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Fancy That: Virginia’s Mountain Valley Cluster

The shows in Canfield, Ohio, drew the largest entries this past weekend, at least for shows east of the Mississippi. The four-day cluster had 1,301 dogs in competition on Thursday, with a high of 1,809 on Saturday. Even with an outdoor location in August, the Steel Valley Cluster continues to have large entries.

While the entries weren’t as large over in Roanoke, Va., the five-day cluster there had stiff competition in the Groups each day, and a few of the country’s top-winning dogs went back and forth between the two clusters. As the Mountain Valley Cluster ages, it is perhaps drawing some of the entry from Ohio, thanks to its indoor location at the Salem Civic Center. Exhibitors, who were happy to be in a cool, well-lit arena instead of battling the heat, and a bit of stormy weather as well, appreciated the venue this past weekend. Dogs in competition ranged from a low of 688 on Wednesday to a high of 903 on Sunday.

The Best in Show awards in Salem were distributed among four dogs. On Wednesday under Paula Hartinger, Giant Schnauzer GCh. Kenro’s Witching Hour was Best, handled by Amy Booth. She also won the Working Groups on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and was Reserve BIS on Sunday.

‘Dora’ is a second-generation Best in Show bitch, as her dam, Ch. Kenro’s Keeping Time, was the Number 1 Giant in 2005 and 2006 with multiple all-breed Best in Shows, breeder/owner-handled by Robin Greenslade. In 2006 they won the Bred-by-Exhibitor Working Group at AKC/Eukanuba. In 2007, handled by Phil Booth, ‘Tempo’ won six more all-breed Best in Shows and the National Specialty.

Wednesday and Thursday’s Sporting Group winner was Best in Show on Thursday under Jon Cole. English Springer Spaniel GCh. Wynmoor Champagne Supernova is the current Number 2 dog of all breeds and appears to be closing in on the Number 1 spot. After his wins in Salem, ‘Peyton’ and handler Robin Novack moved to the Canfield shows, where he won two more Groups and was BIS on Saturday.

Best in Show on Friday under Chuck Trotter went to the Schipperke, GCh. Dante’s Fire When Ready, who, amazingly, will turn 11 years old on August 21. He is also a product of a Best in Show winning parent; his sire, Ch. Dante’s All Fired Up, won multiple BIS awards in 2007 and 2008. The Schip won the Groups on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Best in Show on Saturday was judged by Terry Stacy when Sari Brewster Tietjen was unable to be there. Both he and Roger Hartinger, on Sunday, selected German Shepherd Dog, GCh. Babheims Captain Crunch, for BIS. ‘Capi,’ bred in Mexico by Carlos Navarro, was the Herding Group winner four of the five days and was not shown on Friday.

Taking a look at the rest of the Groups, the Sporting Group had the widest variety of winners. The Springer, as noted, won the first two Groups. On Friday Irish Water Spaniel GCh. Whistlestop’s Riley on Fire, handled by Rick Krieger, won the blue ribbon. This bitch comes from a terrific litter; her litter sister, GCh. Whistlestop’s Fire and Ice, won the 2012 National Specialty, while ‘Riley’ and another sister, GCh. Whistlestop’s Wind on the Water, won two of three Awards of Merit. The three sisters are all multiple Group winners and are Number 1, 2 and 3 in the breed and all-breed standings through June 2012. Both Fire and Ice and Riley are Best in Show winners. Breeders Colleen McDaniel and Stacy Duncan must be over the moon with these girls.

Saturday and Sunday’s Sporting Groups went to German Wirehaired Pointer GCh. Reece Afterhours The Buck Stops Here. His owner, Kentucky horsewoman Kiki Courtelis, is the owner of three dogs in the Top 10 in their Groups: the Wire Pointer is Number 8 Sporting dog, her Pembroke Welsh Corgi, GCh. DalarnoNite Song at Morningstar, is Number 8 Herding dog, and her Border, GCh. Meadowlake Simply Sinful, is Number 5 in the Terrier Group rankings, making it a great year so far for Ms. Courtelis.

In the Hound Group, we had just two winners for the weekend. Wednesday Group 1 went to Pharaoh Hound Dual Champion Hallam’s Ethan Ramel MC, handled by Stacy Snyder. From 2003 through 2010, breeder/owners Stephen Sipperly and Dominic Carota owned the Number 1 Pharaoh Hound in the U.S. The leader from 2005 through 2008 was their Ch. Hallam’s Bekenhons Ra Qena, the top-winning Pharaoh Hound of all time with four all-breed Best in Shows. Six of those years, Hallam Hounds also owned the Number 1 Pharaoh in lure coursing.

The next four days. the Hound Group winner was Saluki GCh. Sandstorm Blue Nile Bubbles of Jatara, handled by Erin Roberts. Her owner, Jackie Harrington, breeder/owner-handled ‘Bubble’s’ great-grandmother, Ch. Jatara’s Irish Krystl, to Number 1 Saluki for three years in the early 1990s. ‘Krystl’ still holds the record as all-time top specialty winning Saluki. The Saluki bitch was Reserve BIS in Salem on Thursday and Saturday.

Four-time Terrier Group winner in Salem, GCh. Goodspice Fergus Pepper, is a son of the 2009 Crufts BIS winner Ch. Efbe’s Hidalgo at Goodspice, both handled by Margery Good.

The one day that Giant Schnauzer Dora did not win the Working Group, she was second to Doberman Pinscher GCh. Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici, currently Number 1 Working dog. ‘Fifi’ was in Canfield on Thursday, where she was Best in Show. She arrived in Salem to win the Group and Reserve BIS on Friday, and was second on Saturday and Sunday to the Giant.

Tough competition was in evidence in the Terrier Group, where Sealyham Terrier GCh. Goodspice Fergus Pepper pulled off wins four of the five days. He is handled by Margery Good, who of course also handled his sire, GCh. Efbe’s Hidalgo at Goodspice, Best in Show winner at AKC/Eukanuba, Crufts and the 2008 World Show in Sweden, among his long list of accolades. But for the fact that he’s missing the large spot on his ear, ‘Fergus’ is marked much like his sire on his show side.

The other Terrier Group First went to Welsh Terrier GCh. Shaireab’s Bayleigh Maid of Honor, handled by Tracy Szaras. This bitch, from the hugely successful breeding duo of Keith Bailey and Sharon Abmeyer, is a great-granddaughter of the top-winning Welsh Terrier of all time, Ch. Anasazi Billy the Kid.

The Toy Groups were likewise dominated by one dog that won four of five days. On day one, Group and Reserve BIS winner was the Ernesto Lara-handled Affenpinscher, GCh. Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, who then went on to the Canfield shows. After ‘Joey’ departed, the Toy Group belonged to the Pug, GCh. Caper’s Sirius Endeavor, owner-handled by Linda Rowell.

Linda Rowell winning a Best in Show in the late 1980s under Betty Munden with the Pug bitch Ch. Rowell’s Solo Moon Rising.

Linda has seen her share of winning in the Pug ring. She breeder/owner-handled Ch. Rowell’s Solo Moon Rising to a Group First at Westminster in 1989, and to the record as the top Best in Show-winning Pug bitch of all time from 1990 through 2005.

The Non-Sporting Group winner on Thursday, the only day that the Schipperke didn’t win, was French Bulldog Ch.Tinkertime Justus Smooth Operator, handled by Nancy Pincus. The Herding Group winner on Thursday was Kiki Courtlis’ aforementioned Pembroke Welsh Corgi, GCh. Dalarno Nite Song at Morningstar, handled by Frank Murphy.

For results from other shows this past weekend, visit Billy Wheeler’s Dog Show Poop.

That’s all for now!


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.