• Show Date: 25/06/2023
  • Show Type: Championship Show
  • Judged by: Andrew H. Brace Contact Judge
  • Published Date: 28/07/2023

Blackpool & District Canine Society

Breed: Group



This was one of the strongest Working Groups I’ve ever judged – anywhere in the world – so I make no apologies for making an unusually large short list which included the Dobermann, Great Dane, Leonberger, Neapolitan Mastiff and Portuguese Water Dog, all outstanding examples of their breed who made an impressive picture on the stack. They unfortunately failed to make the second cut but will I am sure have many better days.

That left me with a second cut which included the Bernese Mountain Dog bitch, Liskarn Love Of My Life, who has so much breed type about her and whose profile movement was a joy to behold, and the Rottweiler bitch, Ch Fantasa Lucky Seven, who is clean, dry, full of type and handles herself so well on the go-around.

My final four thrilled me. All were exceptional as regards breed type, balance, conditioning and breed-specific movement, all being sensibly handled to emphasise their virtues.

After extensive movement my winner was the St Bernard bitch, Ch Chandlimore Heart Beat, and so well named. The opening words of the Breed Standard are “well-proportioned and of great substance”, and she certainly is. It is rare to find a giant breed that moves so freely in profile and she carries herself so well with the rare easy extension, unhurried and smooth, with power from the hindquarters whilst her topline remained level and firm. Her head pleases, having the requisite strength and proportions yet remains essentially feminine. She has bone, substance and was in the most marvellous muscular condition, her coat beautifully presented and structurally she is a joy to go over with ample forechest, well sprung ribs and the angulation fore and aft is spot on for the breed. Her movement out and back is impressively true and that free, easy profile is just magical. Overall, and in the strongest of competition, she filled my eye and never looked anything but “right” so I felt she was a worthy winner.

Group 2 went to the young brindle Boxer male, Macbarra Kickin Up A Storm at Glenauld, one of the few I’d seen before as I’d watched him win Puppy of the Year at the Boxer Event under Paul Eardley when I thought he was a very exciting prospect. He is a brindle male of the highest quality with the makings of a stallion due to his overall bearing and great wither height. His head is balanced, clean, perfectly proportioned with great rise of skull, a well-padded muzzle, a good mouth and those wonderfully dark, expressive eyes. His neck is clean, dry, elegantly crested with ample forechest and angulation front and back are ideal. With full maturity he should generally fill out but he has the excitement factor in spades and gives nothing away on the move. Definitely at the start of a dazzling career.

Group 3 was a real revelation as I can’t recall judging such an impressive Mastiff as the fawn male Ch/Ir/Lux/Swiss Ch Cyberus Its All About Bertie for Womlu, and what a fine example of his breed he is. To get a breed of such substance to be so outstandingly sound who walks naturally into a perfect stack is indeed rare but he does, with zero effort. His head pleases with breadth and slightly raised brows, ample strength and depth of muzzle whilst his tight dark eyes enhance the overall expression. Well filled forechest, wonderful bone and optimum angulation with good spring of rib make for a very correct body with the added bonus of a strong, gently arched neck that flows cleanly into his shoulders. On the move he was dignified, steady and sound.

Group 4 was another find in the Giant Schnauzer male, Gloris Glorious with Fostergiants (Russian Imp), and I’ve not seen such an impressive example of the breed in the UK for a long time. I was interested to see that he comes from one of the most famous Russian kennels in the breed which explains his intense breed type. Powerfully built, robust, perfectly balanced with that keen expression and alert attitude from the first go-around he aroused my interest. Great to go over, he is so well angulated front and back, “all of a piece” with a well-balanced quality head, strong yet gently arched neck and his profile movement really impressed. He excelled in harsh coat texture and was perfectly presented and handled. Amazed he is not yet titled!