Champion Ardencote Angel's Jive
Champion Windspiel Northern Spectre
Dumortier's Graal Quest Now and Ever BCC &
To judge at Crufts is
a tremendous honour, one which I did not approach lightly, I feel a little
disappointed that I cannot enthuse about the overall quality of the exhibits
shown this year. It was back in 1985 that I first had the thrill of winning BOB
with a Greyhound at Crufts, and getting shortlisted with her in the group. That
year there were only 39 exhibitors compared to 52 this year, interestingly just
4 of those were exhibiting both years. Perhaps my memory is clouded but I think
that exhibits were much sounder and generally of better quality back in '85
than they are now, if I'm correct this is very sad for our breed and the
problem needs to be addressed. Movement was poor and I found it necessary to
allow for 'benefit of the doubt' in the dog classes. I am aware that some find
the conditions at the NEC less than ideal, I had one myself that simply would
not show there, however, far too many came toward me toeing in and often with
toes spread and feet flat. In some classes I had to remind myself very firmly
to judge the whole picture and not dismiss an exhibit because it was not moving
as I would have wished, here it would be easy to get into the old type versus
movement argument which I shall not do. For a breed that is not numerically
strong hounds varied greatly with many different types. Some heads were weak in
muzzle and/or lower jaw whilst one or two others were overdone in muzzle with
it almost flanging out towards their nose, bites were good on the whole as was
pigmentation, eye colour and expression varied, I found very few that had the
kind yet alert outlook that I wanted and some eye shapes were more round than
oval. I hope it makes sense if I say that very few heads flowed, somehow they
were too sharp, not having the desired chiselling without being angular, some
were too wide between the ears whilst others had no stop and were very narrow
in skull. Necks on the whole were adequate, with only one or two that I would
describe as stuffy, most had a good arch and flowed well into the shoulder. A
few were loaded over the shoulder but I felt far more were upright in shoulder
with the angle between the upper arm and shoulder blade too great. Short steep
upper arms combined with no forechest seem to have become the norm and with
this type of construction exhibits were often not filled in enough between
their front legs, perhaps this is the fault of the breed standard which does
not mention these points, unless new exhibitors/ breeders discuss such things
with the more experienced how are they to know that they are desirable? It
would seem likely that some of the poor movement is coming from this type of
front construction, which is often combined with loose elbows, these and weak
pasterns were often found in the exhibits that toed in. The majority of dogs
stood on good feet, although as mentioned previously some did seem to have
problems gripping the flooring. A few were overly tightly knuckled up and this
was sometimes combined with upright pasterns and forequarters, one or two
others were very long in toe and down on pastern. Toplines varied from too flat
through to the rise over the loin being too far forward and exaggerated, a few
fell away with the tail set on too low. The majority however achieved the
required slight arch over the loin and found their length from the ribs rather
than this area. Hindquarters on the whole had the desired strength to give good
drive, sweep of stifle and second thigh were good on most exhibits although
some did seem to crouch behind and one or two lacked the desired length of
second thigh. Viewed from the rear most had good width through thighs and
second thighs although some managed to move close behind despite this. The
majority of exhibits were presented in very good order, a credit to their
owners at this time of the year. I thank exhibitors for the entry and the
sporting way that they accepted my decisions, the applause was good to hear. I
do hope that my critique will be taken in the constructive way that is it
Spec Jun D 6 (1) 1 Paley & Watson's Windspiel
Northern Siberia upstanding wh/r with good head carried on strong neck, good
topline, depth and spring of rib, correct bone, powerful quarters which he used
to his advantage on the move, just needing to tighten in front RCC.
Boggia's Ch Boughton Benvoluto a worthy champion in superb condition, good all
through, just lost out on the move.
3 Rowe's Gaysyde Christmas Blues
elegant blue made from a different mould to the previous two, needing to make
up behind and mature on.
Post Grad D 5 (1) Holtby & Andrew's
Xandaleer Éclair bl/wh with pleasing head, good neck which flowed into
nice shoulder with good upper arm placement, ribs carried well back, good
2 Maynard's Talissand Morga Montean rbr nice head and eye,
pleasing outline with good depth and balance, just a little loose in hind
3 Rowe's Gaysyde Christmas Storm upstanding mostly white dog with
great substance, good head and eye, pleasing topline, presented in superb
Limit D 4 (1) Hargreaves-Savage & Olson's blbr whose
colour did not help him under the lights, on close inspection an elegant hound
with good head and neck, one of the better shoulders, ribs carried well back
but could have more spring, good hind angulation.
2 Lewis's Nothwells Gypsy
King very nice balanced black, good all through, moved well.
Patlyns the Rain Man good shape and type let down by feet and pasterns.
Open D 5 (1) Cooksey's Ch Charuzian Al Jarir at Trenson pleasing
head and eye, good neck which flowed into good shoulder and upper arm, correct
bone and standing on good feet, moved well in profile.
2 Van Den Oetelaar
& Roubos' Grandcru Lafite upstanding wh/bl nice head and neck, fair
shoulder placement, plenty of bone but a little upright in pastern and over
tight in front feet, good spring and depth of rib, a bit flat over loin.
Gilpin & Heggs Ch Wenonah the Philanderer in super condition, good body
with ribs carried well back, very balanced dog who did not give his all on the
Special Racing/Coursing D 3 (1) Lintott's Harmony Spirit
classic headed dog in great condition, showed them all how to move.
Barford's Raffle Ticket another a great credit to his owner, in super condition
and thoroughly enjoying his day out.
3 Parravani's Morning Pride a great
dog who ran in the Waterloo Cup the week before, just lost out to the two above
Veteran D 2 (1) 1 Cook's Ch Patlyns Eye of the Storm 7
½ yrs young wh/br parti in superb condition, not been one of my
favourites from the ringside but on close inspection good all through from his
classic head to the tip of his tail, simply the best today DCC.
Jun B 3 (1) Savage & Hargreaves- Savage Mistweave Summer Wine wh/blbr
super head and neck which flowed into good shoulder, well balanced with good
underline, good quarters, moved well in profile.
2 Newsham's Windspiel
Northern Savanna very elegant black with pleasing head and expression, good
reach of neck, nice balance and strong quarters which she used to her advantage
on the move.
3 White's Gaysyde Christmas Snowfall at Baldrey super type
whose just not ready yet, I shall watch her progress with interest. Post
Grad B 12 (2) 1 Newsham's Windspiel Northern Stylus wh/r good
through head, neck and shoulder, correct bone and feet, good underline and lay
back of rib, moved well in profile.
2 Bartlett's Ransley Simply Gorgrous
wh/blbr well named and most unlucky to meet class winner, could change places
another day. 3 Judge's Crosswolla Beewitched at Plushcourt wh/blackbr another
lovely bitch, very elegant just needs more time to settle.
Limit B 9
(1) 1 Rowe's Patlyns Snow White nice type with a classy head, good outline,
well balanced with ribs carried well back, moved with drive RCC.
Northwell's Gyspsy Lullaby very sound bitch good all through.
Crosswolla Viennese Waltz elegant predominately white bitch who did not give
her all today.
Open B 8 (1) 1 Dumortier's Graal Quest Now and
Ever beautiful rangy black bitch, very elegant whilst having strength and
substance, feminine without any weakness, all the curves in the right places,
just what I was looking for, flowed round the ring with ease, CC & BOB.
2 Boggia's Ch Boughton Bonheur another lovely bitch and well worthy of her
title, elegant head and neck, super profile, in lovely condition.
Poldory Awake with Joy at Belleek another classy bitch of similar type, just
not as bodied up and the previous two.
Spec Racing/Coursing B 9 (3)
A super entry for this class it was great to see the dogs having such a nice
time in such different surrounding for them.
1 Smith's Pure Heart wh/r with
a lovely head and eye, good neck and shoulder and through body, not built on
such different lines to our show dogs, moved well.
2 Rhodes Sugar Pink of
Jaystown built on smaller lines than winner but still nice bitch who moved
3 Chitty's Maddaboy Pearl very fit wh/r again in lovely condition but
just a bit wider in front than the first two.
Spec Vet 3 (1)
White's Ch Baldrey Here Comes Smartie lovely blue bitch in superb
condition, really good all through, one I have given top honours in the past
and had she put more into her movement today she would have pushed hard for the
2 Smith's Pure Heart.
Jan Wood (Judge)