Hosted by the Newfoundland Club of Northern California in Sacramento, California April 3 - 6, 1980
by Elinor C. Ayers reprinted from Newf Tide Summer 1980
1980 dawned for Newf fanciers as a very special year. The NCA is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and members and exhibitors found enthusiasm building for the National Specialty in Sacramento, California. For most of us, this was a long way from home but many made plans to attend.
There was Bob Crosbie from Newfoundland, a good number from the Northeast and Mid Atlantic states, Mary Shearer from south of Miami Beach, Florida, Ann Cooper from Texas, Price and Jensen from Minnesota, the Bathonys from Alaska, and, of course, the greatest number from California. Foreign visitors were there from Australia, Denmark, England, Germany, Holland, and our many friends from Canada. People began arriving on April 1st.
For many people back East this was a necessity because of excursion rates, but it proved to be a boon in disguise because with the change in time, the dogs were able to become more accustomed to a different waking and
feeding schedule. Motor homes, vans and station wagons began rolling in on Wednesday. There were the tales of a six-day journey across country from Nell Ayers, Ann and Scott Parsons; of Claire Ives having her suitcase stolen at the airport and having the chance to go out and buy a new wardrobe; of Isabel Kurth and Marcia Morrill being detained for hours in Chicago because of a snowstorm and of Judge Kitty Drury being stuck in Kansas, also due to a snowstorm, and having a pheasant strike her radiator and placing a big hole in it.
Wednesday found many people washing and grooming their dogs. Jane Thibault was decked out in a yellow rain suit as she and Gerlinde Hockla bathed dogs. Others wore shorts and enjoyed the balmy weather and the dogs enjoyed their cool baths. There was the never-ending panorama of the flocks of ducks and geese that paddled across the man-made lake. They were nesting and rarely ceased their chatter when one of the Newfs or people came too close. A Newf one evening was found trying to climb the fence and go swimming. Late afternoon found people gathering for a wine tasting party and taste it was, as the servers measured the wine in your glass to 1" within a drop! We were politely told that "a taste was appropriate and not a full glass of wine" it made the wine table very busy! Later in the evening, friends gathered for dinner at the motel or went out to explore some of the good restaurants in the area.
Thursday morning found people up bright and early. At eight o'clock the judging of obedience classes started and at nine the Puppy Sweepstakes. It was a lovely sunny day with a gentle breeze - everything that had been promised by the NCNC. Adrian van Zijl, Newf breeder from the Netherlands, was to pass Judgement on 42 Puppy Dog entries. He was very thorough in his examinations of the puppies and the results of his choices appear elsewhere. Judge Kitty Drury, well-known breeder-judge, started her examinations of Puppy Bitches after luncheon and there were 48 entered. Some very lovely puppies were entered and after hours of her deliberate analysis, she nodded to the Best in Sweepstakes and Junior Division winner, Flying Cloud's Fine and Fanci. Best of Opposite Sex was the handsome Kilyka's Colossus.
While all of the puppies were strutting their stuff, in ring two during the
day, 52 dogs were entered in obedience doing their thing. This was the highest number of obedience dogs ever entered at a National Specialty and it was a great disappointment according to the judges, that so few qualified. The high scorer and overall winner was Ch. Kilyka's She Shell. COX, and she also qualified for her first leg in Utility. We understand that Betty McDonnell considered renting an extra jet seat to get all her prizes home!
Thursday evening found the folk gathering for a reception in honor of our foreign visitors. A fine dinner was served and afterwards we had a treat of viewing the first film of the Audio Visual Aids Committee. The film was developed by the obedience experts and Newf breeders, Jack and Wendy Volhard, on "Puppy Aptitude Testing for Obedience." This is a fascinating subject and there was much enthusiasm for learning more about the whole subject of puppy aptitude for the obedience ring. The Landseer bitch that was portrayed so much in the film, by the way, completed her Canadian CD in one week-end-so it does work! This sound film is available for rent from the AV Committee, and you'll find it well worthwhile viewing. Herbert Kretschmer, from Germany, presented the NCA with his film of the 1978 Specialty and it afforded an opportunity for people who missed that super show to see some of the highlights. Early to bed, early to rise and the neverending task of walking dogs.
Friday morning at eight o'clock, Newf breeder-judge JoAnn Riley started passing on the Dogs. Throughout the morning she carefully examined the entries and finally chose the Winners Dog, Can. Ch. Blackout's Topmast Dickens. A well-deserved Reserve went to Shadybrook's Blue Danube. The Veteran Dog class followed and as usual the "oldies but goodies" got a well-deserved round of applause. Ten were present and Ms. Riley had her work cut out. She finally pointed to Ch. DaCody De Nashau-Auke, handled as usual by Gerlinde Hockla. It was a poignant win as you may remember his late sire, Bart. won this class at the 1979 Specialty and went on to take BB.
After luncheon Judge Drury passed on the Junior Showmanship competitors and the winner was Joelee Nourot. At two p.m. Judge Ted Wurmser started passing on the two regular Puppy Bitch classes and the following morning he was to complete his assignment. The NCA Board of Directors met in their third and final session and highlighting their deliberations was the final draft of the proposed revision of the By-Laws and Code of Ethics. A full breakdown of their business is reported elsewhere. The late afternoon found the usual grooming of dogs, happy hours in a multitude of rooms and "the ringside judges" hashing over the placements.
Friday evening, had another cocktail hour in the Ballroom and a delicious veal dinner. The evening program after dinner was a panel discussion with foreign breeders: Robert Jones, Australia; Marg Wilmott. Canada; Judi Orioni, England; Herbert Kretschmer, Germany; Adrian van Zijl. Netherlands; Kitty Drury, France; and Nell Ayers, the U.S. We learned of the importation and quarantine problems in Australia and England and importation of frozen semen; the new point system in Canada; breeding and litter restrictions in Germany; the building of Newf stock in Denmark; and differences of shows in Europe. It was evident. after all the representatives spoke, that some familiar problems plague us all and that we had better start to work on the poor fronts, light eyes, and guard against the smaller size we see in Newfs today. The renaissance of the Landseer in North America was discussed and also the strengths of interbreeding the Landseer and Black. The questions and answers could have gone on all night but after several hours the panelists called it quits. The idea of the panel discussion was new for a Specialty and from the positive acceptance, it would appear this type of activity is worthwhile for future Specialties.
The rain on Friday did leave the ring a mess. The sopping carpeting was removed and exhibitors and dogs tried to gait between puddles. Judge Wurmser started the judging of the Adult Bitch classes at 8 a.m. By the late morning he completed passing on the 76 bitches and he chose as WB the BBE, Bonnie Bay's Ursa (she went on to BW and Select 2) and RWB was the puppy, Flying Cloud's Fine and Fanci. Veteran bitches were present and they ranged in age from Amy at 6% years to the 111/2-year-old Candy. Judge Wurmser finally picked the lovely Ch. Benham Knoll's Amy.
A long lunch hour was enjoyed and much grooming ensued prior to the 1 p.m. BOB class. Thirty-eight Specials were present plus the four other class winners, so the ring was indeed filled. This year, we were having an added feature, the Select Dogs. Besides choosing the BB and BOS, Judge Rayne had the option of picking an additional four dogs of each sex as outstanding dogs. It appeared from the sideline, he could have used several more ribbons to distribute beyond the 10 he finally did. After all his individual examinations of the 42 dogs, he made his final cut of 10 dogs (eight champions and the two class winners) and they all were to go on to become Select 1-5. Of course there were disappointed owners who did not make the cut, unfortunately, that's the name of the game. There were further examinations and gaiting of the dogs and then the suspended finger point to BB, Ch. Pooh Bear's Storm along and BOS, Ch. Topmast's Prairie Queen. Those dogs were Select 1 and the remaining Selects were in bitches: #2 Bonnie Bay's Ursa (sire Stormalong); #3 Ch. Topmast's Prairie Lily (dam of Queen); #4 Ch. Belladonna Took of Brunhaus; and #5 Ch. Shadybrook's Counting on You. The dog selects were: #2 Ch. Shadybrook's Try For An Oscar; #3 Ch. SkipJack's Buddha of Fathom; #4 Can. Ch. Blackout's Topmast Dickens; and #5 Ch. Dunning's Barney. Congratulations are in order to all the breeders and owners of these lovely Newfs.
Following the BB, Judge Riley passed on 10 Stud Dog entries and chose her winner Ch. Da Cody De Nashau-Auke. Judge Wurmser had nine Brood bitches and his winner was Ch. Shayna's Bonnie Bell. Only two braces were entered and Judge Rayne picked Seaworthy's Sea Sprite and Seaworthy's Sea Nymph. After all the classes were completed, the Honors Parade followed. Over 100 dogs were present and President Nell Ayers did the honors of placing the specially made medallions on all the dogs' necks. It was quite an array of dogs in the ring and a befitting end to another
The evening's banquet was well attended and much frivolity prevailed. There were the usual thank you speeches by the NCNC members to their committees and a raffle. It was a pity that we didn't have a chance to see paraded once again the winners of the day nor to hear from all the judges about our breed (Judge Wurmser spoke). The NCNC really made a fine effort to make this a memorable Specialty. From the special Newf ring favors (a gold clip to hold your arm band) to the gold trophies (what a trophy table!), special Newf memorabilia tables and NCA history books and T.V. coverage it was super!
Sunday's schedule consisted of a Working Day-carting demonstrations and practice and at 9 a.m the Water Test Trial began. Six dogs were entered in the Junior Division unfortunately none qualified, but there were many eager workers. Six were entered in the Senior Division and the only qualifier was Val Karen's Babe. There was an enthusiastic crowd of cheerers, including many motel guests and the ever-present ducks and geese! It is unfortunate that the working activities for Newfs are held on the last day as so many people must leave and miss these important events. Maybe in the future, they could be staggered throughout the other days.
So ended our Golden Specialty-see you in April 1981 in Indiana.