Moonshadow Belgian Shepherds, Australia

 

Show Results

 

 

Les and Rhianne on the runa

 

 

Why are Show Results important?

 

In Australia, there are various types of events in which dogs and their owners can compete. What we are referring to here is what are sometimes called "confirmation" shows, or Championship shows.  At these shows, judges who are certified by their state canine council assess each dog against the recognised standard for their particular breed. In Australia as in many other countries,  Belgian Shepherds are assessed in relation to the standard published by the FCI - The Fédération Cynologique Internationale as adopted by the Australian National Kennel Council (see http://www.ankc.org.au/Breed_Details.aspx?bid=206). Dogs are initially divided into classes based on their breed, age and sex. Belgian Shepherds are of four recognised varieties (Groenendaels, Tervuerens, Malinois and Laekenois), and in Australian shows, each variety is treated as a separate breed. 

 

Class winners compete to be judged the best dog or bitch of their breed, known as the Challenge.  By awarding a Challenge Certificate to a dog or bitch, the judge certifies that "this exhibit is of such outstanding merit as to be worthy to qualify for the title of `Australian Champion.'" The male and female Challenge winners in a breed then compete for the "Best of Breed" award.  Challenge Certificate and Best of Breed winners are awarded Challenge Points which they can accumulate over their show careers.  One hundred such points are required to qualify for the title of Australian Champion.

 

Belgian Shepherds are classified as belonging to the Working Dog Group, so the Best of Breed Belgians later face the best of breed winners of all the other working dog breeds - the winner being the Best Exhibit in Group, followed by the Runner-up Best Exhibit in Group. Other group-level contests determine the best of each class across the group - Best Baby Puppy in Group, Best Junior in Group, etc. Finally, the winners from each group face each other for the Best in Show awards.

 

The standard for Belgian Shepherds lists a great many details which make up the ideal dog, and the factors that each judge focuses upon probably vary, so an award by any particular judge may not mean a great deal. However, consistent awards by judges do tend to indicate that the dog or bitch is generally seen as an outstanding example of the breed. 

 

So showing dogs is a worthwhile way of assessing their adherence to breed standards, and is also an entertaining amateur sport.

Want to know more about showing? Click here

 

How have Moonshadow dogs fared in Dog Shows?

 

We earned our first Challenge Certificate at a Dog Show with our young girl Shadow (Mashiara Moonshadow) in April, 1995, and Shadow went on to achieve the status of Australian Champion before the end of that year.  In February, 1996 our Baxter (Barakuma Knight Errant) joined Shadow and us in the Show ring with his first Challenge Certificate.  Baxter too achieved his Australian Champion status in September 1996.  Shadow went on to win 579 Challenge points before her retirement in 1999 and was later declared a Grand Champion by the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club of NSW.  Baxter won 328 Challenge points before his retirement in 2003. Shadow's son Zulu hit the Show Ring in September 1998 and earned his Australian Champion title by May 1999.

 

Although our love for the Belgian Shepherd Breed continued to grow, we were not active in the Show Ring during 2000-2002.  In 2003, however, we returned to the sport with the arrival of our Paco (Corsini Lysander from the UK), who was already an English Champion when he came to us.  First shown in Australia in January, 2003, Paco earned his Australian Champion title by July of that same year!  Paco and Zulu performed strongly in the Show Ring during 2003 through 2007, and in 2005 they were joined by our latest addition, Rhianne (Ebontide Parisian Affair), who was also imported from the UK. Rhianne won her first Challenge Certificate in March 2005 and achieved her Australian Champion title by November, 2005.

 

The year 2005 was a good  year in the Show Ring, with the three competing Moonshadow dogs winning a total of 530 Challenge Points, and winning Working Dog Group level awards seven times. In addition, Paco's children and grandchildren performed so well that he won Best Sire in Show at three Belgian Shepherd Specialty Shows!

 

Personal and family matters resulted in us not being as active in the show ring during 2006. In particular, we did not show after September, so our yearly total was only 375 Challenge Points, down on 2005's record. There were, however, a number of highlights. These included Zulu winning Best Australian Bred Working Dog on three occasions and runner-up best Working Dog at the Sapphire Coast Kennel and Obedience Club show on 17th February, 2006. We were all pleased when on Rob's Birthday, both Zulu and Paco won at Working Dog Group level, with Zulu winning best Australian Bred Working Dog and Paco wining Best Open Working Dog at the same show - the Bega Valley Kennel and Obedience Club show of 12 February 2006.  A few days later, Rhianne had her turn and won Best Junior Working Dog. A bit later in the year, we entered Paco and Zulu in two Veteran's Sweepstakes, and were very pleased when Paco was placed in the top three in one, and Zulu in the other. We were also very pleased when one of Zulu's Best Australian Working Dog awards came from Mrs Barbara Banbury of England, who had recently judged Best in Show at the famous British Crufts Show. She praised Zulu very highly when handing out the ABIG award.

 

The 2007 show season got off to a good start for us with Moonshadow stalwarts Zulu and Paco both wining 3 Best of Breed awards at 4 shows in January, 2007. With a Best of Breed win at the Dapto Show, Paco surpassed 600 total Challenge points, and with his Best of Breed win at the Sapphire Coast Show, Zulu surpassed 700 Challenge points. Our new puppies - Magic (Moonshadow Black Magic) and Avalon (Moonshadow Avalon) joined Paco and Zulu in the Show Ring for the first time at the Bega Valley Show in Bermagui on 9th February. Shortly thereafter at the ACTCA Canberra Autumn International Festival shows on 17 March and on 19 March, 2007, Magic won Best Baby Puppy in the Working Dog Group at both shows under Canadian judges! Also a big achievement was our Paco's winning Best of Breed Tervueren at the Sydney Royal Easter Show on 15 April, 2007, under Ms Kornelia Butrimova, a Lithuanian judge! Paco then passed 700 total Challenge points with his subsequent Best of Breed win at the Working Dog Club of NSW show on 6 May 2007, and we were very pleased when he took out Reserve Challenge Dog at the Belgian Specialty Show held by the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club of NSW on 4-5 August, 2007, under the well-known Belgian Judge Fermin Aergeerts (see the critique on our News webpage).

 

Magic again triumphed at the Parkes weekend of shows on 9 and 10 June, 2007, winning Best Minor Puppy in the Working Dog Group at both shows, and winning third place in the 6-12 months Sweepstakes on the first day and first place on the second day! Following this up at the Tullamore and Trundle shows on 11-15 August, Magic won First in the 6-12 Months old sweepstakes four times in a row at Tullamore. He also won Best Puppy in the Working Dog Group three times out of five and was the Runner Up Best Exhibit in the Working Dog Group one of these times. Congratulations also go to his sister Avalon who won Best Junior in the Working Dog Group in one of the Tullamore shows, and again at the Tuggerah Lakes show on 19 October, 2007. Paco continued to roll along, passing 800 total Challenge points at the Far South East Kennel Club show on 10 November, 2007.  At that same show, he was awarded "Best Veteran in Show", and on the following day won Best Open Dog in the Working Dog Group. Quite an achievement for an almost 10 year old!

 

A trip to Newcastle the following weekend saw another Best Junior in the Working Dog Group award, this time to Magic. The weekend saw both Magic and Avalon having won enough Challenge Points, including the required 25 points after the age of 1 year, for them to qualify for their Australian Champion awards. It also saw us surpass our previous record of 530 Challenge Points in one year, so there was much to celebrate!

 

We took a break during December 2007 and January 2008, but returned to the ring in February 2008, with Magic winning another Best Junior Dog in the Working Dog Group at his first show of the year, at Kangaroo Valley. We were even more pleased when at the Sofala Show on 24 February 2008, Magic won Best Exhibit in the Working Dog Group! In addition, big congratulations were due to Paco when he achieved the 1000 Challenge Points required for his Grand Championship title at the St George District Kennel Club Show on 31 May, 2008. 

 

Because we had litters born in June and September 2008, as well as some travel commitments, we did very little showing during the second half of 2008.  However, we were delighted when Paco was awarded Reserve Challenge on the first day of the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club of NSW's annual specialty show in August 2008 under Ms Chris Malinoski from the UK, and then Challenge Dog and Best Veteran in Show under Mrs Janet Andrews from the UK on the second day of this show. And as a follow on, Paco was also awarded Best Veteran (10+ years) in Show and Best Sire in Show at the Illawara and South Eastern BSDC Specialty Show in October 2008 under Mme M F Varlet from France!

 

The year 2009 began well on 10 January when Dream won Best Puppy in the Working Dog Group at the Penrith Show, and at the same time little Dancer took part in her first show. Although she won her class, she was out shown on the day by her brother Arry (Moonshadow Memories), who was awarded Best Baby Puppy in the Working Dog Group! And the following weekend at the Dapto Show, we were delighted when Dancer came first in her first 3-6 month old puppy sweepstakes, out of 27 entries. Also at the Dapto Show, Dream won her first Challenge!

 

Another happy time for us was 15 March, at the Tarago Show, where our two little girls both excelled. Dream won first place in the 6-12 months old puppy sweepstakes, and went on to win Best Minor Puppy in the Working Dog Group. Then Dancer won Best Baby Puppy in the Working Dog Group, and followed it up by winning Best Baby Puppy in the entire Show!

 

We were also delighted when Dream was selected as the Best Puppy of the Day when she appeared at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in April, 2009.  In May 2009, we went to a weekend of shows at Newcastle, and our little girl Dancer won Best Minor Puppy in the Working Dog Group at two shows in a row!  Congratulations to both our youngsters! Also in May, we were very pleased to be informed that Grace, from our 31 October, 2006 litter had been awarded her Community Companion Dog (CCD) title.

 

Early August saw the annual Specialty Show of the Belgian Shepherd Dog club of NSW. Our girl Dream was awarded Best Junior in Show, and Paco followed up by once again winning Best Veteran in Show. At the end of August, at the Penrith District show, Dream again won Best Junior in the entire show, as well as Runner-up Best Working Dog. Not to be left out, little Dancer won Best Puppy in the Working Dog Group at the same show, and repeated this win in early September at the ACT Junior Kennel Club show in Canberra!

 

In late September 2009, with her Best of Breed wins at the Cessnock Dog Club shows in Newcastle, our Dream amassed enough Challenge Points to qualify for her Australian Champion title. Congratulations to our pretty girl!  Not long after this, with her Best of Breed wins at the Goulburn show on 1 November 2009, Dancer also obtained the points necessary for her to gain the Australian Champion title. Good on ya Dancer!

 

Unfortunately, we lost 3 of our old dogs (Baxter, Peppy and Paco) in 4 months from December 2009 through April 2010. These sad losses plus other commitments meant very limited showing during the first half of 2010. We were very pleased, however, when Dream’s sister Raina (now Australian Champion Moonshadow Graecious Winterain) was awarded her Australian Championship in February, 2010. We spent much of the winter of 2010 at our new holiday house in Queensland, and two of the highlights were when our little Dancer won Best Intermediate in the Working Dog Group at the Redcliffe Peninsula Kennel Club show in August and Best Open Dog in the Working Dog Group at the Western Suburbs Kennel Club Show in September. And we were again pleased for Raina when she was awarded her JD (Jumping Dog) and CCD (Community Companion Dog) titles in July, 2010. Thanks primarily to Raina’s achievements during the year, we were awarded “Advance Best Belgian Shepherd Tervueren Breeder for 2010” by Dogzonline.com.au.

 

During the latter part of 2010 and much of 2011 we were preoccupied with selling our heritage house in Bowral and buying a newer one close by. As a result we were not in the show ring from October 2010 until November 2011. When we recommenced showing then, we were very pleased when our Dancer was awarded 3 Best Australian Bred Working Dog awards in a row at the 3 day show weekend in Bemboka. These shows also marked the entrance to the ring of our new little Japanese Spitz puppy, “Coco” (Daesdaemar Moon and Stars).

 

Dancer’s winning ways continued in 2012, with her winning Runner Up Best Exhibit in the Working Dog Group at the Kangaroo Valley show in February, 2012, and Best Exhibit in Show at the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club of Queensland Open show in March, 2012. We were also very pleased with our old boy Zulu, who won the 10+ year old Veteran’s Sweepstakes at the Bungendore PA&H Society Show in January, 2012. This was his first return to the show ring since 2007, and at 14 years of age, Zulu was easily the oldest dog competing, and the only dog in the show born in the previous century! Sadly, Zulu passed away in April 2012, the last of our old dogs.  The young ones continued on, with Dream having a litter of puppies which kept her out of the show ring during much of 2012.

 

We did, however, continue showing Dancer as well as Coco.  Dancer did well, spending most of the year at the top of the Dogzonline Breed Challenge listing, and notching up over 500 total Challenge points by year’s end. We were also  pleased when Coco was awarded her Australian Champion title on 8 October, 2012. In addition, we acquired another lovely little Japanese Spitz girl, Esilanna Cupcake, known as “Poppy”. Poppy also began to join us in the show ring from September, 2012.

 

Early 2013 was Dancer’s turn to have puppies, and because we were busy with this new family, we did not show until May, 2013, and then focused on Poppy, our newest. We were very pleased when Poppy won Best Baby Puppy in the Working Dog ring 3 times in just under 2 weeks in May, 2013. She was awarded her Australian Champion title in September, 2013. Unfortunately, however, Coco had to be de-sexed in November 2013.

 

We returned to the ring in 2014, showing our two little Japanese Spitz girls, Coco and Poppy. Coco began competing in the Neuter class and by mid-year had won 16 Best Neuter in Group awards as well as 3 Best Neuter in Show awards. This resulted in her leading the Dogzonline Neuter Competition for both her breed and the entire Non-sporting Group by mid-year. In May, 2014 she was officially awarded her Neuter Champion title.  Poppy continued to show well, winning 3 Best Intermediate in Group awards during the same period, and remaining in the top ten of the Dogzonline Breed Challenge for Japanese Spitz.

 

In addition, Dream’s son Zephyr was making a name for himself in the obedience ring, obtaining his CCD title on 26 February, 2014. Dream’s sister Raina continued her achievements in the obedience/agility areas, being awarded her Strategic Pairs Dog Excellent (SPDX) title in May, 2014 and her Jumping Dog Masters (JDM) title in November, 2014.Again in November 2014, we were very pleased to acquire a lovely little boy Japanese Spitz, “Teddy” (Mannerking Front Page News) from Mannerking Kennels in Goulburn, NSW.

 

The new year 2015 saw us back in the Show Ring with all three of our Japanese Spitz – Coco, Poppy and Teddy. Coco continued to do well in the Neuter Competition, scoring 11 Best Neuter in Group awards in her first 12 starts, as well as a Best Neuter in Show award. Poppy continued to be a strong competitor, while young Teddy got a strong start, including winning two in-group level awards early in the year. We are optimistic for all three as we move further into the year.

 

 

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Comments, questions or like more information? Email us, Rob & Lesley Kane, at robandlesley48@ozemail.com.au