YOU don’t get to be a show exhibitor and dog breeder of 35 years without a few wins under your belt.
And Tamworth’s Fiona Holtkamp and daughter Catherine’s latest efforts have managed to add to an already overflowing trophy cabinet.
The duo, and husband Royce, returned home this week after exhibiting several breeds at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
And with the royals, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting the harbour city, it seemed symbolic that Mrs Holtkamp took out the top gong for her blue merle-coloured Cardigan Welsh corgi, Rosette.
The cute and excitable 10-and-a-half-month-old was crowned best puppy in breed.
Not to be outdone, Catherine’s dog Maggie, an Australian cattle dog, and Nike, a Finnish lapphund – who the 18-year-old was showing on behalf of its owner – both took out awards at Sydney.
Mrs Holtkamp said she fell in love with corgis at an early age and a Cardigan corgi was one of the first two show dogs she purchased back in 1977.
“I’ve always had corgis,” she said.
“I think I got my first corgi (a Pembroke) when I was three-and-a-half as a Christmas present.
“They are a fun loving breed, I guess, and a big dog in a small package as they’ve only got short legs.”
She credits another show family for her decision to start exhibiting, which she has done at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and elsewhere since 1978.
“(It was) probably living with a family just after I left school who had show animals,” Mrs Holtkamp said.
“Their thinking was if you have a dog you may as well have a dog that you are proud of and an extension of being proud of it is to go out and exhibit it and win prizes with it.
“Then you get the bug.”