Sunday 8 March 2009
first commenced showing Border Collies in 1980 I have judged at championship
show level on numerous occasions in the UK, championship level in Ireland and
the continent of Europe, as well as the USA. I have always admired the Border Collies in Australia, and within
my own stock I have a blend of Australian/New Zealand lines together with the British.
I have judged pure Australian imports on a few occasions previously, and this prestigious
judging appointment gave me the opportunity I had always dreamed of - a chance
to assess the new generation of dogs and lines in Australia for myself. My critique provides the reasoning behind my
placings, and is an overall constructive comment on the Breed on the day.
at the venue on the Sunday morning I had my first real opportunity to fully appreciate
the show layout which had been setup by a really well organised and hard
working committee. I enjoy watching the Border Collie move in profile and my
ring, which was the largest I have ever judged in, was absolutely perfect. Walking
the ring prior to judging I was full of anticipation to see how the dogs would
perform in such a magnificent arena.
My first three
“property” classes are classes I have not judged before and I must confess I
found them more time consuming than I had expected. It was, however, a great
chance to view some of the bitches who could well have been exhibited on the
Saturday and I paid the same attention to the judging of Headed Bitch, Gaited
Bitch and the Dam with Progeny classes as to all of the later male dog breed
only judged the bitches within the special property classes and the class
challenges I felt that the Show Border Collie as a whole in Australia has
more uniformity in type than anywhere else, and the presentation of exhibitors
and exhibits, is also superior. Overall, the handling skills displayed by the
exhibitors were superior to the UK
and Europe, and would put the majority of the USA professional
handlers to shame. The only minor criticism being some handlers do tend to try
and move each dog at the same, and sometimes too fast pace, - moving the dog at
its ideal pace is important and the wrong speed will often highlight faults
rather than mask them.
looking for a dog that conformed to the Australian Breed Standard, and my
placings were, as always, based upon the virtues rather than faults. From an overall construction perspective the
majority of the dogs present had good neck lengths, and the length of second
thigh was also on the whole good. There should be sufficient length such that
the hock extends slightly beyond the rear of the dog. Either, long or weak behind, or so short in
second thigh that the hocks are actually longer than thigh & the rear feet
stand beneath the point of tail set are incorrect. Steep shoulders and/or lack
of upper arm length was frequently apparent, a trend which is consistent
throughout the world. In my entry, I found the number that actually excelled in
both shoulder angle and upper arm length was lower than I had hoped to find.
Almost all exhibits moved with tails below the top-line and those with a high
tail set were in the minority. Movement out and back was on the whole very good
with very few unsound dogs, just a few crossing behind, excessively wide or out
at elbow. I do not penalise close hind movement heavily, it is in my opinion a
natural trait within the breed, however I cannot accept interference or
crossing. Side gait did vary somewhat, the more typical problems being lack of
reach, incorrect “stiff” pastern action in front, excessively high rear kicking
motion, top-line bounce and exaggerated rear movement as if “riding a pedal
bike”. Whilst some of these actions might be flashy and appealing to
all-rounder judges this is not correct Border Collie movement. I was looking
for a dog that moved with minimum effort and minimum lift in both front and
rear feet, and with good reach and forward drive rather than an up and down
propulsion action. I did find the correct action, but I feel correct “Border
Collie” movement is such an important characteristic/requirement of the breed
that I would have liked to have seen it in a larger percentage of the dogs.
observations, body length and overall balance are important aspects within the
breed. Body length should not be excessive and/or come from a longer weak loin
rather than the rib cage. The overall appearance should consist of a balanced
outline of graceful neck through withers, back and then gentle slope of croup
to tip of tail. Several had very good necks but finished abruptly behind with
flat/square croups. In some instances it was like looking at two different dogs
front to rear, and whilst these areas were not in the majority the percentage
was higher than it should be.
like to thank everyone for their entry and the sporting manner you accepted my
results, and my wish to see the dogs move.
Thanks also to my able stewards and the excellent NSW Southern District
Border Collie Club committee who gave me this appointment, made my stay most
welcome and had organised a 3 day show that was probably the best Border Collie
showing event to have ever been staged in the world. To the exhibitors,
breeders and the National Border Collie Council I wish you every success in the
future and another great “National” in Tasmania 2012.
final request, Australasia gave the world the Show Border Collie, please continue
to remember its origins as a working dog, exaggerations for the benefit of
group success could well make this wonderful breed like so many others, more
suited as an ornament on a lead rather than the worlds greatest sheepdog.
Best Headed Bitch (Entry
25, Absent 7)
interesting class with a variety of head patterns present. My preference is for
correct planes and quality refinement which could be seen in my short list and
placings. Eye placement needs to be watched as I did find some that were set
quite close, overall eye shape was very good. I do find the boxy/Labrador type
muzzle, often accompanied by jowls to be incorrect, nearly all had good side
profiles with correctly defined stop and correct parallel skull and muzzle
1st - Tehya
Greatest Luv Of All - T
marked b/w bitch with correct oval eye shape, colour and good eye placement
giving a pleasing kind expression. Well set and tipped ears which she used
constantly, good skull and muzzle proportions, good stop, side profile showed
correct parallel skull and muzzle planes and when viewed from above skull
through muzzle to nose tapered correctly. She has a good strong under-jaw, lips
could be a little tighter, pigment and bite was good.
Majalibre Great Calamity - T Bailey
bitch with again super eye shape, colour and placement. Very close up to the
winner and similar comments on skull and muzzle apply, was only afterwards I
discovered she was the mother of my winner and obviously passed on so many of
her virtues. On the day I felt the winner just had the extra sparkle/alertness
but it was very close
Glentress Hwy To Heaven
- D & K Adams
head pattern than previous two but still correct and in proportion with the
body in this B/W classically marked bitch. Her eye shape was good, she has a
well proportioned muzzle and skull with correct planes from the side and above.
I just preferred the eye placement in 1 and 2.
Best Gaited Bitch (Entry
30, Absent 4)
good class, some handlers did not quite get the best from their exhibits on the
day due to incorrect pace which meant some exhibits lost shape and balance in
side gait. Majority were sound out and back, side gait on some lacked in reach
and minimum lift.
- Ch. Calanais Kinky Boots CDX AD JD SD
- L Schneider
this B/W bitch, was sound out and back and then simply glided round the ring with
a smooth tireless gait, good reach in front and behind. She really is a quality
mover with minimum lift of feet, correct in pastern, no unnecessary lift
behind, lovely graceful outline and a top-line with no bounce or lift. Sure she
could have continued to lap the ring a further dozen times and still not miss a
- Ch Bordalace Luck of the irish
- AJ Cowin
6 years old
B/W bitch. Was sound out and back with a good side profile showing minimum lift
of feet and no vertical propulsion. She just lacked the drive behind and energy
of my winner today.
- Ch. Tehya Destiny All Over
- T Bailey
bitch excelled in side profile and showed good reach and excellent style with
minimum lift. Preferred her side profile to 2nd but 2nd
place scored in front coming towards and rear action going away.
Dam and Progeny (Entry 14,
This was an
interesting class to judge as the number of progeny varied from 1 to 3. In my
assessment I was looking for a dam that was well constructed and was able to
pass on the majority of her own virtues to her progeny. Overall I did find this class somewhat
disappointing as I did not find quality and virtues in abundance.
1st - Gr Ch Cucriche Chances Are
- M&S Goulding
nice type dam with good balance which could be seen in her 3 offspring. Rear
angulation, length of second thigh, croup etc was very good across the whole
group. Shoulders and upper arm did varied from acceptable to good. I asked
whole group to move together, hind movement was somewhat erratic on a couple of
the progeny but all were very good coming towards. Certainly the most
consistent group in this class.
Danari Destinys Rose - T Bailey
and daughter who were so very similar in type, make and shape. Ok angles fore
and aft, both showed very good side profile moving and as a pair moved better
away than my 1st. But in the end they just lost out to 1st group who
had better front action towards and in a larger group demonstrated the dam’s
ability to produce her virtues within multiple progeny.
3rd - Ch. Danari Date with
Destiny - P & T Wheatley
The dam has
stamped a very nice “type” into her progeny, standing they looked a good picture.
I particularly liked the construction and movement of the dam however I did not
find her same virtues consistently in her two progeny. Her son in particular
did not have the same low and effortless movement of the dam which in the end
cost them higher awards.
Class 1 – Baby Puppy Dog
(3 months to under 6 months) Entry 17, Absent 5)
class to judge as the exhibits varied so much in their development, and
movement is obviously still not finished. I restricted the amount of moving and
also removed my tie etc prior to judging these exhibits at this introduction into
their show careers. I did gently test for testicles but did not intend to
penalise any if found missing. It was during this class that I realised that
steep shoulders and short upper arms were probably going to be as much a
problem in Australia as elsewhere in the world.
1st - Tookurra Wild At Heart
- PM Wachtel
particularly liked this nice type dark headed 4 ½ month old b/w who in the end
won this class with some ease. Puppy head still to finish, however he has good
proportions at this stage with nice eye, expression and pigment. He has ample
bone, nice coat, an ok upper arm, good rear angulation, croup and lovely long
tail. He still has some growing to do but does have enough in knuckles to
suggest he will make size. Movement was sound out and back, but understandably
not yet using himself in side gait. Although I preferred his head, type and
overall construction to the Baby Puppy Bitch in the actual class challenge he
did not perform so well on the move and the well trained steady movement of the
bitch won her the challenge. Opposite
Baby Puppy In Show
- Khayoz Blame Itonthenite
- Khayoz Kennels
who was well off for bone, shorter in muzzle than winner but head still equally
as good in this 3 ½ month old puppy. Overall he has balanced angles which he
displayed on the move. Upper arm was acceptable at this stage in development,
just preferred the shoulder angle and finish behind of my winner.
3rd - Showioz Just Cause
- KM Ashdowne & P Vardy
A 3 ½ month
old B/W of different but equally as good type who is currently more up on leg
than both 1 and 2. Overall has good angles front and rear with sufficient upper
arm, good ribbing and loin. Just lacked the body and maturity to go higher
Its In The Jeans - R Wilson
month old B/W has considerable strength in head, Ok front and rear angles.
Moved soundly just lacked the head pattern of those above at this stage in his
development, hope he does not become to coarse as he matures.
- Danari Drama At Dusk -
P & T Wheatley
entry into the ring I thought this 5 month old B/W could well lead this class
as he displayed a controlled and coordinated side gait superior to the younger
exhibits. He scored on overall performance and maturity but I preferred the
front angulation/shoulder and upper arm of
Class 2 Minor Puppy Dog (6
Months to under 9 months) Entry 8, Absent 2
Not a big
class so it would be unfair to give an overall assessment, I did find several
of the body lengths to be from loin at this stage of their development.
No More Mr Ice Guy (AI) - LE Somers & EJ Badio
month old B/W dog who has a refined head with good stop, eye shape and
placement, correct muzzle/skull properties. He really excelled in neck, has
sufficient shoulder and upper arm, good ribs and loin, nice rear angles with
sufficient croup which could be seen on the move. I was impressed with his
controlled side gait just a touch stiff in pastern in profile and needs to tighten
in front but this will hopefully come with maturity. In the challenge for the
class I found his overall angles to be superior to those of his litter sister. Minor Puppy in Show
- Bordalace Theme For A Dream
- CL Mostyn
B/W dog scored in neck and shoulder, has sufficient upper arm showing good reach
with minimum lift gaiting. Moved OK out and back and in profile. Just lacked
the finish and rib length of my winner.
3rd - Korella Point Blank
- RR Mathew
I liked the
properties of this young mans dark head, good proportion muzzle to skull, overall
good front assembly but like several in this class a touch long in loin at this
stage in his development. Was sound away and back and close up to 2nd.
4th - Bordalace Day Dream Believer
- AJ Cowin
pattern to first three, shoulder angle is sufficient and was sound enough away
and back. Just preferred 2nd and 3rd for their more
effective side gait and finish.
- Glentress Wait N C - D & K Adams
with a stronger head pattern but still equally in proportion and correct. Moved
ok out and back if a little loose. Side profile not yet developed and tended to
both stand and move high in rear and not extend which cost him a higher award.
Class 3 Puppy Dog (6
months to under 12 months) Entry 13, Absent 3
class than the minor puppy but lacked strength in depth with numerous upright
shoulders and excessively short upper arms making for front movement either
lacking extension or stilted and high.
Smokin Joe - Sashdan Kennels
dog of quality. He really is such a
lovely picture in profile with super outline from back of skull through neck,
withers, back, croup to tip of tail. I liked his head properties, nice kind and
well placed eyes, ok ears, good skull and muzzle proportions correctly tapering
to nose. Shoulder and upper arm were both good, really super top-line and croup
with good angulation behind. Was sound out and back and had an easy and
efficient side gait when moved at the correct pace. A very promising youngster who
if he continues to mature will surely trouble the very best in the future. In
the class challenge I had no doubt in awarding him Best Puppy in Show over the bitch who could not match his shoulder
and upper arm.
Dare To Dream - D & K Adams
nice Red/White (Australian chocolate/white). He has a good head, lovely neck,
sufficient shoulder angulation and upper arm length. He moved soundly out and
back with a very good side gait. Just preferred finish behind of loin and croup
of the winner.
- Nahrof Courting Destiny
- LE Somers & EJ Badior
type very flashy B/W who had a wonderful neck, good length of ribs/loin,
sufficient angles and was sound out and back. Just preferred pasterns and side
gait of 1 and 2 who demonstrated a more efficient and effortless action.
4th - Tehya
Greatest Thrill Of All - T Bailey
type head pattern than first three in this B/W. Sound out & back with good
balance and control in side gait, I just preferred the angles and overall side
gait extension of those above.
- Tookurra Star Attraxion
- PM Wachtel
and angulated B/W who once he gains more confidence could do well.
Class 4 Junior Dog (9
months to under 18 months) Entry 12, Absent 2
difficult period for the younger dogs as they progress through adolescence to
adult. I have always found this class to be varied and it was no different here
today. I found numerous with poor shoulders, upper arm and multiple with weak
and/or exaggerated hind movement.
- Etherial Up In Lights - M & S Goulding
type B/W with a kind expression, acceptable head although would prefer better eye
placement. Where this boy excelled was in his good shoulder, graceful outline
through neck, withers, back and croup. His upper arm is sufficient and his rear
angles are balanced with the front, he also has good length of second thigh. He
was sound approaching and displayed a good side gait with balance, reach and
minimum lift. I would prefer better feet and this youngster needs to tighten in
hock movement/action going away. However he scored over my 2nd place
in profile and side gait. He still needs to gain more confidence in order to
progress further but took Best Junior in
Show over the bitch who lacked his side profile and gait.
Easy Rider - Brennan Dickenson Collett
coat a very glamorous B/W dog with an eye catching head who was presented
beautifully. Moved better away than the winner and was also sound coming
towards, side gait was ok. Was very close up to the winner but ultimately lost
out to my winner’s front assembly and lighter footed side gait.
- Classicyds Coolabah Tree (AI)
- K Robson & DT & NA Radcliffe
Nice type b/w
who moved well particularly out and back. He has good head properties and an ok
shoulder/upper arm assembly. Lacked the overall finish of 2nd at
this stage in his development.
- Sashdan Bear Essentials
- Sashdan Kennels
moved soundly out and back, would prefer tighter lips, just preferred angles of
- Maghera Whatsyourproblem
- Maghera Kennels
liked the front assembly and head of this B/W young dog and thought at first he
might well be my winner. He stood and showed really well, with a quality well
defined head, great neck and good shoulder. Unfortunately I found his croup and
hind quarters resulted in a lack of balance which was apparent in his side
Class 5 Intermediate Dog
(18 months to under 36 months) < Entry 33, Absent 3)
A good size
class, overall I found presentation and handling to be very good however depth
in correct construction particularly in fronts/shoulder was lacking. As is the
way sometimes, the best shoulder and upper arm that I judged all day was in
this class and ended up not placed as he totally misbehaved on the move. 1 and
2 were in the end clear leaders in this class, 3 through 7 were then close to
- Tullacrest Ice Man (AI)
- Tullacrest Kennels
presented 2 years old B/W with a good head pattern and balance between
skull/muzzle. He has a kind yet alert expression, shoulder is ok and he has a really
good rear assembly which he used very well in side gait. Was sound out and back
and challenged hard for higher honours. Handler just needs to watch his profile
standing as often he stood with a sloping top-line and currently his abundant
front coat makes him appear un-balanced between front and rear. In the end this
cost him in the class challenge to a really super B/W bitch Ch. Glentress I Can
Coz I Am. Best Opposite Intermediate in
2nd - Glentress
Goaheadmakmyday - D & K Adams
brother to the Best Intermediate in Show this nearly 3 years old B/W still
needs more time to develop. He has a very good shoulder and upper arm, good
bone, and sufficient rear angulation. Moved a little close away, was good
coming towards and moved very well in profile. I just preferred the loin and
overall finish of the winner but it was very close.
Ch. Gremaric Cruzin - GB Richens
I liked the breed type of this B/w who has moderate bone, a very
good head pattern and nice balanced side movement. Standing he displays a good
profile with particularly good croup and rear assembly. To complete the picture
I would just prefer a better shoulder angle/upper arm which ultimately cost him
a higher award in this class.
4th - Winpara
Lucky Shot - RJ
B/W of nice overall type. I found his head to be appealing and of
correct proportions. His expression was kind and alert, his neck and ribs are
ok and he has a good croup. I would prefer more angulation however he is
balanced front to rear. He moved soundly out and back but lacked the low and
long ground covering gait of 1 and 2. In my final assessment I preferred 3rd
on hind construction and tail length.
- Ch. Etherial
Heartbreaker - M
& S Goulding
B/W of different overall type. This showman had an acceptable
head, good ribs, good bone and was in good overall condition. He moved very well
coming towards however I referred the movement away of those above and I found
his hind action/lift to be excessive which ultimately cost a higher place.
Class 10 Australian Bred Dog ( 6 months and over, whelped
in Australia) Entry 32, Absent 6, withdrawn 1
Best class of the day, still had a high
proportion that lacked in shoulder and/or upper arm but there were several who
excelled in breed type and had good overall construction and movement. Was
particularly impressed by my top 5, it has been a very long time since I found
5 males of this quality in a single class.
All Said N Done - G & A Hall
This stylish dog epitomizes the
perfect balance between sheepdog and show dog, he has glamour without
exaggeration. He is an overall excellent type, correct moderate bone and size,
has all the glamour but with the construction and amount of coat needed to perform
a day’s work. Classically marked B/W with a lovely head of good proportions,
eye is of good shape and placement, good ears, giving overall kind expression.
He depicts a masculine yet refined Border Collie. Neck of good length and
strength, angulation is well balanced front and rear with good croup length and
angle. He is sound out and back, with a coordinated action. In gait he has
minimum lift in front and rear and an effortless light footed action, the more
he moved and his handler relaxed the better he got, displaying a good overall
shape and balance. In the challenge for challenge dog he simply commanded the
award both standing and on the move. In the challenge for BIS I expected him to
lag after a long day but he continued to perform, standing with regality and
moving with purpose and ease. The exceptional bitch Ch. Danari Datewith Destiny
was the challenger for BIS and put everything into achieving the top honour.
This bitch has a lovely expression, great neck, good front assembly and
excellent hind angulation. Like the dog she was sound out and back and covered
the ground in profile with style and power. I was really splitting hairs on my
decision but eventually I selected the male for his overall unexaggerated
balance, shoulder and upper arm. Challenge
Dog and Best in Show.
Glentress Ostentatious - D
& K Adams
This B/W pushed the winner all the
way, it was so close. I really like the type of this B/W, he has good head
properties with nice balance and planes, his shoulder and upper arm are ok, he
has good heart room, ribs and loin, and a wonderful rear assembly. In side
profile he moved really well, style, balance and a light footed action with no
exaggerated lift in front or behind. I found him good coming towards, maybe a
touch close for some going away but there was no interference and his hocks
were absolutely parallel with no weakness. I moved my shortlisted dogs around
the ring considerably and 1 & 2 simply got better and better with nothing
to split them. Ultimately I had to split hairs to decide on the winner on
another day it could well have been different. In the challenge for Reserve Challenge
Dog he once more stepped into the ring and commanded it for type, style and
movement. Reserve Challenge Dog.
- Gr Ch. Monochrome Currencycreek
& L Butler
When I first saw this B/W dog enter the
ring I expected him to be at the top end of the class and that is where he
finished. He was so well balanced in side profile and of good breed type,
moderate bone, good size and head properties correct. He moved well away but I
preferred the fronts of 1 and 2 coming towards. Overall a very nice dog who
excels in side gait/profile.
- Ch. Yeoville
Epic Journey - D
& K Adams
Masculine and heavier boned B/W of stronger head type but correct
balance and in proportion with the build of this dog. He has an alert
expression with tipped ears and commanded 4th through his excellent
movement out, back and around. Just felt he lacked the finish in coat and body
- Ch. Kyntaf Blessing N Disguise
This b/w has good head properties with markings that could detract
from his good muzzle and skull properties. He has OK angles front and back and moved soundly.
Stood 5th in a very strong class
Class 11 Open Dog (6 months and over) Entry 29, Absent
Lacked the depth of quality I found in the
Australian bred class, first two being clear winners. Again there was a high
proportion lacking in shoulder and upper arm, also numerous with incorrect
pedal and kicking rear actions when gaiting.
- Gr Ch. Glentress
King O The road - D
& K Adams
Stronger all male b/w dog with a lot of quality. Masculine well
proportioned head but not coarse as he has good balance between skull and
muzzle and head is in correct proportion with strength in body/bone. Good tight
and well shaped feet. Extremely well
constructed dog with good angles in front and rear. Sound out and back and
moved round the ring with great reach, balanced shape and minimum lift of feet.
Stood 2nd for much of this class but just kept getting better as he
went round and in the end I had to concede that he was the total package and
give him the top spot over another excellent male. In the challenge my
challenge and reserve challenge dog were just ahead of this boy, it was close
but in the final lineup I just preferred these two more refined dogs. Best Opposite Open in Show to the
Reserve Best in Show bitch challenge winner.
2nd NZ Ch Clan-abby NZ Dream Lover (Imp NZ) - D& K Adams
Another top quality b/w who was of a more refined type and I
actually preferred over the winner. This boy has an ok shoulder and good rear
angulation with correct length and shape of croup. He is excellent coming
towards, a touch close away, moving around he led this class till almost the final
circuit with his balanced and effortless gait. He was so unlucky to meet the
winner who in the end I felt just scored in neck and stepped up during the
final assessment with even greater reach and drive. Will surely gain his
Australian title with ease.
- Ch. Monochrome Maestro
& P Nicholls
Another classically marked B/W who excels in neck, rib and loin
has sufficient angles behind, moved soundly out and back, just preferred the
shoulder and side gait of 1 and 2.
- Gr Ch. Etherial Chase The Ace PT
& S Goulding
Liked the overall picture
of this B/W standing, lacked the head pattern/qualities of first three but still
not coarse and is acceptable. Pleasing overall type and shape, very good
angulation in rear, sound coming towards just found his exaggerated rear action
to spoil the overall picture preferring the more efficient gaits of those
- Ch. Clanheath Designa Future -
& J Marshall
This B/W moved soundly out and back and around. Personally I would
prefer slightly more moderate bone and head refinement.