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"Crufts 2003 " by Takemi Sugimoto

For us, Japanese businessman, March is the busiest month of the year. So I never be able to go to Crufts. However, I was determined to take a few days off and go to England this year whatever happens. And I made it. Since I didn't have enough time, my schedule was very tight. I left for England on Mar.7. and returned to Japan on March.12. It was a six-day trip.

Crufts is famous for the oldest and the biggest dog show in the world. It is held in Birmingham
in England on the first week in every March. There were 21,031 entries this year. 90 of them were Airedales. Just for your information, the biggest breed among the Terrier Group was Staffordshire Bull terrier, 304 dogs the second was Border Terrier, 218 dogs.

I arrived at the Heathrow Airport a little after three o'clock on Mar.7. I went direct to Jaideled Airedales which is Maple's mother's home. It has been for a year and six months since I visited them last. I received a big warm welcome from Martin, Alaine and their daughter Cheri.
They showed me Dana which is a new member of family. Dana and my Maple have the same mother, Eng.CH Jaidled Gypsy Girl(Roxy). And her father is Eng.Am.It.CH Greenfield Capten Fantastic which is the hero of Jokyl Airedales. Dana looks bright and innocent and has an excellent bone structure. She is the apple of their eye. Since they are concentrating other Airedales, Dana's debut for the show would be later. Then they took me to a hotel where we met Mr. Iwahashi who is a member of ATCJ. And then we all went to the pub together and enjoyed talking till late. Tomorrow we are going to Crufts together.

The time has come at last for me to watch the Crufts. Martin, Alaine, their Airedale Jaideld Gypsy Lady Luck(Lucky), Mr.Iwahashi and I arrived at the hall in Birmingham at eight. Lucky's parents are the same as Maple's Lucky is the younger sister. She has very nice reach of neck, correct shoulders, short loin and very nice tail set, she looks just like her mother Roxy which got BOB at Crufts 1997.
The Airedale Terrier's turn to be on the ring was supposed to start at eleven, but the schedule was delayed. Actually it started at one in the afternoon. So I had enough time to stay at the paddock which is for the entries. I was very happy that I could see many of my friends there again. I touched their dogs and felt their excellences and quality.
What if the show was delayed in Japan? I guess the people would get nervous. But here in England, the people were very relaxed. It seemed to me that they were having a good time, talking and drinking wine.
They were so relaxed that I doubted if they were really ready for the show.

Jaidled Gypsy Lady Luck
Lesley and Galileo( STARGUS)
Martin, Alaine and Lucky( JAIDLED)

It was the time for the Airedales at last. Mr.Iwahashi, Alaine and I went to the ring to watch Airedales. We looked for seats but we couldn't find them. I heard someone call my name from behind. So I looked back and saw Ms.Suzane Hampton of ex-president of ATCA and Ms. Marcy Zingler. I took a seat next to them which they had saved and Mr.Iwahashi and Alaine both found the seat somewhere, too.
The lady who sat the opposite side was Ms. Nan Hamilton from USA. Her friend, Nancy who lives in Ohio is my good friend. It's a small world! I was surprised to see Nan there because I could never imagine to see her in England. She is a very famous artist and I have her Aireldale pottery vase she made. Nancy gave it to us before. After that, I enjoyed talking with the ladies about rescue dogs, the weather, the Airedales while watching the show. I had a great time!!

The Judging has been proceeding and now at the climax. Best Dog was Eng.CH.Captain Fantastic as the people had expected and Best Bitch was Flojo Sentmental Friend.
After that, each entry brought some food and wine and the party had began. That's the England way of having a great time after the show. Mr.Iwahashi and I enjoyed ourselves very much with them. And then, Janet and Tom of Robroyd which is my Willow's parents' home and we left from the hall and we went their home to stay with them.

Ruth Millar (KARUDON)
Takemi & Nan Hamilton
Stargus Galileo
Jaideld Gypsy Lady Luck
Captain FantasticE & aredon Night Flame of Collcurr
Robroyd Xena Girl
BOB / Captain Fantastic
BOS / Flojo Sentmental Friend

International Junior Handling Competition was held today. The representative of thirty two countries participated in it. Aurora Lovison was the representative of Itary and she is Janet and Tom' s friend's daughter. She was going to handle Rosian Black Terrier, Red of Robroyd. Janet, Tom and I left for Birmingham at seven so that we could take Red to the hall by nine. I was up early although I stayed up late last night talking with them. Tom had groomed Red for the competition which started at eleven at the paddock. We and her parents cheered Aurora with the national flag of Italy. Her handling was wonderful although she was young. She is indeed a great juniour champion!

Then I took my time shopping Airedale goods and watching other events.
We left the hall at about six like yesterday and came back their home. And we had a nice chat over beer till late again.

I was sorry that I had to say goodby to Tom and Janet in the morning. Mr.Iwahashi and I were heading for Saredon Terriers by car, which is familiar to Japanese. It is a quiet and beautiful location. We arrived there a little after twelve in the afternoon. We were welcomed by Judith and David and we talked about Airedales a lot over lunch. And then they showed their wonderful Airedales one after another. They produce champion constantly every year. I visited the kennel, and saw the surroundings and touched their dogs in person. I learned the reason that they succeeded in producing excellent dogs.

Today, we have a visit to Jokyl Kennels which is one of the top breeder in England. Speaking of Jokyl, CH. Ginger Xmas Carol got Best in Show in Crfts 1986, and CH. Jokyl This Is My Song got Reserve Best in Show in Crufts 1996 and got fourty five CC. Those are typical of Jokyl's noble histories. Besides Jokyl produced a lot of champion Airedals such as CH. Jokyl Gallipants and CH. Jokyl Just As Smart.

Mr.Iwahashi and I called on Jokyl in the early morning because we had to go to Heathrow Airport in the afternoon. Mary of Jokyl greeted us with a smile although it was early morning. She gave us a tour of her kennel. As I had imagined, it was very big, but I had never thought it was such a clean one. The doghouses and the yard are neat and clean everywhere. It deeply impressed me. Mary showed us CH. Greenfield Capten Fantastic which won BOB in Crufts for three years in a row and other her precious Airedales. I was aware that she gave a loving look and hand to her Airedales just as mothers do to the children. Especially when she treats puppies, she was gentle and affectionate so
much. Good surroundings, a lot of love and treatment and systematic breeding , those are very reason that Jokyl keeps the top Airedale breeder in England.

I had quite limited time but it was a very satisfied trip for me. I will never forget this experience. Many many thanks for my friends.

Greenfield Capten Fantastic
Mary Swash,David BrandE/font>