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Tyne Wear & Tees Hound of the Year

TYNE WEAR & Tees Hound Association held its annual Hound of the Year competition on Saturday January 22. The judge this year (a secret until the evening) was Mrs Katherine Herrington of the Kathington Dachshunds.

Despite the heavy snow, there was a god turnout of exhibits, some had even travelled from Scotland and Yorkshire.

Before judging, a minute’s silence was held in memory of Jean Lamb of the Howrigg Dachshunds. Jean was am honorary life member of te society, and had been its treasurer for many years.

First in were the veterans. The winner was Joan Wright’s Wintergold Wish. Katherine felt he was moving like a youngster. As always, the sausages for the exhibits were much appreciated.

Next was Hound of the Year. There was a slight change to the organisation this year. After several knock out, one against one rounds, the winning dogs were brought in a a line up for the judge to select her winners. Previously, the knock out rounds ran through the whole competition.

From a strong line up, Katherine selected Liz Third’s Bruntsfield Playaway, all the way from Scotland – en route to Liverpool. This completed his collection of Hound of the Year rosettes, as he won puppy and was reserve on the last occasion. In a few years, he’ll have to try for the veteran, to make a full set! Reserve was Jen Davies’ Beagle, Seevad High Life.

Katherine had particularly liked his balance and lack of exaggeration. She also felt the Beagle was a sound and stylish dog.

Finally, after the usual superb buffet, it was the turn of the puppies. From these, Katherine awarded Best Puppy to a local dog, Pat Feetham’s Basset, Kimblehome Secret Chamber. Reserve was another Whippet, this time from Yorkshire, Margaret Dixon’s Hammonds Mary Rose of Millwold. The Basset, Katherine felt, was a handsome dog, oozing ring presence. The Whippet she like for type and soundness.

Talking to her later, she said she’d had some tough decisions, and felt the quality of exhibits was generally very high.

Sadly, because of rising show costs, this could be the last Hound of the Year. It costs the association a substantial amount to run, because all exhibitors are invited free of charge. Upon hearing this information, Margaret Dixon took the floor and called for the association to reconsider, and possibly start charging the entrants, rather than lose this popular event.

As requested, the association’s committee will look into alternatives.

Denise Tyerman