At Birmingham City our judge was ‘all-rounder’ Tom Johnston who was awarding CC’s in the breed for the 1st time. It was a leisurely start for exhibitors as Keesies were scheduled second after 90+ Tibetan Terriers and we got into the ring at around 1.00pm
With an entry of 48 keesies, the highest general Ch show entry this year apart from Crufts and 9 absentees, judging was over and done with by 3.00pm. The City schedules generous classifications with a total of 16 classes for keesies; but there were no entries in Puppy Dog, Veteran Bitch and both the Good Citizen Dog classes.
It was a seventh CC with BOB for George & Sharon Rose’s Ch Rossvale Master of Destiny for Esorkees (Ch Neradmik Handsome Hero x Rossvale Scarlett’s Secret) with the RDCC going to Melanie Harris’ Ch Neradmik All About The Boy for Watchkees JW ShCM (Ch Am Ch Kemonts Skylines Game Boy (imp USA) x Ch Lady Godiva’s Guilty Pleasures with Neradmik (imp Fin)).
It was a first big green card for Frankie Janssen and Debbie Hopkins’ Ir Ch Osiris Shining Bright Van Het Earlskamp (Trumpets It’s Good To Be King x Torrikees Shakira among Serenaubach) handled as usual by Simon Oakley. The RBCC went to the 2nd in open, Antonia Atkinson’s Winklestar Anthe with Valindale (Ch Winklestar Hadar x Eastkees Made To Order by Winklestar) handled by David Matthews.
Best Puppy was Sue and Alan Hill’s Whizzkees Opal Solitaire for Plymkees (Ch Pommary Quick Silver at Whizzkees x Whizzkees Ebony Sinders)
I omitted to say in my notes about the World Dog Show last month that Debbie and Simon were also over in Holland. Their Kilou (Osiris Shining Bright) got three excellent gradings; winning the Open class at both Benelux Winners and the World Dog Show and second in Open at the Specialities. Her half-brother Blaidd (Quazar Brilliant Light Van Het Earlskamp) got the same gradings and results but in the Intermediate classes.
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 about 60 hot air balloons floating up through the early morning mist just as the sun was breaking through – a fabulous start to the day. The Chubbs’ Security ‘balloon’ had a bit of a wobbly start due to size and shape, but it was amazing to see a giant fire extinguisher eventually clearing the trees and heading skyward.
There was something on offer for everyone from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial flight and Global Stars Aerobatic Display to ferret racing, falconry, angling and gundog displays; Jump4Heroes freefall parachute displays to clay pigeon shooting and The Household Cavalry Musical Ride and JCB Dancing Diggers! Displays of every kind of vintage motor vehicle and military vehicles and stalls for just about everything else rural; and with dogs being made welcome everywhere!
It also seemed to be larger than in previous years, with more stalls and activities going on. Our agility ring was sited between the Grand Ring and stalls and a huge ‘Fine Food Village’ – very convenient for snacks in between classes! 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. From getting there at 7.30am until leaving at 6.45pm, we hardly stopped all day.
In comparison, Birmingham City seems to have shrunk even more. In the large hall 2, (where the keesie ring was) the trade stands were spread out along three sides this year, and there were very generous grooming areas down the whole centre length of the hall between the benches with spacious gangways and 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 unused. There were just a few food wagons in the area outside in-between halls 3 and 2 around the small marquee and all the trade stands were in hall 2 and the connecting passageway to the BIS ring sited in the small hall 1.
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 even 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, essentially just to be able to stand in a ring for a few minutes with your dog and with very little else to do for the rest of the day; is there any wonder numbers are dwindling?