Winning Dalmatian hits the sweet spot

Winners. . . Gore Dalmatian dog breeder Pam Norman’s bitch Torri is the first Dalmatian bitch in New Zealand to achieve the supreme champion allbreeds title. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Torri the Dalmatian is following in the winning pawsteps of her grandfather.
Officially known as NZ SPR CH/NZ SPL GRCH Paceaway Tearz from Heaven at Zolandia, the 8-year-old Dalmatian is owned by Gore woman Pam Norman and has recently achieved the supreme champion all-breeds status.
Ms Norman said Torri had won shows in every age group since she was a pup.
‘‘She’s just one of those show dogs — special.’’
Each breed has a standard and Torri was very close to achieving that, she said.
Her grandfather had been the biggest winning Dalmatian of all time and had won all-breeds titles throughout the world.
When competing at all-breed shows, a dog has to win each category of its breed and group. That qualifies it to compete against the best of each breed for the all-breeds best-in-show title.
In 2019, Torri won two best all-breed in the show titles but Covid-19 put a stop to shows until 2022.
In 2022, she won another best in show at the Canterbury Kennel Association Show which gave her the grand champion title.
‘‘To be a grand champion you have to have three best in shows and have 50 best bitches.’’
This year, she carried on her winning ways with two more best-in-shows including a Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) Show in Christchurch.
This gave her the title of supreme champion show dog.
‘‘She’s the first Dalmatian in Australasia to win an FCI show all-breeds.
‘‘She’s the first supreme Dalmatian champion bitch.’’
Since then she won another all-breeds best in show.
‘‘I want to get to 10 now.
‘‘I never ever thought I would get past two and then got four in less than a year.’’
That included two of the most prestigious dog shows in the South Island, she said.
‘‘She’s now the biggest winning Dalmatian of all time in New Zealand.’’
Torri was bred by Fran Darling from the Paceaway Kennels in Queensland.
Mrs Norman had seen Torri’s sister from an earlier litter and she was a black spotted Dalmatian.
‘‘I loved her sister.’’
She asked Mrs Darling to send her a pup from the latest litter and to Mrs Norman’s surprise she was a liver spotted.
‘‘I had no idea what I was getting.
‘‘I prefer blacks so I really didn’t want a liver.’’
In 35 years of breeding the dogs, Torri was the first and only liver-spotted Dalmatian she had owned.
‘‘Even though she’s had 10 liver puppies, I never kept one.’’
Dalmatians originated in Croatia but became popular in England as guard dogs, running beside horse and carriages.