The Hovawart Club of Great Britain


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Breed Notes - 06 Oct 2009

Well, it’s come and gone again for another year. The HC of GB Open Show, with Limited Obedience…..sometimes, the irony blows you away…..duly took place at Oswestry on Sunday, and we were blessed with really good weather, not too sunny, and the only rain fell during the break for lunch. This made up for last year’s awful rain and rain! Ann and Dave’s bacon butties to start the day have become a regular and most welcome feature, and this time, happily, we were in time to enjoy them. I’m afraid that you guys have got yourselves a permanent job, especially with Dave directing traffic into the bargain!

The breed classes were judged by Stuart Mallard, who had a good entry of 49 (20, dogs and 29 bitches) to assess. There were only a handful of absentees, and several dogs, and their handlers, making their debuts in the ring. Best Dog, and Best in Show was Susi Thayer & John MacKay’s Pines Hapi, who beat his father, Maggie Spencer’s Dutch Ch. Pines Saxophone at Hightimbers, into the reserve spot. Best Bitch, and Reserve Best in Show, was Mick Murphy’s Polish-bred Finya Palacowe Pieknosci, handled for a change by Mick’s wife Carmel, who had made the trip over from Eire with Anne Stewart, but without Mick. The Irish contingent always seem to be enjoying themselves hugely. Best Puppy was Lynn White & Liz Whitmore’s home-bred Driftingsky Mist, and Best Veteran was our Kynyaf Tiy of Pines (also Reserve Best Bitch). It was especially good to see 4 entrants in the special vintage (over 10) bitch class, but where are the veteran dogs?

In the Obedience section, judged most sympathetically by Brenda Wilkinson, Pre-beginners and Beginners were both won by Chris Bolton’s Hofwarth Devonsent, Novice by Maggie Spencer’s Pines Enigma Variations at Hightimbers, and TestA by Lynn White & Liz Whitmore’s Tyehelva Super Summer at Driftingsky. In the KC Good Citizen bronze tests, Mrs Taylor and Janette Prior passed 7 out of the 9 applicants, one of the failures being our Acorn, who was distracted by anything and everything. We have some work to do!

I think the club should be rightly proud of the 40 odd blood samples now on their way to Berne in Switzerland for DNA testing. If we are to control and ultimately eliminate hereditary problems from the breed, this is surely the way to go, and we in the UK have made a significant start with this effort. We are very lucky that we can be part of a continental scheme, because a numerically small breed such as ours would have no possibility of funding any research in isolation.

This year the show management was new to the game, with both Bettina Williams as Show manager, and Liz Whitmore as Secretary making their first appearances in their roles. I am happy to report that everything went pretty well, and everyone I spoke to was having a good time. It is so crucial to a good day that the judge enjoys both the breed and the event, and Stuart Mallard did not let us down on either score. He put newcomers at their ease and was kind to the dogs, and made his decisions with confidence and authority. I hope he had as good a day as he gave to the exhibitors. There was a minor hiccup when the obedience “stays” caused a hold-up in the breed ring, and somehow the presentation of the trophies at the end rather petered out, but with a bit of thought, these things can be ironed out for next year. On a personal note, I was especially pleased that the lunches completely disappeared. It is always gratifying for that to happen when you have been planning and preparing so much beforehand. My instructions were to have lunch ready to serve after Post Graduate Bitch – now I ask you – what sort of time is that? As it turned out – 12.30pm was perfect.

On a more mercenary note, all the raffle tickets sold well before the draw, and we had a particularly good result from the memorabilia table, with models and calendars “flying off the shelf”, and the new Club/Dog World diaries going like hot cakes. I think we only have 3 left now (contact me if you would like one)

Our good wishes go to Gill Green, who has been into hospital recently for a routine operation. Hope she is soon back to full strength and out and about again with Saffron.

Elaine Betts

This article was posted on: 07-Oct-09