The four shows of International Cluster in Chicago this past weekend had some surprising results, and quite a number of the Group winners are dogs I have not seen before. Let’s have a look at the winners.

On Thursday at the Park Shore Kennel Club show, the entry was 849. Standard Poodle GCh. Jaset’s Satisfaction, last year’s top Non-Sporting dog, was Best in Show under judge Carol Spritzer. ‘London’ is currently Number 3 in his Group, having won four Groups and two Best in Shows in January. He’s handled, as always, by Ann Rairigh for owners Michele Molnar and Jamie Danburg. He won the Group under Steve Hayden.

Standard Poodle GCh. Jaset’s Satisfaction was BIS Thursday in Chicago under judge Carol Spritzer. Photo by Jeffrey Hanlin.

Standard Poodle GCh. Jaset’s Satisfaction was BIS Thursday in Chicago under judge Carol Spritzer. Photo by Jeffrey Hanlin.

Reserve BIS went to Rhodesian Ridgeback Ch. Raquel Welch of Malabo APD. ‘Raquel’ is bred and owned by Ana Paola Diniz of Brazil and is now handled by Michael and Michelle Scott. She was shown last year by Andy and Amy Linton to 12 Groups and a Best in Show. Michelle Scott showed last year’s Number 1 Ridgeback, also a bitch, GCh. Whirlaways Ida Belle’s A Ringing, so perhaps she’ll have as much success this year with Raquel.

Raquel’s sire, Dual Champion Of Afrikka Spring Valley Dorian Gray, was a multiple BIS and National Specialty winner in 2008 and 2009, handled by Jack Secrest for owners Christina Wistrom, and Ian and Sonnet McKinnon. He is a son of the BIS- and National Specialty-winning Ch. Spring Valley’s The Great Gatsby, the 2007 Number 1 Hound sire. Raquel’s dam, Ch. Jodie Foster Of Malabo APD, is a great-granddaughter of Ch. Filmakers Never Surrender, the dog Frank Murphy showed for Sam and Marion Lawrence, and who is the top Best in Show-winning Ridgeback of all time with 27 wins. ‘Corey’ was bred by Kate Graham and Cindy Lane.

The Scotts also won the Sporting Group, with Chesapeake Bay Retriever GCh. Chesastar Hudson Bay, under Ginny Lyne. He’s bred by Patsy Barber and Maryann Vaccaro, and owned by Karen and Jan Sosik, and is just beginning his specials career. Michelle showed his sire, Ch. Chesabar’s Paw Prints in the Sand, to a National Specialty win in 2009, when he was the Number 1 Chessie in the U.S. in breed points.

In the Working Group, Portuguese Water Dog GCh. Oreobay The Secret of Drambuie was the winner under Ron Spritzer. Bred and owned by Nigel Clark and also owned by Dustin Coleman and Brian Nordan, he is handled by Carlos Puig and is also new to the specials ring.

Not in any way new to the ring is the Terrier Group winner ‘Sky.’ The Wire bitch GCh. AfterAll Painting The Sky was Norman Patton’s Group winner, handled as always by Gabriel Rangel for owners Victor Malzoni, Torie Steele, Diane Ryan, and Scott and Mary Olund. Sky was Best in Show at the Chicago International Show last year, when she was, of course, the Number 1 Terrier. She is currently Number 1 of all breeds through January.

Papillon GCh. Involo The King of Pop was Arlene Czech’s choice for the Toy Group. This is Arlene’s own breed, so a lovely endorsement from her for ‘Jackson,’ who is handled by Brian Livingston for owners Madeline Mosing and Gia Garofalo. He was bred by Gia with her parents, Donna and Michael Garofalo, and was the Best of Breed winner at Westminster. Arlene also judged the Herding Group and selected Am. Can. Ch. Karizma’s Ike of Edale as her winner there. Bred by Iza Kabuzka and Carlos Aguimau, ‘Ike’ had to be satisfied last year with second in the standings to his owner Jimmy Moses’ other dog, Captain Crunch, but this year it looks like there’ll be no barrier of that sort to his success. A multiple Best in Show winner here in the U.S., Ike was the 2011 Canadian National Specialty Grand Victor, and he’s handled by Lenny Brown for Jimmy, Stuart and Sharon Birch, and Sheree Moses.

On Friday at Blackhawk Kennel Club’s show, the entry number increased to 1,044. I suppose you could call the Terrier Group results on the day an upset, although the winner, Russell Terrier GCh. Goldsand’s Columbus, is a strong contender wherever he goes and can never, it seems, be counted out. Michele Billings awarded the Group to ‘Bosse,’ the only Russell to win a Best in Show in the U.S. – which he’s now done numerous times – and now also the only Russell to place in the Group at the Garden after taking fourth this year. Owned by Mark Ulrich and Christina Areskough, bred in Sweden by Madeline Sandell-Bark, he’s handled by Allison Sunderman, and he not only won the Group in the Windy City, he also went Best in Show under Norman Patton. Sky, the lovely ginger Wire bitch, was second in the Terrier Group.

BIS on Friday under Norman Patton went to Russell Terrier GCh. Goldsand’s Columbus.

BIS on Friday under Norman Patton went to Russell Terrier GCh. Goldsand’s Columbus.

Reserve BIS on day two was the Westminster Group winner, Portuguese Water Dog GCh. Claircreek Impression De Matisse, who won the Group under Ken Murray. ‘Matisse’ is handled by Michael Scott for owners Milan Lint and Peggy Helming and breeder Donna Gottdenker. You may remember that in our Westminster report we told you that he is sired by Ch. Pouch Cove Caribe. Of course, Pouch Cove is famous for its top-winning Newfoundlands, but the kennel’s other family of water dogs has been pretty successful as well.

Thursday’s Group winner, the Chessie, also had to settle for second on Friday when Loraine Boutwell chose Golden Retriever GCh. Summits Emery It’s In The Bag for the win. Beth Johnson is the breeder/owner-handler of ‘Chloe,’ who was co-bred by David Harper and is co-owned by Jeff and Kathy Sedivec. Chloe has won all sorts of things – many specialty and all-breed Best in Shows and dozens and dozens of Groups, as have many of Beth’s Summit Goldens – but she also received one of the parent club awards I like best when she won the Golden Retriever Club of America Top 20 competition People’s Choice award in 2010. I think this award is special because it allows those in the breed to collectively let a fellow breeder know that they really like a dog he or she has produced.

Ridgeback Raquel repeated her Group win under Ron Spritzer, but, like the Wire and the Chessie, the three remaining Thursday Group winners were second on Friday. In the Toy Group, judge Steve Hayden awarded first to ‘Mimi,’ Japanese Chin GCh. Pem We-Syng Lucky Mi, who is handled by Nancy Martin for owners James Dalton, John Turjoman and Marsha Ballard. She was bred by Patricia Mushrush and is sired by the 2009 and 2011 Number 1 Chin and BIS winner Ch. Kelaury Good Luck From We-Syng, who was handled by Victor Cohen for owners Abigail Free, Leanne Bertani and Nanette Wright.

The Westminster Group-winning Bichon, GCh. Vogelflight’s Honor to Pillowtalk, won the Non-Sporting Group under Mrs. Billings, handled by Lisa Bettis for owners Ellen Charles, M. and P. Abbott, Mary and Kathie Vogel, and Lori Kornfeld. ‘Honor’ was bred by Lori and Tracy Kornfeld, Mary Vogel and Kathie Vogel.

In the Herding Group, Merle Taylor put up GCh. Grandgables The Frat Boy, the Canadian-bred Sheltie owned by Pam and Andre Buckles and Jimmy Moses, who of course also owns the Shepherd who stood in second. ‘Brother’ was bred by Guy Jeavons and Mark McMillan, and his pedigree is literally filled with American National Specialty winners. He’s handled by Sarah Krickeberg and is Number 2 Herding dog through January.

On Saturday at the International KC of Chicago from an entry of 1,482, judge Doug Holloway pointed to Matisse, the Portie, for Best in Show, and his Reserve BIS was Bosse, the Russell Terrier, proving perhaps that the previous day’s win wasn’t such an upset after all. Matisse won his Group under Eric Ringle, while Ginny Lyne judged the Terrier Group.

Portuguese Water Dog GCh. Claircreek Impression De Matisse was BIS on Saturday under judge Doug Holloway.

Portuguese Water Dog GCh. Claircreek Impression De Matisse was BIS on Saturday under judge Doug Holloway.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Hudson Bay again won his Group, as did Chin Mimi. In the Hound Group, Carlos Puig breeder/owner-handled his Longhaired Dachshund, GCh. Hundeleben Queen’s Armada SL, to the win. ‘Cheese’ is co-bred by Wayne Heikes. His dam, Ch. Solo’s Drag Queen, was a multiple BIS winner and Number 1 Longhaired Dachshund and Number 8 Hound in 2007, while his sire Ch. Homar’s Solo Aviator, was a multiple BIS winner and Number 1 Longhaired Dachshund in 2008, both also handled by Carlos.

In the Non-Sporting Group, judge Loraine Boutwell put Bichon Honor second and Standard Poodle London third, finding for her first place American Eskimo GCh. Nuuktok’s Atka Inukshuk. ‘Inuk’ is from the Canadian Nuuktok kennel, from which that country’s first champions and first Group winners in the breed came. He was the first American Eskimo to win an all-breed BIS in Canada, and he has been very successful in the U.S. as well, having won the National four times and BOB at the Garden five years in a row, from 2009 through 2013. Bred and owned by Sharon Robertson, he is handled by Canada’s Graeme Burdon.

Gabriel Rangel wasn’t the only California handler in Chicago for the cluster. Jenny Wornall-Rangel (no relation to Gabriel, of course) was also there and handled Alexandra Geremia and Bill Shelton’s Pembroke Corgi, GCh. Coventry Allure at Wyndstar, to the Group win under Mrs. Billings. ‘Allie’ was bred by Bill, Steve Leyerly, Beckie Williams and Kerry Kirtley, and was last year’s Number 5 Herding dog. She’s Number 8 through the first month of this year.

For Sunday’s IKC show, the entry fell just slightly to 1,395. Loraine Boutwell was tasked with selecting the BIS winner, and having won the Group under Michael Dougherty Sky, the Wire Fox Terrier took home the red, white and blue ribbon.

Judge Loraine Boutwell’s BIS winner on Sunday was Wire Fox Terrier GCh. AfterAll Painting The Sky.

Judge Loraine Boutwell’s BIS winner on Sunday was Wire Fox Terrier GCh. AfterAll Painting The Sky.

Reserve BIS went to Michele Billing’s Working Group winner, Standard Schnauzer GCh. Blackhawk Finnegan’s Wake. ‘Finn’ won his first BIS at none other than Santa Barbara Kennel Club in 2012 and went on to win four more top awards last year. He’s currently Number 1 in his breed, with one Best in Show already this year. Owned by Lonnie and Kim Studley, and bred by Paul and Rhonda Davis, he’s handled by Jody Paquette.

Four dogs scored repeat Group wins when Carol Spritzer awarded the Hound Group to Ridgeback Raquel, Norm Patton gave the Toy Group to Chin Mimi, Rita Holloway awarded the Non-Sporting Group to Standard Poodle London, and Ginny Lyne chose Corgi Allie for the Herding Group win.

In the Sporting Group, neither of the previous days’ winners even placed under Ron Spritzer, who found for first the breeder/owner-handled German Shorthaired Pointer Ch. Country Creek’s Smooth Moves CD. Mary Baque has also put hunting titles on her own dogs, in addition to conformation and obedience titles.

I suspect that the mix of unexpected winners with those that were anticipated made the Chicago shows more exciting than ever this year. I’ll have more next Monday from other shows around the country.