Windsor Castle looming on the show ground, Pimms, Sunshine, Flowers, Dogs and Pink jackets. Sound familiar? It’s none other than the Windsor Championship Dog Show!
Founded in 1951, it’s first show had an entry of 1,000 dogs across all breeds. In 2013 we had an entry of 10,456 and it proves to be one of the most popular and prestigious dog shows around. Judges and exhibitors from local towns to abroad flock to the show at 7:30am preparing their crates, umbrellas, chairs and tables ready for another scorching day.
This show has always been the highlight Championship show of the year for me. Often regarded as the ‘Summer Crufts’ it is my local Championship show. I’ve been going there since I was a toddler and always looked forward to it.
My grandmother won Best in Show there in 1991 with Ch. Julemark Hotspur by Nedlaw who also won Best of Breed at Crufts that year which she was absolutely thrilled about as you can imagine! However, as she was on her way home she left the Best in Show trophy in the car park… All I can say is that it would of been one cracking souvenir for one lucky visitor who might have stumbled upon it! Sadly I was too young to remember it but I always get reminded of it.
I’ve been to many Championship shows throughout the year but it’s always been a rather unique experience than other Championship shows. As I walk across the ground I can immediately tell that every square metre of the grounds is being used efficiently and professionally and you can certainly tell that on the day of the show. What’s also great to see occasionally is people embracing the Windsor colours (pink) and I often see many judges and exhibitors wearing these colours. It truly adds to the whole overall experience.
Since then, as of last year I was fortunate enough to be voted onto the committee of this prestigious show and have currently served 2 years there. I hope I prove to be a asset toward the show in the coming years ahead. It has always been a show that’s close to my heart ever since I was a child. For me, It’s a wonderful opportunity to interact with fellow exhibitors, judges and visitors to the show as well as directly contributing towards the show. It’s incredibly rewarding to be a part of it.
Anyway, moving back to the 2013 show we’ve had (27th-30th June). It proved to be quite a success, unlike a lot of Championship shows we’ve kept up our entries. Nowadays you’ll the majority of Championship shows across the country has seen a trend of fall in entries to the show? Why?
Slightly off the topic here, people often blame the economic climate, rising fuel costs and to an extent they are absolutely right. But I don’t think that’s the main problem for these fall in entries in my mind, I think there are so many factors to consider here. When money is tight you have to run these shows in a more business orientated manner. That can range between picking the right judges (picking them can easily determine whether someone wants to show ‘under them’ or not) to running the show efficiently and effectively. This has been achieved to a high standard by the whole of the committee. With entries at £25 each, fuel costs, catering, the costs can easily pile up as many of you will know from experience. At Windsor the show manager, Gary Grey told me that with everything at the show, you have to cut costs. However at the same time you want to keep the quality and the ‘Windsor standard’ that’s always been kept over the years. And from what I saw at the show this year, Mr. Grey got it absolutely spot on in my mind. Reviewing the comments from the Facebook page and comments in the dog newspapers I don’t think I’ve seen one bad comment (yet) and reading all the positive feedback genuinely made my day.
Here are some of the pictures of the show this year;
Dogs in cars
During the last few days of June, you can almost guarantee some good, hot weather which is why it’s absolutely essential that no dogs get left in cars. It’s a growing problem in many shows and Windsor operates a zero tolerance policy towards dogs inside cars, whatever the weather or amount of ventilation the dog has. Windsor has been pushing this policy over the last few years and since then, other Championship shows has followed similar policies which is very promising. After all we are supposed to be a nation of pet lovers, if there was ever an incident it would not only be hugely damaging to the Club but dog showing in general. We have the facilities for unentered dogs, so there is no excuse. In the next few blog articles, I will go further into the issue of leaving dogs in unattended cars. I’ll be asking the public about their experiences and thoughts on the matter.
Saying that, we only had a few hiccups this year and everyone complied to our policy which is great news. Lets hope it continues and improves in the future.
Best in Show
And finally on the final day we had our Best in Show. For those who aren’t familiar with the system, each breed is categorised into 7 Kennel Club groups (with the breed that represented that group this year);
- Hound – Whippet
- Terrier – Irish Terrier
- Working – Alaskin Malamute
- Pastoral – Border Collie
- Toy – Chinese Crested Dog
- Utility – Standard Poodle
- Gundog – Irish Water Spaniel
All Best of Breed dogs are categorised into these groups and they will be eventually judged to determine which those Best of Breeds are the best in that particular group. That dog will represent that group and the 7 dogs will go head to head to compete for Best in Show.
Anyway, I wont spoil it. I’ll let you judge for yourself. Below is a video from Dog World Best in Show at Windsor judged by Sue Garner.
Lastly I’d like to thank the Hon. Secretary Mrs Irene Terry, the committee and everyone involved that helped make the show another success. I look forward to next year! For more news and information, don’t forget to subscribe on my home page.