2018 really has been the year that put Zuleika on the map, with the arrival of our first litter. But this was only a part of the highlights.
Despite limited showing, Benni still had a fantastic year. His year didn't start until March, with the Tasmanian Contest of Champions. Benni is the first Finnish Lapphund to be invited to this event. In April we travelled to Albury for the annual NSW/Victoria Finnish Lapphund Clubs' Border Challenge. At the series of three shows, points are given for class wins, challenges and in group awards. Taking a 24 point Best of Breed and Australian Bred of Breed each day, resulted in Benni finishing the weekend 3rd overall. The following weekend, after months of training, Benni successfully completed his Endurance Test.
A few days later, the arrival of our first litter, sired by Benni, plus the drop in shows over the winter months, put a halt to shows for a few months. We re-emerged in October for the Royal/Speciality season. Benni took Best Australian Bred in Show, at the Finnish Lapphund Club of Victoria Speciality Show, with this glowing critique: "Good size and proportion. Masculine head and expression. Scissor bite. Good pigment. Dark eye. Excellent ear set. Good length of muzzle. Firm topline. Good tailset. Good depth of chest. Well angulated. Excellent movement. Good balance. Excellent Coat. Nice temperament." Excellent Grading + Champion Quality. We were also thrilled to see Benni's daughter, Ch Lempo Independence Day (Indie) take Bitch Challenge and Runner-up Best in Show. Two days later, Benni was Best of Breed at the Victorian Women's Dog Club and in the final six for Best in Group.
Overall, Benni finished the year:
#1 Finnish Lapphund (Tas) DOL Pointscore
#8 Working Dog (Tas) DOL Pointscore
3 Classes in Show (all Breeds)
12 Classes in Group
1 Best in Group (BIG-1)
4 Runner-up Best in Group (BIG-2)
Of course Fleur's year was dominated by motherhood, but she still competed in February in the Puppy of the Year, won classes in group and appeared with Lillian in Tiny Tots Junior Handlers.
The puppy who was too good to let go! He will always only be shown sparingly, but he is a little superstar none the less. Making his show debut at Melbourne Royal, where he finished second in a competitive class. Coming 'home' for show weekend in October, he took a clean sweep of Baby Puppy in Group wins. Yesterday his co-owner, Stephanie Ives, made her show debut, taking him in for challenge dog. So we might see these two out together a bit more in 2019.
Boris is co-owned and handled by Jasmine Harris in Victoria. He is her first show dog and they are having a great time learning together. Unfortunately, shift work makes it hard for Jasmine to get to regular shows, but that didn't stop Boris from taking Best Opposite-sex Baby Puppy in Show at the FLCV speciality.
And so that was 2018. We are really looking forward to 2019: campaigning Benni, some outings with the young boys and hopefully the pitter patter of some more baby feet.