SHOWS. We have just had another 2- show weekend, except this time, unlike Scotland in August, the venues were over 230 miles apart. Weston-super-Mare, the great seaside resort in Somerset, hosted the West of England Cavalier Ch show on Saturday 3rd October whilst the following day, Driffield All Breeds Ch show took place at the racecourse in the thriving market town of Wetherby in the heart of Yorkshire. Taking into account the cost, distance, stamina involved in doing both shows, most exhibitors probably opted for one or the other, with only the stalwarts doing both. There were 216 Cavaliers entered at the West of England for Alan Hall (Alansmere) and Sharon Bloomfield (Oaklake). Needing little introduction, Alan is one of the most experienced Cavalier judges in the World (I can just hear him say "and who is the other?" ) and is therefore no stranger to the centre of the ring. I swear he gets younger looking every time I see him and feel sure he has a painting in his attic. We missed his 80th birthday, but plan to be at his 90th. Whereas, this was Sharon's first time awarding CCs. A thrilling experience. Alan's choice in bitches was Aranel Angelic who now has 2 CCs whilst Sharon opted for Ch Maibee Make Believe pushing his CCs to 9. On the referees decision "Make Believe" went BIS. Reserves went to Millhill La Dette and Cobbet's Dizzy Rascal. Best Puppy was Ellemich Aurora. Best Veteran was Ch Droleus That's M'Libbi at Coedgwylum. Another good show for "Cosmic" children with major bitch awards being won by his daughters. The show itself was well run and the hardworking committee had plenty of attractions on display including a Health Advice Table. Added to this was the strenuous efforts of Sheena Stevens (aka Madam Grump) who accosted everyone she met and demanded money with menaces. No one was too bothered as she was selling raffle tickets for a gorgeous quilt, handmade by Sue Newnes (Penquite). The quilt depicts head studies of 4 Champion Cavalier bitches in each of the colours and it is hoped that the draw will take place at Blenheim Palace show in August next year. All proceeds to benefit Foetal Tissue Research. The exhibitors and dogs seemed rather lost in the large sports centre venue this year but the upside meant that the judging was completed reasonably early allowing those devoted (or just plain daft) folk who were entered Driffield to get on the road. Next year, the Society has had its Championship show date moved to 27th February and providing the weather isn't too unkind then their entry should not be weakened. Well done to the Club on offering FREE entry to the Veteran classes for both members and non members. It proved a good draw with a number of teenagers turning out and enjoying their day back in the ring.
Another feature at the show was the special £20 award for the oldest Veteran on show that day. Won by a lovely ruby girl
SORATA DEBONAIR AGED 13 YEARS, 11 MONTHS.
This £20 award was started by members of Cavalier Chat Forum and 4 Club Championship shows have been sponsored so far. At the Humberside show, Linda Flynn (Linjato) was the first to donate the prize and this went to Sue Underwood's Vanmarlen Cherry Blosson for Neddaow (12.6 years) At the Northern show, Heather Wheeler's Sharonaz Melody for Drumhaye (11.8 years) took the award, donated this time by Norma Inglis (Craigowl). At the Scottish show, it was Kevan Berry and Brian Rix's Ch Ricksbury Tommy (13.6 years) who won the donation by Marion Gray (Everclasi) and Sue Newnes (Penquite) put up the special at the West of England won by P Gray's Sorata Debonair (13.8 years). There are further pledges by Kirstie McFarlane, Catherine Rhodes and Flo Sinclair for the remaining 2009 championship shows ie Scottish (October), South and West Wales, and Midland. In 2010, The Cavalier Club, (March), Southern, Eastern are also covered. We would love to keep this encouragement going. If you would like to donate the £20 special for the other shows in 2010 please get in touch with your local Cavalier Club who will be glad to help you help them to highlight our Senior citizens.
Bright autumnal sunshine greeted the arrivals at Wetherby for the Driffield show the next day. It was a 9am start. As the day progressed the wind got up and although it did not rain, it became almost pointless to groom your dog before going into the ring, when all efforts were undone as the stiff breeze billowed coats and ears in all directions. Since last year the Committee at this show decided to reduce the Cavalier judges from two to one. This year Carol Jenkins (Holambrie) was appointed and went through her entry with expertise and efficiency. Her choices were Dog CC and BOB - Ch Cinderlace Cromwell JW. Bitch CC - Clentview Paris JW. The Reserves were won by Ch Maibee Make Believe and Aranel Angelic with Best Puppy - Miletree Constellation. It was a great day for Mandy and Brian Atwood, owners of "Paris", who gained her Champion title on the day. She is a 3 year old blenheim by Ch Aranel Cosmic x Clentview Athena. Her first CC came from James Finlay at Bath earlier in the year and the second followed at Welsh Kennel Club from Lorraine Hughes. She also has 4 Reserve CC. I think this is their first Champion, so a moment to treasure.
Lovely photo of Ann Royce and "comforter" keeping warm at Driffield.
Although it is very enjoyable for a judge to have the whole breed to consider, it was quite apparent by early afternoon that the Show Committee had not considered the logistics of only having one judge for a numerically strong breed. Even with a minimal break, Carol was still judging well after 3pm.The surrounding showgrounds were deserted and the organisers had even commenced dismantling things.
Empty field and the last ones still standing at Driffield!
Although windblown the Cavalier exhibitors were undaunted and enjoyed the champagne and cake provided by Andy and Tracy Vella (Cinderlace) who were celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary. What better present than Best of Breed!
Joyce Hall from Walsham le Willows tells us "On Wednesday, 18th November 2009, 'Friends of Rutland House' are hosting a presentation by Simon Swift, cardiologist on “Heart conditions in Pets”. It will commence at 7.30pm at the Referral Centre, Abbotsfield Road, St Helens. Merseyside. I am sure that this will be of great interest to Cavalier owners but everyone is welcome. Rutland House owns the veterinary practice where my Cavaliers have had such marvellous attention and care. I shall certainly be attending."
Spindlepoint Sophia Loren for Evarclasi (Miletree Gregory x Spindlepoint Kim Crawford)
gained her ShCM at the Angus and Kincardineshire Show on 27th September 2009, to the absolute delight of owner Marion Gray from Carnoustie in Scotland. Check out their new website www.evarclasicavaliers.co.uk
"CAPTION CORNER"Somewhere we can be silly and poke fun at ourselves. Do send us any photos you think worth a giggle. These are shown with permission from the victims!
"Nice Puppies, Michelle!"
English Ch Grantilley Shadow Moon was born on 22nd October 1999 and passed away recently after battling cancer. We send our condolences to his devoted breeder/owner Rita Bidgood. "Shadow" leaves behind some lovely children including Eng & Irish Ch Chantismere Cha Cha, AKC Ch Grantilley Galaxy Moon and AKC Ch Shantilley Belle. A dog who commanded respect inside the ring where he was a Champion and cherished at home where he was a much loved companion.
A tribute from Elaine Mitchell (Cambridge Cavaliers) Canada.
It is with much sadness that I write to announce the passing of Ch. Grantilley Shadow Moon following a lengthy battle with cancer.Many will remember Shadow as a lovely show dog, and while sparingly used, as a sire and grandsire of some note. My memories of Shadow, however, are simply as Rita's very best friend. He liked everyone and always remembered me when I arrived, but to Rita he was totally devoted. They were inseparable. On the rare occasion when he had to be in a crate, he could open it with ease and there he would be, in the middle of the party greeting guests with Rita. If she left the house without him, he would jump on the kitchen counter and watch out the window for her return. No matter how many boxes or barricades she would put up to stop him, he would defeat them all and sit with the curtains framing his face. Appropriately named, he was at her heels where ever she went, and in true comforter spaniel fashion, when Rita was not feeling well, he would be on the back of the sofa with his head on her shoulder. Shadow, I will miss seeing your pretty little face in the window next time I arrive. But no one will miss you as much as Rita.
"Cavalier breeders are aware that MVD and SM are a problem. We get it. This is not a surprise or a huge revelation to us. But I don't think stats reveal the whole picture. I know I personally am not seeing legions of Cavaliers keeling over from heart disease. Should we be concerned about MVD? Of course! But I think most breeders are dealing with it in a very positive way. I don't think there are many people left who do not test hearts to some degree, and take those results into consideration when making breeding decisions. Dr. Swift's stats show that 50% develop a murmur by age 5, perhaps this will never change. Perhaps due to some genetic factor in the breed this will just be the way it is. Perhaps what has changed however, is life expectancy. I am not saying that trying to eliminate or reduce MVD is not important, it should be every breeders primary goal, but I think it would be really interesting to see research done to see if sound breeding decisions have impacted life expectancy and/or the age at which cavaliers start on heart meds.
Humans have not been terribly successful in eliminating or reducing many chronic diseases found in man. What they have been able to do in some cases is develop better treatments and prognostic indicators. Perhaps dog breeders could learn something from this. As long as we gnash our teeth and pound our chests because we have not reduced incidence, then, perhaps we have all missed the point. Lest anyone think I hold this viewpoint because my dogs all have MVD, let me summarize: I have lost one dog to early MVD years ago. My house is full of senior citizens. I test yearly with very good results. Many of the puppies from my first litter, 14 years ago, are still alive and kicking. I must be doing something right. I think most breeders are."
100 Cavalier Champions. I would like to say "Thank You" to the many people who sent congratulations. A special thank you to Barbara who cares for and shows Yates so brilliantly. When I brought that first black, white and tan bundle home all those years ago, I never dreamed that Cavaliers would change the direction of my life. The thrill of that first champion is still fresh today and it never entered my mind that this was to become a continuing adventure that would lead me to deep and lasting friendships with people who had my dogs and to travel and friendships around the world. Some of those champions were bred by others to whom I am indebted for the opportunities to show and live with some wonderful dogs. It's in the nature of things that some moved on to be wonderful family dogs and that some left an indelible mark on my breeding program, on other people's breeding programs and on the breed. This, I never imagined all those years ago. Some of those champions are indelibly ingrained in my heart and I feel their presence now. So my special "Thank You" is to my dogs for their love and devotion, for their constantly wagging tails and happy faces in good times and bad. Jeanie Montford. Australia.
Norma and Gordon
12th October 2009