Our 40TH ANNIVERSARY CHAMPIONSHIP SHOW
Our club celebrated the 40th anniversary with a bumper show in November. The judge was Mr. Christian Tessier, President of the French Saint Bernard club, and Vice President of the World Union of Saint Bernard clubs ( WUSB ). Mr Tessier provided a written critique for all exhibits, and the show was a great success. A notable feature was the separation of smooth and rough coats for judging, which was a great improvement and approved by all exhibitors. The verbal commentary on dogs placed provided an educational aspect for all attending the show. In addition to the judge and his wife, other international guests included Mr. Ruedi Thomann ( Switzerland), current President of the WUSB, and Mr. Wolfgang Ketzler( Germany) , past WUSB President. Four SA judges also attended, and everybody commented on the professionalism of the club management.
We would also like to thank other members for their contributions: Bennie Kruger and Ashleigh, for designing the 40th anniversary logo, and manning the food stall.
Also Jared Selway for the show photos, available on the Facebook page.
Mary Catherine Alexander, for travelling so far and assisting with all the administration work.
Jessica Young for manning the office.
The sponsors, Supreme Pet dog food, for their generous prizes for all entries.
All other club and committee members for their sponsorships and support.
TRIP TO KRUGER PARK
Our Club has become well known for our famous Kruger Park tours. They have proven very successful. The judges and their partners returned home with a positive experience in South Africa, and some great memories. And as usual this trip was a winner, full of amazing sightings and adventure. The water holes were a buzz of activities, because of the servere drought, it was not uncommon to see rhino, elephant, giraffe and waterbuck ALL at the same dam. What a wonderful experience for our guests. A great time was had by all.
FUN DAY AT THE VAAL November 2015
Saint Bernard Club members and our Honoured Guests Wolfgang Ketzler (Past WUSB President), Our Judge Christian Tessier from France, his wife Marie and Ruedi Thomann (President of the World Union of Saint Bernards) where treated to a FUN DAY AT THE VAAL RIVER ….Our Fun began with an amazing River cruise !! Sipping wine, eating biltong, and relaxing with special friends while floating down the Vaal River… What a wonderful surprise! Our guests were delighted. But that was not all that was planned!! The Hot rock braai was a very social affair. The food was amazing!! Thank you Henriette and Bertie du Plessis DUVAAL SAINTS
CHAIRMAN’S REVIEW OF THE PAST 10 YEARS
The past 10 years have been a fantastic growth period for our club. When I was elected as Chairman in 2005, I immediately embarked on a growth and educational strategy to develop not only our club, but more importantly, our Saint Bernards and the overall quality in SA. In order to do this required education , of Saint owners, breeders, exhibitors and judges. My impression at that time was of a breed in total disarray in SA, and it was obvious that we required international intervention and guidance. As a club, we decided to educate ourselves and our breeders, exhibitors and judges, by contracting the best available specialist judges from around the world, and use these specialists to teach us all about correct Saint Bernards. The largest problem we had was the confusion and misunderstanding regarding the 3 different standards ( FCI, USA and UK ). Many exhibitors, breeders and even judges were not aware of the different standards and their requirements, and many judges did not apply the requirements of the FCI standard when judging, causing even more confusion and division. During the past 10 years we have had an impressive list of Specialist Breeder judges from all three centres, being Europe, the UK and USA. All these specialists have contributed enormously to the growth and development of our breed, providing a well rounded, educated and experienced input, which is exactly what we were aiming for. We started with our Qualifying show in 2006, to regain our Championship status, followed by a FCI breed seminar, hosted by two of Europe’s most qualified and experienced specialist breeder Judges. Since then the specialist judges we have used included 4 from the USA, 1 from the UK, 2 from Ireland, 1 from Portugal, 1 from Italy, 1 from Germany, 2 from Switzerland and 1 from France.
Our club received fantastic support from Transvaal Midlands KC and the Witwatersrand KC for the next 7 years, contributing immensely to our success, and for that collaboration we are truly grateful. In addition, we have also used three South African judges for our annual Ch. show, after they attended our seminars and showed interest in our breed, in this way contributing positively to the development of judges for our breed. Not once in the past 10 years did our committee ever refuse any judge on the basis that exhibitors would not exhibit under them. Our criteria for judges was always based on their experience and how much their knowledge would contribute to the growth and development of the breed in SA. Our motto has always been: Saint Bernards first!
In 2007 our club became a full member of the International Forum, a European based organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the Saint Bernard, with 13 member countries, and in 2009 our club also became a member of the WUSB, currently 26 member countries including USA, UK , Australia, South Africa and 22 EU countries. In 2014 I became the first South African to judge at the World Union of Saint Bernard clubs ( WUSB), held in Germany, and very proudly represented South Africa at that prestigious event. This year, 2016, the WUSB will be held in Portugal, and I will once again be judging at the event. Another successful achievement for our club and South Africa!
On the home front, our membership has grown by over 1000% since 2005, and our club has hosted many breed seminars aimed at education of everybody involved in the breed. We currently have an excellent dedicated committee and supportive membership base. At our 2015 AGM, Mr. Costa Jackson was elected as an Honorary Member for his continued support of the club over the past 30 years. As with many other smaller clubs, finances remain a struggle, but concerted fundraising efforts and determination always seem to pay off!
Our club has an active, dedicated website, which has an impressive combination of history, education, interesting articles, show results and list of upcoming events. Visitors can also find information on The FCI Standard, on Judging Saints and an Illustrated FCI standard adopted by the WUSB. We have an exciting Facebook page, updated regularly with Saint Bernard information.
In my opinion, The Saint Bernard club of Tvl is doing very well, and the future looks bright for the Saint Bernard breed. I look forward to the next 10 years, and hope to continue our path of development and growth through education.
The club has several events planned for 2016 and these include:
Breed Seminars We have had several requests for more breed seminars, mainly from two groups, which are Breeders and Judges. More and more judges are now aware that there are 3 standards, each with some very different requirements, and its important to apply the FCI standard when judging is South Africa. We hope to host the first seminar before June and another in the second half of the year. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for ALL your enquiries.
World Union of Saint Bernard clubs: Our club will once again be represented at the WUSB conference, AGM, Judges meetings, dinners and show by our delegates, and our Chairman will also be judging. The event is hosted by a different member country each year, and this year the host country will be Portugal. As always, our club delegates will host an information evening for members on their return from Portugal, regarding all issues discussed at WUSB.
WODAC 2016 This event provides a wonderful showcase for any club or breeder and our Saint Bernards will once again have a dedicated stand at WODAC, manned by breeders for their own kennels.
Championship show 2016 The club will be hosting the Championship show in the last part of the year. We have selected a South African judge who has shown great interest and commitment to our breed, and we look forward to another successful event. In 2015 we included a Carting ring, after not having carting for many years, and we hope to have another good carting entry this year.2016