The Scottish Cavalier Club 2018 Championship Show
Bitches Mr G Inglis (Craigowl)
Bitch CC Spall & Clark's Llapsttams Killer Queen
Reserve Bitch CC Gow's Lochbuie Teazle At Lyncraeg
Best Puppy Bitch Sansom's Byermoor The Empress
I was pleased to return again to Scotland to judge for the club that provided my introduction to the dog show world and on whose committee I had served for a number of years. Our move north to Newcastle has made our renewed support of the Club's shows more frequent and always enjoyable. Club shows are primarily for the members and are enjoyed by all manner of exhibitors who share the common love of the Cavaliers and provide an opportunity for viewing the breed in numbers and talking to like-minded enthusiasts whose ambitions may be greater or lesser. I remember my first visit to the championship show in Stirling in 1972, as a spectator, being thrilled to see so many Cavaliers in one place. I am sure that today there were others that experienced that feeling.
In writing a critique, I tend towards the old school of thought that it is a commentary on the progress of breeders and exhibitors in their quest to present Cavaliers in accordance with the breed standard, rather than heaping flowery accolades on every animal judged without any constructive criticism.
It is now a decade since the Breed was subjected to public assault by misguided do-gooders and its prolonged and vicious aftermath saw many breeders give up or considerably reduce their breeding activities. So today there is a substantially new core of Cavalier breeders, albeit considerably less numerically, on whom the progress of the breed is dependent.
In my opinion, size is much more consistent. I remember showing in the 1980s, two bitches that we considered were the size according to the standard (small, well balanced, well within the 12-18 lb. range) against mostly bigger and more substantial ones. Today, correct sized bitches are more prevalent rather than the exception. I was dismayed to read a critique recently with the message in capitals that small is not good. I disagree, small is correct provided there is adequate bone and substance. Perhaps the use of capitals took the intended message out of context.
I have also recently read social media comments about the length of coats and legs today.
The standard calls for coats to be long and silky and free from curl with plenty of feathering, compared to Maltese (reasonable length) and Yorkshire Terrier (moderately long). So breeders of today are to be congratulated on their progress in this aspect.
Leg length can be a problem, and long coats can often give the illusion of shorter legs, but I think that the measure of legs should be gauged against the length of the body. Length of loin is as much a problem as shortness of leg. A balance between the two is necessary.
Modern head shapes are also the subject of criticism, both skulls and forefaces. I've seen some comments reminiscing about the 1980s as the golden age of Cavaliers. It certainly was in many respects and great Cavaliers were far more numerous. Even so, today’s top winners although not in numbers compare favourably and better many of these heroes of the past. However, it was in those 1980s that heads started to change due to the influence of the stud dogs used. These added a fullness and softness to the expressions which were a step forward from the earlier concentration on developing length of muzzle and flatter skulls from the originating stock. But, over the years there has been an exaggeration of these features in some dogs with higher rounded skulls and shorter heavier muzzles.
A major concern these days is the tail-set and carriage. There are too many rounded croups and incorrect tail carriages. The tail should be an extension of the level backline carried gracefully not much above the level of the back. The hall in Lanark provided a ring large enough to stand back and clearly see the bitches move in profile and sadly there were too few to satisfy me in this respect. General construction was in the main adequate with acceptable front and rear angulation, but the picture was in many cases spoiled by the recurring flaws in backline and tail carriage.
I regard the state of the breed today as being a “Work in Progress” with the areas I have mentioned needing a greater or lesser degree of fine tuning.
My comments on the dogs I placed are as I saw them on the day. I finalised just 4 of the class winners as fulfilling the criteria I had set myself - size, balance, construction, deportment, head and expression, personality and coat finish. I was delighted with the CC winner, shown today in glorious coat and condition and carrying herself with great style and grace, and the best puppy, who was a long way towards being a stunning adult. My Reserve CC, the veteran, although past her prime encapsulated the various priorities I sought and served as a living illustration of this. The minor puppy had so much to appreciate and with maturity will develop into something special to be proud of.
A final comment on the new judging regime we are moving to. I'm worried, even now. There are many new "breed" judges, and I struggle to recall a Cavalier of note being bred or exhibited by many of them and I've been around for a while. In addition there are a number of judges in the pipeline, whose experience and success as breeders and exhibitors is questionable. I accept that judging is a learning curve, but perhaps before judging at the highest level, some need to look at their own and be able to objectively and honestly critique their own show dogs before doing so on others. The judges, as much as the breeders, will have a significant influence on the future of our breed.
1st Gow's Lochbuie Teazle at Lyncraeg
A lovely start to the day, as this 9 year old blenheim was of ideal size with a balanced outline, correct markings and a good length of coat. Soft gentle eyes in a well- proportioned headpiece and dark nose pigmentation. She satisfied me constructionally with enough neck and a shortish back and carried herself with enthusiasm showing great character. Held her outline on the move and carried her tail perfectly. I forgave the shortage of teeth. Delightful and deserving Reserve CC winner.
2nd Turnbull’s Peakdowns Penny Layne
Another well-marked blenheim. Nearly 12 years old and looked very fit. Correct in size with a pleasing head type and eyes. Good neck and shoulders with firm body, but just rounding over the croup. Moved accurately but with less flair than winner and not so well coated. Holding her age well.
3rd Scott's Lorphil Lalibertie
Res. Glen's Sandbrae Serenade in Blue
Minor Puppy 8(2)
1st Waters & Bryson's Sweetbriar Sorbet
Pretty blenheim exactly 9 months old on show day. She emphasised how varied the rate of development in this 6-9 months age class can be, as she stood quite apart in this respect from the others. She is now quite ready for the move up to the puppy class, being firm and balanced in outline with strong well- placed legs on her shapely body with ideal topline and tail set. Broken markings of good colouring on a coat of reasonable length and soft texture. She carried herself efficiently and accurately holding her outline with her tail straight off the backline. Enough breadth of skull and feathered ears gave the flatness required and delightful large dark eyes. Needs to develop a little more in foreface and muzzle to counteract the impression that her muzzle markings can give in profile, but face on she is sweetness itself. A merited member of my final four today.
2nd Rhodes' Calonlan Titania
Although just 4 days younger than winner, this small and perfectly marked blenheim is as yet some way behind in development and appeared younger. Pleasing head properties with good eyes, a shapely muzzle and well-set ears .Dark nose pigment and correct teeth. Shortish body but rounding over the croup. She moved steadily enough but would like more drive and purpose.
3rd Gibb-Stuart's Over the Moon Ursidos Kodiak
Res. Linton's Thekop's Cinderella
VHC. Bacon’s Timbric First Edition
1st Sansom's Byermoor The Empress
The easy winner here. An impressive blenheim whose head is most attractive with well placed ears, large soulful eyes and dark pigmentation. Ideal balance of skull to muzzle and a gentle outlook. Perfect in size with eye catching outline of the correct proportions. Well developed with deep chest, firm body and correct angulation front and rear. All parts fitted together so well and she was able to move with ease. Particularly liked her going around where she displayed an ideal profile holding a firm topline and carrying her tail as an extension. Her heavy body markings are rich in colour and all that is required is some length to her coat to move into the major league. Best Puppy in Show.
2nd Mangham’s Charnavale Perfect Angel
Bodily, this ideally marked and richly coloured blenheim ran the winner close as she too had a good ribcage, satisfying angles and was correct for size and balance. She lost a little in head and expression, as I would have liked larger eyes and a softer outlook and darker pigment. Steady and accurate on the move, but without the style and fluency of the winner. But overall she had much to appreciate.
3rd Turnbull's Peakdowns Elle
Res. Rogerson's Rabymar Nancy Drew
VHC. Gow's Lyncraeg Marnie
Junior 10 (0)
1st Gaskell's Jeilohn Judy
A very elegant Tricolour of pleasing proportions. Most attractive head with soft gentle eyes, and rich tan face markings enhancing her expression. Correct in muzzle with neat lipline and perfect teeth. A reachy neck fits well to her well- placed shoulders and firm topline, Tailset was ok, but carriage a shade high at times. Positive and accurate on the move, holding a good profile. Her blanketed black coat was of good length and presented in superb gleaming condition. A great deal to be appreciated about her.
2nd Lovel's Lovetrac Boogie Wonderland
Delightful expression on this blenheim’s head of ideal proportions and of the highest quality. She had neat unexaggerated features, dark pigmentation and gentle eyes and outlook. Just enough neck to match her small frame. Good ribs and firm topline. Could be more positive in rear action and was perhaps a shade short in leg for perfect balance. Richly coloured coat presented in exemplary condition.
3rd Snook's Ellemich Daisy Daydream at Coralvalley. I called her back to the ring when she failed to walk initially. Well worth persisting with.
Res.Bell's Chistabella Only You
VHC.Fisk's Rebhann Ivanna-Tinkle
1st Hughes Loranka’s So Scrumptious
Perfect sized blenheim with pleasing overall conformation with correct angulation front and rear. Carrying some extra weight today. Soft gentle eyes and a generous expression with well feathered long ears. Good reach of neck and firm backline. Steady and accurate on the move with satisfying profile. Coat of soft texture presented in fine condition.
2nd Rhodes Calonlan Pretty In Pink
Blenheim with lozenge and well broken markings, but not as rich in colouring as winner. Pleasing skull and earset, large dark eyes. Neat lips but would like a shade more length to muzzle which would soften her expression. Nose pigment slightly off- colour Well bodied and adequate on the move.
3rd Fisk's Rebhann Mona-Lott
Res. Turner's Jorajo Queen Juno With Moniack
VHC. Jolly's Jorajo Beautiful Girl Venus
1st Rogerson’s Rabymar Vera
Ruby Puppy with much to like. Pleasing head type with good eyes and enough length and shape to her muzzle. Well- developed body with good angulation front and rear, but would like a shorter loin. Soft textured coat of good length and colouring and steady on the move. 9 months old with potential
2nd Richardson's Kringleholme Mosiac
Blenheim, unplaced in Puppy Class, who was correct for size with well broken markings, but no length of coat as yet. Pleasing head type with correct muzzle and clean lips. Large eyes and good pigment. Not so pleasing in construction and posture and would have liked better front and rear angulation resulting in more fluent movement.
3rd Barr's Rosabel Amber At Stronepoint
Res. Jolly's Jorajo Beautiful Girl Venus
1st Gaskell's Jeilohn Rosie
Nicely proportioned Blenheim of good size with a pleasing head type, well set ears, dark eyes and dark pigment. Good skull to muzzle balance. Reachy neck and correct front and rear angles. Very well marked and rich in colouring. Displayed a very happy attitude and moved moved steadily and accurately in her class, but was perhaps distracted by the presence of her tri littermate in the challenge where her movement was less accomplished. Lots to like about her.
2nd R & E Waddington's Cranvarl Georgie Spindlepoint
Blenheim with a very appealing head type and attractive outlook. Her head at present appears too big for her body which is as yet quite underdeveloped and felt more substance is needed to firm up her frame. Would prefer better front angulation and less rounding over the croup. Not the coat and condition of winner.
3rd Turner's Jorajo Queen Juno With Moniack
Res. Jolly's Jorajo Beautiful Girl Venus
Graduate 6 (2)
1st Levy & Sedgwick's Pascavale Felicity
Blenheim of correct size and balanced in outline. Heavily marked but the colouring on her straight coat was rich and of good length and soft textured. Large dark eyes and well feathered ears with a clean and shapely muzzle gave her a soft expression and gentle outlook. Good in neck and angles and overall a very pleasing package. Needs more confidence to show her qualities to advantage, especially in a hall like this large high-roofed venue which I’ve seen inhibit a number of exhibits over the years
2nd Hughes Loranka's Beautiful Moments
Small neatly proportioned tricolour, with correct construction who was steady and accurate on the move. Heavily marked coat of good length and soft texture. Overall head shape was ok, but would like a softer expression and gentler eyes.
3rd Rhodes' Calonlan Pretty In Pink
Res. Lee's Calonlan Love Actually For Kelrick
Post Graduate 3(0)
1st White's Carleny Northern Light
This Black and Tan was the most pleasing for size and balance in this small class. Attractive head with correct earset and muzzle shape and dark pigment. Good size of eye but could be darker. Overall a soft and gentle outlook. I would have liked a bit more neck and better head carriage on the move. Strong hindquarters and plenty of coat of soft texture and condition.
2nd Anderson's Kinvaar Mona Lisa At Glenlora
Blenheim. A size or so bigger than my ideal and carrying a bit too much weight. Head type very pleasing with a soft and unexaggerated features. Nose pigment could be stronger and she showed too much white in one eye. Good neck and angles front and rear. Appeared rather lethargic which affected her movement.
3rd McCabe's Cavilera's Daisy Boe
Special Post Graduate (Wholecolour) 3(0)
1st Groundwater's Bonniemadra Dream Chaser
Black and Tan. Perfect for size and balanced in outline. Unexaggerated head type, with large round eyes and overall a satisfying gentle expression. Well coated with the appropriate tan markings rich in colour. Coat straight and long with soft texture in lovely condition. Steady and accurate on the move.
2nd Linton's Thekop's Cinderella
Another Black and Tan, just a puppy (4th) but already well grown. A pretty head with flattish skull and good ears. Moved OK. Has scope for development. Just at an in between stage with coat starting to come
3rd Barr's Rosabel Amber At Stronepoint
Special Post Graduate (Particolour) 7(2)
1st Turnbull's Peakdowns Mystic
Small blenheim, so well balanced in outline and accurate and efficient on the move. Tight in front, steady in rear and holding her profile and tail so well in profile. Good ribs, correct angles and well put together. Unexaggerated head features, with a tidy balanced muzzle and lips, just lacked the softness of expression I was seeking. Coat thick and rich in colouring, but lacking length on top and sides, although adequate feathering below.
2nd Bacon's Timbric Ultra Violet
Another Blenheim with good overall conformation and correct angulation front and rear. A size bigger than winner and her coat was a bit unruly. Head type acceptable, just heavier in foreface than I prefer. Moving well, particularly in profile where she holds her outline well and is keen and willing to please.
3rd Scott's Toscam McKayla
Res. Richardson's Kringleholme Seruna
VHC. Anderson's Kinvaar Mona Lisa At Glenlora
1st Hughes Loranka's Rainbow Dreams
Exceedingly well broken markings plus a lozenge on this Blenheim of ideal size and proportions. Very satisfying head properties and a sweet and gentle expression. Round dark eyes, well placed ears of good length. Correct in size with neat body shape, good angulation and enough leg length. Carrying a little extra weight, but this was clouded by her soft and lustrous coat of good length and quality. Moved very steadily in her class to be a contender on the day, but was less willing to move with freedom in the challenge.
2nd Sidgwick's Salegreen Peony For Paulian JW
Again perfect well-distributed markings on this Blenheim who was a shade bigger than winner. She is so well put together, moving with freedom and accuracy and responding with enthusiasm to all that is asked of her. Standing presented a balanced outline. Her broad blazed skull coupled with her ears held low can appear rather rounded and for me her head and expression are a shade masculine.
3rd Groundwater's Bonniemadra Dream Chaser
Res. Gow's Grajenco Macchiato At Lyncreag
VHC Blair's Bellflow's Anastasia
Special Open (wholecolour) 2(0)
1st Spall & Clark's Llapsttams Killer Queen
This very feminine Black and Tan was shown in the peak of condition. Stunning head type with broad flat skull and well -placed long feathered ears. Large dark well-spaced and forward-facing eyes add gentleness to her expression. Skull to muzzle proportions ideal. Graceful neck set onto correct shoulders and firm back. Perhaps a tad long in loin, but her body was sufficiently bodied and coated to give her the overall balanced profile I sought. Good strong quarters and correctly set tail. Her coat of dark colouring with bright tan highlights was in presented in perfect condition, straight and long and soft to the touch. A steady and fluid mover, she gave her all today. A worthy CC winner in any company and my congratulations on winning Best In Show.
2nd Glen's Black Xenia V Cavino To Sandbrae (IMP NLD)
Another Black and Tan. Not quite so pleasing in head type, although her eyes are large and the muzzle shape is correct. Good size and solid in body. Perhaps a little overweight. Rising over the loin both standing and on the move. Coat of good length, but a bit harsher in texture to the touch.
Special Open (Resident in Scotland) 5(1)
1st McMurray's Cinderaic Are You For Me At Merryoth
Blenheim of correct size. Just not the profile on the move I was seeking and would have preferred less rounding over the croup. Front and rear angulation are correct and her body is firm and well-developed. Well broken markings of rich colouring. Could use her ears better to flatten her skull and give more fullness to her expression. Nose pigment a bit off-colour. Great personality and a happy showgirl. Coat shortish but of good colouring and texture
2nd Groundwater's Bonniemadra Dream Chaser
3rd Glen's Black Xenia V Cavino To Sandbrae
Res. Blair's Bellflows Anastasia
1st Lee's CH Calonlan Perfect Kiss For Kelrick JW ShCm
This well marked Blenheim was a size bigger than what I was looking for. Good earset and carriage gives the desired flatness to skull and muzzle shape is acceptable with good eye size and colour. An amiable expression. Enough neck with good angulation front and rear. Could be shorter in loin. More length of coat would add balance. Tailset could be better and today carriage was more than just above back level. She had a good attitude but in the challenge tended to lunge round the enlarged ring.
2nd Rix's Ricksbury Royal Tapestry
Another pretty Blenheim who scored in size and general construction. Presented a balanced outline and moved steadily and accurately. Well set ears and enough breadth of skull gave the correct flat appearance to her head. Shapely and unexaggerated facial features. Correct eyes. Nose pigment could be stronger. Coat whilst good in colouring just lacked any appreciable length.
3rd Lovel's Lovetrac Yumdiddly
More to my taste head wise, with expressive eyes and very pleasing outlook, but sadly her movement let her down.
Gordon Inglis (Judge)