Insert body text here ...
SATURDAY 13th August
Our Irish trip started early this morning but not quite as early as I would have liked having overslept for the first time as long as I can remember!! Fortunately I had the car all packed (to the roof) so it was just a matter of getting us and the dogs into the car which was achieved in about 45 minutes which was a bit of a record!
Arrived at the ferry port for about 8am, breakfasted the dogs, had a coffee and onto the ferry for the second leg of our journey. Pretty much before we knew it and after a very smooth crossing (thankfully) the coastline of the Emerald Isle and Dunleary port was on the horizon –we had arrived!
We normally go straight to the cottage in the Killarney area but rather than have to get up at some godforsaken time on the Sunday to travel the 2 hours to Clonmel for our first show we decided to do it slightly differently this year. We travelled down to Clogheen to spend the first night at a lovely B&B we have found a couple of years ago in County Tipperary quite close to the show ground. It’s a real Irish gem and run by a crazy lady Breda and her equally quiet hubby John.
A beautiful country house in woodlands and very grand gardens that used to be a working dairy farm – Ballyboy
House is now a B&B and country gardens it is an ideal place to start the week with plenty of walks for the dogs. The house is full of family heirlooms and has a real Irish welcome – we actually have a huge four poster to sleep in !! If you are over in that neck of the woods I can thoroughly recommend it. After a super meal in the local tavern with a glass of Guinness to wash it down it was a pretty early night after a long day – after all it was the first show at
SUNDAY 14th August
Sunday dawned dry and a bit overcast but the weather was classed as ‘changeable’ – which over here could mean pretty much anything. After a proper Irish breakfast we travelled to the show which was about 15 minutes drive. It’s actually a lovely feeling arriving one year on and meeting all the ‘Circuit’ friends we have made during our trips over here. For those of you that have never done the Munster Circuit there are no wet weather facilities so if it rains – you get wet!! So everyone comes armed with all sorts of paraphernalia to keep them dry/cool dependent on what the elements throw at us during the week.
The circuit shows are judged slightly different to how we are used to them in the UK with limited classes numbers and no double entries allowed. Under FCI and Irish Kennel Club ruling the categories are Baby Puppy, Puppy, Junior, Intermediate, Open Champion and Veteran classes – there are a few stakes classes but unfortunately Holly was not eligible due to her age to enter any of them this year . Green Stars are on offer rather than CC’s and you need 7 to make up an Irish Champion (I think as it has changed recently) our judge for the day was David Shields from the UK and results are below
Clonmel Ch Show – Breed Judge David Shields (UK)
Dog Green Star Jane Eyeingtons ShCh/ Irish ShCh Meadowdale Eyeingtons Newky BrownJW (BOB) Reserve DGS Paul & Sue Kirks Laceby Jack in the Box Bitch Green Star Calvdale My Girl of Fallenleaf JW ShCM (RBOB) Reserve BG Wendy Bentley’s Wenark Whisper Wishes Best Puppy Wendy Bentley’s Wenark Goody Two Shoes
...so a lovely start to the week – oh and we did have a few heavy showers – just as the springers were going in so pretty much par for the course!!!!
MONDAY 15th August
For once the weather girl got it right – she said it would rain and didn’t it just!! It started soon after we got up and at 6.30pm it’s just drying up a bit. The dogs had not really had a run for a couple of days so whatever the weather they needed to go out today so we donned wet weather togs, towels and dog coats and went to Inch Beach. It’s a lovely beach with miles of sandy beach and some fabulous waves today – but it was definitely a soggy affair. The dogs had a wonderful time getting rid of some the pent up energy and the fact that it was lashing down and blowing a gale didn’t really bother them - they were wet enough from playing in the sea.
...a very soggy affair – but a good time was had by all!!
“....who me – a show dog ......nah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?”
Dogs were then wrapped in dry towels and coats and we took solace in a local ‘hostelry’ where Geoff sampled a couple of pints of the local Guinness and I had a proper Irish coffee – just what was needed after battling the elements. Back to the cottage for a good hot cuppa, dried the dogs and got Holly ready for the show tomorrow at Killarney then hot bath and feet up – oh and it’s still raining!!!!
Job well done – nice and quiet dogs all fast asleep!!
‘Pooped pooches after a hard day on the beach’
TUESDAY 16th August
Killarney Show today with breed judge Mrs D Harbin from Australia. It did start the day dreary and promising rain but as it turned out the sun came out and pretty much graced us with its presence all day. The venue had changed from previous years and was at a sports ground and although the parking was a bit of a nightmare if you got there late but we were reasonably early and parked quite close to the rings. Geoff took the gazebo and found our pitch for the day whilst I toileted dogs and loaded up bags, cages, show clothes and put some of the most important items - the kettle, camping stove and plus frying pan. Teas brewed bacon and sausage butties cooked and eaten – now all we needed was the judging to commence so we settled back to enjoy the day until the springers were in.
Holly was the only one in her class and was awarded an ‘excellent’ grading which meant that she could challenge for the Green Star. Not only did the judge award the Green Star to Holly she then went on to win the Best of Breed. The judge was very complimentary about Holly’s movement and thought she was lovely and hoped we do well in the group which her husband was judging!
Dog Green Star Paul & Sue Kirks Laceby Jack in the Box (RBOB)
Reserve DGS Jane Eyeingtons ShCh/ Irish ShCh Meadowdale Eyeingtons Newky BrownJW Bitch Green Star Calvdale My Girl of Fallenleaf JW ShCM (BOB) Reserve BG Lesley McCourt’s Eucalyptus Jnr Ch
Best Puppy not declared at this show
Springers are in Group 8 under FCI rules and we were called to the ring for the judging. The judge (Mr R Harbin) went over all the dogs moved us loads and then shortlisted 6 of which Holly was one – delighted with that and although I could feel that the long day was starting to tell a bit with her when he moved us all again and then pulled out Holly and the Welsh Springer Spaniel to move around again and bless her little paws - she kicked up a gear and the judge awarded her Group 2.
How fab was that ? – at 19 months to get such a grand award in such very good competition – we were over the moon. This little girl never ceases to amaze us. Photos were taken by the dog papers in front of the Royal Canin stand and so hopefully it may be in the dog press when they do the Circuit reports so will look out for it
..but every top cat walk model needs to kick back at the end of a hard day !
WEDNESDAY 17th August
No shows today so it was off to the beach – we decided on Rossbeigh for a change and had a wonderful time.
Beautiful Rossbeigh Bay
The weather was glorious and the dogs had a ball and hardly another soul in site – as you can see from the photo’s.
In the evening we invited some friends over to the cottage for a meal. ‘Geoff the Chef’ cooked a delicious feast of meat & potato pie with veg followed by Apple pie (made by me!) & custard for pudding. Full and happy it was early to bed as it was an early start for Killarney Show and the Irish Club Show tomorrow.
(L to R)
Best of Breed & Dog Green Star, Reserve Best of Breed & Bitch Green Star and Best Puppy
BOB and Reserve BOB with judge Mrs D Harbin..
Holly being put through her paces in the Group where she was awarded Group 2"
A soggy doggy days paddling!!