LOWDOWN Winter 2009 page 12

NEWS HOUND on the trail of a good story.

FUN DAY 2009
A sunny August Sunday at Crowhurst

This year’s Fun Day did seem to have a very special relaxed atmosphere. Perhaps it was returning to Crowhurst Village Hall - a venue used by our branch in the past for this event combined with the wonderful summer weather. Anyhow, our Fun Day certainly did what it said on the can!

Brian welcomed everyone in the traditional manner by grappling with the wireless microphone and loudspeaker system. After some adjustments - such as the loudspeaker being brought outside rather than hidden within the empty hall - the afternoon activities began. Sue and Frankie presided over the games which started with a sausage race. Several closely fought heats led to a final in which young Lilly won with Bunty Boo.

The following dressing-up race produced the usual high jinx. Competitors grappled with their hounds in addition to the handicap of having to put on a T-shirt, a scarf and a hat at certain parts of the course. As in most years, many finished up much smarter at the end of the race than at the start! The winner was another young entrant, Elaine with Neville.

The final race was the dreaded slalom course. This has seen off so many aspiring hopefuls. This year proved no less dramatic.

Raring to enter was a very confident Chris with Barney. Apparently, both had been at some secret training camp over the previous week, exercising on the Cumbrian Fells. Looking lean and very fit, Barney led Chris into the arena. “I’m an athlete!” Chris taunted his fellow competitors and the crowd, in a display of bravado not seen since Mohammed Ali ‘stung like a butterfly’, or something similar.

Indeed, this enthusiasm did pay off in his first heat - a clear win in a very fast time. However, several officials consulted with each other and ruled that his technique of racing with a well-trained Barney off the lead, though very impressive, was quite illegal and a bit show-offy.

In the final, and with Barney now on his lead, Chris was, quite frankly, total rubbish. The winner being Lilly with an impressively fast Clara.

With the games completed, Brian rang Dusty’s Bell and announced that lunch was available inside the hall. Some of the fastest movement of the day was witnessed as a dash to the food and drink ensued.

It was well worth it, as some of the committee under the guidance of honorary member, Judy Howarth, had laid out a super buffet.

It was a joy to sit around outside, eating and chatting, on such a lovely afternoon.

When we had finished, Brian conducted an auction of a few items of Basset memorabilia.

I believe the highest amount being paid for a rather nice, small, bronze-resin, Basset Hound. This was bought after some competitive bidding by committee member, Sue Sampson.

Raring to enter was a very confident Chris with Barney. Apparently, both had been at some secret training camp over the previous week, exercising on the Cumbrian Fells. Looking lean and very fit, Barney led Chris into the arena. “I’m an athlete!” Chris taunted his fellow competitors and the crowd, in a display of bravado not seen since Mohammed Ali ‘stung like a butterfly’, or something similar.

Indeed, this enthusiasm did pay off in his first heat - a clear win in a very fast time. However, several officials consulted with each other and ruled that his technique of racing with a well-trained Barney off the lead, though very impressive, was quite illegal and a bit show-offy.

In the final, and with Barney now on his lead, Chris was, quite frankly, total rubbish. The winner being Lilly with an impressively fast Clara.

With the games completed, Brian rang Dusty’s Bell and announced that lunch was available inside the hall. Some of the fastest movement of the day was witnessed as a dash to the food and drink ensued.

It was well worth it, as some of the committee under the guidance of honorary member, Judy Howarth, had laid out a super buffet.

It was a joy to sit around outside, eating and chatting, on such a lovely afternoon.

When we had finished, Brian conducted an auction of a few items of Basset memorabilia.

I believe the highest amount being paid for a rather nice, small, bronze-resin, Basset Hound. This was bought after some competitive bidding by committee member, Sue Sampson.

An innovation this year - running throughout the afternoon - was a Guess the number of dog biscuits in a jar competition. The winner, correctly guessing ‘136’, was Sally Money. However, our esteemed Treasurer, Michael, dubious of this total, made several unsuccessful requests for a recount.

Rosemary, assisted by Nina Fisher, held a brief hound care workshop intended to show new owners how to trim the hound’sÂ’ nails, etc.

Brian then introduced our judge for the afternoon, Jeanie Thompson. Our own Jean Miller stewarded with great aplomb.

Jeanie diligently went over the hounds in the various classes, in what was now, a very hot ring. Handlers of all ability competed together and showed great sportsmanship.

Best Veteran was Ziggy Swanson.
Best Puppy was Willaby Fisher.
Most Handsome Dog was Alfred Plant.
Prettiest Bitch was Ruby Booth.
Best Brace was Herbie and Josie Drew.

Rosettes, certificates and goodies were given to the winners.

Each class winner was then adjudged for the prestigious Best in Match. This was won by Ruby Booth who looked in lovely condition. Well done, Ruby and, indeed, Paul for some neat handling

After the show classes, Jeanie then turned her attention to the Fun Classes.

Waggiest Tail was Cocoa Harris.
Longest Ears was Herbie Drew.
Nicest Mover was Bunty Boo Fisher.
Best Six Legs was Boris Whiting and handler.
Best Fancy Dress was Alfred Plant as Bob the Builder.

A parade of rescue hounds was warmly greeted by those around the ringside with Best Rescue going to Edward and Hattie Smith-Jameson.

Well done, everyone!

Best in Match-Paul Booth’s Ruby.Judge-Jeanie Thompson.Steward-Jean Miller.Best Puppy-Nina Fisher's Willaby.

With the competitions completed, Brian presented Jeanie Thompson with a glass goblet engraved by Kara Slater, and showing her favoured Whippets, as a mark of appreciation of all her hard work.

Brian then called the winning raffle numbers. Tea was then taken before this happy gathering disbanded. I am sure all had enjoyed this super, sunny afternoon with the hounds.

(Ed: Please forgive any inaccuracies contained in the results in this report. In the final surreal chaos of Basset Hound ballet dancers and ancient Britons, I lost the plot a little.)

Cover of the Basset Hound Owners Club newsletter Lowdown
fun day ☞

first published in LOWDOWN

editor Tony Roberts