For the first time in over three years a Cairn Terrier has gone Best In Show! CH Winsome Fergus Macflynn scrambled to the head of the pack in Longview, Texas. July 26, 2008. Mr. Terry Stacy, Mr. Jay Richardson, and Mr. Jon R. Cole awarded the Breed, Group, and Best In Show respectively. Congratulations to breeder, Nancy Jane Seaberry Smith, owners, Kendall & Tim Lake, and handler, Patsy B Benson-Wade.
Now, some may say that this was an insignificant win at a small show off the beaten path. There have may have been only 745 dogs in competition, but the Best In Show ring included the number five hound, the Petit Basset Griffon, Vendeen, CH Afterglow Ebeneezer; the number five non-sporting dog, the Chinese Shar-Pei, CH Asias Excalbur Whiplash; and the up and coming Pekingese, CH Franshaw Hear Me Roar, handled by the always formidable Hiram Stewart. Let me tell you, unless we're talking Westminster or Crufts, a Best In Show is a Best In Show is a Best In Show.
Why are BIS Cairns so rare? Without endorsing any of the following theories, here are some possibilities:
- Cairns are just too "ordinary" looking. Well, I don't think they are. Besides if a beagle can win at Westminster, why not a Cairn?
- They are a relatively rare breed. Well they are in some parts of the country, but they are just as numerous as Scotties and way more common than Sealys, both of which have been very successful over the years.
- The over all quality of Cairns being shown is not up to the level of the breeds which do get BIS. Now, I'm no Cairn specialist, but I really think that the over all quality of Cairns is better than a lot of other breeds being shown, especially breeds outside of the terrier group.
- The terrier group is the most competitive group in dogs. I'm partial to this theory. Terriers dominate the big shows.
- There are more owner handlers in Cairns than in breeds which go BIS frequently. While this may be true, when Cairns are paired with a professional handler they still get overlooked.
While I have no desire to see the Cairn become so popular that we see the kind of negatives associated with top ten registrations, I would like to see Cairns recognized for their many admirable traits. I think Cairn temperament just epitomizes show attitude. I also think Cairns are just as cute as it gets. Am I just being too Walter Mitty when I dream of going BIS?