West of England Ladies Kennel Association (WELKS) 28th April
report by Chris Thatcher
The weather leading up to WELKS was rather mixed, we had lots of rain in the west and even on our journey to the show it was raining. Fortunately, by the time we arrived at Malvern it had stopped and even the sun was trying to peek through. We were scheduled in the ring following the Italian Greyhounds, but their entry was rather low so for a change we had an early start. Jeff Horswell has judged our breed on a few occasions once being Crufts. Our entry was quite low we had 4 male classes where each dog stood alone. Jeff Horswell gave the dogs time to settle and was kind and gentle with them on the table. Thanks also to the steward who made the whole experience enjoyable. Jeff Horswell found his BD and BOB with my own Odin. There were a few more bitches than males so each class did have more than one exhibit. It was quite a long wait until the group although this was called fairly early in the afternoon. Toy Group was held in the pavilion which I have to say was a great improvement on Hall 4 where breed judging was held and a lot warmer too with lovely green carpet.
Birmingham National 5th May 2023
report from Chris Thatcher
Birmingham National at Stafford was held this year on Coronation weekend. The Toy Group was judged on the Friday the day prior to the King’s Coronation. A lot of exhibitors were in very patriotic attire some even wearing union jack suits. Many of the trade stands were also decorated in the red, white, and blue. Traffic on the way to Stafford was also very busy. The benching area was quite a way from the ring so many of us found a spot close to the ring so we could see what was going on. Three of the breeds prior to our judging were all ticketed breeds so took precedence over the Bolognese and all breeds two of which were Utility Group had the same judge.
Unfortunately, the judging took rather a long time and the Toy Group was called prior to our entering the ring. Our judging was rather a hurried affair and the dogs had to go straight on to the table for examination and then only moved a short distance in the ring. Unfortunately, this did not give the dogs much time to adjust and settle and most by this time of day were rather bored. Diane Whateley agreed saying, “we were benched on the other side of the hall to our ring and we started judging as the Toy Group was called. The judging was a teeny bit rushed”.
The Judge, Howard Ogden found his Best Dog and BOB in Mulligan’s Donocielo Michelangelo, his Reserve Best Dog Lovel and Thatcher’s Devonia’s Anzio. Reserve Best Bitch and Best Veteran was Mulligan’s Donocielo Seraphina. Best of Breed just made it into the Toy Group as the Yorkshire Terrier was being judged.
A sticky situation at Birmingham National
by Carol Mulligan
We purchased a motor home with the plan to travel the length and breadth of the country to do some of the shows they hadn’t previously attended. The National was one of our first shows. On arriving at the campsite, we are welcomed with a sticky situation. It had been raining for a few days before so the ground was quite soft, resulting in us getting bogged down in the mud. Thankfully the tractor was on hand and managed to tow us out of the mud and to our pitch. In celebration of the coronation all the caravans and motorhomes were decorated with bunting and flags for a competition to see who would be crowned the best dressed winner. At the show itself, all the breeds were welcomed to celebrate with ringside picnics, screens had been set up to show the coronation and the national anthem was played, it was a lovely celebration. We had a few breeds ahead of us which resulted in the judging taking quite a while and therefore our breed having to be hurried along. Our judge Mr Howard Ogden found his Best of Breed in Meko and RBB and Best Veteran in Seraphina.
Scottish Kennel Club Championship Show 19th May
report from Diane Whateley
The no benching trial at this show worked much better for the toy breeds as there was an open and airy feel inside the venue. It was lovely to see Elizabeth, Jim and Niculina and two of her dogs. My Enzo celebrated his 2nd birthday by getting RBD for the second year running.
Bath Championship Show 29th May
report from Chris Thatcher
One of my favourite shows of the year. This is such a wonderful showground, the grass is always short and almost like a bowling green. No little feet to get lost or wet. This showground seems to improve year on year and is considerate of the exhibitors. Extra temporary toilets at the end of the tent which is great especially if it happens to be raining. This year the weather, I thought was going to be great but unfortunately, although dry, it was really cold and very windy in the benching area, many people were wrapped up in blankets.
Diane Whateley said, “Bath show was a chilly start with a cold breeze, but it warmed up considerably in the afternoon. The showground was, as always, immaculate with well kept large, flat rings”. This year we were third breed in the ring and the numbers for the two previous breeds were a lot less than they were the previous year, so we were able to show at a reasonable time. Our Judge, Dr. N. Lemo from Croatia spoke good English and found his Best Dog and Best of Breed in Mulligan’s Donocielo Michelangelo, Reserve Best Dog my own Kobanyai Pelyhes Odin with Devonia. Reserve Best Bitch and Best Veteran Donocielo Seraphina. Best Special Beginners Hegarty’s Tumbril Top Secret. The weather warmed up during the afternoon.
First Show day of a 6-week Trip
by Carol Mulligan
We set off from the Island on the 9am ferry to Bath. It was weird to think that this was first day of our 6-week road trip that we had planned for so long. We had a pleasant journey through the New Forest up to Bath and once we arrived and set up, we had plenty of time to sit in the sun and relax, as we had a few days until toy show day. Even though we were travelling in the motorhome the pre-show routine doesn’t change so we got the dogs ready the day before the show. The morning of the show was dry but chilly, we didn’t have too long a wait as we were second in the ring after the Chinese crested. Our judge was Dr N Lemo and as he was from abroad it was hard to know what he might like in a Bolognese. He found his Best of Breed in our own Meko with his mum Seraphina winning Reserve Best Bitch (RBB) and Best Veteran. We made our way over to the Best in Show ring from the Toy Group and tried to find some shade while we waited. The call came for all Best of Breeds to gather in the collecting ring for the group judging. We are all made to line up in alphabetical breed order meaning we are always in the middle of the Bichon and CKC. When the announcer says ‘and now we have the Bolognese’ you know it is action time. The Bolognese aren’t often recognised in the Toy group so you often don’t expect anything, however to our delight and complete surprise Meko was picked up for the final eight shortlisting. Unfortunately, Meko narrowly missed out on a group placing, however we were so happy in how he represented the breed.
Southern Counties 2nd June 2023,
report from Melanie Thomas
Southern Counties was a lovely, albeit windy, June day. Bolognese were second in the ring and our judge DR ANNUKKA PALOHEIMO SEGERSVEN was from Finland. Although it was dry, our judge decided not to use the outside ring, so there was limited room to move the dogs. We felt, and so did the Coton De Tulear people (same judge), that the judge rushed though the dogs. We were therefore disappointed with the attention taken in looking over the dogs, watching them move and making her choices. Several classes only had one entry and there were a few no shows.
Congratulations to Donocielo Michelangelo (Mr D A & Mrs C M Mulligan) for Best Dog and Devonia’s Anzio (Miss A & Mrs C Lovell & Thatcher) for Reserve Best Dog. Winner of Veteran and Reserve Best Bitch was Donocielo Seraphina (Mr D A & Mrs C M Mulligan) and Best Junior Devonia’s Anzio (Miss A & Mrs C Lovell & Thatcher). The Show Society held a Junior Group competition for the first time this year, so all Junior Winners had a rosette and went forward to a group competition.
There was no time to photograph the winning dogs with the judge as we were told she ‘had a train to catch’, so we all got together for a group picture outside. It was fun to see a few young puppies on a ‘show’ day out (not entered in the show). The show ground was great for the puppies to socialise. A couple of ‘oldies’ come along for the ride too.
The showground was good, but there was no benching so it was busy by the rings when we first arrived. Some people put up gazebos. As is was dry some of us pitched up outside, but if it had been wet this would of been a different (very squashed) story. There was also a Rare Breed competition for Toy and Terrier which a few of us entered. It was in the Best in Show ring for Rare Breed, so we had plenty of room and the judge Dolores Montgomery took her time. Best of Breed in the Rare Breed was a Coton De Tulear, but Devonia’s Anzio (Miss A & Mrs C Lovell & Thatcher) was awarded Best Junior Rare Breed. Lyckalotte Enzo Ferrari at Arkadian and Belstown Harry The Potter were both second in their Rare Breed class. Diane Whateley commented, “it was lovely to see Bolognese do so well in AV Rare Breed Toy/Terrier which they kindly delayed to that we wouldn’t miss it due to clashing with the breed classes”.
On leaving nobody checked the removal passes, it seemed to be a free for all from the car park to the showground. Anyway, it was a nice windblown fluffy get together with a terrible journey home on the M25!
Three Counties 9th June
report from Chris Thatcher
Weather forecast was for hot sunny weather. On arriving at the show, I was a little disappointed as it was neither hot nor sunny. We again were third breed in the ring but not massive numbers prior to our breed judging. We parked ourselves outside under a tree and gradually the weather improved although there was always a breeze. We eventually went into the ring just before 1.00 p.m. We had a few absentees, so the Judge Mr. T. Ball judged our breed reasonably quickly. The ground, again, was rather uneven and there had obviously been some interesting smells before we went in the ring. Some of the dogs had heads down trying to route out tit bits from previously breeds. Mr. Ball found his BOB and Best Dog with Dennis & Carol Mulligan’s Donocielo Michelangelo, Reserve Best Dog, Amy’s, and my Devonia’s Anzio. Best Bitch and best Veteran also one of Dennis & Carol Mulligan’s Donocielo Seraphina. It was not until we got home that we realised we had both got a bit burnt, resulting in lovely white goggles! CLICK HERE to read Judges Critique (logged in members only)
The Beautiful Malvern Hills
by Carol Mulligan
We arrived in Malvern and again the sun was shining and the view over the Malvern hills was breath-taking. The show officially started on Thursday and we were showing on the Friday. We were second in the ring after the West Highland Terriers. Our knowledgeable judge Tim Ball, who had previously judged us the summer before at Windsor dog show, was very thorough but equally gentle with the dogs which always helps to put them at ease. He found is Best of Breed in Meko and to our extra delight Best Bitch and Best Veteran in our Seraphina. It was now time for the dogs to have a few restful days before heading off for Scotland.
Border Union Championship Show 18th June 2023
report from Carol Mulligan
We had never previously been to Scotland so this was an interesting adventure. We set off from the Malvern hills for Kelso early as we knew we had a long 5ish hour drive on our hands. We finally arrived at the Border Union campsite at around three o’clock. This was such a lovely campsite, so peaceful, and the warden was a lovely woman who was just so helpful. The show was held on the Sunday, Father’s Day, and was being judged by Mr Jim Murdoch. This show was the start of our little Maddie’s show career. As she was 6 months the day before she was eligible to compete by only one day. We didn’t know how she would perform with it being here first show and having less practice due to being on our travels. She did us proud however, showing here little paws off and walking lovely around the ring. Even though she came third against some older puppies, we were so pleased with how she performed. For the main accolades, our judge found his Best of Breed in our Donocielo Michelangelo and Best Bitch and Best Veteran in our Seraphina.
Chippenham & District Canine Society Premier Open Show 2nd April 2023
report from Chris Thatcher
This Open show has provided Bolognese classes for the past few years and is sponsored by the Bolognese Dog Club UK. it is a well organised and friendly show. The downside of the show is the location. It is held in an Equestrian Society which means the flooring is not very conducive to white dogs. The Society have gone the extra mile and provided heavy duty rubber matting for the toy ring. We had a couple of stewards who were very kind and kept sweeping them to keep then reasonably clean.
We left home early as the venue is some distance away from home. Due to the heavy rains over the past few days, we unfortunately encountered floods as we approached the venue. We managed to get through, but some people did turn around and go in another direction to reach the venue. The car park was a bit chaotic as it was all on grass so was rather wet and muddy.
It was great to catch up with Mark and Diane who had come quite a way to attend the show and also Amy and her Mum. This show is well supported in every breed in the Toy Group. We had quite a while to wait but it gave time to catch up with friends from other breeds and to generally socialise. Diane Whateley said of the Chippenham show, “As always there was a lovely atmosphere, but it’s not the best venue for little white fluffies, being an equestrian centre. Unfortunately, due to the rain, there was lots of mud around the car park”.
We had four classes allocated, Puppy, Junior, Limit and Open. Unfortunately, no puppies entered this year. Amy was also on her own in Junior with Devonia’s Anzio aka Obi. 2 entries in Limit, my own Kali and Mark and Diane’s Arkadian Beloved Diana. Open Class consisted of my Odin and Mark and Diane’s Enzo. Our Judge, Jo Lewis, was very knowledgeable about Bolognese and checked all the finer points. She found her Best of Breed in my own Odin with reserve BOB in Amy’s Obi. Odin was lucky enough to receive Group 2, which as most people know does not happen very often.
Edwinstone & District 7th April
Diane Whateley attended this show saying, “it was Good Friday and lovely weather. A friendly show in pleasant surroundings. Enzo was BOB, Cara RBOB. Enzo also did well in AV Toy D/B taking 2nd place.
South Eastern Counties Toy Dog 22nd April
Diane & Mark Whateley also attended South Eastern Counties Open Show which was held on campus at Brunel University in their sports hall. Diane said, “it was our puppy Lyckalotte Holly at Arkadian’s first show and Holly took home the Best Puppy rosette under judge Dr Ian Gabriel”.
Marlborough and District 1st May
report from Chris Thatcher
May Day Bank Holiday Monday was an Open Show that had scheduled classes for Bolognese. Again, this was held at an Equestrian Centre, not as previously stated ideal for white dogs. The weather was warm and sunny which made a pleasant change. Bolognese were first in the ring for our Judge Marian Mynott (Honeybet). It was lovely to see Mark & Diane at the show with a new puppy Lyckalotte Holly at Arkadian who at her first show had best puppy in breed and also Reserve BOB. Odin had BOB so we had a very long wait until the toy group and Puppy group was called. Unfortunately, like most shows Bolognese do not really do very well in the group, but a really enjoyable day was had by all.
Redditch & District 14th May
Diane Whateley attended this show and said, “Redditch is always a lovely friendly show with lots of breed & rare breed classes.”