January 2009

Dutch Review of the Year - 2008

Over the year, Dutch Cavy Club shows attracted a total of 408 exhibits (average 58 per show) with the Southern Area Show at Fareham in April attracting the biggest entry (79) and the North East Area Show at Humber CC in September the smallest (29).
 These totals bode well for the future with even the lowest at Humberside being quite respectable for an area that has been something of a problem to arrange venue-wise in the past.

The Southern Area Show in April started off the DCC show programme for the year and saw debutant judge Julie Davies (the Chichester one as there are two) doing the honours. A total of 79 Dutch were entered although not all made it to the show as thick snow caused accidents and road closures to spoil things for some unfortunate exhibitors. It was also a break through time for colour and type aficionado, Tim Brock who brought forth the product of his labours in the form of a Red 5/8 months sow. As stated by the judge, it was of ‘excellent colour’ with markings good enough to take 2nd place in a class of 5. Well done Tim.

As was going to be a feature of most shows throughout the year, Cream Dutch entries were significant with a total of 15 Creams entered in the three age groups. Stuart Inch stole a march on arch rival Alan Wilson and kept up the momentum accumulating a mass of colour points during the year. When it came to the top honours, an intermediate Red sow, Treleaver Ruby from Sarah Stribley took Best in Show beating off the attentions of the two leading Blacks (both of championship status) from Wilmot Goldsworthy and Sue Hearn respectively. From the judge’s comments, there didn’t seem much wrong with the B.I.S. sow; a well balanced pig all round and a deserved winner although some critics were a bit picky and did question the richness of colour. Whatever the case, it was good enough to take B.I.S. in the host classes.

The Northern Area Show at Sandbach in May was the next event in the DCC show programme with Chris Pearson making the journey down from North Yorkshire to judge 62 pigs. From what I have heard the locals made Chris Peachey and the exhibitors very welcome at this long established cavy club that is enjoying something of a renaissance with Joan and Ken Phillips at the helm. The biggest classes here were the Red Sow Adult and Cream Adult classes with 6 apiece although Stuart Inch took the show off to give Alan Wilson a chance to play catch up. After that, the biggest classes (5) were the Chocolate Adult (K & L Stud made a winning appearance here) and Golden Agouti Adult where Sarah Stribley’s nice boar prevailed.

In the final line up, Wilmot Goldsworthy’s noted Black sow came out on top followed by Razzamatazz Stud’s Red boar with Sarah Stribley’s Agouti and Red taking the minor places.

The South West Area Show at Wyvern C.C. followed on 28th June with Wilmot Goldsworthy placing the awards this time. The total entry here was a mammoth 658 with 68 Dutch within this total. Sarah Stribley’s pleasing Red Dutch sow, now an adult, took the top honours followed by a couple of Silver Agouti Dutch. Palace Cavies’ adult sow took the runner up place and rightly so as it is one of the best seen in this colour for some time if not possibly the best yet. Next in line was Sally Nye’s youngster giving proof that this colour is indeed ‘on the up’ with respectable entries at most shows this year. One of the best entries of Cinnamon Agouti Dutch was in evidence at this show with Julie Davies winning the 5/8 months class of five exhibits. Flesh ears appear to be a problem with this colour although that may be too general an observation. Stuart Inch continued his onward march in the Cream classes.

The smallest show of the year (29 exhibits) took place in September; being the North East Area Show at Humber C.C. However, the low entry was not a reflection on judge, Peter Wardman as this area has always been something of a headache when it comes to arranging a venue and attracting a good entry. From all accounts, this show proved to be a very friendly and enjoyable event with nothing to suggest other than the Club would like to return to this club and locality another year. A new kid on the block took B.I.S. in the form of a 5/8 months Black sow from Wilmot Goldsworthy with Sue Hearn’s renown ‘Cousin Jenny’ taking the runner up spot. In general, Pete was very complimentary on the quality of stock shown.

The entry at the Midland Area Show in early October was not much better with 32 Dutch entered but unless there is a big influx of southern exhibitors, this is very much par for the course and the situation was not helped with another show (Margaret Elward Memorial Show) occurring only a week later. Madelaine Coomber officiated here with Wilmot Goldsworthy again taking B.I.S. with her intermediate Black. Maddy was also quite complimentary on the quality of the Chocolate Dutch being shown by Evelyne van Vliet. Alan Wilson showed the only Red Dutch at this event and I don’t think either of trophies (kindly donated by Margaret Elward) for midland members were won. There is, indeed, a need for more midland area members and it is a pity that the winning of these two awards goes begging.

A good entry of 69 awaited yours truly at Calstock (Margaret Elward Memorial Show) on 11thOctober. It was The Cornish Championship Show and the local fanciers are to be congratulated at arranging such a good, well organised show in such a lovely location. It was a lovely day too with brilliant, warm sunshine all day and an event to savour.

Whilst the adult sow of Razzamatazz Stud stood out in the Red classes, the Adult Black class was much less obvious with Sue Hearn’s sow proving a difficult choice from the adult boar of Saracen Stud (Gary Clark). Creams were out in force again with a class of eight adults. Alan Wilson was successful here having also taken first place under Madelaine Coomber the previous week. Silver Agouti Dutch were also well represented (7 in 3 age groups) with the noted sow from Palace Cavies winning and being placed in the adult duplicates. It probably came as something of a surprise that I made my Best Adult and ultimately Best in Show, the Golden Agouti boar of Sarah Stribley. Not the biggest pig but a neat all round exhibit that I liked. In the intermediate classes, a Black boar of Wilmot Goldsworthy dominated and in the young classes, the Red boar of Stuart Inch succeeded.

The Annual Stock Show in November at Lavendon again produced an entry of 69 for Graham Godfrey to sort out. He must have made a good fist of the job as four of the first five exhibits in the final challenge were the same as I had at Calstock; the exception being a first time out promising young Cream from Alan Wilson. Although there was such a similarity in our selections; in true Morecombe & Wise fashion, they were ‘not necessarily in the right (same) order’. The Silver Agouti sow of Palace Cavies ruled supreme and was indeed a worthy winner.

Although I do not have access to all the relevant numbers (no detailed breakdown of awards for the recent Annual Stock Show), from data on the earlier shows, the colour breakdown of the average 58 exhibit entry is approximately as follows :- 13 Reds, 9 Blacks, 9 Chocolates, 13 Creams, 3 Cinnamon Agoutis, 7 Golden Agoutis, 3 Silver Agoutis, 1 Any Other Colour. Within this last category, only one Lilac Dutch (Non Member) and one Cream Agouti (J & M McKay) was entered. The remaining A.O.C. entries relate to the New Colour Class. Juvenile entries have been virtually non- existent: only one non member making entries.

I shouldn’t end this review without making some comment on the New Colour Dutch class that, this year, has been solely filled by Chocolate Agouti entries. These have varied from nil to three exhibits per show. Just where are the Slate Dutch these days? Nothing too exciting has been seen in these classes this year but the three breeders concerned have been making an effort and supporting the shows with their best tries. Next year, as they become fully recognised from 1st January 2009, Chocolate Agouti classes will be included in the fully standardised section. Numbers seen are likely to be small again but, with luck on their side; they could surprise us all and breed that elusive flyer.


Dutch in the USA?

We have had an enquiry from Tammy in Michigan, USA, looking for Dutch cavies.
If anyone knows of a breeder in the US who might be able to help, please contact Tammy at ldayhuff.1@netzero.com