The Amice Pitt Rally is an annual event, which is held in honour of the "founder" of our breed, Mrs Amice Pitt. Each year, it is hosted by each of the Breed Clubs in rotation, throughout the UK.

The 2003 Rally fell to the Northern Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club to organise. What seems like such a long time ago, a small Sub group of the Committee was delegated to begin planning the event. It was decided to hold the rally over the first weekend in August, with the Championship Show being held on the Saturday and the Rally itself on the Sunday.

The venue chosen was the picturesque Wentworth Castle, in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. The Castle today is used as a College with plenty of student rooms to accommodate all those who wished to stay for the two days as well as provide the catering requirements for the attendees. The Hall is a large Georgian building with an impressive facade and also boasting large, beautiful grounds and gardens, which provided a wonderful setting for the activities of the weekend.

 

The weekend began on Friday evening when a few enthusiasts booked in for the weekend and had a dinner in the nearby restaurant. The majority arrived early on the Saturday morning and were greeted by beautiful blue skies and brilliant sunshine.

There was an excellent entry for the show and it being a special event, the club had invited two illustrious judges from overseas. These were Brian Mitchell (Dogs) from Australia and Robert Taylor (Bitches) from America. The day was blessed by constant sunshine and by the time lunchtime arrived, everyone was glad of the break and the chance to cool down a little. The judging was completed in the late afternoon, after some lovely dogs had been exhibited.

After the judging had been completed, there was just enough time for people to get ready for the evening events. The fun commenced at 7:30pm with a performance by the Dronfield Brass Band. It was a perfect evening and the company were able to sit outside and enjoy the entertainment in the cool of the evening. At 8pm the dinner commenced and 70 people sat down to a pleasant and convivial three-course meal and coffee. Most sensible people gradually wandered away to their bed, but one or two of the more "foolish" perhaps, set up their own impromptu party in the students lounge. A good time was had by all, but some lived to regret it on the following morning, but that is as much as I am saying!!!

Sunday was once again a scorcher and provided the more relaxed and fun part of the weekend. The events began at 11am with The Parade of Champions and we were fortunate enough to have no less than twelve beautiful dogs to admire. They were:-

 

Ch Tameline Northern Dancer Ch Volney Quest
Ch Paulian Magpie Ch Timsar Miss Chief
Ch Charlottetown Trueman Ch Homerbrent Expression
Ch Ricksbury Royal Review of Brymarden Ch Winnie at Pascavale
Ch Ricksbury Camilla of Stavonga Ch Sanickro Intuition
Ch Royal Influence of Charterwood Ch Sanickro Made by Magic

Next came The Puppy Parade. We had sixteen puppies with ages ranging from 3 ½ months to 8 months and it was a delight to see the little ones scampering around the ring and for some of them, enjoying their first taste of the showring. Our thanks for bringing their babies goes to Jean & John Grant; Kirsty McFarlane; Sandra Mowatt; Ray & Elaine Waddington; Sue & Stuart Korn; Lorraine Gillhespy; Pauline & Ian Sidgwick; Brian & Marion Claydon; Lynn Crane; and Norma Bloice.

Sadly, there was only one dog in the Rescue Parade and that was Cassie who is a 2 year old owned for 6 months by Mrs Stead. When she went to live with her new owner, she was in poor condition and very introverted, but now she is much more confident and her coat is looking shiny and healthy.

The last event before lunch, was the Veteran Parade. This had an entry of nine, three of which were Champions. All were remarkably fit and were enjoying their turn in the ring and showing the youngsters how it should be done. The spectators showed their appreciation by giving a special round of applause for these wonderful stalwarts.

The Veterans were:- Phylmars Pearly Queen at Norcrest ( 7yrs) Lillico Moonlight Serenade of Spindlepoint (7 ¾ yrs) Parkwall Lewis (8yrs) Ch Charlottetown Trueman (7 ½ yrs) Ch Ricksbury Camilla of Stavonga (8 ¼ yrs) Ch Ricksbury Royal Review of Brymarden (8 ½ yrs) Asmena Limited Edition (7yrs) Paulian Royal Gem (8yrs) Leelyn Lady in Lace (13yrs)

Just before lunch we had a brief but interesting and informative talk from Brian Mitchell about judging and showing Cavaliers in Australia.

 

Brian has a wealth of knowledge both from this country and from his adoptive Australia. His talk was well received and several questions were raised by the spectators and ably answered by Brian. He gave us all a really good insight into the show scene in Australia, more details of which are given later in the magazine.

After a lovely buffet lunch, we were all ready to face the fun classes and the other competitions, which were taking place around the show ground. Our judge for this part of the day was Mrs Lesley Jupp and she had an unenviable job to do, but managed to carry it off very well and even seemed to enjoy the task.

First off were the best six legs and we had some lovely sights to behold! There were eleven entries and the eventual winners were Ray Waddington and Cloudy, because the judge thought "they were the best legs equipped to climb mountains". Second was Robert Lamont and Helene, but the judge refused to say why!!

Next came the Egg and Spoon race and if ever there was any cheating it was in this competition. There were thirteen entries and the aim of the game was to race to the tape with an "egg" on a spoon and a dog on the lead. There was meant to be no holding the egg in place and if the egg was dropped the competitor was supposed to go back to where they had dropped the egg. In the end, the dubious winner was Elliot Hughes and Lennon closely followed by an equally dubious Robert Lamont and Hope. Third prize went quite fairly to Chris Knight and Raffles and fourth was awarded to Jill Owen and Lewis after a steward's enquiry!

The Dog and Bonio Race caused much raucous laughter and whilst some dogs played around with their biscuits, Pauline Sidgwick's Gemma gobbled it up in no time. Second was Cheryl Dean's Jess, closely followed by Phillip Carthy's Abby and fourth prize went to Jill Owen's dog Lewis.

The final class of the day was the Fancy Dress and there were some very imaginative exhibits in the ring. There were seven entries and all deserved and got a big round of applause for their efforts. First, was Pauline Sidgwick with Beth, a Dachshund, dressed up as a "Hot Dog." Second was Elaine Waddington with Patsy dressed up as "Little Miss Muffet" and third prize went to Tryphena with Archie, both of whom were beautifully dressed as "Two Fairies." Other exhibits were Angela Price and Minty as "Lady and the Tramp," Ray Waddington and George as "A Big Game Hunter," Mrs Stead and Cassie as "Dog Tired" and finally Carol Egan and Albert as "Mummy's Boy."

Throughout the day there were other attractions ongoing and these included the Old Photograph Competition (It was the photographs which were old), which was won by Mary Ann Hogan; Guess the Birthday of the Toy Cavalier was admirably won by Carol Siddle; The bottle stall was very popular with our friends from Ireland and the Tombola stall, Club stall, Cake Stall and the Art Gallery were all well supported.

The finale was celebrated by the serving of a wonderful cake, which was home made and very professionally iced, with all the four Cavalier colours, by Elaine Howard. A slice of cake and a nice glass of wine was a fitting finish to what turned out to be a very enjoyable and happy event. We were blessed by the weather and the lovely setting. We had a good show on the Saturday and lots of fun on the Saturday night and Sunday Rally. All in all a very successful event and compliments must go to the organisers of the event.

Lynn Crane
November 2003

Results of Championship Show 2003