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East Anglian Supermatch
Apso ‘Buddy’ best at ever-popular Supermatch!

Overall winner of the 15th East Anglian Supermatch
was Tracey Gilman’s Lhasa Apso Mytilene Budweizer

It’s the weekend before Crufts, and you are busy preparing your dogs (and yourselves) – unless of course you are lucky enough to be amongst the top dogs in East Anglia – for Saturday the 5th March was the ‘East Anglian Supermatch’!

Hosted annually by Huntingdonshire Canine Society, Best in Show, Best Puppy in show and reserves from selected shows are invited to compete at this most prestigious event.

Not only is it the perfect opportunity to don your poshest of outfits, it is also an opportunity to help support some of the UK’s most deserving charities.

This year the beneficiary was the Animal Health Trust’s Cancer Appeal, whose aim is to raise £1 million for a Linear Accelerator. As one in four dogs will suffer from cancer it is a facility that will certainly benefit ‘dogdom’ as a whole.

As usual everybody dug deep and a whopping £830 was made on the raffle alone, plus kind donations from others unable to attend.

The supermatch is renowned for selecting some of the UK’s top judges and this year was certainly no exception, with Mr Jack Bispham, Mrs Jean Collins and Mrs Dagmar Kenis-Pordham officiating, and I am sure they were spoilt for choice by the quality of dogs in attendance.

Commentating for the evening was Bernard Hall, who shared with the audience quirky, embarrassing and endearing stories about each of the exhibits, and if you ever feel in need of a smile, ask Terry Brent (Dreamcatcher Siberians) about Chrystelle’s ‘most embarrassing moment’!
The match began with the puppies, with the judging shared equally between the three judges.

Due to the smooth running, and the efficiency of the exhibitors it was not long before the quarter finals were upon us, and jean Collins had four to choose from: the young Afghan Miamarna Motivator JW, the Swedish Vallhund Castleavery Stormseeker Under Mystarz owned by Stella Coombs, the Golden Retriever Summeramba Stilton, who was owned and bred by Mr & Mrs Golder (whose fan club was certainly in attendance!) and the Bullmastiff Dajoxx Je Ne Sais Quoi.

After much deliberation Jean Collins selected Dawn Williams’ Bullmastiff "Jazz" as top Puppy. Jazz has had an enviable show career so far being Top Bullmastiff Puppy 2004, one Res CC and winning two Best Puppy in show awards (one of which was the qualifying win for the Supermatch). To think Dawn very nearly didn’t make it due to being snowed in for four days!

Reserve Puppy was then awarded to the glamorous Afghan owned by Mrs S Gill & Mrs S Marshall. Aged only 19 months Hadley has already gained his Junior Warrant, and qualified by winning reserve Best Puppy in show at the Newmarket two day open show.

With no time for a break it was on with the main competition, with the judging again shared equally. Yet again all exhibitors were ready and waiting, so the match could proceed without a single hitch or hold up, and again the quarter finals were soon upon us.

Jack Bispham was surely spoilt for choice when presented with the stunning Rhodesian Ridgeback Ch Veldtkammer Lady Done a Bunk, owned and bred by Mr & Mrs Parke; the Lhasa Apso Mytilene Budweizer JW ShCM, the Siberian Husky Ch U’Catcher Dream of BakerLake (imp) and Caroline Odd’s wonderful Pomeranian Ch Trenarwyn Ebony Statesman.

The podium was then brought out and Mr Bispham’s overall winner was declared as Tracey Gillman’s Homebred Lhasa Apso ‘Buddy’. Not yet two years of age, he gained his JW by 11 months of age and won his Show Certificate of Merit in just five shows. Reserve was then selected as Mick & Terry Brent’s ‘Chrystelle’.

Another that is not yet two but already has four CCs all with BOB making her the UK’s youngest Siberian Husky Champion. She has also won two CACIBs on the continent and is the 2004 Top Siberian Husky bitch.

The photocall was then undertaken and a special award was given, for hidden amongst the 200+ guests was a different kind of judge, looking for the "Best presented" handler and exhibitor. The winner was announced as Wendy Brandrick and her Tibetan Terrier Araki Picture Perfect. Wendy had purchased her outfit in the sales, but had to diet to get into it. Having lost 17lbs Wendy was delighted to then gain £100 of Dezynadogs vouchers and a beautiful crystal bowl. Our ‘mystery’ judge was then revealed as Anita Bax. As twice UK Groomer of the Year and twice International Groomer of the Yyear Anita certainly has an eye for style.

Time then for the dogs to be settled back on their benches and the dancing to begin. Our own Alan and Kath Walker, despite having spent the whole night photographing the dogs in attendance were soon on the dance floor with Alan only reluctantly giving in when it was time to break down his mobile studio.

This year as a worker behind the scenes I could no longer take the pace but I understand the festivities went on into the early hours!

The general consensus amongst exhibitors, judges and all involved was that the event was a total success and I am sure everyone will be back next year. Of course the event could not have gone ahead without its sponsors of whom there are many, but special thanks must go to Purina Pro Plan and Dezynadog. We certainly cannot forget to mention Avril Lacey and Stan Szyczewski who, apart from organising the whole mammoth event also provided the wonderful floral decorations, balloons and pure ambience. Thank You!

Best Puppy in the Supermatch was Dawn Williams’ Bullmastiff Jazz
– or rather more formerly known as Dajoxx Je Ne Sais Quoi

Runner up in the Supermatch was Mrs T Brent’s Siberian Husky
Ch U’Catcher Dream of Baker Lake (imp) pictured here with the three judges Dagmar Kenis–Pordham, Jean Collins and Kack Bispham and representing the major co-sponsors Domenico Traversari of Purina Pro Plan and Mandy Flatt of Dezynadog

Judges’ view

A GREAT afternoon and evening. I thank the organisers for asking me to judge. Some super dogs, I had the honour of placing the final puppies that my co-judges had sent in. Four beautiful youngsters: the Golden Retriever dog Golder’s Summeramba Stilton, bred by the exhibitor and showing well; Coombs’ Swedish Vallhund bitch Castleavery Stormseeker Under Mystatz, bred by Mr and Mrs Gililand, who have done some very clever breeding; Gill’s Afghan dog Miamarma Motivator JW, owner bred and shown by daughter Sharon; Williams’ Bullmastiff bitch Dajoxx Je Ne Sais Quoi, bred by exhibitor.

First was the outstanding Bullmastiff, beautiful head, correct mouth, excellent body and movement. Second was a difficult choice between the Afghan who showed so well, was glamorous and presented in such beautiful condition, and the Vallhund, a good representative of the breed, well constructed and moving nicely. The Afghan just made the reserve spot.

I judged several rounds of some of the top dogs. Difficult decisions sometimes and the exhibitors were happy win or lose; how nice to see this, they had all done well to qualify for this match.

Making it into the third round, Brent’s Siberian Husky Ch U’catcher Dream of Baker Lane, a beautiful specimen of the breed, soundly constructed and moving well; Dyer’s Pointer Sharn Philly Simply The Best, well constructed and moving well. Odd’s Pom Ch Trenawyn Ebony Statesman, full of himself and moving well, made it to the quarter final. Naden’s Pointer Trandmere Darkstar over Wychwood completed the quartet. The Husky went on to Reserve Top Dog. The super Clumber and eight year old Sammy in sparkling condition were unlucky to be matched against the Sibe.

Jean Collins

Life is wonderful when you are in good company!

Good company at a super ‘do’!
Good company — lovely quality dogs!
Good company — well organised and so well set up!
Good company … the exhibitors, who were in good humour, took the judges decisions gracefully
Good company … fellow judges Jean Collins and Jack Bispham
Good company... there can be no better commentary at show level than that provided by Bernard and Rosemary Hall!

The ring was spacious, our ring steward was quiet and efficient; the dogs exhibited were clean and well behaved and most importantly, of really superior quality. It really made for a lovely couple of hours judging, and I found myself smiling much of the time when I occasionally heard the commentary. It adds so much to the overall atmosphere when the individual dogs are described by their owners as simply pets, away from the show ring.

As will happen whenever the match format where two dogs are judged and one is knocked out, the element of chance will sometimes bring two outstanding dogs together, and then again sometimes two not-quite-right-on the day ones. This was particularly true in the Puppy competition, where of course a qualifying puppy sometimes would enter the "teenage" stage by the time this Supermatch comes around. I had some difficult decisions in the earliest round where a really find hound lost to the eventual last couple of dogs.

The winner of the Puppy competition and the Runner up are really most promising youngsters who without doubt will finish up as Champions. My heart goes to the young Afghan dog, Mrs. Gill’s Miamarna Motivator. A beautiful outline, stunning head and expression, already full of pride. He moved with verve and freedom although I felt the ring was rather small for such a wonderful mover. The Bullmastiff bitch, Mrs. Williams’ Dajoxx Je Ne Sais Quoi, scores on her wonderful outline, free powerful action and a most wonderful head and expression. So at one with her owner/breeder/handler, lovely to see such fine interaction.

The winner of the Adult competition was the immaculately prepared young Lhasa Apso dog, Mrs. Gillman’s Mytilene Budweizer. Such presence….wonderful head and expression; beautifully balanced outline, such a wonderful mover. I will certainly follow his career with great interest over the next few years! Runner up was the Siberian Husky, Mrs.Brent’s Chl. U’Catcher Dream of Baker Lake, another youngster of nearly two year. When I say ‘workman like’ I mean it is a huge compliment; but she is also wonderfully prepared for the showring, coat literally gleaming. Such a free mover, and again a compliment to the show organisers that three of the four finalists were relatively big dog that were able to show off their paces on this carpeted surface.

I feel I must mention a couple of the ‘losers’ amongst the adults, that I had the pleasure of judging in my rounds. the Finnish Spitz Ch. Konniakas Kovv, the Leonberger Ch.Landstryder Majic Man, the Smooth Collie veteran, Ch. Newarp Jesena Moonlight Sonata and the wonderful youngster, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, Ch. Veldtkammer Lady Done a Bunk… all wonderful examples of their breed and simply unlucky to have been against the eventual over all winner.
I thank the organisers for inviting me to be part of a really lovely afternoon and evening!

Dagmar Kenis Pordham

I thank all concerned for a very enjoyable time at this Charity Event, which was hosted by the Huntingdonshire Canine Society. Avril Lacey and her ‘team’ had made a first class job of setting up the hall and ring. The atmosphere throughout was very friendly, like dog shows used to be years ago.

The match commenced at 4pm, and along with my two charming lady judges we had some very good dogs to assess, we started with the puppies, and then the adults and when the other two judges had made their selections leaving me with four dogs to assess for the Best in Match.
The Best in Match was a well balanced Lhasa Apso, Mrs Gillham’s Mytilene Budweizer JW, in full coat which was presented in top order. Lovely level top line, sound quarters, never put a foot wrong all through the event, a pleasure to watch on the move.

Res Best in Match was Mrs Brent’s Siberian Husky Ch U’Catcher Dream Of Baker Lake (Imp), a good looking bitch, shown and presented in first class order. Sound front and rear giving effortless movement, nice overall body shape well covered, makes the most of standing and showing off her lovely profile. The dinner was followed by dancing, but unfortunately due to other commitments the following day I had to leave early.

Jack B Bispham