Cat of the Year 2015 Winners

Cat of the Year 2015 - Judges and Team

A word of "Thanks" and appreciation to the "Cat of the Year" team for an outstanding day!

A vote of thank to five fine judges  - Ngaio Crawley (SACC President), Rita Wiseman, Gail Nel, Jan van Rooyen & our own special "Zulu" boy, living in the Netherlands, Kaai du Plessis.

The Gala Dinner & prize giving was perfectly orchestrated by Shirley Addison & Rita Wiseman.  The Royal Canin sponsors are thanks, and in particular Audrey & Natasha.

Karen Pepler ably kept members of SACC entertained and updated on all the happenings of COTY, many days prior to the event.  

Congratulations to Jan van Rooyen for his President Award from the President of SACC for a job always well done.

karen pepler

Karen Pepler

 Introducing the judges

Ngaio Crawley


I became a member of the Natal Cat Club affiliated to GCACC of SA in 1977 when I bought my first Persian, and started exhibiting and stewarding. By 1980 I had started breeding Persians (Cattery Stoneleigh) and shortly thereafter started training to be a Judge of Persian/Exotic and Mediumhair breeds, followed by Siamese/Oriental. After the SA Cat Fancy split I completed the Foreign Judge course with CFSA to become an All Breeds Judge.

My involvement in the SA Cat Fancy includes:-
GCACC of SA: Chairperson and Secretary of the Natal Cat Club. Show Manager.
Delegate to GCACC of SA for 8 years.
Founder Member of the Persian Cat Society Breed Group.
SACC: Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer for PCS. Show Manager and Show Admin.
Delegate to SACC.
KZN COTY Scorekeeper.
Secretary of IJN Panel of Judges. Assisted the SACC KZN Panel with Judge training.
SACC Vice President 2014.
SACC President 2015.
Judging: I judge for SACC and guest judge for CFSA and WCF in South Africa and have judged in Australia, Europe and South America.

Rita Wiseman

rita wiseman

I have been part of the Cat Fancy since 1985. I was involved with SACC Transvaal Cat Fancy as a steward and then migrated to Show Manager in 1988. In 1996 the IJN Judges Panel (SACC) was formed and I was a founder member. The first judging course in 1996 under Su Jacobs began with the Siamese/Oriental breeds. The Persian Course was the last course that was completed in 2002 after which I qualified as an All Breeds Judge with SACC CJI Judges Panel.
• Committee member of TCS, CCC and ECCC
• Positions served: Steward, Show Manager, Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Treasurer.
• Independent Judges Network:- Chairperson, Treasurer & Tutor Judge
• Judges Council Chairperson
• COTY Show Manager / Event Co-ordinator
• Governing Council Delegate for ECCC
CFSA I have judged for CFSA in Johannesburg and currently am holding an All Breeds Guest Judges Licence.
WCF I have an All Breeds Guest Licence for WCF.
My overseas judging assignments started in 2002 and I am still currently travelling overseas on a regular basis. I have judged for WCF, European Independent Cat Fancies, TICA and Loof. I have judged internationally in America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Russia.
I breed Siamese and Orientals and have been lucky enough to have many cats that I have bred and or owned participate in SACC Cat of Year. My Turkish Van Neuter was the CAT OF THE YEAR in 2001. In 2012 two of my Siamese neuters were placed 2nd and 3rd at the same competition.
My Black Oriental came 3rd in 2008 at Cat of the Year. I have a small household of 5 cats which are like my children. One could say they are spoilt rotten.

Gail Nel

gail nel

I was first introduced to the “cat world” when I acquired a Tortiepoint Siamese in 1980. I entered her in a show and was amazed to return after lunch and find her cage festooned with rosettes – needless to say, she was the only Tortiepoint on show!
The bug had bitten though and I then acquired my first Oriental – a Havana from the Dumas Cattery. At about the same time, I became involved on the CFC Committee and started stewarding.
One thing led to another and I started my judging course in 1987, and qualified All Breeds in 1995.
The first Supreme Oriental that I bred was Sp Pr Westwood’s Mr Mistoffelees who was the first cat to supreme in a year in South Africa! Misty, as he was affectionately known, was Neuter of the Year in 1993 and 1994, and he appeared in seven consecutive Cat of the Year finals in total.
I still breed Siamese and Orientals, and have been breeding Maine Coons for the past 18 years as well – under the cattery name of Westwood. I have bred many Supreme Champions over the years and many have been finalists in past Cat of the Year competitions. I currently have 7 cats at home – 3 Orientals, 3 Maine Coons, and now a Norwegian Forest Cat female, whom I will start breeding with next year.
I have 20-year-old twin daughters and work as Marketing Manager of Times Media, the largest media company in South Africa.
I have judged extensively in South Africa and Zimbabwe, as well as all over Australia and New Zealand during the past 18 years. I have been Chairperson of the Transvaal Cat Society for over 22 years.

Jan van Rooyen

Jan van Rooyen

I have been breeding Burmese since 1989. My cattery name is ZION. I have also bred a few Tonkinese litters over the years. The Lilac Burmese is my passion and I bred the first Lilac Supreme Champion in 1995 - Sp Ch Zion Princess Zona. Some of my breeding has qualified for COTY over the years and I am particularly proud of our lilac girl, Sp Ch Zion Amandla, who was third in 2001. I am also proud to state that by importing cats from Australia, I assisted in improving the type and eye colour of the Burmese in South Africa. I also encouraged other Burmese breeders to do the same and today the Burmese are winning Best in Shows all over the country.
I started the first course in 1995 and qualified for the Foreign Group of cats in 1997. I then went onto qualify for the Long Hair Group in 1999, Medium Hairs in 2001 and became an All Breeds Judge in 2002.
Activity in Cat Fancy
• President of SACC from 2008 to 2011
• Treasurer of SACC from 2000 to 2007 and then again from 2012 to date
• Chairman of Rand Cat Club (RCC) from 1995 to 2002
• Show Manager for WODAC from 2003
• Show Manager for SACC for Kitten Show and National Show since inception

Kaai du Plessis

kaai du plessis 

I currently live in The Netherlands.
I started breeding Persians in 1987. I have bred Persian and British short hair for many years.
I became a Committee Member of the Persian Cat Society in 1990 and am still a member of the Society. I have been the Treasurer and Chairman of the Persian Cat Society.
Vice president of SACC – 2002 & 2003.
President of SACC - 2004 to 2007. This was a position that I took very seriously at the time in order to ensure the promotion of the cat fancy and pedigree cats.
I have attended two World Cat Congress meetings:
• Hadfield UK 2006.
• Dortmund Germany 2007.
I started my first course in 1992 and received my All Breeds Judge status in April 2001.
I was a panel member of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Panel of Judges until December 2012 when I immigrated to the Netherlands.
I am currently a member of the Netherlandse Keurmeesters.
I have judged in many European countries.

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