Many thanks to everyone who entered their dogs for my perusal. I was very pleased there were so many of you & very few absentees. It’s 5 years since I last judged the breed & a couple of years since I’ve actually been to a champ show, so the vast majority of the exhibits were new to me. General observations first: whatever has happened to the heads in our breed? So many dogs with small heads, or short muzzles not giving the correct proportions of skull to foreface, short ears, & totally alien expressions. Classic noble heads with good length of skull & muzzle were definitely in the minority, & unfortunately were usually attached to long, tall dogs. Unusually, I felt the depth of quality was in the dogs today, rather than the bitches. I had to compromise a lot with some of my placings. In some cases I forgave size in favour of better construction, as always with me, having the breed’s working requirements to the forefront of my mind. This is just my opinion on the sample of dogs entered under me on the day, but breeders that are consistently producing the short muzzles should take a good look at the head of my BOB winner.

VD (4) 1 Adams’ Sh Ch Barleyarch Alvar, medium sized dog with flowing lines, nothing overdone. Kind head, very good front construction, good sweep of stifle, moving well from all angles. In fit condition, just carrying a tad extra weight. I considered him for the RCC. BV; 2 Soanes’ Kazanpaul Sticky Toffee Pud of Whistlecraft, a close decision between him & the winner. A taller dog, liked him very much for type. Very good head, clean over the shoulder, good angulation which enabled him to really cover the ground on the move. A shade long in body, topline a bit loose on the move. Presented in fit condition; 3 Stedman’s Indijazz Grand Designer.

MPD (4,1) 1 Cooke & Hammond’s Seasham Super Trooper, very mature for his age. I liked his head & general proportions, depth of body & substance of bone. Very good hard coat. Moved well, steady & true, keeping a sound topline. BP; 2 Hamlin’s Know No Bounds at Nuash, a lovely young dog. Loved his head & length of ear, eyes are still to darken. I would prefer a slightly longer upper arm. Fit & very well muscled; 3 Trow & Jowsey’s Winterwell Mrs Hoobs.

PD (6,1) 1 S Super Trooper; 2 Bennett’s Barleyarch Firefly, a plain ticked dog who would be easy to overlook, but everything is in the right place. Liked him very much for size, type, angulation & head, & he has a good hard coat; 3 Rusk’s Booton Calvades. JD (6) A largely disappointing class. 1 Grant’s Goosepoint Dipper from Stairfoot, a good sound dog with good body proportions, short coupled & with good angulation, although his handler kept over-stretching him behind. Good coat, head OK but a bit short in the muzzle; 2 Whiting’s Ranger Two Rodale, I preferred this boy’s head, being of correct length. A nice type of dog, good length of upper arm & layback of shoulder. A bit loose in the topline on the move, but should develop on nicely; 3 Staley’s Keigame Chilli Bean at Jomeel.

YD (3) 1 Scott’s Starry Midnight, a substantial dog but I just liked him. He has strength & nobility, balanced angulation & a hard coat. Moved OK, but would benefit from his handler moving him more slowly; 2 Hamlin’s The Bisto Kid at Nuash, a very elegant solid liver boy with a lovely head. Just not quite enough of him for me; 3 Pearson’s Ladyhawke Sultan.

PGD (3) 1 Rusk’s Marann’s Lanson at Booton, there is a lot of this dog but everything is in proportion & he still retains some elegance despite his size. He has a good length of skull & foreface & he moved the best in the class; 2 Hughes’ Sonnenberg Sealion, another big boy, decent type with a good enough head. Moved very wide behind; 3 Young & Booth’s Keigame Goldsmith.

LD (12,3) What a quality class! 1 Malin’s Heathermark Irish at Benrae, this dog put the hairs up on the back of my neck. I loved everything about him, what a smashing dog to go over. He has an excellent head with dark eye & kind expression, good front angulation balanced by a strong rear, good bone, strong legs & feet, good depth in body. In outline he describes the Standard as I see it. He moved so well, fit & well muscled, covering the ground with ease, no wasted effort here. I had no hesitation in the challenge to award him the CC, & sincerely hope his 3rd is not too far away. His fluid movement also won him BOB; 2 Lisle’s Barleyarch Rolex, unlucky to meet the winner on such good form. He has matured into a lovely dog, well up on size & slightly longer cast than the winner, but a lovely type, with a really good head. Balanced front & rear angulation which he really shows on the move, going with good reach & drive. I seriously considered him for the RCC, but felt he was carrying a shade too much weight over his shoulder today; 3 Duncan’s Kavacanne Hun Toint Retrieve.

OD (9,1)  Another class where I wished I had more awards to give out. 1 Drysdale’s Ch Barleyarch Farthing at Drysika, a good example of the Standard – a medium sized dog, short backed, standing over plenty of ground. Very good head & front construction, balanced all through. Nothing is overdone on this dog, he has masculinity without any coarseness. Good coat, fit & well muscled, he moved very well to beat off the opposition. Res CC.  2nd, Ellis’ Indijazz Originale at Soellis. A lovely dog, exuding elegance and strength, everything in balance when you go over him and on the move.  He has a gorgeous head & dark eye. I liked him very much; 3 Harris’ Am Gr Ch Vjk-Myst Goes Like The Wind of Barleyarch, wow! The latest addition to this breeder’s kennel, just 14 months old & giving a lot away on maturity in this class, but when he matures he should trouble the best. A lovely package all round, good length of head, soft expression. It is his movement that held my attention, just covering the ground on a long easy stride. As has been said many times before "I shall watch his progress with interest”!

VB (2) 1 Brown’s Montalba Millie Chillum, a substantial bitch of good type. Very sound, in fit condition, she moved well; 2 Cox’s Cushatlaw Honey Pie, a smaller bitch, shorter on the leg.  Unfortunately carrying a bit too much extra weight round her middle, making her length to height ratio look unbalanced.

MPB (4) 1 Sielski’s Orchidstar Yu Cant Fool Me, 8 months old & looking rather tall at this stage, but I feel she has plenty of potential to develop nicely. I liked her head, sound front, general outline, coat & movement; 2 Sielski’s Orchidstar Yu To Me, litter sister & similar remarks apply. She is less mature & smaller all round at this stage. She looked much better on the move than when stacked. I hope that a bit more show experience will get her to relax; 3 Ellis’ Soellis Dirty Gertie.

PB (5,1) 1 Elrington’s Barleyarch Beetle at Tequesta, pretty bitch with flowing lines, in fit condition, well muscled, & moved soundly due to her good front & rear construction. Good coat. To be picky, I would prefer to see a bit more length & strength to the muzzle; 2 Gain & Dixon’s Kavacanne A Vimto for Molkara, again, too short in the muzzle, but she is nicely constructed, has a well laid back shoulder & good angulation behind. Carrying too much weight however; 3 Rusk’s Booton Fleur.

JB (6,2) Interesting class, as I had two ‘pairs’ of very different types. 1 Drew’s Cushatlaw Illustrious, absolute GSP in outline, although I would prefer a stronger head. Loved her clean lines, depth of chest, moderate angulation. Slightly out of coat but she won the class on type & movement; 2 Cox’s Cushatlaw Irresistable, litter sister to the winner, very similar but longer cast. Has a better coat at the moment; 3 Hinchliff’s Goosepoint Eiderdown.

YB (6) 1 Duncan’s Kavacanne Gale Storm, a nice sound bitch, kind head, well angulated, good topline & tailset. Moved OK, but she was carrying too much weight which detracted from her shoulder; 2 C Irresistable; 3 Mann’s Jomeel Kindred Spirit.

PGB (7,2) I liked all of my first three & would be happy to have given any of them a first place.  1st, Davison’s Sirilta Solitaire. Elegant bitch with a beautiful head and dark eye.  Good front, topline, well muscled rear, moved sound & true. She has great depth of chest but rather too much tuck-up. Nevertheless she won the class on her movement, maintaining a strong topline & driving round on a long easy stride; 2 Pearson’s Ladyhawke California Star, lovely girl, smaller stamp all round. Good head, neck & shoulder. However she moved on a short stride which threw her topline out on the move; 3 Soanes & Stainsby’s Kavacanne Sirius Toint of Whistlecraft.

LB (10,3) I was very pleased with this class. 1 Mann’s Valger Phoebe, she took my eye for type, so unexaggerated & sound, one who needs hands on to fully appreciate her attributes. Decent enough head, good front assembly with clean lines through neck into shoulders. Presented well & moved very sound & true. The more I looked at her the more she appealed. Delighted to award her the CC; 2 Hammond’s Seasham Lovestruck, an equally sound bitch with a lovely head & nice proportions. She scored on head & coat but I felt her front construction wasn’t quite as good as my winner. Very happy to award her the RCC; 3 Galloway & Anderson’s Allayglow Marsa Wizri.

OB (1) A.