• Date: 15/12/2018
  • Show Type: Championship Show
  • Judge: Gretel Osborn Contact Judge
  • Published Date: 04/01/2019

Ladies Kennel Association

Breed: Spaniel (Field)

LKA Sunday 16th December 2018

Judge Ms Gretel Osborn (Elgert)

Field Spaniels

Firstly I would like to thank LKA for inviting me to judge at the last show of the year – always a fun festive show and so well organised. Thank you to the exhibitors for their entries – I am so honoured to judge the breed that I love and to have the opportunity to go over some lovely exhibits. It has been several years since I last judged the breed so it was lovely to go over the dogs with fresh eyes. As an owner, exhibitor and breeder of Fields for 40 yrs in 2019 I feel I am allowed to make some general comments on the breed, so please take these as they are intended – just my general overview.

All the exhibits had fabulous temperaments so that was lovely to see – I was really pleased with my line-up, however I would just like to make some comments generally, my only concern is that as a breed some are muddling up good bone and substance with tall and long – the breed standard calls for moderate in most areas and the size is approx. 18” – this does give way for some variance, however, in order to get the overall balance of 2/3 of rib to length the height has a big impact on the overall balance of the dog – some are going way too tall and then ending up being too long coupled which makes for an unbalanced look and wrong rear action as the strength in drive is no longer present, also then the front action is affected as the upper arm again has a big impact on the sound unhurried drive. As a judge you measure where 18” comes to on you before you step into a ring so that you have a rough idea as a guide and some exhibits were way over this – the result is then the rear drive was lacking through the too long and weak loin. The Field Spaniel should not resemble any other spaniel or indeed any retriever in any way and the profile picture of some sometimes due to the height and length was taking away from the balance expected of a Field Spaniel in profile . Many moved their dogs far too fast for the breed – it calls for an unhurried stride and this then allows correct pace for the stature of the body – taller dogs have by the sheer logic of it have longer legs that then allow for a speedier movement, it may be flashy but for a true Field this is just not correct. I asked many to slow down and the overall balance then in movement was so much better, just bear this in mind when moving. However as said I was really pleased with my line ups in both dog and bitches and could have given out more top awards if available and can see we have a good future for the breed if careful breeding is carried out to maintain the lovely heavy set, noble Field Spaniel we all love dearly.

Minor Puppy Dog

1st Palm & Russell Kingsmist Endeavour – Stood alone but this does not detract from the fact he is a lovely example of the breed and a pleasure to go over. A mature dog for just 7mths – a lot to like about him – lovely refined head giving that noble expression, good chiselling under eye and cheek bones with nice length of muzzle and open nostrils, giving a lovely outline on his head and expression. Good bone and substance, slightly too tall but all in proportion – a lovely strong rear allowing him to really use the ground well and show power on the move – nice width of thigh and good hind angulation, hock slightly long but did not take away from his overall balance and outline. Front good length of upper arm and reach of forearm giving a lovely and straight action, allowing him to really flow in movement for such a youngster –– should have a good future – delighted to award him BP and did consider him for higher honours.

Puppy Dog

1st Palm & Russell Kingsmist Endeavour

Junior Dog

1st Webber Fecimus The Kings Troop

A stocky cobby dog that I would prefer slightly longer in rib to give the correct Field outline – Correct level topline with a good set tail, nice length of hock allowing good drive, well muscled and in good condition and jacket , correct bite , kind expression but would prefer more chiselling under the eye and on cheek bones.

Post Graduate Dog (4 entries)

1st Bennett Jesham Baronet

A lovely dog, real class throughout, good length of neck leading, into good shoulder angulation and correct upperarm length allowing the correct reach on the move. Firm topline and lovely tailset, all held correctly on the move. Correct bone and substance without being coarse or too heavy, good feet and shape allowing correct unhurried stride and drive from rear, in profile a lovely clean image of a Field in action with good true footfall. Looks as though he could do a days work and then some. Would prefer slightly more work under the eye but could be his age as still just a young dog. My notes from the day on him end with ‘just fab’ ! Delighted to award him the RCC in a lovely strong line up of dogs, his maturity and effortless movement just tipped him to take that award.

2nd Murray Nadavin Wallace

A substantial dog with perhaps a little ‘too much’ to give a clear sharp flowing outline, however, has good depth of brisket and nice height to length ratio. Correct teeth, and depth of muzzle but would just prefer tighter eyes and slightly darker and just a little less ‘skin’ round his face . Front needs to tighten in pasterns and allow for clean front movement, nice short hocks giving him good rear movement with good drive .

3rd Wheeler Sonnetend Careless Whisper

Limit Dog 3 entries

1st Palm & Russell Thandiwe Legato Con Moto

Nice depth of body with good length, neither too tall or too long, giving that classic Field shape. Eye and colour just right for his colouring, giving a really lovely noble expression. Good front assembly with correct length of neck leading into nice shoulders with good upper arm, good reach of front legs on the move, but slightly wide in front as he moved towards you, however he was not helping his owner on the day as was pulling to the side, tried several times to move him as was unsure why he would move wide as all in the correct places, so perhaps some extra training to get him to move effortlessly with owner, as this in the end lost him higher awards in the challenge.

2nd Adams Fecimys The World is Mine

Heavier set all throughout, would prefer a bit more finesse about him without taking away the substance of him and more chiselling in his head. Again, struggling on the day to move correctly with his handler, I do think being the end day of the show didn’t help many on the carpet today with the dogs otherwise distracted.

3rd Fowkes & Wills Sonnetend Moonlight Drive

Open Dog – 3 entries

1st Elliott Ewtor Excalibur at Portsoy

Such a classic Field outline, strength and substance, correct height for the standard as they should be – not a tall spaniel but a sturdy, muscular dog with a correct 2/3 rib to length ratio leading into strong loin of just the correct length of coupling to allow for great strength and drive in his rear movement. His powerful and long neck leads into correct shoulders and withers, good flat bone on his legs with substance, tidy feet and good pasterns, good depth of brisket sitting nicely under his elbows allowing for just enough spring of rib. Good firm topline , held beautifully on the move – this is where he really shone today, best mover of the day – a classic unhurried long stride showing the true Field movement both fore and aft and in profile a real picture – not hurried but steady with drive and soo correct. A classic noble head with correct muzzle length again not too snippy or over long in muzzle conveying true substance throughout, to be hyper critical I would prefer slightly more chiselling on his head with a bit more work in it. CC – just loosing out on the BOB to the Bitch but a real tight decision.

2nd Fowkes SH CH Sonnetend Finishing Touch at Shirmal

A larger dog all round, in fabulous coat and condition but his movement let him down as was very erratic not giving his best so hard to evaluate on the move. Again I think another that succumbed to the Last Day smells at the show ! Lovely head and expression with good lay of shoulder, would prefer a stronger topline but as slightly longer in coupling meant a slightly less strong loin so on move his topline was lost and the rear drive could have been better, I am sure more muscle would help and improve this. Correct bite and lovely clean under the eyes and profile of his head, such soft eyes and expression giving the look of gentleness yet noble.

3rd Murray SH CH Nadavin Quinlan

Veteran Dog 2(1a)

1st Palm & Russell Thandiwe Semper Fidelis

10 ½ yrs old – lovely dog of good size and substance, good length and level topline. A happy and sound mover. Would prefer a slightly darker eye and slightly more chiselling but a nice length and width of foreface giving a good air of nobility.

Good Citizen Dog

1st Wheeler Sonnetend Careless Whisper

Really tested his handler’s patience today! Slightly high in leg with his length in body coming from his coupling rather than his rib cage making him slightly erratic in movement – with maturity his body should tighten up and work in unity when on the move.

Minor Puppy Bitch

1st Reece Kingsmist Phryne Fischer at Broomeece

2nd Porter Kingsmist Agatha Christie at Winsbrook

3rd Harding Kingsmist Miss Marple

A trio of litter sisters, sister to the MPD & PD Winner – showing how different Fields are in maturity and the different stages they go through . These 3 girls I am sure will swap places loads as they develop and change as they grow up. At the moment very raw babies who need to drop into their bodies and develop and tighten – 1st was slightly more settled and had better front angulation at the moment, her head needs to develop and ‘break’ and I would prefer a darker eye – again time is on her side for this to change as she grows. 2nd has slightly shorter forearm giving her a shorter choppy stride on the move, good depth of chest, correct length of back and firm loin – but again as she develops and grows she will change and hopefully grow into herself.

Puppy Bitch 3 (1A)

1st Porter Kingsmist Agatha Christie at Winsbrook

1st As above

2nd Harding Kingsmist Miss Marple

Finer throughout than her 2 sisters and for me rangier and needs time to develop. Not as happy and settled as her sisters today.

Junior Bitch (1B)

Post Graduate Bitch 3 (1A)

1st McVitty Sonnetend Faith

What a gem of a Field Spaniel – everything moderate and not overdone – lovely height – not too tall in leg, correct length of back and coupling right giving her a lovely firm loin allowing drive from the rear when on the move and the correct outline and shape of a true stamp of a Field Spaniel. Gorgeous head with lovely gentle eye with correct chiselling under the eye and cheek – good width of muzzle with good length, correct skull width and depth in all the right proportions showing that noble expression that only a Field can have. Still time to mature up and get her full coat and finish as still only a youngster but delighted to award her with the CC and also BOB where she really put on a sterling performance in both the challenge and also in the Group Ring. CC & BOB

2nd Harding Kingsmist Lady in Black

Taller on leg and in just in her knickers today and needing her petticoat to finish her picture.

Limit Bitch 3 (1A)

1st Lewis & Adams Fecimus She’s on Fire with Irisbel

Good depth of chest and nice front angulation, would prefer slightly more neck to allow her a better cleaner outline and flow through. A heavier set head piece but still has a gentle expression and nice tight eye. Lovely sound mover – showing good reach in front and lovely drive in the rear.

2nd Bebb-Sutton Cochen Flamenco

A different type and style to 1st – At an in-between stage needing time to mature and develop more in depth and substance . Narrow on front assembly and just needs to ‘drop’ into her shape more.

Open

1st Bennett Nadavin Ursella with Jesham

Shorter all round in both height and length. Good depth of brisket and spring of rib – head ok with nice dark eye but would prefer more of an oval shape as gives her a slightly harsh look. Needs more coat to complete the picture. Moved with drive covering the ground well at the correct pace.

Veteran Bitch 2 (1B)

1st Wheeler Tayowen Touch of Elixir

At 7 ½ showing that Fields don’t stop in veteran but just mature up and carry on showing how the youngsters should do it. Correct height and a lovely body full of substance and power, just as it should be. Lovely depth of chest and good spring of rib – correct strong loin, lovely angulation on rear with good rear pasterns and nice width of thigh. Moved with drive and purpose not too fast to really show the unhurried stride the Field has. Delighted to award her RCC, just loosing out on the CC to the youngster on the day.

Good Citizen 4 (3A)

1st McVitty Sonnetend Faith

2nd Wheeler Tayowen Touch of Elixar

3rd Smith Ewtor Affinity for Flyenpyp JW SHCM

A lovely trio of ladies – my hardest class of the day as knew my CC and RCC were from this class after judging them earlier and really put them all through their paces in this class. Such a shame for 3rd to come up against 2 smashing examples of the breed – I would have loved to have more top awards to give out to these 3 – thank you for bringing them under me.

Ms Gretel Osborn (Elgert)

Field Spaniel Judge