Dommer: Chris MacLeod
58 stilte hunder
I was very pleased to be invited to judge the Norwegian Specialty show. My husband Chippy and I decided to go together and try and visit some of the country whilst we were there.
A huge thank you to Øivind Berg Larsen for organising our schedule. If ever you want anyone to sort out flights, boats, trains, (lifts when there’s a train strike) - then Øivind is your man!
We were on a tight schedule as we had to be back for Ladies day at Royal Ascot, but we managed to visit Oslo, had a wonderful boat trip along the fjord from Flåm to Bergen and had a guided tour of Bergen. We’d better not join the argument about which is the nicer city... yes we will, it’s Bergen!
Some fantastic train journeys with fabulous views, a lift across the mountains still covered in snow, ran the wolfhounds along the river, exercised wolfhounds in Bergen city centre and also in Øivind and Knut Olav’s own private forestry. What a privilege!
The weekend started with a great Bar-B-Q on friday evening that everyone attended, Anne Mette’s cooking skills were amazing and there was enough food to feed an army.
The board held their AGM on saturday morning so Chippy and I went off to explore the tiny local wooden church. We then walked down to the river to our own little private «beach» and I had a paddle, the water was absolutely freezing, still lots of snow on the mountain tops, coming straight down into the river.
The show began at 3pm on saturday when I judged the puppies, 4-6 month old babies. Some super young babies who took it all in their stride, unfortunately the two older puppy bitches were both a little unsettled so I spent time encouraging them to move around the ring, to settle them down, to enable me to go over them. BIS puppy was a very typy, houndy happy bitch puppy, Gulleiv’s Mustang Shelby, owned and bred by Monica and Anette Fornebo Eliassen, who had lots of scope and potential and moved so soundly. BOS puppy was a handsome, well boned young male, Wolfhouse Baritone, belonging to Knut Olav Wille and Øivind Berg Larsen, and bred by Pernille Monberg of the famous danish Wolfhouse kennel.
Then the obedience competition judged by Ing-Mari from Sweden took place. Linda Vabø so easily won with Wolfhenge Corinne, a bitch with whom she has a wonderful rapport and who has such aptitude for obedience, she looked like a Border Collie working. The saddest news ever was that Linda lost Corinne in the early hours of monday morning, and everyone was devastated for her. Thank goodness she has Maddie, her beautiful young greyhound puppy, a lovely blue brindle of super type, to focus on.
Then the junior handling was judged by Marie Andersen, my very efficient critique writer from the saturday.
After that the time trials, great fun for the hounds, not so much for owners who had to run the course so that their hounds would chase them. The trial was won by a very tall hound, Cormacs Shonagh, who’d also won the tallest dog competition and had the longest stride of a double suspension gallop I have ever seen! He needs to try lure coursing!
The tallest bitch was won by Cazavina’s Cora Crawley, owned and bred by Ing-Mari Johansson from Sweden.
There was a gala dinner on the Saturday evening, what fun and a great atmosphere with lots of singing and «poems» and super food. Then a 9am start on sunday.
I was looking for a houndy sighthound of excellent type that meets the breed standard. A hound of good make and shape with a well angulated laid back shoulder and upper arm giving forechest, with corresponding powerful angulated hind quarters ensuring a balanced curvaceous outline. In hard muscular condition with powerful driving movement, portraying a picture of a hound who could hunt wolf and do the job that the IWH was bred for.
I was very impressed with the overall quality of your stock, and I have seldom given so many excellents or called in hounds again for further assessment for the Best head and expression and the movement competitions.
My excellent steward «Arnie» (Arne Johan Aastvedt) was beginning to panic, and poor «Cindy» (Sigrid Svingen) was writing lots with my long, hopefully mainly positive critiques. This was testament to the overall quality of your stock, despite some prevalent issues of concern, such as short straight upper arms, and forechest lacking as a result. Also some rather flat feet and some hounds who were down on their pasterns.
A galloping hound needs strong, tight feet. Also too many hounds were flying their tails, which really detracts from the overall picture. Most hounds were in good condition, clean coats and well muscled, some more than others. Kennels such as Ballygrans were in really hard muscular condition, and one can tell they gallop freely.
I reflected afterwards, whether I should have graded some hounds lower, ie good instead of very good, but was aware that some exhibitors appeared to be novices who possibly don’t show much and I believe that it’s imperative to focus on the positive aspects of the hound whilst obviously still recognising faults. Also we have a responsibility to encourage newcomers into the breed and not ruin their confidence or fun.
At the end of the day we each take the best dog home with us. And they will be the new guardians of the breed when we are gone.
Generally speaking there was good length and also crest of neck, temperaments with a few exceptions were excellent with lots of wagging tails and «kisses» given to me. Most hounds had length of leg and daylight under them with long straight bone.
I was especially checking for narrow underjaws and lower canines protruding into the upper jaw, the Kennel Club Breedwatch Scheme is asking us to monitor in the UK, but I didn’t find any (and only three level bites in the entire entry.)
The two veteran bitches were a joy. Similar in type, and their movement so active and free as befits a much younger hound and in lovely condition. Both were a real credit to their owners. The Best Veteran was Ellinor Jonsson’s Comedias Raquelle The Air’s Lady.
My best bitch and eventual BIS winner was a beautiful bitch, Annika Gustavsson’s N SE UCH NV-15 Ascendings Nemesis, of classic type and of outstanding quality who moved spectacularly. Full of power with reachy, driving movement, who looked as if she could hunt all day, yet retaining elegance and femininity. The reserve best bitch, Annika Gustavsson’s Furlongs Roseanna, was also of old fashioned super type and she too had so much quality, but couldn’t quite match the long free striding easy movement of the winner.
My best dog, Anette and Monica Fornebo Eliassen’s NORD UCH DKJV NJV SEV Furlongs Crusader, was a hugely impressive stallion hound who exudes presence, power and strength. He was outstanding but could not quite match the bitch for freedom and ease of movement. The reserve to him, Anne Mette Mikkelsen’s Ballygran’s Gywn Gwair. Beat into 3rd place, Odd and Gunn Marit Myhre’s INT NORD FIN UCHKBHV NORD Cormacs Maddox, a very handsome dog of great type who moved very soundly but not as freely or with such drive as the powerful curvacious wheaten owned by Anne Mette Mikkelsen. Ballygrans Gwyn Gwairs tremendous reach in front was incredible, and with his powerful well muscled strong hindquarters giving such drive behind I awarded him Reserve Best Dog. He also won the movement cup.
A very well organised and friendly show with a great atmosphere. Thank you to the committee for inviting me to judge and for making
Chippy and I both so welcome, for everyone’s hospitality and looking after us so well. Also thank you to the exhibitors for sportingly accepting my decisions, not everyone can win, and on the day it’s my objective opinion and there will be another judge another day.
Hope to see you all in Germany at the EIWC congress next year!
Best In Show ble N SE UCH NV-14 Ascending’s Nemesis, oppdrettet av Maria Andersson i Sverige, eid av Annica Gustavsson i Sverige. Best i Motsatt Kjønn ble NORD UCH DKJV-13 DKV-13 NJV-13 SEV-15 Furlongs Crusader, oppdrettet av Annica Gustavsson, eid av Monica og Anette Fornebo Eliassen.
BIS Veteran ble 9 år og 3 måneder gamle Comedias Raquelle The Air's Lady, eid og oppdrettet av Ellinor Jonsson i Sverige.
BIS Junior ble Gaothaire Caer Dallben, eid av Monica og Anette Fornebo Eliassen. BIM Junior ble Great Gatsby Caer Dallben, eid av Per Arne Flatberg og Anne Birgitte Larsen. De to søsknene er oppdrettet av Veronica Vocetkova i Tsjekkia.
BIS Valp ble Gulleiv's Mustang Shelby, eid og oppdrettet av Monica og Anette Fornebo Eliassen. BIM Valp ble Wolfhouse Baritone, oppdrettet av Pernille Monberg i Danmark, og eid av Knut Olav Wille og Øivind Berg Larsen.