can't. Sadly, some days after the event, the Weimaraner which represented Huddersfield and won the Best Loser award died suddenly. We all think it's too soon when we lose a dog but in this case that is certainly true. However, Lynda Youdall has a lovely trophy to remind her of her dog and I'm sure it will bring back pleasant memories of her dog for her and not just at the Golden Oldie. All our heartfelt sympathies go out to her.
I WAS delighted to be asked to judge the Eukanuba Golden Oldie 2009. There is a lot of organisation that goes into such a special event and the Committee of the Huddersfield & District Canine Association had worked tremendously hard. This was the first year that they have taken on the event.
The evening started with a wonderful buffet and the desserts were delicious (especially the trifle!). The sponsors - Eukanuba, Our Dogs and Barry Medforth of Westgate Giftware - had been very generous and every entrant received a special gift from each of them. There were 21 dogs representing their respective Clubs and each one did a lap of honour to much applause from the seated crowd.
The competition was in a knock-out format with the draw having been taken earlier. In pairs the dogs came back into the ring for me to judge. It was lovely to see these Golden Oldies enjoying their evening out on the tiles and strutting their stuff. Some of the pairings were very difficult to judge with both exhibits being worthy of being put through; however, decisions had to be made and the winner of each pairing was announced by the ‘one and only’ Maurice Webb who was our more than capable Master of Ceremonies for the evening. As the first round drew to a close, there was time to re-fill glasses as some presentations and ‘thank yous’ were made.
First the ‘losers’ all came back in for the Eukanuba Golden Oldie Best Losers to be judged and I chose a very upstanding Weimaraner, Ladwey Intention. She was in hard condition and moved well with drive and with the enthusiasm of someone much younger than her 9 years of age. Beautifully handled and balanced throughout.
Then the ‘winners’ all came back in and after moving them all again my overall winner of Eukanuba Golden Oldie 2009 went to a very smart Cocker Spaniel, Amaroanne My Fathers Eyes. Nine years of age but moving with purpose around the ring he was hard to fault. Square muzzle, balanced head with low set ears; well boned and level topline, he presented a lovely picture standing and on the move. The Reserve Eukanuba Golden Oldie 2009 was the Apricot Standard Poodle, Kirkinner Sky’s the Limit with Sympika. Well handled to get the best out of her, she was beautifully presented, elegant and moved enthusiastically. Well proportioned with a deep chest and short back.
The sponsors were on hand to present the beautiful trophies and awards which included a large bag of food to each of the winners from Eukanuba. The oldest Golden Oldie, a spritely 15-year-old Shetland Sheepdog, Abuela Rupert the Bear, was also presented with a special award and it was just a shame that the camera wasn’t on the pack of ladies trying to get his attention due to his selective hearing whilst he was having his picture taken!
It was a wonderful evening and I was honoured to be part of it. My grateful thanks goes to the organisers and sponsors and the supporters from all the clubs that came together to make it such a special event. Finally, a round of applause to all the wonderful Golden Oldies whom are still enjoying life and keep us going.
It was with great sadness that I heard after writing the report that the Weimaraner, owned by Lynda Yewdall, sadly passed away not long after the event. It was apparently very sudden and must have been a tremendous shock for her owner. My heartfelt sympathies go out to her.
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