Ann Ingram on judging
It was my first time Judging in Dortmund and I was very impressed with the whole organisation and layout of the show, with plenty of room around the rings, excellent ring secretary and ring stewards, and wonderful relaxed hospitality!
One of the things I always enjoy when on the continent, especially in Scandinavian countries and it was certainly true at this show as well, is that the exhibitors are interested in what the judges have to say both good and bad, and it is not unusual to speak with the handlers to explain why you placed the dogs in that particular order, in fact sometimes, you can say something and the handler will agree with you! They also read the critiques and do not take offence when you not only describe the good points but also say what could be improved upon, and of course, it is important when writing the critiques, to justify the grade given!
I judged Westies, Yorkies and Norfolks on the first day VDH European Winner Show, and I was so impressed with the quality of the dogs. A good entry of 16 Norfolks proved to be a great start to the day with some good quality dogs and happily very few long and low which i have seen sometimes in other countries, these were all very nice type and short backed.
This was followed by 48 Westies which certainly made for some tough decisions between top quality dogs, and it was really hard to choose between my champion male and my intermediate class winner as they were both well presented with super attitude, and top class dogs, in the end I went for the younger dog, from Holland, who also took BOB and i was pleased to see him take Group 2 later in the day under Hans Van De Berg.
In Yorkies which were also good quality throughout the breed, I lost my heart to the wonderful champion male, Ch Campers Countach, presented in wonderful coat, with the most delightful head and expression, he was so well made under the coat, and a joy to watch on the move!
Later in the day I had the pleasure of judging Group 9 and was really impressed with the quality of the group overall, and the final 3 were exceptional. The top spot went to the Tibetan Terrier so very typy, shown in lovely coat with great carriage and ring presence, he never put a foot wrong.
Group 2 went to the Smooth Coat chihuahua, and what a star, this young man is, only a youngster, but he claimed the big ring as his own, and moved so soundly with his great attitude, correct tail carriage, nice head and well set ears, for sure he will have a great future.
Completing the excellent trio, was the Chinese Crested, another really nice one, with her lovely carriage, and easy movement, excellent head and expression and great temperament, it was very close decisions between these 3.
The second day I had 8 Terrier breeds which started off well with some nice Australian Terrier males but unfortunately the bitches were not of the same quality so didn't feel I could award an excellent.
Only 4 Dandie Dinmonts, but all of nice type, then very mixed quality in Kerry Blues with an outstanding BOB winner champion male. Scotties produced a very nice wheaten bitch of nice size and lovely attitude, i just loved watching her going around the ring! 6 Skyes, a bit mixed, but here again the BOB winner was good type.
That just left 13 Parsons and 12 Jack Russells to finish the day. Parsons are always a bit difficult to judge as there is such a variation in type and size, with some verging on the Jack Russell length of front leg and others near the top of the standard height, I was pleased with my BOB winner who won Working Class and came from Italy and was a good representative of the breed.
Finally came the Jack Russells, a breed I am very fond of for their lovely cheeky temperaments and dare devil attitude. They were quite mixed in type and quality, with some a little heavy in ribcage and a little too short in back but I was happy with my BOB winner, a young bitch who also came from Italy, she could be a little shorter in loin, but she had a great head and expression and moved really well. This concluded a very enjoyable day.