Dommer: Timothy Finney
56 stilte hunder
I should like to thank the Norwegian Club for inviting me to judge their annual Specialty in June. I was especially pleased as, although I have judged Irish Wolfhound specialties several times in Scandinavia over many years, it has never been in Norway. Apart from an international show in Stavanger in 2002, my only memory of Norway has been the EIWC Congress in Lillehammer in 2000 - a very nice entry in number and quality and I remember Mrs Jill Bregy enjoying her judging. The fairly long drive from the airport to Gol was a happy reminder of the varied, beautiful and spectacular Norwegian landscape. The village of Gol is set in a valley between high mountains and the showground in a large camping area nearby, a very appropriate setting for our giant sighthounds.
It was good to see so many families with their Wolfhounds, there for the weekend, enjoying the occasion. This is what dog showing should be about. On Saturday, afternoon I had the puppies to judge, 8 of them in the 4-6 month classes. Best puppy was an exceptionally pretty and well made black bitch, Glor Na Gael Camilla, just a day or two short of her halfanniversary. A lovely balanced set of curves, nicely angulated fore and aft.
BOS, and a significant month younger, was Rednock Dursley O’Marksbay, a well proportioned, well-boned red brindle. I would expect a very good future for both.
Following this, I had the afternoon to put in, and discovered two Wolfhound events that we do not see at home. In the main ring there were several hounds going through all the moves of obedience competition in really professional style. Great rapport between handlers and hounds and enjoyed by all.
I am almost certain that this obedience gene does not exist in my own pack of Wolfhounds, but maybe I should give it a try! The other event was new kind of lure coursing, whereby over a 150+ metre straight course the lure was pursued not only by a Wolfhound, and a Whippet or two, but also the owner, who, given a head start, called, shouted or screamed for the hound to follow – and most did.
Very good exercise for owner and hound alike, and hilarious for spectators. Runs were timed and a Wolfhound winner found; but, Whippets, the specialist coursers, were of course supreme. After this the communal barbecue, with a big attendance of next day’s exhibitors, and a very festive atmosphere prevailed, as it had for the whole day.
Sunday was the big show day. An entry of about 60 hounds, and a good sized rectangular ring, excellent steward in Arne Johan Aastvedt, scribe in Nanna Due, and a .student. judge, Tore Gr.nhaug, with whom I was happy to discuss hounds and placements as the day progressed.
I will confine myself to some general impressions regarding the entry. Looking at my catalogue, I see that I awarded considerably more Excellents than has been my recent experience in the Scandinavian countries. I put this down mainly to my satisfaction with the overall type of the entry particularly, in the high incidence of good length of leg, such an important element in the Wolfhound which fixes him in the Sighthound Group as a galloping hound.
When judging I try always to check that height to the elbow is at least 50% of height to the withers.
There were only a few that failed to meet this criterion. At other specialties in other countries, I have on occasions had to criticise some perhaps big winning Wolfhounds, which despite being endowed with great balance, lots of angulation and excelling at the trotting gait, did not possess this essential sighthound ingredient.@
Besides this, I was also impressed with the generally good condition of the hounds, and I suppose this can partly be attributed to the wonderful space that you have in Norway, and the tradition of enjoying the great outdoors - but also owners must have an understanding of what constitutes a fit animal (not always found to be the case elsewhere), and I must congratulate the exhibitors on that.
With the nice condition went a lot of sound movement. Generally, I found enough substance in the hounds. There were few, if any, downgraded for being ultra-light. With just a couple of exceptions, temperament was good, any misbehaviour being due to the obvious inexperience of a few of the hounds, and one or two exhibitors (which I never take into account!). I have very few negatives to apply to this entry. They would largely be those we find everywhere in the Wolfhound world - some fronts without fill-in, let alone forechest, upright shoulders, short upper arms, some short ribbing, one or two narrow jaws. There were a few classic, typical heads but maybe less in number than I would expect.
I was of course delighted with my BIS, Multi Ch Cormacs Maddox. He is supremely well balanced with nothing exaggerated in his construction and shape. Lovely depth of outline with moderate curves in all the right places. I particularly admired his well made forehand which allowed such easy, fluent movement. A beautiful hound with commanding appearance. At five and a half, I should say that he is at the peak of his condition. Nice to see, when many hounds mature so early and do not last.
Reserve BIS and Best Bitch was August Amber O’Marksbay. A substantial, red wheaten. Well boned and very strong in loin. Loved her well made hindquarters with low hocks. Very typical and upstanding. In the end I had Maddox ahead on that easy movement, as well as his definite houndiness.
This was for me a memorable weekend, not just for the nice quality of the show entry, but also for the verve and energy of the organisers, who even had song sheets ready for the aftershow dinner sing-a-long, a wonderful achievement as normally dog show people do not sing!
This just typified the pleasant atmosphere throughout the two days. My thanks to everyone concerned – stewards, committee and, most important, the exhibitors.
BIS ble INT NORD FIN UCH KBHV11 NORDV-11 NV-12-13 Cormacs Maddox, eid og oppdrettet av Odd og Gunn Marit Myhre. BIM ble N SE DK UCH NJV-12 KBHV-13 August Amber O’Marksbay, eid og oppdrettet av Knut Olav Wille og Øivind Berg Larsen.
BIS Veteran ble NORD UCH Cormacs Carmen Elektra, eid og oppdrettet av Gunn Marit og Odd Myhre.
BIS Unghund ble NJV-13 Mairead Maguire Ardfhuil O’Marksbay, eid og oppdrettet av Øivind Berg Larsen og Knut Olav Wille. BIM Unghund ble DKJV-13 DKV-13 NJV-13 Furlongs Crusader, oppdretter er Elsa Annica Gustavsson. Eier er Monica og Anette Fornebo Eliassen.