Looking forward to Crufts

The overall entry for Crufts may be slightly down but that doesn’t apply to either of the Corgi breeds. Pembrokes with 135 are up by 21 dogs on last year and Cardis (judged by Kevin Dover) are up by seven to 99.

We are on the Saturday this time, with Pems in our usual ring, 18, in hall 4 at the NEC.

As you know our judge is Andy Carter (Saddle Lane) from New York City, the second American judge (following Tim Mathiesen) to do the breed here. We have also had two Australians, Barbara Ludowici and John Burgess, and one Norwegian, Leif-Herman Wilberg.

Andy has awarded CCs three times at breed club shows in the UK, at South Wales CC, WCC of Ulster and South East CA. As usual with our Crufts judges, I asked him for an outline of his Corgi activities. He writes: “Dogs have been a large part of my life since a child growing up on Eastern Long Island. I showed and bred St Bernards at age 13, followed by a love for Golden Retrievers. “My life in Pembrokes started in 1976. I had finished college in New Hampshire and moved into Manhattan. I simply could not live without a dog in my life so one day looking through Dog World Magazine I came upon a breeder in Missouri who had a plain red puppy dog I couldn't live without. Off to Kennedy Airport to pick up this never seen before Pembroke puppy. “Good fortune has followed me on my Pembroke path; this little red dog at six months was winners dog the first time in the ring at six months old, a five point major with me showing him! ‘Carson’ turned out to be Am/Can Ch Pemlea's Saddle Lane Affair. Multiple group wins in the working group and there was no turning back on this fabulous hobby. “I have bred and owned many beautiful Pembrokes, Ch Courtllyn Chagal in particular, ‘Polo’. I was so fortunate that Sue Llewellyn trusted me and let me take him home from the League’s Golden Jubilee. Ten best in shows later and many beautiful puppies, this boy was everything I loved in Pembrokes. Type, type, type, a boy who could walk in the ring and win today. “Most recently, the last 12 years, I was given a very special puppy by Nash and Rut Parker. He would turn out to be a magnificent boy winning six specialties and ‘Ty’ was best In sweeps at our National over ten years ago. “I have been very fortunate to have had such amazing Pembrokes in my life, and friends. “Judging has become a passion of mine; my first three provisionals were specialties. I received my judging licence in 2003; I thought I would love judging and I was so right. “Those multiple trips to Britain to seek out the great breeders, many who are not here any longer. I was welcomed into their homes and I soaked up all the knowledge and history of this great breed. Up and down those tiny roads finding these fabulous people and homes. “The Sunday pizza parties with Mary Gay Sargent and having Debbie Harper as a neighbour didn't hurt either. “The international opportunities afforded to me have been incredible: Russia twice, the UK, Australia, South Africa, Finland, Canada and Ireland. Each trip very special, the friends made around the world something dreams are made of. “Westminster was one assignment that was so special. The National last year a dream come true. To think judging Crufts in 2020 is a reality - I never take these great opportunities for granted. Truly blessed. “Finally, all the great dogs, places and people I have met have made me who I am as a judge. Lifelong friendships have been developed, all because of this short legged little farm dog! “ Many thanks Andy and we hope you have a great day. Only show news I have heard this week is G2 at Caledonian open show for Kay Hogg’s Daleabbey’s Anything Goes Keltybrae, judge Caroline Friend-Rees. I usually record major ch show successes for Cardis so must mention G2 at Manchester on his UK debut for the American-bred Am GChBlu Skyy’s Ziggy Stardust, with Lisa Croft-Elliott. SIMON PARSONS

The Welsh Corgi League