The first breed show of the year, British Collie Club's Champ Show, was a fun day out with friends but mixed results in the showring. Finn was unplaced but River gained second place and Daisy 1st place.
Then it was time to head to Crufts! We took Ripley, Daisy and Dilys this year and they spent the Thursday being ambassadors for the breed on the Smooth Collie Club's Discover Dogs stand, which was great fun as they got to meet lots of people and get lots of attention. We were thrilled to be asked to star on Channel 4's Crufts coverage later that evening where Daisy got to sit next to Clare Balding & Chirag Patel on the couch whilst they talked about mental health and the benefits of dog ownership. Daisy behaved very well and was completely at home on the sofa (no surprise there!). Dilys then joined Frank Kane and Clare Balding on the sofa whilst they talked about the British Native Vulnerable Breeds. She was happy to prove how active Smooth Collies can be by jumping on and off the sofa, I think she was looking for me! The following day we were back in the show ring with all three. Ripley came 2nd, Daisy 3rd and Dilys 1st in their respective classes. As always, Crufts was a brilliant experience and we arrived home completely exhausted but very happy.
The following weekend, we attended The Smooth Collie Club of Great Britain's Breed Appreciation Day, partly as committee members & Deb and I as candidates. Ripley & Dilys were used as part of the assessments and behaved well, but were totally exhausted by the time they got home. Deb and I took Daisy & Dilys to Retford Open Show on the Sunday, mixed results in the showing but met up with a few friends (well done Dianne for your BOB with Vinnie the Dalmatian!) and a potential new Smooth Collie owner. We now have a couple of show free weekends before it all gets busy again in April. Time to catch up in the garden!
Isle of Ely show saw Dilys gain more points in the AV Veteran class and Daisy get a second place in AV Junior behind a beautiful Samoyed. The following day was Yorkshire Collie Open show where we took almost the whole gang and were joined by Mary & Zouki. River was the star of the day, gaining Reserve Best of Breed, only missing out on the chance to challenge for Reserve Best in Show due to a misunderstanding over rules. Never mind, she is our little star & will be out in the show ring a bit more this year.
Another weekend and two shows again, this time St Helen's Open (Dilys Best of Breed and Daisy Reserve Best of Breed) followed by Matlock Open Show where Dilys and Daisy repeated their achievements of the previous day. Dilys also gained second place in a strong AV class to gain another three points. Ripley and Zouki joined us and it was very much a Koczkodan family outing.
Only one show in the final weekend of February, Newark & District. No classes for Smooth Collies so we entered Daisy, Ripley & Dilys in AVNSC and Dilys also in AV Veteran. Dilys gained two second places and Daisy a second place too. Ripley was well behaved but unplaced as there was very stiff competition (including his mum!).
Now to prepare for a very busy month, March will see us at British Collie and Crufts (including Discover Dogs) as well as a couple of open shows along the way!
The beginning of a new year and we met up with two of Daisy's brothers (Zouki & Newton) at Clumber Park to celebrate their 1st birthday. The weather was cold but sunny & the dogs had a great time walking round & playing. We had lunch in the dog friendly cafe before heading back home, Daisy was so happy having seen her brothers & it was great to have a good catch up.
Manchester Champ show meant a chance to catch up with a few people we hadn't seen for a couple of months, Finn and Dilys won their classes and were Best Veteran Dog and Best Veteran Bitch respectively. The following weekend, Daisy joined us with family in Skegness, which was her first trip to the seaside, she loved the sand but wasn't so impressed with the noisy waves!
Cambridge Open show was quiet with just Dilys & Daisy in the Smooth Collie classes, Dilys was Best of Breed and got an amazing critique from the judge, by the time of the group judging she was tired so not quite up to her normal sparkling form but she did have a lovely day.