Bernese Mountain Dog CC Winners
Welcome to the section where we detail and give some summary analysis to all the CCs that have been won by Bernese in the UK.
For anyone who may not know CCs, or to give them their full name Challenge Certificates are awarded to Bernese at most Championship shows, either at general ‘All Breeds’ or one of 4 annual Club shows. (Please note a few General Championship Shows do not schedule CCs for our breed so always check if you are specifically travelling to see our breed – or any other breed for that matter). The judge, or occasionally at club shows, judges, will award a single CC to the best dog and a second one to the best bitch in breed at the show. An individual dog requires 3 certificates (from three different judges) to become a Champion, so whether it is recorded here or not, every dog in the lists accessible from this page who has three or more CCs will be a UK Champion and their name will usually be recorded in red on a pedigree. The presence of these Certificates is the main reason why Championship shows garner much bigger entries than Open shows. They actually take the form of a card certificate with Kennel Club green trimmings signed by the judge and are often referred to as ‘tickets’ by the show fraternity – hence you will hear talk of the ‘dog ticket’ or ‘bitch ticket’ as well as ‘CC’. To be technically correct, the CC is not valid until it is confirmed by the Kennel Club several weeks after the show.
In order to be approved to award CCs to a breed judges have to go through a defined process involving such things as experience at lower level, attendance on specified courses, breed club approval although the exact nature of this approval and judges training is currently a topic of debate within the dog world.
As you can see from the table below, CCs were first granted to Bernese in 1977 when there were just 6 sets awarded. Over the following years the number rose to 32 in the mid nineties and since then has fluctuated between that and 27, governed by the number of Bernese Kennel Club registrations, and currently, 2019, sitting at 29 sets.
At the last update, after the GB club championship Show in December 2019, there had been 1,089 sets of CCs awarded. Those who have been around the breed for a few years will recall a few memories of dogs and people looking through these lists and I hope people will find them interesting and enjoy browsing through them.
Steve Green (BMDC of GB Webmaster Autumn 2019)
Here is a simple year by year breakdown of the numbers of all the BMD Challenge Certificates issued to the end of 2019 from the first CCs in 1977.
What is the point of CCs?
Of course in one sense CCs only relate to ‘show quality’ which some people have no interest in and many happy owners of a Bernese Mountain Dog have never been to a show. However, many people take showing very seriously and have little interest in any other activity such as the working side of the breed or fun events. In latter years some sections of the media have been very critical of the show world and showing is often seen as only relating to ‘beauty or appearance’. However, showing should also reflect soundness, temperament and where possible should overlap with certain visible aspects of breed health. The Kennel Club have been been strongly promoting this aspect for about a decade now with various tag lines such as ‘Fit For Function, fit for life’ and judges are strongly reminded that they have consider health aspects of every breed wherever this is relevant to the show ring. The truth is that is showing is probably still the single biggest activity that underpins a breed, rightly or wrongly, it still has the biggest impact on breeding choices which was a traditional function of the show world, fanciers coming together to check out each other’s stock in the only way they could. Nowadays there are other defined aspects to consider, such as DNA and other health related tests, but many people still like to have ‘lots of red’ on a pedigree and show wins, including CCs, do say something about the temperament, soundness and breed type of a dog. A regular show dog will enjoy the days at a show and be well socialised with people and other dogs as a result and the vast majority of dogs get very excited when getting ready to travel to a show.
A few extracted Figures
From the links below you can access different tables showing the biggest wining dogs and bitches, the highest achieving kennels over the years, a complete list of all CC winners, a complete list of all judges who have awarded BMD CCs and their CC judging records as well as an historical list of judges and CC winners at our club Championship Show and Crufts. Finally there is a complete chronological list of all 40 plus years of BMD Championship shows.
The show by show calendar list of CC winners should be updated regularly but the summary lists will only be recalculated from time to time with the latest show included in the figures being stated within the section.
Looking at the list of all CC winning dogs you can see that the highest number of CCs won by any Bernese is now 54 by Carole Hartley-Mair’s Champion Meadowpark High Class (Milo) followed by former record holder Michelle Gurney’s bitch Champion Monalou Nellie Pledge. In addition to his CCs Milo has collected an unprecedented, by any Bernese, run of group and Best In Show wins and is still an active dog who may add to his wins. Moving down the list of the most CC winners there are then 5 more dogs before the next bitch which further highlights the achievements of Nellie Pledge who won her CCs between 2002 and 2009.
Moving down the all time CC winners list in third place is Julie Vaughan’s Champion Carlacot Fido on 34 CCs who was the long time breed record holder winning his CCs between 1986 and 1993. Another well known dog of his day is next, the late Pam Aze’s Champion Forgeman Footpad who won 30 CCs between 1981 and 1990. 26 CCs were won by Nicola Jeffries’ Ch Viking’s Dark Billy Majigs (1990-95) followed by Julie Baldwin’s Ch Fortonpark Its Otto (2004-2006) Vertigo and another Meadowpark, namely Meadowpark Vertigo (2014-2017) on 19 CCs in joint sixth place. Only then in eighth place do we come to the second bitch in the list Mick and Julie Bramble and Shirley King’s Ch Shirdees Star of Wonder on 18 CCs (between 2004 – 2008). The top ten is completed by a dog and a bitch in joint ninth place with 17 CCs, namely Teresa and Stephen Nightingale’s Ch Manisla Ebony Dusk (2008 – 2014) and Ch Meadowpark Whispers Breeze (2012 -2014)
(Just to be clear, the dates given are the years of each dog’s first and last CC).