Until 2005, the Best of Breed in the Silver/Golden Division of Persians in CFA has always been a Silver. While Goldens were accepted in the late 70's, their success in the show ring has lagged behind their Silver relatives.
But by the end of the 2004-2005 show season, this all changed and history was made when a Shaded Golden, GC, BW, RW Castlegate BeDazzle of Catschateau became the highest scoring Golden in CFA history - and Best of Breed in the Silver/Golden Division of CFA!
Not only has a Golden earned the coveted spot as the highest scoring cat in the division for the first time, but the winner is also a female!
Bedazzle's breeder and co-owner, Barbara Bosco of Castlegate Persians, began breeding in 1991. She has produced 7 grand champion Goldens under the Castlegate cattery name - quite a feat since there have been less than 40 Goldens granded in CFA since their acceptance. Three of her Grand Champions have been placed with new breeders to begin their foundation line of Goldens. This was only Barbara's second show campaign, having shown a cream Persian, LaSalle Sandstone of Castlegate, to a regional win in 1999.
In Barbara's own words, this is the story of the history making GC, BW, RW Castlegate BeDazzle of Catschateau...
The Golden Girl
by Barbara Bosco, Castlegate
Where or how do you begin to tell the story of a "once in a lifetime" Golden? ... a Golden that has 'made' breed history?
I feel like I want to make a speech. It's like winning an academy award where you thank your family, your friends, the judges, so on and so on. Will fans clamor for Bedazzle's 'paw print' as a memento? :-)
The story of our Golden Girl began on September 30th, 2001... the day Bedazzle was born.
The thrill was there right from the beginning. There was something special about this little kitten. But, like most breeders, I have experienced that thrill only to be disappointed as time went on... so I tried not to get too excited... but still, she had that something "extra".
I was beguiled by her huge, wide set, buggy eyes. They were mesmerizing. Then there was the button nose, the smooth head, the good color. It was all there right from the get go.
But breeding and showing Goldens and having their quality recognized in the show ring is a challenge. In the Golden world of breeding there is always a 'kicker'. Something usually just isn't good enough. It sometimes seems like more is demanded from our Goldens than probably any other Persian color being shown.
But BeDazzle was so promising, that as she developed I shared her pictures with my fellow breeders with pride and excitement.
The Kitten Gets A Name
I did not name BeDazzle. Liv Kelly of Chazlee came up with her name. It was 'so' right. Her father is GC Castlegate Razzle Dazzle and her mom is CH Castlegate Baby Love. BeDazzle was the perfect combination of the good points of both her parents. She has the wonderful poppy eyes of her dad along with his beautiful round head and nice break. She got her eye color from both her dad and her mom.
As a kitten, BeDazzle was a big 'hit' in the kitten class. She 'shined'. She was special. Judges would say: "Finally a Golden that can compete".
They loved her.
I loved her.
Everyone loved her.
When she turned 8 months old, she championed at her first show. As a champion she made Pam Delabar's final and then... she cycled. She dropped coat, weight, all the "good" things that go with turning into a "woman".
So, after three more cycles, I thought it was best that she be bred. Her show career was put on hold.
She was an excellent "mom" and produced beautiful babies. She had two litters, all Goldens.
Then I began to think once more about showing her.
As soon as she weaned her second litter in December of 2003 Bedazzle returned to the show ring.
We chose the Dixieland Silver and Golden Spectacular for her second "debut".
Her babies were only eight weeks old, so she looked a little bit like a shorthair Exotic Golden :-).
She didn't make any finals, but she brought smiles to many judges' faces.
It was the beginning of 2004. I thought I would try to grand her.
Her third show was in March, 2004, at the Touch of Class in Massachusetts.
First Day: With 79 champions present, Bedazzle made every final and granded! In the 'one' day, she had picked up 212 points! Had this been her first show as a champion she would have been a one day grand :-)... but she had been shown four times before, so she 'granded' with 265 points. We were very proud of our Golden Girl.
Again she was cycling, so motherhood beckoned once more. She stayed home until November, 2004 after giving birth to her third litter.
She attended two shows in November, made a few finals, and then we returned to Dixieland Silver/Golden gala.
Amazingly she tied with GC Simbakui Icing on the Cake for highest scoring Silver/Golden in Championship at the show! And that was with five Silver/Golden Grands present and a class of 19 total in championship!
This show and its results were a pivotal moment in Bedazzle's show career. The show seemed to say to us, "Hey! Maybe Golden Girl is meant to accomplish more in the show ring than earning her Grand Championship. Maybe, just maybe... she is meant to rise higher!".
The show season was 2/3 over. There wasn't a lot of time... but Bedazzle and I were game. So, we started to campaign in earnest in January, 2005.
We only missed the first two weekends at the beginning of year. Bedazzle was an immediate success. And the rest, as they say, is 'history".
Bedazzle was a spirited show cat. She has tons of personality and wasn't afraid to show it.
She adores head-butting. She also likes to put her head into your neck. She is a very big talker and she always responds to her name by talking to you. She loves to have her head and neck rubbed, even by the judges. So, there were times when she was very sweet on the show table.
But, she could also be a diva - grumbling when the judges picked her up. Many judges loved her when she was sweet and equally loved her when she was being devilish. Walter Hutzler once commented, "They only have to look pretty, not be pretty" :-). Bedazzle would agree.
Bedazzle's 2004-2005 Awards
In just the few last months of the show season, the Golden Girl lived up to her name - she bedazzled the judges.
She ended the season as a Best Cat Winner, a Regional Winner and Best of the Silver Golden Division in the nation!
GC, BW, RW Castlegate BeDazzle
Sire: GC Castlegate Razzle Dazzle
Breeder: Barbara Bosco
I have to thank just a few people who were so instrumental in producing and supporting Bedazzle and her history-making show career.
Without their friendship and help this NEVER would have happened.
Many thanks must go to Michelle Formica (Mirocco), Shirley Guillet (Chasshir) and Paul Saladino (Treasureland).