Dalmatian’s trophy cabinet full

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Margaret Phillips talks to Dalmatian owner Pam Norman ahead of the Gore and Districts Kennel Association All Breeds Show on February 3 and 4.

When Pam Norman took the call to pick up an Australian-bred Dalmatian at the airport, little did she know it would turn out to be an outstanding show performer.

The Gore woman, who has been showing Dalmatians for more than 30 years, was interested in buying the older sibling of Paceaway Tearz From Heaven @ Zolandia, or Torrie as she is affectionately known.

However, breeder Fran Darling did not want to sell Torrie’s older sibling.

Then without warning Ms Norman received a telephone call from the breeder asking her to pick up her new dog at the airport.

She had a couple of days to prepare for the 7-month-old’s arrival.

Torrie has proved to be a winner from the start.

She has been named New Zealand Multi Best in Show Champion and is working her way up the show classes with ease.

The rising 3-year-old is firstly a pet in Ms Norman’s eyes, then a show champion.

Ms Norman cannot remember how many Dalmatians she has owned and bred.

“I don’t know how many – I’ve had probably 12 or more,” she said.

This is the first liver Dalmatian she has owned.

The breed held great appeal to her. Dalmatians had good clean lines and a nice smooth coat, she said.

But when she first got involved in the breed she did not realise the dogs had barbed hair, meaning it stuck to anything it came in contact with.

Dalmatians were used to run alongside carriages in the early days. They also lived in the stables with the horses, which they guarded.

The more Dalmatians carriage owners had, the more prestige it brought, she said.

Being a show winner was in Torrie’s blood. Her father represented Australia twice at the world dog show and was named in the top 10 on both occasions.

Torrie has won 126 best bitch titles.

From the beginning of her showing career Torrie has been a consistent winner.

Now she was in the intermediate section she was still consistently being placed, Ms Norman said.

Torrie needed to expand her trophy cabinet because she had achieved 14 wins in the puppy section, 14 in the junior section and 15 so far in the intermediate section, Ms Norman said.

As well as that impressive list, Torrie has two best in show specialty awards – one received at 14 months old and the other at 15 months, as well as three reserve champion ribbons, she said.

The string of wins was attributed to a perfect temperament and confirmation, she said.

“I’m so lucky.”