The Hovawart Club of Great Britain


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Breed Notes - 10 Apr 2012
It has been a very strange week. The first thing that was odd, funny if you weren’t me, was the incident of mistaken identity of a car that I could have sworn was Elinor’s. I was meeting up with her for a training session on Thursday. Normally, I go to her house and we journey to the ground together, which means I have never taken a great deal of notice of the way. This time, we agreed to meet at the venue, so, armed with a map and written instructions from John, not trusting the satnav., I was nearing the right exit from the motorway when I spotted Elinor’s car, towing Elinor’s caravan, so of course I pulled in behind her…she even waved at me…4 junctions further on, I pulled alongside, only to discover that I didn’t after all recognise the man driving!! Just as well I didn’t follow him all the way home.

Saturday managed to be both the date of the Contest of Champions and a working trial I had entered Acorn in, so we took the opportunity to have a couple of nights in a hotel just off the M25, between the venues. That proved an excellent idea, but the trial was less successful than I had hoped. It is quite difficult to keep all the exercises equally trained up, and I had been concentrating on the search square, where Acorn had not been very good at finding the 3 articles needed. The training on that paid off, and she brought me the articles, but then she made a mess of her jumping, which she finds easy, needing 2 instructions to do the long jump, and instead of coming back over the scale, using her brains and walking round it. This must be amusing to the spectator, but very frustrating to the competitor. So another failure to get qualifying marks then, next try in a couple of weeks or so. I wonder which bits we’ll mess up then.

So, a rush back to the hotel to get into our finery for the evening. John is hopeless at packing, so I get the job, and happily I had all his things, but left my evening trousers at home. Just as well I had opted for a dark colour for the trial, so they had to do. We made it to the hotel near Heathrow in good time, meeting Maggie and Lloyd (good to see Lloyd looking better) there and the contest started after dinner. Generally, Hovawarts do not have a very good track record at this event, but Acorn made into round 2, helped greatly by having a bye in round 1. She came up against a very smart bearded collie, who went on to win the whole thing…nearly ! For some reason, the organisers drafted in a fourth judge, although he wasn’t in the programme, and the inevitable happened in the final. 2 judges had the Bulldog winning, and 2 the bearded collie. For some reason, the British compromise of 1st = wasn’t considered right, and a somewhat artificial ruling about the most senior (in what way was never explained) judge having the casting vote gave the contest to the bulldog. As this was one of the Crufts “victims”, it proved a most popular result. A lot of money was raised for the Canine Supporters Charity on the night, and I think my favourite moment was the presentation of the prize for the £5 note raffle by the extremely attractive Royal Canin lady representative to a most embarrassed young lad. There were a lot of men in the audience who would not have tried to avoid being kissed, and indeed in years to come, he may feel he has missed out on an experience that is rarely available.
After being away, it is always nice to get home again, and back into the swing of the dogs, chickens and cows here. I don’t think I could cope with the pace of everything in the metropolis any more…give me the peace and quiet of the countryside anytime. Actually, take back the quiet….new lambs and their mothers make an awful lot of noise, most of the night.

Elaine Betts

This article was posted on: 11-Apr-12