• Show Date: 20/05/2023
  • Show Type: Championship Show
  • Judged by: christine morgan Contact Judge
  • Published Date: 28/07/2023

Scottish Kennel Club

Breed: Gundog Group


MAY 2023


I was thrilled to judge my first Championship Gundog Group at this prestigious show and would like to thank the Officers and Committee for the invitation and their warm hospitality.

The group was full of quality dogs who were a pleasure to judge and I must thank my fellow judges for sending them through.

Such was the depth of quality that I shortlisted 11 of the 32 present and I could have chosen even more. Shortlisted but not placed were the Brittany, Gordon Setter, Irish Red and White Setter, Italian Spinone, Cocker Spaniel, Welsh Springer Spaniel and the Sussex Spaniel.

Group 1 went to the Clumber Spaniel Sh Ch Vanitonia Soloist. What an impressive dog he is; he exudes breed type. Powerfully built with strong bone, deep chest, big ribs carried well back and very powerful hindquarters. He stands on large, round feet and has firm, well let down hocks.

His head is so typical with its strong, square skull, deep stop and square muzzle and he has a fabulous expression in his clean, dark amber eyes.

As impressive as he is on the stack sporting his silky white coat and well feathered chest he is simply dazzling on the move. For such a big and heavy dog he moves effortlessly and with tremendous drive showing a clean pair of heels as he goes away. He holds his shape and carries his head and tail perfectly. I thought him outstanding and was not alone in this as the following day, renowned judge Paul Harding made him Best in Show.

Group 2 was the incredibly stylish Irish Setter Sh Ch Riverbrue Alchemist Amidst Kespas J.W. He has all the attributes of a well made Irish; long lean head, elegant neck and shoulders, deep chest, well sprung ribs, wide powerful hindquarters and of course the gently sloping topline that sets the Irish apart from the rest of the Setters. An oft times overlooked part of any breed standard (in my opinion) is that of temperament and this dog epitomises the personality of the Irish Setter. He is truly demonstrably affectionate. You can see it in his perfectly shaped eyes and the fact that his tail never stops wagging confirms it. He also had to have a little jump up at me to prove his love for life and everything in it.

Group 3 was the consummate showman, Sh Ch Gunalt Hendricks. He is presented in immaculate condition and muscle tone and is clearly a picture of power, stamina and balance. He is noble in head, has a clean cut neck, level topline and well turned stifles. His body is taut and fit and he moves with such power and drive and tremendous forward reach. He is a real stallion of a dog.

Group 4 was the very smart Irish Water Spaniel, Sh Ch Stanegate Stage Debut (AI). She is compact and strongly built, has a beautiful head, big ribs and muscular hindquarters. Her coat is so dense and tight with a touch of oiliness about it and not the slightest hint of woolliness. She is quietly handled and moves effortlessly with typical rolling motion.

Christine Morgan