Posts tagged ‘boundary-testing’

Show number 3….

An amazing day was had today as we all headed off to the Liskeard & District Premier Open Show in deepest Cornwall. Thinking that we’d be on late in the show, and certainly after lunch, we arrived at 12:00 noon, only to find that our class was up in about 20 mins., which didn’t give too much time for “settling in”.

The show was held in an aircraft-hanger-like giant agricultural building, and the atmosphere (and volume level) was best described as cacophonous and claustrophobic, somewhat resembling a Moroccan bazaar minus the carpet-sellers (although they may have been tucked away in a corner for all we knew) with absolutely no space to move around. Despite this Phoenix was completely unphased and instead displayed her usual mixture of excitement and curiosity at all the sights, sounds and smells.

There were no classes for HWV’s at the show so we were up in AVNSC (Any Variety Not Seperately Classified:  Gundog).  When our class came she trotted beautifully into the ring and stood like a dream….which turned out to be the first and last time she would be performing this feat as trained…each subsequent “stand” was accompanied by a variety of dancing, backing-up and lurching sideways, leading the judge to ask her: “are you going to make life difficult for your Daddy today?” (the answer to which was a big fat yes!)

Despite this we managed to win Best AVNSC Puppy and received a fine rosette and a photo session with the marvellous Sam from Farlap Canine Photography.

Standing for Best AVNSC Puppy.

Standing for Best AVNSC Puppy.

Then came a 3 hour-or-so wait for all the other Gundog breeds to finish judging, by which point the building was almost empty of people, dogs and hubbub, with only the best of breed winners remaining. Eventually all the winning gundog puppies were called back for the judging of the Gundog Puppy Group, and Phoenix (who was almost asleep by this time)  & Tim entered the now much enlarged arena to line up amongst the Spaniels, Retrievers, Pointers, Setters etc.

Being judged for Best Gundog Puppy.

Being judged for Best Gundog Puppy - that's Phoenix in the centre with the judge examining her.

We had thought that being roused from a state of unconsciousness might take the edge of excitability off our l’il gal, but instead she performed just as she had in the previous round, moving with huge enthusiasm and drive, head up and tail up with a big grin on her face – which was great – but then trying to buck and twist out of her stands – which was less than great…

The best Gundog Puppy in show was awarded to the Golden Retriever, but then, and to our complete delight and some astonishment, we were awarded second place (AKA: Gundog Puppy Group 2) accompanied by an even bigger rosette, at which point Phoenix’ and Tim’s excitement levels must have gone into overdrive since she (and probably he too) started bouncing about 4 feet in the air!!!

A lap of honour of the ring for the top 4 puppies followed, and then we were out to absorb what had just occurred. Several other exhibitors came up to congratulate us and say was a lovely dog they thought she was. One Irish Setter exhibitor said that she thought Phoenix was the best dog in the whole show…which was very nice.

So, a fantastic result, and the gaiting problems of the last show now seem to be a thing of the past, but  instead we have her new unwillingness to stand to work on. The next “warm-up” show in is two weeks, and then, come August, we’re into her proper show campaign, so we’ve got a few more weeks to strike a balance between Phoenix’ joyous spirit (that judges happily seem to like!) and the element of control that we need….

First thing tomorrow morning it’s back to pup boot camp!

12/07/2009 at 22:20 7 comments


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