So sorry I have not been able to post as of late, so let me get started with the German Shepherd Kentucky Bluegrass Classic which was April 12th.
Tim flew in from Berlin to handle for us. Sandy picked him up in Detroit and drove to my house. We had dinner at the Dark Horse, evaluated the Enosch x Karma litter, evaluated the other dogs, and walked they property. The next day Sandy, Andria, Tim, and myself, 4 GSD, and one Chihuahua drove to Lexington for the show. We arrived Friday, checked out the show site and did some ring training.
The Alta-Tollhaus team at this show was:
Robert and Barb with Finn F-litter Pakros x Karma
Sandy with Faust F-litter Traflaga Glen x Karma
Heather and Gage G-litter Gavin x Hummel (heather had to work so did not arrive in time to do any ring training)
Carin and Dave with Bello K-litter Gavin x Hedi (Alta-Tollhaus Kazmir)
Andria and Julie with Yoyo (I have to post the story behind Yoyo sometime!) and the J-litter girls Juno and Jemma (Gavin x Judy)
The obvious “disadvantage” we had going into the show was all but Gage were at the youngest limit of each of their classes. Yoyo just over 3 months in the 3 – 6 month class. Juno, Jemma, Bello all 6 months and a few days old in the 6 – 9 month class, Finn just turned a 12 months a few weeks earlier and was in the 12-18 month male class, Faust in the 18-24 month class at only 18 months. Gage was the outlier he was just shy of 9 months old in the 6 – 9 month class.
The second disadvantage the “northern” people had was the lack of training, we had only lost our snow weeks earlier. Despite our disadvantages we rocked it! Every one of our dogs received glowing critiques and many compliments from spectators and other breeders, yes you read that right other breeders!
First up was little baby Yoyo who was moved from the back of the pack right to the front and she commanded the lead the entire time. From a class of 10 Yoyo is VP1 at her first show!
6 – 9 month females, Jemma and Juno went VP 3 and VP4 in a class of 10. It was tricky double handling the two girls in the same class. The critiques on both girls were excellent. The judge loved Juno and said she was his first place for the class she needs ring training so was placed 4th. I was really proud of both girls and I knew I was taking home the two best girls from that class.
6-9 month males was baby Bello at 6 months and monster Gage at 9 months. Bello was VP2 and Gage was VP3. The judge really liked Gage and thought he was the best dog in the class but was not ring trained and out of condition. This was Gage’s first show and Heather’s first German show and you know how overwhelming that can be. But after the fabulous critique on her dog she has gone home joined Zumba classes and her and Gage are hiking up mountains! LOL Bello looked absolutely gorgeous in this class and his stand was excellent. The gaiting however, needs a lot of work. Bello was pushing for first place and if the fast lap would have been decent I think he would have had it, but rather the fast lap was not so pretty. Not because he cannot move well, but lack of training, another thing to blame on this horrible winter we had. The pup that took first was trained and doubled to perfection by Eddie Calderon. Eddie is a well-oiled showing machine and very tough to go up against even under the best conditions. What was fun for me was hearing the comments from other breeders about Bello and comments overheard when walking behind people that were sitting ring side.
Next up was the 12-18 month male class for the handsome Finn, who just turned 12 months a few weeks earlier. He still looks puppy-ish and to top it off he decides to blow his deep-red coat and is nearly naked. This was another big class with 10 dogs in it. When I saw the other dogs in the class they looked like behemoths compared to our baby Finn. Ugh. Barb and I stood ringside in horror as we watched all the big-mature, full-coated males come parading in. As Barb and I were biting our nails, I looked at her and said “should we pull him?” We asked Tim, he said Nooooo! Tim was right, Finn, although immature looking, more then held his own in this class. As the judge started working the class, we all gained our confidence in what Finn could do, he looked great, and in the movement he was a standout. Finn was awarded SG4 in this class and it was a super placement with a super critique. We were all ecstatic over this high placement, more so then any of the other classes, as this was really a David vs. Goliath competition.
Final class for the day was Sandy and the striking black and red Faust in the 18 -24 month class. Although the baby in this class too, it was pretty clear to all that unless something went terribly wrong Faust was going to win this class. OMG is Faust incredible to watch, he really flies around that ring. It was beautiful. And yes, he won that class with ease.
To be continued…..