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29th Sept 2012 - Belfast Ch Show
It's a show I really enjoy despite the travel involved but even though the judge was another one who I didn't think I should bother with - he previously gave Lily 3rd, 4th and 5th in consecutive classes previously - so maybe should have taken note!
Kath and I decided to make a weekend of it - so it was a case of 'win or loose - on the booze" We left my house at 7pm on Friday evening with 5 dogs on board, Kaths 2 and my 3 (the oldies came along for the ride) and headed up north to catch the ferry from Cairnryan. Not sure if you have ever visited this loveliest of places - a beautiful setting for a fishing village, not sure how they managed to get approval for a ferry port here! Anyway we had a lovely drive up which flew by in no time hence the fact we chatted the whole way up. Parked up - exercised the dogs and then got our heads down until the 4am ferry (yes we are completlely bonkers!)
Managed to get on board and headed for the Stena Plus lounge and grabbed a couple of Chaise lounges where we settled down for the crossing. After a short time asleep - again gabbing about nothing in particular but it was so relaxing I was sorry when we finally docked at 6am then off loaded and off to the show venue which is only 15 minutes from the ferry port.
The show venue is lovely - well it used to be - but they had built a new hall for the occassion and transpired it was only completed and signed off at 10pm the night before. It looked like a building site with off cuts from wiring, building debris all over the place but the worst was the white floor. Not that it should have been white - it looked as though there was a terazzo floor underneath that had had some form of cement poured over it recently which left a white powdery residue - so consequently everything was covered in this white dust. The air was thick with it and everyone was complaining that it wasn't healthy. Felt sorry for one lady who had a light fall from the ceiling onto her leg - was bad enough but could have been much worse.
Anyway the judging met my expectations with Holly 5th in Open bitch - she didn't do anything wrong - obvioiusly wasn't his type or maybe I wasn't ! Kath's puppy was the only puppy dog so competed with Winstons sister for Best Puppy and Bonnie was 4th in Limit Bitch so a bit of a disappointing result all round. Hot footed it across to the Champion Stakes class and was only just in time - last dog was just being seen so we were very lucky. The judge was Robin Searle who pulled Holly out 2nd - wow that was a lovely surprise but she loves a big ring and can really motor round and strut her stuff - which paid off. So a very credible 2nd place and lots of compliments from the judge which made up for the breed class and a 15k bag of food as well!
The nicest thing about the Belfast show is the atmosphere around the rings - it always seems so relaxed and we had a good laugh with other Cocker and Springer exhibitors watching the groups and other stakes classes. Brilliant to see the Springer go second in a lovely Group.
Then off to find our B&B - which was fabulous - and seemed far too nice to allow dogs in. But Victoria who owned it was very relaxed about dogs in the room and after a scrummy chinese meal (that's the diet well out of the window for the weekend!) we retired to our respective rooms and ultra comfy beds which were a welcome after a night on the ferry.
Up on the Sunday morning to a vey wet day - so had to sack the morning run so it was a quick walk up the lane then into breakfast. Afte rour fill we trundled off to the ferry port passing the Harland and Wolff shipyard where Titanic was built - wish we had stayed a little longer so I could have visited - maybe next year!
Very calm ferry home and glorious weather when we arrived in Cairnryan - steady drive back and arrived back hhome at 6.30pm pretty shattered but had a good weekend with great company and lots of laughs.
...and you know what - not one single photo of our trip !!
21st Sept 2012 - Driffield Ch Show
A very wet and cold day for Driffield show with judge Marion Morgan held at Weatherby Racecourse - which on a good day is a lovely venue........ but it seems to have rained forever and he ground was sodden through so you can imagine the state of the dogs at the end of the day! Holly was 2nd again in Open behind the CC winner
16th Sept 2012 - Darlington Ch Show
Kerry Simpson was our judge today and awarded Holly a very credible 2nd behind the eventual CC and BOB winner. His critique was very complimentary - see SESS for full show critique
2nd Sept 2012 - City of Birmingham
Not much to comment on for this show - had thoguht we wouldn't enter under this judge as we didn't rate his opinion previously but with a different dog thought he might judge differntly. Taking nothing away from any of the winners but we really should have stayed in bed !! Holly managed a 5th out of 11 which in 2 years of showing is possibly the worst result she has had to date. Hey ho - there we go we I guess we live and learn!
11th Aug 2012 - Bournemouth Ch Show
We ummed and ahh'd over whether we were going to go to his show - seemed such a long way down - but in the end we decided that the judge - Mrs Wendy Cross, might like Holly. her hubby gave her her first CC at the Southern so we thought we'd go.
We left the house at midnight, Geoff driving and I set a bed up for me in the back of the van so at least one of us had some sleep. We arrived near to the show ground about 5am and then Geoff got his head down for a bit. It was a glorious day weather wise and although the sun was shining, there was a breeze which kept the dogs cool in the ring.
Holly won her Open class then we were over the moon when she was awarded the Bitch CC! What a lovely surprise and the journey back seems a whole lot shorter than going down! We walked back into the house at 9.30 pm - absolutely goosed but very very happy with our little girls' continued success!
4th August 2012 National Gundog
Trudy Toplis was our judge today with a lovely entry of over 100 dogs at the show held at Malvern , We managed a 2nd in Open Bitch behind the eventual RBCC winner so one up from previous weeks! The ring was minute when we arrived and as someone pointed out 'they would have to open the end doors for our bitch to move" Thankfully Trudy took control and managed to get the ring made bigger for us but it was still an odd shape - more of an oblong which made doing triangles a bit bizarre! Having said that at least Trudy stood her ground and it was certianly an improvement on the original size!
The ESS Club decided to hold their Open Show straight afterwards and this was judged by Richard Bott. We won the Open Bitch class but nothing else. In between Dave and Jacky Mitchell and Wendy Walker had arranged a cake and drinks to celebrate Seamus' BIS at the Southern recently and Mac's 3rd CC. It was lovely but I did peronally feel that the atmosphere was a bit lost in the sheds - I did miss the camaradierie around the ring that is always evident at the Breed club shows. Wonder if they will repeat this ......... I don't think I would do two shows in sucession, we were knackered and so were the poor dogs. We didn't get in the house until after 9.30pm which was a bit too long a day for all concerned. Photo of Holly winning her class which is on the ESS Club Web site below
28th July 2012 - Leeds Ch Show
Reltively local show for us - just a hop across the Penines. Pat Guy was our judge and awarded Holly 3rd in Open Bitch (seems to be a bit of a trend this does!!)
After the show it was Fran's annual BBQ at Brierley Kennels. To be really adventurous we decided to take the tent and camped on Frans paddock (it meant that I could have a drink for a change as well!!) John Lilley and his band played all night so a great time was had by all so thanks Fran and Neil for a fab do.
24th July 2012
Oh dear, it's a very sad day here at Fallenleaf when we had to say goodbye to our big lad Henley Fallenleaf New Kid In Town JW. He had a relatively sucessful showing career gaining his Junior Warrant, numerous Best Puppy in Breeds, Best and Reserve Best Puppy In Show and Best of Breeds with a few Green Stars. He was awarded Best Veteran in Show at the only Champ show he enterered as a veteran - so no slouch!!
He had failing kidneys over the last few months which we were managing with medication but the last few weeks he seemed to go down hill quite dramatically and I was having to hand feed him with anything I could get down him. We finally made the hard decision to let him go today - RIP matey, we miss you and will continue to do so for a very long time. It just ain't the same with you not around!!