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Magnus brings it on home

Issue: 16/07/2021

Best in Show at East of England Championship Show was the Tibetan Spaniel, Ch Souska I Need your Love,  owned by Richard Lemon pictured with Mr John Orbell (Chairman), best in show judge Mrs Marion Sargent & Pat Dufty (Secretary).
Photo: Alan Seymour

Having won reserve best in show at this same event back in 2019, Richard Lemons popular Tibetan Spaniel defied the odds yet again by taking his second best in show at the second all breed general championship show in 2021. 
Two weeks ago, we wrote in OUR DOGS report of Southern Counties, that the excitement felt by many reached new heights on Sunday evening when Magnus the Tibetan Spaniel (Ch Souska I Need your Love) owned by Richard Lemon made history by becoming the first ever Tibetan Spaniel to take top spot at an all-breed championship show. Who would have thought that he would repeat the feat at the next major show? OUR DOGS spoke to a delighted Richard who told us that ‘their world has gone crazy’ (in a nice way of course!) The telephone has been ringing off the hook and messages galore have been pouring in. Richard added,
“We are amazed at winning BIS at the first two general championship shows of this year, it’s been an absolutely amazing time and we are so very grateful to all the judges for thinking so very highly of Magnus, he just loves to show his best and we are thankful to friends in Tibetan spaniels and other breeds who all came back to support him for best in show”


As at SCCA two weeks ago, much of the talk pre show in the build up centred on another major show running under ‘Covid 19’ conditions. East of England also ran largely in the same way as SCCA with no benching, no tents and a large aircraft hangar type construction for the groups and best in show judging, one of the agricultural buildings on this vast site in Peterborough. The society had also taken the decision to extend the show over four days to allow more space for rings and social distancing, and again like Southern Counties had to adjust their layout to accommodate all the changes. Everything seemed to work well under the circumstances with the odd comment about length of grass or the spread-out nature of things, which is the way of the world right now and maybe even after July 19th, ‘Freedom Day’. Certainly, any fears of space for tents and gazebos came to nothing as there were acres of space wherever you looked. 
Alan Hards, Show Manager of East of England told OUR DOGS after the show, 
“Well, that’s East of England champ and open show put to bed for another year, it was a hard 5 days; we hope you all enjoyed yourselves and liked the layout for this year. As show manager I would like to thank my set-up team of John & Maureen Betts, Paul & Sue Clack, Ken & Althea Richardson, John & Eileen Gaskill, Bob & Wilma Sutherland, not forgetting my wife Helen, the E of E committee, show ground staff, and of course the Exhibitors for making it a happy and relaxed show; we look forward to seeing you all next year hopefully having put Covid restrictions behind us. Just wanted also to say a big thanks to the caravan wardens; also, it was very noticeable each day how calm everyone was with no rushing to get space in grooming areas. Lots of people made a day of it sitting relaxed at their gazebo having a chilled time. 
For sure, there were many ‘staycationers’ packing the caravan park and by and large they also enjoyed good weather throughout the week. But, just like SCCA again, the show was very lucky with the weather gods in that any heavy rain occurred either after judging had been completed or also at night…Friday night could have had an Ark floating by as many local businesses in the area were swamped with flash flooding. Some trade stands also got their feet wet but seemed to get through to Sunday evening and then have a fast drive home to catch the football! 


An unusual double was scored at East of England championship show when the Tibetan Spaniel, Richard Lemon’s Ch Souska I Need Your Love (Magnus), repeated his Southern Counties success by winning BIS, and the L/h Dachshund, Daniel Roberts’ Swansford Gregorydor (Greg), was awarded RBPIS. Greg was bred by Daniel who, together with his partner Ian Blackshaw (pictured centre), also bred Magnus. Well done chaps! 
All the groups and BIS took place in a large airy building. It was agreat occasion for Marion Sargent who had the honour of judging Best in Show for the first time. The current regulations talk of masks indoors and there seemed to be a variance of mask wearing when the best of breeds went in…. some did, some didn’t. Anyway, it seems that soon it will be down to personal choice and responsibility. OUR DOGS ran livestreams over the four days and the show was being viewed from all corners of the world. I wondered what viewers in Hawaii made of Chairman John Orbells grey bowler hat! 
One way or the other, most viewers agreed that all the group judges had groups of great depth and quality. Glenway Dymock had his hands full doing all the puppy groups and BPIS which he gave to Marie Burns smart Westie. 
Another notable win featured the popular Cocker Spaniel ‘Vinnie’ who was winning his 92nd CC and 14th Gundog group at East of England. In doing so he has equalled the record for group wins for a Cocker Spaniel and now shares the record with the illustrious CH Colinwood Silver Lariot who held the record since 1961. Breed judge was Ger Philpott and group judge Colin Woodward.  Owner Sarah Amos Jones was obviously delighted to be part of a stunning BIS line up, which of course is featured in the judges reports in this issue. 


Final words to hard working secretary Pat Dufty who told OUR DOGS, 
“The committee were determined that the show would go ahead, and plans were put in place at the beginning of the year to have an outdoor show without benching and held over 4 days instead of 3. Once we had approval from the Kennel Club, we were able to finalise our plans and the show could go ahead. We would not have been able to do this without the support of the all the helpers, stewards and of course the committee who all worked tirelessly throughout the show to make it a success. Finally thankyou to the exhibitors for entering the show and following COIVD guideline where necessary” 
As OUR DOGS goes to press, the nation has just heard from the PM about the relaxation of Covid regulations. It remains to be seen how the next batch of Championship Shows cope in ‘personal responsibility’ Covid conditions as obligatory becomes optional in many situations. 
Caution is suggested as we ease our way back into partial normality, whatever that is! 
Actually, that sounds like a good name for a show dog…. Partial Normality of Salford NAF TAF!

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