Shows and Social Events | Spring Garden Party 2019
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The Spring Garden Party took place at the usual venue of Priors Marston Sports Club nr Daventry with generous sponsorship from Happy Dogs.

Everyone knows this venue is not perfect but it does have many redeeming features going for it, not the least of which are it’s privacy and  it’s size which is just right for this event and helps to ensure a lovely atmosphere at these events. Parking, camping and the activity areas are not too cramped and not too spread out.

This year the Garden Party weather Gods decided to have a quick laugh and give us a short sharp reminder of just what they could do to us if they decided. Just as everyone was beginning to gather for the Saturday evening Pre Party, Party the weather took a sudden nose dive. The wind wrecked gazebos and attacked tents and the heavens opened for about 15  minutes. ‘Biblical’ was the word several people settled on to describe it, not sure about that but it was pretty dire for a spell. The field, which is a pretty good natural drainer had no choice but to become rather sodden for the rest of the night and there were some very damp people in the pavilion.

However, after a good frost producing some very chilly campers, the next day dawned bright and quickly warmed up and we had a glorious perfect Garden Party weather day. The ground dried quickly and anyone who stayed away because of weather concerns really missed out as everything went ahead as planned.

Preparation had been hampered by rain intervals during the preceding days but everything was ready for Saturday to begin proceedings with RallyO practice followed by a competition both officiated over by Sue Brown. We thank Sue for her help and support in providing this activity for members to learn and have fun with but also have to say the numbers taking part were noticeably down on previous years so if you want this activity to continue you need to support it.

Carting practice and instruction was available on Saturday and several people took advantage of this. If you have a Bernese and you are thinking about trying carting, or just want to find out a bit more about what is involved, the Garden Party week-end is a great place to start, especially if you can be there on Saturday as well when things are not so busy and you could receive lots of attention. A few people took advantage of Saturday to put their beginner carting dogs through the first draft assessment in the more more relaxed and serene ambience of Saturday.

Saturday evening, after recovering from the deluge, proceeded with the Pre Garden Party Party where the food and quiz were followed due to popular demand by Bingo, (what the attraction of bingo is evades me but if people want it then we have the technology and can deliver).




Some photos from the week-end are featured on this page but all the photos can be seen via this link.

Photos from this event

Sunday had a similar programme to the normal run of events, we do tweak the programme each year trying out variations on the accepted theme, but most events are pretty well set and it wouldn’t be the Garden Party without them.

First in the ring was Most Handsome Dog, followed by the PC required balance class of Prettiest bitch and events in the Main Ring were under way, officiated over by MC Mark Avery, and reports & photos can be found below. Mark does enjoy this role but I do find myself wondering what the ladies of Aylesbury have done to him in the past!

As ever I cannot get too far into this report without pausing to thank the many non committee people that help with the day. This event, more than any other, just simply would not be possible in the same way without them. I am not going to try and mention everyone but whatever your contribution setting up, taking down, kitchen related, judging, stewarding, raffles, car park organising etc etc the club is very grateful for all the help we get.

Main Ring Parades

Scroll down the page for the judge’s report of the Novelty classes but scattered amongst these in the Main ring are some standard expected regular highlights. Three highlights of these are the Parades, namely Puppy, Golden Oldie and Rescue.The largest class on a normal day is usually the Puppy Parade and there was a good attendance again this year with owners taking the chance to not only show off their lovely babies but give them a bit of socialisation as well.

If the Puppy Parade is the GP largest class inside the ring then the Rescue Parade usually gets the largest attendance outside the ring with many people making sure they do not miss the chance to acknowledge and thank our Rescuers and their rescued dogs and maybe shed a tear or two at their stories. Rescue CoOrdinator Sandra Gatward usually adds to the information about each dog as we learn about their life and how they ended up where they are now. Sometimes these stories are sad, sometimes maddening but always uplifting when we see how well the dogs are loved  now.

So big thanks to all our Rescuers for helping when a Bernese was in need AND for bringing your dogs today and sharing their tales with us.

The last Parade featured here is the Golden Oldie Parade where we get chance to celebrate some of our older Bernese friends.

The ‘We R Family’ Class was exceptionally well supported this year with eight kennel groups coming into the ring. A brilliant spectacle of over 60 Bernese and massive thank you to everyone who took part.










Decorated Cart Swiss Style







Carting First Draft

Five dogs successfully undertook their First Draft Assessment over the week-end and were rewarded with their First Draft goodie bags from the club


Working Cart Course Results

The judging of the Working Cart course classes was shared by Di Crawshaw and Chris Handley. This arrangement allows them to take part in some classes and judge others. Judges are very difficult to get for this event so anything that helps this situation should be complimented and we can only thank the ladies for their efforts and commitment.

Beginners Class

1st Bramble with Andy Smith 120 points Pass

2nd Shadow with Debbie Morgan 119 pts Pass

3rd Lily with Sue Maddox  117 pts Pass

3rd Barney with Cliff Mills 117 pts Pass

3rd Ted with Rebecca King 117 pts Pass

6th Lexi with Andy Smith 117 pts Pass

7th Anja with Pete Garrard 117 pts Pass

8th Hugo with Robert Yarker 113 pts Fail


Intermediate Class

1st Torin with Di Crawshaw 163 pts Pass

2nd Gina with Geoff Stelmach 159 pts Pass


Advanced Class

1st Chelsey with Richard Hallam 221 pts Pass

2nd Florence with Debbie Morgan 217 pts Pass

3rd Lucy with Geoff Stelmach 217 pts Pass


Medals Class

1st Bollinger with Belle Owen 243 pts Pass

2nd Norman with Chris Handley 242 pts Pass

3rd Phina with Keith Brown 126 pts Fail


There were the usual 4 Obedience classes occupying the Obedience ring throughout the day. Due to it clashing with other events it is sometimes extremely difficult to find judges for this event and we are extremely grateful to Amanda Mullins for stepping in to help us. Catering for mixed ability and ( a little bit) other breeds there is no reason for anyone to be afraid of this event and we hope to see even more Bernese taking part at Garden Parties in the future. Go on, have a go it is not a top level serious event and we want people to enjoy the day. Some people have brilliant working Bernese who really show what a Bernese can do if given the opportunity, others do little training but in the beginners classes a little knowledge can go a long way.

Class: Have A Go Bernese

1st Indy with Sherry Round

2nd Shadow with Debbie Morgan

3rd Chester with David Biggins

4th Shandi with Cheryl Friend

5th ????? with Oliver Jones (Sorry the name of the dog is missing, please get in touch and let us know so we can include it –

Class: Triers Bernese

1st Oskar with Sue Schofield

2nd Paddington with Sherry Round

3rd Phivia with Keith Brown

4th Badger with Malcolm Peter

5th Diesel with Sam Barnett

Class: Obedience Future Stars

1st Lily with Sue Maddocks

2nd Faredge with Sue Small

3rd Oskar with Sue Schofield

4th George with David Maddocks

5th Bollinger with Belle Owen

Class: Open All Breeds

1st Delta with Sue Brown

2nd Lily Sue Maddocks

3rd George with David Maddocks



Today’s Obedience judge was present at extremely short notice so we are incredibly grateful to Marion Jollifft for stepping up to help us out. You don’t see many Bernese in general Obedience but GPs are your chance to have a little instruction and practice. The course is provided for enjoyment of members but we hope some people take the opportunity to give their dog some good experience and gradually improve their capability.

Class: Beginners

1st Florance with Debbie Morgan

2nd Chelsey with Richard Hallam

3rd Belle with Katie Jones

4th Elise with Sarah McTigue

5th Faberge with Sue Small

Class: Novice

1st Mayba with Tai Tsui

2nd Paddington with Sherry Round

3rd Diesel with Sam Barratt

4th Lily with Sue Maddox

5th Lucy with Geoff Stelmach

6th Gina with Geoff Stelmach

Class: Open

1st Eddie  with Jenny Markins

2nd Gina with Geoff Stelmach

3rd Lucy with Geoff Stelmach


Main ring Novelty Classes

Judged by Brenda Robson

While visiting Helen Thompson’s house over Christmas with Lianne Marsden, I was asked if I would like to judge the fun classes at this year’s Spring Garden Party 2019.
After a bit of persuasion, and a couple of glasses of wine, I agreed.
I think the sentence “You will get to cuddle lots of dogs & puppies” was the main reason I said yes!

The weekend finally arrived, and we set off on the long journey down to the garden party in torrential rain.
I remember thinking, please don’t rain all weekend! (I do seem to have my own personal rain cloud that follows me about)! But I was lucky this time, I got to judge on a lovely day.

The sun was getting hotter and hotter, and nerves were setting in as the first class assembled, but Sam Avery kept me calm, so I’d like to thank her for all of her help and guidance.
I’d also like to thank Mark Avery for keeping everything moving along, and GB club for letting me loose on the day! I now have big respect for judges, they make it look easy!
It’s so hard to choose five dogs from each class as they are all perfect in my eyes, and we all know that we each take the best dog or dogs home with us.
I found myself asking out loud on a few occasions, “How am I going to choose?”

Congratulations to all of the dogs and owners, not just the ones who won rosettes on the day, but to all who took part in all of the classes, veteran, and puppy parade, where Henry the twelve week old puppy got the biggest Awwww I’ve ever heard, (I think the whole show ground joined in!) as he bounded into the ring, on what was a very hot, sunny day, we are owned by a truly magnificent breed.
I can feel my eyes misting over as I think about how these dogs bring people together, I think the word I am looking for to describe our dogs is “magical,” yes, that’s the word for them….. magical.

On that note, I will stop waffling! here are the results for the novelty classes:

Class 1
Most handsome dog
I’ve only ever had males, so I felt very at home with this class.
Still, it was hard to choose, as they were all superb.
1st Oscar and Jo Redstone
2nd Reggie and Sara Cockburn
3rd Hugo with Jackie Yarker
4th Yogi and Nicky Cotton
5th Boris with Rachel Johnson

Class 2
Prettiest Bitch
This was a big class of lovely ladies. There was something for everyone here, tall, small, curly coats, straight coats, they had it all.
The age range as well was amazing, from the very young, to nine years, with the oldies proving that they still “Have It!”
1st Elsie and Sarah McTighe
2nd Cleo and Yvonne Boyd
3rd Pepper and Anya Everett
4th Shandy and Cheryl Friend
5th Livvy and Rebecca King

Class 4
Dog with the most appealing eyes
We all know the loving, soulful look in the eyes of our bears.
How do you choose from several at one time?
With great difficulty is the answer! Especially when a bright sun is shining in them!
Still, that only added to their sparkle.
1st Cassie and Stephen Biggins
2nd Pepper and Brian Everett
3rd Cleo and Yvonne Boyd
4th Roxy and Jayne Adam
5th Connie and Reesha Porter

Class 5
Best Smile
There’s nothing like a Bernese smile to brighten the day, and there were plenty of smiles in this class.
1st Connie with Reesha Porter
2nd Oscar and Jo Redstone
3rd Lettie and Jenna Dixon
4th Cassie and Stephen Biggins

Class 6
Waggiest Tail
Definitely the noisiest class of the day, energy levels soared as everyone tried their own methods to get those tails wagging. I loved the enthusiasm, my 1st place didn’t stop wagging the whole time.
1st Paddy and Liz Dedman
2nd Titan and Stacey Robinson
3rd Lettie and Samia Dixon
4th Luna and Glynis Sawyers
5th Bobby and Katy Nina

Class 7
Dog the judge would like to take home
Wow, I wish I could have taken them all home, but I think Master Leo would have had
something to say about that!
1st Oscar and Jo Redstone
2nd Bailey and Aiden Chen
3rd Poppy and Jayne Adam
4th Nugget and Sarah McTighe
5th Matilda and Jess Rolfe

Class 8
Dog most like its owner
I was looking for togetherness more than looks in this class and all 3 had that in spades, great energy levels too, 1st place just edged it.
1st Oskar and Sue Schofield
2nd Lettie and Samia Dixon
3rd Zuri and Jenna Dixon

Class 10
Junior Handling 6-10 years
Three entries in this class, and didn’t they do well?!
It can be hard handling such large dogs, but this didn’t phase our young handlers one bit. 1st place showed good handling skills, 2nd place had great energy and 3rd place did really well holding onto a very strong boy. Well done to you all.
1st Zuri and Nala Dixon
2nd Lettie and Samia Dixon
3rd Dougal and Grace Tompkinson

Class 11
Junior Handling 11-16 years
One entry in this class, who showed good, steady handling, good control, well done,
1st Shandy and Kaci Borton

Class 12
Best bad hair day (dog or owner)
I enjoyed this class immensely, it gave me one of the biggest laughs of the day!
A well deserved 1st place for the unicorn of Hugo! and I loved the puppy “fro’s”
More excuses for cuddles.
1st Hugo and Jackie Yarker
2nd Shelby and Derek Jones
3rd Murphy and Mandy
4th Dublin and Janes Whyte

Hugo and his coiffure, specially for us!!


Class 13
Dog in best condition
Probably my hardest class of the day, all of the dogs were in great condition.
Their coats were as shiny as the sunshine but 1st place went to a stunning boy.
1st Oscar and Rob Redstone
2nd Wallace and Reesha Porter
3rd Elsie and Sarah McTighe
4th Barnum and Grace Tompkinson
5th Oskar and Sarah Schofield

Class 15
Best Brace or trio of dogs
Seven dogs between three handlers, well done to everyone in this class, it’s hard to handle one let alone two or three!
1st place edged it with good handling skills, very composed.
2nd place, very “in sync” while walking both dogs.
3rd place did well handling three lovely, strong dogs, well done to all.
1st Roxy, Poppy and Jayne Adam
2nd Cleo, Luna and Glynis Sawyers
3rd Nina, Belle, Napoleon and Fiona Hallam

Class 16
Best Trick
What a surprise this class was, I loved the doggie dancing, 1st place did turns, weaves under legs, and the shy dog with paw over nose was fab, a real ahh moment.
Loved 2nd place’s can can and weaves
3rd place is learning sign language, but was a bit shy on the day, well done to all in this class, it just proves what a bit of training can do for both dog and owner.
1st Annie and Lesely Messiah
2nd Oskar and Sue Schofield
3rd Zuri and Jenna Dixon

I can vouch for how difficult Brenda found it to separate the dogs, the first thing she asked for in the ring was a double whisky!! Big Thanks to Brenda on completing one of the most difficult judging appointments there is!

Character Assessment

As always the club provided Character Assessment option at this Garden Party. For many years the Club’s constitution has recommended all breeding dogs have a Character Assessment and this has been available at the Garden Parties. We are grateful to our regular independent assessor Jude Brendon for completing this for us.



David Robertson & Lianne Marsden’s Tickbern Valencia avec Vellbern (Bitch)

Steve, Jeanette and Emily Green’s Matthais vom Durrbachler Wald at Waldershelf (Dog)

Steve, Jeanette and Emily Green’s Waldershelf Mavis Be The One (Bitch)

Steve, Jeanette and Emily Green’s Madell vom Durrbachler Wald at Waldershelf (Bitch)

Elaine Worrall’s Jesterbrock Dragonstone at Oakbern (Bitch)

Shandy Bridges’ Kernow Troubadour (Dog)


Shandy Bridges’ Kernow Troublue (Dog)


Sort of aligned to the Character Assessment is the Kennel Club Good Citizens scheme which is always available to members at the Garden Parties, our thanks to Jane Keeves for officiating today. List of results will be posted as soon as available.

Another unenviable set of judging tasks is judging the Decorated Cart classes and our brave volunteer, well okay probably conscript, was Lin Mullins. The usual three classes were available and we thank everyone who took part. A massive amount of work produces what we see in the ring for these entrants and it can be really hard to award places so we are very grateful to Lin for giving up her time for us today.

Class: Based on a Swiss Theme 

1st Bollinger and Belle Owen

2nd  Tobi and Sheila Cantrell

3rd Norman and Chris Handley

4th  Barney and Cliff Mills

Class: Fancy Dress Theme “Children’s TV Programmes”

1st Norman and Chris Handley

2nd Tobi and Sheila Cantrell

Class: Best Carting Turnout

1st Bollinger and Belle Owen

2nd Torin and Di Crawshaw

Fun and Games

At some point during the day, usually fairly middling, we hold fun and games in the Main Ring. This year participants were somewhat reluctant at first but we ended up with competitions in Biscuit Catching, Biscuit and Spoon race and Musical Sitz. Unfortunately I don’t have any record of the first of these but the results of the others are as follows.

Biscuit and Spoon Race

1st Zuri with Nahla Dixon

2nd Dougal with Grace Tomkinson

3rd Bailey with Aiden Chen

4th Mayba with Una Tsui

5th Lettie with Samia Dixon


Musical Sitz

1st Oskar with Sue Schofield

2nd Mayba with Una Tsui

3rd Annie with Lesley Messiah

4th Tilda with (an astounded!) Jess Rolfe

5th Badger with Malcolm Peter