Date - 5 January 2018
Author - Diane Stewart-Ritchie

The first General Championship show of the year, Boston with its familiar and striking colour theme of orange and black, is held on the East of England Showgrounds.  Although the Society does not have a full complement of Challenge Certificates on offer, it does hold the show over 4 days and has now become renowned for hosting large numbers in its non CC breeds.  Secretary, Pat Dufty, a Whippet enthusiast gave me some background about the Society.

Formed in 1948 the Society started off holding two Limit shows per year. Because the Society was losing money they decided to hold an Open Show.  Pat was the Secretary at this time and eventually developed things to the point where there were two Open Shows per year.  Pat tells me that when they first applied for an Open show they decided to hold it in the evening - usually a Tuesday and starting off at 5 pm.  The story goes that,  the Secretaries from the surrounding shows all came and really, just to laugh - but they got as she says 'one hell of an entry' and that was the end of that nonsense! They held and still do, stakes classes entitled Early Bird Stakes and Twilight Stakes consisting of Puppy, Post Graduate and Open Classification with £50 prize money.  These have attracted huge entries often with 80 to 100 dogs competing. Last years evening open show for example, attracted an average entry, overall, of 9.6 per class! The show is held on the Tuesday between Bath and Southern Counties, so just goes to show that with a bit of foresight, and well thought out judges an incredible entry can certainly be achieved.  Another occasion Pat recalls with me was when Zena Thorn Andrews was the chosen judge to officiate over all the Molosser breed Specialty.  At that particular Open Show, held around the Christmas period, the show ran alongside an autojumble who had hired out all the sheds.  What a shock when Zena attracted an entry of 180 varied Molosser breeds as well as her 3 Classes of Import Register dogs totalling at 6o Dogue De Bordeaux !

I asked Pat how the idea came about for the extremely striking orange and black theme which has now become so synonymous with Boston.  She said it was pretty simple in that, all other Societies had their chosen colour and no other Society had chosen that distinctive orange for their schedules and they felt it would get the schedules noticed, so they went with it. Logos, banners, website and warm official uniforms the orange and black became their mantel.

The Committee have been in post in the main for rather a long time.  Pat, herself, in the position as Secretary for around 30 years, the Chairman for 25 years, the Treasurer for over 20 years.  The Committee are a caring, hardworking Committee with the feel of a family at the heart of things.  Everyone, new and old, chairperson or member are not afraid to get stuck in and get things done.  Did you know, for example that after the second day of judging, it is traditional that all committee members spend a few hours scrubbing and cleaning the mats that have been used the day before? They are great workers, Pat says, and everyone takes part in the set up and set down process.  It takes one week to set up for the show and around 2 and a half hours to set down.  

Originally held at Newark, it seems the cost of heating was one of the main deciding factors in the change of venue to the new purpose built, modern, dry, clean and warm 'Arena' at Peterborough.  Some £5000 was spent on heating at Newark and they couldn't get it above minus five degrees Pat says - so time for a change.  And what a fruitful change it has been. Here are some figures to reflect upon from this years show. These are the non CC breeds which I, personally, found to be excellent. Boxers 89, Cocker Spaniels over 100 and Dachshunds 180 plus.  Pretty good, don't you think?  Pat believes the success of her show is down to the friendly atmosphere they as a Committee have created and of course the choice of judges. I'd say with this years entry being 469 dogs up, they are a definite winning combination at Boston.

Our own judge for Irish Setters this year had a quality entry both in numbers and in exhibits on show.  Diane McDonald has been involved with Irish setters for around 43 years, having purchased her first Irish in 1974.  Although a pet, she did manage to get the interest going for dog shows. As she was undershot though she couldn't be shown, so with renewed vigour for this new hobby Diane and then husband, David Bell purchased a dog from Sybil Lennox, Hartsbourne Trident.  Shown lightly he was joined later by Orichalc Elgena bred by Val Page and when mated to Sh Ch Orichalc Quadrille this mating produced the first Show Champion for Diane called Show Champion Chugerra Christmas Cracker of Bradking who won 5 CCs and 2 RCC's in his time. Originally owned by Arthur Kelly, David showed him exclusively winning all of his awards. Other dogs who have featured in Diane's dog showing life are Bardonhill Calendar Girl, a CC winner who sadly died early in life before she could maximise her potential. Then came Bardonhill Kissable, Delsanto Martinique and currently Diane is campaigning Delsanto Freya who is giving Diane great pleasure albeit that she missed her Junior Warrant by one point!  A few bitter pieces of luck have fallen upon Diane over the years with her girls, but hopefully the four leaf clover has arrived and its onwards and upwards from here on in.

Sh Ch Danaway DestinySh.Ch. Danaway Destiny

 Diane was judging for the third time at Championship Show level and had attracted 177 dogs making an overall entry of 223. Diane's previous appointments were at Irish Setter Club of Wales in 2001, where she officiated over the bitches and chose Henaleas Flirting Around (photo below) as her CC winner and Laggan Shoshoni Maiden as Reserve.  Midlands Irish Setter Society 2007, gave Diane her first time awarding Challenge Certificates to the boys.  Jackie Lorrimers, Danaway Destiny (photo above) was the CC recipient on the day with Scotslaw Jackson at Lynwood JW, reserve to him.

heneleas flirting aroundSh.Ch. Heneleas Flirting Around

This Boston Show saw Diane, complete her very own hat trick!  Making it the third time in a row that she has awarded the crowing CC to an exhibit.  This time it befell to a very elated Pam Mitchell with William (photo below)who has been 'knocking on the door' so to speak for a while now.  Great news and a very appreciative audience. It seems the roof nearly came off with the rapturous applause and cheers from a the ringside. Pam's first Show Champion after a long apprenticeship of twenty years, William was whelped on 14/08/2012 and is homebred out of Amblin Acquiescence. 

amblin sweet william
Sh.Ch. Amblin's Sweet William

Sired by Sh Ch Coppers Champagne on Ice at Aoibheanne JW he is the fifth UK Champion for Edward and owner Eva Ciechonska. Edward  has also sired an Irish Show Champion and a Multi champion in Europe as well as two other CC winners and a number of Reserve CC winners. Boston Reserve Dog CC was awarded to Nolan, Sh Ch Forfarian I'm Sexy An I Know It JW owned by the Sturrock ladies.  In bitches, Diane found her winner in Sandra Nevitt's young girl winning her first Limit class. Katie, Aoibheanne's Stay With Me (photo below)already has one Challenge Certificate and one Reserve CC to her name.

aoibheannes stay with me kolbachAoibheanne's Stay With Me

The Reserve bitch CC also came from Limit, this time for Jane and Roger Mugford with their Hungarian import girl, Abby, Sangarah Skyline over Lynwood JW. On the day, Best of Breed went to the dog who put in a fine performance in the group, representing us all well. What a lovely way to end the day for Pam.  Best Puppy in Breed was once again from the Lynwood kennel.  Aptly named, Magic, is owned by Jane and Roger. Officially called Lynwood Abracadabra, she wouldn't have sounded quite right if she'd been called anything else! Well done to all concerned on your lovely wins. Another Show Champion to add to our breed and the first of the year.

Diane Stewart-Ritchie


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