It’s always a pleasure to get invited to judge at Belfast Dog Show Society. The show has a very nice atmosphere, a tone which of course is set by Jackie Stubbs and his very friendly committee
This year it was my task to judge the Gundog and Toy Group. Among the gundogs I short listed the GSP, Irish Red and White Setter, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel, Weimaraner, Pointer, Irish Setter.
The winner had to be the Irish Setter Sh Ch Gwendariff Wippersnapper. I have admired this fabulous dog from ringside at numerous occasions, but this was the first time I got the chance to go over him. Everything is in the right place on this dog. He has a superb outline and he is well angulated both ends without being extreme in any way.
When Wippersnapper started to move he impressed me no end. He motored around the course like Lewis Hamilton, being In total control. This was the king in action.
Second was the Pointer Sh Ch Chesterhope Thrill of Tchase. This is another top quality dog which is bred by and sent to the UK by Diane O’Neill. I will never forget my first visit to the New Zealand National In 2005 when I saw Sh Ch Chesterhope Let’s Be Serious at Kanix (Breeze) winning BIS. He later came to the UK and stayed with us for 18 months. Breeze changed my life and he turned Kanix into a Pointer Kennel so It’s no wonder I liked Thrill of Tchase. He is straight up my street with a general outline of a series of graceful curves. In the past I have thought that this guy has been a bit reluctant on the move, but at Belfast it was almost as if he thought: “I am going to show this Pointer man what I am made of” and in doing so he pulled out all stops and followed the Irish Setter nicely around the ring.
Third was the impressive American Cocker Ch Afterglow Life of Brian. I loved his head and his outline and he moved with great drive and determination. It was pleasing to hear that I gave his mother the group a few years ago. My guess is that Life of Brian is on his way to win a group as well.
Fourth but not least was the high class Weimaraner Sh Ch Gunalt Undeniable at Joneva.
I have unfortunately not done a lot for Weimaraners through my previous group judging, but this high quality gentleman couldn’t be over looked. I loved his flowing outline and strong top-line. Undeniable has an excellent neck and he was impressive on the move. One to be proud of.
This was a very strong group with some outstanding dogs.
I shortlisted the Cavalier King Charles, Bichon, Pug, Maltese, Chihuahua. Pomeranian and the Yorkshire Terrier.
The winner was the breathtaking Pug Ch & Lux Ch & Lux Ch Calaquendi Nebuchadnezzar. I loved everything about this dog. He showed like a mannequin and moved very typical for his bred with passion and enthusiasm. He has a beautiful head and excellent tailset. He did everything the handler asked of him and I fell in love with him. One of the very best.
Second was the charming Maltese Ch Benetone Gino D’Acampo. It doesn’t look like I can ever judge a Toy group without placing a dog from this brilliant kennel which produces some stunning dogs. D’Acampo is a beauty which is following in his ancestors’ footsteps.
Third was the classic Bichon Manoir’s Man For All Seasons. This cracker had a beautiful head with excellent expression. He is well filled out in front and his outline is first class. He moves around the ring with drive and determination and it pleased me no end to get to know this dog.
Fourth was the Ch Dachidas Jonnie Hot Rocks. This was a dog of the excellent type we are used to see from Dachidas. Jonnie was very well constructed and I couldn’t help being impressed when he started moving. He behaved as if he owned the whole hall. I would, however, have liked to see him standing a bit better. He just didn’t want to settle down as well as I would have liked and that’s why I placed him fourth.