At a meeting of the Committee in May 2010, the Chairman, Steve Cox, addressed the Committee in Any Other Business, with an inspired proposal that, as suggested by the Committee in previous years, this year the Club ought to host a summer Match, to provide all enthusiasts with the opportunity to get together with like minded people and their favourite companions, in a less formal atmosphere than at a show or seminar, ensuring a relaxed and enjoyable day, thus maintaining the good relations we have forged with our Members. Steve very graciously offered to finance and organize the entire event, putting forward Rayvonley Mastino kennels in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, as the ideal venue. The Committee agreed that this was an excellent idea and the meeting closed on somewhat of a high.
As ever, it would seem! in today's protocol driven ruled & regulated canine world, our excitement very quickly turned to disappointment when we realized that an application by a Breed Club to hold a Match, must be submitted to the Kennel Club with the Clubs Annual Returns, and as our Annual Returns had already been returned to the KC, a Match this year was not an option!!
However, in our now customary 'never say die' determined nature (much akin to the nature of our beloved breed!), we re-grouped and re-formulated our plan for our summer 'chill-out' event, and our Molosser Fun-Day preparations commenced in earnest. Before continuing I must just ask Mr Cox if, he is ever inspired again, that he provide us with a tad more notice to see his inspiration to fruition!! 10 weeks in which to organize an event such as this, from start to finish, is, well!! ambitious to say the very least!! But as ever...
We pulled out all the stops, worked our little bums off!! and on the 7th of August 2010, the rain subsided, the wind calmed to a breeze, the sun shone down on Wisbech, and the previous weeks of frenzied organization paled into insignificance!! We were initially disappointed by the number of enthusiasts who didn't turn-up!! But our disappointment was short lived, for it was obvious that those enthusiasts in attendance were eager to chill-out and thoroughly enjoy the day.
30 or so Molossers joined 100 or so enthusiasts, for what turned out to be, the most enjoyable informal gathering, many of us have had the pleasure to attend in a long while. I Have since commented that, I have not laughed so much in a long while, It really was therapeutic to hear so much laughter and obvious enjoyment echoing around the paddocks at Rayvonley Kennels (that's not to say Emma & Team Rayvonley are not happy in their work!!).
The 14 Novelty Classes were all about beauty - Magnifico Molosser - Our MC: Pamela Jeans-Brown, took center stage in the main ring and in true PJB mode, entered into the swing of things with great gusto. Pam went with the flow all day bless her cottons, and I know she thoroughly enjoyed assessing the magnificence of 27 Magnifico Molossers, many of them several times over!! in a light-hearted and informal manner, having a laugh with exhibitors along the way. Thank you Pamela for helping to emphasise the Fun in Fun Day.
Also in the main ring, was our star Steward: Marion Hodgson. Marion stepped in to steward for us at short notice, turned-up with great enthusiasm for the day, and kept everything flowing beautifully in the main ring laughing all the way. Thank you Marion, job well done. Marion also informs me that she thoroughly enjoyed her day amongst Molossers & Molosser enthusiasts. Oh! And free range of the burger bar. LOL!
Our Movimento Molosser class - was all about movement & momentum. We set-up a nice 'n' easy agility course which we roped our jet-setting Kathy South into adjudicating over, Kathy was responsible for marking obstacle scores and noting times, and I know spent the entire day in stitches. It was absolutely brilliant to see those Molossers & handlers who had taken the plunge to compete in the course, winding their way through weave poles, walking the plank, jumping the jump, hunting down a sausage, and, with much encouragement and in most instances with handlers on all fours!! crawling with their Molossers through the tunnel. I haven't laughed so much in a long time and my cheeks began to ache!! (Steady!) Thank you everyone, thank you Kathy, it was fantastico to have you there in person.
The 5 Handling classes - Maneggio Molosser, concentrated on the handling ability of our enthusiasts. Our MC: Sean Platts, put our handlers & Molossers at ease, and then put everyone through their paces!! ensuring that fair play was observed in an extremely enjoyable and light hearted manner throughout. In the first class: best young handler, Sean was faced with the dilemma of choosing between a very young Master Cooper handling 4 month old Luca, and an even younger Miss Evans handling 2 year old Ferruccio. Sean was so impressed with both young handlers that he awarded them both First place rosettes (well done that MC!). Thank you Sean you did us proud, as did Tom Simpson, who was roped in to Steward for Sean, and in his customary jovial manner, undertook this task, keeping enthusiasts in stitches along the way. Thank you Tom.
In the Brace class Sean was faced with another dilemma, two game for a laugh girls, Dawn Platts & Lorraine Simpson, posing like a couple of Charlie's Angels, standing amongst the line-up of Molosser pairs waiting to be judged (I'm laughing thinking about it!!). Dawn & Lorraine also found their way into the Agility ring and competed, much to everyone's amusement, in the agility course! (What a scream that was!!). I have the agility scores in front of me, timed & recorded by Kathy, and can confirm that Dawn & Lorraine completed all five obstacles in the fastest time!! You go Girls!!
In all the rings enthusiasts & Molosser's were enjoying competing in the novelty, agility & handling classes, and out of the rings they were chilling-out with a burger or hog-roast in the cafe' area, watching the youngsters enjoying a bouncy castle, talking, laughing, and joking with fellow enthusiasts and thoroughly enjoying the day but more importantly, whether they competed or not, so were all the Molossers.
Our Congratulations to our overall Winner of:
Magnifico Molosser: Steve Cox's 2 year old Mastino Mica.
Maneggio Molosser: Mike Evans & Mandy Johnson's 2 year old Mastino Ferruccio.
Movimento Molosser: Adam & Jessica Fellows' 11 month old Mastina Bella.
Our Congratulations to our overall Top Winning:
Puppy Dog: Chris & Tracey Cooper's 4 month old Mastino Luca.
Puppy Bitch: Adam & Jessica Fellows' 11 month old Mastina Bella.
Adult Dog:Mike Evans & Mandy Johnson's 2 year old Mastino Ferruccio.
Adult Bitch: Nelson Ray & Pauline Kellegher's 5 year old Mastina Talia.
And our collective & massive Congratulations to the Molosser that accumulated the most points throughout the Fun Day and was crowned our Top Winning Molosser 2010: Adam & Jessica Fellows' 11 month old Mastina Bella. Congratulations and Well done to you ALL.
Massive thanks & humungous appreciation has to be expressed to:
Steve Cox of Rayvonley Mastini, for not only allowing the Club to host a Molosser Fun Day at his Kennels in Wisbech, but for financing the vast majority of overheads during the weekend events and maintaining a smile throughout! Pamela & Robert Jean-Brown, Marion Hodgson, Kathy South, Sean Platts & Tom Simpson for ensuring the enjoyment of all Molossers & Molosser enthusiasts whilst competing. The 'A' Team, Richard, Emma, Jess, Ricky & Scot Grimson, Dawn Wilde, Julie Good, Steve, Terhi & Nicko, for ensuring that all the 'behind the scenes' arrangements, before, during, & after the Fun Day, ran like a military operation. Thank you to the 'A' Team, it just wouldn't have been possible without your support.
Massive thanks to ALL Molosser enthusiasts who attended our Fun Day, with or without their Molossers, it really was fantastico to see so many fellow enthusiasts (not already mentioned) including, Jacquie Jordan & Stuart Whitelam who took time out from re-establishing Neapolitan Mastiff Welfare to be with us, Mac & Eleanor Macintyre who traveled all the way from Edinburgh and adopted a new family member to boot, Sergio & Sophie Madge who came over from France for the weekend, Rick & Anita Bailey of Dalnarck Mastino, who very graciously provided 'open house' facilities to our party of Finish Friends, Darren Moon & Mastina - congratulations on the news that Bereneice is expecting your first child early next year, Steve & Sarah Luff who provided the sound system & brought along the most georgeous DDB puppy, Mr & Mrs Roger Jones & Bullmastiff pups Millie & Asher, The Loake Family & Bullmastiff Baxter, Doreen Joy & DDB Phoebie, Nigel Davies & Family & Mastiff, Jaq Bunn & Mastino Bellini and all enthusiasts whose names are too numerous to mention.
THANK YOU ALL, the day would not have been the success it was without you and YOU definitely put the FUN into Fun Day on the 7th of August. Sa'lute!