As I waited to check in at Manchester Airport I noticed a chap with a heavy case, a couple of check in desks further down. He was struggling to put the luggage on the belt, and then withdrew his wallet. Ah, he is going to bribe the girl on the desk, I thought. Looking closer I realised it was none other than Vince Hogan, with a suitcase full of annuals, for Moscow! Not one to miss a chance, as we exchanged pleasantries and parted, he threw the line ‘Patsy, do me a bit on Porto, would love to be there but can’t be in two places at once’!
John Thirlwell and I met in Brussels airport, and flew on to Oporto. (Sounds like the start of a new thriller! ED.)
I really am going to have to stop meeting strange men in airports! On check in at the beautiful Tiara Hotel, with the added companion from the airport, Hans Van Den Berg, we were each presented with a glass of port, what a lovely touch.
Carla Molinari and her committee, who work tirelessly for the success of their show, leave no stone unturned. A great venue, with well presented rings and efficient stewards; timing to the minute and a superb main ring added to the professionalism of organisation. Plus the hospitality and respect for the judges. All this contributed to an abundance of quality dogs and professional handlers.
Saturday, cumulated with Hans Van Den Berg judging BIS beckoning the Neapolitan Mastiff, Yaromon de Azzurra PW12 Ch Esp. (Spanish) to the winners podium. This is such a clean, supple, animal. He fulfils the breed requirements, and is the epitome of good health. His temperament was first class, stood close to dogs in the Group, finals and for the photo’s he just did his job like a gentleman, he so well deserved his accolade.
Res., Weimaraner, Casa de Juno Queen of Pinups J Ch (Pt G1) (Portuguese). John Thirlwell, sent this bitch forward from the Group, from a well-known top kennel in Portugal, I could easily appreciate her virtues, working the ring to advantage.
Third was Mad About You de Ria Vela Ch (Pt Esp) (Spanish). Classic Golden Retriever male, his daughter took best bitch in breed, under me, on the day. It was the same result in the breed under John Thirlwell on the Sunday.
Sunday’s Show - Igor Selimovic judged the finals with his BIS the winner of Group 9, the British bred Lhasa Apso Zentarr Morgan. I believe he is brother to the Crufts BIS winner – Elisabeth. Exquisitely presented by his handler he went round the ring as if he owned it, which, on the day, he did!
Res, Neapolitan Mastiff Yaromon de Azzurra PW12 Ch. Esp. This boy had to be content with reserve today, but again, could not be overlooked.
Third Gonczy Polski Raban Z Huculskiej Laki. From Group 6. I have seen this Polish Hunting dog before when he won the Group at the Helsinki Winners show in December 2012.
Yes, good dogs, hospitality and food, Carla Molinari you did us all proud. Congratulations.
My thanks must also go to Trisha and Jose Haro Haro from Spain; they deciphered what I did not understand and provided me with great photos.