SOUTHERN COUNTIES CH. SHOW 30TH MAY
Abject apologies for the delay. You know how it is, sometimes, when events seem to conspire against you and a perfectly easy task becomes that proverbial mountain to climb!
This was a significant day for me, awarding CCs for the first time in the breed, and realising that many would wonder who I was and why I should have been invited?
Well, I first discovered that not ALL Dalmatians were b/s when, as a teenage lad, I sat across from one Susan Gatheral on the dog bus to the general Ch shows. That would have been from 1972 when I won my 1st Crufts BOB in Griffons. Judged my 1st breed classes with 10 present at Coalville in 1994. Passed the BDC formal judging assessment in Nov 2005 and was invited to be put forward for a Club show. Secured a JDP Credit in Oct 2006 (with BDC as well as KC assessors) and the Club show came my way in Nov 2011. It was 20 yrs, 2 seminars/assessments, the Club show and 115 "hands-on" that passed between that 1st appointment and today that would never have happened but for the education & positive encouragement from the BDC. I am providing this background since the likes of me, seeking to be competent enough to be an all-rounder, are often dubbed "fast trackers" yet I am far from unique in being able to demonstrate otherwise. Shamefully, I am also not unique in it coinciding with hitting pensionable age!
Just 13 of the original 83 starters were missing so as to give me a representative entry and plenty to weigh in the balance once my initial panic over the first few dog classes abated where it was impossible to "get my eye in." I had not expected to have to consider "excluding" right from the off. The breed later showed me it was in good shape with fit, symmetrical, muscled exhibits of ex breed type & adult competition was thrillingly competitive. Eyes a shade light in b/s were too common and I could not comprehend the preponderance of poker-like, virtually erect, tails that so detracted from that essential breed balance & symmetry. Presumably just too highset?
Hopefully, all are b/s unless otherwise stated.
1st: Davies' Caught Out, l/s; balanced through head & body; defined spots; has depth with good bone; good quarters; sound moving; anxious but did let me touch him eventually & certainly not aggressive.
2nd: Sampson's Dalstorm Diamond Ice, finer in head & less mature; eye a shade light; also anxious; good clean bodylines; good bone & feet; plenty of promise once he comes to hand.
1st: Cadden's Phadante Jambalaha, just turned 9m; good skull & ears; needs to fill under eye; pleasing lines; prefer more neck; good rib, depth & loin; showed type & style.
2nd: C. Out
1st: Ely's Wintermine Gaucho, l/s,only 12m but showing great promise & pleasing symmetry; good skull & eye; good bodylines with depth & good proportions; level; not too wide; balanced angles; strong loin; ex quarters used on the move; interesting to see how he develops with the benefit of added maturity.
2nd: Stirling's Winflash Dappled White 17m; awkward teenager stage with its growth spurts to create a youthful imbalance; needs to develop in muzzle;heavier built body; outgoing with proud tail; looked better as he got into his stride; another I will be interested to compare once adult & certainly bred to finish well as half-brother to Ch Elle's Belle's
1st: Bryant's Theakston Time Traveller, 19m; v typical; good balance through skull & muzzle; dark eye; lightly spotted; just needs to fill in front with maturity; good neckline though would prefer a little more lay of shoulder; well ribbed; strong loin; ex quarters; demonstrated style with sound freedom on the move & struck me as entirely fit for purpose & destined to be competing with the best once adult. Now I see why since he is a son of my BOB!
2nd: Hajee & Tidcombe's Rainbeau Of Hope, gave handler a hard time; well distributed, defined spots; light eye, flying ears & narrow muzzle detract; perfectly good overall shape & balance; rather straight in angles that resulted in him short stepping; am sure he can look and perform so much better once his brain kicks in!
3rd: Wheaton's Dalamanti Phantom Medal At Acinonyx
1st: Tingey's Dallyador Aramis l/s; 2yrs; good skull & muzzle length; rather deep in stop giving a bit of a frown; balanced in body; ex feet; rounded quarters; defined spots on a sleek coat; free moving.
2nd: Hurst's Philcarthom Xcaliber At Finnidal narrow through front & weak in rear; pleasing head; good neckline; has depth & body balance
PGD (7,0) Now I had to work as the competitive element stepped up markedly and was maintained from here on in.
1st: Hobbs & Whiting's Boutonneux Baby Buco Avec Rapanooey barely 2yrs and should win his way straight out of here! Loved everything about him; combined strength of form with elegance; fabulous head type of correct breadth & length; would prefer a shade darker eye; balanced angles; well defined spots on dense coat; strong bone; compact feet; deep; level; such an easy profile being long striding with powerful drive; certainly destined to "mix it" with the big boys as he moves up the ranks with maturity.
2nd: Lewis' Dashwood Diamond Jubilee By Hunterswood heavier headed through skull & cheek yet balanced by a powerful muzzle; touch straighter in rear; well put together overall in ex muscled, sleek coated condition to give a balanced picture; level; deep; defined spots; gave a less concentrated performance today.
3rd: Thompson's Boutonneux Little Paws
LD (8,2) The entire lineup comprised of dogs I considered CC quality.
1st: Harrison-Stratford's Dalkereve Dark Dragon l/s; 3.5yrs; surely "his" time is fast approaching since he looked & performed at the top of his game; nothing coarse; all is balanced moderation with those essential clean lines; skull of ideal length & breadth; prefer a touch stronger muzzle to complement it; his conformation flows "hands on"; muscled symmetry without being overdone; clean front; hocks well defined & used; lithe; active; sound, maintaining his arresting profile; undeniably of Champion quality that I was pleased to certify by awarding Reserve Dog CC
2nd: Casey's Moyglass Professor Plum 3.5yrs;such a hard nut to crack & one of barely a handful I had judged before; the head is all in balance but of a heavier type with more breadth & stop; good eye; deep, capacious chest; strong bone; cat feet; ribs well sprung; longer loin; densely spotted; came on a touch "burly" in front; but NONE can quite match his breath taking, free moving, long striding, effortless profile action that so demonstrates "carriage dog/endurance/fair turn of speed" as to keep him right up there in the hunt for a deserved title.
3rd:Bolt's Fakenham Ferrera Rocher
OD (9,0) Again, CC quality not only down the line but beyond
1st: Whincup's Tamilanda Panther Lilly 2.5yrs; as I made that initial walk around the class he took & held my eye; bang on form; brought so many aspects of that breed education together in the one dog; here was balance; scope; fitness; clean lines; lack of exaggeration so as to present a look of harmony & fitness for purpose; desired breadth & length in head carried right through to the powerful muzzle; good eye; arched neck flowing into well laid shoulders and a level backline; capacious; slight arch to loin through muscle tone; clean front; balanced angles fore & aft; short, hard jacket with defined spots; sound out & back; rhythmic, long striding profile action with ex tail carriage. Throughout, the ringside had been applauding & encouraging but they simply went ballistic as I called him out first to be followed by the Dog CC and then BOB. It turned out to be his 2nd after a run of Reserves into double figures. My delay with this critique at least enables me to say he IS now titled. Congratulations!
2nd: Alexander's Ch Offordale Chevalier 4yrs; started him off when he was barely out of nappies with a PG1 & followed it with BD/BIS at that Club show; his career has been the stuff of dreams & he won the Champion Stakes today; always the consummate showman being exhibited & conditioned to advantage; v much the stallion; glorious profile with those flowing bodylines; combines muscular power with just enough refinement to give that touch of elegance w/o compromising his masculinity; lovely head proportions in length & breadth; prefer eye one shade darker; needs no more muscle up front as a touch deliberate & burly coming on; deep; level; strong loin; needs no more rear angulation but he does put it to great use with his driving profile action; beautiful coat, spotting & tail carriage; another who so demonstrates the breed's functionality.
3rd: Pratt's Gwynmor Finch Hatton At Solostar (Imp Ned)
1st: Fleming's Nor Ch Chandhally Snow Queen 9.5yrs b; remarkable form & condition; so feminine yet with desired strength; balanced picture through both head & body; clean front; depth; ex neckline; well distributed spots; sound & agile on the move from muscled quarters, giving a picture of endurance.
GCD D/B (3,0)
1st: Sampson's Dalstorm Black Orchid 2yrs b; v useful sort still needing to mature on; rather narrow in front & too much tuck up; appealing, feminine head with bright eye; good neckline; has depth; good bodylines; cat feet; scored on the move that was smoothly active to cover the ground.
2nd: Wheaton's D Phantom Metal At A. 3rd in YD; certainly strong & muscular; heavier headed that carried through to his overall build; deep; level; not as free moving; tail carriage too high despite the testosterone
3rd: Wills' Ottauquechee Talulah At Dallyvista
1st: Eden's The Ice Queen At Dalens 8m; nice type; good through skull & muzzle; prefer tidier ear; clean front; good bodylines; good loin; ex feet; deep; level; balanced all through; used herself well on the move; should surely finish rather well if she continues to develop along these lines.
2nd: Kaal's Schunikka Wishbone Sulky l/s;8m; feminine if finer built; lighter bone; good head balance; clean lines; defined spots; clean front; has depth; went well despite her immature frame & had an air of quality about her.
1st: Christie's Jezebel The Astonishing Sophtspot (Imp Nld) 11m; striking & rather exciting to watch in profile as she opened up in stride to give a balanced, rhythmic picture; attractive head balance; well angulated both ends; nicely arched neck; good bone & feet; has a proper backside; tail was carried rather high; defined withers; ex backline; well spotted; it took patience but went soundly once settled & that ground covering ease took her through to BPIB.
2nd : Hobbs & Whiting's Rapanooey Rhapsody 10m; classy youngster; also feminine in head with a good skull, better eye but heavier ear; good depth; developing well & along the right lines; good front; level; deep; touch straighter in rear angulation & less collected on the move but the constituent parts are there already to develop on.
3rd : Pearson's Kelevra Classic Cliché
1st: Philip's Dvojica Bubble N' Chic At Nordalset 17m; superb breed type; such quality through skull & muzzle; arched neck; symmetrical outline; well distributed spots; defined withers; level; deep; elegantly balanced; good feet; correctly angulated; secure on the move with such a free flowing profile; a "goosebumps" youngster destined for the top & came close today.
2nd: Finlay's Dvojica Black Swan At Dalfin litter sister, & frankly of equal merit, which explains my difficulty in separating them; another super head though in each case, for ideal, I would have the eye one shade darker; body merits are the same being so beautifully constructed & w/o exaggeration; has depth; ex neckline & shoulder; same freedom when gaiting; just less settled in front coming on; also of obvious CC quality and a great breeding achievement. Lucky owners!
3rd: Neath-Duggan's Buffrey Hey Diddle Diddle
1st: Morgan's Winflash Olympic Star 22m; sound & feminine & another with an assured future; good skull; touch fine in muzzle; symmetrical; balanced; good length of neck flowing into shoulder; super coated & marked; rear angles balance the front; deep; level; long striding profile; expect to read of her challenging for top honours with added maturity.
2nd: Thorne's Castletop Penderyn 19m; no mistaking her sex; has balance & symmetry too; just finer & narrower all through; super neck & shoulder; clean, flowing lines.
3rd: Batchelor & Emms' Dallydyl Love In Idleness
1st: Suggett's Dalesbred Geebee Gold For Kintegus l/s; still a yearling; struck me as of great quality throughout; all is harmoniously balanced; ex head & eye; ex bone & feet; well constructed with correct angulation; good in rib, depth & loin; well distributed spots; used herself well with drive; another capable of taking on allcomers with the benefit of maturity.
2nd: Croft's Doubtwell Ebony Night 2.5yrs; ex type; pretty head with dark eye; also has the required depth, ribs & quarters albeit in an overall heavier frame; handler struggled to make the most of her assets on the move
3rd: D B Orchid
1st: Moate's Leihart Honolulu Honey At Sundowndal just a couple of days out of junior; loved her; struck me as of super type; such a balanced picture whether in head or body; good neck & shoulder; cleanest of bodylines; good bone & feet; level; deep; correctly angulated; defined spots; smooth & sound on the move; an exciting youngster with all before her.
2nd: Townson & Pardoe's Shacarlu Bumblebee At Daymadals 3.5yrs; plainer headed b. with lighter eye; has the body maturity through rib & loin; strongly made yet with the refinement of her sex; prefer a touch more rear angulation; ex feet; gave an arresting, smooth, powerful side-gait.
3rd:Hipkiss' Lilal Tiger Lily
1st: Stocks' Kalokairie's Lady Bollinger At Nospar rising 3yrs; such an electric combination of type, strength & elegance; lightly spotted; just the right breadth & length to her head broken by moderate stop; arched neck; good bone & feet; beautifully balanced bodylines; sound, powerful mover with a rather proud tail; clearly of CC quality & now believe she was probably titled post-entry; close up for top honours today.
2nd: Dodds & Pearson's Kelevra Mercury Rising 5yrs & in great form; touch fine in muzzle; prefer eye a shade darker; cracking bodylines built for endurance; well distributed spots; muscled quarters; nothing overdone to give desired symmetry; made full use of this structure on the move displaying a powerful rhythm; CC quality.
3rd: Stevenson's Dalkereve Divine Decision For Macula
OB (11,2) Goodness me! Quality class to make me work.
1st: Page's Winflash Born To Be Wild 2yrs; the more I asked of her the more she gave; I would tweek a couple of head points, that is still balanced, but having taken that into account, the rest of her so screamed classy functionality & breed type that she maintained her place on the final circuit round with her balanced ease; classically feminine; bodylines that flow; sleek coated with defined spots; strong bone & cat feet; has depth; rounded quarters; correctly angulated; such symmetry; sound; electrifying profile action that was long striding & rhythmic; beautifully handled & conditioned. Bitch CC and her title will surely follow.
2nd: Page's Ch Windflash Elle's Belle's 2yrs; one benefit of judging at this level 1st time is in not knowing who is connected/related to whom, whether exhibit or exhibitor, so "dad" as handler meant absolutely nothing to me nor the fact I was deciding between half-sisters; the better head with darker eye; same structure; outstanding conformation; good depth & quarters; strong loin; combines power with femininity; bang on movement on cat feet; just edged out by the super fit agility of her kennelmate. Reserve Bitch CC. It all seems pretty irrelevant now with her subsequent, tragic, passing. The public & our media/political detractors haven't a clue as to the path we take as breeders littered with pitfalls from which we have to bounce back when our instinct is to jack it all in. I am sure that all who can identify with this will feel the pain of the Page family.
3rd: Alexander's Offordale Amethyst
On returning home there was just one letter waiting on the doormat : an invitation for Dalmatians 2017!
Southern Counties 2014 Judged by Mr H Ogden