AKC Gazette Columns

AKC Gazette - January 1998

Farewell 1997, Hello '98

Milestones deserving special note as we look back at 1997 include the following:

A record Broken - When Ch. Zytya v Nesselacker , owned by Mary Dawson and bred by A. Krauchi, went BB at the first Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America national in 1976, her place in history was guaranteed. For the next 21 years males took the coveted award, despite the presence of some impressive bitches. Not until 1997 was her record shattered. Ch. Nashem's Taylor Maid, owned by breeder Sara and Randall Karl and the late Ruth Cooper, is our breed's most winning bitch. She adds this jewel to a string of successes: BOS at the '96 national, BOS at the '96 and BB at the.'97 regional, many group placements, more than 10 all-breed BISs, and such significant victories as BB at Westminster in '96 and Group III in'97. I hope the new year brings continued success to her and handler Jeni West.

A breeder remembered - In saluting the memory of Beatrice Knight (1905-1997), the inscriptions on two statues at the steps of the BMDCA national archives - "What is past is prologue" and "The heritage of the past brings forth the seeds of the future" - signify the strength of that which came before in creating the future, as Bea did with Sanctuary Woods. A legend for her contributions to Saint Bernards, in 1966 Bea bred the historic "B" litter of BMDs that gave the breed its first two champions., Sanctuary Woods Black Knight and Black Lancer. At 6 months, Knight was the first BMD to place in the group, and in the '70s Ch. Sanctuary Woods Gordo was our first Group I. Sanctuary Woods appeared in many pedigrees that touched the future. What a wonderful legacy!

A member honored - We presented the Outstanding Service Award and Lifetime Membership to Gwen Russell, who turns over the treasurer's books this month after having served in this office for 12 years. Her dedication to the breed and service to the club began in the early '70s. Her objectivity, wisdom and thoughtfulness made her a valued member, as well as a mentor to those seeking to understand the breed. She and her husband, Art, made significant contributions to the breed. Gwen, congratulations and thanks!

A major accomplishment has been the successful implementation of one of the club's objectives: "To encourage the organization of independent local Bernese Mountain Dog specialty clubs where sufficient fanciers of the breed exist to meet AKC requirements." Some of our 21 regional clubs have achieved AKC recognition, so there are more opportunities for Berner gatherings and regional specialties.

For example, the BMDC of Southeastern Wisconsin will host the BMDCA regional, on Feb. 28 in conjunction with the combined specialty clubs of Greater Milwaukee at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin. Claudia Buss will judge sweeps, Beverly Capstick conformation and junior handling, and Charles Bradshaw obedience. The BMDCA will support the entry on March 1 at the Cudahy Kennel Club show under Denise Dean. Entries for both shows close Feb. 11.

The national will be held Apr. 29 to May 3 in Warwick, R.I. Contact co-show chairs Alison Jaskiewicz (576 Jackson Rd., Mason, NH 03048; 603-878-2590) or Beth Atkinson (422 Sugar Rd., Bolton, MA 01740; 508-779-5201), or see my April column, if you can act fast.

The year ahead will be exciting as we celebrate our 30th anniversary. (Membership reached 62 by the end of 1968. It now hovers around 1,000.) Have a Bernerly New Year!

-]ulie Crawford, 26391 May Twilley Road, Delmar. MD 21875.