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Dane of the Year 2005
The 52nd DOTY was held on 16th October 2005 at the Connexion, Coventry,
the "home" of Dane of the Year.

Photo By Alan V Walker
Dane of the Year 2005 was Messrs Hooker & Gifford’s Harlequin bitch
Ch Ravendane Magic for Garsak

The show has four sponsoring Breed Club’s, The Northern Great Dane Club, Midland and West of England Great Dane Club, The Great Dane Club of South Wales and the East of England Great Dane Club, who take it in turn as sponsors of the show. This year it was the turn of the Great Dane Club of South Wales.

The now customary photographs of the previous winners were on display, as was the "Welsh Dragon rampant" to welcome exhibitors and visitors alike. Judges and Club tables were cloaked with the Host Club’s embroidered cloths. These depict the heads of the 5 colours of our lovely breed.

Joining the four sponsoring Clubs were the Great Dane Club and the Scottish Great Dane Club along with National Great Dane Rescue, who all seemed to do a good "trade" on their stands.

Sue and Cyril Bishton, staunch supporters of many Dane shows were on hand with their bedding stand and generously gave to the raffle which was excellently supported by all.

Once again there were those who attended the first DOTY in 1953 in attendance, namely Mrs Nellie Ennals and our Club President Mr Les Lewis and his wife Ivy. It’s marvellous that such people still enjoy this very special event in the Dane calender.

Coincidentally, this year The Horse of the Year Show was being held just down the road at the NEC. This was the event that gave Fergus Taylor the idea for DOTY all those years ago, an idea followed by a number of different breeds.

The usual early start to judging at 9.30am brought Mrs Kath Humphries into the ring to sort out the males whilst Mrs Ann Foxwell started at 10.00am on the bitches.

They had drawn the wonderful entry of 220 dogs making 296 entries. This number is second only to Crufts in a year where entries have fallen away yet again in general. Hopefully this entry shows that dane people really do care about Dane of the Year. It is, to many, still the most prestigious in the Calender. As someone who has had the privilege to twice win DOTY, judge and manage the show I can quite honestly say that it is special, just ask others who have won the title, judged or managed it, they will no doubt say exactly the same.

As is now usual the judges took a light lunch in the ring in order to keep proceedings moving and both judges kept up a good pace.

Once judging of both sexes was completed, the two rings were opened up in readiness for the unbeaten lineups. To a packed ringside the unbeaten dogs were first to be called into the ring.

After moving them all, Kath found her Best Dog in Jenny Wiltshires CH. LADYMERE LORD OF THE DANCE handled by daughter Leah and who was DOTY in 2004. Reserve Best Dog was Sue Bishtons JAYDANIA SUN SHADE and Best Puppy Dog John Heather and Candice Dysons SAMDICE SWEET CHILD O’MINE, handled as usual by Candice.

The best dog decided it was time for the unbeaten bitches to be put through their paces and Ann selected Gary Hooker and Reg Giffords Harlequin CH RAVENDANE MAGIC FOR GARSAK. Reserve bitch going to Gary Hooker and John Lockey’s CH GARSAK BLAZE. Best Puppy bitch went to Joyce Micklewright’s youngster DAINEDEN AS YOU LIKE IT.

Both judges were then in action together to run the rule over the Brace and Team Classes.
It was now time to decide on who was to be DOTY; was Lord of the Dance going to follow CH. Drumview Trade Secret and CH. Janriche He’s Daring to become only the third dane to win "back to back" DOTY’s?

Having gone over each others "Bests", Kath and Ann deliberated but could not agree and so it was down to the referee, Roy Tripconey, to put both exhibits through their paces. Roy’s decision was in favour of the Harlequin bitch, thus CH RAVENDANE MAGIC FOR GARSAK was declared BIS and Dane of the Year, with Lord of the Dance RBIS and BOS.

Roy was again in action to decide on BPIS and he selected the fawn dog puppy Samdice Sweet Child O’Mine and so the judging concluded at 4.15 pm.

There were donations from many exhibitors and dane fanciers, too many to mention individually but your generosity is greatly appreciated as is that of Hills who donated bags of food to the main winners. The judges had most generously donated suitably inscribed porcelain dishes to be won outright by the principle winners.

As is traditional with the Great Dane Club of South Wales the judges were presented with brass miners lamps as a memento of the day.

So, that was DOTY 2005 proving that although "only an open show" in certain quarters, it still retains its magic for most of us in the breed, whether regular show goers, those who are just owners of pets and those who are considering acquiring a dane. It is a showcase, of that there is no doubt, and long may it be the case. So it’s on to 2006. See you there!