• Show Date: 07/03/2019
  • Show Type: Championship Show
  • Judged by: Patricia Harrison Contact Judge
  • Published Date: 02/11/2020


Breed: Retriever (Labrador)

Retriever (Labrador) (Dogs)

It was a huge honour to be invited to judge Labrador dogs at Crufts and a real joy to have so many lovely dogs to go over. My thanks therefore go to the Crufts Committee for the invitation and to you, the exhibitors, for entering. The classes were well filled and I was impressed by the overall standard of the exhibits, but, of course, there are only five awards to be made in each class, so many decisions were close and might well be different on another day. Even to be “pulled out” for further consideration is an achievement in such good company.

I felt that owners had really made an effort to present their dogs in fit condition and with no excess weight. The other point of concern on the Health Monitoring Form sent to judges of our breed is shortness of leg. Again, I felt that breeders had paid attention to this issue, which is all good news. Another matter worth considering is eye colour. While very light eyes are undesirable, the breed standard calls for brown or hazel. It does not ask for almost black. I was looking for dogs displaying balance and breed type, with sound movement. Head, coat and tail are particularly important features in the Labrador. The standard does ask for a broad skull, but in some cases I felt that heads were “bully”.

 A few coats were rather soft (particularly in some yellows) and I did wonder if the true otter tail had gone out of fashion. Having said that, I was delighted with my class placements and my final line-up, all of whom fulfilled the breed standard as I interpret it.

A lot of yellows were lacking pigment on their noses (winter nose!) but I made allowances for this in otherwise outstanding examples of the breed.

I can’t finish this note without paying special tribute to my wonderful senior steward, Mrs. Barbara Gentleman, and her assistant, Mrs. Rourke-Knights. What a team! My job was made so much easier because of their efficiency and attention to detail. They had everything at their fingertips and made sure that I was able to complete my judging in good time, so that those who organize the Group judging were not in a state of panic over our breed!

Veteran    (25, 6 absent)

What a wonderful class to start the day.

1.    Cain’s Sh Ch Southridge Sky Rocket to Hannabee

A really smart black of 7 years, standing four-square on good legs and feet, in fit condition, very sound on the move and presenting a really balanced picture, carrying a correct double coat and well-shaped tail. Nice angles fore and aft, and achieving Best Veteran in Breed later in the day. I see from my catalogue that he is the sire of the VHC placement in Undergraduate

2.    Cuthbert’s Sh Ch Ballyduff Marius

Another stylish black of almost 8 years, with a pleasing masculine head and expression. He is correct in construction and moved enthusiastically. An unexaggerated lab and sensible showman. He reminded me of the Ballyduffs I saw in the ring with Mrs. Docking when I first started showing.

3.    Woodley’s Sh Ch Secret Moment at Alkamhurst

This yellow of nearly 8 carried his years lightly. So well made throughout, good bone and lovely topline both standing and moving. Masculine without coarseness and covering the ground well in this big ring.

4.    Schmidt’s CIB/CIE/DKUCH/NOUCH/SEUCH Wallwein’s Quite Easy

5.    Thorpe’s Taph’s Tango JW

Minor Puppy (1)

 Campbell’s Binnaig Benavie

 What a lovely yellow puppy of just 8 months. He is of a good make and shape, with a very balanced head and lovely pigment. Super topline which he retained when moving, and this he did with some style for one so young. Although alone in this class I made him Best Puppy Dog over the next class winner and, on the referee’s decision later in the day, he was awarded Best Puppy in Breed.  

Puppy (11)

1.    Smith’s Flyenpyg Porky Pig

This smart yellow was well made throughout, had good pigment which enhanced his expression, carried a correct coat and moved with purpose on nice tight feet.

2.    McLellan’s Saranden Pensacola

At almost 10 months of age this chocolate is developing along the right lines. Nicely constructed, good spring of rib, and with lovely eye colour and pigment, he covered the ground really well.

3.    Brown’s Ramsayville Revolver

This 10 month old black is well off for bone, has a firm topline. His coat was a bit “in-between” but was of correct texture, and he moved soundly with good tail carriage.

4.    Druggan’s A Sense of Pleasure’s Get Lucky (Imp Deu)

5.    Lambert’s Treantagh Sedge with Mattand  

Junior (24, 3)

A fantastic class of really promising youngsters.

1.    Douglas’s Talard Cee Three Pee Ohh

A special name for a special dog! This young, darker yellow, is beautifully made, good angles and shoulder placement, kindest of heads and with a good double coat and nicely carried tail. Really reached out on the move, and one I considered at the end of the day for top honours. His day will surely come.

2.    Metcalfe’s Carromer Jack Flash to Baileydale JW, BelJCh

A stylish youngster, so attentive to his skilful handler, not quite in his best coat today, but short coupled, with excellent front, kind head and lovely free movement.

3.    Baker & Judd’s Harpitt’s Minnie Mack

A lovely chocolate, with good eye colour and pigment, masculine in head but without coarseness, he presented a very tidy, balanced picture, was in fit condition and went well on the move.

4.    Percival’s Wynfaul the Wicked

5.    Quick & James’s Farnfield Tamzaneti

Yearling (26, 4)

Another highly competitive class

1. Druggan’s A Sense of Pleasure’s El Toro at Balladoole

At 18 months there is more to come from this black, but I was really impressed with him. He is balanced in head and body, with lovely angles, good leg length and strong quarters, which gave him positive, sound movement. He carries a true labrador coat. Another to whom I gave serious further consideration in the challenge.

2.    Walton’s Gallybob Marmalade

Not a big one, but this pale yellow of 22 months is of good overall construction, with pleasing head and expression and coat of correct texture. He stood four-square, was in fit condition and moved with drive.

3.    Campbell’s Kimbajak Bollinger Similar in age to the second placed, this short-coupled yellow had good pigmentation, a pleasing balanced head, correct front and rear angles and moved well on good feet and legs.

4.    Lesley’s Aramis Britannica Archipelago at Steeleigh (Imp Ltu, JW)

5. Benzi’s Helen’s Mirakle Ideal Miky Flies for Us (RSM, J Ch)

Undergraduate (18, 1)

1. Hodgkiss’s Dinnozo Top Notch Alfie

At just over two years this impressive yellow is surely coming to his best. He is correctly made throughout, with lovely angles, good topline both standing and moving, kindest of heads enhanced by lovely pigment and presenting a balanced unexaggerated picture. In fit condition, he was a sound, easy mover. One of my finds of the day! He deserved and got the Res. CC.

2.    Kennett’s Magnavalleys Cornishman

A lovely balanced black, of good construction, carrying a correct double waterproof coat. He was shown in hard condition, good spring of rib, and moved with drive off strong quarters.

3.    Haynes’s Sandylands Fun Time

This mature, substantial, well made black, was fit for purpose, carried a good coat and tail, stood on well-boned legs and moved freely.

4.    McGillivray’s Antonine Charley Barley JW

5.    Cain’s Hannabee Rocket Mission

Graduate (20, 4)

1.    Rawlinson & Balshaw’s Halshimoor Pitch Battle at Shanorrell

Lively yellow of substance, carrying a true Labrador coat with a hard feel to the topcoat, his head is masculine but showing a soft expression, and he has a powerful neck into well laid shoulders. Well off for bone and muscle, he moved effortlessly. He will not be two years old for several more months, and as he reaches full maturity I’m sure he will have even more success.

2.    King’s Linthwaite Excalibur JW

This yellow just coming up to two years old is approaching full maturity. A stongly made dog, but with no coarseness, being pleasing in head, with kind eyes. Nice reach of neck, and good sloping shoulders, leading to a level back. He made good use of the ring when asked to move.

3.    Davey’s Clanfield Rosy Outlook

Almost two years old, this black is very balanced in head and body, with everything in proportion. His coat and tail and his eye colour are as required in the breed standard, and he was very sound on the move.

4. Hayward’s Donacre Peaky Blinder

5.    Bambrook’s Marshwiggle Shakespeare at Ravoakar JW

Post Graduate (16, 3)

1.    Ellis & Matulla’s Dolwen Button Moon JW

A mature chocolate of pleasing proportions, with kind expression enhanced by lovely eye colour. He was well angulated front and rear with good second thigh, had a well-set otter tail and good double coat, in fit condition and moving soundly to complete the picture.

2.    Carpanini’s Carpenny Pitch

A pleasing black of good construction, kind masculine head, well placed shoulders, carrying a good double coat and moving with drive. He presented a balanced picture.

3. Phillips’ Sheenaron Merry Charlston

Well built mature black, balanced in head, short coupled, with well turned stifles and presented in good muscular condition. Good double coat and moved positively.

4.    Rowley’s Treantagh Rainbow Warrior JW

5    McKenna’s Warringah’s Kobble Creek

Mid Limit (23, 1)

1.    Braddon’s Trendlewood Born to Run JW

An outstanding specimen of the breed, displaying substance but without being overdone in any way. I thought his head was balanced, with a soft expression, and his body properties fulfilled the standard, including a clean neck, long sloping shoulders and a lovely level topline. He moved with drive off strong quarters and well let down hocks. In the final line-up I was delighted to award the CC to this dog who stood in very distinguished company. Perhaps his owner was overcome as she didn’t tell me it was his third, but other people did!

2.    Gaskell’s Sharouns Ventriloquist for Tempaskell JW

Another sound yellow of pleasing construction, short coupled, with correct angles and well placed shoulders, his good pigment enhanced his expression, correct coat and well set-on tail, he moved in style.

3.    Parrott’s Lougin Loki

This mature black was very well made throughout. He has a balanced head and soft expression, carries a double coat with a hard feel to it and a well-shaped tail. He moved well to gain this spot in a quality class.

4.    Litherland’s Oakhouse Oh Two

5.    Young’s Potterspiney Killian

Limit (17, 1)

Three darker yellows headed this good class, and all carried proper double coats with a hard feel to the topcoat.

1.    Mills’ Lembas Sweeney Tod JW

This six year old was shown in fit condition, was well made, short-coupled and had a lovely head and expression and good pigment. He stood four-square, had good wide loins and had good front extension when moving.

2.    Britton’s Bowstones Pumpkin

This short-coupled 3-year-old is just coming to his best. He is nicely constructed, with correct angles fore and aft, and has a beautifully balanced head and soft expressive eyes. He stands on good bone and feet and moved effortlessly.

3.    Miles’ Llanstinan Sugar Daddy JW

This smart two-and-a-half year old is quite mature for his age and was shown in very fit condition. Well off for bone, he has a good front, level topline and carried his otter tail well on the move. Slightly stronger in head than the first two.

4.    Southwell’s Driffwold Blue Print JW

5.    Elliott’s Winsleywood Wild Joker of Lyndham

Open (32, 5)

1.    Hepper’s Sh Ch Mardas All Blacks JW

A very tidy black with kind head and nice length and depth of muzzle. Correct in construction and coat, presented in firm condition, he moved with drive and looked very balanced and unexaggerated and clean in outlline. Typical of this kennel and a very worthy champion.

2.    Bailiss’s Sh Ch Tissalian Hi Jack JW

Different in type from my winner, this well known yellow is undoubtedly a quality dog of good shape and make, with good angles, correct coat and level topline. A sound mover, and certainly deserving of his success.

3.    Percival’s Wynfaul the Wizard JW

This four-year-old black is not a big one, but he has a pleasing head, is beautifully balanced, has good bone and a true double coat and well set-on otter tail. He moved well on tight feet and was presented in fit condition.

4.    Goded & Uson’s Int/Esp/Mex Ch Loretta Labs Hidden Ace at Bolskan

5.    Marskell’s Berolee Didier Drogba

Field Trial (6, 2)

1.    Rose’s Briwed Magic at Leospring

A happy fit-for-purpose fox red, this 4 year-old has the kindest of heads, displays good proportions throughout and moves enthusiastically. As you would expect, paying full attention to his handler.

2.    Miles’ Sault Samish of Meonvalley

Another fox red, 5 years of age, shown in fit condition, carrying a correct weather-proof coat, displaying a happy disposition and covering the ground well on the move.

3.    Newitt’s Diglake Charlie

This yellow of nearly 7 years had a kind head, was a little light on bone, but was clearly capable of fulfilling the task he was bred for. Attentive to his handler.

4.    Jenkins’ Blackhatch Ripple of Skeviot

Special Working Gundog (19, 3)  

1.    Coode’s Ch Warringah’s Perth JW, Sh CM

Well known yellow who will have his sixth birthday in a few months’ time. Kindest of heads and good body properties, presented in fit condition, carrying a good double coat, clean neck and well laid back shoulders to level topline. This balanced champion is a credit to his owner.

2.    Lambert’s Ch Mattand Exodus JW

A worthy champion, this yellow was presented in fit condition, carrying a correct coat and tail and standing on good bone and feet, his well muscled quarters enabled him to move with drive, I just preferred the head of the winner.

3.    Kaplenkova’s Int Ch/Fin/Fr/Rus/Lv Ch Mallorn’s Flintstone

Mature yellow dog, displaying all the breed requirements, kind in head and expression, good wide loins, correct angles front and rear and keeping his good topline when asked to move, which he did with purpose. Mallorn’s is a kennel I very much admired when I judged in Finland some years ago

. 4.    Finney’s Play on Words

5.    Rassi’s Ch Lupo Di Fiocchi E Gocce

Good Citizen Dog Scheme (14, 1)

1.  Hodgkiss’s Dinnozo Top Notch Alfie (1st in Undergrad)

2.    Smith’s Flyenpyg Porky Pig (1st in Puppy)

3.    Young’s Potterspiney Killian (VHC in Mid Limit) 4 year old black with pleasing outline, balanced kind head, good front and well turned stifles, firm in topline and with well set-on otter tail. Moved and showed well for his skilful young handler.

4.    Lambert’s Bannabeach Finding Nemo at Mattand (IKC)

5.    Logan’s Madgack Mulberry Minocqua

 Patricia Harrison (Stebel)