2016 - Meet Canada's Top Show Dogs
Congratulations to Canada’s Top Show Dog for 2016 – Kerry Blue Terrier, GCh. Torum’s Calico Jack At Irisblu; bred by Ron & Carol Ramsey and Harold & Helena Quigg; owned by Dr. Michael Tipple, John Lecourt, Robbie Gray and Keith Brown; handled by Allison Foley. This is the first time that a Kerry Blue Terrier has reached the coveted #1 spot in Canada. No strangers to being in the spotlight, ‘Jack’ was the #1 dog, all breeds, in Australia in 2015, and handler Allison Foley has piloted two Standard Poodles to Top Dog in Canada.
#1 - GCh. Torum’s Calico Jack At Irisblu
| Kerry Blue Terrier
Breeders: Ron & Carol Ramsey and Harold & Helena Quigg
Owners: Dr. Michael Tipple, J. Lecourt, R. Gray, K. Brown
Handler: Allison Foley, CPHA
How long have you been showing dogs? I started showing dogs when I was seven years old (so I will not give the date), but started as a professional handler in 1987.
When did you win your first BIS? I won my first Best in Show on an Afghan Hound my mother bred when I was 14. The next day I went Best of Opposite Sex with the same dog. It kept me humble!
Most memorable win/show in 2016? Jack had so many amazing weekends. Winning the three Best in Shows at Battle River in October assured Top Dog for Jack, and winning under such icons in our sport Dr. John Reeve-Newson and Dr. Richard Meen meant so much to us.
Do you have a show-ring ritual? There are so many superstitious rituals, but I will say that a friend pointed out that in all Jack’s BIS photos, I was wearing the same shoes. The next weekend it rained and I wore boots – Jack didn’t win BIS that day. Then the shoes went on and he went BIS. When the shoes wore out, I quickly ordered another pair from Amazon! In case it was actually those shoes, I kept them in the truck and they went to all the shows with us.
Advice you would give someone new to dog shows. Keep at it no matter what. Dog shows are like the stock market… there are big ups and downs. The worst thing you can do is to pull out when you are down! Stay in it; it will get better! People are more willing to help than you think but can be busy, so just wait till the end of the day and ask for help then.
– Allison Foley, CPHA
#2 - GCh. Auriga Peter Parker
| Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Breeders: Wendy Doherty, Gavin & Sara Robertson
Owners: Martin & Wendy Doherty and Shawn & Nadeen Bennett
Handler: William Alexander
How long have you been showing dogs? 1969
When did you win your first BIS? 1974
Most memorable win/show in 2016? Westminster breed win.
Do you have a show-ring ritual? No.
Advice you would give someone new to dog shows. You need the right dog to make the total package – great conformation, showy attitude, a dog that loves himself and loves to perform (which also requires lots and lots of patience!). Train your dog, groom your dog and ensure it is always clean and in good physical condition every time you enter the ring. Another very important piece of advice is sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but do both with integrity and grace.
– Martin & Wendy Doherty
#3 - GCh. Tumbleweed’s Valubal Maui Nani
| Old English Sheepdog
Breeders/Owners/Handlers: Catherine Schellenberg & Valerie J Bandas
Co-owner: Uwe Schellenberg
How long have you been showing dogs? Cathy has been showing dogs since 1990, and Val since 1981.
When did you win your first BIS? Cathy’s first Best in Show win was in 2004, and Val’s was in 1989.
Most memorable win/show in 2016? Cathy: All are memorable and an honour from respected judges. The January ‘Hat Trick’ weekend at the Alberta Kennel Club (AKC) started it all. Val: At the AKC on Sunday, January 24, my first handling instructor, Butch MacDonald, was there for Nani’s third BIS of the weekend. Sadly, it was the last time I saw him.
Do you have a show-ring ritual? There are a few. Nani always travelled with her pink leather show lead and special purse. She won’t drink in the show building, so we often have to take her out to the car for a drink. And she gets a cheeseburger after a big win... (okay, she always got a cheeseburger – regardless!).
Advice you would give someone new to dog shows. Find a show mentor, not necessarily someone in your own breed. Stay at the show all day – not just for your class or breed. Watch, listen, learn and have fun!
#4 - GCh. Shadland Risky Business
| Shetland Sheepdog
Breeder/Owner: Joyce Woolridge
Handler: Terry Bernier
How long have you been showing dogs? I have been showing dogs for about 35 years now. (It began in obedience and progressed to conformation in 1982.)
When did you win your first BIS? My special boy ‘Levi’ won a BIS at Camrose handled by Nancy Anstruther in the early 2000s.
Most memorable win/show in 2016? The first Best in Show that “Risky” won at the start of 2016. Terry Bernier and Risky were the dream team and made me a believer!
Do you have a show-ring ritual? Never thought of a ritual, but a prayer and crossing my fingers would qualify.
Advice you would give someone new to dog shows. Just go to the shows and admire the dogs at their best. Gradually start talking to owners/handlers and carefully observe the people and their actions with their dogs. Choose the breed you love and learn everything you can about it. There will be highs and lows, but it will be worth it!
#5 - GCh. Summerfords What Ever
Breeder/Handler: Christina Koffman-Heard
Owners: Francisco Javier Chavez & Christina Koffman-Heard
How long have you been showing dogs? Since 1997
When did you win your first BIS? 2001
Most memorable win/show in 2016? Tr’Ever’s first Canadian Best in Show at the Erie Shores Kennel Club
Do you have a show-ring ritual? My husband always tells me to “Have fun” before I enter the ring.
Advice you would give someone new to dog shows. All you have to do is work harder than you ever thought you could.
#6 - GCh. Flashlight Thunder V. Paradise Of Wind
| West Highland White Terrier
Breeders: Joerg & Martina Bauer
Owners: Lindy Barrow, Joerg & Martina Bauer
Handlers: David & Pat Gignac
How long have you been showing dogs? 1998
When did you win your first BIS? 2008
Most memorable win/show in 2016? Best in Show at the Scarborough shows. It was the first one I was able to be there to see.
Do you have a show-ring ritual? Not personally, and neither does my handler, David Gignac.
Advice you would give someone new to dog shows. Observe how others handle dogs in the ring and in the setup. Then ask questions… Learn.
– Lindy Barrow
#7 - GCh. Salatino La Dame Sans Camelia
Owners: Mary Ronald & Lori Chrusciel
Breeder: Salatino Kennels, Brazil
Handler: Terry Bernier
How long have you been showing dogs? Mary has been showing dogs for 40 years (Setters first, then Papillons 20 years ago) and Lori for 10 years. Terry was born into showing dogs.
When did you win your first BIS? Mary’s first Best in Show was 34 years ago on an English Setter and Lori’s first BIS was on Siren with her original handlers in 2012.
Most memorable win/show in 2016? Siren going Best in Show the day of the national specialty that her son Jimmy Choo won. Jimmy was Top Toy in 2015.
Do you have a show-ring ritual? Terry had lots of ring rituals. He had to use the exact same leash that Jimmy Choo was campaigned on for Siren. Also had to have Siren’s favourite treats around and the same pink brush always.
Advice you would give someone new to dog shows. Breeding dogs and showing dogs isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a lot of work, but with the right people around you, it can bring you a lifetime of happiness like it has to us. Always remember that the dog you take into the ring is the same dog you take out. No matter whether you win or lose.
#8 - GCh. Unicornhill Story Telling
D. & J. Plourde
How long have you been showing dogs?
I entered my first dog show in 1982.
When did you win your first BIS?
My first Best in Show was in 1989.
Most memorable win/show in 2016?
There were so many memorable wins in 2016 with Zack. He was awarded Best in Shows and groups under a lot of very good dog people, so it is hard to say the most memorable win. His Best in Shows under a couple of breeder-judges were amazing.
Do you have a show-ring ritual?
One of my show-ring rituals is I always gait a dog down and back and around in a circle before I show them. Almost like lunging a horse.
Advice you would give someone new to dog shows.
My advice to new people is to find someone to take you under their wing to guide and mentor you. Be a sponge and absorb and all the knowledge thrown at you, and be a student of your breed. Most of all, enjoy the sport of showing and breeding dogs.
#9 - GChEx Lorricbrook Albelarm Believer CGN
Breeder/Owner: Jenny McCartney
Handler: Doug McIntyre
How long have you been showing dogs? Since 1975
When did you win your first BIS? 1976
Most memorable win/show in 2016? Winning a Best in Show and having my mentor (my father, Davey McIntyre) there to see it!
Do you have a show-ring ritual? Shoes always shined!
Advice you would give someone new to dog shows. Eyes and ears open, and your mouth shut!
#10 - GCh. Miletree Carnival
| Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Breeders: Peter & Ruta Towse
Owners: Robert & Elaine Whitney and Dr. Bruce & Shirley Henry
Handler: Bob Whitney
How long have you been showing dogs? Elaine since 1961 and Bob since 1969.
When did you win your first BIS? Elaine in 1973 with a Standard Poodle and Bob in 1974 with an Afghan Hound.
Most memorable win/show in 2016? Winning two specialty shows – one in Ontario and one in British Columbia.
Do you have a show-ring ritual? My setup is laid out exactly the same way each time with grooming tools in their place for easy access and I always started bathing exactly one hour prior to show time.
Advice you would give someone new to dog shows. Be patient and watch everything going on, especially in your own breed. Learn from the other exhibitors and professional handlers. Listen to various opinions on your breed but, in the end, you must decide what type of dog you want to own and exhibit.