What a fabulous weekend for our team at the Waikouaiti Kennel Association Shows in Dunedin.
We stayed, once again, at the luxurious Lady of Lawrence B&B with Fifi's beloved parents, Kathleen and Rolf Lilleby. Seriously, this is the only way to attend dogs shows away from home - in the lap of 5 Star luxury with fabulous food and lots of excellent Central Otago wine on hand for the daily debriefing after the show. If you're ever heading down to Queenstown, Gore or Invercargill (or Southland in general) and want a fabulous getaway, consider this a must-do on your way.
Our five-star luxury does come at the cost of a very early start, however, so day one saw us up at the crack of dawn and heading into Dunedin for the Waikouaiti Kennel Association Shows at Forrester Park. Our first show was judged by Australian Judge, Mrs Lyndall Black, from Australia's National Capital, Canberra.
Mrs Black was very thorough and she loved Narci (GK CH, GK Jnr CH, NZ CH Mystic Legion Narcissus), awarding him Best of Breed, walking him out in the top 3 for Best of Group and finally awarding him Reserve Best of Group.
The Long Coat Chihuahuas had the second largest breed entries in the Toy Group after the Cavs, so we were delighted that in such a strong field, in addition to Narci's fabulous Group win, Kyrie (Kitaco's Valkyrie Warrior) took Best Bitch, Reserve of Breed and Junior of Breed, Poco (NZ CH Eldivino Hocus Pocus) took NZ Breed of Breed and Tara (#DontTouchMeTara) (Kitaco's Divine Miss T at Eldivino) took Reserve Bitch and Puppy of Breed, Fifi (NZ CH Eldivino Phoenix Rising at Kitaco) took the Intermediate Bitch class.
The afternoon Benefit Show under New Zealand judge, Mr Stephen Meredith, brought similar results and a delightful surprise when Tara took the Best Bitch and was awarded her 2nd CC along with Puppy of Breed.. Once again, the judge was gentle and understanding and her confidence continues grow. Not sure if she'll ever completely outgrow her hashtag #DontTouchMeTara but doing Obedience training is doing wonders for her Conformation Show career and we are delighted with her progress. Kyrie took Reserve Bitch and Junior of Breed, Poco took NZ Breed of Breed again Fifi took the Intermediate Bitch class.
Day 2 saw us with another early start. This time, Australian judge, Jim Black awarded Narci Best of Breed and Kyrie Reserve of Breed and her 8th CC. We are thrilled to announce that (pending Dogs NZ approval, of course) she will now be known as NZ Champion Kitaco’s Valkyrie Warrior. Proud doesn’t even begin to describe how pleased we are with this delightful girl with the playful temperament, the determination to do as much showing as possible on her hind legs, the text-book 6x6 scissor bite, the movement of her wonderful father, Narci and confidence of her theatre-star mother, Nikita. We took Kyrie out of the ring last year during her "uglies" - hers' were pretty spectacularly ugly, we have to say - and only began showing her again in November last year. We are beyond delighted that she has earned her Championship title in 3 short months, fulfilling the early promise that saw her take a Baby Puppy of Group on her very first show weekend last year in Geraldine.
Poco again took NZ Breed of Breed, Fifi took Reserve Bitch and Tara took Puppy of Breed,
But just when we thought the day couldn't get any better, Mr Black called Tracey aside as she was leaving the ring and asked to see Tara again. Expecting to get a lecture about...well, something... we were stunned when Mr Black took Tara in his arms and complimented her wonderful breeding, saying she was a lovely bitch with excellent type and to please keep persevering with her confidence training.
We've never had this happen to us before (or seen it happen to anyone else) so we are honoured to be singled out and receive such amazing encouragement from a senior international judge who has judged all over the world.
But at the end of the day, nobody really cared about our show results, as we had Chloe and Poco's delightful puppies, Seamus, Ciaran and Connor with us. They got so many cuddles and a thorough going over by Chihuahua expert and judge, Robert Manning, who was particularly impressed with Seamus. Turns out they are great little travellers too, even tolerating being hugged by random strangers every time we stopped for fuel.
So, in the end, in 3 shows, it was pretty much a clean sweep of the Long Coat Chihuahua breed, Team Kitaco's five members took 3 Best of Breeds, 2 Reserve of Breeds, 3 Dog CC's, 3 Bitch CC's, 3 Open of Breeds, 3 NZ Bred of Breeds, 3 Junior of Breeds, 3 Puppy of Breeds and 3 Intermediate Bitch classes. Thanks to the WKA committee for putting on a lovely show and of course to all 3 judges for their hard work in some particularly fickle weather.