Shannon Macfarlane and her greyhound enjoying show ring success

Pictured: Shannon Macfarlane and her dog Bubbles, who has been excelling in the show ring. Photo credit: SupaShots Photography.

From winning greyhound races, to entering Greyhounds as Pets, to winning National Dog Show titles, is the remarkable path that the former Hayley Mullane and Emma Potts-trained chaser Spring Bubbles has taken over the last 15 months.

Enter animal enthusiast Shannon Macfarlane, who has successfully guided “Bubbles”, the winner of eight races, along the road to her new lifestyle.

Macfarlane has always had a strong love of animals throughout her life. She rode and showed horses over numerous years, while also harbouring a desire to actively show dogs.

Macfarlane became a regular attendee at northern race meetings, encompassing all three racing codes. It would be her trained eye for picking out horse/greyhound conformations that was going to reward her later on.

Following her marriage to leading Pukekohe based harness trainer/driver Todd Macfarlane and the birth of their daughter Paris, she pursued her dream of owning a pet greyhound.

“I fell in love with the greyhound breed and have always desired to have a greyhound as a pet for many years.

“I had always wanted to show dogs, then a few years ago, I researched dog breeding and show details on various websites.

“I was constantly viewing greyhounds on all of the rehoming agencies’ websites, and it was in September last year when I spotted Bubbles, who was being rehomed by GAP in Cambridge.

“Paris and I went down to the Great Mates kennels to meet Bubbles. I really liked her, especially her personality. Her conformation was everything I was looking for and she had nice, flowing movement.”

Training to become a show dog followed, and Macfarlane’s efforts were quickly rewarded in the show ring. Bubbles won the Best of Group and Best Open of Group categories in her first show appearance in Cambridge on New Year’s Day.

Further show ring success quickly followed, including Reserve Best in Show and Open in Show in Hamilton in March. Other titles over ensuing months maintained Bubbles’ successes in the show rings.

Numbered amongst those wins were numerous Best Neuter of Group and Best Neuter in Show awards.

“It has been a remarkable, truly amazing time with Bubbles. She has been a standout whenever I show her against a number of very experienced show dogs,” commented Macfarlane.

The best of the best of Bubbles’ achievements came last month, when Bubbles contested the National Dog Show 2023 in Auckland.

“Bubbles won Best Neuter of Breed, then on the big final day of National Show Week, she went on to make one of my wishes come true.

“She won Best Neuter of Group and when the Judge (Mrs Annukka Segersven from Finland) awarded Bubbles the winning rosette, I burst into tears.

“We then had a nervous wait until the very end of the show to go in for Best Neuter in Show. 

Bubbles was awesome, it felt amazing running around the huge ring with a big audience watching. 

“And then to my total amazement – Bubbles won Runner-Up Best Neuter in Show. It truly was a dream come true! I was in total shock. There were so many people coming up and giving me big hugs and saying congratulations.

“It's hard to describe the emotions and feelings I had when this all happened. It still feels so surreal, I just couldn’t believe it!

“Bubbles loves going to the shows, and people often say to me how happy Bubbles looks in the ring, trotting around, wagging her tail and smiling. She loves meeting all the other dogs and all the attention she gets from many different people. She certainly has gained many admirers and friends at all the shows.

“Not only that, but she has also amazed many people too with how calm and chilled out she is at the shows.

“Bubbles has done a wonderful job representing this special breed in the show ring and it is an absolute privilege for me to represent the greyhounds! This is something I had been dreaming of for quite a long time!”

When asked what the key components are for success in showing greyhounds for others who may want to become involved, Macfarlane responded with, “Research and study the greyhound breed standard on the Dogs NZ website. I recommend people to look at the greyhound adoption agencies’ websites. Look closely at the conformation of the greyhound.

“The greyhound needs to be registered with Dogs NZ after submitting full pedigree details. All greyhounds are treated as imports when registering with Dogs NZ. They need to be a full member of Dogs NZ.”

Following those guidelines can potentially result in more greyhounds being represented in dog shows.

And for Shannon Macfarlane and her show dog, greyhound participation is likely to extend for a long time to come with daughter Paris now involved in showing dogs herself, competing in Young Dog shows!


By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 03 November 2023

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