01 May May 2015
This was our big holiday of the year, and it was with great enthusiasm that we set off with the caravan and all the dogs both to visit the wonderful places in both Austria and Italy and take the opportunity to show the dogs overseas. We competed at 5 continental shows in 9 days finishing with the world show. We even managed to attend the Southern BMD club Championship Show on the way back home. During the second week-end of this trip Jeanette flew back home to honour her longstanding commitment to judge at Southern Counties Championship Show.
We travelled 24 hours and 1100 miles to arrive at the lakeside campsite in Klagenfurt our base set in the beautiful tourist region of Carinthia. The site was fantastic with adjacent parkland for the dogs to enjoy every morning and night. The days were extremely hot so we mostly lazed about for lots of the time and the dogs were happy to chill when not taking a swim in the cold lake to cool off. We took all the dogs in a cable car up a mountain, not only were Erik and Edna so well behaved for their first time and took it all in their stride but they thoroughly enjoyed running and playing in the mountain meadow whilst we enjoyed the views.
After almost 2 weeks we attended the Austrian Club breed (VSSO) Show at the beautiful setting in the mountains at Bodental in the south of Austria near the Slovenian border. At the hottest show we’ve ever been to Erik was graded Very Good in Junior Dog and Edna was Excellent in Junior Bitch and placed 3rd and Hattie was also Excellent in Open Bitch.
The next day we attended a lovely barbeque amongst Bernese people and dogs and it was great to see close on 20 Bernese from several countries, both dogs and bitches, young and old all sharing the garden freely together with no problems. Lovely food, good company made for a perfect evening.
Two days later we attended the Austrian Kennel Club’s Klagenfurt International CACIB show which was repeated the next day with another set of CACIBs. This time we were indoors and pleased to be out of the intense heat. All three of our dogs were graded Excellent and all were placed in their classes with Erik coming first in Junior male, Edna second in Junior female and Hattie 4th in Open female. Erik was also judged Best Junior in Breed. The next day we again had a full set of excellents and exactly the same placings as the day before with a different judge.
We then moved on to Milan, for the World Dog Show, travelling overnight because of the heat – which was 27 centigrade at 6.00 a.m. The first day for us was termed a club show, although to British eyes it was a Group show, again we were delighted that all our dogs were awarded excellent and placed in their classes with Erik 3rd, Edna 2nd and Hattie 3rd.
The next day was ‘the big one’ of the World Show itself. With around 30 in all our classes and a great atmosphere around the ring it was just great to be a part of it. Although ultimately unplaced, all our dogs were again graded excellent and Erik and Hattie both ‘made the cuts’ in their classes.
So, after 15 class entries at 5 shows under 7 judges from 7 different countries we had had 14 out of 15 excellent grading’s and 10 places including 2 firsts. This exceeded all our hopes as Erik was completely out of coat and 7 1/2 year old Hattie was competing against much younger bitches in the largest Open classes.
Just two days after the World Show we were back in England still on our way home but stopping for a day at the Southern BMDC Championship Show. Erik was second in Junior Dog, Edna won the Junior Bitch class and Hattie, this time handled as usual by Karen Bird, won the Veteran Bitch class and then went on to take the Bitch CC which was her third making her into a CHAMPION.
As usual on holidays our dogs went where ever we went, including some breath taking walks, into restaurants and shops, up mountains in cable cars, swam in lakes and generally received lots of public attention where ever we went. Our dogs were impeccably behaved all the time – well nearly all the time anyway!! We were really proud of our each of them. We enjoyed meeting up with old friends and also made lots of new ones .
What a great end to a great 3 weeks or so away from home – even a small problem with the car couldn’t dampen our day, (we just so glad it had happened on this side of the channel). We are still so proud and thrilled with our dogs achievements and look forward to another trip in the future! Definitely a holiday to remember.