Manchester show was held at the New Bingley Hall, Stafford from Thursday 15th - Sunday 18th January. The prospect of bad weather at this time of year probably puts off a lot of northern exhibitors from entering and there were only a few club members who made the long journey south. However, despite the lack of members, I still have two very good wins to report.
June's Benson just keeps notching up the wins and junior warrent points. Hot on the heels of his big win at Boston, he won his Puppy class and was again declared Best Puppy in Breed.
Morag's Logie is another puppy on a roll. He won his Puppy class and then took Best Import Register Puppy and also Reserve Best Dog!
Big congratulations and keep it up!!
Now for an example of how things don't always go smoothly when you are travelling up and down the country.
Morag and Sue journeyed down with Elizabeth in her motorhome for a two night stay at the Stafford showground and, despite a fair bit of rain and wind, a good time was had by all. The vizsla judging was finished by noon on Sunday so it was a fairly early start to the return journey with an expected arrival back at Huntly of about 9pm.
After a stop at Tebay services for something to eat, refuel the van and a quick walk for dogs (in the rain!) all was going to schedule. However, this was soon to change. Elizabeth noticed a 'slight' noise coming from the engine, this turned into a very loud roar and smoke started to appear. Pulling onto the hard shoulder, everyone got out quickly to survey the damage. There was a lot of smoke pouring out but this did stop once the engine was turned off. The motorhome would not start again and recovery had to be organised.
This all happened in the most remote of places, on the M74 some miles from Beattock, and in the dark. Traffic whizzed by (very close to the hard shoulder!) but nobody stopped to offer help. Thank goodness for mobile phones! After quite some time waiting, a recovery van came out and the motorhome had to be towed some 10 miles to the nearest services. This is not an experience Elizabeth would like to repeat, as anyone who has ever been towed will no doubt understand. It was not helped by the fact that the van towing was considerably smaller than the motorhome, there were quite a few hills to climb and the driver pulled out in front of a large lorry at a roundabout!
More waiting ensued but at least not on the rather dangerous hard shoulder. A larger recovery truck was sent down from Huntly, which arrived around 2am, and the motorhome was loaded on to it......not without some difficulty. The journey continued up to Huntly with Elizabeth, Morag and Sue in the truck's cab and all the dogs remaining in the motorhome. Goodness knows what the dogs made of being winched aboard and everything else that went on but they seemed to take it all in their stride. In the end, a journey which should have taken around 8 hours actually took nearer 18!
So take care when you're going up and down the country to shows, make sure you have your mobile phone on you and also that all important breakdown cover. Elizabeth's motorhome is only two years old and you probably wouldn't expect such a thing to happen but you just never know. Better to be safe than sorry!