SCOA Parent Club Results from the 2023 National Specialty
I went to the SCOA national this year for more breed exposure and to get to know a few more Spinone folks. I was there primarily to participate in the judges’ seminar. I sat in the corner of the ring on Wednesday, national day, acting as both a mentor and mentee. I intended to do the same thing on Friday. As word came to us Friday morning that the judge had not shown up, someone jokingly suggested that I could always judge. I laughed.
With about 10 minutes' notice, I wasn’t laughing anymore. Ann Bagnell, SCOA President, came to see me and asked if I would be willing to step in for the ailing judge. I found myself in the ring with the biggest entry I had ever judged.
Over the last 22 years, I’ve been to several SCOA nationals—sometimes showing, but often not. I went through judges’ education a couple of times. I was then honored to be asked to work on the judges’ education committee. But nothing ever prepared me for this day.
Since few people know anything about me, and no one got a chance to read my doggy biography or vote on having me do the judging I figured I would provide the info retroactively.
My partner and I got our first purebred dog in 1978—a Carin Terrier. Within a year or so we got a Standard Longhair Dachshund. It was through her that we met our first “show people” and had our first litter. Consequently, that brought us into the world of dogs, clubs, showing, and breeding.
I think we had about 15 Dachshund litters using the kennel name Bradauch (a combination of our last names). Over the years we had mostly Longhair and Wirehair dogs, although we did also have a couple of Smooths.
Around 1990, my partner’s and my relationship ended. This meant a change in living situation, a change in dog population capacity, and eventually a change in kennel name. Because our living situation was changing it was necessary for dogs we owned to go to co-owners or to other good homes. In the end, I had one Longhair bitch that went with me when I moved on.
I had been involved in putting on shows and/or being an officer of my all-breed club and my local Dachshund specialty club since I first was involved. I wanted to stay involved, but couldn’t really show anymore without dogs to show. I decided to check into judging. By around 1992, I was licensed for Dachshunds. I’ve since judged Dachshund specialties in Alabama, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Virginia, and Washington—including judging Longs the day before the national. I also have done all-breeds in various parts of the country from Florida to Wisconsin and California to New York. Once I got my final approval for Dachshunds, I applied for Whippets and got my final approval for them in 1999.
Later in 1999, I was offered a position with AKC, acting as an expert on Conformation. This involved setting aside my judging and moving from Indiana to North Carolina. So, my old Dachshund and I packed up and moved. I worked at AKC for 18 years, until my retirement in 2017.
During my time at AKC I wanted to continue showing, but somehow the idea of having people who knew me and who knew I worked at AKC competing against me seemed untoward. So, I decided to look for a new breed where I wasn’t known. I found Spinoni online and I decided that I really wanted to learn more about them. I went to a breed presentation done by Lynn Cox (Nine Gates) in Raleigh. After the presentation, I talked to her and found out we lived about ten miles from each other.
This, in turn, brought me to the first AKC Spinone national in 2001. I fell in love with the breed. When I was ready for a puppy, Lynn allowed me to have the pick bitch out of her Rufus Di Morghengo/Campari Di Morghengo litter. I finished Mary’s Conformation championship and (non-hunter that I am) managed to put a JH on her too. Next, I got pick a male from Lynn’s Fratac Dell’Adige/Frangelico Di Morghengo litter. George was WD at the 2006 national. I had one litter eventually. Because of my previous life situation changes, I came up with a new kennel name—Spindachtr.
When I retired, I applied to judge Spinoni and was granted “permit status” for the breed. I also regained my regular judging status for Dachshunds and Whippets. As of my arrival at the national this year, I needed one more Spinone assignment to move from permit status to regular status for the breed. I guess I’ve accomplished that now.
I sincerely appreciate all of the kind exhibitors who were patient and understanding with my somewhat hesitant ring procedure. I really was nervous.
I just looked back through the pictures from the day. It was a reminder of how much I love this breed. The positive changes in substance, coat, toplines, head planes, head shapes, and bone have been remarkable over the years I’ve been in the breed. The “type” has just gotten better and better and more and more consistent. When I look at the pictures from the day, I’m reminded that my decisions could have gone in any number of different directions. And while I don’t do any performance competitions or fieldwork myself, I do appreciate that these beautiful dogs have maintained their inherent instincts and happily work as well in the field as they ever have.
I can’t really say that I saw any consistent problems in the dogs. There were a few that were a little shy. A few had weak sagging toplines. Some were longer in the body than they should be. A few were lacking in bone and overall body substance. But these things appeared in a small minority of the dogs competing.
Sometimes when I’m judging I’m looking for the least bad of the worst. That was not the case in this instance. On this day I was looking at a really beautiful lineup and had no problem finding dogs to which awards were deserved. It truly was sorting out the best of the best.
Parent Club 2023 Winners
Best Of Breed- GCH CH Dry Grass Senno Ecto Gammat! JH, Bred by Debra T Forry/Chuck Forry, Owned by Debby Forry/Chuck Forry
Best Of winners- Collina Baia Life Is Beautiful, Bred by Susan Dean, Owned by Stephanie Waschull
Best Of Opposite- GCHB CH Condurre Con IL Mio Cuore, Bred by Debby Forry/Elizabeth Bodell/Susie Pool, Owned by Rebecca Van Ess/Debby Forry
Select Dog- GCGS CH Affilato Oliver Twist, Bred by LD Sharp/CD Sharp, Owned by Susie Ruth
Select Bitch- GCH CH Bellabrovo Happy Hour RN, Bred by Haley Wilkins, Owned by Valerie Lewis/Bernice Evans
Best NOHS- GCH CH Dry Grass Senno ecto Gammat! JH, Bred by Debra T Forry/Chuck Forry, Owned by Debby Forry/Chuck Forry
Winners Dog - Epithelium Pirandello at Stella Del Nord Owned by Tricia McNamara-Vannoni
Award Of Merit- CH Collina D’Oro Adventures Of Marco Solo JH, Bred by Stacey Andersen Belt/Laura J Reeves, Owned by Colleen Gellatly/Stacey Anderson Belt
Award Of Merit- GCH CH Bellabravo Bel Ragazzo Santino, Bred by Valerie Lewis, Owned by Heidi Simone/Valerie Lewis
Award Of Merit- GCH CH Collina D’Oro’s American Dream, Breeder Stacey Anderson Belt/Laura J Reeves, Owned by Cameron Simpson
Award Of Merit- CH Fedele Grandine La Regina JH, Bred by Jeani Barchalk/Shannon Barchalk/Tammara Morgan, Owned by Shannon Barchalk
Award Of Merit- CH Couchfields No Curfew, Bred by Michelle Brustein/Dave Brooks/Pam Folz/Duane Folz, Owned by Debbie Davenport/Brian Dail/ Michelle Brustein/Dave Brooks
6-9 Month Dog- Quietwood Leonardo Di Ser Piero Da Vinci, Bred by Bonnie Blink/Danny Baisey, Owned by Bonnie Blink/Danny Baisey
9-12 Month Dog- Maple Hollow Gaius Julius, Bred by Stephen Shute/Judy Shute, Owned by Delita Raisbeck Rosenbaum.
12-18 Month Dog- Alla Festa You Better Believe It! Bred by Deb Davenport/Michelle Brustein/Brian Dail/Dave Brooks, Owned by Debbie Davenport/Briam Dail
Best Bred By Exhibitor- Ilvolare Brass In Pocket. Bred by Erica Cross/Austin McAfee/ Tammara Morgan, Owned by Erica Cross
Best American Bred- Mals About Stop On A Dime, Bred by Patricia Fendley, owned by Matt Cobban, Mattie Cobban, Patricia Fendley.
Open Dog- Epithilium Pirandello At Stella Del Nord, Bred by Paola Amadori, Owned by Patricia McNamara Vannoni.
6-9 Month Bitch- High Pines Shadow On the Moon, Bred by Amy Thompson/Parker Thompson, Owned by Angela Matias/Amy Thompson.
12-18 Month Bitch- Lancetta’s Still Rock N Roll To Me, Bred by Jerimiah J Joens/Melissa Forneris-Joens, Owned by Melissa Forneris- Joens/Jeremiah Joens/Elizabeth Ginn/Sandra Myers.
Amateur Owner Handled- Lumpy’s Cleopatra Queen Of The Nile, Bred by Jeff Dewey Lemmens, Owned by Delita Raisbeck Rosenbaum.
Best Bred By Exhibitor Puppy Bitch- Fedele Got A Bee In My Bonnet, Bred by Shannon M Barkchalk/Jeanne Marie Barchalk.
Best Bred By Exhibitor Adult Bitch- Braschini’s Tiger Lily, Bred by Lena Amirian/Karen Beyer/Ann Bagnell, Owned by Ann Bagnell/Karen M Beyer.