The third weekend in March there was a big show in Sweden . It was time for the Swedish Winner show, which was held in Malmö this year. Almost 5900 dogs had been entered to the show making it the largest winner show organised by a local kennel club in Sweden . As usual it was a busy time at the Harde family; visitors from the North of Sweden, Cattis who was very much pregnant and 14 dogs that had to be taken care of before the show. With some difficulties it was organised that Jaana from Finland , i e Håkan’s, Annika’s and Lara’s breeder and also Andreas’ Godmother, came and helped out. First we thought this should be a big surprise for Cattis but as time passed I understood it would be better to tell her – and I can tell you that she was relieved that she would get some help. Jaana arrived Friday morning and she and Cattis began to groom dogs as soon as they had been bathed! Because on Saturday there was a toy show held in Denmark so early in the morning I, Marita, Stig, Lillemor, Lars and Ann went there. At the show we met Luna with Mollie (Berit’s daughter). Gunnar Nyman, Danish breed specialist, judged the bichons and we had a great day! Zimon won champion males as well as best male, Wictor was second in junior, Knut won open as well as the Danish CC. Tindra won champion bitches and Mollie was second, Lara won her class and was best bitch. Berit was best veteran. Lillemor’s Zimon was then BOB and Lara BOS. Our breeder’s group was best group in the breed and got prize of honour. When the judging had finished it was time to eat! And it was all very delicious. Stig had made hot dogs and they were very much appreciated by all of us. We took the dogs out and as usual they enjoyed the excitement. Berit was clever enough (as always!) to place herself close to someone that would constantly pat her. In the finals we did brilliant! Our breeder’s group with Zimon, Tindra and Knut was BIS-1. Berit was BIS-2-veteran. Lara was BIS-3-BOS. And when it was time for Lillemor and Zimon we all hoped they would do well! The BIS-judge was from Sweden and he had liked Zimon before so we kept our fingers crossed for them… All the dogs were judged and four was chosen to be placed and among them was Zimon! In the end there were two dogs left and finally Zimon was BIS- 2 in a very strong line up. Three of the dogs were from Sweden and two of them from the Northern parts of Sweden . After the show we all went back to the car and travelled back to Höllviken were the others still bathed and groomed dogs for the show on Sunday.

Sunday
Very early in the morning it was time to get up, take the dogs out for a walk and then make the dogs ready for the show and then go to Malmö. 27 bichons were to be judged by the Serbian judge Zoran Brankovich. There were only a few dogs in the ring before it was time for the bichons to be judged. At the show Team Hardy-Flap with friends took up one of the sides of the ring. The dogs were groomed by Cattis and Jaana and the rest of us helped to make the dogs ready. Everyone was in a good mood. The judging of the bichons began and Wictor and Lillemor and Max and I were the first ones to be judged. Among 3 dogs, Max was second with Exc and Wictor won the class with Exc. Next class where we had entered dogs were in open class. It was Knut and Ann and Hugo and Annika that competed with 2 other dogs. Hugo was third and Knut won the class with Exc. In the champion class where there were 8 competitors from the Middle and North of Sweden as well as from Finland , there were five dogs from our kennel. Evelina’s Mickey was fifth, The family Persson’s Simba was forth, Marita’s Mille was third and Felicia’s Dennis won the class, all got Exc. Dennis has been retired from the show ring for two years and did a really good come back in the ring! In best male there were lots of dogs! Five dogs were picked and among them four from our breeding. Mille was fifth, Knut with his owner Ann was forth and Wictor with his owner Lillemor was third. Wictor also won the CC at his first show in Sweden . Best male and also Swedish Winner 2009 was Jaana and a really happy Dennis. Just as happy were Felicia and the supporters at ringside. After applauses and congrats it was time for the bitches. In junior class Dolly made her debut with her owners cheering from ringside. Among four competitors she was placed first with Exc. In open class it was time for Mollie and Luna, and Mollie won the class with Exc. Then it was time for champion class and Evelina handled Tindra and I Lara. The judge finally placed Lara first and Tindra second, both with Exc, among the three in the class. Then it was time for Berit and we hoped a little extra for her since it was kind of a jubilee for her. If she would win the class and become best veteran then she would have been best veteran 50 times all over Europe . Berit and I went to the ring and as usual she showed her heart out and the judge absolutely loved her! She won the class with Exc and thereby she made the jubilee. Then it was time for best bitch. Cattis handled Berit, Jaana took Lara, Evelina had Tindra, Luna had Mollie and I took Dolly. The dogs showed their movements and then it was time to place them and that was really fantastic! Five dogs were placed and those five were either owned by or bred by us! Mollie was fifth, Dolly was forth with CC, Tindra was third, Lara was second and a really happy Berit was first!
Then it was time for mother and son, Berit and Dennis, to compete for the BOB and BOS. The judge picked the oldest dog for BOB – namely Berit. At the age of 9,5 years Berit was best veteran, best bitch, BOB and thereby also Swedish Winner-09! It was a fantastic winning especially after considering that the BOB-winner was the mother of the best male as well as the grand-mother of the two CC-winners.
Our breeder’s group with Mille, Knut, Zimon and Dennis won prize of honour. Birgit, who for the first time competed with a progeny class, won prize of honour. Wictor, Dolly, Knut and Hugo participated in the progeny class. After the judging, which had been so successful, it was time for us to eat together. Everyone contributed and enjoyed a really good meal. When the dogs had been out for a walk it was time to move to the main ring. The move went well since everyone helped out and soon we had everything organised close to the main ring. The finals began and we got to see some really nice dogs. It’s usually difficult to get placements in the final competitions and at winner show it’s even harder, since there are so many beautiful dogs. First it was time for the progeny classes. We got a change of judge, the new judge was a Swedish judge that we had never shown for before. Cattis and the rest of the gang went to the prejudging ring, and meanwhile Jaana gave Berit her final grooming. Several progeny classes went into the main ring and when the judge had picked the five he wanted to place, Birgit’s group was among them. Then all the groups showed their movements again and then the judge began to place the groups. And finally our progeny class was placed BIS-2!! It was great that it did so well. Then it was time for the veterans and there were A LOT of them! The judge for the veterans was the same that took the breed so of course we hoped Berit would do well. Jaana handled Berit very well in the ring and Berit was as always eager to be both seen and heard! Then the judge began to place the veterans; number 5, 4 and 3 were placed… And Berit was still in the ring! And finally the judge pointed at Berit and she was the winner! Once again Berit was BIS-veteran and she was also the entire show’s best veteran. Berit was in a great mood once she had won and danced around as her picture was taken. The next group to be judged was the breeder’s group and there were a number of groups that competed. The judge picked the five she wanted to place and the bichons was one of them! In the end there were two groups left – one with big dogs and one with small dogs. The judge decided to place the bichons at second place and we were really happy! Then it was time for group 9 and once again it was time for Berit to compete but this time she wasn’t placed, still she did very well! It’s not easy to be 9,5 years old when the others are youngsters! After a long day it was time to go home. Thank God it was close to Höllviken! But for the people from the North of Sweden a long journey began… They had about 1600 km to drive back home… Thanks to all of you that made this day so fantastic and memorable!

Stefan