At the AGM Stirling - aka Du Maurier Sterling Silver - won the 'Ribbon Parade Dog of the Year'. Sounds auspicious, and I am very happy to have won it with him. Doesn't carry quite as much kudos as Champ show winnings etc though, but we are working on that!
For anyone interested I will explain the pecking order of showing opportunities in the Dog world here in NZ.
At the top level are Championship shows. A dog (and owner) must be registered with the NZ Kennel club to enter. Champ shows occur as both breed specialty (in my case Cavalier KCS) or All Breeds.
At an All Breeds show there are 7 groups - Gundog, Hound, Terrier etc, with my group being Toy.
For each breed in each group, exhibitors enter the appropriate class with each dog or bitch, usually according to age in the early years (Baby puppy, Puppy, Junior, Intermediate) then in NZ Bred or Open categories.
First all the dogs in each class are judged, and each class-winning dog goes in a line up for the 'DCC', or Dog Challenge Certificate. The second placed dog gets what is called RDCC (Reserve)
This is then repeated for the bitches of the breed.
When a dog (or bitch) wins 8 CCs he/she becomes a Champion.
After the BCC (Bitch Challenge Certificate) is awarded, the Best dog and bitch are up for the Best of Breed (BOB). The BOB competes with the BOBs from every other Toy breed at the end of group judging. A reserve Best of Breed is also awarded.
Next all the class winners (Dog vs Bitch) go head to head to see who wins each class of breed. These winners also compete against the other breeds to see who wins each class of group.
Finally all the group winners go up against each other (7 - one from each group - to determine BIS - Best in Show. You know the movie. Class winners also compete for Puppy in Show, Junior in show etc.
A breed specialty Champ show, of which our club holds 2 per year, is the same but no other breeds to go against obviously. Wins at these shows are revered as entries are usually high, and a specialty Cavalier judge is appointed. There are also a number of 'stakes' classes to compete in e.g. best dog head, best movement etc.
Open shows also exist and operate in the same way, but no CCs are awarded. Neuters (e.g. Hugo) can enter most Open shows, all Ribbon parades, and some specialty breed shows (our Tiki CKCS club allows entries for neuters) Neuters cannot be entered in an All Breeds show. Reilly does not get entered in them either, as he is a bit nervous and not 'marked' correctly.
Ribbon Parades are opportunities for those who show less seriously, those with pets and those with young up and coming dogs to take part in a 'show'. Good training ground for novices, both dogs and owners. Again no CCs on offer, and in fact Champions cannot enter. The Stakes classes are often more 'fun' oriented, and it's more about having a go. That said, winning is also part of the fun! The winner at these days is called 'Best on Parade'.
So, across 2010, Stirling accrued the most Ribbon Parade points for a dog, and hence was the Ribbon Parade Cavalier Dog of the Year. And a shiny Silver cup to prove it.
I am itching to get my first CC with him though. I got the bitch CC with Stirling's half sister yesterday (Du Maurier Silver Spangle) but it will be sweeter when I get one with him! We have had 4 or 5 Reserve DCCs, the most notable being today. A large entry of 32 as it coincided with the AGM. This was about 1/4 of all the Toys entered. We beat out some lovely Cavaliers, and also got Junior of Breed. By the time it came to group judging however, he had had enough and was as flat as in the ring.
So he might not have any CCs towards being a champion yet, but he IS the Ribbon Parade Cavalier Dog of the year for the Tiki club!
PS The other cup is the Ribbon Parade 'Tenacity Cup'. Dogs who only enter at Tiki shows (no all breeds) can vie for the Tenacity Cup. Hugo won it in '08, Reilly in '09 and Hugo again in '10. Think I will let someone else have a go in '11, though my house will miss it!