NAVAN GROUPS 1/2/5 CHAMPIONSHIP SHOW Saturday 15th August 2015. Dublin.

Some difficult decisions to be made in this really nice entry today. Those decisions were based upon the following principals.

The conscionable value on balance of the virtues and shortcomings of the individual dog takes  precedence over for example  one group  which share familial traits so producing a line up of matches as  close as possible to the standard rather than being solely a slave to “type”; the same also  takes precedent over the need for any  “swing” towards any extreme in an attempt to “correct” what some may label as faults of our time; and the dog as a whole takes precedent over any one point. Soundness to complete function  is required BUT the  unique combination of head properties and eye have effected in the Rough Collie a specific expression which conveys the temperament and character of a breed which has the capability to carry out those functions. In an ideal world then – I’m looking for both attributes. As an ideal word does not exist the science is not exact so in finding both soundness and expression one sometimes has to forgive certain points and apply weight  accordingly. 

As exhibitors we can choose for ourselves where the balance of virtues lies within our own stock(hopefully not succumbing to the practice of simply having dogs “for all seasons” or rather different dogs for various  judges just to be seen to be in the winning frame) but as judges (and in fact as ringsiders also) the correct balance is to be inclusive and make the choice  to look  for  what is  also correct about  other peoples stock.  I can say that I today thoroughly enjoyed  being immersed in the process of appreciating other peoples dogs. Thank you to Navan for the invitation to do so and to the exhibitors for that opportunity. Hopefully said exhibitors will forgive the indulgence of a lengthy critique  but a question  does occur to me…

Whilst I have mixed feelings about the mainland  European  practice of  verbal or ring dictated critiques  for all and their capacity to explain decisions;  in Britain it is a requirement to submit same on the first two in each class. In this country any critique at all  is the exception rather than the rule. Exhibitors can generally expect between one and four per annum (usually the former).  It is not the function of any written critique to convince the reader of the validity of the judges opinion but it does at least have some potential to illustrate the presence of an actual opinion whether the reader finds themselves in agreement or otherwise. Exhibitors have the right to expect that judges take centre point of a level and fair playing field and that they are not merely going through the motions.  So my question is – do we as Irish Judges  actually require a directive or can  we can take the initiative and voluntarily produce reports ourselves or is it simply a fact that judges here are generally contracted to several breeds on a day  thus prohibiting  the option given the constraints of time ?       

Puppy Dog:

1. O’Briens DOMLIN BRUCES DELIGHTS. (Ch Amalie Lynmead Loves To Hug x Belrah Maggies Delight) 6 month old sable well grown on, nice length of head, very masculine, eye is ok, neat ears well used. Clean in outline and well enough angulated front and rear, will settle on the move in time. Well presented and handled.

Junior Dog

1. . McNallys COPAMAGE SUPREMACY. (Ch Caronlea Lord of the Dance x Roclynn Que Sera for Copamage) unmistakably masculine, well off for bone and substance with good depth and spring of rib, enough length through it also. Plainly marked boy, on handling there is just enough reach of neck there, carrying a wealth of puppy coat just now; the outline will appear the cleaner in an adult coat eventually. Moved out with confidence, nice and steady from all angles and time and tone will take care of the rest. Very well filled muzzle, good stop and kind eye. Would hope he won’t lay down any more strength through his skull as he matures on. Ears could neater but the dog himself is obviously oblivious to this and gives his all, his handler gets the most out of him also and the combination redresses the balance. To end he seems to have a sensible happy character, a virtue lets not forget as relevant as any other. 

Intermediate Dog: 

1.Timmins KYNAN ARTHUR GUINNESS (Ch Chelborn Kiss n Tell x Ch Wassail China Blue at Kynan) striking dog, black coat, rich tan and white shawl draped over well laid shoulder accentuating his ample neck and proud outline. Good length through the body. Moving ok. Nice in forecace, could get his ears a little higher not at all immature but doing as I think he ought to and moving through the limited classification we are left with.
2. Mc Devitts CARONLEA LUKIN BLACK (Ch Caronlea Lord of the Dance x Caronlea Shady Lady) again well enough up to size, enough neck and length of back. Well boned. His handler will in time im sure settle him into a pace more suited to this exuberant lad. Good in muzzle, very dark in eye. Winner at this stage cleaner in stop and more assured on the move.
3. Carr & Colclough. DONOHILL BLACK CAVIER (Beldone Pitch Black x Rosschell Mojito)

Open Dog :  so with three young pretenders through to the challenge then came a number of serious contenders, an  interesting class, were I to have predicted my placing’s before hand I might have envisaged a different combination. Judging it was a reminder to me that the decision making only takes place from the perspective of the ring centre – nowhere else.

1. Conways CHANTIQUE ERROL FLYNN (Ch Chantique Simply Loopy x Chantique Scarlet o’Hara). My surprise of the day. I’ve noticed him ringside but appreciated him  for the first time today. On handling he has the cleanest of cheeks; the flattest of skull, his stop is spot on. For me his eye and expression was without rival in the class I could not overlook it. Underjaw could be a little stronger and all round I would like a little more of him  to impress but again on handling I was satisfied with his overall shape. On the move he was pushed here by several, at times he just seems to “skip a beat “ but when he gets his act together there is a nice steady flow to it and he just about did enough here to take a very good class. In good coat and condition. He stood and showed off his virtues and as the class progressed I found myself drawn back to him. RESERVE GREEN STAR DOG
2. Kellys CLOWNS COME ON OVER TO BALLAHANNA (Ch Samhaven Just In Time x Ch Samhaven Music). Long headpiece, clean in cheeks, quite well balanced but I just did favour the head pattern, stop and expression on the winner. Having said that I rate him highly. I like him for size, his shoulder and upper arm is superior to several, he has a good reach of neck, nice topline and he comes into his own on the move. Everything about it is typical of the breed and in no way suggestive of another breed.   Another in good coat and condition. A useful dog and he had to be as I liked the 3rd and 4th here also. He will win well. 
3.Hodsons MOYHILL ACE OF CLUBS (Rosscell Kiss n n the Dark at Durham x Ch Moyhill Ruby Tuesday)
4. Cumming ALTNAREAGH IM TOZER (Ballahanna Bit of Blarney x Samahven Showtime at Altnareagh)

Champion Dog .

1 McDevitts CH, GB CH INT CH CARONLEA LORD OF THE DANCE (Ch Amalie Deep in My Soul x Lynmead Love Dust at Caronlea.) Credit where its due I must compliment the owner on taking this boy under me for what was the third time in his career. Previously Ive stopped short of awarding him top honours. It’s no secret that I would prefer more of him, more  scope through that upper arm, into his back and through his tail. AND YET.. for me he technically is as sound on that back end as most which happen to occupy a larger frame. So those placed in open could switch  with him and even the three youngsters on size and length can push him but that footwork and drive  raises him and the thus the weight of consideration I felt I was therefore obliged to afford him. He has a high quality head piece, clean and balanced, his head planes are good, stop is correct, ears are neat and he scores so  well for expression. Not without reservation but today yes – it was third time lucky – GREEN STAR DOG & B.O.B
2. Mulcahy IRE/AUST/SUP CH KAZJS SIR SPENSE (Am/Aust Ch Highcroft Ultimate Suspence x Aust Ch Kazjs Glimmer o Gold) given the expanse of his career  to date this boy was hardly in need of any further endorsement from myself so I was appreciative of the opportunity to form an opinion of him for the first time today. There a couple of things which impress me  greatly about him. For one he is a particularly well toned dog , unencumbered by any “useless timber” and I do wonder will many of the youngsters have that  about them when they are nearing ten years of age. He is the quintessential showman, having been extensively campaigned he remains solid and fixed upon his handler and they make a great team. 

Puppy Bitch .

1 Conways RIVERSIDE SONG C’EST LA VIE Torrino Oh Yeah x Iridescent She Take the Crown) the baby of this selection , raw but on handling I put that to the margins for I did think her promising. Nicely balanced in head, clean and moulded in foreface, nice dark  eye and I liked her expression. Obviously needs to mature on but has nice body lines and moved out well enough for her age. Look forward to seeing her again.
2. Magills CAMANNA CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE FOR BELTRA (Camanna Casanova x Camanna Curious Caprice) much more mature, good for size and shape, head handles quite being nicely moulded, ok for make and shape, moved ok. Well presented.,
3. Carr & Colclough DONOHILL MAGIC AND SPARKLE (beldone pitch black x roschell blue mojito of donohill)

Junior Bitch.

1. McDevitts CARONLEA PIXIE CHICK (Ch Jopium Touch of Soul for Triburle x Caronlea Dixie Chick)  refined in head, has a little more to do , there is no rush. Ok for expression, neat ears, she presented a nice outline when she settled, enough neck, nicely angulated with nice well let down hocks.
2.Bottomleys MONSOLAN POPPET BLUE (Monsolana Velvet Blue x Salsina  Splash of Cash) a little tentative today so not an easy job to get the essence of her, sympathetically handled and nicely presented.

.Intermediate Bitch .

1. Timmins KYNAN MIKA BLUE MOON (Ch Chelborn Kiss n Tell x Ch Wassail China Blue at Kynan) I recall judging her mum at something of a similar  in between age also and feeling then she would go on to better things. I’ve much the same opinion of this lady and thus have every reason to believe she will follow suit. . Lots to like about her  from her moulded and balanced headpiece to those expressive eyes. Nicely angulated fore and aft and moves soundly. Not in her best outfit just now but I did still consider her for honours. Her time will come
2. Carr & Colcloughs DONOHILL MADIBA BLUE (Beldones Pitch Perfect x Rosschell Blue Mojito)  pretty blue, ultra feminine would just light more length and scope right though. Moved ok . like several  here  today is better when paced appropriately.

Open bitch .

1 McDevitts CARONLEA DIXIE CHICK. (Ch Amalie Deep in my Soul x Lynmead Love Dust at caronlea) and again I surprised myself a little for  although I’ve judged her once before as a puppy  and given her a class I wouldn’t necessarily have thought I would award her a green star at this stage . She is another I would ideally like more of, just that little bit more length right through too but judging her was a reminder of the  balancing act we face when centre ring. Her head properties are good, she has good moulding , clean cheeks and skull, good  stop, neat ears, dark nicely set eyes , just enough neck, good through her rib cage, well angulated on the rear with very well let down strong hock. In excellent coat and condition , prepared like she had truly come to compete she did look the part. A very close decision but the balance of all her qualities for me added up to a deserved  GREEN STAR.
2. Kellys. ROWLANDS ABBIE THE BEAUTIFULL LASS. (Ch Jopium Touch of Soul at Triburle x Wassail French Princess at Rowlands) in super condition, every last hair groomed. This lady has all the essentials, clean in head, I liked her correct medium dark eyes and expression. When fully settled and standing well she displays a very nice outline. She moves freely, similarly to my open dog winner I just felt at times she skipped that beat on occasion and the winner just took the edge over her  as the class progressed but I did feel her worthy of being recalled for the RES GREEN STAR.The third here although not in her best outfit was another I rated highly all round and will have better days  and the tri in fourth ultra sound on the move could not go unplaced    
3. Farrells BELRAH POPCORN SURPRISE (Ch Lynmead Love of my Life x Ch Belrah Simply Surprise )
4. Drewery DEMELEWIS FABLE MOON OVER ELSHADENE (Corydon Catch Me Driftin x Demelewis Raven Moon)

Champion Bitch.

1. CH CAMANNA COLOURED CONFETTI AT BELTRA( Camanna Casanova x Camanna Patsy Cline) quality bitch, many all round virtues , I can understand why she is titled. Again I did consider her in the challenge and on another occasion could have signed a ticket  for her. Clean and moulded in head, nice size and shape , ample substance but retaining femininity just preferred the eye on the two principle winners. Moved well though tends to race ahead of herself. Headed a nice class.
2. Byrnes CH COPAMAGE ELISADOLITTLE AT MILLBYRNE,(Ch Countrys Dream King For a Day x Ch Roclynn Oksana of  Copamage)  not as impassive today as is her norm but nonetheless it is difficult to disguise her dignity. Very elegant lady with terrific reach of neck, firm in back  to the the point of the correct slight rise.  Long clean head ears well set on, pleasing in eye and expression. As always well turned out.
3.Walls CH BIRKMYRE BLUE DIAMOND FOR DALIYAA (Ch Ladnar Kingfisher x Salsina Softer than Satin at Birkmyre)
Veteran Bitch, 1. Drewerys BRIKAZIE NO BLING NEEDED FOR SLSHADENE (Ch Lynmead Simply in my Soul x Geosamka Given a choice to Brikazie)  been sharing a class with this lady recently and was nice to have a different view of her here today, nice bitch all over, clean and feminine in head, dark sweet well set eyes. Nice reach of neck..
Thank you for taking them and for your sportsmanship. Congratulations  to the winners and better days to all not in the final frame today.