As I have covered the introductions for quite a few of our championship shows for a number of years now, I thought it might entertain readers to share some of the incidents which don’t normally make it into the paper. I would hasten to add that many of these events took place a number of years ago and to save any embarrassment, I do not intend to elaborate on exactly who was involved nor when or where they happened!
I will start you off gently with the simple tale of the BIS Judge, who had agreed one nights’ accommodation with the Society, but then a couple of months before the show decided that he would like to make a weekend of it. Unfortunately, by this time his hotel was fully booked; undeterred, he opted to just book into another hotel for the second night. Once again having further thoughts the following day, he reckoned that he might actually be as well spending a long weekend away and have three nights hotel accommodation. But, guess what? By then, both of the other hotels were fully booked! Once again he had to book the third night in yet another different hotel. So perhaps we could accurately describe his judging appointment as a ‘three centre touring holiday’!
At another show, the awards were about to be made after some of the class judging was completed and many people were gathered at the ringside to watch the presentations being made. However, just at the moment that the company representative reached forward to present the winner with his rosette, the successful exhibitor obliviously took off round the ring at full gallop on his ‘lap of honour’. I don’t think that I will ever forget the sight of the rep, with his hand still extended out holding the rosette, instinctively then also setting off at full tilt with rosette still extended out, in hot pursuit, of the winner. It wasn’t until he got almost half way down the large ring, still not having managed to catch up with the exhibitor, that he realised his mistake. He then casually altered his pace to a slow walk and ever so nonchalantly attempted to saunter over to the side of the ring, before making a quick exit, evidently thinking nobody had noticed!
I am also happy to be able to report that it is not only me that manages to do silly things with my car. I can recall an instance when an official had managed to sneak into another Societies official car park and realised that no dogs were allowed in this car park and this was diligently enforced. He therefore decided to surreptitiously park away at the back, as much as possible out of sight in the hope that he wouldn’t be noticed. He carefully reversed the car into a space and then wondered why, although he was accelerating, it wouldn’t move any further. On vacating the car to see what was wrong, he discovered that it was precariously balanced on a raised concrete plinth. Desperate that no one from the Society should discover what had happened, he then had to go off in search of the lads from the benching contractors to implore them to come across with a fork lift truck and discreetly lift the car off!
Hopefully, I will get the chance to give you all some further insights into the things that can happen behind the scenes but I will conclude this piece with one of my current favourites:
A very slightly tipsy friend joined me at the ringside for the Group judging at a show; she had been dropped off at the showground earlier in the day and was waiting for me to transport her back to the hotel she was staying at. She was exhibiting the next day and someone else was bringing her dogs down for her.
As we stood at the ringside, she received a phone call from her friend who was on his way to the show. Evidently, he had asked her what dogs were being placed in the group that we were watching. Unfortunately, she was at the stage of tipsiness when her brain and mouth were not really quite working in a positive synch.
‘It’s a big black dog’, I heard her state, and she then looked quizzically at me and enquired of her caller ‘Maybe a Pyrenean? Yes, I’m sure it’s a Pyrenean!’ she added. Apparently the person on the other end of the phone had then informed her that Pyreneans were white. ‘Well, I can tell you, this one is definitely black’, she emphatically told him. It was in fact a Newfoundland!
Eventually, the phone was passed to me so that I could correctly relay the breed’s gaining the group awards but only after her friend had obviously become so exasperated by her descriptions of some of the other dogs being placed as ‘Oh, it’s one of those hairy, shaggy things - you know, a what-do-ya-ma-call it’.
On the way to the hotel a short while later, she continued pleading with me that when I dropped her off, I should not tell her friend that she had been drinking. She then spent the rest of the short journey raking all through my car, desperately seeking peppermints and chewing gum so that he wouldn’t be able to smell any alcohol on her breath.
As she got out of my car with her cheeks puffed up like a chipmunk, as she had proceeded to stuff so much in the way of mints and gum into her mouth, I am quite sure that her friend will definitely not have suspected that she was in the least bit tipsy!