• Show Date: 19/01/2023
  • Show Type: Championship Show
  • Judged by: Andrew H. Brace Contact Judge
  • Published Date: 28/07/2023

Lancashire, Yorkshire & Cheshire Basset Hound Club

Breed: Basset Hound


Championship show 19th January 2023

My thanks go to the officers and committee for their invitation and subsequent hospitality and to Chris and Linda who stewarded and kept on top of the paperwork.

The venue was warm with a ring of ample size and this was my first time judging the breed in this country since the introduction of the ramp … and what a difference it makes! Previously back-ache was an inevitable consequence of any Basset appointment but no more and I am sure the exhibitors find it so much more comfortable. The enthusiasm with which some of the young hounds galloped up the ramp bordered on amusing.

I have to take my hat off to the Basset Hound breeders in the UK for addressing the issues that were raised following that infamous television programme and now the breed seems to be much less exaggerated, more agile, with healthy eyes (none being excessively loose with prominent haws) and only sufficient loose skin to maintain type but without excess.

That said, the entry wasn’t an easy one to sort out as type is still quite varied and it was difficult to end up with winners that were as consistent as I may have liked. A further challenge was the fact that some hounds who impressed on the move, holding a firm topline and covering ground with ease and style didn’t necessarily present as exciting a picture on the stack but judging always involves an element of compromise.

BIS went to the Dog CC winner, Freer’s SWITHERLAND BLUEBERRY PIE, a rich red and white who was apparently winning his title on the day. Approaching his third birthday he was the hound that filled my eye totally from the moment he strode into the ring as he radiates quality, has a natural ring presence and was in the peak of condition, presented spotlessly clean, fit and hard. The overall picture is one of perfect balance with optimum angulation front and back, excellent ribbing and sufficient ground clearance to afford free and easy movement. His head screams his breed, is well proportioned with the cleanest eyes and softest expression, he has perfect drop of lip, noticeable occiput and wide open nostrils. There is no mistaking his sex as he has strong bone and masses of substance without appearing in any way cumbersome or coarse. His neck is nobly crested with just enough dewlap and flows into well-laid shoulders and her has a firm topline with well-set stern that he carries perfectly. His rear angulation was one of the best in the entry, having the length of second thigh that so many lacked and when he moves he is dead true out and back and in profile demonstrates reach and drive. Add to this a real charisma and style with slick but sympathetic handling and you have the total package. I found him exciting to judge and to me he was a clear BIS winner.

The Bitch CC & BOS was won by Rodgers’ Ch SWITHERLAND SPICY HOT who matched the winning male perfectly for type both in colour and looks, she being as feminine as he is masculine, which is understandable now that I see they share the same sire in Ch Switherland Distant Image. On the stack she made a very pleasing picture being well balanced with a glorious head and expression and quite exquisite forehand but it’s on the move that she really came into her own and here she held a perfect topline whereas standing she can run up a little. She has ample bone and substance but still retains feminine quality. Like her half-brother she has the cleanest eyes, well filled forechest and neat, well-manicured feet and when gaiting she is so true out and back. Again in pristine condition she radiated health and vitality and was a worthy, and logical, winner of BOS.

Best Puppy In Show was Lane’s 9 months red and white male, CLANWILLOW GOLDEN CHILD, full of quality with a well-balanced head, clean tight eyes, ideal length of neck, strong bone, well filled in front with promising rib and excellent angles front and back though he needs to settle in topline with maturity. On the move he goes dead true out and back and handles himself well in profile. He has ample length without being excessive and just generally needs to fill out his frame with age. Has so much promise and should finish up well.

Best Veteran In Show was Pearson’s 8½ year old red and white bitch, Ch ROAMANBAY RUSSIA WITH LOVE TO ARMARDIO, not as long as some but she still makes a balanced picture with so much type. Very pleasing head, correctly proportioned with a most engaging expression, well filled forechest, plenty of bone and well ribbed and coupled. Moderately angulated throughout, even at this age her movement is sound and steady and, despite a little understandable undercarriage, she well deserved to be best of the Golden Oldies.

In the following critique, all dogs mentioned had perfect scissor bites and strong dentition.

MINOR PUPPY DOG (1) 1. Woferlow One In A Million, 6 months blanketed tricolour, excellent basic type, clean quality head with excellent healthy eyes, well-filled front, strong bone, tight feet and a generally well-balanced outline. Movement out and back is very true for a baby but he just needs to settle in topline and drop into his rear. Still has a lot of promise

PUPPY DOG (2) 1. C. GOLDEN CHILD. 2. Barbrooke’s Clanwillow Golden Arrow, litter brother, but far from identical being of a slightly heavier mould. Again red and white, he has an equally well-balanced head if a little looser skinned than 1, well-developed forechest, strong bone but again needs to settle in topline and he’s not quite as well let down behind as his brother. Moves steadily up-and-down, but without the coordination of the winner on the go-around

JUNIOR DOG (5) 1. Ellrich’s Malrich Hendricks, 15 months heavily blanketed tricolour of excellent overall type with a quality head that has plenty of work if the eye is slightly loose. Excellent length of neck, well filled forechest, optimum bone with tight feet. Well ribbed back with excellent angulation in front and behind but just needs to firm up in topline on the move. He goes with great scope in profile and has natural carriage. 2 Mackaill’s Clanwillow Future Voyager, 12 months tricolour more flashily marked than the winner. Excellent length of skull if the eye could be a little tighter. Well developed forechest, good bone and feet, pleasing spring of rib, not quite as well let down behind as the winner or his great carriage on the move. 3. Blevins’ Blevwil Stan Dup.

GRADUATE DOG (1) 1. Jones’ Clanwillow Back To Th Future, this lightly blanketed tricolour made me do a double-take as he was of a far higher quality than one tends to associate with this class. However on discovering he was just 12 months old that explained it. Although he stood alone he made a huge impression on me as the initial impact was profound. He has a real stallion look about him with ample bone and substance, plenty of length yet he holds a firm topline at all times and the basic construction is spot on. Stands well up on his feet, with well sprung ribs, a real apple bottom and the whole outline is clean and smart. His head is perfectly balanced, with a pleasing mid-brown eye but maybe a little deep in lip and he has a powerful yet elegantly crested neck. He moved freely with great ring presence and ended up winning the Reserve CC behind the fully mature star of the day. He could easily carry his title.

POST GRADUATE DOG (2) 1. Beale’s Woferlow Victorzsasz, blanketed tricolour of excellent basic type and very well proportioned throughout. Pleased in head profile if a little strong in backskull, clear eyes with no exaggeration, plenty of forechest, good bone and feet and ample spring of rib. Well angulated front and back with good turn of second thigh. Goes away true and carries himself well in profile. 2. Mcevedy’s Diheath Jerry Lee Lewis, another of excellent basic type not dissimilar in head type but a little wider in front and not quite as well let down behind or as settled in topline and moves better behind than in front.

LIMIT DOG (6) A tough class 1. Jones’ Clanwillow The Emerald King, handsome red and white, all of a piece with a masculine head but full of quality. Well boned with excellent feet, well ribbed back and holds his topline well standing and moving. Well angulated rear, very sound out back and goes around with steady self-confidence. Another who could justifiably carry his title. 2. Gray’s Quantas Napoca Olaf, eye catching tricolour who on the first go-around I thought would be the winner as he goes with such style and freedom, holding his outline and using both fore and hind quarters so well. His head is full of quality yet masculine and he has a well filled front with good feet. He has decent spring of rib but puzzlingly he has a tendency to stand sickle-hocked on occasions, which he definitely is not, and his movement proves it. 3. Freer’s Switherland Dark Secret.

OPEN DOG (5) 1. S. Blueberry Pie. 2. Woodworth’s Ch Armardio Firestarter, another red and white of excellent overall type if slightly more compactly built than 1. No questioning his sex but a little stronger in backskull than 1 and moves a little wider in front. Basic construction is very pleasing and he makes a very satisfying overall picture being another in the peak of condition and very well presented. Moves with purpose but his stern carriage was a little tighter than 1. 3. Williams’ Longmynd Cedric Smartson by Bromp.

VETERAN DOG (1) Beale’s Ch Woferlow Kanye West, almost 10 years heavily blanketed tricolour of excellent overall type and holding his figure extremely well. Masculine head of good length and proportions, well boned, nicely ribbed, well let down behind and still holds a firm topline, going around with enthusiasm and style.

MINOR PUPPY BITCH (1) Weston’s Tail Wagging Tina v Grunsven, 1 day under 9 months open marked tricolour full of quality and promise. Well-balanced head with clean, kind eyes full of expression. Promising front. Good bone but feet can tighten. She needs to body up but has reasonable rib and excellent basic construction with moderate angulation and is sound enough on the move, just needs to settle and improve her deportment, but has lots of promise. Best Puppy Bitch.

PUPPY BITCH (2) 1. Blevins’ Blevwil Mysterious Mini, 10 months heavily blanketed tricolour, essentially feminine, but still with good bone and substance. Well-balanced head, pleasing expression, well filled front, excellent proportion of outline with a firm topline, and well angulated rear. Profile movement impresses being very stylish holding a steady topline. 2. Blevins’ Blevwil Mystic Mabel, litter sister to 1, tricolour but not as heavily marked. Basically well-proportioned with a quality head, strong bone and nicely ribbed. Movement out and back needs to tighten but she makes a very pleasing overall picture when stacked.

JUNIOR BITCH (4) 1. Blevins’ Blevwil Ivana Twinkle, 14 months lightly marked tricolour combining substance with feminine quality. Beautiful head full of type and expression, perfectly balanced with the correct unexaggerated stop. Excellent bone and feet and she has plenty of ground clearance, big ribs and is very well constructed all through. Holds her topline standing and moving, is very sound and stylish and has a lot to give. Only maturity stood between her and the CC winner but she was a comfortable winner of the Reserve CC who should carry her title when fully mature. 2. Jones’ Clanwillow Future Dreams, 12 months more heavily marked tricolour, a little lower to the ground than the winner and a little looser in eye but she has an otherwise pleasing head, excellent bone and feet. Well filled front, good spring of rib but now the topline needs to settle. Moves soundly and steadily. 3. Newman’s Harvidene Moon Stone Woferlow.

GRADUATE BITCH (3) 1. Johnston’s Burnvale Queen of Diamonds, rich red and white full of quality and quintessentially feminine. Classy, well-proportioned head with plenty of work if eyes could be a little tighter, but nothing untoward. Good quality bone and neat feet, promising ribbing, well angulated front and rear, holds her topline well on the go-around, really covering ground, striding out effortlessly. 2. Barbrooke’s Lagniappe Time To Shine, another red-and-white of quality, slightly bigger framed than the winner with plenty of substance but well balanced. Quality head, soft expression, well filled forechest, good bone and feet. Nicely ribbed, reasonably well let down behind with well-developed hindquarters. Moves soundly enough, if not quite as open in side gait as the winner. 3. Shadbolt’s Dalpatrick Kaydee.

POST GRADUATE BITCH (2) 1. Melbourne, Murray & Fitzpatrick’s Diheath Elvis (unusual name for a bitch?) red and white who took a while to settle on the floor, but when she did she made the absolute best of herself. Strongly made with excellent bone and substance, but the head is still feminine and full of expression. Moderate angulation front and back with excellent spring of rib. Topline could be a little firmer on the stack, but when she moves she holds it perfectly. 2. Johnston’s Burnvale Black Diamond, heavily marked blanket tricolour bitch in beautiful condition. Plenty of bone and substance, quality head of good proportions with a kind expression. Well filled forechest, strongly boned, moderate angulation and well ribbed but just a little lower at the front than the winner and this showed up on the move.

LIMIT BITCH (4) 1. Jones’ Clanwillow Centenary Dream, red and white, another of very satisfying type and quality from this exhibitor. High quality head of good proportions, enough neck, well filled front, good bone, tight, well-cushioned feet and good spring of rib. On the stack she tends to stand a little sickle-hocked but when she moves, she really uses them well, makes a very attractive picture and has great enthusiasm. 2. Freudenreich’s Lockolea Circle Of Life, red and white of good overall stamp, but not quite as settled in topline as the winner and her head, which is essentially typical, has a little more stop and not quite the expression of the winner. Sound and basically well put together and handled herself well on the move. 3. Blevins’ Blevwil Zena.

OPEN BITCH (7) A strong class. 1. Ch S. Spicy Hot. 2. Armstrong’s Ch Lauralee A Kind Of Magic, slightly heavier framed red and white with a little more length but a worthy Champion with so much to like. Lots of head type with a pleasing expression, plenty of forechest and bone with good feet and nicely ribbed. On the stack wasn’t quite as well let down behind as 1 and whilst she wasn’t as positive out and back she made the absolute best of herself on the go-around. 3. Turner’s Ch Lauralee Don’t Stop Me Now of Devonhound.

VETERAN BITCH (1) 1. Ch R. Russia With Love to A.