Our judge for Birmingham City was Gina Peterson (Foxifayre) awarding CC’s for the second time (her first appointment was at BUBA in 2011) Keesies were first in the ring for a 9.00am start and Gina had drawn an entry of 30 dogs. The City schedules a generous classification with a total of 16 classes for keesies; but there were no entries in Junior and Good Citizen Dog and Veteran and Limit Bitch and all the Post Graduate Dog and Puppy Bitch entries were absent. With 10 absentees judging was over and done with by 10.30am.
It was another DCC with BOB for Antonia Atkinson’s Ch Winklestar Hadar (Torrikees Who’s The Boss of Winklestar x Allforus Dice With Me at Winklestar) who was handled by Caron Bell in both challenges. The 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.
The BCC went to Dawn Gregory’s Ch Amikirs Fabulicious Time JW (Eastkees Time Lord x Ch Amikirs Bubblelicious); with the Reserve Bitch CC going to the Hickson’s recently crowned Ch Kichigai Magic Dancer JW (Kichigai Luke Skywalker x Kichigai Tiny Dancer) both from Open which was the largest class of the day with five girls present.
Gill Brunt and Zandvoort Mr Bond (Ch Zandvoort Dream Machine x Ch Vanstrand Quantum of Solace) won the Mike Stockman Memorial Puppy Dog Stakes under Judge Anne Macdonald winning £20. Dawn Gregory and Fabby got a 4th place in the Owner/Breeder/Handler Stakes from Judge Robin Newhouse.
I haven’t been to Birmingham City for a couple of years and was struck by how much the show had shrunk. In the large hall 2, (where the keesie ring was) not only was there enough room for the trade stands along two sides, there were also very generous grooming areas down the whole centre length of the hall between the benches and the rings. The large grassed area outside hall 3 where all the food and trade stands and agility rings etc used to be was empty and looked to be unused. There were just a couple of food stands in the area outside in-between halls 3 and 2 around the small marquee and the trade stands were in hall 2 and the connecting passageway to the BIS ring sited in the small hall 1.
I went to Chatsworth House Country Fair on the Friday which amongst many other things was also host to an agility show. For a £3 entry per class (minimum 3 entries per exhibitor) agility competitors got free entry (& car parking) to the country fair itself and the whole place was heaving with visitors and their dogs! The estate was anticipating a turnout well in excess of 100,000 visitors over the 3 days – all tempted out by the good weather forecast.
Arriving early we were greeted by the majestic sight (& sound) of one of the country’s largest balloon lifts; floating skyward over the early morning mist just as the sun was breaking through – a fabulous start to the day. There was something on offer for everyone from a RAF Battle of Britain Memorial flypast to ferret racing, falconry, angling and gundog displays; Jump4Heroes freefall parachute displays to clay pigeon shooting and Cossack ‘warriors’ on horseback, a display of every kind of vintage motor vehicle imaginable and stalls for just about everything else rural! We only found the huge ‘Fine Food Village’ at the end of the afternoon – just in time for a tea time snack. It really was an action packed day as there was so much to see and do, to say nothing of actually competing at the agility show – the real reason we were there!
Also being held was a family fun dog show ‘Scruffs’. With entries on the day costing just £1 and a choice of 9 classes; including the usual handsome dog, pretty bitch, waggiest tail etc and all had well over 40 dogs in each class. And Friday is always the quietest day too, class numbers over the weekend can often be more than double that!
I have to say though that I’m not entirely surprised about the difference between the two events. I have written many times about value for money and how local agricultural and companion dog shows can easily attract numbers in class entries that haven’t been seen at ‘proper dog shows’ for years. With most of our Ch shows now charging an entry fee of £27+ per dog, is there any wonder numbers are dwindling?