Photos By Karl Donvil
While Day Three at the world’s largest dog show showcased the Pastoral (Herding) and Working breeds, the topic on everyone’s lips continued to be the Kennel Club’s High Profile Breed list, and the elimination of certain specimens from Group participation.
Conjecture and rumor have run riot, and it has become increasingly difficult to separate fact from fantasy. Certainly—to to my mind, at least—one of the more unfortunate spin-offs from this gutter brawl between contestants and committees is the fact that a goodly amount of positive attention is being drawn away from the Best of Breed dogs who do go forward.
The KC has made a reference booklet available that works to define the aim of the Breed Watch project, which launched in 2009 as part of their “Fit For Function: Fit For Life” campaign. This print copy is intended to provide judges with a point of reference before they enter the ring, and hopes they maintain their familiarity with individual breed issues by regularly consulting the Breed Watch area of the Kennel Club’swebsite. The thread running through the overall message is quoted here: “Particular points of concern for individual breeds may include features not specifically highlighted in the breed standard including current issues. In some breeds, features may be listed which, if exaggerated, might potentially affect the breed in the future. The features listed (below) are derived from health surveys, meetings of Group judges, feedback from judges at shows or in consultation with individual breed clubs/councils.”
Of interest is the fact that breeds on the “Fit For Function Breed Watch” list that include “points of concern for special attention by judges” come from right across the KC show system: the Basset and Bloodhound, Borzoi, Irish Wolfhound and Sloughi (Hound Group); Gordon Setter, Golden and Labrador Retriever, American and Clumber Spaniel (Gundogs); Bedlington, Bull, Cesky, Irish, Norwich, Staffordshire and West Highland White Terrier (Terrier Group); Bulldog, Chow Chow, French Bulldog and Shar Pei (Utility Group); Dogue De Bordeaux, Great Dane, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Newfoundland, Siberian Husky and Saint Bernard (Working Group); Bearded, Rough and Smooth Collie, German Shepherd Dog, Old English Sheepdog, Pyrenean Mountain Dog and Shetland Sheepdog (Pastoral Group); Chinese Crested, Pekingese, Pomeranian and Pug (Toy Group).
Those aforementioned “points of concern” range from the general—such as excessively long coats, over/underweight, pinched nostrils, excessive skin, loose eyelids and breathing difficulties—to the breed-specific, such as clipper rash/burn caused by shaving the Chinese Crested; and insufficient closure of the fontanelle in Pomeranians. It’s comment-provoking material, to be sure, and though it very likely will be chewed over and spat out by some, it’s also highly digestible food for thought.
Though it might seem the last three days have been naught but gloom and doom, nothing could be further off the mark. Tonight’s judging brought together some of the finest dogs seen in a Crufts lineup, and the packed house showed its appreciation often.
The Working Group opened courtesy of Mr. Jeff Luscott, who found his winner in the black Newfoundland dog, multi-Ch. King of Helluland Feel the Win. This dog has been a prolific winner across the Continent, as have others from the Slovakian kennel of Mr. and Mrs. Krockovci. Group Second was awarded to Mrs. P. and Miss. H. Taylor’s young Siberian bitch, Siberiaskye Brite Borealis of Pelenrise.
Third was no stranger to the “big ring”—the Boxer dog, Eng. Ir. Ch .Winuwuk Lust at First Sight. This fine gentleman came in tonight with a lengthy string of triumphs behind him: winner of the Crufts Working Groups in 2009 and 2011, breed CC record holder (65) and 2009’s Number 2 dog of all breeds. He is owned by Julie Brown and Tim Hutchings. The final placement went to the Tibetan Mastiff dog, Sierra’s Yogananda, an American import owned by Ms. A. Sutton and Mr. T. Nagrecha. Interesting to see this male listed as the sire of several other breed contenders.
Two breeds were absent under the HPB guidelines; no Best of Breed wins were allowed to the Mastiff or the Neapolitan Mastiff, though in Mastiffs Mrs. S.H. Windham awarded the Dog CC to multi-Ch. Barnaby Brullemail and the Bitch CC to Eng. Ch. Secret Charm. Mr. J. Horsewell found Doowneery Usi as his Best Neapolitan Dog, and Lux. Slo. Ch. Ithani as his Best Neapolitan Bitch, as the breed has not reached a point where it earns challenge certificates.
On to Pastoral dogs, where 29 breeds came forward for appraisal by Mr. Albert Wight. Only the Kuvasz was absent, not from elimination, but because no entries were present. Mr. Wight chose the Hungarian bred and owned Old English Sheepdog Ch. Bottomshaker My Secret, owned by Mr. J. Koroknai. The Bearded Collie owned by Mr. N. and Mrs. A. E. May, Ch. Sengalas Indiana Jones, made it on the podium for Group Second, while German Shepherd Dog Ch. Elmo Vom Huhnegrab picked up Group Third for owner Mr. J. Cullen. The Border Collie, Austr. Eng. Ch. Danari De Beers, got the nod for the final slot, and owners Mr. G. and Mrs. M. Clarke and Mr. P. and Mrs. T. Wheatley.
Three down, one to go. Tomorrow brings the Terrier and Hound Groups, plus Best in Show. Odds, anyone?
THE WORKING GROUP—Judge Mr. Jeff Luscott
First: Newfoundland multi-Ch. King of Helluland Feel the Win
(multi-Ch. King of Helluland The Deep Blue At Chateaunewf x multi-Ch. King of Helluland Very Important).
Breeders/Owners: Mr. V. and Mrs. S. Krockovci
Second: Siberian Husky Siberiaskye Brite Borealis Of Pelenrise JW
(Shimani Flynn At Siberiaskye x Shimani Call Me Minx)
Owners: Mrs. P. and Miss H. Taylor
Third: Boxer Eng. Ir.Ch. Winuwik Lust at First Sight
(Ch. Winuwik Lust In The Dust x Ch. Winuwik Story Book)
Owners: Julie Brown and Tim Hutchings
Fourth: Tibetan Mastiff Sierra’s Yogananda
(Shanghai’s Jack The Bear x Sierra’s Princess Miti Of Ista)
Owners: Miss A. Sutton and Mr. T. Nagrecha
THE PASTORAL GROUP—Judge Mr. Albert Wight
First: Old English Sheepdog multi-Ch. Bottomshaker My Secret
(Ch. Zecretzoro Aud Dem Elbeurstromtal x Ch. Reata’s Jackpot)
Owner: Mr. J. Koroknai
Second: Bearded Collie Eng. Ch. Sengalas Indiana Jones
(Ch. Moonhill Power Of Dreamz x Ch. Sengalas Indian Moon)
Breeders/Owners: Mr. N. and Mrs. A.E. May
Third: German Shepherd Dog Eng. Ch. Elmo Vom Huhnegrab
(Zamp Vom Thermodos x Ofi Vom Huhnegrab)
Owner: Mr. J. Cullen
Fourth: Border Collie Eng. Aust. Ch. Danari De Beers
(Aust.Ch. Tookurra Catch A Star x Aust.Ch. Danari Diamante)
Owners: Mr. G. and Mrs. M. Clarke; Mr. P. and Mrs. T. Wheatley