VW is one of a number of new titles on offer at open shows
A nine-year-old Newfoundland, Ch Zentaur Tee Tea Effen JW ShCM VW, belonging to Gary, Teresa, Faye and Elaine Coldwell of Redhill, Surrey is the first ever dog to be awarded the new Veteran Warrant (VW) title.
This award, for dogs seven years of age and over, was introduced by the Kennel Club at the start of 2019 among a series of measures designed to improve the open show scene. Other measures introduced have included the Show Certificate of Excellence (ShCEx) and Open Show Winner (OSW) awards as well as breed supported entry classes.
For dogs which qualify for the VW award, the title ‘VW’ may be used after their name on show entries and in catalogues. Points are gained from AV veteran or veteran stakes classes at general and group open shows.
‘Cooper’ was home-bred by Gary and Teresa by Paradeso Spirito Di Italia ex Zentaur Astabee Dottie. She won her Junior Warrant (JW) title at a year old and with her latest success has proven what a long and fruitful show career she has had, spanning more than eight years.
She has been handled throughout her show career mainly by Faye; however, family friend Nicole Owles, 17, has also competed in both junior handling and breed classes with Cooper since they were both very young. “They work very well together as a team and have had many successes”, said Elaine.
Cooper qualified for the VW award in just over two months by winning points at seven shows. Along the way she also won BVIS at both Ashford and Faversham and Chichester shows as well as RBVIS at Kent County show.
She has been exhibited since the age of six months and her Show Certificate of Merit (ShCM) title followed on swiftly from her JW and she went on to win her Champion crown too, adding a fourth CC from the veteran class at the age of seven for good measure. She also has a CAC and CACIB won in Belgium.
On attaining the VW award, Elaine said: “We are absolutely over the moon. We thought it was likely that Coops was the first Newfoundland to gain the award and were pleasantly surprised at how quickly she started collecting the points, especially considering the beautiful quality of all the other spritely oldies taking part. To have the news that she is overall the first dog to achieve the VW award at nine years old fills us with extreme pride as her owners and breeders.”
Cooper’s owners say they will continue to take her to selected shows for as long as she continues to enjoy her time in the ring. They are understandably very proud of her youthful ways and thirst for life, as well as those of her two brothers and others, and recently bred a litter using frozen semen from their deceased sire, in order to perpetuate these qualities. “Now we have a very naughty half-sister at home who absolutely adores Coops and follows her everywhere”, says Elaine.
Of the new VW award itself, Elaine said: “Being able to award the veterans goes some way to show that it is not just about the short term gain and that actually there are many of us who continue to breed with the health and longevity of the dogs being at the forefront of any future plans. It is especially difficult in Newfoundlands as, being a large breed, the average life expectancy is generally lower than other more active or smaller breeds.
“This award simply does recognise those dogs that are often in better condition and healthier than younger specimens in their breed, and from the observations in taking part in in these veteran competitions, there is much enjoyment not only from the dogs taking part but also the owners who are apparently proud to take their loved ones in the ring. Most owners show great respect and support to each other. I think that we all know how privileged we are to be there showing our more aged friend and we share many stories about them.
“We know we will continue to support the other lovely dogs and owners whom we competed against earlier this year and who are currently collecting their points. The award already seems to have encouraged more entries at the opens shows and we hope it continues to do so in the future.”
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Kennel Club sends huge congratulations to the Coldwell Family on the achievement of the first ever OSW award with Cooper. 2019 marks the start of a number of measures designed to improve the ‘dog show experience’ for exhibitors at open shows and the enthusiasm of the Coldwells and other competitors augurs well for the future of such events in the UK.
“Many dogs enjoy successful show careers over a number of years and Cooper is living proof of this. We hope to see more golden oldies strutting their stuff at open shows in the future where dogs can now attain titles at every stage of their career, from puppy right through to veteran.”