Already a winner of twelve CCs, multiple Best in Show wins at Club shows, winner of Group 1 at Crufts, plus Reserve Best in Show at SKC (May) and now his BIS win all breeds at Bath, Bentley is riding high! He is shown by his co breeder, Paddy Galvin and is bred by Gordon Cutts and Paddy who now reside in Ireland and when Bentley got into pole position at Bath on Monday night it was Paddy in the driving seat as he handled him to perfection in the meticulous BIS ring on Bannerdown fields high above the lovely city of Bath.
Bath gets the vote from many people as their favourite outdoor show of the year..if not their favourite show, full stop. Why is that? Well number one on most people's lists is the condition of the ground. Vice Chairman John Lloyd who takes care of the ground would not be out of place at Lords or any other first class cricket ground. There is no agricultural use of the ground, grazing or whatever, and the ground is rolled every two weeks in the year. In fact I have challenged John and Bath Secretary Ben Ford to a game of bowls in the main ring on the night before the show in 2018 such is the condition of the grass. Ben told me that he is a dab hand at skittles so it's game on!
Number 2 on some people's lists is the range of ciders brewed and sold in the bar at this show….mango and rhubarb I heard were popular this time around!
Also during one of OUR DOGS online interviews, Ben told us of the many things that the society has done and also had in the pipeline ahead of getting CC's in all breeds in 2019. This show was a sort of trial run with all breeds classified so the society could assess the effect on car parking, benching etc. Of course in 2019 with CC's all round, the entry should jump to 10,000 plus and Bath are geared up to cope with that. As they stand they can go up 35% to 12,000 dogs if necessary
The show saw heats of Scrufts held this year and judged by Bath Chairman Bill Brown Cole. That's an aspect that will attract more general public and 'other' dog owners into our show world. Spectator dogs are welcomed and there are Pets as Therapy classes too.
Importantly there were many veteran classes put on this year which brought in over 400 extra entries and added another dimension in the main ring each evening, along with the Best Puppy competition. Veteran classes were in fact scheduled for every breed and Ben will be analyzing entries and unit costs now the show is over for 2017.
On September 3rd of this year the Bath Open Show will take place for the first time as the Society becomes more expansive as part of the deal to have CC's in every breed. Over 300 classes are being put on for breeds that should prove popular in this neck of the woods as Ben Ford explained to me. Schedules as available on the OUR DOGS stand now and Ben has also tried to give younger judges the chance to judge at this event.
Ben was also pleased with the number of overseas visitors that had entered the show this year and that is an area where many shows could look to expand in the future as no stone should be left unturned to make our show scene more vibrant
We all turn into weathermen at Bath…will it rain, will there be wind or whatever? It stems from some pretty bad conditions over the years including snow one year, in May! This year we ranged from boiling hot to cold, dry to wet, and then massive thunderstorms at night as experienced elsewhere in the UK….well it was a Bank Holiday!
Conditions do affect trade as well for the stands which are split into two sections; the stands were all visited by President Chris Laurence and Chairman Bill Browne Cole with their usual 'royal' tour of the stands…the meet and greet. The chaps did tell us that all existing stand holders will get preferred status in 2019 for what we all hope will be a much busier affair all round.
Hats off always to the band of hardy trade stand holders many of whom supported and came out for the companion show on Saturday night and is reported on elsewhere in this issue.
Chris Laurence also made presentations of Bath Aqua Glass on behalf of Bath each day to the group judges and also to remaining group and puppy group winners. A nice touch…..and all puppy prizes were sponsored by Chief Steward Lee Cox and Assistant Chief Steward Stuart Magness
Another aspect of making a general championship show a success nowadays is the back to back idea, originally pioneered I think by Birmingham City where clubs organise their shows and utilise the facilities of the general championship show.
There were certainly plenty of those at Bath this year including South West Hound, Western Stafford show, plus open and champ shows for Westies, Weimaraners, Old English,Polish Lowlands, Afghans, and on Bank Holiday Monday all the Dachshunds at the West of England Dachshund Club with Jason Hunt doing the honours for BIS.
I believe the Stafford had a great show winning the group and also BIS at the club show too…well done to all.
Our in depth coverage of Bath is such that there are many photos of winners and judges reports in this issue so there is no need to repeat short lists etc here. OUR DOGS also ran live streams of the groups over our popular Facebook pages and received thousands of views and hits for Bath.
Over the weekend the groups produced the following winners….
Winning Best Puppy in Show for the second time this year was Annette and Amelia Siddle's homebred (AI) Pointer, Wilchrimane Frankel (AI), she was Best Puppy in Show at Birmingham National under Bill Browne-Cole and now at Bath under Paul Harding, following very quickly in her Mother's (Sh Ch Wilchrimane Ice Maiden) footsteps.
Margaret Wildman chose the Coton De Tulear, Cotonkiss Moon Rock as her Toy Group winner, owned by Mr and Mrs Craig, handled by Matt Garnham, winner of multiple Best of Breeds, 1 Group 4, and Top Coton De Tulear in 2016 and leading Top Coton in 2017. This I believe is a first time ever group win at an all breed show for a Coton.
Colin Powell judged the Terrier group and followed his heart by choosing the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Ch Belterstaffs Ginger Joe as his group winner. His owner, Ian Houghton said that Colin had awarded Ginger Joe the CC when he judged before and he had further success in the club show held just after the group had finished, elsewhere on the showground.
Topping the herding dogs in the Pastoral group and leading top dog in his breed was Kevin Dover and Lars Saether's Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Ch Pemcader Thunderball (NBT) a multi CC winning dog, group placings and Best in Show winner, plus Crufts Best of Breed 2017.
Mick Howes judged the Gundog group and his winner was the Flatcoated Retriever, Sh Ch Onyxro Mensa JW, owned by Marina Mangham.
Sue Ergis judged the Hounds and selected the Irish Wolfhound, Ch Hydebeck Imperial Ruler JW owned by Louise Pinkney, as her winner. A multiple CC winning dog, several group placings and leading Top Irish Wolfhound for the year and one watched online on OUR DOGS by Spanish supporters!
The Eukanuba Champion Stakes was won by Irene and Glenn Robb's homebred CC record holding Papillon, Ch Gleniren Shootin Starmaker Sunshoo under John Thirlwell, with Neil Smith's Tibetan Terrier, Ch Tetsimi Moves Like Jagger runner up in the competition.
Back to our Best in Show winner, Ch Merrybear D'Artagnan, who in fact had been sent through from the breed by non other than Finnish judge Johan Juslin who had looked resplendent all weekend in a range of bow ties good enough to match Chairman Bill Brown Cole. Johan had stepped in as a replacement judge for Newfies and was delighted to see his choice go through to the number one spot and made the presentation of a special OUR DOGS BIS rosette to the owners as the show finished on Monday night as the clouds began to roll in on the Bannerdown hilltop.
It was strange to see the show ground deserted as we all packed up in misty conditions in the late evening and it did not seem like a year had passed since the show in 2016. Time flies so soon we will be back again and see what else Bath holds in store ahead of the big one in 2019!