The Bonaforte and Heliodor Hounds have been out on the show circuit recently and done well in both dog and bitch classes at various venues and under some auspicious judges. The showing year (post Crufts 2013) started with Harker (Bonaforte’s Amadeus) gaining his Crufts 2014 qualification at the Irish Wolfhound Club Championship Show at Stoneleigh Park in March under breed specialist judge Anne Webb (Foinaven). Harker gained a 3rd place in Puppy Dog, against some stiff competition from other kennels such as Kathy Johnson (Nellwyn). Harker has then gone on to qualify for Crufts a further 3 times already this year and has excellent potential for a young dog that still has a long show career in front of him. Congratulations to Penny and Ant, Harker’s very proud owners, on all their show success and also on raising a beautiful hound with an amazing temperament who is a real credit to his breed.
July saw yet more success coming through for Heliodor Irish Wolfhounds with Hector (Heliodor Ranger of the Shire) gaining his Crufts qualifying place in Limit Dog at East of England Champ show under breed judge Sandy Dawson (Shalico). The competition was once again strong, as was the sun beating down on the ring, but Sandy Dawson was superb in her ring management and ensured that all dogs were under the cover of shade as much as possible. Despite the heat that day, all the dogs exhibited themselves very well and best of breed (and bitch CC) went to Louise Pinkney’s lovely girl, Ch Rivenhound Imperial Cream to Hydebeck, with Mascotts Lottie JW (owned and bred by Maggie Holder and Dave Howe) taking the reserve bitch ticket. The boys also looked fabulous with Driftcot Billy Elliot (owner by Kathy Goodall) taking the dog CC and Carol Stirling’s lovely boy Baron (Clanlily Baron of the Glen) taking the reserve. Elaine and Gary Bogart’s lovely Ozy (Nellwyn’s Mr Ozymandias) gained Best Puppy title too and added to his ongoing show success.
At the end of the same month 3 of the Heliodor Hounds travelled up to Leeds Championship show at Harewood House under judge Robin Searle. All 3 dogs did extremely well and qualified for Crufts; Moose (Heliodor in the Mists of Time) took 3rd place in Postgraduate Bitch and her mum, Misty (In the Mist of Prehen at Heliodor), gained a 1st in Veteran Bitch and also Best Veteran overall – so mum and daughter did the double and neither of them had not be shown before at championship level!
Our third success at Leeds was the one and only HP (Heliodor Heypresto) who was back in the show ring for the first time in nearly a year, following his illness and he too achieved a qualification by being placed 2nd in Junior Dog – an amazing comeback for a dog that could not walk 8 months prior. Other exhibitors that went home as happy as the Heliodor owners were Jackie Morris, whose lovely bitch Amarach Aidah, took the bitch CC and Best of Breed and also Maggie Holder and Dave Howe with Mascotts Crackerjack gaining the dog CC. Both of these dogs have since gone on to gain their 3rd CC’s and so Champion status and subsequent shows – congratulations to Jackie Morris and to Maggie Holder and Dave Howe from all of us here at Bonaforte Irish Wolfhounds. Bonaforte hounds had double success in August too with Harker gaining 2nd place in Junior Dog at the Houndshow at Stafford Showground under breed specialist judge Chris Amoo (Sade) and Nigella (Bonaforte’s Back in Black) taking 1st in Junior Bitch (and qualifying for Crufts)at the City of Birmingham Championship show at Stoneleigh Park, courtesy of judge Dr Ron James. This was another first time showing experience for one of the Bonaforte girls as not only had Nigella not been to a show before, she had not actually left the Farm up until that point! She took it all in her stride however, and showed herself beautifully with Mick Seals’ expert handling and Team Bonaforte are extremely proud of her. City of Birmingham 2013 was another champion making show for Irish Wolfhounds as the dog CC made Mascotts Crackerjack up and the bitch CC and Best of Breed saw Jan Pain’s girl Ravensbeech Fidelia gaining her 3rd ticket and she also went on to win the Hound Group – huge congratulations to Jan. Best puppy went to the lovely Gartlove Gisella, owned and bred by Ann and James Macaulay, yet another lovely dog from the well known Scottish kennel. We must also mention the Postgraduate Bitch class, whose results delighted many people ringside, particularly Jo Braine’s girl winning the class (Solstrand Celtic Flame for Hollyhenge), Sumner’s Ballyphelan Blackcap placing 2nd and Caroline Sheppard’s special girl, Whisper (Tathar Lussea Goldswift) gaining the 3rd place and a Crufts qualification at the same time.