In 1992 Mr Horak suggested that Cesky Terrier owners should meet together in an informal setting to learn more about the breed. For ten years the gathering was held in the Bohemian countryside north of Prague, at a small campsite on the bank of the R. Vltava beside the chateau of Veltrusy.
The floods that ravaged the Czech Republic in the Autumn of 2002 swept away the campsite, and since then various other venues have been used. However, to Cesky Terrier owners around the world, the name Veltrusy is still synonymous with a gathering of friends in the Czech Republic at the beginning of May, each year.
The weekend follows a set pattern each year, with a formal opening followed by demonstrations of grooming, an informal working competition and, on the Sunday, the Club Show. With entries from all over the world, a win at this show is the aim of all serious breeders.
In 2008 owners and lovers of the breed from Poland, Germany, Norway, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, UK and USA joined together with the Czech Club to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the recognition of the Cesky Terrier.
I feel that it is important to attend this gathering as often as I can - I have only missed a few years since 1992 - in order to keep in contact with other breeders and to see how the breed is progressing. With the advent of the Pet Passport Scheme it has been possible to take my own dogs to the Days of the Cesky Terrier.
In 2005 my Abba Melina Bohemica won the Horak Memorial Trophy; in 2006, before she came over to the UK, Gloria Kvitko took the 'Club Winner' title and went on to become BIS.
In 2007 Nadherna Nina Ridley was awarded the CAC from the Intermediate Class, whilst her dam, Kralovna Kvitko was placed 6th in the working competition.
On the way home we went to Klanovice, the birthplace of the Cesky Terrier, where Kiki and Nina were able to stretch their legs in the grass runs that had been home to their Lovu zdar ancestors!
In 2011 the 19th Days of the Cesky Terrier were held at Hrdonov on the shores of Lake Lipno in Southern Bohemia and I was very privileged to be given the honour of judging the Club Show.
My Best in Show was Int Ch Cassandra Orest Kalimera
In 2012 I took Oneva Eduard Malsville and Ridley Pamatka to Hrdonov to celebrate the 20th Days of the Cesky Terrier. Both were graded 'Excellent' and won their respective classes. Pamatka also won the CAC, thus becoming a Czech Champion. She is the first British-bred CT bitch to become a Champion in the breed's homeland.
Over the weekend the Bonitace
is held. This is a rigorous examination that assesses all the various factors of each dog - height, weight, chest circumference, dentition, anatomy, coat texture, temperament and movement. Only if all sections are considered satisfactory is the dog approved for breeding in the Czech Republic. Over the years I have taken several of my dogs for this assessment, and all have passed.
Int/Bel/Cz/Dk/Lux Ch Ridley Pamatka ShCM, DKKV '11, KV '13
In 2013, Pamatka returned to Hrdonov, and once again took the CAC, and this time the Club Winner title as well. This is perhaps the most prestigious award in the breed, and to win it from one of the most respected judges of the Cesky Terrier, Mrs Ticha, is an honour indeed.
To make the weekend complete, she was then awarded the Horak Memorial Trophy as well.
To mark the 50th
Anniversary of the recognition of the Cesky Terrier by the FCI, fifty medals were commissioned and presented to the fifty people considered to have contributed most to the Cesky Terrier in that time, both in the Czech Republic and in other countries. I was both humbled and proud to have been the recipient of one of these beautiful awards.
In 2014 Erik's daughter, Scotsman's Chrpa, won the Horak Memorial Trophy.