Critique - Judge: Becky Box (Fernstart)
My thanks to the LKA committee for the appointment to judge at this show, an appointment I had been greatly looking forward to, and my tremendous respect to them for the positive and pragmatic way in which they handled the weather situation which developed over the course of the show. I thought this a perfect demonstration of some of our great British qualities - to get on with the job in hand, make the best of the situation and to do it with a smile.
I know that the show will have provided many with stories to add to their dog showing memories – my own trek from a nearby hotel to the NEC halls, on foot in a blizzard, will certainly go into mine! Thank you to those who sent messages to explain why you had been unable to make it – some setting out but having to turn back and others deciding to not risk the journey at all – I totally understand and respect your decisions and thank you for your entries. As for those of you who made it to the show – a massive thank you – I know some of you had quite hairy journeys and I felt honored that you made the trip for my opinion of your dogs. Despite the impact the conditions had on the absentee level, the number of dogs present was still considerably more than in many other breeds – something to be said for the character of Irish Setter exhibitors! What impressed me most was the way you were all determined to enjoy the day and spread some Christmas spirit around our ring – the range of Christmas jumpers on display was impressive and I know there were various celebrations taking place around the benches in traditional fashion.
On to the judging itself - the situation gave additional factors to consider and I decided to take a slower pace than usual for the first few classes in the hope that anyone who was on their way made it to their class in time (imagining battling to get their and then finding you’d just missed your class!) but there was then the need to ‘get the job done’ to give people the chance to get on their way home in good time for the journey ahead, but without compromising on the time allocated to each exhibit. Despite the level of absentees I was pleased with the overall quality of the entry present and was able to find well deserving winners in every class. All dogs were well turned out which was a great credit to their owners given the weather conditions.
Minor Puppy Dog (13, 4 abs)
1st Holley’s Wynjill Snap Dragon, headed a lovely class of minor puppies. At 8 months has a striking, racy outline. Balanced throughout, super reach of neck flowing into shoulders and with good front and rear angulation, lovely legs and nice tight feet. Handsome, balanced head with soft quizzical expression. Moved steadily and with style gently wagging his tail. Shows great promise and will be watching his progress with interest. Best puppy dog and best puppy in breed.
2nd Stewart-Ritchie’s Gwendariff Weekend Warrior, stronger build than 1 but still racy in outline and presents a balanced picture. Lovely head and expression. Super dark coat with good furnishings already. Firm topline which he held on the move. Moved well but not a settled as 1. Another promising baby.
3rd Rutherford, Judge, Crocker and Siddle’s Riverbrue Galliano Fizz to Clonageera
Puppy Dog (9, 5 abs)
1st Holley’s Wynjill Snap Dragon
2nd Stafford and Clayton’s Gwendariff Red Light Show Farnfield what a handful this young dog is, and many of us have experienced similar, but while frustrating at the moment I think with patience and dedication he will be worth the effort. When he did decide to co-operate presented a striking outline, with super bone, lovely dark coat and was presented in great condition. Pleasing head and expression. Tremendous energy on the move but needs to ‘rein it in’ and focus his energy on his performance. I wish his handler good luck.
3rd Pike’s Redclyst Boris
Junior Dog (5, 2 abs)
1st Muir and O’Connor’s Gwendariff I’m Coming Out, although a name I knew not a dog I’d really noticed before today – but he has certainly caught my attention now. Super type, so balanced with a stylish outline, firm topline and strong hindquarters. Lovely head with gentle expression and low set ears. Another with a super dark coat and presented if fabulous condition. Moved with real drive and style to take the class and gain his JW on the day – congratulations.
2nd Lorrimer’s Kerrimere Classique, different type but equally attractive and pushed the winner hard. Presented a very pleasing outline, balanced throughout with arched neck, firm sloping topline and correct tailset. Good hindquarters. Handsome head with pleasing expression and kind eye. Moved well but not quite the drive of 1 today.
3rd Holley’s Wynjill Winner Takes All JW
Yearling Dog (10, 6 abs)
1st Chorley-Newton, Chlorley and Flinders Pawsword Priceless To Kerryfair JW. I have admired this beautiful dog and his brother, placed 2nd today, since the start of their careers and was thrilled to get the chance to judge them both today. Both are of lovely type with no exaggeration. 1 has a superb outline which just flows from tip of his nose to the tip of his tail – quality throughout. Super neck and shoulders, good depth of chest and correct fore and rear angulation. Love his handsome, balanced head with raised brows and quizzical expression. Moved soundly. I had no hesitation in awarding him the RCC today – much to his handlers surprise – richly deserved and am sure there are many more, and higher, awards on the horizon.
2nd Davis’ Pawsword Prairie Wind JW, as mentioned above, also a dog I have greatly admired. Very well constructed dog, with so much to like about him. Super head and expression. Very similar in many ways to 1 but just not the overall balance and finish of his brother at this stage, however I’m sure he too has a bright future ahead.
3rd Stockton’s Riverbrue Alchemist Amidst Kespas JW
Graduate Dog (12, 9 abs)
1st Gwendariff D’Ya Think I’m Fab For Kespas JW, this dog has a super racy outline which he carries well on the move and covers the ground well. Good reach of neck fitting smoothly into a gently sloping topline. Balanced construction throughout. Balanced, handsome head with soft expression. Lovely colour and condition to his coat but needs more feathering to complete the picture, although time is on his side for this.
2nd Ciechonska’s Riverbrue Altissimo at Aoibheanne JW. Smaller framed dog compared to 1 and presents a very elegant outline. Lovely head and expression, which I preferred to 1 however not the overall balance of 1 at this stage and needs to settle on the move. Super dark coat and happy outgoing personality.
3rd Nicholls Romarne Under Orders JW
Post Graduate Dog (9, 8 abs)
1st Lorrimer’s Kerrimere Charismatic JW – such a shame that this beautiful dog stood alone but he thoroughly deserved his win and one I have seen win in hot competition on other occasions. He is a beautifully balanced boy with a lovely, classic outline and no exaggerations. Good reach of neck set into well laid back shoulders, gently sloping topline, which he held well on the move, and correct tail set, with good tail carriage on the move. Balanced, handsome head. Presented in excellent condition and moved effortlessly around the ring.
Limit Dog (11, 7 abs)
1st Longbottom and Stewart-Ritchie’s Gwendariff Unknown Soldier JW, was my best puppy dog last time I judged and has enjoyed much success since that day. Not a big boy but presents a striking outline which really catches the eye. Well constructed throughout, with good spring of rib, good angulation fore and aft, gently sloping topline and strong hindquarters. Classic, balanced head with soft expression. Covered the ground with real drive on the move and presented in tip top condition to beat a personal favourite into second place. Am sure his career still has further to go.
2nd Lucas’ Bardonhill Eternal Flame Among Amberlight JW, a lovely dog who I have admired from the ringside and one who has also enjoyed a successful career to date. Beautiful racy and elegant outline, good depth of chest and good angulation throughout. Love his head and melting expression, with kind eyes and low set ears, which I found very appealing. Not quite the coat condition or verve on the move today of the winner but another I’m sure is destined for more success in the future.
3rd Cuddy’s Suteresett Rebel Rouser In Balbriggan JW.
Open Dog (5, 3 abs)
1st Mitchell’s Amblin’s Sweet William, this lovely dog was my graduate winner last time I judged and at the time I said he was slowly fulfilling his early potential. Since then I have followed his progress and he has gradually matured into a really beautiful example of our breed. However, for me the real change has come on the move, I have seen days when he really didn’t put any effort in but today he strode out in style – I know his owner/handler has worked really hard on this aspect of his performance and all that work has certainly paid off. Again, not a big boy but presents a very elegant, balanced outline with no exaggeration. Super front, well arched neck flowing into well laid back shoulders, good depth of chest and gently sloping topline. Balanced head with raised brows and the most soft, appealing expression. Presented in a dark, gleaming coat. Thrilled to award him his second CC and hope that his third will not be far away.
2nd Cohen’s Caispern Lorenzo With Shushana JW ShCM, handsome dog with a nice outline, built on clean lines, good reach of neck set into well laid shoulders. Attractive head with raised brows and kind eye. Moved soundly.
Minor Puppy Bitch (13, 10 abs)
1st Leach’s Bardonhill Theme For a Dream at Erilynne just my type of minor puppy bitch, beautifully made and with real character! Lovely type and when she decided to stand still presented a lovely outline with good front and rear angulation, good depth of chest and super feet. Prettiest of heads with raised brows and mischievous expression. Moved very well using her tail to advantage and thoroughly enjoying herself. Best puppy bitch.
2nd Mugford’s Lynwood Abracadabra, another lovely type of bitch, very typical of her breeding. Presented a lovely outline with good reach of neck flowing cleanly into shoulders and gently sloping topline. Another pretty girl with raised brows and kind eye. Moved steadily but not as well as 1 today
3rd Gardner’s Danwish Nessarose
Puppy Bitch (9, 4 abs)
1st Leach’s Bardonhill Theme For a Dream at Erilynne
2nd Jone’s Gwendariff Chilli Powder, another pretty puppy with much to like about her but giving her handler a hard time today. Well made throughout with a lovely clean outline, good topline and tailset. Balanced head with sweet expression. Super dark glossy coat. Moved steadily. Not the overall balance of 1 at this stage.
3rd Mugford’s Lynwood Abracadabra
Junior Bitch (7, 5 abs)
What a headache the two girls in this class gave me! It’s a cliché but true that I was splitting hairs between them – only to then find out they are litter sisters. Both are top quality girls with bright futures I’m sure.
1st Stewart-Ritchie’s Gwendariff Come Fly With Me stunning outline with good reach and arch of neck set into well laid shoulders and flowing topline to correct tailset. Super neat feet. Balanced head with raised brows and lovely expression. Smaller build to her sister with a super dark glossy coat. She moved with style and drive and it was her overall size and balance that tipped me in her favour.
2nd Hinslea’s Gwendariff Guess Who’s Comin to Northamber JW. Similar in many ways to her sister, slightly taller and racier bitch and equally well made and presents a very attractive picture. Again good neck and shoulders, firm topline and good front and rear angulation. Pretty head and expression.
Yearling Bitch (11, 6 abs)
This was I think the best class of the day – all lovely girls who had lots to like about them and each with individual qualities which will appeal to different judges in different ways over the coming years.
1st Bott, Allen and Morgan’s Quensha Tumble and Twirl JW I have seen this bitch develop from a raw minor puppy into the very promising young lady who stood before me today. So much to like about her – super outline, feminine but combined with substance and style, which really showed on the move as she drove round the ring effortlessly, using her tail to advantage. Super neck set cleanly into gently sloping topline, good depth of chest, well sprung ribs and strong loin. Pretty, balanced head with raised brows and the mischievous expression I love. I judged her famous mother at about the same age and she is very reminiscent of her in type and personality which bodes well for her future career.
2nd Chorley-Newton, Chorley and Flinders Pawsword Peppermint For Kerryfair, I have admired this lovely girl from the ringside many times this year, she just ‘gets to me’ and although not a term you would usually write in a critique I think most people will understand how it feels when a dog appeals in this way. Ultra-feminine. Not a big girl but well-made throughout with no exaggeration and presents a classic outline, all parts flowing smoothly together. Good neck and shoulders. Prettiest of heads with the softest most appealing expression. So unlucky to meet 1 in such top form today.
3rd Tully’s Gwendariff Lily the Pink
Graduate Bitch (8, 4 abs)
1st Crocker and Siddle’s Riverbrue Gloriana, this bitch demands attention and does not disappoint when going over. Super type, size and shape with dark glossy coat and all the furnishings she needs. Good reach of neck flowing into firm topline, good depth to chest and strong loin and hindquarters. Balanced head with raised brows and a mischievous glint in her eye! Moved with drive. Still young and I would like to see how she develops further – but is another who I’m sure has a great future ahead of her.
2nd Hinslea’s Northamber Shabby Chic JW, a lovely bitch who I have done well before. Clean balanced outline, larger frame than 1 but still feminine throughout. Good reach of neck, deep chest and strong hindquarters. Pretty head with kind eye under raised brows. Moved well.
3rd Dow’s Shenanagin Stolen Kiss
Post Graduate Bitch (14, 8 abs)
1st Blackshaw’s Lanstara Spring Star JW, this girl stood out for me in this class. Very well made throughout, presenting a lovely balanced outline, with good depth of chest, firm topline and strong hindquarters. She comes into her own on the move – she moves so soundly and with style, wagging her tail and carrying her head high with an eye on her handler who she so obviously wants to please. Balanced head with soft expression. In good coat and great condition.
2nd Jones’ Gwendariff Nutmeg ShCM, presented a pleasing outline, all parts fitting smoothly together. Good reach of neck and firm topline which she held well on the move. Good front and rear angulation. Balanced head and nice eye. Moved steadily and happily.
3rd Armitage’s Gwendariff D’Ya Wanna Kiss
Limit Bitch (14, 11 abs)
1st Mugford’s Sangarah Skyline Over Lynwood (Imp), this lovely bitch was my best puppy last time I judged and has continued to develop in all the right ways. Excellent make and shape and very much ‘my type’ of bitch. Presents a balanced picture with excellent front and rear angulation, super reach of neck, firm topline and strong hindquarters which she uses to advantage on the move. Balanced, prettiest of heads with sweet expression. Super coat and condition but a little more feathering would just finish the picture. She is clearly fulfilling her early promise but I feel there is still more to come. In the challenge she could not match the open winner on movement, however a well-deserved RCC.
2nd Horsthuis’ Kerryfair My Girl, feminine bitch with a nice make and shape although not the overall balance of 1 . Good front and deep chest and firm topline flowing to nice tailset. Pretty balanced head with raised brows and low set ears. Shown in good coat and condition. Not as positive on the move as 1.
3rd Pike’s Redclyst Aura
Open Bitch (3, 2 abs)
1st Armitage’s Sh Ch Gwendariff Coco Nut Cream, a bitch with tremendous ring presence and immaculately presented, on absolutely top form today. I have seen her in the ring many times this year and although always eye catching it would be fair to say I was surprised how much I liked her ‘hands on’. Good reach of neck flowing into well laid shoulders, straight front and deep chest, with good spring of rib and strong hindquarters – all parts flowing together smoothly and in in perfect muscular condition. Pretty, balanced head with raised brows and kind, intelligent expression. She certainly knows how to move, driving round the ring in style and was totally at one with her handler. Overall presented a beautiful picture and was pleased to award her the CC and BOB and then thrilled to hear that she had gone on to win Group 2. Congratulations to her owner and handler.
Veteran Bitch (1)
1st Holley’s Sh Ch Gwendariff Soda Pop To Wynjill, hard to believe she is now a veteran - every inch a show champion this is another beautiful bitch presented in tip-top condition and she was thoroughly enjoying her day out. Lovely outline, balanced with good reach of neck, correct front and rear angulation, firm topline and neat feet. Prettiest of heads with soft melting expression. Moved soundly and happily. Considered in the challenge but had to give way to the younger girls today.
Becky Box (Judge)
Ladies Kennel Association
10 December 2017
Judge: Becky Box (Fernstart)
Entry: 151 Dogs making 160 Entries
Elsie wins her 10th Challenge Certificate and Best of Breed
followed by Gundog Group 2
Congratulations to her owner Debs Armitage
Sh Ch Gwendariff Coco Nut Cream
Winning his 2nd Challenge Certificate for his
delighted owner, Pam Mitchell, Congratulations to William
Amblin's Sweet William
Photo: Ian Newsham
The Res.Bitch CC was awarded to Jane and Roger Mugford with Abby
Sangarah Skyline Over Lynwood JW
Photo: Ian Newsham
The Res.Dog CC was awarded to
Sandra Chorley-Newton, Kerry Chorley and Emma Flinders
Pawsword Priceless To Kerryfair JW
Photo: Charlotte Godart
Best Puppy Dog and Best Puppy in Breed was awarded to
Jill Holley with
Wynjill Snap Dragon
photo: Ian Newsham
Best Puppy Bitch was awarded to
Lynne Leach with Carrie
Bardonhill Theme For A Dream at Erilynne
photo: Ian Newsham
Best Veteran Bitch and Best Veteran in Breed was awarded
to Jill Holley with
Sh Ch Gwendariff Soda Pop to Wynjill
Congratulations to all the Winners
Full Results on www.highampress.co.uk