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From Backstage To Rising Stars...

Almost two years ago, at the request of Chris Stalker the then Editor of Our Cats, I undertook to write a Breed Review on some of the Persian Tabby Breeds, Brownies, Reds and AOC tabbies. Writing about the Brownies and Reds was easy, they were recognised for full Championship status by the GCCF, but there was not so much to write about with regard to AOC Persians Tabbies because these breeds did not carry the same recognition.

When I first became involved in Persian Longhair Tabby breeding, the gene pools for Persian Brown and Red tabbies was very small and it didn’t take long to realise why – if one outcrossed a Brown Tabby (8) to acceptable colours according to the registration policies, the resulting litter would possibly contain AOC tabbies – not recognised for champion/premier status and a number of these AOC tabbies and others produced from such matings had mackerel coat patterns, again not acceptable with the GCCF Standard of Points.

This situation meant that most Persian Longhair Tabby breeders sold the AOC tabbies as pets – reluctant to show them in assessment, and later intermediate classes because these cats couldn’t gain titles. They were also reluctant to use an AOC tabby with an unacceptable coat pattern in their breeding programmes.

Persian Tabby breeders felt frustrated by the confines of this situation, especially when the Persian Exotics came along, and all tabby colours and coat patterns were granted champion/premier status. Just imagine how we felt when a Tortie Tabby Exotic became a Grand Champion and our beautiful Persian Longhair Tortie tabbies, who had been around for a lot longer, were still only at Intermediate stage.

The start of the 2006/7 show season saw a change to all this. AOC tabbies had been awarded the status breeders had so long campaigned for. This also brought about a further change in that mackerel and spotted coat patterns were now included in the Standard of Points for showing.

Whilst we rejoiced, it wasn’t all rosy as some Persian Tabby breeders and judges feel that the class splits are not right – something which may have to be fought for later, but six months down the line there have been some interesting results.

From the start some Show Managers were not getting the classes correctly detailed in the show schedules, still only listing classes for Brown Tabby (8), Red Tabby (9) and AOC tabbies; possibly this has been the reason why the number of AOC tabbies being shown is still limited. I myself have taken numerous phone calls and received e-mails from tabby breeders regarding the incorrect schedules. Hopefully this problem will soon be resolved.

One show manager recently questioned why a Breed number 8f tabby was entered in the Red Tabby class – Reds being Breed 9 and 8f being Cream Tabby. It took some explaining, but we got there in the end.

To move on, there have been some very noticeable successes since AOC Tabbies were able to complete on equal status, proving that these AOC Tabbies can hold their own.

One of the first shows where AOC Tabbies were eligible for Champion/Premier certificates was the Merseyside Show on June 3rd, 2006. At this show Rejuta Felicia, now almost ten-years-old, Breeder/Owner my husband Reg Quick, was awarded her first Premier Certificate. But when the results appeared on the board the judge had given a Brown Tabby male the BOB; this was not correct – they weren’t in the same class. A trip to the show manager’s table soon put this right. Later in the day the judge came round to Felicia’s pen and we thanked her for awarding Felicia her first Premier Certificate. The judge referred to the superb condition of our “old lady” and asked why had we waited until she was that age to take her out to get a title!!!!!!!!!!!! NO COMMENT.

Felicia became a Premier in four shows, being awarded her Premier Certificates at the Merseyside, Gwynedd, withheld at the Chester, North West Cat Club and a fourth certificate (as an extra) at the Tabby Cat Club. Felicia had a long show career having been awarded 11 intermediate certificates, seven of which came at shows where she also had all red card days. Her facial “type” may not have appealed to some but she had a coat that was unequalled in colour, fantastic tabby marking overlaid with vibrant tortie colours. She was shown throughout the years for two reasons, firstly in the hopes that it would help in AOC’s being given full recognition and secondly because Probationer Tabby judges needed to complete reports and assessments on the AOC breed numbers.

Another Tortie Tabby being shown at these first shows was Niroke Dance Withme.
Owned and bred by Mrs Anne Dyte, Niroke Dance Withme was awarded two championship certificates before taking time out for maternity duties. Hopefully she will return to the showbench and be able to achieve champion status.

Then along came Talshiar Living Doll, a Blue Tortie Tabby – bred by Mrs Julie Colin and owned by Stewart and Renate Arnold. Sheba, as she is known at home, was purchased as a kitten at five months of age and was shown once in kitten classes, 1st and BOB at the Maidstone and Medway in 2005.

Sheba was first shown as an adult in March 2006 and was awarded two Intermediate Certificates, Surrey & Sussex and Essex Shows which took place before 1st June 2006. This stunning young lady went on to gain her Championship title in three consecutive shows, The London Show, Wilts & District and East Sussex Cat Show.

There was no stopping her - at the Herts & Middlesex, Tabby Cat Club and Red, Cream and Tortoiseshell shows she was awarded the three certificates necessary to become a Grand Champion, plus a further Grand Certificate at the Supreme. At the Maidstone and Medway, a year after her first kitten show, she was awarded her first Imperial Certificate. Sheba also had her first All Red Card Day at this show. All this in less than six months from her breed being awarded full champion/premier recognition.

Gr Ch Talshiar Living Doll’s proud owners are novice exhibitors and breeders. She is their first show cat and they have been somewhat overwhelmed not only by her success, but by the warmth and interest extended to them and their lovely cat by judges, exhibitors and other tabby breeders.

Living Doll’s pedigree lists some top class ancestors, prefixes we don’t see these days, Sapajou, Crathorne,Dantora, Kimflo, Salnace to name but a few. Her breeder Julie e-mailed me and said that the mating that resulted in this superb cat was done as an experiment. All I can say is, “Please Julie, do a few more experimental matings.”

In November at the Ulster Siamese and All Breed Cat Show at Bangor, near Belfast, Magarosa Wildthing, a lovely Blue Tabby male bred by Jim Whitson and owned by Mrs H. McKeague, was awarded the Challenge Certificate and BOB. This was his third Challenge Certificate making him the first Persian Blue Tabby Champion (to be confirmed).

This show had a superb line-up of Persians Tabbies, especially in the kitten classes – not only were there Brown and Red Tabbies entered, cream tabby, chocolate tabby and tortie tabby helped swell the numbers.

One Tortie Tabby kitten was Countrygirl Lipgloss making her fourth show appearance – at three out of four of those shows she had had All Red Card Days, certainly a young lady with a big future. I am looking forward to seeing her on the show bench as an Adult. Lipgloss is owned by Jim Whitson, her breeder is Karen Nursey. Karen is perhaps better known for lovely Smokes but since moving into tabbies has put some real stunners on the show bench.

The chocolate tabby kitten was Tracylooe Santana Dream, bred by Mrs Tracy Mayo and owned by Mrs S. Canmore. This lovely kitten had the misfortune of coming up against Lipgloss at this show but I am sure we shall see her on the show bench again in the future.

A Persian Cream Tabby (8f) has been seldom seen at shows over the years – Jayjon Archimedes was first shown as a kitten at the South Wales and West of England show in August 2006, taking 1st Open and BOB. Following this at The Tabby Cat Club Show, in October Archimedes won his Open but had the BOB withheld. The reason for this according to the judge was not enough markings. Unfortunately due to the dilute colouring Cream Tabbies may always have this problem. Archi was bred by me and is now owned by Doreen Rouse of Leeromax Persians.

If I have missed out on mentioning any other AOC Tabby Longhair Persians in this article I apologise. I follow progress in these colours as much as possible from the results in Our Cats. Congratulations and thanks to all those who are bringing these lovely cats to the shows, good luck for the future.

Countrygirl Lipgloss (8e)

Premier Rejuta Felicia (8e)

Gr Ch Talshiar Living Doll (8a)

Jayjon Archimedes (8f)