• Show Date: 12/03/2022
  • Show Type: Championship Show
  • Judged by: Lucy Koster Contact Judge
  • Published Date: 28/07/2023


Breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Bitches

Stepping onto the famous green carpet in Ring 34 on the morning of Saturday 12th March 2022 fulfilled the dream of a 10 year old girl from some 40+ yrs ago.

From starting as an enthusiastic Junior Handler, this has been my lifes’ ambition ever since – to judge at Crufts….the most famous dog show in the world - and to finally have that dream become reality was a very surreal, emotional moment.

It goes without saying, my dearest wish was that my best friend and always biggest supporter – my Mum – could have shared that moment with me, but I knew she was there in spirit.

It was a pleasure to share the experience with my co-judge Gordon Inglis, whose Craigowl cavaliers have been a constant source of both quality and type in all the years I have been showing.

I want to thank everyone who entered their girls for my perusal and opinion. And that is what I gave you….my opinion, on that day, of what was presented to me.

Much has been said about the downward spiral of numbers attending and exhibiting at shows, as well as the quality being shown across the board. Sadly, I think this could be the start of the demise of our sport as we know it – although I sincerely hope not.

The advent of social media is responsible for a lot of this imho, with every latest win plastered on our screens day in and day out….and relentlessly ongoing campaigns. Please don’t judge the (your) dogs on the latest ‘cutsie’ photos, or most recent show wins posted on Facebook, or even the comments these things usually attract. It will do our breed, and ultimately the dog show world no favours whatsoever.

With regard to the quality at present in our breed, as I recently read (ironically on Facebook) a statement that probably sums it up on the whole:-

“Bring Your Breed Up to ‘The Standard’……….Not Bring the Standard Down to What You are Breeding

That said….I was very pleased with my short list of 5 from my final line-up, and thrilled beyond measure to see my CC winner, and with full agreement from my co-judge, our BOB, take a fabulous Group 3.

Finally I’d like to thank my Steward(s) who kept the ring running smoothly for me.

A day for the memory banks that I will treasure always.

Veteran Bitch (13, 3)

I couldn’t have wished for a better start to the day than this wonderful collection of ‘oldies’ Always one of my favourite classes, this has to be one of the best I’ve judged.

1ST: Callaghan & Todds’ Tillashby Northern Star at Callyspride JW ShCM

Absolutely loved this beautiful girl. A well-marked blen, she was carrying a lovely flowing coat, which was put down in excellent condition. She has the most enchanting head and expression, large dark eyes, still with black halos, and super nose pigment. Reachy neck, on good shoulders. The most fabulous topline and tail set, carrying her tail as an extension to her spine - perfect. Add to this, a neat compact body, with good bone and substance, at 10 years of age, I couldn’t not include her in my final 5…and after about 5 more laps of the ring, she still looked as good as when I first saw her in this class.

Without hesitation we made her our BVIB

2ND: Conlon & Kotanis’ Ch/Ir Ch Rathbrist Whispering Hope

Another beautiful blen, not dissimilar in type to 1. Was giving a little away in age here at just 7 ½, another one possessing the most wonderful head & expression, that, I have to say, got harder to find as the day went on. In fabulous coat, she pushed 1 all the way. A worthy title holder.

3RD: Rees’ Embeth Bonny Boat JW

Minor Puppy Bitch (1,0)

1ST: Longs’ Arroline Sweet Pea

Standing alone, this raw baby is going to be a slow burner. She possesses plenty of promise, being nicely marked and of a good size. She moved ok, just needs to tighten all through.

Puppy Bitch (7,1)

1ST: Claydons’ Brymarden May Blossom

Mature blen of 10 mths, this bitch is the loveliest size & shape…from her graceful neck through to her neat short back, and good hind angulation. I liked the way she held herself so naturally standing, and on the move….she was very sure footed, showing an easy driving gait. A pretty head with lovely dark eyes, and good balance – it still needs to break, but I’ve no doubt she will be one for the top drawer when all the pieces come together. With Mr Inglis’ agreement she was our BPIB

2ND: Spall & Clarks’ Llapsttam Sent from Heaven

Well coated ruby standing 2nd….lost out to the showmanship and sassiness of the girl above. Had the most beautiful eyes which were large & round, with jet black nose. Needs to fill a little under the eye and develop overall, to soften the outlook & expression.

3RD: Fox-Shones’ Pamedna Love Me Tender

Junior Bitch (15,0)

1ST: Lovels’ Juzandia Sennan at Lovetrac

Really loved this lighter marked blen girl…..fresh from her CC win the week before, and I could see why. Bred in the purple, to me, she is absolutely the culmination of her impressive ancestry, some of whom I have had the good fortune to know and judge. I did wonder whether I might have found my CC winner here, so early on in the day. She has so many of the attributes I look for. A wonderful head-piece with well-set ears, framing the loveliest of faces. Enormous eyes, so full of charm. Well developed muzzle, with good lipline, giving a balanced outlook. Good neck on well laid shoulders, melding onto a short back, with level topline and good angles all through. Not in the most profuse of coats, but what she had was nicely presented and of correct colours. She is at one with her owner, and his sympathetic handling of her only enhanced all of her many qualities.

I pulled her into my final 5 and was literally splitting hairs between her and my eventual CC winner – a toss of the coin could have seen it go differently!! Pleased to award her the Res CC in good company.

2ND: Bowles-Robinsons’ Arrowbien Salome

Have spotted this bitch from the ringside in the past, so was pleased to get the chance to judge her. I found another nicely made bitch, with an awful lot to like. Really useful size, with plenty of bone. Nicely covered and in good coat. Moved well with plenty of drive coming and going, just didn’t have the overall finish of Sennan, but with luck could be destined for greater things.

3RD: Rixs’ Stavonga Shot Silk at Ricksbury NAF TAF Cnaf

Yearling Bitch (14,2)

1ST: Conlon & Kotanis’ Rathbrist Whatchulookinat

Another lovely girl from this kennel and very much in the same mould. Gorgeous head, huge dark eyes, well filled foreface and correctly set & carried ears. In good coat which was well-marked and of a good texture. She powered round the ring, driving from her well angulated quarters. Lots to like about this sound honest girl who I’m sure will have her place in the spotlight.

2ND: Jacksons’ Fortunamajor Shining Star

The more I looked at this well made blen, the more I liked. Scored for size, with plenty of bone & substance. Useful type, showed a lovely outline on the stack and was nice to go over on the table. Appealing head with all the attributes synonymous with the breed. Close up to 1.

3RD: Cukic & Jovanovics’ Gentle Star Halle Berry

Undergraduate Bitch (18,3)

1ST: Homes’ Leogem Winter Melody

Ten years ago, I judged bitches at a breed Club show. The novice class came in and as I scanned round, I remember my eyes falling on a blen, and I felt the hairs on my arms stand up. Every judge hopes that they will find a dog that triggers that reaction, give them that ‘goosebumps’ moment. I’d had it once before with a beautiful tri boy, then 10 year ago……and here it was happening again. The cause of this feeling was a divine blen that I spotted across the ring before the class started. She was standing, gazing up at her owner, gently wagging her tail.….I could have turned back the clock. Her shape is everything I covet; to me she is like a cut out of the breed standard….every component fitting together in lovely flowing lines. Her head is exquisite; she permanently holds her ears in position so always appears alert & interested. They frame a neat face, nicely filled without being overdone. Lovely eyes, with such character. It was hard to find fault with her on closer inspection….super neck & shoulders – her front legs sitting nicely under her - blending onto a compact body with good spring of rib, and neat loin. She has well-muscled quarters, with nicely let down hocks which allowed her to drive round the ring effortlessly, and it was here that she ultimately scored over Sennan. As with some dogs, they are so intent on the job in hand that they forget to wag…but move them round and they come alive. So it was with her, and I make no apologies to the exhibitors or spectators for sending them around again & again in the final line up just for the sheer joy of watching her. Then that bitch from 10 yrs popped into my head…one of my very favourites…Ch Leogem Rhapsody, and I couldn’t resist awarding her grand-daughter her first CC to hopefully set her off on as stellar a career as her grandmother had. In agreement with my co-judge…she was our BOB and it was with sheer delight that I watched her put in a supreme performance to take GROUP 3 in a stunning Toy Group.

2ND: Rixs’ Stavonga Sea Change at Ricksbury NAF TAF Cnaf

Another sound, nicely put together blen standing a size bigger all over. Whilst she didn’t appeal to me as much as 1 in head properties, she ticks all the proverbial boxes as laid down in the standard. She holds a lovely shape whilst standing and moves true both coming and going. Today she couldn’t match 1 for coat or condition, but I did appreciate why, at still a young age, she has already made a name for herself in the show ring.

3RD: Stantons’ Cassandy Forget Me Not

Graduate Bitch (16,3)

1ST: Rogersons’ Rabymar Isla Negra

Very pretty, petite b&t in good coat. Had the sweetest of heads, with a nice flat topskull, well set ears and large limpid eyes giving the softest of expressions. She was lovely size, neat and compact with adequate neck and lay of shoulder. Short back, good rib and good turn of stifle. Moved out nicely, with lovely proud head carriage and holding a level topline.

2ND: Longs’ Arroline Elixir

Another quality b&t, didn’t appeal as much as 1 in head properties. Loved her shape on the stack and was nice to go over. Today, just couldn’t match 1 for topline and hind movement.

3RD: Hogans’ Stavonga Skylark

Post Graduate Bitch (10,1)

1ST: Galloways’ Russmic Miss Liberty at Sailcross

This well coated ruby headed this rather disappointing class. She really scored on head properties with lovely eyes, being the desired colour and shape. Nicely cushioned muzzle and foreface, framed by ears that were profusely fringed. Decent neck on adequate shoulders, and good hind quarters. Moved ok both ways.

2ND: Lewis’ Carleeto Brown Sugar

Another shapely ruby who was a fabulously rich red that you rarely see in rubies these days. Lovely bone & substance, loved her outline on the move, keeping a super topline and carrying her tail well. Thought she might have been my class winner on first look, just a little too strong in head for me. These 2 girls stood away in this class.

3RD: Oxmans’ Sweet Lake Superstar Its Amazing for Ulverscroft (Imp Nld)

Mid Limit Bitch (9,2)

1ST: Claydons’ Brymarden Breeze

Absolutely loved the shape of this well marked blen. Superb neck, correctly laid shoulders and short level back. Excellent hind quarters, nicely muscled (lacking in so many today) with lovely short hocks. Pleasing head, gorgeous eyes of just the right size and colour, giving a really kind outlook. Very much in the same mould as her young kennel mate….not quite the pigment today of others in the line up.

2ND: Hughes’ Lorankas Secret Potion

Have admired this b&t from the ring side on a few occasions so was pleased to have her under me. Was not disappointed on closer inspection….liked her on the table….just my sort of bitch. But today she let herself down on the move and stack. Didn’t seem to be the happiest here and this showed in the way she carried herself, not being able to match 1 for topline.

3RD: Maclaines’ Lochbuie Graffiti

Limit Bitch (4,0)

1ST: Lovels’ Lovetrac Theodora

Beautifully headed blen….copybook springs to mind. Wonderful eyes that seem to look into your soul….well set and carried ears, framing a nicely tapered muzzle and well filled foreface. Liked her outline…nice fluid lines, with everything fitting where it should and showing good angles all through. A happy showgirl, she can occasionally get a little exhuberant on the go round and not hold her topline as strongly as I would want, but I liked enough of what I saw though to include her in my final 5. One for the top drawer with ordinary luck.

2ND: Cunninghams’ Verheyen Kalinda

Lighter marked blen of quality. Another lovely shape, although a tad longer in loin than 1. Pretty head with soft, gentle expression, moved well striding out with ease….covering the ground effortlessly.

3RD: Lewis’ Carleeto Satine

Open Bitch (13,1)

1ST: Cunninghams’ Ch Verheyen Violet

This little blen is one that I have often admired from the ringside, so was hoping I might get first-hand experience to see what the buzz was about. I wasn’t disappointed. She is of a truly lovely size, well balanced and all in proportion. Her heavier marked jacket is of good colours, in great condition and profuse. She is really nice and short without being dumpy. Add to this a lovely head piece with large limpid eyes and kind expression and I can see why she has the Ch before her name. I have noted that she isn’t the strongest behind, sometimes lacking the true drive that I like to see, and this is as it was today. Nonetheless a quality bitch who can wear her Champions crown with pride.

2ND: Loades’ Rosirius Bluebell

Have judged this lovely blen girl before. I liked her then and still do. She has the softest of heads, with lovely eyes and outlook. Well set ears, framing her nicely cushioned muzzle and foreface. She is a lovely shape and age hasn’t diminished this. At 6 yrs, she gave a lot away in age to the youngsters in this class, but in my opinion she is a quality bitch who was unlucky not to go onto higher things.

3RD: Vellas’ Ch Miletree Mardiegrass

Good Citizen Dog Scheme Bitch (8,1)

1ST: Players’ Anickily Pandora

Profusely coated b&t. Pretty head, with soft, kind expression. Nice size, and an appealing shape. Really liked her type, but maybe carrying a lb or 2 more than she needs.

2ND: Parsons’ Anjomil Harvest Moon

Have watched this petite, blanketed blen with interest over the last 12 mths or so. I’ve seen her have really good days, and I’ve seen her have really off days. Sadly today was one of the latter. She just would not play ball and seemed determined to hide the lovely attributes that I know she has. Such a shame

3RD: Dawsons’ Luphenex Little Lady Katie

Judge: Lucy Koster