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In charge of the main ring at Cork Ch Show was Finnish all breeds judge, Tanja Ahlman-Stockmari, and her eventual BIS winner was Jalena Semjonova’s Giant Schnauzer, Ch Robmarralee Back In Black, a first for this dog, though he was the group winner at Carlow last September at just15 months old. Another new face for top honours was the Cocker Spaniel, Laveris Instyle, who was Tanja’s choice for Reserve BIS, bred and owned by Chris and Hilary Laverty, having earlier taken a first group 8 win. Cork was sponsored by ROYAL CANIN.
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The American Cocker Spaniel, owned in partnership with Colm Beattie, breeder, Bea Van Zanten and Joep Reuvers, NL SK LU CIB CH Colorfulls Pride And Predjudice, YWW, AM, Belg & Ger Winner,  created a double first when Colm handled him to his first Best in Show in Ireland under Anthony Kelly, at Munster Canine Ch show, making it a ‘double 1st’ for both dog and owner as Colm too was taking the premier rosette for the first time in his many, many years in dogs. Group winner at the Mid West, ‘Movie’ currently tops Group 8 on the GAIN/Irish Canine Press/Dog World Leaderboard 2017, with several other placings. Anthony’s choice for Reserve BIS was the Papillon, Sean Carroll and James Newman’s Multi Ch Expana’s Sea Dragon Conqueror, points taken here giving him what looks like an unassailable lead on the Group 9 Leaderboard.
Hibernian Ch Show, one of the most popular early shows of the year saw Best in Show judge elect, John O’Hanlon, give top honours on the day to the English Springer Spaniel, Ed Casey and Cam Cavallo’s GB Sh Ch & Aust Grand Ch Sandicam The Look of Love, over from GB for his 2nd trip and his second such win as he also took BIS at Dublin Dog Show just after Christmas. Top ESS in the UK for 2016, he was BIS at South Wales. RBIS was Ivor and Michelle Keelan’s Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Tejas Heartbreaker, the group winner at South Tipperary, and currently top of the GAIN/Irish Canine Press/Dog World Leaderboard. Another show generously sponsored by ROYAL CANIN with Mary Davidson and her team in attendance.
It was a first BIS rosette for Jimmy Duggan’s homebred Siberian Husky, Ch Leorient Flying Solo, when Val Coghlan gave him Best in Show at Fermoy International Ch Show. Handled as ever by Anita, this was his first group win this year and his first ever BIS; following in his father’s footsteps, he is a son of ‘Flint’, Multi Ch Bedarra Cold Paws Warm Heart for Leorient, who was a regular BIS and group winner throughout his career. Reserve BIS was another first this year when the rosette went to Paul and Clare Hanna and Shannon McBride’s Bullmastiff, Fullhouse Bulls Icotchin Or Wot at Ardhub, a first big win at championship level, though he has BIS wins at open events. Mary Davidson of generous sponsors ROYAL CANIN was there to hand out the prizes and advice to Breeder Club members and other exhibitors.
Craig Bannon and Niamh Carroll’s homebred American Akita Ch Cannonbar Assassins Creed, had the right recipe for Bryan Hegarty to give him Best in Show at South Tipperary’s annual all breed Championship show, his first big award this year, with the German Shorthaired Pointer, Tom and Annie Mervyn’s multi BIS winning Sh Ch Tomanipoint Celtic Knight, Best in Show this year at IKC Celtic Winners and Portadown, with RBIS at Combined canine International. The show was sponsored by DR CLAUDERS, with Stewart Carson on the stand.
Mick Gavin was the man in the big picture for the finale of the Mid West’s 1st All Breed Championship Show which got rave reviews from exhibitors for their venue, organisation and hospitality which will hopefully encourage more dog show enthusiasts to support them next year.
Mick’s Best in Show winner was the Kerry Blue, Philip O’Brien and wife, Karka Poulova’s homebred Cz Ch Edbrios Exotica, currently Top Terrier (Group 3) on the GAIN/Irish Canine Press/Dog World Leaderboard, due to her many wins this year which include Best in Show at Banbridge and either the group or group 2nds at all of the seven championship events up until Mid West. Mick’s RBIS rosette went to another big winning dog this year, Sean Carroll & James Newman’s Papillon, Multi Ch Expana’s Sea Dragon Conqueror, BIS at both IKC St Patrick’s Say and Combined Canine Internationals, with RBIS at both Portadown and Combined National and also topping his Group on the Leaderboard. This successful inaugural show was generously sponsored by GAIN, with Sean Martin representing.
The Irish Kennel Club resented the ‘Eukanuba Challenge 2016’ on Saturday evening, 20th May, in The Regency Hotel in Dublin; an excellent venue for this type of event, providing a spacious carpeted ring, and ample room for tables, festooned as usual with the sponsor’s Eukanuba coloured pink & white balloons, for the many guests and competitors to relax later and enjoy a super meal before the finale judging took place to find the Irish representative for the Eukanuba Challenge to be held at Crufts 2018.
Initially split randomly into four groups to be judged by 4 Irish judges, these being Michael Forte, Joyce Crawford-Manton, Brian O’Hara and John J Walsh, who sent 16 through for the finals judge, Geoff Corish, to select his winner. 
Geoff Corish finally decided that his winner was David and Morag Connolly’s Border Collie bitch, Ch Nahrof Blurred Lines at Huntly; ‘Roo’ an Australian import, was Top Pastoral on the Gain/ICP/Dog World Leader board last year, and is well in front again this year. She has 1CC and1 Res CC, won at just 7 months at Southern Counties where she won the Pastoral Puppy Group,and was Runner up POTY 2016. Last year she took 5 groups with three BIS placements and this year she already has 4 groups under her belt, three of those at International Ch shows.
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