The days surrounding the Fourth of July found several big clusters around the U.S. Beginning on Wednesday, July 3, the Yankee Classic in West Springfield, Mass., had entries ranging from 1,037 on day one (a good number for a mid-week show) to 1,724 on Saturday. In Maryland the Independence Cluster started on Thursday with 1,025 dogs and peaked on Saturday with an entry of 1,389. Monroe, Mich., also had entries in the 1,700 range on the weekend, and the biggest shows in the country were those in Ventura, Calif., with entries exceeding 2,300 dogs on Saturday and Sunday. But let’s take a look at the triple-header in Dallas, known fondly to locals as “the Big D.”

On Friday at the Greater Collin KC show, from an entry of 1,748, judge Judy Daniels made Pointer Ch. Chesterhope State of the Art her Best in Show winner, following the Group win under Jeff Pepper. ‘Miley’ comes to us from Down Under, where she is a New Zealand champion and made history as a youngster. She turned 2 years old in November 2009, the same year that she was Top Dog among all breeds in New Zealand. Bred by Diane O’Neill, she is owned in the U.S. by Jennifer Mosing and Jordyn O’Neill, and handled by Brian Livingston. Jordyn showed Miley for much of her career in New Zealand. Both Miley’s parents, sire Eng. Aust. Ch. Nz. GCh. Chesterhope Lets Be Serious, and her dam, Nz. GCh. Robwyn Touch of Gold, are Best in Show winners in their home country.

Ch. Luftnase Albelarm Bee’s Knees was Top Dog among all breeds in 1989, handled by Michael Zollo. She was bred and owned by Mrs. Alan R. Robson, co-owned by Michael and co-bred by Tom Bradley.

Let’s take a little look at the American components of Miley’s pedigree. Lets Be Serious, better known as ‘Breeze,’ is a son of Helyne Medeiros’ National Specialty and all-breed Best in Show winner Am. Can. Ch. Bee Serious Lord Jim. ‘Lord Jim’ has a name that should be familiar to us for reasons other than his winning record… he is the sire of America’s top-winning Pointer of all time and the 2008 Number 1 Sporting dog ‘Holly,’ Ch. Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, who was owned by Helyne with Sean and Tammy McCarthy, and handled by Michael Scott. Lord Jim was a great-grandson of Ch. Luftnase Albelarm Bee’s Knees, the beautiful black and white bitch that was Top Dog all breeds in 1989 and won the National Specialty three times, in 1989, 1991 and 1992. She also won the Group at Westminster in 1989 under Maxine Beam. ‘Bees’ was handled by Michael Zollo, who owned her with Isabel Robson, and Mrs. Robson bred Bees with Tom Bradley. Mrs. Robson and Michael also owned Bees’ sire, the Westminster Best in Show winner Ch. Marjetta National Acclaim.

Reserve BIS was Toy Poodle GCh. Donnchada Angel Wings at Dulcinea. Bred by Helen Craft, ‘Angel’ is owned by Sue Talkington and Betty Brown, who shows her. Betty is, of course, better known for the Donnchada Standard Poodles, including this year’s Poodle Club of America Best in Show winner (although he doesn’t carry her kennel name), Ch. Aleph American Idol, the black dog that she co-bred with Jacquelyn Cohen and owns with Paula Morgan.

Angel’s sire, Ch. Sharbelle Bird of Paradise, comes from Ray and Sharon Stevens’ very successful kennel in Southern California, where dozens of champions as well as specialty and Group winners have been born and raised, not to mention the current Number 1 black Toy Ch. Sharbelle Silhouette, now a multiple BIS winner owner-handled by Janet Lange Moses. Angel is a multiple Group winner and among the Top 5 Toy Poodles. She won the Group under breeder-judge Janice Pardue.

In the Hound Group, judge Joan Goldstein’s winner was Saluki GCh. Appalachia’s Allamyrra Hajji. Bred by Gerry Thornton and Marinell McCowen, and owned by Pamela Arwood, she is a multiple Group winner this year and a great-granddaughter of the 1992 and 1994 Number 1 Saluki all systems Ch. Zahir’s Zanzibar. Zanzibar was a son of Ch. Karim Zahab al Bokay and a dog that I happen to have written about just last week when his son by frozen semen, Ch. Aurora’s The Song and Dance Man, was Reserve Best in Show in Wisconsin. ‘Karim’ was among the Top 10 dogs of all breeds in 1982, among many other accomplishments.

The Working Group winner under Cindy Meyer was the Boxer bitch, GCh. Winfall I Dream of Style. ‘Macey’ is handled by Michael Shepherd for owners Cheryl and Keith Robbins, George and Barbara Adkins, and breeder/owners Tina Porter and Lee Stanton. She’s appeared numerous times in Fancy That, as she is the litter sister to the 2010 and 2011 Number 1 Working dog GCh. Winfall Brookwood Styled Dream, who was handled by Diego Garcia. Macey herself was Number 4 Working dog last year, and this year reigns as the top Boxer and currently Number 5 Working dog.

Jon Cole judged the Terrier Group, finding Colored Bull Terrier Ch. Glentom’s Dirty Harry as the winner. ‘Clint’ was a 2012 finalist in the breed’s legendary Silverwood competition. Owned by Mike and Terri Cournoyer and breeder Glenna Wright, he is handled by Jill Bell. This is the same team that fielded the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Number 1 Colored Bull GCh. Glentom’s You Were Mint For Me. ‘Maeve’ won more than 100 Group placements during her career.

Bulldog GCH. Mytoys Epic Against The Wind was Bill Usherwood’s Non-Sporting Group winner. ‘Ralph’ has also appeared numerous times in Fancy That, as he is a multiple Best in Show winner and the Number 1 Bulldog this year. Both his sire, Ch. Cherokee Legend Rock, and his dam, Ch. Mytoys Mighty Colors of the Wind, were all-breed and specialty Best in Show winners as well. Ralph is bred by Dennis and Terri O’Connor, Ann McDearmon and Dan Haley, and owned by Dennis, Terri and Ann with Linda Scott. He’s breeder/owner-handled by Dennis.

The Herding Group winner, under Brian Meyer, was Puli Am. Aust. Ch. Cordmaker Topsy Turvey, Australia’s Top Dog all breeds in 2009 and Number 2 among all breeds in 2010, breeder/owner-handled by Sue Huebner. Since coming to America, ‘Charlotte’ has become the Number 1 Puli and is Number 10 in the Group through May. She’s handled by Linda Pitts for Sue Huebner and Jackie Beaudoin.

‘Flame’ Rises at Texas KC
Clay Coady judged Best in Show on Saturday at Texas Kennel Club. The entry was 1,964, and the final award went to the black Standard Poodle bitch GCh. Dawin Hearts on Fire. Bred and owned in Canada by Linda Campbell, ‘Flame’ is handled by Sarah Perchick. In what can arguably be called “the year of the Standard Poodle,” she is the Number 3 Non-Sporting dog behind the white bitch GCh. Brighton Lakeridge Encore and the black dog GCh. Jaset’s Satisfaction. Flame is a daughter of the 2010 Number 1 Non-Sporting dog GCh. Dawin Spitfire, winner of more than 40 American Best in Show awards, also handled by Sarah for breeder/owner Linda Campbell.

Ch. Dawin Spitfire was the 2010 Number 1 Non-Sporting dog in the U.S. and is now the dam of a Best in Show winner.

Reserve BIS went to Mastiff GCh. Willow Ridges Risky Business. ‘Kruz’ was featured here back in March when he was Best in Show over 2,200-plus dogs in Ft. Worth. Handled by Collette Livingston, he’s owned by Jill Swarts and bred by Anna Page and Cole Harvey. As you will have noted in March, he’s from quite a family of top-winning Mastiffs.

Repeat Group winners on Saturday were the Pointer Miley, under Ron Menaker, and Puli Charlotte, under Bill Usherwood.

The Hound Group, judged by Jeff Pepper, went to the current Number 4 Hound, Afghan Am. GCh. Se. Norw. Ch. Tells Matrix Reloaded. Since his arrival in the U.S. from Sweden, ‘Matrix’ has set the Afghan rings on fire. Bred by Jorgen Collinge, Marie Louise and Camilla Tell-Collinge, he’s handled by Chris Manelopoulos for owner Missy Galloway. His sire is the American National Specialty winner Ch. Elan Sebring The Matrix, and was himself the National Specialty winner in Sweden.

In an era when Terrier Groups typically have only double-digit entries at the average dog show, this is a weekend when the Groups are much bigger, and there were 240 Terriers on Saturday. Cindy Meyer’s Group winner was Kerry Blue Terrier GCh. True Blue Madonna, bred and owned by Elaine Randall and handled by Leonardo Garcini. ‘Pink’ is a daughter of the Irish import 2010 National Specialty (under Jane Forsyth) winner ‘Ziggy,’ GCh. Edbrios Stradivari. Ziggy’s sire, Eng. Ir. Ch. Edbrios Amadeus, better known as ‘Frankie,’ was a multiple BIS winner and Number 2 Terrier in Ireland in 2008. Frankie is a grandson of Eng. Ch. Torum’s Tunde Bayou, England’s 2001 Top Terrier, Crufts Group winner and a brother, from a later breeding, to Crufts and Westminster Best in Show winner Eng. Am. Ir. Ch. Torum’s Scarf Michael.

In the Toy Group, Debbie Campbell-Freeman’s winner was Cavalier King Charles Spaniel GCh. Miletree Northern Star at Shirmont, featured in Fancy That on June 3 when he was Reserve BIS in Colorado. ‘Teddy’ is handled by Clint and Karen Livingston for Bruce and Shirley Henry, and Betsy George, and was bred in England by Peter and Ruta Towse.

‘Teddy’ Triumphs on Day Three
On Sunday at the Trinity Valley Kennel Club show, from an entry of 1,883, judge Marjorie Tuff chose Dana Plonkey’s Toy Group winner, Cavalier Teddy, as Best in Show. Although he’s a multiple Best in Show winner, I believe this is Teddy’s first Best for this year.

Reserve BIS went to Joyce Vanek’s Herding Group winner, Australian Shepherd GCh. Harmony Hill’s Money Talks. Owner-handled by Leon Goetz, ‘Cash’ is co-owned by his breeder, Heather Braddock. He’s a multiple BIS winner and Number 1 Australian Shepherd 2012 and 2013, but as I mentioned previously here, his most impressive achievement is that, for four years, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, he was the sire of the Winners Dog at the National Specialty, and in 2013 he won the Stud Dog class there.

Debbie Campbell-Freeman judged the Sporting Group and made it three-for-three for Pointer Miley and Brian Livingston. Afghan Matrix and Mastiff Kruz had repeated Group wins as well, under judges Debbie Cozart and Clay Coady, respectively.

In the Terrier Group, Judy Daniels chose Westie GCh. Camcrest Andsurely Jasmine as the winner. Bred, owned and handled by Sandy Campbell, ‘Jasmine’ is co-bred by Robert McCaskill and co-owned by Julie Downing. Her dam, also breeder/owner-handled by Sandy, was the multiple Best in Show winner and 2008 Number 1 Westie ‘Bebe,’ Ch. Camcrest Bebe Queen of Trouble.

Bebe’s grandmother, Ch. Camcrest Andsurely Trouble, was a three-time National Specialty and all-breed Best in Show winner. ‘Puppy Do’ won the National in 1994 from the Bred-by-Exhibitor class, in 1996 as a special handled by Bill McFadden, and in 2000 with Sandy from the Veterans class. She was among the most beautiful Westies I’ve known, and was also the dam of the Best in Show winner Ch. Camcrest Andsurely Mr. Fortune. The same weekend she won her third National Specialty, Puppy Do finished her Tracking Dog and Master Earthdog titles. What a girl she was.

Ch. Camcrest Andsurely Trouble was a multiple National Specialty and all-breed BIS winner, the dam of a Best in Show winner, and earned titles in tracking, agility and earthdog.

Last but in no way least, the Non-Sporting Group under Joan Goldstein went to Chinese Shar-Pei GCh. Jade East Do You Know The Way to San Jose. ‘Jose,’ handled by David Williams for breeder/owners Loretta Anders, Karel Nijholt and Esmae Minne, is Number 6 in the Group rankings through May, with 20 Groups and three BIS wins. Her littermate, GCh. Jade East Is This The Way to Amarillo, is a multiple Group winner this year and the Number 4 Shar-Pei. ‘Amarillo’ is also owned by her breeders and is handled by Frank Murphy. What a terrific pair of sisters! They also have a champion brother, First We Take Manhattan. While Loretta Anders is in the U.S., Karel and Esmae are Jade East partners in the Netherlands. It appears to be quite a successful alliance.

That wraps it up for the Lone Star Cluster. For more on what happened elsewhere in the country last week, be sure to visit Billy Wheeler on Dog Show Poop.