How can it be that it is only July and I’m already ready for fall? We, in Sacramento, are used to the heat, but I must say, this is a wee bit over the edge! Last month I included an article about the importance of keeping your dog hydrated, please, if you have any questions or concerns about taking your dog out in this weather, read the article and or talk to your local veterinarian. Don’t forget to also keep yourself well hydrated as well.
As I am writing this month’s President Report, I am on an airplane going home from our Irish Setter Club of America’s 2021 National Specialty, held in Frederick, Maryland. This year I took the plunge and brought my dog, Boo, aka Roclyn Got it! Haunt it with me. I co-own him with Cindy Stanford, who does all the handling.
This year The ISCP-SF was represented at the National by having 6 members attend. Cindy Stanford, Mark Johnson, Tom and Anita Gage, Ed Meyer, and me. Ed did not bring a dog, but was a great ringside supporter for all of the redheads in and out of the ring. For those of you who have never had the opportunity of attending a National Specialty, it is a LOT of hard work for the parent and local clubs. There is a general format that is followed each year. Rally, Obedience and Agility on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday is puppy and veteran sweeps. This year judged by Tracy McNeal. This year the club also decided toadd a “Mature Sweeps” judged by Jackie Drummond, for those dogs who were unable to show in sweeps last year due to the Pandemic. Regular Dog classes were shown on Thursday, judged by Will Alexander. Regular Bitches were on Friday, Judged by Bob Robinson. Breed was on Saturday, judged by Will Alexander. ISCPSF was well represented. Portia, Roclyn What’s Her Name, placed 1st in Puppy Sweeps, Bitches 6-9 months, and 4th in Regular Bitches 6-9 months. Glinda, The Good Witch, placed 4th in Mature Sweeps 18-20 months, and 1st in Regular Novice. My own boy, Boo, placed 1st Mature Sweeps, 18-20 months, and 1st in the Bred By Exhibitor Class. We also had a puppy bred by our own Noelle Suessy and Sherry Oke, Carlie, Kinross Go Big or Go Home, placed 2nd in Sweeps 12-15 puppy bitch and 1st in Regular 12-15 month bitches.
Thursday evening is the Top Twenty competition. This event is held to raise money for the ISCA Health Foundation. All monies go directly to research for our Irish Setters. There is always an auction at this event. This year the Foundation was fortunate to have many beautiful raffle items from the collections of Connie Vanicore and Penny Nunley. I also donated a quilt. For those of you who purchased tickets for the quilt, thank you. It was won by Mary Cullon of Woodland, CA. Mary purchased tickets while at our Field Trial last March.
The format for the Top 20 is different from a regular dog show. First of all, participants have to be ranked in the nation’s top 20 Irish Setters. All dogs are judged by each of three judges. This year the all breed judge was Mary Ann Alston, the breeder judge was Rebecca Arch and the handler judge was Jamie Donelson. The steward was our own, Ed Meyer, who made sure all the dogs were managed and the show ran smoothly. Those in the attendance get one vote when they purchase and attend the dinner. Dinner tables are set up around the ring so you get a close up and personal view of the dogs as they are judged. I find this a particularly enjoyable experience as you can watch closely as to how each of the 3 judges manage their judging. Some are very hands on, some use less hands but take notes. Some appear to know exactly what they are looking for and are able to assess the dog quickly, some using their own style of all of the above. It was exceptionally exciting for me this year as we had two members attend with their dogs. Porter, GCHB Brew Ha Ha, handled by Stuart McGraw, owned by Cindy Stanford and Mark Johnson and Tom and Anita Gage, owner handler with Louie, Fire Oak Empire Maker. Once the dogs have been judged, people get a few minutes to purchase raffle tickets before the People’s Choice for Top 20 is announced. This year, the People’s Choice went to Jack, GCH Vermilion’s A Wanted Man, owned by Mary and Bruce Foote. The winner is not announced until later in the week. Let me tell you, there is always lots of lively discussion as to which dog people think will place in the coveted winner’s spot. Friday evening the Host club offers a dinner that usually showcases food particular to the area, Maryland Blue crabs were the main course this year. I found it fun to watch people hammer away for the first time, cracking those shells like they had lived in the east coast most of their lives. For those of you who have never experienced Blue Crabs, they are very different from Dungeness and Alaska. Their shells are softer, legs much smaller, and you work a lot harder to get a mouthful of meat. They taste a bit different, often covered with, “Old Bay” Seasoning and are wonderful!!! As we wound up dinner, the Top 20 winter was announced. You cannot even imagine the excitement, the tears of joy and the accolades when Porter, GCHB Roclyn Brew Ha Ha was announced as this year’s Top 20 winner. Watching Cindy, who motioned for Stuart to join her on stage, still brings tears to my eyes. A huge congratulations to Cindy, Mark and Stuart and of course Porter for this very honorable and esteemed award.
Saturday is the main event, the Best of Breed Competition. Once again, ISCP-SF was represented by GCHB Roclyn Brew Ha Ha, and GCH Fire Oaks Empire Maker. There was a total of 86 dogs (48-38) entered. Will Alexander was the breed judge. I sincerely hope that each and every one of you, if you have not had the experience, will someday have the opportunity to watch the Best of Breed competition at a National Specialty Show. Top handlers, owner-handlers from all over the USA groom and condition their dogs exquisitely. It doesn’t matter where you are from, your dog is a Champion and has earned the right to be there. It is nothing short of spectacular! This year the Best of Breed for the 2021 ISCA National was ISCP-SF’s own,Porter! GCHB Roclyn Brew Ha Ha, beautifully handled by Stuart McGraw, owned by Cindy Stanford and Mark Johnson. CONGRATULATIONS on his veryprestigious win!!!!!
Before I sign off, I just want to mention, for those of you that like dealing in statistics, in the last 6 years, since the Top 20 was started, Porter is only the 2nd to have won both the Top 20 and Best of Breed in the same year. The first was Claudette, GCHP Evergreen Set Fire to the Rain, owned and handled by Mary Merlo.
My fingers are tired, so I will end this month’s President’s repor with a short reminder for all to attend our annual Awards Day in the Park. Pat Manrique has spent hours organizing and tallying for this very fun event. This year Pam Warner and Margaret Norris will host a demonstration on Scent work. Save the date, July 24, 2021 at Boon Acres Park in San Ramon. And as always, hug those red heads!