Best puppy in show
What an excellent show this is with its compact layout, good in and out rings, great hospitality, super food, helpful officials and above all its extensive exhibitor-friendly classification, plus of course its world-famous loos. I much appreciated the opportunity to go over the best puppies in breed and quickly lost count of the number I would love to own! Thank you to Sarah, David and their loyal team for a most interesting and enjoyable three days.
HOUND – 1 Dare’s Min Longhaired Dachshund Larkhund Sofia, this is such a difficult variety in which to achieve that little extra style and elegance but here it was in this beautiful black and tan who I felt stood out in this group. Beautifully feminine with a pretty head, a reachy neck combined with properly laid back shoulders, matching upper arm and super ribbing and topline, has an arrogant way of going, has something of the Krystal Darque about her and you can’t say better than that. 2 Moult’s Zamdilsa Trick Or Treat, such a striking GBGV with a gorgeous head and ears, super bone and substance and great drive and style on the move, going up a gear when she strode into the main ring. Closely followed by 3 Robertson’s Soletrader Beatrix Potter, an interesting contrast here with both these young ladies demonstrating the qualities which make the Grand and Petit distinct. So neat and feminine with bone in proportion and unexaggerated Petit movement. 4 a lovely surprise in a really beautiful Sloughi pup, Clark’s Magida Sabith Al Sahra at Thiefside, superb bone and balance and a quite exceptionally sound mover, sensitively handled. Gorgeous quality and should make lots of friends for the breed.
Also shortlisted were Tulak Just Go With It for Amariz, this Afghan is a real baby on the move but standing has super shape, balance and angles; Brumberhill Mr Wilks, another raw baby but this Wire Dachshund has so much promise with excellent bone, head and style; Abbotsoak Carousel, Ibizan with eyecatching quality and all the breed hallmarks, looked a picture standing and just needs to settle on the move; a classy Saluki Classicus Alchemy, already with super balance and outline, and an impressive masculine Ridgeback Villagedogs Rise Of Phoenix. The Fauve, Beagle, Min Wire and Pharaoh were close up.
TERRIER – Here again one caught my eye immediately and held it to win rather comfortably, Vickers and Punter’s Lakeland Eskwyre Red Devil, a real showman set off by immaculate presentation and plenty of terrier character, quality head, beautiful clean shoulders and flowing lines all through combined with excellent bone and substance. Moved smartly here but rather played up on the final day. 2 Francis’ Sawheaten Kiss From A Rose, this Wheaten is not yet 7 months but her conformation and balance really appealed to me and she moved accordingly. 3 Phillips’ Tell A Tale To Jaeva, a very substantial Norfolk with a typical head, super body and topline and quite the showman. 4 Curtis’ Verumamicus Aurora of Brakemill, such a glamorous eyecatching Skye with the framework already there to build on, can imagine she will make a truly spectacular picture in due course.
Other finalists included Janski Bugurovski, very masculine Cesky with super shape and outline, meant business in the move; Zetamaz Carbon Copy, most impressive Smooth with a quality head and super legs and feet; Jaeva Pay The Piper, raw but quality Norwich who scored well on size and coat texture; Taraiel Soulja Boy, really handsome Stafford with a superb head, bone and shape, thought he was going to figure in the top 4 but just lost out on his final circuit; and Lingbeck The One And Only, this WHWT was a real baby but has a super short back combined with enough neck and plenty of promise all through. The Bedlington, Dandie and Scottie pressed hard.
UTILITY – Well wow, I was spoilt for choice here with some marvellous pups and the group rings should be exciting indeed in the next year or two. Hairs had to be split all the way through. 1 Bevis and Corr’s Stecal’s Remember My Name, amazingly mature young Akita with tremendous bone and plenty of substance but avoiding coarseness or clumsiness, beautifully balanced and stood four square, a typical head and perfect topline, has a glorious rhythm in side gait, superb presentation and sympathetic handling. 2 Dunhill’s Vormund The Next Episode, what an exciting young Shiba, lovely quality and balance and another who looks exceptional going round, just needs time to develop in coat compared to 1 who was in full bloom. 3 Hattrell’s Khinjan Scarlet Pimpernel, this Lhasa is quite something to go over, absolutely sound, ultra masculine and well balanced. Perfect presentation and I look forward to seeing him when mature, have often admired both parents from ringside and they have come up with the goods here. 4 Gadsby, Lynn and Isherwood’s Afterglow After The Fire, most impressive all male Standard Poodle, admired his head, neck and balanced angles, again presented as one would expect. Moved true back and front.
Others shortlisted: Eastonite Marko, Frenchie who combines tremendous substance with a shapely outline; Longsdale’s Sandra Dee, delightfully feminine Klein, a real showgirl and a lovely shape; Stornovar Sergeant Pepper, stylish Min Schnauzer, clean outline and beautifully presented; Navarre’s Extrovert, smartly tailored Min Poodle combining refinement and a masculine air; and Ashowai Ready To Boogie, beautiful Shar-Pei impressing in head, bone and coat. The Bulldog, Toy Poodle and Shih Tzu would also have been worthy finalists.
WORKING – I was torn between the top two here, with first place going to Huckerby and Dowell’s Boxer Norwilbeck Bellchime By Chance, so feminine but with super bone, exceptionally compact, rock hard topline and an excellent expression from dark correct shaped eyes and good head proportions, moved steadily holding herself together well. The least mature in the final seven but has lots of quality. 2 Blake’s Sandbears On The Money, such a handsome Newfoundland, sound and shapely, well angulated and boned and with great freedom of movement. 3 Perks’ Dromnagus Mother Of Dragons, what a lovely outline has this Russian Black, excellent topline and overall shape and a steady side gait. 4 Ingram’s Jojavik Devil’s Ivy, feminine Dobermann with clean lines, excellent neck and shoulder, strong bone, just needs time to couple up.
I also shortlisted Chayo Jitterbug, quality Malamute, now at the raw and gangly stage but shows plenty of scope and the promise of free driving movement; Valhalla Hunter Ride The Lightning at Nanahboozoo, quality real baby Bullmastiff, needs time in head but a super shape; Amathus Especially For You Jocolda, quality Leonberger, super bone and substance, liked the forehand with clean neck and shoulders; and Siberiadrift The Blood Moon, quality Siberian with scope to develop, attractive head and clean outline, went better as the group went on. The Giant Schnauzer was close up.
PASTORAL – A strong group that any of the first three could equally have won. 1 Simmons and Inverno’s Sashdan Never Ending Story, what a beautiful extrovert Border Collie, full of personality, such a typical head and expression, good angulation without exaggeration, every part flows, moves with great style with the characteristic head carriage, good coat which fits her well, strong contender for the top spots. 2 Bartlett’s Kelligrews Kiss Under A Star, super Beardie with classic balanced conformation, well proportioned head and that reach of neck which adds a touch of class, another excellent mover from all angles. 3 Wiffen, Mackie and Lester’s Kyros de Bruine Buck, gorgeous Groenendael with a real masculine presence, quality head, clean neck and shoulders and a very typical action. Splitting hairs between these three. 4 Windsor’s Holanja Go Wild, such a handsome OES with plenty of bone, strong head whose skull in indeed ‘capacious’, good neck and topline, promising coat, sound all through. Just not quite as mature in body as the others placed
. Also pulled out were the Australian Shepherd Allmark Ice Ice Baby, so pretty and feminine, super head, neck and topline, excellent side gait. Remember judging her famous dam at a similar age, hope this one lives up to her breeding; Novaskaya Xander Lafa, good looking Samoyed with plenty of quality, sound and substantial; Mohnesee Sweet Dreams, deliciously feminine Sheltie with the most beautiful expression, the right bone for her size and neatly made; and My Girl Of Ice Wine at Austonley, a real baby White Swiss Shepherd but such a confident showgirl, well made and deserved her shortlisting for her remarkably collected smooth movement. The Pembroke, Catalan and Pyrenean pressed hard.
TOY – No doubt about the winner of this one. Nothing is more enchanting than an exquisite Pomeranian and I can’t imagine they come much more exquisite than Smith’s Sueacres Bettin On Evie, a personality plus orange sable with the most delightful head and expression, muzzle ‘finely finished’, well placed ears, a compact surprisingly solid body combined with dainty bone, short level back and a beautifully set and carried plume. Well textured coat already contributing to the sought after outline, very true on the move and covered the ground in jaunty fashion, so responsive to her handler. 2 Martin’s Lizamela Marchello, lovely Chin of medium size, another combining a solid body with dainty limbs, charming head that’s both masculine and has quality, firm topline and breed typical movement. 3 Dunlop and McLellan’s Habiba True Blue, elegant Chinese Crested with super angles and scopy proportions, came into her own when going round with plenty of style. 4 Thompson and Austin’s Melangel Highland By Design at Jhanakia, quality Papillon, good head, neck and ears, smart mover and steady showman.
Others shortlisted were Beaudale Storm In A Teacup, well made b/t Cavalier with good balance and proportions and plenty of scope for the future; Marlord’s Starstruck at Aelaro, stylish smartly made Italian Greyhound with elegant lines; Yakee The Debutante, divinely headed Peke with irresistible eyes, low to ground with solid shapely body, with a shade more enthusiasm on the move would have been among the final 4; and Rosewitch Another Excuse for Zobear, most attractive Pug, solid and well made and again with beautiful eyes. The Silky and Havanese were close up and I’m sure the handsome Lowchen will have better days.
GUNDOGS – Lots of possibilities here, resulting in my longest short list. 1 Whiting’s Annilann Miss Zing, what a super blue roan Cocker, has both great substance and feminine quality, classy feminine head without coarseness, super conformation topped with excellent presentation and a happy show temperament, as with the Pom it amazed me how such a compact bitch could cover so much ground in such style, true back and front as well. 2 and so very close up, Pinkerton’s Bareve Bronwren, what a quality look has this beautiful GWP, super flowing lines from copybook shoulders to powerful hindquarters, already shows a superb side gait. 3 Hunt’s Joneva Hollywood Glamour, such a pretty, feminine elegant Weimaraner, quality head, clean lines and a purposeful mover. 4 Lucas’ Kerryfair Love On The Rocks Amberlight, classy Irish Setter who is very ‘together’ for a youngster with a super shape and free unexaggerated movement.
Also pulled out were Bitcon Echo, this Flatcoat was a real baby but has the most super scope and conformation, perhaps the one I’d have taken home; Bournehouse Secret Whisper, English Setter of glorious class and quality making a super picture when posed; Golmas Guardsman, most impressive masculine Golden Retriever excelling in outline; Tivalake Let’s Misbehave, handsome Duck Toller whose forte was his profile movement; Curlyco My Hot Rockstar, all male Irish Water with super bone and body; and Perdizcyo Beatriz with Teisgol, pleasure to find such a beautifully balanced Portuguese Pointer with such a smart outline and already a clean rhythmic side gait with plenty of drive from her well made hindquarters. Several more were in contention including the Brittany, Gordon, Wire Vizsla and the real baby American Cocker.
Let’s face it, I’d have had only myself to blame had I been disappointed when the final seven filed in on Sunday evening, and I wasn’t! I had no preconceptions as to who might win so it was their final performance and movement which made up my mind for me. Thank you all for returning.
Strangely enough, it was the two from the final day who sparkled most, both still full of energy and style after what must have been a long day. So the delicious Pom emerged the winner with the bustling Cocker runner-up and the Border Collie pressing hard, all three, along with two of the other contenders, from what we are no longer allowed to call ‘the fairer sex’.