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  • Belfast Between The Wars


Northern Whig, Thursday 16th October 1924

The Belfast dog show, which was held yesterday the Balmoral showgrounds, made a completely new record not only for Ulster but for the entire country.

The entries reached 1,400, which was 200 in excess of the previous year, and the show is now the biggest thing of its kind in Ireland. The arrangements were carried out under the auspices of the Belfast Dog Show Society, of which the principal officials are – President, Mr. T. E. McConnell, C.B.E.; chairman, Mr. A. P. Dalzell, J.P.; deputy chairman, Mr. S. R. Wilson; hon. treasurer, Mr. T. Monahan; hon. secretary, Mr. James W. McIlhagga; hon. assistant secretary, Mr. Nat McIlhagga, who with the Committee had a tremendous amount of organisation to get through in order to bring the show up to its high level of excellence. Judging in the various classes began at 10 a.m., and was continued right up to 6 p.m.


The entries were not only the largest ever received for a similar show in Ireland, but in every department the quality of the animals on exhibition was estimated as equal to the best shows on the other side of the Channel.

Large classes ruled in every variety, testifying to the increased interest in canine affairs in the country.

The Alsatians headed the list of entries, followed by Irish terriers – rough and smooth – and there was also a fine lot of fox terrier, while quite a feature of the exhibition was the number of new breeds exhibited for the first time.

The judging was carried out with great success. The Balmoral showgrounds lent themselves admirably to the occasion, and with the weather holding fine practically all the classes were judged in the open, which was an improvement on previous shows, which were held under cover as in the local markets.

The judges, who everywhere expressed themselves as delighted with the quality of the exhibits, were as follows: –

Mr. J. W. Heslip, Irish wolfhounds, deerhounds, pointers, Irish water spaniels, retrievers, grant challenge, and variety classes; Mr. George Day, cocker spaniels, springer spaniels, and all toy varieties; Major R. O’Kelly, Irish red setters; Mr. L. Lewis, bulldogs; Mr. W. S. Wade, Airedale terriers; Mr. H. B. Fottrell, Kerry blue terriers; Mr. J. Brabazon, Irish terriers; Mr. A. Mackennon, fox, Scottish, West Highland, and Cairn terriers; Mr. J. Powers, collies; Lieut.-Col Crawshay, Sealyham terriers; Major Forsythe-Major, Alsatian wolfdogs.


In the class for Irish wolfhounds Dr. Robin Hall, Belfast, carried off the principal honours. Mrs. McAllister, Ballymena, scored well in the Alsatian wolf dogs, as also did Mr. A. C. Nugent, of Killowen, County Down, and Miss Fair, of Berwick-on-Tweed, who had close on a dozen firsts.

Mr. Thomas A. Michaels, Belfast, was awarded five firsts in the pointers class, and Mr. S. G. Taylor, Belfast, was a successful exhibitor in Irish red setters. He had half a dozen firsts. Mr. Nichols also scored freely with retrievers.

Mr. J. A. Carberry, Drogheda, showed most successfully with cocker spaniels, in which variety, however, the highest honours went to Mr. Alfred McBride, Belfast, with his champion The Knut.


The collies class was remarkable for the success of a nine months old puppy, Knight Errant of Knock, owned by Mr. A. P. Dalzell, J.P., Belfast, which was awarded six first prizes and four of the seven cups awarded as specials. The successful puppy is a beautiful type with a lovely expression and fine coat. The next most successful competitor in this class was Mr. J. L. Robertson, of Boyle.

Mr. J. L. Salter, of Leix; Dr. L. Widoger, of Dublin; and Lieutenant-Colonel Goodwin, Cregagh, Belfast, were the outstanding competitors with bulldogs.

Miss O’Shaughnessy, Dublin, gained five firsts for Airedale terriers.

There was much class and keen competition in the Irish terriers variety, Mr. John Crawford, Belfast, showing first prize-winners in the puppy, and maiden dog, Mr. P. Hynes, Belfast, winning the open class, and Mr. William Orr, Ballymena, winning three firsts with a bitch puppy.

Mr. H. W. Robson, of Laurence Kirk, Scotland, had on view smooth fox terriers, which scored well, while for wire-haired Mrs. Willis Stirling, and Mr. D. Stevenson, Londonderry, exhibited with much success.

Mr. T. J. Donaghy, Ballymena, had the best Kerry blue terrier, and Mr. S. G. Fenton, Banbridge, had a splendid bitch, which had six firsts in the Sealyham terriers class.

The various other classes had also excellent quality, but in some of them the results did not reach the secretary’s room from the judging ring. They were late in being dealt with.

The specials and cups did not come to hand either. They will be awarded in due course by the various dog clubs.


The Grand Challenge (open) for the best dog in show was won by Mr. Alfred McBride’s (champion) The Knut, a Belfast cocker spaniel which has already cleared the boards on the other side of the Channel. Second prize was awarded to Mr. M. Sammon, Dublin, for his Kerry blue terrier Blue Sensation, and third place to Mr. John Gilzean, Edinburgh, for Brochter, a Cairn terrier.


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