• Show Date: 23/06/2023
  • Show Type: Championship Show
  • Judged by: Teresa Dunsdon Contact Judge
  • Published Date: 09/08/2023

Blackpool & District Canine Society

Breed: Spaniel (English Springer)

It was wonderful to be judging my own breed after a three-year postponement caused by the Pandemic, so thank you to Blackpool Committee for appointing me. I had a truly enjoyable day. 40 of 41 entries were present, representing just about all the variations in “style” and size that are being shown these days. As a true English Springer fan to the core, I appreciated each and every one, and I thank all exhibitors for taking the trouble to prepare and enter their dogs for my opinion, with all the work and expense that this entails. Heads, as seems to be the norm currently, ranged from the narrow through correct to the heavy, eye colour from yellow-green to the darkest of hazel, and presentation from “needing a bit more of a tidy” to “not a hair out of place”. For me there is nothing to beat the soft, kind and gentle expression of an English Springer, and this will become apparent if you read on. To get that unique look the head must be correctly proportioned with flat cheeks, plenty of chiselling below the eye and the correct eye colour and shape. I found a few that didn't really melt my heart, but there were others so delightful that I could have gazed, totally bewitched, at them for hours. Our breed standard isn’t particularly detailed and lends itself to many different interpretations, but that gorgeous head and expression, good construction throughout and soundness on the move should always be recognised and rewarded. Maybe I’m just an "old-fashioned kinda girl", but I was looking for, and indeed found, great examples of what I consider to be “proper” balanced English Springers, i.e. symmetrically built, compact and racy, with plenty of fore-chest, a deep brisket reaching the elbow, well-sprung ribs, well-balanced angulation and strong hindquarters providing true driving power at the rear and allowing the front legs to swing forward as only a Springer's can. I was very disappointed to find on closer examination that a few exhibits who looked really eye-catching when stacked lacked any real substance or were too short in upper arm or moved with no real drive. Just goes to show that “ringside judging” can never match the “hands-on” experience. Some were “raced” round the ring to the detriment of their true stride, something for even experienced handlers to be mindful of. Descriptors from the standard like "medium", “fairly”, "slightly" and “moderately” were firmly in my mind - strong indicators that this should not be an overdone or over-exaggerated breed, but nor should it be too fine or lacking in width and depth. Inevitably compromises were needed since there is no such thing as the perfect dog, but I have to say my principal winners came pretty close!


1st Havard's ANNAVAH ACCOMPLICE, 8 mths L/W with a pleasing outline, strongly built with good bone, masculine & well proportioned head for his age, just needs chiselling to develop and eyes to darken, at present he is a little narrow in front & I would prefer a little more forechest, but he has enough depth to his brisket, hopefully ribs will spring more as he matures to give him better width, he has depth to his flanks & a firm topline, I particularly liked his balanced angulation fore & aft, his thigh was broad & strong, he rolled a little on the move but showed plenty of drive behind, BPD, shame he was withdrawn prior to the BPIB challenge due to lameness

2nd Martlew's MELVERLY VANGUARD, barely 7 mths L/W giving away so much in maturity to 1st, well-shaped skull with good depth & length to his muzzle, eye colour is dark enough for his age, standing a little narrow in front & needs to develop in forechest, plenty of depth to his brisket but flanks are quite tucked-up & he stands rather "bum-high" in his current growth phase, his front assembly & rear angulation are more moderate than those of 1st, unfortunately today his movement was all over the place & very difficult to assess, however overall I saw nothing that a bit of time & more ring training won't sort out



1st Wilson & Connor's PINEREOCH NO STUNTS LARRY, 15 mths L/W, classic symmetrical & compact outline on this young dog, preferred his size & racy build to 2nd, attractive balanced head which is masculine but not overdone, dark hazel eye & a thoroughly charming expression, strong neck of good length, plenty of forechest, deep all through his body with well-sprung ribs, he has a strong topline & is short-coupled, his thighs are muscular & strong, his front & rear angulation was spot-on & balanced, carrying a little too much weight & rolled slightly on the move, but his front action and rear drive were a pleasure to see, the more I looked the more I liked him, BJIB

2nd Such's CARLYQUINN CAPTAIN ROSS AT MUJASCAL, 14 mths L/W, presents a strong outline, taller than 1st & powerfully built throughout, masculine head of good shape, just a little heavier than 1st in skull & a shade lighter in eye, very well-developed forechest & good front angulation, deep & strong all through body, wide muscular thighs, he has a little more rear angulation than 1st, he used his strength & power well to drive round the ring, this is certainly a dog with plenty of attributes to admire, preferred the size & more moderate, compact & racy appearance of 1st



Interesting class with two exhibits providing quite different "looks"

1st Hill's DEXBENELLA DOUBLE TROUBLE AT TEIGNVALLEY, liked the compact size & unexaggerated outline of this L/W, sufficient width of skull, just needs a little more depth to his muzzle for better balance, would benefit from a slightly darker eye but his expression was nevertheless kind & gentle, strong neck, enough forechest, stands on straight well-boned forelegs, shoulders well laid back, deep enough in chest & flank, short-coupled & held a firm topline standing & on the move, moderate bend of stifle & enough width of thigh to enable him to move out well, just needs a few more furnishings to finish a promising picture

2nd Tracz's BERESFORD ON MY WAY WITH ACREGATE, L/W, substantial in build but a good size & shape displaying plenty of strength all through, very masculine & balanced in head & muzzle, perhaps not as clean in foreface as 1st, pleasing expression although I would prefer a shade darker eye, muscular neck of good length, not quite the return of upper arm of 1st, great depth through body & strong in couplings, plenty of rib & a firm topline, longer sweep to his stifle than 1st, wide well-developed thighs, stands solidly on lovely well-rounded feet, the final decision came down to rear movement where today he was looser in hocks & consequently lacked the rear drive of 1st



1st Topliss' BERESFORD BOLT FROM THE BLUE, B/W with an impressive compact & symmetrical outline, racy in appearance, well-proportioned head which is masculine without being overdone, he benefits from a dark eye to match his B/W colouring & correct chiselling below, here was the delightful melting expression that I was looking for, once I had dragged myself away from his face there was much to admire elsewhere, good length of neck which was clean, strong & muscular, plenty of forechest, excellent depth throughout body, well-laid shoulders, strong couplings, firm topline, excellent bend of stifle & a powerful rear end, today on the move he wasn't really concentrating where he was going (more mental maturity required!), but demonstrated more than enough of his considerable extension & drive to be awarded the RCC & made a cracking pair with the DCC


1st Morgans' DEXBENELLA FRILLED TO BITZ, mature L/W with plenty of furnishings making a pleasing picture overall, masculine & well-balanced head with depth to his muzzle, eye colour could be a shade darker but acceptable, clean in neck & has sufficient forechest, enough length to his upper arm, but I would prefer a better layback of shoulder, strong & deep in body, very short-coupled, he is well-rounded over his rear end with strength in his thigh, he has quite a long sweep to his stifle & would benefit from a little less rear angulation to match his more moderate front, very active mover, just a little untidy today

2nd Richardson & Terry-Richardson's CHERISHYM DOFIDA, my heart said that this good-sized, compact, well-boned & well-coated B/W should fill my eye, but today was sadly not his day, he has a well-proportioned head with dark pools for eyes that I could happily dive into, he has a strong neck leading to enough forechest, just a little heavy over the shoulders which made him look a bit stuffy, good depth to his body with strong short couplings, along with good width & spring of rib which I preferred to 1st, moderate bend of stifle, today with a different handler moving him he rather fell away & dropped his topline



1st Eyeington's SH CH MEADOWDALE DAISYDALE LIGHTNING BOLT, this stunning B/W/T really did fill my eye today, he may be a size larger than some but he is nevertheless perfectly balanced all through, compact & absolutely symmetrical, well-proportioned head, his dark eye & super gentle expression were the answer to my Judge's prayer, strong neck tapering towards his head, front & rear angulation was spot-on, great depth & width throughout his body without heaviness, well-sprung ribs & short couplings, tremendous width of thigh & well-muscled hindquarters, it takes a dog who is built right to power freely round the ring as he did, showing proper extension & drive, fabulous coat & presentation were the icing on this particularly tasty cake, no hesitation in awarding him the CC & BOB, & so proud later to see him still powering round the big ring to add the cherry on top by taking a very well-deserved Group 2

2nd Topliss' SH CH BERESFORD LOCKDOWN, appealing compact & symmetrical outline on this L/W, his head is masculine with good width of skull, I would just prefer a tad more depth to his muzzle but he is in no way snipey, good length of neck leading to clean & very well-laid shoulders, not quite the forechest & return of upper arm of 1st, but he is another who has good width & stands on well-boned & straight forelegs, neat feet, liked his strength & depth in body & flank, couplings are short & his loin strong, ribs are very well sprung, excelled in hindquarters which were well developed & powerful, this showed in his rear drive on the move, a strong but moderate & unexaggerated dog with many attributes to admire

3rd Richardson & Terry-Richardson's CHERISHYM DRACONIS


1st Rose's WESTAWAY DREAM ANGUS OF ROSANNOCH (IMP NOR), L/W with a pleasing strong & compact outline, very masculine head, perhaps just a shade heavy in skull for perfect balance, attractive almond-shaped eye of good colour giving him the gentlest of expressions, strong tapering neck leading to correct front angulation & an impressive forechest, his body has tremendous depth & is strongly coupled, holds a firm topline, his rear is moderately angulated & his thigh is wide & muscular, his movement was light & effortless belying his 8 years, I am sure he could "spring" round a field all day, congratulations to his owner on his super condition & presentation, just lost out on BVIB to the beautifully balanced bitch


1st Harris' MELVERLY AMY DORRIT WITH COASTALGLOWS, 7 mths B/W baby with a delightful compact outline & smart jacket, head is understandably still developing, but she has good width to her skull & depth to her muzzle, lovely dark eye, neck is clean & the correct length leading to well-laid shoulders & a good return of upper arm, excellent depth to her body for her tender age, couplings are short & her flanks deep, topline is firm, she has moderate rear angulation & well-rounded hindquarters, maturity will bring her greater width in thigh, she had a lot of fun moving but still showed plenty of front extension & rear drive

2nd Havard's ANNAVAH AQUARIUS, very smart & eye-catching outline on this 8 mths L/W, she has a pretty head & is more forward in this department than 1st, eye still needs to darken, pleasingly strong neck of good length & lovely well-laid shoulders with enough return of upper arm, preferred the forechest of 1st, she has better length to her body than 1st but not quite the depth at this stage of her development, she has strength in her flanks & hindquarters & a firm topline, she has slightly more length in stifles & more rear angulation than 1st, she moved well but tended to crab today, something she should grow out of


1st Smith's MELVERLY IRIDESCENT, very well grown 10 mths L/WT with plenty of bone & presenting a balanced symmetrical outline, her overall quality is obvious from every angle, her head is well-proportioned & her muzzle deep, I found her a just little lacking in chiselling & fluting making her rather plain in foreface at this stage, correctly-shaped eye & undoubtedly feminine, strong & muscular neck, excelled in front & rear angulation, deep & strong all through her body without being overdone in any way, with a well-rounded rear & excellent width to her thighs, she has width & a decent spring of rib, she was well-handled to show off her very sound & accurate movement, BPIB & thrilled to learn that she went on to a very well-deserved Puppy Group 3

2nd Harris' MELVERLY BETSY TROTTWOOD WITH COASTALGLOWS, 7 mths L/W baby built on finer lines than her sister who was 1st in MPB, chalk to her sister's cheese at present & clearly developing at a different rate, feminine head & kind expression with enough depth to her muzzle, good reach of neck, moderate angulation fore & aft, deep in brisket & flank, ribs are well sprung & she is short-coupled, good width of thigh, well-boned throughout, quite unsettled on the move, but I saw glimpses of what she is capable of, giving away so much in finish & performance to 1st today, one who just needs time to fulfill her potential


Interesting class with exhibits at different stages of maturity

1st Savell's PETRANELLA TIPPING THE WINK, 14 mths L/W, feminine in size & appearance, balanced head with a sweet expression, albeit a tad overdone in stop for me, decent length & depth to her muzzle, strong neck of good length, shoulders are well-laid & she has just enough length of upper arm, good bone & stands on straight forelegs, wide enough in body with good ribs but would benefit from a bit more depth to her brisket, good bend of stifle & is still developing in hindquarters, at present she looks like the immature Junior that she is, needing more body depth & leg-length to balance her overall length, sympathetically handled & moved soundly to win this class

2nd Joyce's PEASBLOSSOM AURA AT FELLTOPS, 14 mths L/W, one with a real "no frills" honest appearance, lovely balance to her feminine head, well-shaped skull & good length & depth to her muzzle, her eye shape is a little round but the colour is dark enough & her expression is kind, strong tapering neck of good length, I liked her moderate front angulation & preferred her depth of body to 1st, her flank is also deep & well-coupled, moderately bent stifle, she is just showing her immaturity at present needing a bit more width throughout, more development in thigh & more finish to her coat, moved out well enough once settled





1st Cokell & Nicklin's CARLYQUINN MORWENNA, rather tall L/W who like her brother in YD has a number of positive attributes to admire, strongly built throughout with good bone, skull is a tad heavy, especially for a bitch, but she has a good length of muzzle & a kind expression, particularly liked her strong tapering neck & excellent front angulation, one of the few exhibits here today with elbows set well to her body (no daylight showing here!), strong & deep all through her body & short-coupled, firm topline, well-rounded rear end & strong thighs for her age, moderate bend of stifle, moved smoothly & with power

2nd Weyman's SPUFFING PROSECCO, L/W lacking the maturity & finish of 1st at present, but liked her correct size & compact shape, sweet feminine & balanced head with correct almond-shaped eyes that are dark enough, her neck is a good length & strong, couldn't quite match the front angulation of 1st & her elbows weren't as tight to her body, enough depth to her brisket & flank, & very short-coupled, good spring of rib & well-developed hindquarters with a moderate bend of stifle, she was well presented, just needs a bit more by way of furnishings & time to finish maturing, moved well covering the ground, at one with her handler



1st Dunn & Brown's VALRUSSAN BLACK ONYX, B/W built on finer lines with a compact outline, her head is a little on the fine side but undoubtedly feminine, eye shape is correct & the colour is delightfully dark giving her the gentlest of expressions, length of neck is sufficient, her shoulders are reasonably well laid back, but her front assembly would benefit from a better return of upper arm, her body is deep & of good length, she is reasonably short-coupled with enough depth to her flanks, stifles are moderately bent & she has strength in her hindquarters, moved very steadily, just a little close behind & not holding her topline today


1st Harris' MELVERLY BURANO WITH COASTALGLOWS, attractive outline on this L/W, pretty head with length & breadth to skull, muzzle is balanced in length & depth, almond eye shape & good colour give her a charming expression, strong neck of good length, excelled in forechest, stands on straight well-boned forelegs & lovely strong feet, well-angulated front, strong & deep in body with well-sprung ribs, muscular wide thighs, moderate bend of stifle, her buttocks could be a shade more rounded, but she is a lovely example of moderation & strength combined, moved with extension in front & drive behind, just a fraction close behind


1st Wilson & Connor's POTRAIL TURNS THE SWAG ON FOR PINEREOCH, beautifully balanced symmetrical outline on this gem of a L/W, head so well-proportioned with skull & muzzle of good length, breadth & depth, very strong neck of correct length, beautiful eye & captivating expression where I "lost" myself again for a moment, very clean over the shoulders which are well laid back, excellent return of upper arm, unsurprisingly with such a well constructed front she has plenty of "fill" in forechest & elbows were tight to brisket, fantastic depth & width all through body, thighs were wide & muscular, well let down behind with moderate bend of stifle, her powerful yet easy, effortless movement was pure joy, a strong unexaggerated & correctly-constructed Springer who certainly met my brief for the BCC, put up a great challenge for BOB, where the male's sheer exuberance finally won the day

2nd Hill's PEASBLOSSOM TUPELO HONEY WITH TEIGNVALLEY, B/W/T with a strong & compact appearance, head is perhaps a shade overdone for me but her saving grace is that it is very well-balanced & she has a fantastic eye & the softest of expressions, giving her a very pretty look, another whose face I could just gaze at all day, not quite the length of neck of 1st although strong & long enough, plenty of forechest, well laid shoulders & good return of upper arm which was just a little shorter than 1st, lovely depth to her brisket, strong & deep through couplings, firm topline, excellent spring of rib & width of thigh, nicely rounded over her rear end, worthy challenger for the RCC




1st Topliss' SH CH BERESFORD NIGHT CLASS, L/W, correct size & a lovely compact shape showing delightful symmetry in outline, feminine head with good skull shape & enough length & depth to muzzle, not overdone in any way, tapering neck of good length, well-boned without being coarse, super front assembly with ample forechest, deep in brisket, ribs were well sprung, well coupled with strength in flanks, lovely rounded rear end, great width & strength in thigh, moderate bend of stifle & well let down in rear, moved as she looked, with power & style, although I feel that a slightly slower pace would benefit her & show her natural stride off to advantage, another honest, unexaggerated & sound-moving Springer deserving of the RCC

2nd Hydon's CLENTONIAN PANDEMONIUM JW, B/W who appealed greatly for her "old fashioned" look (that from me is a compliment & not an insult, by the way!), like 1st she is moderate, compact & the correct size, well boned without coarseness, stands on excellent feet, pretty & balanced head with the softest of soft expressions, long enough & strong in neck leading to well-laid shoulders & sufficient return of upper arm, enough forechest, lovely deep brisket & well sprung ribs, short-coupled with strength in flanks, loved her hindquarters which were well-rounded, strong & powerful, tremendous width to her thighs & moderately-bent stifles, she drove round the ring with great power, just preferred the front assembly of 1st


Res Ainsley & Nicklin's DAENERYS WINDS OF WINTER


VETERAN BITCH (3, 1 absent)

Hardest decision by far to decide between two delightful Seniors who have served the breed so well. Thank you to both exhibitors for the honour of judging them

1st Watson's SH CH BORDACITY HONEY RYDER, L/W, at the grand age of 9 years she has only a touch of grey in her face & is otherwise in hard condition & good coat, another who is "old fashioned" in outline & all the more pleasing for that, head is beautifully balanced & her eye shape & colour are correct, giving her such a gentle expression, strong neck tapering towards head, front assembly is very well constructed, great depth & strength all through her body with big ribs & strong couplings, moderate bend of stifle, still plenty of muscle & width to her thighs & a roundness to her rear end, on the move she displayed correct action & easy power, wonderful to watch her & delighted to award her BVIB

2nd Conrad's PEASBLOSSOM RUMOURS AT STRATHNAVER, 7 yrs L/W, symmetrically built & compact, so feminine in appearance yet with the right amount of strength, very well-proportioned & pretty feminine head, she has the softest of expressions to melt the stoniest heart although mine was of course already liquid, not quite the length neck of 1st but still strong & sufficiently long, well angulated with good depth in front, brisket is deep & ribs very well-sprung, deep in flank with strong couplings, moderate bend of stifle with width & strength in thigh, nicely rounded rear, in lovely condition, sympathetically handled, moved out well, just a shade closer behind than 1st & this was ultimately the deciding factor between them

Teresa Dunsdon