• Show Date: 10/03/2023
  • Show Type: Championship Show
  • Judged by: Vicky Leighton-Evans Contact Judge
  • Published Date: 28/07/2023


Breed: Australian Shepherd

CRUFTS 10th March 2023

Australian Shepherds 

Judge Mrs Vicky Leighton-Evans (Brynelen) 

What a splendid entry you gave me for which I was most honoured. If anyone feels they were not given sufficient time in the ring, the delayed start, due entirely to the weather, meant I had to keep to a strict time schedule. With more time, I would have loved to have given critiques to third place. However, I really enjoyed my day which ran extremely smoothly thanks to my two excellent experienced and cheerful stewards, Andrea Keepence-Keyte and Angie Challenger. Thank you to everyone for accepting my decisions so appreciatively.

Overall, bitches were better than dogs and my overseas entries were generally superior to our home bred which I wasn’t expecting. As a general observation, many Aussies lacked sufficient angulation with some fronts becoming steep and loaded which creates a choppy movement. Also, too many heads have short muzzles and steep stops - a far cry from the breed standard. These faults are fast becoming serious, common and apparently accepted faults. Several also lacked a firm, level top line. If these faults aren’t addressed, breed type and our precious agile, free and easy movement will completely disappear. Some Aussies lost out by being strung up and being moved far too quickly. A dog needs to be able to lower its head to show true balance. A few exhibits were overweight. Having said that, I was thrilled to find some lovely typey class winners which were a joy to go over and I hope I have highlighted the reasoning behind my decisions in these critiques. It was a very close call between several for top honours and inevitably some excellent exhibits lost out. My top dog and top bitch could easy change places on another day.

VD (8-0) 1. Mctaggart’s Jack to a King Terres des Khairyaca. An 8, eye-catching, fully mature black-tri. Good proportions throughout. Fair head and expression, excellent reach of neck. Much better front angulation than many in the breed today. Moderate bone and sound feet. Firm, level top-line, well maintained when moving. Good spring of ribs carried well back. Correct width without being course. Moderate tuck-up and balanced rear. Excellent, sound mover, never overreaching. Pleased to see correct ‘V’ coming and going. Very well presented and handled. Delighted to award him BV and RCC 2. Lee’s Louis Blanchette at Amenbury. At nearly 9, this pleasing steel blue-merle was a pleasure to go over. Correctly proportioned with a masculine head, good length of muzzle, moderate stop, flowing into a correct flat skull of good width. Another with a good reach of neck and level top-line. Good bone and feet. Coat of correct moderate length. Easy, effortless mover. 3. Such’s Soloyal Valentino ShCM 

MPD (0)0

PD (4-0) 1. Bothwell’s Norcis Slippery Jack. A most attractive red-merle, well-proportioned throughout. At 11 months showing great promise. Masculine and well boned. Good head proportions which I hope he will keep as he matures. Lovely reach of neck, good top line. Balanced angulation and good width. Correct moderate bone, pasterns, feet. Moved confidently and with purpose without overreaching. Well-presented and handled. The pick of his littermates. One to keep an eye on. BP 2. Robert’s Dreamtale Cinnamon Kiss. A red tri not as mature as 1. Strong masculine head, good ear set, another with an excellent reach of neck and level top line. Balanced angulation and good proportions. Good feet. Needs to fill out in body but at 10 mths, time is on his side. Moved well. 3. Mackenzie, Taggart & Pugh’s Northbay Xsells Can’t B’leaf my I’s (TAF) 

JD (7-1) 1. Kedziora’s Morpheus Kascaro. A promising, typey youngster. Good overall proportions being slightly longer than tall. Good front (white collar can be deceiving). Masculine head, which is still developing. Lovely reach of neck & level top line. Good spring of ribs carried well back to moderate tuck-up. Correct in bone, pasterns & feet. Keen and alert. Well presented with correct moderate coat. Effortless mover. Given time, he will certainly mature into himself. 2. Harvey’s Gemthorne It’s a Hotspell. Very mature looking red-tri for 18 months. Masculine, well-proportioned head. Good fill under correct almond shaped eye. Good reach of neck and level top line. Slightly better angulation than 1. Good moderate bone and feet. Slightly long in body. Rich coat of correct length. Movement sound. Promising. 3. Serenari’s Incantations of Twilight Confortably Numb

YD (13-2) 1. Kedziora’s Morpheus Kascaro. (as before) 2. Pugh’s Aussiepride Veni Vedi Vici at Shloyan (Imp Rom) Cwj22 Cw22. A lot to like about this striking black-tri of good type. Balanced head, good reach of neck and level topline. Strong though loin. Moderate bone, strong pasterns and feet. Would prefer a tad longer in leg. Excellent side gait but needs to tighten up coming and going. One to keep an eye on as he matures. 3. Porteman’s Shepherds of Paradise Stealing the Show 

PGD (16-0) 1. Fourticq’s Mjbis Sois Mon Jeu D’ange Heureux de la Colombe Bearnaise Mjch Viceww Very impressed with the first five in this strong class. This black tri was my pick. Of excellent type. Stood well. Fair head, lovely reach of neck, good top line and croup. Excellent front with elbows well laid back. Well bodied without being course. Strong though the loin. Correct moderate bone and coat. In great condition. Moved like a dream. 2. Hobin’s Pastore Amato Endearing Reo (Imp Rus). A 2yo blue merle slightly lighter type than 1. Lovely dry head with moderate stop, level back skull and good ear set. Very keen and alert expression. Another with good reach of neck and well laid-back shoulders. So well balanced. Level top line, well maintained on the move. Good bone, feet and pasterns. Moved beautifully. First two could easily change places on another day. 3. Bothwell’s Louiston Whispered a Storm at Norcis JW

LD (14-2) 1. Cowley’s Sparkaway Supernatural Mature Blue merle of good type. Masculine without being course. Good length of muzzle, moderate stop and good ear set. Grand reach of neck, and level top line. Good front, ribs well let down and strong through the back and loin. Good overall balance. Strong behind. Moderate bone, good pasterns and feet. excellent coat and condition. Light on his feet. Moved freely and honestly. 2. Castelluci & Salvador’s Romantic Lover of Dreamtime Spirit. A black tri of good stamp. Balanced head with keen, alert expression. Slightly long overall but lots to like. Good top line and excellent front. Strong through the rear. Good bone. Moved well, without overreaching. 3. Heggie’s Talard Welcome to the Jungle 

OD (22-2) 1. Philippy & Krause’s Deu Ch Heart & Brain Change the Game This outstanding 3 y.o. blue merle stood out in this strong class. Such superb breed tipe. Strong, masculine, balanced head with good ear set so typical of what an Aussie should look like. Keen and alert expression with almond-shaped eyes. Liked his reach of neck which flowed into his level top line. Such balance throughout. Lovely oval bone, slight slope to pasterns and good feet. Correct, moderate coat. Perfection on the move both coming and going. No overreaching. Bet this dog could work all day. So well handled, allowing him to stack and move without interference from his handler. Delighted to award him CC. Very close call for top honours. 2. Raymond, Shaw & Kirtley’s Ch Brighttouch Drift the Line Through Dialynne (Imp Rus). At less than 3 y.o. this young blue-merle is most eye catching. A top winning male here in the UK who I didn’t feel was quite at his best today. Dry head, good reach of neck and level top line. Good forechest, depth of rib and strong through the loin. Well balanced angulation. Nice width to shoulders and rear. Correct bone and feet. Free and enthusiastic mover. Superbly presented to highlight his well textured coat. Handled to perfection. 3. Bothwell’s Ewbell Pure Dead Brilliant at Norcis ShCm

GCDSD (11-1) 1. Haddock’s Glamour Aussie’s Easy Rider Jicarilla (Imp Hun) A young blue-merle of good type. Excellent, dry and balanced head. Muzzle, stop and back skull all correct and in proportion. Good reach of neck flowing well into shoulders and level top line. Excellent front angulation echoed in rear. Very well presented and in good coat. Moved well enough to take the class. 2. Hellewell’s Franmar the Thriller. Mature 5 y.o. blue-merle. Well proportioned and masculine male. Head a little overdone for me but lovely reach of neck flowing smoothly into level top line. Good front and rear, balanced angulation. Well bodied. Strong through the loin. Good bone and feet. Shown in lovely coat and condition. Movement a little loose today. 3. White’s Franmar Devil’s Desire 

VB (9-1) 1. Fuller’s Ch Trijem Think Outside the Box Aw(b) Oh how I loved this black-bi lady. At 9 ½ she still takes my breath away with her outstanding outline and confirmation. 7 years ago I awarded her a RCC and I can only echo my comments from that day. She oozes breed type. Head very clean, dry, well balanced with moderate stop. Keen alert expression, full of intelligence. Nothing overdone. Good neck and excellent front. Good top line and slope to croup. Strong in pasterns, hocks and feet. Excellent example of a smaller but correctly sized bitch. Should never be discounted for having less white than others. Super condition. Movement light and effortless. 2. Raymond’s Ch Dancing on the Ceiling Del Whymper Delle G Jorasses A very smart and compact, fully mature bitch with most pleasing outline. Lovely feminine head, with good reach of neck, level topline. Excellent front and really strong rear. Well balanced throughout. Lovely bone and feet. Moved really well. 3. Fourticq’s Int Ch/ch Let it Grow of Fender Song Jch

MPB (1-0) 1. Walsh’s Birkcross Sing it Louder TAF Stood alone. A little unsettled so not showing her full potential today. Good length of muzzle but a tad too steep a stop for me. Fair reach of neck and good front. At just shy of 9 months, she’s very much at that unbalanced ‘inbetween’ stage. Time is on her side. 

PB (7-0) 1. Bothwell’s Norcis Dusky Disco A promising young black-tri. Strong, clean head. Good neck and top line. Well bodied for age. Good spring of ribs and moderate tuck up. Balanced width front and rear. Good bone and feet. Rear very slightly higher than front at this stage which was highlighted in her side gait. I’m sure she will grow on from this. Overall a promising youngster. 2. Harris’s Milwyr Jubilee Concert. A most attractive black-tri. Well balanced head, good reach of neck and overall a very nice young bitch. Good bone, pasterns and feet. Rather loose in movement which is only to be expected at this age. She will undoubtedly improve as time goes by. Beautifully presented and sympathetically handled which is always good to see and others could learn from. The bond between her and her young handler was a pleasure to see. 3. Fuller’s Norcis Witches’ Butter for Inoby 

JB (9-1) 1. Bothwell’s Norcis Summer Truffle This attractive red merle is a litter sister to my PB and initially appears more mature. Overall balance is good. Lovely correct and feminine head and another with a good reach of neck and good lay of shoulders which is lacking in many. Well bodied with good width to shoulders and rear without being overdone. Moderate bone, correct in pasterns and feet. In lovely coat and well presented. Sympathetically handled to highlight her good movement. 2. Kanatova’s Silver Dream Aussie S Xanta Maria. A very attractive blue-merle with really good proportions and outline. Feminine head with good ear set. Good reach of neck flowing into level top line. Good spring of ribs and correct moderate tuck-up. Shown in good coat and well presented. Would have relaxed more standing if she had been on a looser lead which also applied to her movement. May well have cost her the class! 3. Strauja & Price’s Jananshe Shine on Me

YB (10-0) 1. Bouquet’s Sweet Dream of Heliofy Memories. A striking and most attractive rich blue merle who really caught my eye. Great balance throughout. Such a lovely outline. Loved her feminine head of good proportions, no coarseness here. So well balanced. Lovely reach of neck which flowed into her level back. So good to see such well laid back shoulders and strong rear. Moderate tuck up. Correct slope to croup. Free, easy and light on her feet. Could easily take top honours on another day. 2. Mcdevitt’s Caronlea Tequila Sunrise (A1). Pleasing red merle with good overall proportions. Feminine head slightly spoilt by overlarge ears. Good reach of neck and well angulated front and rear. Good spring of ribs without being in any way course. Correct moderate tuck up. Well presented in lovely coat. Needed to be moved a little slower as was a tad overreaching in rear movement otherwise a rather promising young lady. 3. Dulac’s She S The Shadow To My Soul Des Terres De Khairyaca   

PGB (23-7) 1. Seazzu’s Aussie Revolution Dancing Queen At just under 2 y.o. this young blue-merle, showed her socks off. Oozing breed type not portraying any exaggerations whatsoever. A beautifully proportioned and feminine head with such a keen and alert expression. Clean, dry, head with good fill under almond shaped eyes. Good ear set. Correct reach of neck flowing into superb front. Level top line. Excellent spring of rib and moderate tuck up. Strong rear. Moderate, oval bone, strong in pasterns, hocks and feet. Agile, free, smooth and easy movement without any exaggeration. Very well presented and in good coat. Loved the bond with her handler and her high energy levels at the end of the long day. CC BOB 2. Gajewski’s Sex Blood Rock’n Roll des Terres de Khairyaca. Another young and very striking bitch in this impressive class. Strong yet feminine dry head with good width and plenty of fill under the eyes. Good ear set. Super reach of neck which flowed into her level top line. Slight rise over croup. Again, so well angulated with point of shoulder correctly running through elbows and feet. Strong rear. Preferred rear hocks of 1. Sound and impressive mover. 3. Fourticq’s Sowing the Seeds of Love de la Colombe Bearnaise JWW MJCH

LB (20-3) 1. Gibbons & Satherley’s Wispafete Belongs to Music JW A strong class and yet another blue-merle was my choice. Lovely clean, dry and balanced head. Good reach of neck flowed into level top line. So loved her overall balance. Good depth and width of chest without being overloaded. Well angulated front and rear. Strong through the loin with moderate tuck up. Correct moderate, oval bone, strong in pasterns. So well presented and handled. She moved with balance and enthusiasm on a loose lead. RCC 2. Cowley’s Sparkaway Talk of the Town. What a delightful, typical, feminine and dry head on this lovely mature girl. Breed type stamped all over her. Neck, top line and moderate slope to croup, all correct. Good to see such an excellent front. Good depth of chest and moderate tuck up. Another with super oval bone, good strong patterns, hocks and feet. Just preferred rear of 1 - close call. Shown in good coat and condition. Moved easily and freely. 3. Bouquet’s Sweet Dream of Heliofy Memories 

OB (28-4) 1. Castelluci & Salvador’s CH PS I Love You of Dreamtime Spirit These good blue merle bitches just kept coming. This large and impressive class was headed by a lovely, moderate, typey and balanced bitch. Feminine, balanced head and expression. Excellent reach of neck which just flowed into her shoulders and level top line. Good width front and rear and nice slope to croup. A tad long in back. Good oval bone, correct slope to patterns and sound feet. Well presented. Moved freely and easily. 2. Raymond’s Stonepine Written in the Stars for Dialynne. With a lovely, clean outline, this is a very pleasing black-tri of lovely type. Feminine and well balanced head. Good reach of neck. Shoulders well laid back. Good depth of chest and correct moderate tuck-up. Good to see moderate bone. Correct slope to pasterns and strong hocks. Another that moved with a light, easy stride although she didn’t appear to give her handler an easy time. Shown in great condition and correct moderate coat. Another day, another show for sure. 3. Gibbons & Blyton’s Wispafete Light My Fire

GCDSB 8(2) 1. Morley’s Trijem Return of the Magic. A heavier type blue-merle bitch. Pleasing head with good length of muzzle. Excellent lay of shoulders and good fore chest. Perfect line from point of shoulder, through elbows and feet. Liked her level top line and moderate slope to croup. Good to see correct oval bone, pasterns, hocks and feet. A tad long in body. Moved well enough to take the class. 2. Douglas’s Mapleridge Thief in the Night at Talard (IKC) NAF. This smaller blue-merle also had a good head and expression with a lovely, keen and alert expression. Good reach of neck and lay of shoulders. Another with an excellent, well angulated front. Good depth of chest and moderate tuck-up although she is a little high in the rear. Well presented and in good coat. 3. Venton’s Little Red-Cap du Chemin des Korrigans (IMP FRA)