This year the UKSWC Annual Event moved to North Devon. The double ISWS sanctioned Specialty Show was hosted in the private grounds of Braunton's primary school whilst the racing was just over the border in Somerset, writes Joy Middleton
Unfortunately the weather did not quite hold for the conformation shows but in true British style exhibitors, judges and officials got on with the job in hand. Even the spectators manned up and supported the show through to the end although for the main it was just drizzle!
It was commendable and great recognition of the weekend event to see exhibitors travel incredible distances to attend. From Scotland, Northern England, Wales, East and Southern England every corner was covered. Of course mention must also be made of those who came from Germany. However many were rewarded by stopping a few extra nights and enjoying the spectacular and somewhat enviable beaches on this coastline.
The morning show was judged by Mr Chris Fittus who awarded Best In Show to ISWS Ch Kumbaya Believe in Magic "....a beautiful outline and well bodied..... ". Best Opposite to ISWS Ch Kumbaya Kismet Starborough "......an eye-catching girl in lovely bloom....". Other principle winners included G Grist's Faolan of Silkenjoy and Kushbudar Cloudsong at Endevor who took Winners Dog and Winners Bitch respectively, both critiqued with balanced heads and good movement amongst their attributes. Best Puppy went to the Carpenter's Satsuma Twilight Sparkle, considered both an attractive youngster and promising puppy.
Following his appointment, Mr Fittus summed up "What a pleasure it was to assess such a lovely collection of hounds, and what nice exhibitors you are, I thank you all. Overall I feel that you are lucky to have such high quality stock, and my decisions were hair-splitting and based solely on the day, movement was sound throughout and your hounds' condition was without exception excellent. What a shame that the weather wasn't kinder to us".
The afternoon show was judged by Mr Mike Turner whose Best in Show, Best of Winners, Winners Dog and Best Bred By was the black and white Pengybrook Endevor Justadude ".....a dog whom I thought to be quite outstanding which excelled on the move showing reach, drive and extension. Absolutely true coming and going. So clean all through in fit, hard, gleaming condition ..." Best Opposite In Show was brindle parti bitch Kushbudar Whispering Winds at Variare "....a bitch with an elegant outline, a powerful and effortless mover showing drive and extension..." Winners Bitch was Kushbudar Cloudsong at Endevor "....black headed white bitch of super type and neat and tidy all through. Sound purposeful mover...." Best Puppy, Satsuma Twilight Sparkle ".....brindle bitch with everything going for her. Moved soundly with reach and drive..."
Mr Turner was delighted to have been offered the appointment continuing "... Silkens are a breed I have followed with interest since their inception here in the UK. It was good to be able to see more consistent type and size is becoming more stable. Most dogs were exhibited in good correct coat, a few in their underwear but with little to hide. On the whole presentation was excellent, with a few minor exceptions. A few weak pasterns are still to be seen, but on the whole fronts are much tidier and pinning in is much less in evidence. Heads, overall, were super, and eye shape and colour is also on the up. Top lines overall were pleasing, and loins correct - but still quite a few flat backs and steep croups which need watching. I also found a few slab-sided ones. Hindquarters are much improved with better bend of stifle generally, but still some that are too short in second thigh giving a shuffling hind gait, which lacks drive and correct extension. Movement overall was most pleasing. A few still moving too wide and a few too narrow, but Rome wasn't built in a day! Please do take my observations as constructive, you really are all to be commended on your hard work and dedication to this lovely breed - which is really going from strength to strength. Temperament right across the board was excellent, with every dog present quite happy to be gone over and handled by me. My thanks to the officers and committee for their extremely warm welcome and hospitality,and to you the Exhibitors for allowing me the opportunity to get my hands on your lovely hounds" .
The following day, as is now tradition for the UKSWC Annual Event, the performance section was this time held at Taunton Polo Ground, home of West Somerset Whippet Racing Club. With a straight grass track of 200 yards Open and Novice classes were held. The Novice entries each had two individual runs, both timed. The fastest of each run was used for the final placings.
Kushbudar Whispering Winds at Variare stole the Bitch section for the second year running, with newcomer Prince Caspian of Silkenjoy putting in two sterling runs to take the Dog section. Interestingly his time was not that far of the top Open Dog runners so is definitely one to watch in 2018! The Open class was run as a knockout, another new concept for the club event. It certainly created a high mix of excitement and tension.
With some very excellent runs put in the eventual winner - after 3 runs - was the very determined Kushbudar The Heart's Cry. In the bitch section the overall winner was Kushbudar Na Sidhe. Rounding the day of with the prize giving and raffle one could see for owners and hounds it had been a very enjoyable day. Our sincere thanks to WSWRC for hosting the day for us.
For both the confirmation shows and the racing event, full results and critiques may be found on the clubs UKSWC Websitewww.uksilkenwindhoundclub.org
For 2018, the UKSWC Annual Show and Racing event returns to Kent. More details will follow in the New Year.