We had planned to come over to Sweden for over a year, for the Seminar, attend the shows and then to bring Rut, (Spindel’s Garden Party at Minglas) back to the UK. With five people and four dogs it was going to be a holiday spread out over two weeks – with 10 days in Sweden. This was the fourth time for Ian and myself to visit Sweden but for Heather Mayes, Matt and Sal Vowles, it was their first time.

After our long drive from the UK we stayed near Sk�vde, for the first few days. Where we met two Sugar Loaf Clumbers on the first shopping trip for food. It seemed a very small world as in a very random way we happened to come across a school friend to one of our Swedish friends on another day beside a cottage on the banks of Lake V�nern. We ended up swimming our dogs in the water there and he gave us coffee and cakes! Then to complete the strange happenings we ended up filling a page of the local paper with photos of us and our dogs having a barbeque beside the lake near our cabin. I am sure many of you saw the article in the paper!
After four days of relaxing we visited some Swedish friends to wash the dogs – before heading on to V�tterleden and our next cabin. It was great to start to see other Clumbers with their owners gathering for the initial get together on the Thursday evening. It was lovely to meet everyone again and to find out who else had travelled and from where.

The seminar was interesting and I know how much hard was put in by people to arrange all of it. Though for me the highlights were the Clumber events that were to happen over the next two days. It was really good to find out there were so many entrants for the obedience competition, there isn’t anything like this in the UK that I have come across so it was fun to see how Tor and Trogen would behave. I was astonished to find them marked so high – though it was obvious who had done the training and hard work to win the event!

Then on to the shows – I love to watch the shows in Sweden and study the dogs and their breeding. The Saturday was in glorious sunshine and we set up camp with our Swedish friends. Thankfully I found an able handler when I had two dogs in the same class. Unfortunately as rosettes came my way I rather lost track of the dogs in each class and the show start to merge into a blur. It was a good job that so many people took photographs to remind us of the day. I enjoyed watching the judge work through the dogs and how she finally got to her winning dogs and bitches. The fact that two other judges chose to join her and use the event as a training tool was, I thought a wonderful opportunity for them to see and examine so many excellent examples of the breed. It was really an honour to find out what she thought of my dogs. The evening meal and auction was as much fun as it has been at the other annual shows we have been too.

AuCh Abbyford Taw winning on Saturday

AuCh Erinveine Exonerate for Abbyford (impAust) won the Open Dog class on Saturday
photos Hans Arne Paulsen

The Sunday couldn’t have been more of a contrast as far as weather goes. We awoke to pouring rain and wind – we had to help to patch up tents which had both blown over during the night. What a contrast – this is my first experience of showing outside all day in bad weather – in the UK we generally have large all-weather tents to show under. So from bright sun and dry conditions we went to rain, mud and dirty dogs. Being used to working my dogs in the worst aspects of the UK weather it made little difference and I thought it was great fun – after all everyone else had the same conditions. Clumbers are gun dogs and it shouldn’t make any difference to them and on the most part, it didn’t. My only fear was falling over in the mud!

Again the choice of judges were excellent and it was again fascinating to watch to see how and what they chose. Getting a verbal critique on the placings was as always a valuable insight into their reasons for their placings. Once again the dogs got more rosettes, dog food and boxes of biscuits as well as polkagris – it was a good job I bought a Clumber Klubben bag to carry it all in!