With a shared love of purebreds, members of the Townsville Kennel Association and its affiliate, the Thuringowa City Kennel Club, are happily doggone.
Pedigree Name: Ebondobe Witches Promise
Australian Supreme Champion
One of the longest-standing clubs in Queensland, the Townsville Kennel Association is 87 years old and has evolved from calling The Townsville Show Grounds home to having its own purpose-built grounds at Wordsworth Park in Woodstock. The dog show season runs from late February through to October, so most weekends club members are busy showing in Central or North Queensland.
“As soon as the dogs see items being packed for a show weekend, they bolt to the car with excitement,” says Shane, President of the Townsville Kennel Club and Dogs Queensland.
“They love mixing with other dogs and the public at large.”
President of the Thuringowa City Kennel Club, Melissa Bradshaw, couldn’t agree more.
“When my two Collies see me getting ready for a show, they wait at the front door so I don’t forget them,” she laughs. “Show dogs love being out in the ring.”
Poppy Shetland Sheepdog
Pedigree Name: Shelshaw Sweet N Sassy
Melissa’s two dogs — Sari (a tri colour Collie Rough) and Cleaver (a blue merle Collie Rough) have won many awards including Best in Show, Multi Best in Group and Australian Champion. Cleaver is also very close to winning the top title in Australia (Supreme Champion), so fingers (and paws) crossed. Vice President of the Townsville Kennel Association (and Melissa’s mother), Merryll Bradshaw, says the many friendships formed from participating in the sport also make it addictive. Merryll and the newest addition to her show dog team, Poppy, recently took out Best Baby Puppy in Show at the Royal Queensland Show (EKKA).
“It was only her third ever event and she won the biggest dog show in Queensland,” Merryll beams. “A huge honour indeed for such a young dog and a once-in-a-lifetime achievement for me.”
Poppy was born on ANZAC Day and her personality reflects her pedigree name ‘Shelshaw Sweet N Sassy’.
“She’s only been in the ring for a month and she’s already won a lot of hearts with how much she enjoys strutting her stuff,” Merryll laughs. “Belonging to the clubs is a great way to get involved in helping organise dog show events, as well as enjoy puppy play dates and social get-togethers.”
Pedigree Name: Ronin Fairy Nuff
Australian / New Zealand Champion
Cleaver Collie Rough
Pedigree Name: Cathkin R U Ready For This
As well as dog showing, many club members take part in dog handling competitions. Only 17, Brooke Reading recently won the State Junior Handler final and will represent Queensland soon at the national level.
“It’s my dream to win the National Junior Handlers final in Brisbane on October 21 and go on to compete internationally,” says Brooke, who already has around 30 Best in Show titles under her belt.
“My mum had dogs who competed in shows so I’ve grown up with it. We have boarding kennels out the back and own Dalmatians, Boxers, an English Pointer and a Doberman. They all get a turn at coming inside for cuddles.”
Brooke says her “heart dog” is a Dalmatian called Bundy, whose too old to compete now but won Supreme Champion in his day. Bundy is now enjoying his well-earned retirement as a pampered member of the Reading family.