A worthwhile trip across the Irish Sea, and news from the American Pembroke National

Masses of news this week, starting with the welcome tidings that the appropriate Kennel Club committee has recommended for final approval the amalgamation of the West of England Corgi Association and Devon and Cornwall Welsh Corgi Club, to form the South West Welsh Corgi Club. I’m sure combining the two clubs’ resources is a sensible way forward so good luck to the SWWCC. Talking of the Devon and Cornwall, sad news has arrived of the death of Diane May who has been its secretary for so many years and worked so hard to keep the club going. The area used to be a real hotbed of Corgis but much less so in recent times and I’m sure Diane’s task cannot always have been an easy one. Our sympathy goes to her family, several of whom are also involved with the Corgi breeds and with the club. Two sets of CCs on offer last weekend in Northern Ireland and wow, an unforgettable two days for Tracy and Kath Irving. The team’s total haul from the two days amounted to four CCs, a new champion title, a new CC winner, a new dual CC-winning puppy, two RCCs, two BP awards, a breed show BIS, a group and a puppy group 3! Beat that… On the Saturday we has the WCC of Ulster show with Sigurd Wilberg (Kanix Pointers, Dachshunds, Boxers, Bouviers etc) awarding CCs, amazingly for the first time in the UK. Many years ago when he lived in Norway Sigurd’s first top winner was the UK-bred Pembroke Ch Yorken Gallant Knight and his brother Leif-Herman has carried on the family’s Pembroke interests with tremendous success. He awarded the DCC, his first, and BIS to the junior Twinan Life’s A Blast (Twinan Dip Yer Butty ex Ch Creslow Classified at Twinan), beating his dual CC-winning kennelmate Born To Be Your Salt Dog at Twinan (Hung/Rom/Greek/Mac Ch Born To Be Your Sparticus di Pi Et Ra ex Int/Rom Ch Twinan Colour Me Red). BCC, again a first, and BPIS went to Twinan Tight Squeeze (also by Dip Yer Butty, ex Debsanna’s Promises Twinan) and this just left RBCC for anyone else, this going to Linda and Willie Preston’s Craigycor Campsie Princess (two CCs, Ch/Ir Ch Whitepoint Dream Weaver at Craigycor ex Ch/Ir/Int Ch Craigycor Viva La Diva). At Belfast the next day we again had a first time judge, Debbie Stansbury who has the Woodbriar Dobermanns and Belgian Shepherds. This time the two dogs changed places with Salty taking his third CC and title, thus becoming the first Hungarian-bred Pem to gain a UK title. I’m sure breeders Alexandra Trefán-Török and Sándor Trefán are very proud – it has been a great year for them as a Rough Collie they bred has also gained a UK title. I will do my usual review of his pedigree next week when there shouldn’t be quite so much news. In the meantime he is the first male champion for over a year. The bitch results were the same as the previous day so Tight Squeeze has two CCs at the age of eight months. As if this were not enough, Salty went on to win the group under Richard Kinsey, thus becoming the third Pem male to win a group this year and one place up on his success the previous week at Driffield. And the final piece of icing on this remarkable cake was for Tight Squeeze to take puppy group 3 under the same judge. If only there were some way of attracting more exhibitors from the other side of the Irish Sea. You’d have thought that a double set of CCs, as happens every few years, would be a real draw, making the effort and expense worthwhile for more people. It was easier in the past when one could fly to Belfast with dogs, relatively cheaply, but those days are sadly long gone. In those days the Irish shows were great fun, and I’ve no reason to believe that has changed, while the new Belfast venue has had good reports. Having recently written that junior warrant winners are rare in the breed these days, I’m pleased to report two more: Lorraine Weedall and Nicola Bogue’s Bronabay Illuminations (Ch Bronabay Cannonball ex Bronabay True Colours) and Kim Warner’s Meitza Erik The King (Ch Pemcader Thunderball ex Meitza Goldust). Jeff Horswell (Drakesleat Dachshunds etc) will be judging at Southern Counties 2019 and Gill Legerton (Solaw) at Welsh Kennel Club that year. The Roberts Centre in Wilmington, Ohio was the venue for the PWCCA national specialty this year. As ever it was a festival of all things Pem including tracking, agility, herding, rally and triathlon, judges education (including a lecture on anatomy by Bill Shelton), peer education, the AGM and a banquet in addition to the ‘conformation’ events. Great to be able to watch the latter via the excellent video coverage (with the catalogue also available online), and they started on Wednesday with the sweepstakes judge by Shannon Stone. She must have spent her lifetime involved with Corgis – her mother is Terry Hansen of the Pinemeades. She has herself bred Pems with the Foxlair affix and is a hoighly successful handler – at last year’s national she handled not only the BOB but also the winners dog! Her winner was Tammie and John Wilcox and Lori Sawyer’s 11-month-old tri bitch Foxlore Dark Horse @ Jareaux (Ch Afara Calico Pony ex Ch Foxlore Xmas Holly Jareaux). Best opposite was Anne Boews and Judy Descutner’s 13-months tri dog Heronsway Run For The Roses at Hickory Tavern (by last year’s national BOS GChS NChanted Concerto ex Ch Heronsway Younger Than Springtime). This was followed by the veteran sweeps and I’m sure there must have been some hard decisions among the gorgeous golden oldies. Winner was Debbie Royster and Daniel Hartman’s 11-year-old bitch Ch Keepsake’s Smooth Jazz at Foxwood (Ch Foxwood Lionhart Alada Finn-esse ex Ch Keepsake Tempting Fate) and BOS, Linda Thompson’s 12-year-old GCh Sandfox Super Nova RN (Ch Byendebrok Maplecreek Baccarat CD HSAs MX AXJ ex Ch Sandfox Heavenly Body). That evening saw a new event, a glamorous invitation-only Champion Challenge, a chance for posh frocks and smart suits to be worn, not that American exhibitors are ever less than smart. The judges were announced as Sandra Wolfskill (Elfwish) and Di Baillie (Dygae, Australia) and 16 top winners were in competition. The judges individually scored each dog three times – for general impression, for gait and movement, and after examining them – then their scores were totted up and an average taken. Eventually the winner was announced as Mari Carroll’s bitch GChB Brogan Bright Light (GCh Heritage Brogan Light The Lamp ex GCh Brogan Tralee). The spectators were also asked to vote and they came up with the same answer, ‘Mimsy’ being declared the People’s Choice as well. Incidentally, while I’m mentioning Di Baillie, I said last week that she had won both CCs at Melbourne Royal – well the team continued the good work in her absence and Dygae Final Edition (Ch Dygae Limited Edition ex Newpry Grace Kelly) won the puppy group there. Meanwhile his elder sister Ch Dygae Sweet Caroline, owned by Melanie and Caoline Smith, won BOB at the Adelaide Hills show – in the Pembroke world that is a special win as it comes with the Thelma Gray Memorial Trophy, uniquely presented by the Queen. Back to the US National - no rest for anyone and on Thursday the dog classes were judged by Andrew Carter (Saddle Lane), another long-term supporter of the breed and a friend of many in the UK. Andy will be judging at Crufts ’20. Winners went to an 11-month-old puppy, Linda Muglach’s Ramsgate’s Off To The Races (GCh Honeyfox Racing Skills ex Ch Triple H Ewe Open It Ewe Shut It Ramsgate), handled by breeder Stephen Heath. He had won his sweeps class the day before. Reserve was Realline Final Boss (Ch/Int/Jap Ch Balmy Winds JP Jake ex Int/Jap/Kor Ch The Goodboy Lovely Catherine) who had flown in from South Korea with owner Jong-Oh Kim. On Friday the bitch classes were judged by Vince Savioli, co-owner with his wife Cindy of the Aubrey Pems and Cardiagans. In recent years they have bred and owned a winner of both the Pem and Cardi Nationals and the Cardi became a Crufts CC winner. His winners bitch was Kara and Alyssa Janiszak’s nearly 13-month-old Sterling Shine The Light (GCh Lionhart’s Wild About Harry ex GCh Sundance Grace Kelly). She too had won her class in the sweeps. Reserve went to Feli Noeller’s Perivale Flight Of Fancy, almost exactly the same age, by Ch Greenwoods Midnight Flyer ex Ch Sandfox Greenwoods Chance Are. Sunday saw the specials (best of breed) competition with a galaxy of almost 100 champions parading in the main ring for Andy’s inspection. If you have never been to the National, it is worth doing so just for seeing so many beautiful Pems in one ring at the same time. I noticed one British handler, Nicki Blance with one of the Coventries. Andy assessed the males before lunch, the bitches afterwards, and after an exciting series of cuts eventually got down to the final few. After plenty of tension and movement of the various contenders, the winner emerged as the male GCh Eweknow Hearts Run Free (Ch Greenwoods Fame And Fortune ex Ch Brynlea Teeny Weenie Bikini), owned by Sharon Lofley, bred by her with Vicki Sandage and Brenda Stiles and handled by Sue King. Now seven years old, he was select dog here in 2014, and he has also spent some time in Japan where his wins included BIS at a big show when Andrew Brace judged. I’ll look at his pedigree next week. It was once again a good show for the more mature Pems with BOS going to Deb Shindle and Victor Malzoni’s eight-year-old GChP Riverside Get Over It (Ch Aberlee Phantom Sequence ex GCh Riverside Wicked Wonderful CGC). Best of winners went to the bitch Shine A Light, and the selects (runners-up) in each sex were Nancy and Mike Oehlhof’s GChB Springmill A Blast From The Past (GCh Springmill Sweet Talking Guy ex GCh Springmill Dec Th’Halls) and Bill Shelton, Steve Leyerly, Beckie Williams and Deborah Salow’s GCh Coventry Good Vibrations (Ch Alenclaud Tony Ash ex GChB ex Coventry Swinging On A Star). Nine further Pems received awards of merit: in bitches, the Champion Challenge winner, last year’s select and 2016’s BOW Bright Light; the veteran sweeps winner Smooth Jazz; Dede Rodgers and Mary Greenwood’s Ch Greenwoods Sparkling Diamond (Ch Greenwoods Midnight Flyer ex Ch Sandfox Greenwoods Chance Are), and last year’s BOW, Daniel Hartman and Debbie Royster’s GChS Foxwood Lionhart’s Quintessence (GCh Martindale Black Bart ex GCh Lionharts Cameo Appearance). In dogs: Jessica and Bobby Pavia and Sandi Eaton’s GCh Pembury House Chianti (Ch Wynfox Lion In Winter ex Ch Pembury House Nutmeg Gingham); last year’s BOS, Carol Braunstein and Virginia Gilman’s GChS NChanted Concerto (GCh Sandfox Cadenza ex Ch NChanted Silk Teddy); Sherri Hurst’s GCh XIV Karat Good News Travels Fast (GCh Aubrey’s Easter Parade ex GCh Graceland XIV Karat Happy Birthday Mr President); 2016’s WD, Liisa Coit’s GCh Rosewood Sea Quest (Black Bart ex GCh Rosewood Sea Shell); and last year’s select, Dede Rodgers, Mary Greenwood and Macy Rogers’ GCh Greenwoods Livin’ It Up (GCh Linicorgi’s Livin’ On A Prayer ex Ch Greenwoods Midnight Melody). Smooth Jazz made it a nice double by also taking the best veteran award, while best puppy was Carrie Chase’s Hum’nbird Loves Me Like A Rock (GCh Hum’nbird Take The Odds ex Ch Hum’nbird Rock’n Me). Thanks to the team for posting the results so efficiently. Why not think about going to this great event next year? It will be near Chicago and the judges are Lei-Herman Wilberg (Siggen, dogs and BOB), Patty Gailey (Triad, bitches) and Ellen Schusterson (Jorash, sweeps). SIMON PARSONS

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The Welsh Corgi League