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the doyens of show
I like the way you walk’ in the words of the Suzie Quatro song, must have been one of many things on the mind of Combined Canine Club International Best in Show judge, Eytan Hendel, when he judged the last ten dogs, finally handing the big rosette to a delighted Ellen O’Neill for her American Akita, GB Ch Geilsaven Suzie Que, on Easter Saturday ’23. This home bred girl, just three and a half years old, and named for Suzie Quatro, has packed a lot into her short career, having missed many shows due to the covid break, but she has already won 8 CCs with 4 Reserve CCs. Top CC winning bitch in the UK last year, she was No.1 Akita in her native Scotland, won Top Scottish Open Show Dog of 2022 and finished 4th overall in the Scottish All Breeds Showdog of the year ’22. Sired by Ch & GB Ch Melador All Hell Broke Loose CW 17 and Ch Geilsaven Love and Kisses, her litter brother, GB Ch G. Diddley Bo, another rock ‘n roller, had taken the RGS & CACIB and his lyrical daughter, G. Toote Sweet, was Reserve GS & CACIB behind Suzie, so quite a family affair under breed judge Denis Kuzelj.  Suzie had earlier won the Group under Juan Naveda Carrero, much experienced All Breeds judge from Spain, before she hit the high notes in the main ring, taking her first International All Breeds Best in Show.

Eytan, an All Breeds judge from Israel, with a special interest in Great Danes, sent Suzie through to the top spot from an entry of 1,201 on a day when the sun shone over the Naas Racecourse, just south of Dublin, a bonus for the committee organising an outdoor show at this time of the year, and their first time at this venue. The show was sponsored by Rabart Canine, represented at the show by Dave James.

It was still a pleasant evening as the final awards were decided by Eytan Hendel who gave the BIS No 2 spot to Matt McCarter’s Bulldog, Rembombory Prince, just nineteen months old and imported from Spain last year from breeder Pedro Reig in Valencia. Prince has a Crufts placing and today had his first GS, CACIB & Best of Breed win under Irish Breed Specialist, Judith Collie, before taking the group from French all breeds judge, Sylvie Desserne, no stranger to Ireland, who actually judged BIS at this show back in 2019.

Third in the line-up was the Basset Hound, Lesley and niece, Katherine, Blevins’ Blevwil Ivana Twinkle, a young lady of just sixteen months bred by Roy and Lesley.  Shown in the breed under famous Portuguese breed specialist, Jose Homen De Mello, of the renowned Dos Sete Moinhos Bassets, by Lesley, it was Kelly who took her in to top the group, also under Jose. Ivana, despite her tender years, has amassed five Green Stars and 1 CACIB, whilst over the water, she has 1 CC and 2 RCCs, and is following in the successful footsteps of her mother, Multi Ch/GB Ch Blevwil Ravishing Rita, who was BIS at IKC Oct 2019 Day 2 and is a firm favourite of the writer, who met her when she was a precocious puppy just few months old!

Final call out in Best in Show was Karen Arden’s Borzoi, Ch & Nl Ch Paskova Night Warrior At Greenhaven, breed winner under Marko Lepasaar from Estonia, who also judged the group, and sent him through to BIS. Bred in Bulgaria by Antoaneta Paskova, Karen has been enjoying success with more than one import from this European kennel, having been in the cards at home in GB with both Warrior and also Night Storm.

Looking back ten years, when the CCC held their Easter Classic in Cloghran, there was an entry of 1,560, showing how things have changed in such a short time, and they don’t look like improving any time soon with entries down all over about 20% and expenses, from venues to fuel, to accommodation and food all up correspondingly
…. Is dog showing going to revert to what it was in the beginning back in the late 1800’s, the sport of the wealthy???
Report by Joyce Crawford-Manton
Photos by Ervin Gaspic of ICP Partners, Visions Photography
The Combined Canine Club have, for many years now, annexed Easter for their weekend of festivities, and on Easter Sunday we saw 1,095 dogs assemble for the CCC National All Breds Ch Show, about 100 dogs less that the previous day at their international event. The weather was not just as kind as it had been the day before, no warming sunshine, rather a cloudy, overcast day with a bit of a chilly breeze which seems to be the norm at all racecourses, being of necessity open to the surrounding countryside, but the rain stayed away until the show came to a very timely close to allow everyone to pack up in dry conditions and get on their various roads home.

Best in Show was scheduled to be judged by David Haddock from America, a recognised Obedience Judge and also a dedicated Portuguese Water Dog enthusiast, breeding them Under his Driftwood prefix, and also judges Working and Sporting breeds and Dachshunds, unfortunately David, a member of the Board of Governors of the Westminster Kennel Club, assistant Show Chair and their delegate to the American Kennel Club, was unable to make it this year to give us his unique insight of our dogs, but happily a lady from France, in the form of Sylvie Desserne, was there and very much able to take his place in the big ring. Her kennel name, ‘Vilfloriane’, has countless Champions in Charlies and Cavaliers in their native France, and also Internationally, although Sylvie’s first registered dog, back in 1974, was a Boxer. Other dogs came into her life, including Shih Tzus, but a visit to Crufts and the sight of the King Charles Spaniel sealed her love for that breed and their ‘Cavalier’ cousins, which took over her life. She started her judging career whilst enjoying much success in the ring, and is now an All Breeds judge under FCI. Sylvie has judged often in Ireland and also judged the Champion of Champions Contest some years back.
Sylvie had a good line-up to choose from today, and selected for her final four the Shetland Sheepdog, Bulldog, Miniature Bull Terrier and the King Charles Spaniel, finally handing the Best in Show rosette and trophy to Aidan Brosnan for his Bulldog, GB Ch Starbornbullies Bubbles. Homebred Bubbles has enjoyed a great career despite missing time with covid, taking Res CCs, CCs and Club honours with Res Bulldog Bitch of the Year, culminating this March with Bitch CC and Res BOB at Crufts under Maria Harding of the Pringham Bulldogs.’ Bubbles’, who will be four years old in late May, produced a litter just before her third birthday and her offspring have already made their mark in the ring, she having passed on many of her obvious qualities to them. Also, just to show what a strong, healthy specimen of this oft times troubled breed, she seems to like nothing better in her down time to go on lengthy hikes and gallops on the beach together with her offspring, and her fitness enthusiast owner.Sylvie has judged often in Ireland and also judged the Champion of Champions Contest some years back.
Caroline Bowles-Robinson’s King Charles Spaniel, GB Ch Baldragon He Shoots He Scores, certainly made recent breed history, taking the Reserve Best in Show spot. Now classed as a vulnerable native breed in it’s native England, with just 68 registered in 2022, it is good to see a breed like this occasionally come to the fore. Homebred out of a Russian import, presumably to widen the gene pool, Rus Ch Descartes Ot Nevskogo, and Baldragon Bling It On, this two and a half years old dog had earlier taken the breed under Robert Kotlar from Hungary who also sent him through to the big ring from Group 9. In his career he was Best Puppy on numerous occasions and also won the CC and BIS at the parent King Charles Spaniel Association Ch Show in 2021 under Raye Parry, he took BOB at Crufts in ’22 with a group shortlist, Leeds, Welsh K C etc., to mention a few, and his latest was the ticket at Manchester this February. Just for interest, he, together with 99 others in his breed met up at Chacombe Priory near Banbury on April 20th to honour the upcoming Coronation of King Charles III; many of you will remember this was the home of the late Diana Schilizzi, a regular visitor to Ireland in years gone by with her Chacombe King Charles and CKCS. A real ‘lady’ born and bred, ‘Dido’, whose Allfrey ancestors lived in the Priory since the 16th century, sadly passed away in January ’22 at the grand age of 90, and it was her husband, Stephen, who kindly hosted the gathering.
Third in the final under Sylvie was another Miniature Bull Terrier from Ger and Laura Cox’s Co Clare based Bull & Mini Bull kennels. Ch Coxgal Erin Go Bragh, owned by Marek Wojciechowski from Poland, but back home to Ireland to be campaigned by his breeder, Ger, he has enjoyed success in plenty before he returned and owns a litany of top wins and titles. ‘Marczello’, at just 2 ½ is a Junior Champion in Poland, Lithuania, San Marino, Bosnia & Herzegovino, Hungary, Slovenia and Romania, was Euro Jun Winner ’22 and Interra Winner ‘21 and ‘22 with BOB. He arrived home with Champion titles in Lithuania, Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovino, and got a great boost for his GB crown by taking the CC and BOB at Crufts; he clinched his Irish crown yesterday at the International under Eytan Hendel, winning the Group under Marie-Josée Melchior-Schlechter, just for good measure. His mother, Ch Yanni House Black Russian at Coxgal, who was bred in Russia by Yana Streltsova, finished last year as 2nd Top Terrier on the GAIN/ICP Top Winners Leaderboard, with multiple wins and group placings and she was Reserve BIS at IKC Celtic Winners last March.
A young lady with previous experience of success at this Easter weekend of Combined Shows is the Shetland Sheepdog, Catherina Dunne’s homebred Ch Longrange Cailin Dubh, An Ch ’22 and CW last year too with Centenary Winner and her Centenary Champion title. This time last year she was celebrating a fine Best in Show win with Katy, who had also triumphed across the water winning CCs and also Group placings with her kennelmate, and she finished second Top Group 1 last year on the Leaderboard, courtesy of her group and group placings during the 2022 show season, and she is back there again this year in the same spot; Katy took BIS four today.
Report by Joyce Crawford-Manton
Photos by Ervin Gaspic of ICP Partners, Visions Photography
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