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Fancy That: It’s the Truman Show in Florida

The shows this past weekend took place in Northern California, Arizona and Colorado to the west, Missouri, Michigan and Texas in the central part of the country, Maryland and Massachusetts in the northeast, and Alabama, North Carolina and Florida in the south and southeast. The largest entries for the weekend were at the Michigan shows, where on Saturday the entry was just over 1,600 dogs. Alabama drew 1,213 on Saturday, with California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland and Florida in the 1,100-range and Houston and Springfield, Mo., at 929 and 974.

The reigning top dog, Wire Pointer Oakley, and handler Phil Booth picked up lots of points this past weekend when they won four Groups and two Best in Shows in Phil’s home state of Michigan. Robin Novack and Peyton, the Springer, are hot on their heels, but didn’t make any headway this weekend. Peyton won two Groups and got a third in Maryland before heading to Colorado for the weekend, where they added one BIS. As we’ve mentioned before, no doubt the race will go to the last shows of the year…

And speaking of the current top dog, the Best in Show winner both days at the Hernando County KC shows in Brooksville, Fla., under judges Arley Hussin and Elaine Lessig, was German Wirehaired Pointer GCh. Reece Afterhours The Buck Stops Here JH. ‘Truman’ is handled by Frank Murphy for owner Kiki Courtelis and breeder/owners Mike and Angie Johnson (Reece) and Christine Whitmore.

Truman’s sire, Ch. Ripsnorter’s Mt. View Lookout, also known as ‘Scout,’ is a litter brother to Oakley, by Ch. Ripsnorter’s Thunderhart out of Ch. Mountain View’s Next Strike. This is an amazing family in general – we’ll learn more on that score in a moment – but in particular of GWPCA National Specialty winners Helen George-Witt, of Ripsnorter GWP, breeder/owner-handled Scout to a 2008 National Specialty win as well as multiple BIS wins and a Top 10 Sporting dog berth before handing the lead to Frank Murphy to continue the journey, again under ownership of Kiki Courtelis. In 2009 and 2010 Scout was Number 2 and 3 Sporting dog, respectively, and became, at the time, the top-winning GWP of all time with 48 Best in Show awards. Scout then won another National Specialty, 2009. He also won the Group at AKC/Eukanuba in 2010.

This is the duo that has produced two of the top-winning German Wirehaired Pointers of all time, on the left, Ch. Ripsnorter’s Thunderhart and on the right, Ch. Mountain View’s Next Strike.

OK, can you imagine being the breeder of, first, Scout, the top-winning GWP of all time, and then, from the same litter Oakely, now having surpassed Scout’s record with, as of this past Sunday, 70 BIS wins? My hardiest admiration and congratulations go out to Helen George Witt, and Claire and Kelly Wisch.

What adds to the enormity of their accomplishment – or perhaps what is much of the reason they accomplished it – is that the sire and dam that produced both Scout and Oakley were both National Specialty winners themselves. Ch. Ripsnorter’s Thunderhart, bred and owned by Helen Witt and Lisa and Jeff George, and handled by Helen, won it in 1995 and also earned a Group Third at Westminster. Ch. Mountain View’s Next Strike was the National winner in 2007, handled by Chris Berg.

Both Herding Groups and Saturday’s Reserve BIS were awarded to Shetland Sheepdog GCh. Sunburst One Cool Dude. ‘Fonzie’ is owned by Lorrie Reed, April Dunford, and Karen and Kevin Alderman, and is a multiple BIS winner whose grandsire, Ch. Zion’s Man About Town, was not only an ROM sire, but was a star in the ring too. ‘Jamie,’ bred by Shirley and Stephen Vicchitto and owned by Madeline Griffin-Cone and Christopher Cone, was the 1998 Westminster Group winner, handled by Linda Guihen. He was a multiple all-breed and specialty BIS winner and is the top Best of Breed-winning Sheltie of all time, with more than 400 such awards.

The Sheltie, Ch. Zion’s Man About Town, won the Group at Westminster in 1998 under Betty Moore, handled by Linda Guihen. Photo by John Ashbey.

The Hound Group on Saturday went to GCh. Criston Enchanted. ‘Rachel’ is handled by Marcelo Veras. Her sire, Ch. Mahali Kendall Jackson, is a son of the beautiful silver brindle Afghan, Ch. Genesis-Ambelike Silvercharm, the all-breed and specialty BIS winner handled by his breeder/owner, Lou Guerrero, to Number 1 Afghan in 1999 and a Top 10 Hound in 2000. ‘Brady’ was co-bred by Hank Nave and Bob Brown.

Afghan Hound Ch. Genesis-Ambelike Silvercharm with breeder/owner-handler Lou Guerrero.

In Fancy That on November 5 I wrote about the red Doberman dog ‘Jackson,’ GCh. D’s Remember When, and his sire, multi-Ch. Alex de Akido San, from Argentina, and his dam, the 2008 Number 2 Working dog Ch. Cambria’s Victoria Secret. The Working Group winner on Sunday at Hernando County was a litter sister to Jackson, Ch. Cambria’s Mint Condition. ‘Vega’ is owned by Sonny Wang of China, who owned her dam for a time, and is handled by Danny Sanchez. She is a Best in Show winner in China.

The Terrier Group went to Kerry Blue Ch. Keystone’s Doctor Blue, a son of the 2004 and 2005 Number 1 Kerry Ch. Bluebeard’s The Answer, called ‘Allen,’ who was also a National Specialty winner. Handled by Peter and Andrew Green and Ernesto Lara for breeder/owners Larry and Carol Brown, Allen was a son of the 2001 Top Dog of all breeds and Crufts and Westminster Best in Show winner, Eng. Am. Ch. Torum’s Scarf Michael. Doctor Blue is owned by Clair and Linda Pheasant.

Ch. Yup’s Malibu Dream won the Toy Group. The Havanese, bred and owned by Janet Birdsall and David Stout, who handles him, finished his championship in late June and became a Best in Show winner just three short months later. ‘Kenny’ is a descendant of the top Havanese sire of all time and the 2007 and 2008 top Toy sire, Ch. Los Perritos Wee Pantaloons. Owned by Lynn Nieto, ‘Pan’ was the Number 1 Havanese in 2001 and 2002, when the breed was just coming into its own, and really paved the way for later generations to be recognized in the Group.

Standard Poodle GCh. Dacun Kaylen’s He’s a Heartbreaker was the Non-Sporting Group winner. ‘Thomas’ was bred by Bill Cunningham and Philip Dailey and is owned by Virginia Dorris and his handler, Kay Palade Peiser. Thomas is the fourth generation that Kay has successfully handled (two of which she herself bred), beginning with his sire, Ch. Kaylen’s Reason To Believe. Grandsire Ch. Kaylen’s Cadillac Style, Kay’s beloved ‘Caddy,’ was Best of Winners and Best Bred-by-Exhibitor in Show at Poodle Club of America, then grew up to win 25 all-breed Best in Shows. Thomas’ great-grandsire, Ch. La Marka Nomeolvides, was probably the first Best in Show Standard handled by Kay, back in the early 1990s, and his beautiful pedigree traced right back to some of the breed’s greats, including Ch. Eaton Affirmed, Ch. Eaton Busting With Joy and Ch. Longleat Alimar Raisin Cane.

Standard Poodle Thomas and Sheltie Fonzie, along with the Best in Show winner Truman, were the repeat Group winners on Sunday, while the other four were new faces.

Another Afghan topped the Group on Sunday, this time GCh. Elmo’s Martian Chronicles, handled by Lisa Bettis for owner Catherine Harker. This dog’s pedigree, back four generations, traces to the lovely ‘Taco,’ Ch. Pahlavi Puttin’ on the Ritz, who was handled by his breeder, Karen Wagner, to multiple BIS and Specialty Best in Shows and became the top specialty winning Afghan of all time. Among more than 50 SBIS were three National Specialty wins, in 1989, 1991 and 1992. There’s a great You Tube video tribute to Taco that you should see if you’re at all a fan of Afghans.

Afghan Hound Ch. Pahlavi Puttin’ On The Ritz.

The Working Group winner was Siberian Husky GCh. Mileka’s Belle Starr, handled by Jeff Brucker for breeder/owner Sally O’Connell. Her paternal grandsire, Ch. Rockland’s Star Attraction, was a sire of champions here in the U.S., and one of his offspring, Ch. Alcinta’s Rave Review, went to South Africa and contributed to the breeding programs of several Siberian breeders there. In the 1990s Mirjana Prpic of the Siberian Lady kennel in Serbia also came to the U.S. to breed a bitch to ‘Vinnie,’ and she also had success with his offspring. Vinnie’s breeder/owners, Michele Szczepanski and Rose Bucci, have brought descendants from both countries back to incorporate into their breeding programs today.

Westie Can. Ch. Am. GCh. Skyehigh’s MKC Bonaparte was the winner of Group Four, handled by his breeder, Jaimi Glodek, for breeder/owner Lindy Barrow of Canada. When you talk about ‘Party Boy,’ you’re talking about a powerful pedigree. He goes back to both Eng. Am. Ch. Ardenrun Andsome of Purston to the spectacular English import, handled by Dora Lee Wilson, that won the Group at the Garden in 1975 and Best in Show at Montgomery County in 1976, and to Am. Ber. Ch. Mac-Ken-Char’s Irish Navigator, the top Westie sire of all time and a multiple specialty and all-breed Best in Show winner.

Ch. Mac-Ken-Char’s Irish Navigator, the top West Highland White Terrier sire of all time.

And finally, the winner of the Toy Group on Sunday was Chinese Crested GCh. Hampton Court’s Party Time at Legend, handled by Marcelo Veras for breeder/owner Victor Malzoni. Mr. Malzoni, of course, also owns Oakley. He is perhaps best known in the U.S. for his Terriers, having very successfully bred Cairns, Smooths and Wires, but his Cresteds have also done quite well for him, with many generations of champions behind ‘Timmy.’

So that’s a look at the dogs that took home the top prizes in Florida this past weekend. For complete results from the weekend visit Best In Show Daily’s Dog Show Results or get the scoop on the rest of the winners from Billy Wheeler at his blog.

Written by

Christi McDonald is a second-generation dog person, raised with a kennel full of Cairn Terriers. After more than a decade as a professional handler’s apprentice and handling professionally on her own, primarily Poodles and Cairns, she landed a fortuitous position in advertising sales with the monthly all-breed magazine ShowSight. This led to an 11-year run at Dogs in Review, where she wore several hats, including advertising sales rep, ad sales manager and, finally, editor for five years. Christi is proud to be part of the editorial team for the cutting-edge Best In Show Daily. She lives in Apex, N.C., with two homebred black Toy Poodles, the last of her Foxfire line, and a Norwich Terrier.