CHAMP SHOW 2018 CRITIQUE
By Dr.Chris Millard
The Swedish Vallhund Society Championship Show.
14th July 2018.
Venue; Three counties showground Malvern.
This was the first time the Society held its Championship show in conjunction with National Working and Pastoral Breeds and it was a great honour to be invited to judge.
I would like to thank the exhibitors for their lovely entry of 31 exhibits, also the committee of the Swedish Vallhund Society for the invitation, and National Working and Pastoral Breeds and Mrs Anne Arch for looking after me. I would also like to thank my two stewards for their help in particularly challenging conditions. I don’t think I have ever judged in such heat and without any shade, good job I took a sunhat.
It proved to be a very long day for judge, exhibitors and most importantly dogs since the NWPB judging took place before our show in the same ring and the judge had Aussies then vallhunds. I think it would be better in future for vallhunds to be scheduled first, with a change of ring for the second breed if required.
The ring itself was not very satisfactory since it was at the end of the showground away from any trees which could have given some shade. It also sloped badly and had a dip running the whole length which made assessing movment a challenge, but I was amazed how well the dogs coped. Thankfully the SVS team had brought a gazebo and this was well used by exhibitor’s to shade their dogs. I thought the dogs coped far better with the heat than the humans present. There was a very friendly and sporting atmosphere ringside, and I thoroughly enjoyed the appointment.
Unfortunately because of the extreme conditions there were many absentees and most of these sent their apologies which I thought a very nice touch.
I last judged the breed at Crufts 2015 and found this entry greatly improved in terms of quality and in particular with regard to the issues I identified in the Crufts entry. Temperaments were excellent as was toplines, only a few dipped behind the withers. Heads were also excellent,some of the females in particular had very beautiful heads, again a small minority with rounded skulls, and no light round eyes in this entry at all. I also found fronts were improved just a few overloaded, wide and out at the elbows. Dentition was also excellent not one incorrect bite, although some teeth could certainly do with a wash and brush up. Coats were very difficult to assess as most had no undercoat or were in the process of blowing. It was possible to appraise coat texture and I felt some top coats were too soft ,and not the medium harsh texture specified in the standard. Type was still varied with all shapes and sizes present in the entry. Also a few were lacking hard muscular condition so important in any working breed.
Taking the entry overall I thought it was of high quality and vastly improved, with some promising youngsters coming up through the classes which bodes well for the future of this wonderful breed. It was also good to see some new and very enthusiastic exhibitors.
One of the pleasure of judging is finding that special exhibit that stands out and today my BOB and major winners were a prime example, and I guess the reason I still enjoy judging. Some of the classes were both a joy and a heachache to judge because the exhibits were high quality, and had different attributes that I equally admired. Since judging is essentially an aesthetic activity it was a case of my individual preference, always of course with reference to the requirements of the breed standard.
Finally, I would also like to pay tribute to Ch Starvon Rumors Has It. It was dreadful learning a few days before the show that she had died. She was our breed record holder and I consider her one of the best vallhunds her owner has ever bred. She was a great loss to the breed and also to her owners, since she was a much loved pet as well as a very successful showgirl. It was very poignant having to mark her absent in veteran bitch.
1. Allsops Ch Eldhastens Bobbo Viking (imp Swe) ShCM. RCC and BVET.
Headed a very strong class. This 11 years young boy is all male, has a lovely head and expression, nice dark eye of the correct oval shape. Excellent topline with a good depth to his chest. Nice sloping croup, good rear angulation. Nice coat texture and good mask and harness markings. Very positive on the move particularly in side extension.
2. Lewis’s Ch Starvon Vanquish ShCM.
Another excellent male. Red of the most attractive colour. His head and expression was also excellent. He had a good front, good bone and well sprung ribs. Short strong loin and well let down hocks. Sound mover just preferred winner’s size and topline.
3. Dodds, Starvon Talk of the Town
Minor Puppy Dog (1)
Allens Kintalis Tangled In Tinsel of Kitsam. Best Puppy.
Lovely to see such a happy alert young puppy enjoying his day out. He has the most attractive wedge shaped head and kindly expression. His size and overall body proportions are good, and he has a good mask and harness markings. Solid topline, and good front and reach of neck ,although obviously he needs to mature and tighten all through. Going through that awkward leggy stage, but all the essentials are there. Moved soundly, and although alone he deserved his best puppy award
Puppy Dog (0).
1. Stockbridges Valladar Call of Duty. CC,BOB and BIS.
This boy really took my breath away,15mths with a beautiful masculine head and expression, he had good head planes and the required almost flat skull. The best front of the day, good markings, lovely depth to his chest and correct pro sternum. Excellent body proportions ,good tuck up and nicely muscled quarters. Out moved everything today, so sound really driving from the rear without any hint of high stepping or choppy movement in front. He was also well muscled and showed himself off superbly for one so young. I really hope he makes up to Champion.
2.Perry and Etches Starvon Cryptic Spyda.
Unlucky to meet winner in such form. A darker boy but correctly marked with a nice wedge shaped head, nice stop and good blunt muzzle.. Well laid shoulders, good height to body ratio. excellent bend of stifle. Well handled but not as positive on the move today as winner.
3.Hackneys Starvon Bring IT On.
Post Graduate dog (1), 1 Abs.
1.Sibleys Thorjakker Hundi Homnelvik.
This boy headed a very strong class. He is of a lovely size, particularly liked his height of leg. Has a lovely wedge shaped head, excellent eye colour and shape, a correct front with an impressive prosternum, He had a nice textured coat, rock solid topline and short strong loin. A sound mover when he co-operated with his handler. Considered him for the RCC but he didn’t have his co-operative head on in the challenge, and to be fair it was a very long day in the heat.
2.DrinkwatersGalerita Goji Berrie.
Another lovely boy and close up to winner. 19mths old with an excellent head. Another in this entry with an almost flat skull. Although not in the best of coats what he had was of a lovely texture. Good reach of neck, and excellent topline. He moved very soundly, just preferred winner’s leg height and body on the day.
3.Allsops Eldhastens Fabel Firestorm at Thornevald (Imp Swe).
Open Dog (3), 2 abs.
1. Sharman’s Tridents Frodo.
Alone but deserved his place. 3 yrs of age and maturing nicely, excellent head and eye, good reach of neck, Blowing his coat but it was of a good texture. Correct harness and mask markings. Level topline, Nice tuckup into broad and sloping croup. Good size to his hocks enabled him to move freely. Just would like a bit more of him.
Veteran Bitch. (1), 1 abs.
Minor Puppy bitch (0).
Puppy Bitch (0).
Junior bitch (4), 2 Abs.
1.Howes Danga’s Diva X-Dotter of Valaller (imp Swe).
This 16mths girl really impressed. Excellent head with correctly sized ears. Lovely dark eye and good stop. Nice head planes and proportions. Lovely square muzzle ,good front and excellent reach of neck. She had well laid shoulders and her chest is developing nicely, lovely spring to her ribs, solid topline, and well angulated hindquarters. She was well muscled and a very sound mover. Will watch her career with interest.
2. Hackneys Starvon Dreams are Maid.
14mths and is still maturing but a beautiful head and expression. Good front and rock solid topline. Excellent markings. Good rear angulation, very attentive to her handler just not settled on the move today.
Graduate bitch (1) 1 abs.
Post graduate Bitch.(1).
Philips Katrina Des Fumees Du Nord (imp Bel).
Another beautiful girl 6yrs, lovely feminine head and expression, beautiful dark eyes, excellent front, loved her size and body proportions. Well marked. Nice oval shape to her chest in front. She has a good tuck up and good croup, well let down hocks which weren’t too big. Moved very soundly.
Limit Bitch (2).
1.Days Starvon Ziva.
Headed the best and most difficult class of the day for me to judge as I liked different attributes in these two girls. Winner has the most gorgeous feminine head and expression. 4yrs of age. Good head planes and proportions. An excellent front, good ribbing and well laid shoulders. Her coat was blowing but it was of good texture. Solid topline and sound mover.
2. Diamonds Eriksfjord Aurora Charm SHCM.
Different type, darker and shorter in back but higher on leg. Another ultra feminine girl, 2.5yrs good reach to her neck and lovely solid topline, which she held when moving. Good coat and markings. Nice length to her well sprung ribs. She had very well muscled quarters, which enabled her to move soundly around the ring. Just preferred winners front on the day, but a real stunner.
Open Bitch (6).
1. Drinkwaters Ch Galerita Hollie Berrie. CC. RBIS.
What a beautiful girl this is. I loved her size and body proportions. The most lovely feminine head and expression, lovely dark eye. Good head proportions with a nice stop. Well laid shoulders with a superb depth to her chest with sufficient height of leg to carry it off, and not appear corgi like. Solid topline, excellent coat texture and well marked. She has a well-angulated rear with correctly sized hocks. Moved very soundly especially behind producing the driving action required in this breed. Lost BOB as I preferred the winner’s front, but a very fine example of the breed.
2.Rands Hurstfield Renen Dancer at Kintalis. RCC.
Another lovely young bitch with the most beautiful feminine head and expression. She had a good front, well laid shoulders and good reach to her neck, her chest is developing nicely. Solid in topline, and she has a lovely bend to her stifle, and good hocks. I would prefer a slightly shorter loin. An enthusiastic showgirl who moved well considering the terrain.
3.Howes Pepperthyme On A Rainbow.
The Swedish Vallhund Society 2018 Special Award Classes
Judge: Jackie Tune (Rottalma)
Many thanks to the Swedish Vallhund Society for their kind invitation to judge the special award classes at the Championship Show. I very much enjoyed my day and I really appreciated that the exhibitors braved the extreme conditions so my thanks are extended to all those present. I found all exhibits to be of good temperament. Being in the Vallhund ring today as a judge definitely awakened my desire to return as an exhibitor in the future.
Special Award Junior Dog or Bitch (7/7)
1. Stockbridge's Valladar Call of Duty - Male of 15 months with much to like, substantial boy with good bone. Correct head with dark eye, strong neck into well laid shoulders, straight front.Correct proportions. Moved with drive despite the extreme heat. Pleased to know that my co judges also thought highly of this boy and he gained 2 CCs today I am sure he will soon attain his title.
2. Perry & Etches's Starvon Cryptic Spyda - Splitting hairs between first and second both have many of the same qualities. This boy also15 months is excellent breed type. Correct head with correct scissor bite good conformation and moved well. I just preferred the front assembly on 1.
3. Ludwig's Danga's D'Loui X -Son - Male of 16mths immature but with lots of promise
Special Award Open Dog or Bitch (7/6)
1.Diamond's Eriksfjord Aurora Charm SHCM - Lovely bitch that took my eye as she entered the ring and did not disappoint on further examination. 2 and half years old good breed type with feminine head and alert expression. Good front with correct body porportions. Moved well. Another exhibit knocking on the door of her Championship which I am sure will soon be achieved.
2. Drinkwater's Galerita Goji Berrie - Male of 19mths, Excellent breed type with good head and lovely dark eye. Correct dentition. Good conformation Moved and handled well. Pushed for first position but preferred feet of the winner.
3. Dodd's Hurstfield Renen Vixen at Tanellis - Quality bitch of three and half years with loads of ring presence. Excellent breed type.