Windsor Championship show 02/07/2017

Collies (Rough) Critique by Miranda Blake (Judge)

First of all the thank yous  - to the society for inviting me to judge at my favourite outdoor general championship show; to my hardworking stewards; to the exhibitors for accepting my decisions with good grace; and of course to the wonderful collies for giving up a day when they could have been on the sofa/in the forest/at the beach, etc.

It has been 4 years since my previous CC appointment in Roughs in the UK, so I had some trepidations about this occasion. Last time I noticed the problems with mixing UK and USA lines, but these problems were not so apparent this time. However, there were some over-exaggerations in type. One or two were too big, had no rise over the loin and lacked any quality in head, with even a few badly receding skulls. I also had a few of the other extreme – over-coated, over boned, with square back skulls and deep stops.

All I am looking for is a well-balanced collie that has a clean head. By that I mean that I cannot feel any lumps or bumps anywhere – along the cheekbones or on top of the skull. I also want this animal to be able to move with reach and drive, but also economically, so it can move with very little effort, so that it could keep going all day, as a working Pastoral dog that is Fit for Function. The icing on the cake is if the dog is in show condition, with a clean, well-presented coat and clean teeth, and has a happy temperament and enjoys the show ring.

Happily today my wishes were granted…. I came away feeling more optimistic than last time.


Veteran (2,0)
1st: Fuller’s DAMOS DIAMOND LEGEND. 10 year old tri in sparkling coat and body condition, with excellent teeth. Still has a beautiful quality head and wonderful expression. His hind action is no longer what it was, but he won this class easily and it was a pleasure to see him in the final line up.
2nd: Cronk’s: CHELBORN DECISION. This 7 year old was in excellent coat and body condition, but his teeth left much to be desired. I would prefer a stronger croup, a more refined head and higher set ears, but he has a lovely eye shape and moved soundly.

Minor Puppy (2,0)
1st: Benton & Smith’s BROOKLYNSON ELDORADO. Very raw 7 month baby with a lovely light and free action on the move. Lovely ear set, nice dark eye and keen expression. Excellently schooled. He is long all-through, stop included, but has an elegant frame to build upon.
2nd: Proctor’s WILMARANNA OUT OF THE BLUE FOR CATHBRI. Nicely-coloured b/m with a sweeter expression and more definition in stop than the winner. However, he is a bit short in upper arm and high over the loin at the moment, which caused all sorts of issues on the move. Hopefully his balance will improve as he grows on.

Puppy (4,0)
1st: Wray’s  TAKHISIS DREAM WEAVER. Upstanding 10 month sable with a nice clean head – correct stop, flat skull and no depth in back skull. Coupled with alert ears and a beautiful dark eye, gave him a very handsome expression. He moved soundly, but I would like more length of back to balance his height. Just on the turn with his coat, which did not help his topline. However, he has a lot of positive qualities and promise. Best Puppy Dog.
2nd: Cronk’s CHELBORN STORYTELLER: Very smart and well-presented tri with a lovely eye – so much more important for a tri. He has a bit too much stop for me, and is a bit low on his front legs, although he has a better whither than the class winner. His rear movement was not as strong, and his topline on the move was affected by his front assembly.

Junior (2, 0)
1st: White’s MEJOLA DANGEROUS LIAISON. Very elegant 12 month b/m. Excellent angulation fore and aft, which resulted in correct reaching/driving movement. His head is clean with no depth. I would prefer more definition in stop, a clearer blue colouring and some more bodyweight. But all these should improve with time – this lad has plenty of scope.
2nd: Lockyer’s GATAJ BEAU OF SURPRISES. 14 month tri in wonderful coat – jet black and straight with a correct harsh texture. He is well balanced in body, with correct angulation, but is carrying the extra kilos the winner could use! Thus his movement was sound but not light and free. I found his head to be unbalanced, in that it was heavy and deep in back skull, and yet lacking in underjaw, which led to a very loose lip line.

Yearling (5,2)
1st: White’s MEJOLA FATE AND FORTUNE. Brother to previous class winner – what a clever breeder, and how wonderful to have these two boys with so much scope and promise for the breed. This boy is more eye-catching, with his flashy collar and masculine presence. I love his elegant, dignified outline, and his reaching, driving movement and firm topline. His bone is strong without being cloddy. His head is also clean through the cheeks, with no ugly depth. His stop is as called for by the Breed Standard. His eyes are correctly placed and shaped, and I love his alert ear carriage. I was delighted to award him a well-deserved Reserve CC, in some pretty tough competition.
2nd: Lister’s JOTARS PLATINUM MOON AT NEWARP.  This blue is a lovely colour, but his head is less refined than I would like. Saying that, he has a sweet expression and a strong underjaw and tight lip line. His angulation is not as well developed as the winner, and his rear action is not as firm.

Novice (5,2)
1st: Hassock’s CAMANNA CASTALONGSHADOW. 20 month tri with good angulation, but I would like more of him. His head handled reasonably cleanly, though a bit heavier that I would like. He moved soundly and freely, with very firm hocks.
2nd: SHASAM SIGN OF THE TIMES. This smart sable is beautifully presented, but I would like more angulation and size all through. He has a pretty eye and expression, but not the cleanness in cheek I look for. He moved soundly.

Post Graduate (3,1)
1st: Hassock’s CAMANNA COLOUR ME PERFECT. This beautifully coloured boy is going through one heck of a teenage stage at the moment. I love his head, even though it is a tad heavier than I would normally go for – it fits him. His expression is wonderful – so masculine and yet a hint of sweetness. He is more upstanding than his brother, and for me he has more scope. Yet – now is a critical time for him, as his hind action needs some serious work to firm it up.

Limit (5,0)
This was a tricky class. The two more elegant-looking exhibits just lacked the soundness and head qualities I am looking for.
1st: Rae’s ANTOC SOUL MATE. This honest sable won on his overall balance and soundness, although I would prefer firmer hocks. His head is pleasant enough, though I would prefer more filling of foreface. His ear carriage is excellent, and he has a sweet expression. His coat was gleaming and he is a correct masculine size.
2nd: Stanton’s CHELBORN JUST DECIDED. This lad had the soundness I am looking for – the best mover in the class. However, his head is way shorter and deeper than I would like, with very wide-set ears, yet his eye shape is lovely, giving him a sweet expression. He has almost too much bone – I wish he was a size bigger to make it fit.
3rd: Cole & Fox’s ALANITA ALL THAT JAZZ.

Open (7,0)
1st: White’s MEJOLA I AM PERSUASIVE JW. When this lad first went round the ring at the start of the class I had goose bumps – one of 4 such moments today – and those are the moments a judge lives for (in my experience). I felt I had to be super critical of this boy, as he is part of my line. BUT, the way he floated over the large grass ring – his topline firm and level enough not to spill a single drop of the glass of wine I imagined was on top – made me think this could be his day. His head has everything I aim for – no lumps and bumps anywhere, and certainly no ugly farm dog depth. His foreface is moulded, his skull is flat, his eye is almond shaped and dark, his stop is perfect, his ears are alert and his expression is masculine yet noble. His angulation is correct all through, and he has the correct bone for his size. He has the correct body for his age – I hate these heavy, early maturing dogs that are over the hill by the time they are 3. This boy will continue to improve until he is 6, and that is what we call scope. Top this off with his fantastic showmanship. I was thrilled to award him his crowning CC, and hope he is the first of many champions for his breeder.
2nd: Geddes’ CH INGLEDENE SPIRITS ARISE JW. I thought this lad could be my CC winner today, but he just did not seem to be in the mood. I like his elegance, size and substance. Yet he is carrying excess weight, which made his movement heavier. His head fits his body in that it is long, but I would like some definition in stop, though his skull is very flat. He is a great ambassador for our breed, and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to go over him.


Veteran (6,1)
One of the top 3 classes of the day in quality.
1st: Stillwell’s BELLAWAVE MOONLITE MELODY. 9 year tri who is looking the best I have ever seen her. In beautiful shiny jet black coat, well muscled and with strong bone, legs and feet. I love her feminine head and gorgeous oblique dark eye. To be critical I would like a little more reach of neck. However, she is so sound – and I had one of those special moments as she lead the line up around the ring in the bitch challenge – her movement was so flowing, her topline was so level that it had to be rewarded with the Reserve CC.
2nd: Smedley’s ATENDUS QUICK STEP TO ANTOC. This 8 year old b/m is looking the best I have seen her – what is it with these older girls! She is a little steep in upper arm, but her more mature body has dropped, so it is much less obvious than it was as a youngster. She has a lovely feminine head and expression, super alert ears and is at one with her handler. She moved soundly, and is a lovely blue colour.

Minor Puppy (4,0)
1st: Gladwell’s INGLEDENE SPIRIT O DARKNESS OVER JOTARS. Very promising tri baby with correct construction for her age. She has a lovely clean head with no depth at all, super dark eye and alert ears and sweet expression. She moved freely.
2nd: Ware’s MAC ORTOFT DECIDED FREE AT WASSAIL.  Very well-schooled sable. She is extremely elegant in body shape, and moved collectedly. I found her head a little cheeky and stocky in back skull and I would like more underjaw. It will be interesting to see how she develops.

Puppy (7,2)
1st: Gladwell’s MONSOLANA LOVE N KISS JOTARS (IMP). This is the fun part of judging, and you hope and pray before the show that it will happen – finding something amazing you have never seen before. This little 11 month blue is the perfect package. Her coat is in full bloom and her colour is perfect. Her head is feminine and clean, her expression is beautiful. Her presentation is immaculate. Her schooling is superb. Her handler’s attire complimented the puppy. Her angulation is correct for her age – to be critical I would like a touch more length of back, but this can develop with maturity. I hoped she would move as well as the rest of her promised – and thankfully she did – light and free round the sunlit ring. I have never won a CC with a puppy (and our kennel has won 175 CCs in Roughs) so I never thought I would ever give one to a puppy – until the Challenge. She seemed even more settled and just “glowed” in the line up, so could not be denied. That extra finish won her BOB too – so she was my  Best Puppy Bitch, Best Puppy In Breed, Bitch CC and Best of Breed. I hope she has a glittering career. I wish she was mine!!!
2nd: Humphrey’s SHASAM SHADES OF GUILT. Very pretty sable, with almost too much coat, but a very sound mover. She has a pretty head with a super underjaw and expression. I would like a touch more angulation and whither.

Junior (10,2)
2nd: Geddes’ INGLEDENE LACE N’GRACE. Very sound sable from the larger mould. She has a clean, balanced head without any depth at all. I found her a touch over-long in body, and I wish she had a bit more animation, but she is a lovely quality bitch.

Yearling (7,2)
1st: Legge’s GATAJ SOMETHING ABOUT YOU FOR KAZAN. I like this tri’s clean, balanced head and feminine expression. She has a lovely front and excellent angulation. She is a little too fat, but she moved soundly – any more weight could cause problems.
2nd: Ware’s WASSAIL MIXED SPICE. Very well trained and presented sable. She is constructed correctly and moved very soundly. She is a little deep in stop and wide and deep in skull for my taste.

Novice (7,1)
2nd: Tipper’s TIGANLEA TANGLED UP IN BLUE. Very sound 6 month b/m with an elegant shape for her age. Her colour on her non-show side is lovely, but there’s too much black on her show side. Her head is quite clean, and she has very nice eyes and a sweet expression.

Post Graduate (11,3)
This was a class where the recent heat-wave had caused coat issues.
1st: Flower’s SERENLAS OBSESSION. Totally naked s/w but her beautiful elegant lines are now clear for all to see! I liked her clean head and feminine expression. She moved very soundly and freely.
2nd: Swain’s LEXCOLS JEWEL IN MY CROWN. A shorter type of bitch, but she has a balanced head and sweet expression. I would like tighter ear carriage and a touch more neck, but she moved soundly and was very well presented.

Limit (10,2)
These last 2 classes, along with the veteran bitch class, were overall the best quality of the day.
1st: Tame’s RAHLISSA LOVE SONG JW. Very elegant top quality feminine sable. She has a lovely sweet, balanced head and very soft and attentive expression. She is correctly constructed and moves out well, covering the ground effortlessly in spite of her feminine size. To be picky I would like better presentation and less sticky product left in the coat.  After this class I thought she would be my CC winner, with the 2nd in Limit  as Reserve – but the Challenge changed all that. Her handler on the move pulled her so fast that it unbalanced her. Such a shame. She is a beautiful girl and her recent crown is well-deserved.
2nd: Jackson’s SASSARI SEA SHIMMER. Another beautiful, top quality blue from this kennel. I love her delicate head and expression. Her correct textured coat was presented perfectly, and is a superb colour. She just does not quite have the whither and front angulation of the class winner.

Open (11,1)
1st: Rice’s SHANDLMAIN CATCHMYKISSES FOR KEVRANNA. I really liked this tri girl’s elegant lines – so well balanced in body. She was sparklingly well presented and handled really sympathetically. She moved soundly. Her head is balanced and clean and without depth, but to be critical I would like more moulding to add that extra quality.
2nd: Davies’ CH TIGANLEA SILVER TRINKET AT SABIHA. Top quality b/m who possesses the moulding of head that the winner lacks. However, the winner had the whither and better balance in outline. This girl was presented to perfection – absolutely gleaming, and when moved carefully, she behaved and went collectedly. Her showmanship is superb, and her handler’s coordinated suit just adds that extra professional touch.

Good Citizen (3,1)
1st: Lyall’s SANTALOLY’S SKY AMIDALAS. Classic type of sable with a very happy temperament. She is narrow all through, and very narrow behind on the move. However, her summer coat was clean and well presented, she was well schooled and her handler looked very professional in a beautiful jacket.
2nd: Beardsworth’s MAYSINDER DANCING QUEEN. This sable was sounder than the winner, but she had almost too much coat which could have been better presented, and took away the elegance from her outline.

Miranda Blake