Judge: Mrs Kathy Wilkinson (Otterkin)
An excellent entry awaited me at the City of Birmingham show, not only in numbers, but also in the depth of quality. In many classes, I found myself wishing for more than 5 places to award and sadly, dogs left the ring which I really liked and would have been happy to place on another day. In more than a couple of classes, it was very hard to decide on the 1st 5 in order and many went down the line because of coat texture and thickness, although on another day, in better coat, they would have fared better. As I have not been to many shows this year, it was good to view some dogs for the first time, including my Best of Breed, who I was pleased to ?find?, only to later discover she has already been found on a number of occasions, although not at this level!
I apologise for the lateness of this critique. Besides flying out to an appointment to judge in Italy only a couple of days after the show, we have had some personal and medical issues to deal with regarding the welfare of my elderly mother in law. As I write this, we have still not finalised arrangements for her, but hope to do so soon, so I hope you will understand that sometimes, dog shows do not come first.
On the way to the showground, my car made some terrifying noises when I touched the brake pedal and so, that will explain to anyone wondering, why I had to stop judging for a second or two to find my car keys for the AA man, who kindly fixed it at the hotel car park for us and saved us a long trip home on the back of a low loader.
An eventful weekend, made wonderful by the number of top class Border Terriers present at the show.
Many thanks must go to the very experienced and helpful ring stewards, Mr and Mrs Wright, who had the dogs present and ready for inspection at the start of every class and so enabled me to finish in plenty time for the Terrier Group. Good ring management was important with an entry of 185 dogs, making 193 entries (plus one or two whose entries had not been received and less a couple of NFC). This was the highest number in the Terrier Group today and I would like to thank all the exhibitors for allowing me the pleasure of going over their dogs. The absentee rate of dogs entered was 23.5%.
Best Of Breed: TG4, Southash Blue Betty Boo Gameway
DCC: CH Byrons Greengrass
RBCC: Glebeheath Figurine
Best Puppy: TPG2, Southash Blue Betty Boo Gameway
Entries: 3 Absentees: 0
1st - Brookbank Break the Spell JW (Norris, S.P.)
Dark Grizzle Dog, 8 years old, lovely head, nice neck, good length of body, good tail set well on, thick at the base and tapering. Would prefer a narrower front, but he has the correct amount of bone.
2nd - Dandyhow Sir Toby (Wrenn, Tony; Langdon, Kara)
An old favourite of mine, he possesses an excellent otter head, which cannot be bettered and which I have loved since he was an early veteran. His tail is a little too short and at 12 and ½ years old, he could be forgiven for showing his age in his movement, but he still has a lovely narrow front and is easily spanned.
3rd - CH Fehmarn Magic Lantern JW (Mrs J Morton Shaw)
Entries: 8 Absentees: 2
1st - Comberdown Jailbreak To Vandamere (Mr I & Mrs A Higham)
An entry not in the catalogue: Beautiful head on this young dog, with well placed ears dropping forward close to the cheek. Strong muzzle with a good scissor bite. Just right for bone, with narrow body, good rib and was easily spanned. Good tailset and bend of stifle, with cat like feet. Possesses a good thick jacket and moved well both ways, which is where he scored over the 2nd placed dog. He has great potential. Best Puppy Dog.
2nd - Xapex Santiago At Otterwood (Mr M J & Mrs J M Hollingsbee)
Blue and tan dog who, when entering the ring, I thought was going to be far and away the easiest winner, as he has a lovely otter head, an excellent thick coat and pelt, with coat so thick you cannot see the skin. Perhaps for his age he is a little heavy in bone although he may fine down as he matures. Lovely level topline. Neat feet, but evidence of scissoring needs to be disguised. At this young age, he was moving erratically both front and back, which I forgave in this class, although it cost him the 1st placing, but I could not do any more for him when he came into a later class against more mature puppies. I am not sure if his movement will improve sufficiently, but hope it will, as he has so much else going for him.
3rd - Ragatam Kenzie (Miss T J Peacock)
Res - Breadsall Jazzy To Beeley (Mrs J Rumbell)
VHC - Oatberry Reason (Mrs K Tuffin)
Entries: 10 Absentees: 1
1st - Borderella Day Tripper (Mrs P South)
Very nice puppy, grizzle and tan. A little on the large side, but he has a very good otter head, with a strong jaw and he moved very well both ways. Good straight front, and good set on of tail, with a good bend of stifle.
2nd - Ravenside Ballymoss (Mr M Lowry)
Preferred the head on the 1st placed dog, as this one falls away a little under the eye, but he has a good length of neck leading into a good topline. Tail well set on, he was moving well both coming and going. Possesses a good ribcage and he was very easily spanned. He has a nice narrow front and good tight feet, both attributes so important in this working breed and should do well in the future.
3rd - Kighill Mister Clooney (Mr B & Mrs K A Newsome)
Res - Dowgri Diggory (Mr W & Mrs T J Baird)
VHC - Iacheslei Cantus (Miss A Harrison)
Entries: 10 Absentees: 1
1st - Grindelvald In Full Cry (Mrs M A Bailey)
Grizzle and tan dog, loved his make and shape; he was very easy to span, although he is a rangy dog with an excellent bend of stifle. He has a good otter head with a flat skull and nice flow through from foreface to skull. He has a real varminty expression. Excellent straight front with good clean shoulders. He has a good harsh jacket and thick, loose pelt. One to watch in the future.
2nd - Totherend Flash 'arry (Mr R G & Mrs E A Wright)
Blue and tan dog with really thick coat and pelt, good straight front. Nice carrot shaped tail, well set on. He moved very well both ways. He fails in head a little, as he falls away a little under the eyes, although he has a nice small dark eye.
3rd - Digmoor Captain Rook By Tyrian (Mrs K Dean)
Res - Benattivo Basilio (Mrs S J & Mr C P Girling)
VHC - Ethlencoral Pip of Ottaswell (Mr D & Mrs G M Hunt)
Entries: 7 Absentees: 4
1st - Otterbobs Riggindale (Mr J R & Mrs H Gilpin)
Nice rangy dog with good movement, driving powerfully from the rear. Well off for bone. Lovely straight front and beautiful otter head. Nice length of neck. Tail well set on. Perhaps a touch over-angulated in the stifle, but this did not adversely affect his movement. He has an excellent thick pelt.
2nd - Radnorvalley Goshawk of Rhozzum (Mrs M Sharp)
Smaller type dog, shorter in body and in this case would prefer more bend of stifle. Loved his flat skull, but he falls away a little under the eye. Good dark eye with varminty expression. Well off for bone and good small tight feet.
3rd - Brookbank Could It Be Magic (Mrs S P Norris)
Entries: 12 Absentees: 2
1st - Ragatam Hawk At Staynorwood (Mr & Mrs G Richardson)
Lovely otter head with nice dark eye and small, well placed ears dropping forward close to the cheek. Good neck and shoulders. Just right for bone. Lovely rib, easily spanned. Good narrow front accommodating 3 fingers only, as should be the case. Excellent harsh jacket with thick loose pelt. Good set on of tail and good bend of stifle. He is a tall rangy dog, but everything is in the right place and he moved really well.
2nd - Fehmarn Reap the Harvest (Mrs J Morton Shaw)
Shorter coupled dog. Lovely otter head with flat skull. Not such a strong jaw as the winner, but ample enough. Matching his body length, his neck is not so long as the first, but he has a nice outline and was easily spanned. Good set on of tail, which was short and carroty.
3rd - Barterhound Twister JW (Mrs B B Roderick)
Res - Yeomeadow Sorrel For Tyrian (Professor S P Dean)
VHC - Bandicoot Double O Seven (Mr G E & Mrs V L K Docwra)
Entries: 16 Absentees: 3
1st - Quarryway Dill (Mrs B Williams & Mr K E Johnson)
Light grizzle dog. Very compact, has a beautiful otter head with varminty expression and a lovely neck and topline. Good rib, excellent straight front, tight feet, just right for bone. Lovely pelt and excellent double coat. Carrot shaped tail, well set on. To be hyper critical, would prefer more bend of stifle.
2nd - Beenaben Bengeo (Mr J B Baxter)
Nearly the winner here, a very close decision. Just pipped by the winner as this one very sparse in coat today; would like to see him in better coat on another day, as he has much to praise. Excellent otter head, well placed ears, good dark eye and strong muzzle. Nice neck and shoulders, with good topline and tailset and good bend of stifle. Moving very well on a loose lead.
3rd - Gameway Charles Dickens (Mrs P Clark)
Res - Chase Me Kato At Thorpe (Mr & Mrs G Patchett)
VHC - Ragatam Harris JW (Miss T J Peacock)
Entries: 13 Absentees: 3
1st - CH Byrons Greengrass (Mr J & Mrs H M Thomas)
Caught my eye as he came in the ring and was not disappointed when going over him, as he has a really harsh coat on a thick, pliable, loose pelt. He has a lovely refined otter head with a nice dark eye and well placed ears, dropping forward close to the cheek. He is strong enough in muzzle. Excellent narrow front with ribs carried well back; he is easily spanned. Good shoulders. Small, tight, cat like paws. Good carrot shaped tail, well set on. He moved well, with confidence and no exaggerations. He was in the peak of condition in both body and coat. Pleased to award him a well deserved Dog CC and Best Opposite Sex and glad to have had the privilege of going over him.
2nd - CH Stineval Acerola With Tyrian JW (Professor S P Dean)
A very close decision. He is a more rangy dog than the first, but boy can he move! Broad otter head, which is very striking, although perhaps not as refined as the 1st, he screams Border at you. Good bone. Straight, narrow front. From ringside, he may appear to be on the large side, but he is easily spanned, despite being a larger, more rangy dog than the first and I have no doubt he could get anywhere required underground. Good level topline with tail well set on. The notes into my tape end with A REALLY good dog, close run thing, wish they were both mine?! Pleased to award him the Reserve Dog CC he gave the CC winner a close run!
3rd - CH Otterwood Amex JW ShCM (Mr M J & Mrs J M Hollingsbee)
Res - Earthwise Deuteronomy ShCM (Culley, Anne; Orr, Joyce)
VHC - Benattivo Rock Robin (Mrs S J & Mr C P Girling)
Entries: 4 Absentees: 1
1st - Quatford Kiss 'n' Tell At Fehmarn (Shaw, Angus & Jane Morton)
In excellent condition at 12 years old, beautiful harsh, tight jacket. Straight, narrow front. Nice tight feet and very attractive otter head, with good ears, well placed, dropping forward close to the cheek and a good dark eye with super varminty expression. Good tail, well set on. Not a rangy bitch, but neither is she short coupled, my notes say “Just right” for body length. Nice shaped rib, easily spanned, which is excellent at 12 years old. A credit to her owner.
2nd - Penlumeg Paloma (Harris, Mrs. B.S.)
Blue and tan bitch, longer caste than the first. Falls away a little under the eye, but she has a good rib and was easily spanned, moving well both coming and going.
3rd - Magic Milly At Thistlestone (Miss J & Mr S May & Whisker)
Entries: 13 Absentees: 2
A lovely class. Some very hard decisions. On another day, I could easily place the 5th in a 1st position and all the others as well. A REALLY good class. What a blessing for the future of the breed.
1st - Achnagairn Code Name Glebeheath (Mrs J Guvercin)
Dark red grizzle bitch. Could not take my eyes off her and found myself comparing all the other bitches in the class to her when deciding whether I liked them sufficiently to place them. Beautiful otter head on this young girl, who has a lovely make and shape. Good small dark eye, with varminty expression. Flat skull, ears well placed. A little bit erratic on movement, which was forgiven as she is just a baby at 6 months and a week old. Lovely topline, with excellent shaped tail, well set on. Thick loose pelt. Small tight feet, Excellent neck and shoulders. Nice puppy, will watch her progress with interest. Hard luck to come up against the puppy bitch winner today!
2nd - Conundrum Don't Tell Tula (Mrs C Dean)
A little finer in head and throughout the body. Easily spanned. Lovely dark eyes, but needs to grow into her ears which I am sure she will do, as they are well placed and drop forward close to the cheek. Excellent narrow front. Thick, loose pelt. Lovely shaped rib, carried well back and easily spanned. Good bend of stifle. Small tight feet. Carrot shaped tail, well set on. Another lovely puppy.
3rd - Achnagairn Wild Card (Mrs A Fraser)
Res - Badgerbeck Blizzard At Ploughdown (Mr & Mrs E Armstrong)
VHC - Hartswelin Tip Top (Ms L J Godefroid)
Entries: 17 Absentees: 4
1st - Southash Blue Betty Boo Gameway (Mrs P Clark)
Another class where I found I was comparing all the others to this one, as she stood away even in this good class. Beautiful blue and tan with correct ticking throughout the coat. Fabulous otter head with the darkest of eyes. Lovely straight, narrow front. Moved so well both coming and going, for one so young. She has the star quality, while being an honest, workmanlike bitch. She has all the necessary essentials for a working terrier, with a good narrow front, lovely shaped rib, carried well back and was easily spanned. She has a good topline and excellent length of body. She is just at the right stage of development for a 10 month bitch and if I could have found a way of sneaking her out of the door and onwards to Durham, I would have done. She is not overdone in any way, has all the essentials and is very eye catching. Lovely neck into well laid shoulders. Had to concentrate hard during the remainder of the show, to get her out of my mind. In the line up, found myself drawn to her with my eye and my heart. The type to give you goose bumps. Had a stiff talk to myself when I realised I was drawn to her in the bitch line up You’re not giving it to a puppy, are you?? ? something I have never done in all my years of judging the breed. Then I realised that if I allowed myself to be swayed by anything other than choosing which was the best one, I would not be doing myself or the breed a service and so, drum roll, awarded her Bitch CC, Best of Breed and Best Puppy In Breed. Pleased to see her go on to Terrier Group 4 and Terrier Puppy Group 2 in hot competition.
2nd - Mascani Daisy At Cynetkoy (Mr S D Watson & Mrs A S Kenna)
A finer bitch with a beautiful head, lovely varminty expression. Nice ears well placed. A touch wide in front, but she was easily spanned and moved true enough coming and going. Nice jacket. Good short carrot tail. Tight, neat feet.
3rd - Kighill Diamond (Mr B & Mrs K A Newsome)
Res - Jaslou Juneau (Mr & Mrs G R Baker)
VHC - Benattivo Kissing Stone For Cynetkoy (Mr S D Watson & Mrs A S Kenna)
Entries: 26 Absentees: 5
Very, very hard class to judge as I liked about 10 to 12 of those shown sufficiently to have awarded them a high placement
1st - Lutrabeck Layla (Mrs S A & Mr M J & Miss J Taylor)
Lovely varminty expression from good dark eye. Lovely ears, dropping forward close to the cheek. Good coat and pelt. Good shaped ribs carried well back, so easily spanned. Lovely tailset, nice bend of stifle. She moved extremely well on a loose lead and showed well throughout. In this hard class, she did well to stand away and should have a bright future.
2nd - Benattivo Rosina (Mrs S J & Mr C P Girling)
Light red grizzle bitch. Nice ear set and good skull. Preferred the expression and smaller, darker eyes of the winner. She had a lovely front and a good rib, another easily spanned, which is so important in this breed. Good topline and good tail, well set on. Good bend of stifle. Good small feet with tight pads.
3rd - Grindelvald Miss Teak At Eltonfurze (Mrs A Fray)
Res - Worker's Playtime (Miss S Waller)
VHC - Rexlands Golden Plover By Karison (Miss K & Mrs D Johnson & Pearson)
Entries: 14 Absentees: 5
1st - Worker's Playtime (Miss S Waller)
Was Reserve in a very strong Junior Bitch class. She has a lovely body and a super head and expression, with nice ears, well placed and a good front. She moved well going and coming and her tail is bang on top. Good bend of stifle.
2nd - Stineval Celeste At Merumhor (Mr & Mrs C Martin)
Dark grizzle bitch with a strong head, although it is perhaps a little masculine for a bitch. She moved very well both ways and has an excellent jacket and a thick pelt. One that might look heavy from ringside, but she spans easily.
3rd - Rexlands Golden Plover By Karison (Miss K & Mrs D Johnson & Pearson)
Res - Trixdale Twix at Bimandi (Mrs M J Holmes)
VHC - Cast A Spell Over Brookbank (Mrs S P Norris)
Entries: 9 Absentees: 2
1st - Badgerbeck Tree Pipit At Tilmoray JW (Mrs M Small)
Lovely blue and tan bitch with excellent ticking throughout her coat. She has a lovely otter head and moved soundly coming and going. Nice straight front. Perhaps a little on the light side for bone, but lovely head with nice dark eye, accentuated by the pale colour of her head and small ears, dropping forward close to the cheek. Nice set on of tail, which was carrot shaped. Good bend of stifle. Active and alert. Nice length of body, with good rib shape, she was easily spanned.
2nd - Benattivo Plum At Eltonfurze (Mrs A Fray)
Lovely ground covering movement, with good topline and carrot shaped tail, well set on. A little thick set on the neck and shoulders. Nice skull, but could perhaps do with a better fill under the eye. Active, lithe bitch of good length.
3rd - Carrickfarm Maddy (Mrs V M Armstrong)
Res - Rhozzum Keynote With Foxfactor (Mrs K D Stockley)
VHC - Beeley Bestseller (Miss B J Singh)
Entries: 24 Absentees: 8
1st - Ottaswell Carmen (Mr D & Mrs G M Hunt)
This bitch is just put together right, She is a typical unexaggerated Border Terrier. She has a lovely refined otter head with a good dark eye, and a good straight front, leading to a good length of neck, without being overdone. A good rib, she was easily spanned and moved around the ring with ease. Perhaps would prefer a slightly more level topline, but her tail was well set on. Good small feet. An excellent coat and pelt completes the picture.
2nd - Caulkheads Princess Barton (Nicholls)
Blue and tan bitch with good topline, she possesses a really harsh tight coat, so tight you could not see the skin. Very feminine otter head. Another one with a good tail set. A hard decision between these two.
3rd - Remony Barley Twist JW (Mrs A E Gregory)
Res - Picer Polyanthus JW (Mr G & Mrs S Pickering)
VHC - Thorneyburn Minnie the Minx (Mrs M J Wanless)
Entries: 9 Absentees: 4
1st - Glebeheath Figurine (Mrs J Guvercin)
Very hard decision again, between first and second. I went over Bright Idea first and thought she was the one to beat today, but this bitch just had the edge on a lighter body frame, rib shape and easy span. She has a longer, more elegant neck than the 2nd and a lovely level topline and is similarly endowed as the 2nd, with a beautiful otter head and a good dark eye. She is well off for bone and has small, tight feet, essential in a working terrier. She moved well and I was pleased to award her the Reserve Bitch CC.
2nd - CH Picer Bright Idea JW (Mr G & Mrs S Pickering)
Deeper in rib today, although still spannable and what a fabulous otter head (the best of the day), with a good dark eye and a slightly stronger muzzle than the 1st. She has a lovely front assembly and the thickest of coats and pelts. Ended my day with a hard decision, which could easily change on another day.
3rd - Swe CH Rockamore Limelight (S Axelsson & Mrs P J Clark)
Res - Ottaswell First Edition (Jobson, Mr. K.& Mrs. S.L.)
VHC - Baywillow Tarte Tatin JW (Mrs M B Reeves)