At Leeds Keesies were 1st in the ring for a 9.30am start for Melanie Harris (Watchkees) who last judged us at South Wales in 2015 and she had drawn an entry of 40 dogs with 16 absentees.
Dog CC with Best of Breed was Gill & Chris Brunt’s Ch Zandvoort Dream Machine (Am Ch Laser’s Tuxedo Junction Of Zandvoort (IMP USA) x Zandvoort Live The Dream) This was Wolfie’s 4th CC, who at 9½ years young was also Best Veteran.
Reserve Dog CC with Best Puppy was Matthews & Ransley’s Szaryk Dutch Bargemaster With Valindale (Wund-R Y Workin For A Livin At Szaryk (Imp USA) x Keesridge Faithrustnpixiedust at Szaryk (Imp USA)) handled by David Matthews. They then went on to get Utility Puppy Group 4 under judge David Guy.
The Bitch CC was a second big green card for the Hickson’s Kichigai Magic Dancer JW ((Kichigai Luke Skywalker x Kichigai Tiny Dancer) and the Reserve Bitch CC was a first one for Debbie Palmer’s Shelderon Super Steller (Shelderon Spirit Walker x Shelderon Summer Sparkle) handled as usual by Nicky Potts, in her first class out of puppy.
Dawn Gregory and Ch Amikirs Fabulicious Time JW won a second place in the Pets As Therapy Open Stakes from Judge Bill Bunce and in the Higham Press/dog.biz Veteran Stakes, Sue Wilkes and Helkeesen Surfin for Dakaraikees got a fifth place winning £5 cash from Judge Steve Hall.
Sunday started as a lovely sunny day and we were so lucky with the weather; as although the traffic had to be diverted into a different entrance to the carparks due to the heavy rain the day before, apart from some drying mud at the main entrances and by some of the marques, the ground was remarkably dry and clean. It lasted until about 4.00pm when the groups were about to be judged and then the heavens opened, but by which time most people had left.
The rings are invariably smelly by the last day of a show and Sunday was no exception. Leeds is renowned for its ‘aromatic’ ground and it made moving the dogs to assess movement on a loose lead somewhat of a challenge for both handlers and the judge!
Judging was over and done with by 11.10am which meant that everyone had plenty of time to visit the all the trade stands edging the show ground and still get home nice and early. But there did seem to be a dearth of catering units; the only catering van I could find doing savoury food was selling German Sausages – not a chippy or burger in sight!
I wasn’t intending to go to Leeds, as although I wanted to do some shopping, I refuse to pay £10 for each spectator dog I might want to bring along – on top of £5 parking. If you enter dogs NFC at Leeds it also costs £10 but you get a bench. What’s the reasoning behind that then? Fortunately, yet again I was very generously given a pass by an exhibitor who couldn’t go and didn’t want their money to be completely wasted!
Bearing in mind that one of the conditions under which certain shows will in future years have so-called ‘all-breed’ status is that they do more to promote the Kennel Club’s initiatives within their own part of the country; so shouldn’t making their own shows ‘attractive’ to to non-showing spectators be a starting point?
In which case, surely the cost to a visitor has to play an important part in attracting new people? I don’t think that it’s any excuse saying that other shows charge similar prices. A flower show, motor show or an agricultural show are known quantities; 99% of the dog owning public haven’t the faintest idea what dog shows are about apart from what little they might have gleaned off the TV from watching Crufts. Having to pay £15 plus isn’t exactly going to encourage them to find out and that’s before they discover the cost of entry fees etc if they are interested!!
As I have said before in previous notes, if the National can provide free car parking for everyone and charge just £2 per spectator dog, then why do some of the other general championship shows charge so much? It’s no financial loss to the society if I don’t attend, but it is a loss of much needed revenue for the trade stands; – and look how many of those we have lost in recent years.
Some news from Dennis Harding to say that his partner Roz isn’t enjoying the best of health; I’m sure that a phone call or a note from their friends would cheer them both up.