Ready for the Weekend?

29/09/2009 at 17:02 Leave a comment

This weekend saw us attend two separate shows here in the SouthWest and once the canine dust had settled we had achieved a number of firsts…

The 1st first came as we pulled up at the Cornwall Gundog Club show only to find that we’d left our “Phoenix Bag” at home…this contains leads, collars, foods, camera, money, show schedule, in fact pretty much everything we need at the show aside from Phoenix herself…Luckily it was a Saturday and we were near a town so a quick dash into Wadebridge yielded cash (thanks to a wallet in the glove compartment that had escaped the pre-show Phoenix-bag sweep) and doggie training/show treats. On returning to the showground we then found that many of our Gundog friends from ringcraft were also at the show, so a variety of leads were very kindly proffered and, once the initial panic had subsided, we were still ready in good time.

We were reliably informed that forgetting everything that you need for a show is extremely good luck, and this was partially borne out when we achieved  another (and this time rather more pleasing) first… Phoenix was, for the first time at a show, awarded Best in Breed, being placed above the adult HWV’s at the show, as well as Best Puppy in Breed.

The judges critique read:

I loved her balance and construction. Sound as a bell and showed herself off to perfection both standing and on the move. Best of Breed. Best Puppy.”

Two superb rosettes were duly collected and the long wait for the Group judging started…

A good few hours later Phoenix was revved up once again and we took to the “big ring”, firstly alongside the adult dogs for Best in Show, and then with the winning puppies from the other breeds for Best Puppy in Show. Unfortunately though, the wait had taken its toll on our pups’ energy & concentration levels, and she moved really quite poorly – displaying what was memorably described by Sam from Farlap as “the wet knickers look” – which was never going to win friends or influence people, so needless to say we didn’t get placed amongst the top 4 in the show.

Okehampton Show - the examination (minus front feet!).

Okehampton Show - the examination (minus front feet!).

The very next day we brushed off our miscellaneous show gubbins and headed just 30 mins. due south to arrive at the Okehampton & District Canine Association Open Show. No class for HWV’s here, so Tim & Phoenix were in Not Separately Classified Open, a class that attracted 9 dogs, all of whom were adults aside from Phoenix & 1 American Cocker pup.

Stacked for Gundog Puppy Group.

Stacked for Gundog Puppy Group.

The judge was Gill Tully, of Highclare Welsh Springer Spaniels, and, despite the stiff competition from older dogs, she awarded Phoenix 2nd in the Open class, as well as Best Puppy.  Not too long afterwards Tim & Phoenix once again lined up alongside the winning puppies from the other Gundog Breeds, and we were thrilled to achieve another first when Phoenix took Gundog Puppy Group 1 – Best Gundog Puppy in Show – her second Group win following North Devon back in August.

Stacked for Best Puppy in Show.

Stacked for Best Puppy in Show.

Then started the wait for the Best in Show judging, a wait that eventually extended nearly 6 hours…We endeavoured to keep Phoenix entertained & rested with alternating periods of play, walking & snoozing and when she hit the best puppy in show ring she was in sparky form (which usually bodes well), but what followed was our final and most unfortunate first of the weekend’s showing.

After standing nicely, Tim stacked her for the judge’s examination. The judge in question was an elderly gent with a very deep voice, and as he started his examination and asked for Phoenix’ age, she suddenly pulled sharply away from him, something she’s never ever done with any judge in any situation…Being more than a little surprised by this turn of events Tim gamely stood her once again, which she accepted without any problem. The judge started his exam once again, and all was well until he spoke, at which Phoenix again pulled away as if she’d been snapped at by another dog….

It was only after they’d come out of the ring and Team Phoenix had reconvened for a dissection of what could have just gone wrong that we realised that it was purely the judge’s voice that had freaked Phoenix out. She was, as ever, happy to be handled, but something about the sound of his voice struck her as threatening.

Over the next few days Phoenix was “test examined” by as many dog folks as we could round up, without showing the slightest hint of being uncomfortable with anyone else, so it seems it was just a one-off…just a shame it had to happen when we were lining up for Best Puppy in Show!

Lots of highs and a couple of heart-stopping moments certainly made for a memorable weekend of showing.

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Entry filed under: Phoenix, Shows. Tags: , , , .

Ever Elegant. Boh Selecta!

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