The Mecca of all Dog Exhibitions. Crufts! Every year, again, pilgrims are on the way to the International Dog Show of Birmingham in the UK. 22.000 dogs where shown from Thursday 06 March until Sunday 09 March. Approximately 340 Beardies had been entered and each and everyone of them has to qualify before. This year, the males where judged by Lesley Tomlinson (Coalacre) and the bitches by Altea Richardson (Caramac). Normally, every year I am driving to Crufts, but not always with a dog. This year I wanted to show a Beardie and Lasse was exactly the right one for this. My best friend, Lenka Klimova from the Czech Republic, did me a great pleasure by accompanying me. Wednesday morning we started our journey. At the Pet Control, just in front of the Euro Tunnel, we met the first familiar “die-hards”, followed by a large hello. In the afternoon we arrived at our hotel. The Hilton Metropole at the NEC (national Exhibition Centre), is the epi- centre of all hotels in and around the NEC. Here you meet all famous faces and are just 200 metres from the halls away. Crufts is stress pure. In fact 24 hours in a day are not enough. The day of the show, on Thursday, starts early. At 08.30 hrs the judging of the Beardies started. The halls are so enormous in size and the Bobtails where judged on the opposite side of the Beardie Hall. So you run over in the morning, say hello to all friends and aquaintances and quickly look at some dogs. Afterward in a military pass along the sales stands and back to the Beardies. The Open Class Beardies where judged around 14.00 hrs and was occupied with 26 males. We where amongst the last 5 males and it almost took 30 minutes and 15 km of running (at least that was the feeling), before Mrs. Tomlinson made her decision. We hadn’t expected anything from her and therefore a 4th place for our “Lasse” was a positive surprise. There were some children of Ch. Firstprizebears Enfield, placed in the different classes. Highlight of the day, was the Res-CC for Super-Multi Ch. Firstprizebears Cony Island. Gabriela Gesi talented handler and owner, had shown the 11 yaer old “Cony”, in the Veteran’s Class. This was won by her, over 24 other bitches. It was the 2nd time, that “Cony Island” won the res-CC at Crufts. It is already 10 years ago, since I, won the CC and became Best Male at Crufts, with our famous Firstprizebears Apache. At that time the judging was done by an Allrounder; Mrs. Ferlith Sommerfield. Apache was the first Bearded Collie, who was not from te UK and who was also bred abroad. On Friday morning, after having had a delicious English breakfast, we drove home and ended the day with a nice dinner in Maaseik.
Yossi Guy, my dear friend from Israel, has made these beautiful pictures of Lasse and me.
For a show like this you have to be fit. Large rings and a lot of running! With my middle ear infection not the most pleasant thing to do.
The legendary Firstprizebears Cony Island and most successfull Bearded collie Bitch from Europe. Gabriela Gesi and Cony Island are not only a feast for the eye, but also a perfect team in the ring. On the right, Ildiko Muszlai, who is together with her husband Peter, co-owner of Cony Island.
My best friend Lenka and I during Crufts. A couple of years ago, she won here the Open Class with Ch. Firstprizebears Enfield.