AKC Gazette Columns

AKC Gazette - October 1992

FROM THE ALPS TO THE ROCKIES

The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America national specialty show, obedience trial, futurity, sweepstakes and tracking test was held May 14-17, in Colorado Springs, at the Colorado Springs Sheraton Hotel. For Mountain Dog enthusiasts, there could be no better setting for a specialty than the Rockies. The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of the Rockies, serving as the host club, did its best in delivering western hospitality at its finest. Special thanks to Roxanne Bortnick, show chairperson, and Sara Karl, assistant show chairperson, who were ever-present and always helpful.

The beautiful show catalog-truly a Berner souvenir to be cherished- had been planned by Kathy Roth, a BMDCA member since 1977. Sadly, Roth lost her battle with cancer on November 10, 1991, at age 36. At the request of the show Committee, Roth's plans for the catalog were beautifully realized by Mary Rogers. The specialty catalog was fittingly dedicated to Roth's memory.

Saluting the Winners

The first BMDCA futurity was judged by Jean Bridge, a longtime BMD breeder. Her selection for Best in Futurity, out of 48 entries, came from the 6-to-9 Month Puppy dogs: Ledgewood's High Opinion, breeder- owned by K. Behrens. Best of Opposite Sex in Futurity, coming from the 9-to-12 Month Puppy Bitch class, was DeGrasso's Glory V Legacy, owned by A. Comfort and bred by B. DeGrasso.

Karen Ward, a BMD breeder-judge, presided over the 17th annual sweepstakes, with 93 competitors. Her selection for Best in Sweepstakes was the 15-to-18 Month Junior Bitch, Ltng Ridge Ilsa of Lks Edge, owned by M. and W. Townsend, and bred by J. and N. Miniter.

Regular classes, with 154 entries present, were judged by Klaus Anselm. His choice of Winners Dog was the Open Dog, Deerpark Johann Brewster, owned by M. McLaughlin and D. Dean, and bred by J. Weiss and D.. Dean. Reserve Winners Dog, also from Open, was Yukon-Kenai V D Hausmatt, owned H. Widmer and bred by H. Leisi.

The nod for Winners Bitch went to Cita V Sagispicher, from Open, owned by K. Behrens and bred by M. Eiff. This was Cita's second time winning Winners Bitch at the national. At the 1991 national specialty, Cita, coming from the 6-to-9 Month Puppy class, at her very first show, won Best in Sweepstakes and Winners Bitch, and she received an Award of Merit. She 9adnot been shown since then when she won at this year's show. Two consecutive wins of Winners have been achieved only one other time, by the late Ch, Broken Oaks Dieter V Arjana, C.D., in 1981 and 1982.

The 1992 Reserve Winners Bitch was the 9-to-12 Month Puppy Bitch, Hope's Picture Perfect Camai, owned by W. Corbin and T. Hooper, and bred by J. Steinheimer. Tracie Hooper was judge Allen Odom's choice for Best Junior Handler.

The Veteran classes brought forth the usual tears and reminiscences. Veteran Dog, from the 6-to-9 Year class, was Am/Can. Ch. Winterthur's Trevor V Bev's, C.D., owned by G. H. Zimmer and B. Burney, and bred by B. Burney. The 9-Years-or-Older Veteran Dog was Car-Mar's Ivanhoe's V Ripper, owned by F. M. Lockhart and bred by C. Lockhart.

Veteran Bitch, from the 6-to-9 Year class, was Ch. Frostytop Leaper V Roundtop, owned by J. Leistner and bred by M. J. and M.B. Thomson. The oldest of the Veteran, entries were the two in the 9-Years-or-Older class; both of which were 10 1/2; and both looked wonderful. Alphorn's Black Velvet, breeder-owned by G. Johnson, took first place. Ringside spectators felt a tremor of nostalgia as the Best of Opposite Sex at the 1983 BMDCA National Specialty, Ch. Taunas Lady Silvertip, owned by J. Smalley, rounded the ring with her handler. The veterans bring back treasured memories.

The tension for Best of Breed mounted as Anselm sorted through 49 specials. His final choice for Best of Breed was Ch. Swiss Stars Blue Baron, owned by M.K Reed and bred by B. and B, Hefner. Best of Winners and Best of Opposite Sex was the Winners Bitch, Cita V Sagispicher.

Award of Merit recipients were De-Li's Brace Yourself, owned by L. Ostermiller and bred by S. Landis; Ch. Konig V Speicher, owned by E. and K. Campbell, and bred by J. and L. Smith; Ch. Travois Apollo V Mystic Mtn., owned by K. Baru and bred by D. Webber; and Ch. Rockie's Boden von Weidenholz, owned by P. Heath and bred by K. Roney.

Best Stud Dog was Ch. Konig V Speicher, a Merit recipient. Best Brood Bitch was Ch. Gruezi Dear Abby, C.D., owned by D. Wilkins and bred by K Ardenes and W. Getzel.

In obedience, the Highest Scoring Dog in Regular Classes was Ch. Swiss Star's Nitro Whataas, T.D., owned by A. Rifenburg and bred by B. Hefner, with a score of 196. He was also one of two, out of the four entered, to pass the tracking test. The other passing entry was Durbach Bravo Ziggy Stardust, T.D.X., owned by B. Sanders and bred by J. Uhl.

This year three non-AKC events were held in conjunction with the specialty a draft test, a herding instinct test and an agility test. These show cased the versatility of the breed as a worker.

The national was superb, from the haunting sounds of the alphorns with mighty Pike's Peak in the distance to the thrill of the carting demonstration.

Record Breakers for Berners

Conformation: The 1992 national specialty's WB, BW and BOS winner, Cita V Sagispicher-who was beautifully handled by Bobbie Kinley-was at the Ladies' Dog Club show in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, on May 30, for her third show ever and her first all-breed show. There, she won WB, BW and BB (BMD-supported entry) under judge Donald M. Booxbaum. She then went on to receive Working Group I. from judge Lee A. Reasin.

The ultimate choice, now narrowed from an entry of over 2,000 dogs, was made by judge John Honig, who selected Cita as Best in Show and having such a unique finish to her title was set a new record for Berners! (Editor's note: Cita was featured in September's On All Fronts department.)

Obedience: Liskarn America Bound Jerry, (Can.) C.D., N.D.D., owned by S. Dombroski, A. Jaskiewicz and D. Mulvey, earned his Canadian Companion Dog title in Rothesay, New Brunswick, with incredible scores: At the St. John Obedience Club, May 2, he earned 199 points and HIT under judge Barbara Saunders, and 199 1/2 points (another HIT from judge Ronald Marks. On May 3, at the Kennebecasicis Obedience Club, he took third place with 197½ points, under judge Ronald Marks, and judge Barbara Saunders awarded him 200 points and HIT.

Jay Jay, as he is called, is the first Bernese to have earned a perfect 200 score. This has been verified by BMDCA records. Alison Jaskiewicz, one of his proud owners, as well as his trainer/handler, is delighted that videotapes revealed his tail was wagging throughout his performances. That's a nice closing!

- Miss Julie Crawford, 26391 May Twilley Rd., Delmar, MD 21875

October 1992