2018 Dog Critique

SUNDAY 22nd JULY 2018 DOGS To be voted by the membership to judge on the 150th birthday of the foundation of our wonderful breed is very humbling, both an honour and a privilege.  This is a superbly organised show and hospitality second to none, the committee are to be congratulated. If this entry is representative

2018 Dog Critique

SUNDAY 22nd JULY 2018


To be voted by the membership to judge on the 150th birthday of the foundation of our wonderful breed is very humbling, both an honour and a privilege.  This is a superbly organised show and hospitality second to none, the committee are to be congratulated.

If this entry is representative of the male population as a whole, I am pleased to say that overall quality in depth has greatly improved since I last judged dogs four years ago, I remember last time the youngsters impressed with a distinct lack of quality in the intermediate classes; now these youngsters have matured and there was quality right the way through the entry.  I did find many incorrect and level bites, including one Champion dog, to my surprise.  Once again I was presented with Goldens of every type and colour shade from palest cream to darkest gold, overall balance amongst the dogs was generally good, though I still find quite a few with over exaggerated angulation, making them appear short on the leg, though they were actually in proportion with length of body.  There were some rather long and untypical heads and I found a couple on the thin side with ribs visible on the move.

I was looking for an active, symmetrical well balanced Golden who could move correctly.  I am always looking for a dog who could do a days work in the shooting field and some are still to heavy or over angulated to achieve that.  So many dogs who looked lovely standing let themselves down on the move.  The icing on the cake for me was to find out my Dog CC winner also works.

I chose to stay outside on a blistering hot afternoon, keeping just three in the ring at any one time so everyone was able to take advantage of the shade.  I only found one exhibit who appeared affected by the heat, all credit to the owners.  There is no finer sight than a beautiful golden coat glistening in the sun.  Thank you to everyone for their understanding and in particular to the hard-working stewards Mike Harris, Barry McCartney and Pam Wooden who ensured the judge was kept hydrated and kept everything running smoothly.

My co-judge and I liked all of our principal winners immensely, all being superb examples of the breed and displaying foot perfect movement.  We therefore gave our Referee, Viv Jones the ultimate decision for Best in Show, which went to the Swedish dog Ch Combine Steward Of The Line.  She chose the bitch Sh Ch Linirgor Violets Are Blue JW for reserve Best in Show and Best Opposite Sex.  We were in complete agreement that the Minor Puppy Dog Golmas Guardsman should be awarded Best Puppy in Show and once again being spoilt for choice asked the Referee to decide Best Veteran, which was awarded to the Bitch 10 year old Sh Ch Thornywait Pussycat Doll with Roxali JW.

Veteran 7 Years+ Dog (14, 1 Absent)

An amazing class to start the day, a sign of things to come.

  1. Zubair & Locah’s CH TESORO DE RIA VELA FOR THORNYWAIT JW. The first time I have had the pleasure of seeing this 9.5 year old dog in the flesh and was not disappointed.  Stood out for me the moment he entered the ring, such presence and a superb outline either free standing with a wagging tail in line with his back or stacked to perfection. Superbly presented rich golden with a double coat, he has a masculine well balanced head with a melting yet intelligent expression, faultless construction with everything in the right place, short coupled and well angulated, moves so joyfully, freely and happily without effort, exhibiting reach and drive with a perfectly held topline, every inch a Champion.
  2. Barnes’ SHAPHIRON JOKERS WILD JW. Another rich golden well presented, almost 8 years old, stood out in a strong class for his overall correct construction, stands truly with a straight front and rear and absolutely true and sound movement which cannot be ignored, carrying a level topline and perfect tail carriage at all times.  Pleasing masculine well balanced head, not quite the front angulation of 1, but excellent stifles and strong hocks, balanced all through with good spring of rib and short coupled.   Well presented.
  3. Widebeck’s CIE/NORD/LV CH COMBINE QUITE A BOY. Very close up to 1 & 2, three outstanding dogs.  Well presented, happy free-standing 8 year old with good length of leg, so well balanced all through. Very pleasing masculine head of good proportions, neat ears, expressive dark eyes, good neck and shoulder layback.  Stands absolutely four square and straight and true when viewed from front and rear, good bone and cat like feet.  Moves really happily, freely and truly, Interested to see he is from the same kennel as my Best Dog, clever breeding!


Special Veteran 9+ Years Dog (12, 3 Absent)

I had awarded both 1 & 2 firsts in their respective classes at the same Championship Show seven years ago and like them both tremendously, different types and shades of gold but both exemplifying everything Golden and worthy Champions, splitting hairs again, but today 1 just had the edge on movement. Showing that a well-constructed Golden with an outgoing personality should last and last, both still capable of achieving top honours.

  1. Joy’s LUX CH/SH CH ZAMPANZAR SAY IT AGAIN SHARDANELL JW. Well known 10 year old in superb condition, beautifully presented gleaming wavy cream coat, strongly made and correct construction all through and so well balanced, just flowed around the ring effortlessly maintaining his topline with level tail carriage.
  2. Seamons’ SH CH MESSANO URBAN MYTH JW ShCM. Darker 9 year old golden, love his effervescent personality and wagging tail, full of himself, crouching a little behind as he was just enjoying his outing so much and wagging his tail furiously, such a joyful happy mover with reach and drive, just not quite the positivity in front today. Love his beautifully proportioned and well chiselled head and excellent neck, a dog I could envisage doing a full days work.
  3. Humphrey’s ABNALLS SEBASTIAN. Simply out-classed in this competition.  Cream with a very appealing head with a soft expression from dark eyes, excellent pigment, good length of neck, front construction is good and he is short coupled with a good bend of stifle, however he is crouching behind and lacks strength through the hocks which is reflected on the move.  Good bone and feet and in excellent condition for his 9 years.


Minor  Puppy Dog (12,1 Absent)

  1. Catterall & Jackson’s GOLMAS GUARDSMAN. 7 months old, caught my eye immediately for his overall correct construction, balance and length of leg.  Well grown, quality puppy, beautifully presented mid gold coat, free-standing with a wagging tail, so four square and attentive to his handler.  Really lovely masculine head, very well proportioned with good stop and such a kind expression, fabulous pigment and good ear set, good length of neck, level topline and tailset, strong pasterns and hocks, good bone and cat-like feet.  Absolutely flows on the move, good length of stride and easy action, straight and true coming and going.  Must have a great future. In the strong puppy class I kept looking back to him, he is so very eye-catching and could not deny him Best Puppy Dog and with my co-judge’s agreement Best Puppy in Show.
  2. Golder & Ward’s’ LAURENLEY VINCENT. Another lovely puppy, correct for his 8 months, well presented quality cream, also very well constructed all through, with good length of leg, presenting a very pleasing outline.  Balanced head with dark pigment, neck of good length and well laid shoulders with excellent upper arm and equally balanced hindquarters, straight front and rear, moved correctly and truly with reach and drive covering the ground easily, scopy puppy with everything in the right place, will trouble the best in years to come.
  3. Hicks’ CORNBROUGH POACHER’S MOON. Similar make and shape to 1 & 2 with good length of leg, mid gold and slightly younger, very raw and yet to drop into his stifle, but again everything in the right place for his age, very well balanced all through, pleasing masculine head, good neck and shoulders, level topline, short coupled, strong pasterns, good bone and feet, true and free movement with good extension.  Another very nice puppy.


Puppy Dog (15, 2 Absent)

Absolutely superb class, really spoilt for choice and splitting hairs, so many lovely puppies left cardless, but this can only be good news for the future. All of the placed dogs were close up and I had to be super critical, I would have liked more red cards!

  2. Facq’s TERRA DI SIENA INVICTUS DU BOIS DE LA RAYERE. Caught my eye on the initial run round and not surprised when I saw his breeding.  However, my eye kept being drawn to the Minor Puppy for his overall shape and balance and length of leg, but so close up.  A real quality mature 11 month old of pleasing type, presents a lovely outline either free standing wagging his tail or stacked.  Well presented double coat, well balanced masculine head with a very pleasant outlook, dark pigment, good length of neck and well laid shoulders, well angulated all through, short coupled, good topline and tailset, excellent spring of rib, straight front and rear, moves with drive and purpose, just flows around the ring.
  3. Pastusiak’s PRINCE CHARMING QDORE OF LABGOLD. Very similar type to 1, mid gold 11 months, all the way from Poland and no surprise he is such quality when I see his breeding.  Very eye-catching, when his handler moves him at the correct speed.  Compactly made, absolutely lovely masculine head, good depth and width of muzzle, good pigment, neat ears, good neck and shoulders, very well angulated front and rear and balanced all through, level topline, moves straight and true in both directions, strides out with confidence and drive, well handled and presented.


Junior Dog (21, 6 Absent)

Another very competitive class, some very nice dogs here.  The first three appealed for their overall balance and length of leg.

  1. Brown’s CAILLOCH MAKAR VIA IPCRESS.  Loved this boys ‘look at me’ attitude, with a twinkle of naughtiness in his eye, which won him the class along with his stylish movement.  Hard to ignore, lovely masculine well balanced head, melting expression, dark eyes and pigment, neat ears, excellent length of neck and well laid shoulders, level topline and deep through the heart.  Yet to mature under the loin, he stands so correctly and four square, straight front and rear with balanced angles, free standing with a wagging tail, on good bone and feet, well presented cream coat.   Really comes alive on the move, so accurately and levelly with correct tail carriage, another quality dog who should go far.
  2. Vermander’s QUITE SOME LEGEND OF SUNSHINE’S VALLEY. Another dog who I liked immensely, pressed 1 hard, different type, slightly longer cast and more mature, but so very well constructed with good length of leg.  Just not the animation of 1, though so absolutely correct in every respect with good length of leg and so well balanced, reflected in his powerful balanced and sound  movement in all directions with good length of stride.  Double coated pale golden, strongly made all through with good bone and feet, well presented and expertly handled.
  3. Wright’s PALTON PAVAROTTI. Attractive dark golden, attentive to handler, balanced masculine head with good stop, dark eyes, stands four square, short coupled, very well balanced all through, enough angulation, not overdone in any way.  Stands on good bone and cat-like feet, straight front and rear, level topline and tailset, ribs well sprung, well bent stifles, moves accurately.


Yearling Dog (16, 1 Absent)

My general observation was there were several level bites in this class.

  1. Loach & Zubair’s JEWELHOPE OVER THE RAINBOW. Stood out for me, typical Golden with a lovely attitude, smaller boy of pleasing type, perfectly constructed and very eye-catching, in attractive well presented wavy profuse mid gold coat.  Balanced head with dark expressive eyes and soft expression, neat ears, good neck and shoulders, compactly made and free stands so correctly with an ever wagging tail, level topline, straight front and rear, short-coupled and quality bone, not overdone in any way, everything in proportion. At one with his handler, moves so happily, freely and truly with slashing tail movement.
  2. Randall’s KELVERQUEST PORTLAND BILL JW. A dog I have admired for his overall construction and sound movement and did not disappoint, lovely masculine well balanced head, correct dentition, good length of neck, very good upper arm and shoulder layback, longer in the loin than 1 and not quite the ring presence today, but this does not detract from his overall balance, so well made all through.  In hard condition enabling him to power around the ring with reach and drive, holding his topline and dead level tail carriage, strong bone and cat-like feet, well presented and handled.
  3. Lundkvist’s GLENRISKA VISCOUNT NELSON. Caught my eye when he first entered the ring, very balanced masculine head, harmoniously made all through and close up to the first two, so much to like, level topline and tailset, well off for bone and cat like, feet well-presented mid gold coat very good bone and feet, straight front and rear, moves so freely with extension and drive.  Another whom I liked tremendously.


Novice Dog (19, 3 Absent)

  3. Gorse’s TASHSHEEN SKY SURFER.  VHC in the strong puppy class, compactly made and very well balanced , slightly heavier in build than the first two and not quite the length of leg, but well constructed all through with good angulation front and rear, well sprung ribs, mature in body and deep through the heart, well off for bone, moves levelly, truly and soundly. Very well presented profuse wavy mid gold coat and sympathetically handled.


Undergraduate Dog (16, 1 Absent)

  2. Stables’ KALINDRA FRENCH CONNEXION AVEC ROSHINRU. Love this dog for type, rich dark golden with a profuse wavy coat, caught the eye for his overall balance and correct level movement, he just flows around the ring and is so true coming and going, which also won him a well deserved third place in Post Graduate.  Lovely balanced head, dark eye and pigment, to be super critical could do with a little more forehand angulation, but stands so four square, free standing wagging his tail and has excellent bend of stifle, short coupled, balanced body, level topline and not overdone in any respect, still to mature he has the makings of a really top class dog and looks capable of a days work.
  3. Robinson’s LAMANCHA KEEP THE FAITH. Pale golden, most lovely well proportioned masculine head with intelligent expression from dark eyes and well placed ears, very well made all through presenting an eye catching outline, compact and well balanced, straight when viewed from front and rear. Could also do with a little more upper arm angulation, but stands so squarely on quality bone and neat feet, excellent bend of stifle and has a level topline with correct tailset, moves soundly.


Graduate Dog  (16, 3 Absent)

  1. Dunbar’s LINIRGOR TOMICH JW. Strongly made mid golden, very masculine and mature, well off for bone and correctly made all through.  Well balanced head, good pigment and pleasing expression, excellent neck and shoulders, level topline and tailset, well angulated front and rear, well ribbed back, moves truly and steadily, glides around the ring at one with his handler, well presented and handled, a Champion in the making.
  2. Rogers’ WATAMUSAND ZAFARI ASKARI. Quality cream, very well presented in full coat with attractive feathering, a little long in the loin, but this does not detract from his outline.  Balanced masculine head of correct proportions with good stop, muzzle wide and deep, neat well set ears, good length of neck into well laid shoulders, mature in body with ribs well sprung, good shoulder and upper arm angulation balanced at both ends, straight front and rear.  Level topline and tailset and moved freely, stylishly and precisely.
  3. Seamons’ MESSANO BLUE SUEDE SHOES JW. Completing a trio of quality masculine boys, overall correct construction, well balanced head with dark eyes, good length of neck and shoulder placement, level topline and tailset, short coupled, good length of leg, quality bone and cat-like feet, not the finish and bloom of 2 today, but also moves so freely, soundly and with style.


Post Graduate  Dog  (22, 3 Absent)

There were a number of dogs flying their tails in this class.

  1. Easterbrook’s WYNRITA CATCH A DREAM. Eye-catching and well presented double coated dark golden, shown to advantage free standing and wagging his tail, attentive to handler, this boy stood out for me when entering the ring and did not disappoint on closer inspection.  Beautifully balanced all through, pleasing balanced head with good pigment, using his neat ears well, good neck and shoulders, very good angulation front and rear, but not overdone in any way. Deep through the heart and well ribbed back, level topline, moves absolutely soundly and truly with smooth action and correct tail carriage, like him a lot.
  2. Todd’s TODDROSA SPRINTER SACRE. At the other end of the colour extreme, cream, larger framed and strongly made, so well constructed and absolutely correct in all departments.  Masculine well proportioned head with dark eyes and pigment, good reach of neck and shoulder layback, straight front and rear, well angulated at both ends, stands four square when free stood, level topline and tailset, moves powerfully, levelly and soundly.


Mid Limit Dog  (22, 1 Absent)

  1. Gulliver’s TONARA YUKON. Oozing quality, a correctly made and well proportioned dark golden in gleaming profuse coat, very well presented and sympathetically handled, an easy winner of this class.  Displaying a biddable character, masculine yet gentle head with soft expression, good length of neck into well placed shoulders, so well balanced all through, good spring of rib, correctly angulated front and rear, level topline and tailset, presenting a lovely outline, both standing and on the move, it was on the move that he stood away from the rest, moving so stylishly, soundly, happily  and effortlessly with drive and a slashing tail action that enhanced his gentle outlook and will to please, absolutely true coming and going, my eye was constantly drawn to him free standing with a wagging tail, both in the class and in the challenge, an honest Golden, who in outstanding competition thoroughly deserved the Res CC and I would hope achieves greater heights in the future.
  2. Jackson-Haines’ ANGUSKYE RUN TO YOU BY LEIGHSHAM JW. Mid golden, of pleasing type, beautifully presented in full double coat, similar in make and construction to 1, most lovely masculine head set on a neck of good length, well laid shoulders and deep brisket with good forechest, level topline and short coupled, well off for bone standing four square on cat-like feet, not so tidy on the move coming and going as 1, but in profile moved freely with correct tail carriage and his overall type and balance could not deny him his place.
  3. Barnes’ LARGYMORE LEONARDO AT SHAPHIRON JW. Mid gold, not the glamour and coat of the first two and would prefer more angulation at both ends, but soundly made and stands four square, of workmanlike appearance, balanced masculine head with well set ears, could do with more shoulder layback, though deep through the heart, short coupled.  His overall balance along with his foot perfect movement won him his place, moves so soundly, steadily and truly maintaining his level topline and tailset.


Limit Dog  (19, 3 Absent)

Some dogs I had previously admired from the ringside disappointed on the move today, a lot of very close movement coming and going, but a class full of quality nevertheless.  I tossed and turned between the first two, similar in type.

  1. De Haar’s ANGEL LIKE YOU V ’T KEIJSERSHOF. Darker golden, another who caught my eye on entering the ring. presenting a classic outline, so very well presented and handled.  Very masculine head, so well proportioned and chiselled with dark eyes and pigment, good neck and shoulders, well balanced all through, not the biggest of dogs, but he has very good angulation front and rear, balanced body, deep brisket, good bend of stifle, straight front and rear, good bone and cat like feet. Moves very soundly, happily and easily with a level topline and tailset.
  2. Mace’s HARRY THE MAGICIAN AT TELANJAN. A favourite of mine, typical honest Golden, not overdone in any way. Dark golden coat gleaming in the sun, well presented, his movement wasn’t quite as positive behind as 1, but in profile his movement is a joy.  Masculine head with kind expression, dark eyes and pigment, good length of neck and excellent shoulder layback, well angulated forequarters and good bend of stifle, short coupled, level topline, correct tailset, for overall breed type I just love him.
  3. Biddulph’s DIBBLESDAE THE MAGC GOES ON. Different type, but so correct in every respect, well presented gleaming mid gold coat, unexaggerated, very well balanced and beautifully constructed, standing four square, masculine head not overdone, dark eye and soft expression, good neck and shoulders, straight front and rear, absolutely sound on the move, free flowing maintaining his level topline and tailset.  Doesn’t always give the best of himself, but he is such a well made boy, fits the standard.


Open Dog  (23, 4 Absent)

Wow, what a class, Champions from all over Europe, such quality present, even shortlisting 12 of them was a challenge, movement being the deciding factor.

  1. Widebeck’s SEU CH/FIU CH/NO UCH/LV CH COMBINE STEWARD OF THE LINE. Completely filled the eye, dark gold dog immaculately presented gleaming double coat, looked a picture free standing wagging his tail, dripping with feathering, so soundly made, everything in absolutely the right place, will to please and biddability shone through, at one with his handler.  Well balanced masculine head, neat ears and a neck of good length, sweeping shoulder layback, level topline and tailset, well ribbed back, deep brisket, short coupled and good forechest.  Well angulated at both ends, his movement was a joy, absolutely flowing with foot perfect placement coming and going.  A new one to me and a Golden personified, the only thing I didn’t like is that he isn’t mine!  CC & Best in Show.
  2. Gutierrez Ramirez’ ESP JCH/BEL JCH/GIB JCH MAYBE FOREVER THE ONE AND ONLY. Perhaps my biggest disappointment of the day, love every inch of him, but he was flagging in the heat and therefore did not move as happily or freely as the competition. Free standing when he first entered the ring, gave a glimpse of his greatness with a wagging tail and perfect balance all through.  A head which to me fits the standard, masculine without coarseness, perfect ears used to advantage giving him an intelligent expression, very well angulated, level topline and tailset, compact in body, absolute quality and so correctly constructed with straight limbs and cat-like feet in gleaming dark golden coat, something special.
  3. Neilson’s SH CH STANROPH STILL ON TOP AT PONFEIGH JW. Another favourite of mine, typical Golden free standing four square and wagging his tail, looking fabulous, well presented mid gold with a profuse wavy coat, gives his very best to his handler, so attentive with an intelligent expression and look at me attitude, a dog I have always admired and a very worthy Champion.  Portraying absolute balance, from his masculine well proportioned head set on a neck of good length, short coupled with excellent length of leg, correct from all angles, was pleased to find he and my CC winner share the same sire, his profile movement is a joy, but just pipped by the more positive front movement of his half brother today. Just love him, the rapport he has with his handler is enchanting.


Field Trial Dog (1)

  1. Palk’s TALLYGOLD BLACKTHORN. Disappointed he stood alone, as I am a fan of working lines, having seen many beautiful dogs over the years who could grace the show ring. Though lighter in build than the show bred dogs and not the depth and width of skull and muzzle, this handsome dark golden boy was well constructed and moved as soundly as he is made, in hard muscular condition, he moved so easily and freely, true both coming and going, with excellent hindquarter angulation and good length of upper arm, short coupled with a level topline, sloping on the croup so his tail set is a little low resulting in high carriage, though standing four square on straight limbs with the length of leg show people would do well to note, though balanced all through.  Well handled, it was a pleasure to go over him.


Special Show Gundog/Working Gundog Certificate Dog (3)

  1. Morss’ XANTHOS BULLETPROOF JW. Soundly made cream, masculine gentle head with good pigment and ear set, good neck and shoulders, deep brisket, level topline, straight front and rear and well angulated all through.  Good bone and feet, short coupled, active, balanced, level mover with fluid action, excellent forward reach and driving from strong hindquarters, at one with his handler, very attentive. Not in his best coat, but in hard condition, happy disposition, lovely attitude.


Special Working Dog (5, 1 Absent)

  1. Williams’ CATCOMBE COUNTRY TZAR OF BUSHEYHALL ShCM. Stood out for quality and construction.  So very well presented in lovely mid gold coat and hard condition, masculine well balanced head, straight front and rear, well angulated all through, excellent topline and tailset, just flowed around the ring, moving soundly and freely, an easy winner of this class.
  2. Middleton’s’ HESSONITE TREACLE PUDDING. Placed 6th in Post Graduate Dog, cream of smaller stature. Cream, well presented, well balanced masculine head and pleasing expression, adequate neck and shoulders, good upper arm angulation and bend of stifle, straight front and rear.  On the move in profile he just glides around the ring with reach and drive maintaining his dead level topline and tailset which draws the eye, but unfortunately today not so accurate coming and going.
  3. Shaw & Ribertshaw’s AKENSCALES EIRI NA GREINE JW ShCM. Soundly made boy, who just does not make the most of himself in the ring.  Masculine well proportioned head, good earset, lacks shoulder angulation, but has a level topline and tailset and very good bend of stifle, short coupled and deep through the heart, well off for bone with cat-like feet.  Looks at his best free standing, though not moving so positively today.