The NECGB Open Show was judged by David Cavill (Toveri), a very knowledgable judge of the Nordic breeds and a famous and long-standing breeder of Finnish Spitz.
At 10 years of age, Kobi (Ch/Am Gr Ch/Can Ch Kamgaard Kut Above) took top honours, being awarded Best in Show and Best Veteran Show from the Special Veteran Dog (10 years and over) class. The judge said after the judging that he found him to be quite exceptional. To put the icing on the cake, Reserve Best Dog was our Gunnar (Kinderhorn Espen of Conrick).
Most poignantly perhaps, Best Puppy in Show was the Hodkinson's stunning Laakso Brokki, a grandson of the late Ekko (Naraena Knut of Conrick), who had died earlier in the same week.
The photo was taken by Tanja Mortimer and depicts Gunnar and Ness on the left and Kobi and Stuart on the right (adorned with rosettes). Many thanks to the judge for these awards and to our fellow exhibitors for their support and congratulations.
Gunnar (Kinderhorn Espen of Conrick) was awarded BOB in a strong entry at Blackpool under breed specialist judge Sue Heward, of the renowned Eskamere Elkhounds.
Sue's critique read "Lovely mature, well-toned square outline with good depth of chest. Strong and straight fore and hindquarters, with neat oval feet. Well constructed wedge head with dark eyes. Well shaped and proportioned ears and good mouth. Moved well."
The pictures show Gunnar in the group ring, where he represented the breed well, even taking the ramp in his stride.
Acknowledged around the world as an expert on the breed, Ralf Campbell judged the Norwegian Elkhound Club of Great Britain Championship Show. This "Sapphire Show" celebrated 45 years since the first Championship Show in 1973. As we celebrated our 40th anniversary in the breed this year, we realised that we had been present at almost all of them, bar the first few.....
We particularly appreciated that every dog at the Show was given an opportunity to have its pedigree published in the catalogue. A really nice touch, which gave a good overview of where the breed is at in terms of bloodlines and diversity. Not all of the pedigrees were completed, which was a shame, especially as I would have been more than happy to fill in the gaps, pedigree compilation having been a hobby of mine for the last 38 years.
Gunnar (Kinderhorn Espen of Conrick) was awarded 1st place in a well-filled Limit Dog class. There were 4 entries in the Special Veteran Dog 7 - 10 years, which Kobi (Ch/Am Gr Ch/ Can Ch Kamgaard Kut Above) won. But the star of the day was Kobi's son, Tóki (Ellahyde Fine N' Dandi), who was awarded the RCC from Post Graduate. His critique read "Squarely built dog of excellent type of correct size and proportions. Wedge shaped head with well set and carried ears. Strong back which is firm both in movement and stance. Well moulded croup, tail a bit short but curled centrally over the back. Moves with ease keeping a firm topline, good quality coat." Such a wonderful accolade from a hunter/breeder/judge from the breed's country of origin. I was very pleased that both Tóki and the Dog CC winner (the Simms' exciting young dog Seasara Earl Grey) are grandchildren of Huistenbosch Aksel at Breckslake, a son of Conrick Bereth and Gunnar's sire also.
A quiet summer saw us attend very few shows after the excitement of the springtime wins. As the year mellowed into autumn, a cluster of favourite open shows lured us out of seclusion, and we ventured forth again to compete.
The first show, Burton on Trent KA, saw our Kobi awarded RBOB in very strong competition under Trish Wells. He also won a large Veteran Stakes class. BOB, Puppy Group 1 and adult Group 3 was the 9-months old Seasara Earl Grey, owned by Nev and Elaine Simms. He is Gunnar's half-nephew and a descendant of both Raider and Spooky. A bright future awaits this smart young man, I'm sure.
The next show was Stockport CS, where Kobi was Best AV Hound Veteran under Anne Defaye (Fedaye) and Best Veteran in Show. He was also awarded Best AV Hound Champion and Best Champion in Show.
Finally, Gunnar was RBOB under Brian Foster (Stormpasture) at South Yorkshire Hound, giving his usual exubernat performance!
April sees our annual trip up to the Royal Highland Showground near Edinburgh, for both the Hound Association of Scotland and the NEAS Open Show. This year, the two shows were held on the same day and this meant quite a few trips around both rings for Ness!
Winning his first CC at HAS was Gunnar (Kinderhorn Espen of Conrick), here pictured enjoying some downtime by the Firth of Forth at the end of the day's showing. Many thanks to judge Sue Hewart-Chambers for this award.
In the afternoon, Gunnar was second in his class behind Flint (Grasilva Little Rock Avec Gilkaro JW), who was co-bred by Bryony Gray and Vanessa McHugh. Flint was eventually awarded Best in Show by judge Tanja Mortimer, who also awarded Reserve Best in Show to Flint's mother, Siri (Am Ch Kamgaard Kiamesha, co-owned by Bryony and Vanessa). Not only that, but Flint's litter sister, Tia (Grasilva Silver Vine) was Reserve Best Bitch and Reserve Best Dog and Best Veteran in Show went to Kobi (SBIS Am Gr Ch/Can Ch Kamgaard Kut Above) co-owned by Stuart with Sally Simmonds and Maggie Mott.
The image below shows Gunnar and Kobi's haul which made the long trip home to North Derbyshire.
.....under a Scandinavian judge, no less. Leila Kärkäs from Finland rewarded Gunnar with the RCC at the show, which featured one of the largest entries of the year.
The CC winner was connected to Conrick Kennel too. Grasilva Little Rock Avec Gilkaro was co-bred by Vanessa and Bryony Gray. His dam is the co-owned Am Ch Kamgaard Kiamesha.
[First posted 17 October 2015]
The Norwegian Elkhound Association of Scotland (NEAS) extended its legendary hospitality to our show team this week. We had a wonderful time at the show and the dinner in the evening!
Breed specialist judge, Annelise Haugstad awarded CCs for the first time and found her Bitch CC winner, BOS and RBIS in a granddaughter of Raider, Grasilva Gee's Quest, owned by Bryony Gray.
RCC in the Dogs was my Gunnar (Kinderhorn Espen of Conrick), seen here mid bark on the left of the photo, with his owner.
[First posted 9 May 2015]
Our youngster Gunnar (Kinderhorn Espen of Conrick) continued his winning ways with the RCC at Birmingham National under breed specialist, Neville Simms. Gunnar is 14 months of age and this is his second RCC.
[First posted on the 21 February 2015]
Kobi (SBIS Am Grand Ch & Can Ch Kamgaard Kut Above) was crowned Champion of Champions on only his second time out in the UK, under Julia Swinburn.
To make this day even more memorable, Gunnar was also awarded Puppy Dog of the Year and Best Dog in the Stud Book Challenge! He was also revealed as the top-winning Puppy Dog of the Year in the competition for the Club's points trophies.
I'm a second-generation Norwegian elkhound owner, exhibitor, breeder and judge.