|Polish Lowland makes history at Newbury
Photo: Beccie Woods
History was made at Southern Counties last weekend when a Polish Lowland Sheepdog won Best in Show at Southern Counties.
Ch Mybeards Hero was awarded the top prize at the show by judge Keith Nathan and history was made for the breed.
The win was made all the more special as it was a family affair. Hero was bred by Diane Mottram and is owned by her daughter Lucy, who also handles him.
Diane told OUR DOGS, 'He got his 17th CC and we were absolutely delighted when we won the Pastoral Group.
'To win Best in Show you can't imagine how it feels. It was like a dream. I was absolutely ecstatic.
'He won Group four at Crufts and that was such an achievement.
'The quality of the Pastoral Group was very good and to win under such respected all round judges is wonderful.
'We are a numerically small breed that may be overlooked. CCs were first awarded for the breed in 1997, twenty one years ago.
'I have been breeding Polish Lowlands for thirty years. It was in 1985 I first came across them. I had been breeding Bearded Collies and I heard about the breed from the dog press.
'It was at the National Working and Pastoral Show that I first saw them and in 1988 we had the first litter in this country.
'I have been top breeder in the breed every year and I was top breeder all breeds in 2007.
'We have had six group winners at Championship dog shows but this is the first best in show!'
The successful breeder has bred 41 champions and encourages other owners to handle their own dogs.
In the show ring they are the most successful Polish Lowland Sheepdog kennel in the UK.
The first Polish Lowland Sheepdogs were imported into the country by Megan Butler. Diane bred the first champion in the breed, Ch. Mybeards Pioneer. He made history by becoming the first PLS to win a group at the Welsh Kennel Club show in 1996.
It was after the Second World War that the breed had a renaissance thanks to Dr. Danuta Hryeniewicz, a vet in northern Poland, who became the pillar of the breed. Her dog, Smok, sired 10 litters in the 1950s and all present day Polish Lowland Sheepdogs can trace their origins to this dog.
Physically they are a breed without exaggeration or excess. They are strong and compact, with a thick, weatherproof coat, easy driving movement and a natural appearance.
Lucy Mottram, who handled the dog to glory, told OUR DOGS, 'I am still in shock. To win best in show is just unbelievable.
'I am delighted and overwhelmed with the amount of support we have had from other exhibitors.
'The dog lives with me. He's nice to live with and is very placid and easy going, very laid back. Once he's in the ring he puts on a real performance. Essentially he is a house dog and does not live in a kennel.
'Other people have shown him but he responds to me. We have got other group placings with him, Ronnie Irving gave him a group 2 when he was just 17 months.
'I wish I could have known what was going to happen and then I could have enjoyed the moment. I was just so shocked, my feet were stuck to the ground.
'When he said we had won I was thinking, "Are you sure it is me? You don't want to change your mind?"
'It was really good and a show I will never forget.'