Report by Diana Rich

The Welsh Kennel Club are always very thorough in anything they organise and this event is no exception; there is no event in the canine calendar which this reporter finds more enjoyable than the WKC Top Dog and Top Puppy competition. It is good to see so many regular faces there as well as so many new ones, but the best part is that it has retained a family atmosphere that was apparent at my very first visit to this event.

The event is well supported and the entries are made before the exhibitors are even aware of whom the judges are; the identities of the judges are announced on the day and this year’s judges were from Scotland, they were Mr Tom Johnston of the Feldkirk kennel and Mr Frank Whyte of the Kazval affix.

Mr Johnston awards CCs in 17 breeds and is also passed to judge the Terrier and Working Groups; he is also an international championship show judge and has judged in Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Russia, Malta, South Africa and Australia as well as the Channel Islands.
Mr Frank Whyte has owned or bred champions in six breeds and three groups and has won over 150 CCs. There have been a Top Sire, three Top Brood Bitches and he has been Top Breeder in two breeds as well as breeding a breed record-holder. Awarding CCs in 10 breeds in the Gundog Group and the Group, Mr Whyte is also an international judge having judged in Scandinavia, Europe, South Africa and Australia.

At midday the draw was done for the Puppy Contest. The first numbers were drawn for judge A and then the order for Judge B was announced. This was followed by the two judges selecting an envelope each and it proved to be that Judge A was Mr Tom Johnston and Mr Frank Whyte was Judge B.

Collecting ring steward Mr Ifor Williams sent in the first two exhibits for Mr Johnston to go over in the knockout competition which is judged on the match system. The joint WKC Secretaries Graham and Ann Hill had the task of giving a running commentary on each exhibit, Graham gave the commentary on the dogs from the information provided by Ann – they make an excellent working partnership.

Tom Johnston went over each dog very thoroughly and the pairs were whittled down till only the last two remained in Group A; they were the Kerry Blue Terrier Rimbert Queen Padme, bred by Ms P Ward and owned by the Bradley family who are regular supporters of this event and the Pug Chasing Shadows For Sandpug JW ShCM, bred by Mr & Mrs Downing and owned by Mrs Downing and Mrs Crowther. After moving the again the winner of Group A was The Kerry.

It was then Frank Whyte’s turn to examine each of his pairs of exhibits until he had knocked out all but the last two. The final pair in Group B were the Pyrenean Mountain Dog Gillandant Kiss And Tell At Desalazara bred by G Pollard and owned by Mr & Mrs Ford with the Mini Smooth Dachund Celtichills Hot Chocolate At Cwmdarhian, bred by Mr Organ and owned by Rhian Williams. It was quite a comparison to see the substantial PMD against the diminutive Mini Dachund and they went round giving another opportunity for Mr Whyte to decide his finalist was the Pyrenean Mountain Dog.

The two judges then came back into the ring together and Ifor Williams sent the two finalists into the ring. Judge A examined the Group B finalist and vice versa and they then conferred for a minute, the decision was made; they informed the Ring Steward Mr Tegwyn Jones who the winner was and Graham Hill announced that the winner of Top Puppy 2009 was the 22 month old Pyrenean Mountain Dog Gillandant Kiss And Tell At Desalazara, otherwise known as Trinny and handled by daughter Hannah Moore. Tinny already has 2 CCs, 2 RCCs and won 6 BP awards including Crufts under Mr Albert Wight. Reserve WKC Top Puppy 2009 was the 11 month Kerry bitch Rimbert Queen Padme.

The awards were presented and photographs taken and then it was time for a light lunch.
Mid afternoon saw the draw for the Top Dog Contest and this time the Officers and Committee had changed into evening dress and they looked very smart. Chairman Mr Denys Simpson and Tegwyn Roberts organised the draw as they had for the Puppy Contest and Mr T Mervyn Evans announced the dog’s numbers as they were drawn. The judges repeated the selection of envelopes which repeated that Judge A was Tom Johnston and Judge B was Frank Whyte.

For the second time, Tom took the ring and Ifor sent the dogs down in pairs. Graham Hill continued his commentary and the knock out system left the two Group A finalists, they were last year’s Top Puppy Mr Phil Davies Kerry Blue bitch Ch Perrisblu Kennislain’s Chelsey and Mr & Mrs Dallow’s Bouvier des Flandres dog Ch Benclutha Fortune’s Angel. A second look and the winner of the Group A final was the Bouvier.

Frank Whyte then took the ring and again the pairs came into the ring and they were put through their paces until he had wound them down to the last two. The Group B finalists were the Dover’s 3 year old Pug dog Ch Tsuselena Mission Impossible Via Tilheralf JW ShCM and the Quigley Day and Piper partnership’s 3?yr old Dobermann bitch Ch Swnydwr Supa Tramp AI JW. Frank then took another good look at each before putting through the Doberman.

For the second time both judges returned to the ring to make an examination of each other’s winning exhibits. Each dog was again given the opportunity to show itself to its best advantage and the decision took slightly longer and again they took another look. Finally the decision was made WKC Top Dog 2009 was Mrs and Mrs Dallow’s Bouvier Ch Benclutha Fortune’s Angel who will be 4 in January and the runner up was the Doberman Ch Swnydwr Supa Tramp AI JW.
It was again time for the presentations and it was particularly rewarding to see Patsi Ann being there in person to make the presentation of the bronze sculpture she donated for the winner. Patsi Ann has been a supporter of this event for many years and this was the first time for several years she had been in the country at the time of the show.

It was interesting to hear that she will be at LKA after quite an absence and she will have her new Yorkshire Terrier model as well as the Meer cats which went down a storm at the World Show. It was also interesting to learn that she hopes to be concentrating on a range of smaller models, porcelain models and to introduce a range of jewellery in the not too distant future. I cannot wait, all the Patsi Ann range is done to such a high standard that jewellery will soon be a must have item.

After the presentations and the photographs were finished the Committee disassembled the ring and the room was prepared for the dinner.

There were drinks served at 7.15 pm ready for dinner at 8 and the doggie clothes made way for the elegance of evening dress for the ladies and DJs and dark suits for the gentlemen. Once everyone was seated, grace was said, firstly in Welsh and then in English and the meal was served. The food was very good and the vegetarian option was equally delicious.

After dinner Chairman Denys Simpson gave thanks to a very hard working sub-committee for all they had done. And special thanks were given to Pat Evans and Bethan Evans for all their hard work in supporting the event. Presentations and special thanks also went to Royal Canin for their sponsorship as well as both sets of dog press and of course to Patsi Ann. There was also a rendition of happy birthday to Mrs Jones of the Tonmawr Whippets. Mr & Mrs Jones are regular supporters of this event. The evening was then given over to a very healthy raffle and then the dancing which went on till the early hours. This reporter called I a day at about 1.45am leaving many still enjoying the festivities.

This event manages to combine a family friendly atmosphere with the smooth running efficiency one has come to expect from the Welsh Kennel Club. Congratulations to the Officers, Committee and especially the Sub-Committee: Mervyn Evans, Ifor Williams, Tegwyn Jones and G M Roberts who is better known as Stan. Thank you for a wonderful weekend and I very much hope to be there again next year.

View pictures by Sol Rich from the show by clicking here

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