WELSH JUNIOR OF THE YEAR 2020
Held on the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells on Saturday February 29th 2020.
This competition is currently for dogs with owner’s resident in Wales and is held under Kennel Club rules and regulations under the auspices of Cardiff Canine Society.
Despite rumours that had been circulating that the event was being called off it went ahead without a hitch in beautiful spring-like sunshine, with just the odd shower and this year saw the first import register breed in attendance, travelling from Connahs Quay was Tracy Brown and her White Swiss Shepherd Dog.
Secretly invited, the judges are not announced until just before the competition starts, Martin Sanders and his efficient organising team had everything running in tip-top order, the hall looked inviting and beautiful upon our arrival.
The competitions are heavily reliant on sponsorship, and the organising team wish to thank them for their continued support, Eukanuba, Our Dogs, Dorwest Herbs, Birdbrook, Ken Andrew, Richard Morris, Les Portlock, and Miss Jackie Tonge.
Exhibitors receive a traditional Welsh slate coaster, a complimentary rosette, along with product from Eukanuba and product vouchers from Dorwest herbs.
The building is carpeted, with plenty of light and a view, the competition is run on a team match system, with the Judges names drawn at the very beginning, so it really is pot luck who gets drawn in which order, this gives all exhibitor’s a fighting chance at being the winner of this coveted title.
This competition allows for 84 dogs who apply for entry having won a junior class in its breed within the qualifying period; these are split into two equal groups, one judged in the morning and one in the afternoon.
The first 42 dogs in group A are called promptly at 11 am to collect their ring numbers before their numbers are drawn by Martin Sanders with his assistants and for the individual pairings in this knockout style of competing, the Judges as always are to be announced, and Martin Sanders does keep this secret very well indeed, this year it was the well-known and much loved Richard Stafford and Raye Parry.
Richard Stafford (Farnfield)
Richard obtained his first show dog in 1977, breeding his first litter four years later, He has gone on to make up several champions, achieving top Labrador Retriever over three very successful years. Sh Ch (UK, USA) Farnfield Topo Gigio (Ai) JW ShCM took the top sire in his breed in 2016, and his daughter who obtained her Show Champion title from the Junior classes is already a group and General Championship show all breeds RBIS winner.
Richard has also achieved high awards with his second and third breeds, the Weimaraner and Hungarian wirehaired vizsla. Richard has given back to the dog world community as an administrator on various dog show committees and the breed council. Richard currently is Vice-Chairman on the Welsh Kennel Club and Secretary of the Gundog Association of Wales.
He is passed to award challenge certificates in ten gundog breeds along with the group.
Raye Parry (Gwynsias)
Raye has been showing dogs for 45 years and has made up many champions in Min Pins, Japanese Chins, Lancashire Heelers and Swedish Vallhund.
She awards challenge certificates in all the toy breeds as well as her own breeds, Raye has officiated internationally as well as having the honour of being a championship show group judge several times, she has twice been asked to Judge at Crufts.
As Richard had drawn the Group A envelope, he judged first, his group winner was the Siberian husky bitch owned by the Morris’s Arcticskies Ruby Tuesday for Cwnhapus, his reserve in this group was the Bullmastiff of Amanda and Bill Warren’s Angel’s Phoenix Dylan Dog of Copperfield.
Lunch was welcomed prior to the commencement of Group B with Raye Parry officiating, her chosen winner of this group was the American cocker spaniel Zarcrest Choc Ice owned by Zara Boyle, and the reserve was the cardigan welsh corgi of John Essenhigh and Huw Bishop Hundahilli Bulleyana for Brynlluan.
It takes two to tango, both judges look at the group winners again and make a decision on an overall winner and a reserve, this year’s chosen winner was the American Cocker Spaniel, Zarcrest Choc Ice, who has had a glittering puppy career winning three Challenge certificates from minor puppy and puppy, top puppy in her breed, numerous puppy group wins and was a POTY Qualifier, she does not yet have her Show Champion title as you have to win a fourth challenge Certificate after the age of 12 months to claim the title.
Next year’s competition will be on Saturday, February 27th 2021, Further details and any changes can be obtained on the competition’s website; https://welshjunioroftheyear.com