I should like to thank the Association for inviting me to judge, the exhibitors for entering and my stewards for working so hard. It was so nice to travel north and judge dogs I have not judged before and have only seen from the side of the ring.
There is now such diversity in our breed, especially in size. Too many dogs are long in loin which makes the ribs look short, spoils their balance and affects movement. I was looking for balanced, medium sized, well-muscled dogs with good bone and tight feet that fulfilled the breed standard and could do a day’s work and I found most of these attributes in my class winners.
Movement is a concern. Many dogs are very close behind and wide in front. Perhaps, if they were to be moved at a steadier pace, they would have a chance to get it all together. The ring was smaller than I should have liked, but, given the constraints of the hall, I think each exhibitor was given ample opportunity to move the dogs to their best advantage.
It was a lovely day I shall remember for a long time. Thank you, everyone, for making it so enjoyable.
MPD (1 entry, 1 absent)
PD (4 entries)
1st HAMMERSLEY Buckleyhill Morpheus for Nellspeace: Close decision between first and second. Up to size 11 months puppy. Pleasing head, adequate bone, well-muscled with tight feet. Soft expression and dark eye. Balanced outline with good rear movement but needs to tighten in front. Best Puppy Dog.
2nd BUCKLEY Buckleyhill Zeus: Litter brother to first place and the same comments apply. Preferred head and feet of my winner. Moved well when settled.
3rd RYDER Jaskar Sound of Scott
JD (5 entries)
1st ORME Elmstock Thyme to Dream: Right size for me. Presented balanced picture standing. Well-muscled with good bone and tight feet. Good front and angulation front and rear. Not long in loin. Pleasing head, soft expression and dark eye. Moved accurately around ring at steady pace.
2nd ASHCROFT & LONG Canalhouse Top Suit to Keepersway: Had many of the same attributes as winner but a size larger and longer in loin. However, he does look balanced when standing. Good bone and angulation with tight feet. Good front. Excellent muscle. Moved well.
3rd HESLOP Wainhawke Woodlander at Lakemere
YD (2 entries)
1st EGGINGTON Glendaruel Sea the Stars (ai): Although a size large for me, I preferred his head and overall balance. Well made with excellent bone and tight feet. Good front and muscle. Lovely dark eye and typical wicked expression. Pleasing head. Moved well front and rear.
2nd ROMEO-DIESTE Hopevalley Morning Mayhem: Better size for me. Lovely tight feet and good bone. Not as balanced in outline as my winner and would have liked little more animation. Dark eye and soft expression. Excellent muscle and moved true front and rear.
ND (6 entries)
1st ORME Elmstock Thyme to Dream
2nd ALDRED Eskwinds Dare to Dream: Close up to winner. Correct size for me. Really well-muscled with a good front and angulation. Tight feet and excellent bone throughout. Pleasing head with soft expression and dark eye. Moved well when settled and presented balanced picture standing.
3rd HEWISON Pepsmark Jet Stream at Casblaidd
GD (8 entries)
1st FOX Steelriver Blazing Hot at Blacktoft JW: Beautifully balanced dog. Excellent bone, tight feet and correct angulation. Lovely head with dark eye and expression full of mischief. Excellent muscle. This dog could work all day long. Level topline when standing and held so well on the move.
2nd PINGREE Castlerock Northern Moon at Heatheridge JW: Another well-made dog but giving his owner a hard time. Good bone, muscle and tight feet. Moved OK but did not really settle. Preferred top-line and movement of my winner
3rd HAMMERSLEY Stranfaer Doctor Foster for Nellspeace
PGD (5 entries)
1st WARRINGTON Woodavens Water Archer JW: Underneath a profuse coat is a beautifully made dog, exactly the right size for me. Angulation front and rear is good. He has super bone, an excellent front and the tightest of feet. Lovely head, with dark eye and soft expression. He moved accurately round the ring with drive and presented a balanced picture when standing. I was delighted to award him Best Dog and ultimately Best in Show.
2nd GREEN Lakemere Man After Midnight: Another very nice medium-sized dog. Well-angulated with good front. Excellent bone and tight feet. Pleasing head, dark eye and soft expression. Moved well in the ring but spoilt balance by standing with sloping top-line at the end.
3rd SLACK Ilstrom Glendhu
LD ( 4 entries)
1st SLACK Wizardwood Celtic Storm (AI): Correct size for me. A medium-sized, well-constructed flatcoat. He has good bone an excellent front and tight feet. Pleasing head with soft expression and dark eye. Moved well and looked balanced when standing.
2nd PINGREE Castlerock Stormy Knight over Heatheridge JW ShCM: A size larger than first. Good confirmation and bone, tight feet. Pleasing head with dark eye. Very lively but moved well when settled.
3rd WALKER & ROBERTS Gloi Dubh Baldur
OD (3 entries, 1 absent)
Two dogs that could work all day.
1st FOX Blacktoft Ever Blazin: Well-made, balanced dog with excellent front. Excellent bone and tight feet. Pleasing head with dark eye and kind expression. Wonderful muscle. Moved really well and presented balanced picture when standing.
2nd COLSON Windyhollows Brere Bear: Good dark liver with pleasing head and kind expression. Good bone, beautiful feet and super muscle. Nice angulation front and rear, balanced outline. Moved well but preferred movement of the winner. Delighted to award him Best Liver in Show.
VD (2 entries) Two lovely dogs.
1st SLACK Spera Thalia Lazio: Almost 10 years old. Well-balanced dog with good bone and tight feet. Good front and angulation. Pleasing head with dark eye and kind expression. Moved well at steady pace. Correct size for me.
2nd ROMEO-DIESTE Hopevalley Morning Xplorer: Another of almost 10 years. The same comments apply as for the winner. However, I preferred the top-line and rear angulation of my winner.
SVD (1 entry)
1st GREEN Hertarns Dr Pepper ShCM: Watch this dog move. Looking back at his breeding, I know where the movement comes from. At 10½ years, he stands on the tightest of feet, has excellent bone and muscle. He is well angulated, has a pleasing head with lovely dark eyes and the softest expression. He moves accurately and with drive. I was delighted to award him Best Veteran Dog, Reserve Best Dog and Best Veteran in Show.
SLD (1 entry)
1st COLSON Windyhollows Brere Bear
MPB (No entries)
PB (5 entries)
1st PUTNAM Ebormist Endless Devotion: Beautiful puppy with everything in the right place. Correct size for her age, with good bone and tight feet. Lovely head with dark eye and the softest expression with a hint of mischief. She is so well-balanced and moved really accurately coming and going on a steady stride. Best Puppy Bitch and delighted to award her Best Puppy in Show.
2nd BUCKLEY Buckleyhill Venus: Although larger and longer than my winner she presents a balanced picture. She has good bone and stands on tight feet. Pleasing head with dark eye and kind expression. Moved well.
3rd RYDER Jaskar Sound of Iona
JB (4 entries)
1st PUTNAM Ebormist Endless Devotion
2nd RICHARDS Luss Kiss in the Dark: Nicely balanced bitch with adequate bone. Good front and angulation. Tight feet. She has a pleasing head and kind expression. Not exaggerated in any way. Moved well when settled.
YB (4 entries, 1 absent)
1st ROMEO-DIESTE Hopevalley Morning Mist: This bitch is the right size for me. She is balanced with good bone and angulation front and rear, a good front and really tight feet. She has a pleasing head with the kindest expression. She moved accurately on a steady stride.
2nd MILLER Lussac Rather Smart to Keepersend: Larger than my winner but well-balanced. She has a good front and angulation front and rear is not exaggerated. Pleasing head with kind expression. Moved well on tight feet.
3rd BERRISFORD Wistaston Love Song
NB (4 entries)
1st PUTNAM Ebormist Endless Devotion
2nd REES Eskwinds Drunk on Moonshine: A well-balanced bitch with adequate bone, a good front and tight feet. Her pleasing head has a dark eye and soft expression. She moved well when settled.
GB (8 entries)
This class was headed by two really nice bitches and I was splitting hairs for my final decision.
1st COLSON Eskwinds Driving Miss Daisy to Windyhollows: A really well-balanced bitch with good bone, a good front and tight feet. She has a pleasing head with a soft expression and a hint of mischief. Moved accurately on a good stride.
2nd WARRINGTON Woodavens Waterfall Wind: Another well-balanced bitch and the same comments apply as for first place. I just preferred the overall balance of my winner.
3rd LEE & HOLDEN Innisbeck Limited Edition
PGB (5 entries, 1 absentee)
1st JOYCE Stranfaer Lucy Locket: I have always liked this bitch. Although she was carrying some excess weight she could not be denied this class but it cost her higher honours later. Beautifully made with good bone and the tightest of feet. She has a very pleasing head with dark eyes and a soft expression, but mischief lurks! She moved true at a steady pace. Sizewise she is right for me.
2nd ORME Castlerock Northern Sky over Elmstock: One size up from winner and longer in body. She is well-made with a good front and lovely bone and feet. A pleasing head, soft gentle expression and a dark eye complete the picture. She moved accurately round the ring at the correct steady speed.
3rd LEE & HOLDEN Innisbeck Celtic Charm
LB ( 7 entries, 1 absentee)
1st ROMEO-DIESTE Bochilbarley November Mist over Hopevalley: This bitch is the correct size for me. She is well-made with good angulation front and rear. She has a very pleasing head with a dark eye and soft, kind expression. She presented such a lovely balanced picture standing and sparkled as she moved accurately and steadily round the ring on tight feet. I was delighted to award her Best Bitch and Reserve Best in Show.
2nd WALKER & ROBERTS Gloi Dubh Adastra: Certainly one size larger than my winner, but she is well-made and balanced standing. She has good bone and tight feet, a pleasing head with a kind expression. Moved at the correct speed, she went steadily and accurately round the ring.
3rd ASHCROFT Beanit Luka to Keepersway
OB (3 entries)
1st BUCKLEY Buckleyhill Starlight: Well up to size. This bitch is balanced with good bone and tight feet. She has a pleasing head with a kind, dark eye. She moved steadily round the ring on a good stride.
2nd EMBLEM & BROES Duncton Brightstar with Wagglewater: Carrying a little too much weight and a size too big for me. A well-muscled bitch with good bone and tight feet. She has a dark eye and kind expression. Moved OK.
3rd RYDER Branchalwood Beauly Water at Jaskar
VB ( 7 entries, 1 absent)
1st WARRINGTON Hopevalley Morning Leaves among Woodavens: There was little to choose between first and second in this class. Both are the right size for me. Well-balanced bitch, with good bone and conformation. Tight feet and excellent muscle. Pleasing head with kind soft expression. Lovely dark eye. Moved really well and accurately round the ring on a steady stride. Pleased to award her Reserve Best Bitch and Best Veteran Bitch.
2nd ORME Elmstock Whispering Thyme: Very nice dark liver bitch with pleasing head and dark eye. Good bone and conformation and excellent muscle. Tight feet. She, too, moved accurately and steadily round the ring at the correct speed. However, I preferred the rear movement of my winner.
3rd COLSON Windyhollows Abide With Me
SVB (2 entries)
1st HEDGES Trevorsilk Indian Queen CDEX: This bitch has excellent bone and tight feet. She has a pleasing head with a kind, dark eye. She moved well round the ring, keeping a level top-line all the way.
2nd REES Eskwinds About Time: She has good bone, tight feet and a good front. She has a pleasing head with a dark eye and soft expression. Moved well round the ring.
SLB (1 entry)
1st ORME Elmstock Thyme to Remember: A really nice dark liver bitch with good bone and beautiful feet. She is well-made and presents a balanced picture standing. She has super muscle and could work all day. Her pleasing head completes the picture. Moved accurately, with real drive round the ring