Dog Critique – Luke Johnston

South West Whippet Club Open Show
Sunday 15th September 2019

It was an absolute pleasure to judge at the South West Whippet Club’s Open show in their 25th Anniversary year. Congratulations must go to Mary Rigby, Anne Prowse and their Committee for making the day so lovely. The whole show had such a warming atmosphere and it seemed that exhibitors were spoiled with every aspect of what makes a great show!

Thanks to my two lovely lady stewards, Judy Manley and Carol Hawker, who were excellent. Lastly, thanks to the exhibitors for taking my decisions with such grace, Whippet folk are a good bunch!

A dog who presented a curvy, well proportioned and balanced outline and held it whilst moving out in profile, in particular, was high up on my ‘wishlist’. I was pleased to find dogs who fulfilled this to make for a lovely line up. I was also pleased to find plenty of dogs with moderate rears. However, movement was extremely varied and a lot of dogs were on the large side. There were also exceptions, even though just a few, of totally sound temperament in the entry which was a concern; the standard asks for the Whippet to be highly adaptable in domestic and sporting surroundings. All that said, I was delighted to find many super exhibits and this was evident in their final successes with the dogs taking BIS, RBIS, BPIS and BVIS.

Minor Puppy Dog (7,4abs)
1. Price’s Railfield Rainomen for Silkdance. 6 month old red. Still very much a baby but rather well together for his age. Spot on for balance and proportions. Stands over plenty of ground without being exaggerated. On the stack, there is not much I would want to change about this boy at this age, he just needs to grow on. Moved soundly.
2. Yeates & Winter’s Zoraden Bright Star. 6 month old shaded fawn with white trim. Much less mature and together than the winner, certainly more interested in having fun. Lots to like including good front construction and a nice curvy outline. Very exuberant on the move but showing glimpses of sound movement.

Puppy Dog (3)
1. Allen’s Zoraden Shades Of Bracken. 11 month old red. Up to size and certainly wouldn’t want more of him in any aspect, however, he is all in proportion and so balanced. Super construction throughout with curves everywhere. On the move, he is absolutely true on the up and down and so free and sound in profile whilst holding his outline. I have to say, he was my pleasant surprise of the day and was up there in the challenge. BPD and on the referee’s decision, Best Puppy in Show.
2. Quant’s Arrows Little Cupid. 10 month old fawn with white trim. Much too big. Masculine, well proportioned head with a good expression. Strong neck. Lovely underline and strong, moderate hindquarters. Moved ok.

Junior Dog (6,4abs)
1. Barnes’ Doddridge Secret Passion. 17 month old blue brindle parti. Another who was up to size. Very shapely with good angles front and rear. Good head although I would prefer his ears a little smaller. Long neck leading into well laid back shoulders. Good bone and feet. Moving soundly in all directions.
2. Bowrey’s Cobyco Cool Runner. 14 month silver brindle who was not totally settled today. A quality hound without doubt; clean head, neat ear, sound bone and a super coat. Would prefer more fore angulation and a little less rear. In super condition.

Maiden Dog (4,1abs)
1. Allen’s Zoraden A Question Answered. 6 month old fawn parti. A close decision between this dog and 2 who won MPD. I would prefer this dog a shade longer cast but eventually won on his absolute soundness in every direction. Excellent head held on a good neck. Super front construction, good bone to grow into, springy pasterns and good feet. Full of quality and places to go.
2. 1st MPD.

Novice Dog (4,1abs)
1. 1st Maiden Dog.
2. Hunt’s Grasampa Bewitching Boysie. Fawn/black brindle with white trim. Up to size. Long and lean head held on a long neck. Moderate in angulation fore and aft. Can lose his shape at times. Good coat and in super condition. Moved ok.

Graduate Dog (5,1abs) Two nice dogs.
1. Richards’ Richclass Run For Cover. Pale fawn with lots of white trim. Impressive dog with a real look of quality. Lean head and lovely eye, good neck and clean front. Well developed throughout and stands over a lot of ground. Moved well but I would like to see him move with a little more ease in profile.
2. Livsey’s Palmik Ace Of Spades. Dark red/black brindle with white trim. Super for balance and proportions. Well constructed throughout and although shapely, I preferred the refinement and elegance in outline of the winner. Moved very well in all directions.

Post Graduate Dog (7,1abs)
1. Bowrey’s Cobyco Cause To Celebrate. Fawn/blue brindle with white trim. Up to size and plenty of him. It was a close decision with 1 & 2 being very different. In the end, this dog won on general construction, sound movement and condition.
2. Trouton’s Runnel Run For Fun. Classic fawn. I did prefer the curvy outline and refinement of this dog but he was unfortunately, not moving very well in this class today. So very typy in many aspects but not looking as good as I have seen him.

Limit Dog (9,1abs)
1. Price’s Wheelspin Silver Shadow among Silkdance JW. Fawn with white trim. A very good dog with so much to admire. He is so, so good to go over. Good head and eye, strong neck into the smoothest of shoulders. Curvy outline with excellent overall balance. Moved true and sound in all directions. Close up to the top awards in the challenge but I would have liked to see more enthusiasm to really challenge.
2. Rishworth’s Kierpark With Or Without You. Upstanding and elegant red/black brindle who had many qualities. Super head with a good eye. Long neck into smooth, well laid shoulders. Presents a good outline with a particularly lovely underline. On the move he can tend to ‘shorten’ in outline but still goes with a long and low stride despite this. Two lovely dogs.

Open Dog (9,2abs) What a treat to have two super Champions to judge, thank you.
1. Tope’s Ch Falconcrag Class Act for Dewerstone JW ShCM. Pale fawn with white trim. Impressive and upstanding dog in his absolute prime. Full of Whippet quality from head to tail. He is so well proportioned and balanced and just naturally stands over plenty of ground; there wasn’t a time I looked that he did not look well when relaxed. His movement was totally sound and so fluid in all directions. Best dog and with the agreement of the bitch judge, Best in Show.
2. Allen’s Ch Zoraden Gingerbread Latte JW. Another lovely dog who was a pleasure to judge. So many virtues and fully deserving of his title. Textbook construction through the body. I just preferred the head and freedom of movement of 1. Reserve Best Dog and on the referee’s decision, Reserve Best in Show.

Veteran Dog (6,3abs)
1. Rishworth’s Collooney Taylor Made. Lemon/black brindle. Just 7 years old. Super for size and shape. Masculine head with a well-shaped, dark eye. Lovely neck and outline with lots of curves. Balanced and moderate in angulation fore and aft. Sound in all directions with super footfall. Best Veteran Dog and on the referee’s decision, Best Veteran in Show.
2. Kirtland’s Palmik Starlight Raider. Fawn dog up to size. Beautiful, classic head. Oval eyes with such a lovely expression. Particularly liked his length whilst still retaining a good tuck up. Super coat and in fit condition.

Special Lure Coursing or Racing Dog (6,3abs)
1. Kenyon’s Bryntreia First Steps. Blue brindle parti dog in gleaming coat and condition. Up on the leg but retaining balance. Well angulated fore and aft. Moved soundly in all directions.

2. Ryan’s Twiggen Tit For Tat. Blue fawn brindle. Athletic hound with a curvy outline. Beautiful head, eye and ears. Preferred his head to 2 but did not have the front construction or movement of 1.

Special Height Dog (7,3abs)
1. 2nd PGD.
2. Chappell’s Jemalsheva Golden Fleece into Blueflight. Pale fawn with white trim. Much improved performance from his previous class. Nice head and expression. Good front assembly and body. Could be tidier on the move.

Luke Johnston.