On an April day when we still thought the long winter would never end there were signs of Spring to welcome our third championship show in Royal Wootton Bassett. The sun cheered us all up and set the mood for a happy and friendly day. It was a good choice of venue too, in the middle of an attractive market town, accessible from all directions and near a motorway. A cat show needs space and there was plenty – from a large car park to a well-lit hall, a convenient kitchen, (the bacon rolls were well up to standard), a spacious dining room to keep judges and stewards happy and a large and comfortable socialising area with, for once, more than enough chairs and tables to go around.
The cats, as usual of course, were equally well catered for and everyone settled in quickly and quietly and, perhaps a bit surprisingly, patiently. Much of this calm atmosphere and lack of haste and bother might be due to our having a relatively small show when there appears to be time for everything and space in which to do it. It pleases everyone to be able to talk to judges when they have finished their judging, because there is a lack of pressure and even the final judging for Best in Show seems less crowded and hassle free and no one has to peer over heads to catch a glimpse of a pen. This year it was a special pleasure to welcome back our Chairman, Maureen Smith, to her customary and well-respected role of judge. Despite saying she was nervous we could all see she had not lost any of her skills and was as confident as ever.
For those of you who have not seen the results, Maureen’s choice for Best in Show was Chocolate Burmese kitten Fandango Will-O-the-Wisp Owned by H.J Marriott Power and Miss V. Marriott and bred by Miss C.A. Lewis. Best in Show Adult was Gr Ch Rossikhan Blanque Czech owned and bred by Mrs J.L. Wilshaw. Best in Show Neuter was Ch & Pr Rossikhan Velvet Edition owned by Mrs S. P. Dry and bred by Mrs J.L. Wilshaw and Best Overall Pedigree/Household Pet was Ria owned by Viv Crouch.
Much of the credit for the easy-going and quietly efficient atmosphere of the day was due to the Show Manager, Lynda Ashmore. She seemed constantly on the move yet was invariably close by when needed. She is a remarkable show manager and much of the success of our three shows is due to her energy, knowledge and enthusiasm. Best of all, she finds time and patience for everyone.
This year we invited two local charities, Cats Protection and New Start Cat Rescue to liven up the show with their stalls and they did good business with their many and varied cat items. The volunteers were so friendly and became part of our cat company very quickly. I hope they enjoyed being with us as much as we enjoyed having them. We will definitely invite them again.
As always, it was an excellent show and well worth the work so many put in. There is a special feel about having a single breed show and one that is small enough to retain a personal and friendly informality. We would like more exhibitors of course, ideally enough to make us profitable and next time we will make sure you will have more time for entries. Let us know what else we can do but without losing our unique Burmese character.