• Show Date: 13/02/2022
  • Show Type: Open/Limited/Sanction
  • Judged by: Ric Beall Contact Judge
  • Published Date: 28/07/2023

Southern Bernese Mountain Dog Club

Southern Bernese Mountain Dog Club

Open Show – 13th February 2022

I should like to thank the Officers & Committee of the Southern Bernese Mountain Dog Club for inviting me to officiate at their recent open show and to the exhibitors for affording me the opportunity of judging some quality examples of this charming breed. I was ably supported in the smooth running of the ring by Mick Brind who, as ever, was the consummate steward.

I was made to feel exceptionally welcome by both officials and exhibitors alike, all of whom accepted my decisions with good grace, showing audible support for the winners.

It was an extremely enjoyable and interesting day’s judging in that I found outlines varied - usually as a result of differing toplines which made a significant difference to overall make and shape. It was not always easy to find a firm, strong back (and not overly long) complimented by adequate length of leg to facilitate the workmanlike function of this lovely breed, but there were some quality examples who were justly rewarded. Heads, expressions, and condition of exhibits was generally very good indeed as were temperaments.

Puppy Dog (2, 1)

1. Meakin’s Bernsego Surburban (Imp Rus) TAF. Chunky 10 month old puppy dog with ample bone and substance. Whilst he was slightly unbalanced being a bit bum-high, he had good depth of body and overall presented a fairly compact outline. Strong, but well proportioned head with good length and strength to muzzle and pleasing flat skull. Lovely dentition, correct bite and good eye. Exuberant and outgoing in temperament. Needs to let down more behind as one would expect and firm up in loin as he matures. That said he used his quarters to advantage on the move with a purposeful gait. Best Puppy Dog and Best Puppy in Show.

Junior Dog (2, 1)

1. Peacocke & Plant’s Bobb vom Durbacher Wald. Well proportioned male of 15 months whose angles matched back and forth. Quite strong in head, but not exaggerated and complimented by kind eye I would have preferred a touch more length of neck but he had a good straight front and tight feet. Pleasing breadth across the front with adequate depth to brisket and presented in good muscular condition. Lovely ribbing, firm topline, strong loin leading into a good croup and very well muscled thighs. Displayed good, proud carriage on the move. He was a little close behind moving away but true coming towards me.

Special Yearling Dog (3, 1)

1. O’Toole’s Fortonpark Talk of the Town. Substantial boy of almost 2 years who pleased me for being well developed both in quarters and body. He was longer in loin than I would have ideally liked but had wonderful depth and breadth of chest. To improve overall balance I felt he could benefit from a touch more length of leg but there is still time for this to improve with full maturity. Head shape and strength was good and in proportion to body with flat skull, lovely eye and dentition. Lovely bone and strength throughout. Strong back, smooth, clean rump and croup into a good tailset. Carried himself well on the move with pleasing action coming towards me but another who needs to strengthen behind when going away.

Graduate Dog (3)

1. Peacocke & Plant’s Bobb vom Durbacher Wald.

2. Stephenson’s Bernarks Mount Snowdon. 3 year old lad who, being slightly lighter in bone, did not have the overall strength and substance of the winner. That said, I was pleased with his clean outline, being neither too short nor cobby and he had a lovely flat topline. Just enough strength to head which was of good shape and mounted on a moderate length of neck. Reasonable depth of chest and brisket with adequate angulation fore and aft. I would have preferred a stronger group and more muscle overall but he was able to move purposefully around the ring.

3. Austen’s Kernow Blue Mist. 2 year old male not dissimilar to second in make and shape, but I would have preferred greater strength and substance and felt he would benefit from more body as he matures. His head shape was in proportion, if lighter than 1 and 2, but certainly not effeminate in any way with just enough bone and good feet. Fairly compact in overall outline complimented by reasonable angulation at shoulder and stifle. Sound and steady on the move.

Limit Dog (4)

1. Cotton’s Kernow Billy No Mates at Jukesbern. Very smart 3 ½ year old male who was put down in excellent condition and coat. He had a striking outline complimented by good angles and pleasing balance of height to length of back which flowed into a good croup. Masculine in head, being well proportioned with good strength to muzzle but without exaggeration in lip or skull. Lovely dentition. He stood on good feet with slightly flexed pasterns. I Liked his length of neck and good depth to front. Due to his natural exuberance I found him powerful but a little erratic on the move and I should have liked to see greater extension in front. However, he maintained a good outline both standing and moving which took him to the top of this class.

2. King, Green & Dedman’s Parwizz Vom Durrbachler Wald at Arvela (Imp Nld). Powerful and strong male of almost 3 ½ years. Strong, masculine head which whilst not unattractive I did find to be rather too deep in stop compared to the winner. Overall his basic make and shape was good with lovely, well developed quarters and he appeared quite mature. Scored in feet and bone, but pasterns could have been a touch stronger. A strong topline but not as level as that of the winner which meant he could not quite overcome the overall outline and balance of first. Pleasing croup and good width of thigh which served him well on the move.

3. Stephenson’s Kernow Something Perfect. Mature boy of 5 ½ years with a pleasing and expressive head. Although I would have preferred a greater length of neck and angulation of both fore and hindquarters these angles did match and accordingly his outline was smart and balanced if a little too compact. He was of strong coupling supported by a firm, level topline and stood on lovely feet. Very sound on the move, but greater length of back would possibly have allowed him to demonstrate cleaner and more efficient reach and drive.

Open Dog (1)

1. Cotton’s Ch. Shirdees Greatest Showman at Jukesbern. Only 2 years old, and I appreciate that this is a slow maturing breed, but this strong and stylish dog pleased me immensely with his powerful, practical outline which was so well balanced. A powerful and all masculine dog, but still workmanlike and free from exaggeration, with excellent carriage standing and on the move. Scored in head for good stop and furrow with enough development to lips without being overdone. Very good length of neck flowing cleanly into a strong topline of good length. Lovely bone and feet supported by good pasterns and enough light under his legs for them to move with ease beneath him. Strong, straight front with well laid shoulders and corresponding angulation at rear. Good width from front to back. He was in very good coat and condition making him a pleasure to go over. Very good side gait which was accurate and workmanlike with lovely strength of hock which he used to advantage. Rather proud of his tail on the move, but this was outweighed by his virtues. Very pleased to award him Best Dog and Best in Show.

Veteran Dog (1)

1. Vaychkus & Vaickus’ Flintas Kalnu Suo at Bernarose Sh CM (Imp Lt). I very much liked this stately, quality, mature gentleman of 8 ½ years. Extremely honest in outline and had a natural ability to show himself. He had strength to head and muzzle yet without any exaggeration and in proportion to his overall body shape. Very good length of neck which flowed into lovely depth of chest and front reaching below brisket, but leaving adequate length of leg. Whilst I would have liked him to have more angulation at point of shoulder he had good length of back but still compact enough to be of functional build. Good ribbing and firm loin of good depth which led into a strong and correctly angulated rear with correct tailset. Feet could be a bit tighter and he tended to toe-in when coming towards me, but that could have been as a result of his nails needing attention. In profile on the move, however, he did not disappoint with easy gait from good quarters. Held his own in the challenge to be awarded Reserve Best Dog.

Veteran Bitch (1)

1. King’s Ecalpharas Moonshine over Leapingwell. Lovely 7 year old, well bodied lady who was fairly compact and nicely put together. Very appealing in head with good stop, correct furrow and strength to jaw and developed in lip without compromising her femininity. Lovely kind eye and good dentition. I particularly liked her flowing outline made up of correctly angulated quarters fore and aft which were well coupled by good ribs, loin and a firm, level topline. Easy, lithe and enthusiastic mover but I would have preferred greater extension in front. Made a good enough case for herself in the challenge to be awarded Reserve Best Bitch and Best Veteran in Show.

Junior Bitch (2 1)

1. Flanagan’s Collansues Gold Blend. 15 month old bitch who I thought to be developing nicely. Pleasing head shape, eye, expression and dentition. Lovely forehand and shoulder and was standing on fabulous feet supporting good bone. Needs to develop more in front as she fills out with maturity but the basics were in place. Pleasing in rib and topline was satisfactory for age. Strength to hindquarters which should develop a little more angulation with age and enhance her already pleasing outline. Carried herself well on the move maintaining her topline and was particularly good both coming towards and going away from me.

Special Yearling Bitch (2)

1. Krjukova’s Kaimon Gerheil Kiss me Softly for Elbrusbern (Imp Est). Despite this young lady’s lack of coat it was impossible to overlook her workmanlike, practical make and shape. She was shown in excellent condition and musculature. Pleasing head with strong straight muzzle with good eye for colour, shape and set. Fairly well laid shoulder but I would have preferred greater return of upper arm. Well developed in front with brisket to elbow. Lovely firm loin and strong back which was good to go over. Strong hindquarters with good width of thigh. Easy and efficient on the move giving a very honest account of herself.

2. Flanagan’s Collansues Spice of Life. Full bodied bitch with great strength to outline. Head was well developed and in proportion to body but I preferred the muzzle and stop of the winner. Wonderfully well developed in chest which was deep and broad, but I would like to see her develop greater length of leg as she matures in order to improve balance which she lacked when compared to first. Terrific feet and excellent coat. Very pleasing width to quarters to compliment her good breadth throughout and held a firm, level topline. Moved out with purpose and was particularly good going away but somewhat untidy when coming towards me.

Novice Bitch (2 1)

1. Price’s Kyleburn Night Umbrette at Silvretta. Compact and strong bitch who at 6 ½ years demonstrated a mature, shapely outline comprising nicely angulated quarters fore and aft. Good coupling held everything together supported by a firm level topline and strong, full croup. Attractive headpiece, with good flat skull, strong straight muzzle and correct stop all complimented by a pleasing expression. Lovely depth of body with strong ribs and loin. I would have liked greater length of leg to improve balance and greater reach in front when on the move, but she carried herself well both standing and gaiting.

Graduate Bitch (3 1)

1. Forbes’ Shirdees Nancy Goes to Rio. 2 year old bitch shown in wonderful coat. Litter sister to the Best in Show winner she shared many of his attributes. Head shape was good overall although I found her rather deep in stop. Nicely set eye of good colour and providing a pleasing expression. Strong neck of moderate length, I liked her angulation both at shoulder and stifle. Well developed in body with good width and depth throughout. Level back but a touch too long to be considered of perfect balance. Fabulous hindquarters both for shape, strength and width which were used to advantage on the move where she was easy and true, outmoving others both in this class and the next.

2. Price’s Kyleburn Night Umbrette at Silvretta.

Post Graduate Bitch (5)

1. Forbes’ Shirdees Nancy Goes to Rio.

2. Flanagan’s Collansues Jens Dark Angel. Rising 3 year old bitch who had a reasonably well shaped headpiece with flat skull and well defined stop, but not the muzzle of the winner. Well laid shoulders which were correctly angulated, but she could use greater angulation at stifle for perfect balance. Just the right length of body neither appearing too long or too square. Shown in good condition and coat I enjoyed going over her. Smooth, strong rump and croup. When she settled into it her gait it was sound and steady, but not quite the overall carriage and fluidity of the winner.

3. Bramble’s Shirdees Me and My Girl. Fairly well proportioned and workmanlike appearance to this 2 year old who was litter sister to the winner. Her head was in proportion to body with adequate strength and length to muzzle. Excellent angulation at shoulder, but another who would benefit from greater hind angulation and length of foreleg as she matures. Good depth and strength to quarters and nicely covered in good condition, she was of pleasing body length. Rather erratic on the move, but no doubt as to soundness.

Limit Bitch (1)

1. Price’s Kyleburn Night Umbrette at Silvretta.

Open Bitch (4)

1. Krjukova’s Kaimon Gerheil Lizzy (Imp Est). Despite her young age, this almost 19 month old girl pleased me greatly for her honest and workmanlike outline with everything all of a piece. She stood well over ground with a good balance of leg to length of back presenting a 9:10 ratio. Pleasing bone and substance standing on good feet which faced the same way. Pleasing head from all angles with correct muzzle and furrow, flat skull and attractive expression. Neck flows well into her good shoulder and wither. As one would expect she would benefit from greater depth of chest as she matures on. Topline was firm, level and of good length leading into a correct croup. Tailset could be better as it can give a false impression that she is longer than ideal. Good hindquarters with correct turn of stifle. Acquitted herself very well on the move, working well with her handler, maintaining outline with good carriage being true moving in all directions. I was very pleased to award her Best Bitch and Reserve Best in Show.

2. Goodyear’s Harvestbank Just One Kiss. Another good bitch who in terms of overall quality was right up there with the winner. However, she gave her handler some difficulty and tended to appear slightly weaker in topline and down in pastern. Lovely, feminine head and expression with excellent dentition. Bone and substance was just as I wished for. Lovely shoulder and depth and width of chest for a young girl of 2 years. Presented in excellent condition and another who was very good to physically go over. Good height to length ratio and pleasing coat. Croup was well developed and she scored highly in hindquarters. A powerful mover, but being somewhat uncooperative with her handler her gait was rather erratic and difficult to assess. On another day and with greater rapport between handler and charge I am sure this girl would press much harder for top honours.

Breeders Bitch (1)

1. Goodyear’s Harvestbank Indian Summer. Mature girl of almost 5 years with lovely, well developed quarters comprising well laid shoulders and correct turn of stifle. Very pleasing length of leg, excellent bone, pasterns and feet. Very good depth of body but she could be a touch wider throughout. Head was in proportion to body and mounted on a strong neck of moderate length. Firm, flat topline of correct length which she maintained standing and on the move. Not wearing her best jacket, she was lacking a little condition and could have been firmer across the loin, but lovely strong croup and pleasing width of thigh. On the move, she was steady and true using her good length of leg for reach and correctly angulated rear for drive.

Ric Beall (Eppwood)