Well they say the sun
shines on the righteous and they werent wrong! We
cant believe after the atrocious weather of the previous
weeks that it all came good for the Congress. Dare we say that
Sunday afternoon, the day of our show, even got a bit too hot!!!
Well done to Wendy for the sun cream.
The venue (which was found by Heidi Lawrence)
was spectacular; a beautiful house with delightful far reaching
grounds. The event was made even richer by the joining of
the two UK clubs (TTA and TTBOC) to produce a spectacle that
had something for everyone. Wherever your interests lie with
TTs it was catered for; whether it is in showing, agility,
obedience, health or having a great Fun-Day. There
was even unbelievable support for the charity KAT, by way
of an auction on Saturday evening. After a B-B-Q for 200 guests!
over 50 donated items raised in excess of £2000. Angela
Mulliner, whose exhibition at the Kennel Club was visited
by about 30 delegates on the Wednesday, had kindly donated
a couple of prints. Expertly orchestrated by auctioneer Mark
James and his helpers, Angie Randall, Brian Harris and Steven
Green, there was lots of banter which all helped to make the
evening one to remember and bank balances very much lighter!
The Thursday evening reception was attended by
both clubs Chairmen, committee members and lots of familiar
and new faces from more than 16 countries. The majority had
attended other TT World Congress over the years and
some had attended all 10! The guests were able to nibble and
sip whilst being sung to by The Coventry Male Voice Choir
who were kept in beat by Valerie Hocking.
Congress Day on Friday saw several well-respected people
speak on health issues concerning the Tibetan Terrier.
Dr. Jeff Sampson gave a talk on genetics and breeding
a healthy TT and the ever popular Prof. Martin Fischer
enthralled everyone with his illustrated and animated
lecture on movement. After a delightful lunch, there
were talks by numerous people in the sports hall. One
of these specialists was Prof. Peter Bedford, who has
taken an interest in our breed for many years now. His
talk, which was accompanied by informative slides, was
on the status of the breed with reference to Lens Luxation
(LL), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), and Canine
Ceroid Lipfucinosis (CCL), the latter of which has only
recently had its first 2 cases confirmed in this country.
A timely reminder to us all that vigilance is imperative.
The other field expert was Catherine
Mellerch from the Animal Health Trust. For many years
now the AHT has been working with DNA samples
of TTs towards getting
a marker for PRA and LL. She couldnt express
enough how helpful DNA samples of any TT were and could speed
up the process of finding these markers. This will in turn enable
us to test for carriers and thus help to hopefully eliminate
these 2 hereditary diseases for good. Catherines feeling
was that it cant be so far away now (in scientific terms)
and that the more samples she had for the database the better.
She even brought DNA (cheek swab) packs along to show what they
consisted of and how to use them. These packs can be obtained
through the AHT for a small fee. So keen were some of the TT
enthusiasts from abroad that they took what packs Catherine
had brought and swabbed their dogs there and then!! Breed experts
Paul Stanton and Sheryl Rutledge talked on TTs around the world
and breeding for type respectively and showed the worth of responsible
and selective breeding.
After yet more food!, the day
closed with a talk on a visit to Tibet by Primoz Peer, Margareta
Sundquist and Anna Lorenzo and their subsequent importation
of stock from the motherland. All that remained
then was the two flagship show days and fun day
of which photos and results will be found elsewhere.
One thing that was and is common to all is the
love of this breed and that was apparent throughout the whole
event. This congress was unique to others before in that we
managed to bring together older and more experienced breeders
and owners with newer owners who were nervous at meeting everyone
from the Show and Agility world. This was achieved by including
The Fun Day. Although on a smaller scale, it was every bit
as important as the main events. We have had numerous e-mails
from the newer people expressing their feelings of surprise
at how friendly everyone was in offering the benefit of years
of experience and advice, whilst making them feel welcome
We also had verbal congratulations from a good
deal of home and overseas visitors saying how much they had
enjoyed themselves. However it would not be fair to name a
few without naming everyone; we all had our part to play in
this event and everyone present made some contribution to
making this Congress in the UK the success it was.
On behalf of the organising committee, Glenn
Davies, Pat Tempest, Philippa Gilbert & Mark James (shown
l-r respectively) we would like to give special thanks to
Heidi Lawrence and her team for organising the Agility &
Obedience Show and making it an integral part of the Congress
in the UK. We must also mention Claudia Moser who came over
from Switzerland to do her Heelwork To Music demonstration.
She later won BIS in the Fun Day dog show with her TT, Kerry.
Now its all over Im sure the committee
are wondering what to do with all their newly found spare
time. Any suggestions not involving the organising of World
Congresses will be carefully considered!!!! Seriously, many
thanks for your support without which it would never have
happened. Be proud of your contribution.