Greetings to all Best In Show Daily readers! So many interesting things are going on at dog shows every weekend that there’s a lot to know about the winning dogs’ pedigrees, breeders, owners and handlers – not to mention the shows themselves! So every Monday I’ll be bringing you a look at some of the winners from the previous week, here in Fancy That.

Because I’m from Texas, the shows from this past weekend closest to my heart are the San Antonio shows. I miss the days when the River City Cluster was held at the downtown Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, where hotels are within walking distance and the River Walk is just across the street with the most amazing array of restaurants offering what must be some of the best food in the world. Alas, a number of years ago the shows moved to the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum, northeast of downtown.

Although not what it was in its heyday, the River City Cluster is now held at a location that’s comfortable for dogs and exhibitors. It still offers five days of shows, with specialties on Wednesday, followed by four all-breed shows. The entry, of course, is down by several thousand dogs compared to what it used to be. This year, the Thursday entry was 1,180; Friday, 1,268; Saturday, the highest at 1,409; and Sunday, 1,366.

One thing that hasn’t changed about these shows is that you’ll still find respectable judging panels, including the likes of Mike Billings, Dana Cline, Kim Cavanna, Marjorie Martorella and Fred Bassett. Several judges from foreign locales were on hand this year: Canadians Virginia Lyne, Jack Ireland and Harold Pybus, along with Gerardo Bernard from Mexico City and Elizabeth Hindley from Australia.

Thursday’s BIS under Bernard went to the Springer, GCh. Wynmoor Champagne Supernova, handled by Robin Novack. ‘Peyton’ and Robin have racked up quite a string of wins in July, and he’s hot on the trail of the Wire Pointer, GCh. Mt. View’s Ripsnorter Silver Charm, handled by Phil Booth.

GCh. Snow Hill Beatrix Soul Delight JC – whose great-grandsire is the unforgettable Ch. Delacreme de la Renta ROMX, bred, owned and handled in the 1980s by Mary Duke – won the Hound Group on day one under Pybus. The Whippet bitch is handled by Gerry Thornton. Last year’s Number 2 Working dog, holding the same position so far this year, won the Working Group under Cavanna. Kuvasz GCh. Szumeria’s Wildwood Silver Six Pence is handled by Diana Wilson. She apprenticed for a number of years in this very city, when she worked for Clint Livingston.

The Terrier Group winner, handled by Brenda Combs, was Norwich Terrier GCh. Skyscot’s Texas Hold ‘Em. His sire, of course, is the 2010 and 2011 Number 1 Norwich and Top 10 Terrier Ch. Skyscot’s Poker Chip. Pekingese GCh. Windemere’s Dusting of White at Pevyne won the Toy Group, handled by his breeder, Cody Koch. The Peke is owned by Joe and Carla Sanchez, who’ve not only bred top-winning Mastiffs for eons, but also owned the 2008 Top Dog of All Breeds, Giant Schnauzer Ch. Galilee’s Pure of Spirit, handled by Taffe McFadden.

Scott Sommer handled the Non-Sporting Group winner, Bichon GCh. Saks Winning Card, who was also Reserve Best in Show. The Bichon is a relative newcomer this year, but Scott also handled his sire, Ch. Saks Encore, ‘Cory,’ to Best in Show wins. Cory’s proven to be a valuable sire for the breed.

This year’s Number 3 Herding dog, Cardigan Welsh Corgi GCh. Aubrey’s Tails of Mystery, topped the Herding Group on Thursday, handled by Sherri Samel Hurst.

On Friday in San Antonio three Group winners repeated – the Springer, the Peke and the Cardigan Corgi – while three others – the Kuvasz, the Norwich and the Bichon – picked up red ribbons instead of blue.

The Hound Group winner for the day was Saluki GCh. Sandstorm Blue Nile Bubbles of Jatara, handled by Erin Roberts. My favorite fact about the Saluki bitch’s background is that her sire, GCh. Blue Nile Vanilla Ice, won the breed at Westminster in 2011 when he was just two months shy of 9 years old, under Hound authority Age Gjetnes of Norway.

Friday’s Terrier Group winner, the Am Staff GCh. Alpine’s Ring of Fire, handled by Brian Livingston, and his litter brother, GCh. Alpine’s Highwayman, are currently the Number 2 and Number 1 Am Staffs, respectively. What a breeding! The brothers, bred by Ed and Karen Thomason, Dan Nechemias and Lois Claus, have each won multiple Best in Shows the past two years. The Highwayman is a two-time National Specialty winner. During a brief career in Europe with Norbert Tibay, Ring of Fire won the Spanish Am Staff National Specialty, among other impressive wins.

Non-Sporting Group winner, Standard Poodle GCh. Bar-None Fabulosity, is handled by Shawn Clute. The black bitch has won two Bests so far this year.

The big winner on Friday was another black bitch, this one the Working Group winner, Great Dane GCh. Longo Miller N Lore’s Diamond Lil. She just started her specials career in January this year, after finishing her championship in the spring of 2011 at just 10 months of age. She is handled by Laura Lynn Coomes. This Best in Show, from Billings, was her third for the year.

It turned into quite a weekend for the Dane. On Saturday she won her fourth BIS for 2012 under Martorella, and on Sunday, her fifth, under Cline. I’m guessing these three Best in Show wins will likely push her up in the rankings and that she’ll take home many more red, white and blue ribbons.

The Springer won another Group First on Saturday in San Antonio, as did the Saluki bitch and the Pekingese. The Terrier Group winner on Saturday was Scottie Ch. Kelwyn’s GM Freestyle Flyer, handled by Chuy Moreno. ‘Apolo’s’ dam, Ch. Kelwyn’s Holle Berry, bred and owned by Kelli and David Edell, was the Scottish Terrier Club of America’s top brood bitch for 2011, with five champions for the year.

In the Non-Sporting Group, Shar-Pei GCh. Vaje’s Jethrene Bodine was the winner. ‘Jethrene’ is from a repeat breeding of the 2011 Westminster Group First winner, GCh. Vaje’s Miss Jayne Hathaway, the only Shar-Pei ever to win a Group at the Garden. Both girls have been handled by Clint Livingston.

Scott Yergin handled Herding Group winner GCh. Wolf Creek Galaxy of Merivern. He is a grandson of the great German Shepherd Dog Ch. Kismet’s Sight For Sore Eyes, and his sire, Ch. Kenlyn’s Aries V Hicliff, is also an ROM sire. Galaxy’s litter sister, Ch. Wolf Creek Aquilla of Merivern, was Grand Victrix/Best of Breed at the 2010 German Shepherd Dog Club of America.

Sunday in San Antonio brought two new Group winners for the weekend. The Springer went second to Golden Retriever GCh. Summit’s Sonny Side Up, handled by Brianna Bischoff. Currently the Number 3 Golden, he was co-bred by Beth Johnson, as is the Number 1 Golden, GCh. Summits Emery Its In The Bag.

The Hound Group winner on Sunday was GCh. Faouziah’s Faramir, also handled by Brian Livingston. The Pharaoh Hound was bred in Sweden by Anna Larsson and Tanja Sadelheim.

Best at the Basenji National

Julie Jones took a red-eye flight last week from Southern California to get to the Basenji National Specialty, held in Gettysburg, Pa. The trip was more than worthwhile, as she breeder/owner-handled GCh. Jasiri-Sukari Win Tin Tin to the Best of Breed win under judge John Reeve-Newson. ‘Winston’ was co-bred by Julie’s sister Kathy Jones, and is co-owned by Ming Kok Chua of Singapore.

Basenji GCh. Jasiri-Sukari Win Tin Tin with breeder/owner-handler Julie Jones at the National Specialty on Sunday, July 15. Photo by George Woodard.

Here’s the best part of this win. This is the first time Julie has breeder/owner-handled a National Specialty winner, but Winston’s mother, Ch. Jasiri-Sukari Congo-leezza Rice, was Winners Bitch, Best of Winners and Best of Opposite Sex, plus Best Bred-by, handled by Julie, at the National Specialty. Even better, ‘Leezza’ was only 9 months old, and it was her first dog show! The icing on that cake is that Anne Rogers Clark was the judge.

Winston’s dam also won the Top 20 when she was just a year old, and Winston won the Top 25 this year, at under 2 years of age.

Julie Jones accepts the National Specialty BOB ribbon from judge John Reeve-Newson. Photo by George Woodard.

Julie also got to watch Jasiri-Sukari Just My Style, also bred by her and her sister, go Winners Bitch and Best of Winners, owner-handled by Eileen Bailey. Winners Dog went to Sirobe Egotistical Rosewood, breeder/owner-handled by Brad Phifer, co-bred by Beth Redo. Best of Opposite Sex was Thomas Kirstein’s GCh. Meisterhaus Happy Hour at Signet, bred by Tad Brooks and Brenda Cassell and handled by Tim Huff.

Selects at the Basenji National went to the dog, GCh. C-Quest Jokuba Zensational, owned by breeder Cindy Russell and handled by breeder Russella Bowen, and the bitch, GCh. Akuaba N Eldorado Speed of Light, bred and owned by Susan Coe, who handled her, and Sheila Lund and Pam Geoffroy.

Picturesque Vermont Draws Star Power

The only four-day cluster for this past weekend was held in beautiful Tunbridge, Vt. They may have been small shows, with entries in the five- and six-hundreds, but there was plenty of star power on hand.

On Thursday at the Woodstock Dog Club, Ernesto Lara handled the Affenpinscher GCh. Banana Joe V Tani Kazari to BIS under judge Martin Doherty from Canada. On Friday Andrew and Amy Green’s Sammy, GCh. McMagic’s Candie Ham of Pebbles’ Run, won the final under Edd Bivin.

Frank Murphy handled Pembroke Corgi GCh. Dalarno Nite Song at Morningstar to Best under Betty-Anne Stenmark on Saturday. On Sunday Bonnie Linnell Clarke made Lakeland Terrier GCh. Larkspur Acadia Save Me a Spot, handled by R.C. Carusi, her Best in Show winner.

Proving that even at a smaller show the competition can be brutal, also in Vermont were this year’s Westminster Non-Sporting Group winner, Dalmatian GCh. Spotlights Ruffian; Number 3 Terrier, Scottie GCh. Lomondview Clementina; and the Number 7 Sporting dog, Wire Pointer GCh. Reece Afterhours The Buck Stops Here, among others.

For results from other shows this past weekend, visit Billy Wheeler’s Dog Show Poop. I’ll be back next Monday with more on this coming week’s winners!

This article was revised on 7/24/12 to reflect the new name of the weekly column, Fancy That.