Midland Counties 2018.
Many thanks to the committee for inviting me to judge the Group at their 50th Anniversary Show. Also a big thanks to the judges who sent forward such quality dogs that set the bar very high in this competition.
In addition to the four placed, I shortlisted the veteran Malamute who was still in great shape, the Bullmastiff with his powerful gait, the young Dobermann bitch who was so elegant and sound and the Bouvier bitch who, despite her youth, was a strong contender here.
1st in Group went to the Bernese male, Ch Meadowpark High Class, and how well named he is! Just hit the spot with his balance, soundness and enthusiasm which would serve him well in his original purpose as well as in the showring. Super headpiece, good strength of neck along with firmly muscled back and loin. Possibly, from a cosmetic point of view I would prefer a slightly paler sclera but very little I would want to change about him. On the move, he really reaches forward and follows through from a well-muscled rear. At one with his handler to create the perfect picture today.
2nd the Portuguese Water Dog male, Ch Belleville Anjo Negro, who pushed so very hard with his lovely energetic gait and well held outline. Loved his head and muzzle shape, with well open nostrils. Another who was well muscled and obviously well-conditioned. In super coat of correct texture. The white chest marking can create a slight optical illusion when coming towards me, but this is only proof of how pedantic my nit-picking was!
3rd the Newfoundland male, Ch/US Ch Mainlands Anchorbay Now I Know My ABCs, a lovely stamp of a dog with gentle expression, the right amount of lip, impressive bone and such a good mover – especially in front, where the breed is slightly lacking at the moment. Certainly looked the part although just relaxed his loin a little towards the end of judging.
4th the St Bernard bitch, Ch Chandlimore Counting Stars who at 2 years old still has some more maturity to come, but is outstanding for type, superb topline and moved in the correct unhurried fashion for the breed. Excellent for substance of bone, body and head (with a kindly expression). Her best is yet to come I think.