Monday, December 15, 2008


Conspicuously absent from yesterday’s Eukanuba National Championship was the Giant Schnauzer, CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit. Spirit and handler Taffe McFadden were in Long Beach CA on Friday for the Long Beach Kennel Club show, the last of a week long group of warm up shows before the Eukanuba event.

CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry

This show turned out to be the most competitive and dramatic show this year since Westminster. For the first time in recent history, six of the finalists were the top ranked dog in their respective groups. Number One Sporting Dog, the Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, Number One Working Dog, Spirit, Number One Terrier, the Sealyham Terrier, CH Efbe's Hidalgo At Goodspice, Number One Toy Dog, the Affenpinscher, CH Tamarin Tug, Number One Non-Sporting Dog, the Standard Poodle,CH Randenn Tristar Affirmation, and the Number One Herding Dog, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, CH Coventry Vanity Fair, all stood for examination for lucky BIS Judge Virginia Lyne. In one of the few meetings between the top two dogs, Spirit prevailed.

CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit and handler Taffe McFadden

It what at first seemed a clever bit of strategy, Spirit and Taffe jetted off to Bethlehem PA to pick up a BIS Saturday at the Lehigh Valley Kennel Club Show. The split format of the Eukanuba show forced participants to forgo one day of showing in order to participate. Spirit and Taffe hoped to take advantage of the Pointer’s situation to pick up enough points to regain the lead in the national rankings. However, a winter storm paralyzed the Northeast this weekend, causing many flights to be cancelled and Taffe and Spirit ended up staying in Bethlehem to compete Sunday at the Delaware Water Gap Kennel Club show. We don’t know if they planned to be back in California for Sunday’s Eukanuba judging, but sitting at the airport with a group one rosette in your luggage after watching the Irish Setter, CH Beaubriar Premier Event, take BIS, must have been a let down.

CH Beaubriar Premier Event

There are only four shows left his year for Spirit to gather points in an attempt to overtake Holly in the race for the national title. Those four shows, sponsored by the kennel clubs of Salinas, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Oakland, are all in San Mateo in Northern California, right in Spirit’s backyard. If Holly, who is based on the East Coast, sits out these shows, she could forfeit the title.


  1. Billy,
    I don't understand -- you say that Spirit won the Group at the Eukanuba? I just got an email from the AKC saying this dog won the Group:
    Working: SILVERICE DANCING IN THE DARK an Alaskan Malamute known as “Justin” owned by Alisa Syar of Granite Bay, CA.

    Who actually won the Group?

    Love your blog. I check in with you every day.

  2. Sharon, Youare right. The Malamute was the Group Winner at the National Championship. Spirit was not at Eukanuba. She won the Group Sunday at the Delaware Water Gap Kennel Club show in Bethlehem PA. That's the Group One Rosette referenced in my post.