Winner of the Petplan Junior Stakes Grand Final 2004,
Mr Allen & Mrs Browne-Cole’s Wire Fox Terrier Travella Stand and Deliver
What a beautiful setting Blenheim Palace lends to this prestigious event. The marquees were erected next to the river and on the opposite side, up the bank and behind the trees was the hubbub of the equally prestigious equine event, the Blenheim Pet Plan International Horse Trials.
There was a very friendly informal welcome from the Pet Plan representatives on arrival with light refreshments available.
The main marquee had the ring beautifully laid out and behind it was two large board showing the dogs names and the bitches names with space to show the joint marks for conformation, type and movement of each exhibit.
Each spectator was provided with a programme and a pen to make notes and the ringside was packed with a veritable who's who of the canine world.
Centre stage was taken by Mr Peter Jenner, Pet Plan National Sales Manager and he welcomed everyone to this the 10th Grand Final. The stakes attracts an average entry of 230 at each of the qualifying heats now scheduled at just over half of our championship shows. Mr Jenner also paid tribute to the show secretaries and judges who made the events so successful, also to Jill Peak for acting as co-ordinator between their office and the hosting shows.
Unfortunately there had been a last minute withdrawal, it was the long coated Chihuahua Yeosinga Caravagio at Ballybroke, bred by Messrs Brian Leonard and Francis Yeoh and owned by Graham & Margaret Foote; all the other exhibits were very much present and correct.
Without further ado Mr Jenner introduced the 3 eminent judges for the day and they were Mr Bryn Cadogan, Mr Dennis Coxall and Mrs Maureen Micklethwaite and duly handed the event over to them under the watchful eye of Chief Steward Mr Mark Cocozza.
The commentary was given by Mr Andrew Brace who promptly introduced the first of the 12 dogs and 13 bitches to parade into ring.
The judges went over each exhibit and immediately after assessment they awarded marks for conformation and type. The marks for each exhibit from each judge were then added and displayed on the board so the spectators could see how the dogs were progressing. Each exhibit then returned for the marks to be given for movement.
The five exhibits with the top marks were then invited back to be assessed for that essential star quality.
Those five were easily recognised because they were the only ones to score in excess of 70 points out of a possible 90; the final five were the Beagle Ch Dialynne Shelaft Woolly Willewin, Wire Fox Terrier Travella Stand and Deliver, Samoyed Roybridge Ruff Diamond, Norwich Ch Ragus Truly Unruly and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Penliath Fatal Attraction.
Each of our final five exhibits were then brought back into the ring for Mr Cadogan, Mr Coxall and Mrs Micklethwaite to see move around the ring for those all important star quality marks to be decided. It became very suspenseful when the three judges asked for the Corgi Penliath Fatal Attraction and Beagle Ch Diallyn Shelaft Wooly Willewin to be brought back into the ring for each judge to award a single vote for only one of the exhibits. It is so exciting when the results are so close.
Andrew Brace then announced the results in reverse order, 5th was the Corgi, 4th the Beagle, while in 3rd spot was Samoyed Roybridge Ruff Diamond.
To add to the suspense Andrew left a suitable pause before announcing in the runner up spot was Ch Ragus Truly Unruly and the top honour to the appropriately named Travella Stand and Deliver and his handler Richard Allen allowed himself to relax and beam a very big smile. When asked how he felt he replied ' I'm on cloud 9 and it just hasn't sunk in yet '.
The breeder Mr Bill Browne-Cole was brought into the ring along with Mr Gerry Allen who co-owns the dog with Mrs Sue Browne-Cole.
This young dog has only been to five shows and Bill Browne-Cole's response to the win was 'Unbelievable. Fantastic, fantastic wasn't it? BIS last week and we are delighted with her, Richard is so used to showing the bitch but he adapted to the dog's change of pace so well'.
This dog has a super background and it seems that in general our best breeders are so modest about their achievements, it is wonderful to see them so exuberant.
Mr Gerry Allen responded to the very cheeky question, 'who were you proudest of, your dog or your handler/son?' was to give an old fashioned look, think about it, and say decisively 'My son' - right answer dad!
Dennis Coxall said he had 'two nice judges to judge with and we jelled well together although we didn't confer. Pet Plan put on a beautiful event, they treated their judges well and with courtesy, and the system worked well.'
A super dog stood and delivered a fabulous title to very nice people having won a very hotly contested final that was littered with wonderful quality stock.