• Show Date: 06/05/2018
  • Show Type: Open/Limited/Sanction
  • Judged by: Becky Johnson Contact Judge
  • Published Date: 02/11/2020

South Of England Gundog Club


I should like to thank the Officers and Committee for their extremely generous invitation to judge Best in Show for the South Of England Gundog Club. I had a thoroughly enjoyable day and was extremely impressed by the depth of quality in both groups - so much so that I could have taken a longer short list in both and all my shortlisted dogs were well worthy of a place. Thanks must also go to those that stewarded for me throughout the day and the whole committee who run such a friendly and well organised show.

Lagotto Romagnolo

Junior (2, 1)

1st McAllister’s Mizani Diorbe of Slovakia. I thought this 11 month old puppy was absolutely cracking. Beautifully balanced with square outline. Excellent head shape with skull slightly longer than muzzle and slight stop. Short, slightly arched neck leading through to well laid shoulder and upper arm of equal length. Chest deep and reaching to elbows. Forelegs of a good length and well boned. Well sprung rib with short loin leading through to well made hindquarters and correctly angulated stifles. Coat wholly throughout with evenly spread curls. Accurate, ground covering movement with plenty of rear drive. BOB, BP and RBPIS.

Open (2,1 )

1st Stephenson’s Emmroche Borghesa at Timtaurin. Well balanced all through. Head of correct proportions with round eyes and correctly set ears. Short neck leading through to well laid shoulder and return of upper arm. Well sprung ribcage with short loin. Good length of lower thigh. Coat wholly with well spread curls. Moved accurately - not quite holding the topline of the junior winner in the challenge. RBOB.

Spanish Water Dog

Junior (2)

1st Palumbo - Rainethyme Memory Keeper. I thought this puppy was lovely. Well balanced with correct height to length ratio. Head of correct proportions being longer in skull than muzzle. High set ears leading to strong neck and correct forehand angulation. Well sprung ribcage with short loin. Moderately angulated hindquarters with well developed second thigh. Dense thick coat. Movement was accurate both coming and going and showed an excellent side gait when viewed in profile. BP and 4th BPIS.

2nd Spencer’s Valentisimo’s Vasco Balboa. Longer cast than the winner. Correct head shape with skull longer than muzzle. Strong neck leading to correctly angulated forequarters. Deep chest reaching to the elbows and well sprung ribcage. A little longer in loin than I would prefer and I would like a little more moderation in the rear angulation. Moved on a good stride.

Post Graduate (2)

1st Egginton’s Valentisimo’s Brianna. Well balanced of correct length to height ratio. Excellent head shape - longer in skull than muzzle. Muscular neck leading to well laid shoulder and corresponding return of upper arm. Chest deep with tight elbows. Well sprung ribcage and strong hindquarters. I would like a more moderate bend of stifle and a little more definition of second thigh. Gave her handler a hard time on the move but once settled showed a good stride. Excellent coat texture. RBOB.

2nd Valentisimo’s Vasco Balboa

Open (1) 

1st Donaldson & Palumbo - Prizelands You’re The One For Rainethyme. Well balanced all through. Head of correct proportions with dark eye and high ear set. Strong, well muscled neck. Slightly heavy over the shoulders. Deep chest with elbows close to body. Well sprung ribcage with short loin. Hindquarters strong and powerful - moderate rear angulation with well defined second thigh. Dense coat. Accurate movement with good rear drive. BOB

Veteran Stakes

I always enjoy judging veterans and today was no exception - all were shown in immaculate condition and belied their years.

7 - 9 years (12, 5)

1st Barry’s Sh Ch Rustasha Rhapsody In Red ShCM. IRWS. One that I have done very well previously and no reason to change my opinion today. He is beautifully balanced all through displaying an athletic yet totally unexaggerated outline. Skull broad with defined stop and kind expression. Clean neck leading to well laid shoulder and correct angulation of upper arm. Deep chest with correct spring of rib. Strong, well muscled hindquarters. Powerful movement with excellent side gait viewed in profile - holding his topline at all times. Shown in excellent coat and condition. A pleasure to judge him again and award him BVIS. In the competition for BIS he continued to give his all - a big ring is made for a long striding dog. Delighted to award him RBIS.

2nd Smith’s Sh Ch Zavis Miami. Hungarian Vizsla. Excellent overall balance. Clean head with a noble expression. Clean, slightly arched neck leading to excellent forehand construction. Short in back with well sprung ribcage. Well made hindquarters with moderate angulation. Nails could be shorter. Moved well on a good even stride .

3rd Deering’s Rosetimber Foxy Breeze - English Setter

10 years plus (5, 3)

1st Barry’s Sh Ch Shireoak Hurricane Ruby Rushtasha (Imp Can). IRWS. At 12 1/2 years old this lady certainly belies her years. Excellent balance with athletic outline. True head with dark eye and kind expression. Well laid shoulder, deep chest and well sprung rib cage. Still holding her topline both stacked and on the move. Moved soundly and well.

2nd Brooksmith & Adams - Smartbay Vintage Gold ShCM. Pointer. 10 years old. Good overall balance. True head with well defined chiselling beneath the eyes. Clean neck. I would prefer a little more forehand angulation. Well ribbed back. Excellent hindquarters with long stifles and short hocks. Not quite the accuracy in movement as the winner.

Best In Show

A very strong group from which most of the Best of Breed winners were present. The ring was opened out to three times the size so that the dogs had every opportunity to show off their movement. I shortlisted 8 dogs - Brittany (Sh Ch Bonapartist Iryssa), GSP (Fireworth Firenze ShCM), IRWS (Sh Ch Rustasha Rhapsody In Red ShCM), Italian Spinone (Sh Ch Afterglow I’m Coming Out for Affilato), Golden Retriever (Rosgar Autumnal Bliss), Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever ( Macdreams Trent from Cashal Vale JW), Cocker Spaniel (Rojoys Chase The Dream JW ShCM) and the Welsh Springer Spaniel (Shannara Total Eclipse). All would have been worthy of a place and I was spoilt for choice. It was a very close call.

BIS Cocker Spaniel. Super square outline - typical “merry Cocker” attitude - put her heart and soul in to the job - her movement both out and back was accurate and she showed good forward reach when viewed in profile. Her tail never stopped wagging throughout. Shown in excellent coat and condition

RBIS Irish Red and White Setter

BIS 3 Welsh Springer Spaniel - very smart dog who commanded attention. True head with pleading expression. Excellent forehand construction. Strong hindquarters with driving movement. 

BIS 4 Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Excellent overall balance with good length of leg. Scores in forehand construction and well muscled hindquarters. Totally workmanlike and free from exaggeration. Super sound movement - he would have gone around that ring all day with ease.

Best Puppy In Show

Probably one of the best puppy groups I have judged for some time. Such was the strength that I had to leave out good puppies that I would have otherwise shortlisted. I shortlisted 9 Brittany (Pataouche Nuit Noire), GSP (Graygees Gigolo), Pointer (Hookwood Lennox), Lagotto (Mizani Diorbe of Slovakia), Golden Retriever (Rosgar Dolly O’Dare among Mossburn), Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (Tivalake Anything Goes at Tollisty), English Springer Spaniel (Peasblossom Untamed), Welsh Springer Spaniel (Julita Rhubette) and the SWD (Rainethyme Memory Keeper). As in the adult group all would have been worthy of a place. It was a long day for them but they all continued to give their best.

BPIS English Springer. I thought this bitch was stunning. Correct outline with nothing exaggerated. True head and expression. Excellent forehand construction with well sprung rib and well made hindquarters. Flowed round the ring totally at one with her handler and presented in tip top condition. I shall watch her with interest - must have a very bright future.

RBIS Lagotto 

BP3 Welsh Springer Spaniel. Such a typical example of this breed with a true head and soft expression. Totally correct for age. Well laid shoulder, correct topline with slight rise over the loin and well made hindquarters. Totally confident on the move.

BP4 Spanish Water Dog

I would like to extend especial thanks to Sheena Lill (Chief Steward) and Netty Morrissey for stewarding the groups and keeping everything running so well.

Becky A Johnson