A sunny Sunday started in Laukaa with a good entry of Bulldogs where BOB went to the open bitch winner, Möwens Original, well made and sound and with breathing problems whatsoever on a sunny day.
Boxers came next and BOB was between a half brother and sister with the red male, Cocoon’s Perfect Choice, winning from open. He was an excellent headed masculine male with real hammy hindquarters and moved with great power.
The single Smooth St Bernard was graded very good while the same handler won BOB and BOS in longs, the nod going to the bitch, Blancolin No Problem. She had a much more unexaggerated head than the male and so was much better angulated behind.
Leonbergers were pleasing and BOB went to a young male, Kinglords Mr Shockwave, who handled himself so well on the move but I would have liked a little more rear angulation.
There were some super Newfoundlands present and a walkover BOB was won by the yearling male, Wave Seeker’s Fly Me To The Moon. Although he came from the age class at 20 months, when we were getting photos his owner/breeder informed me that he had won 26 CACs already. I was not surprised as he is a top class dog in every respect and I see is yet another to have a sire from the legendary Pouch Coves kennel of Peggy and Dave Helming in the US. Another Wave Seeker’s took BOB in the veteran bitch, Ch World Premier, who was as feminine as the BOB winner was masculine.
There were just three Pyrenean Mountain Dogs but I loved the BOB winner, another yearling male, Chenespace Patron, an immaculately presented dog of great quality and elegance.
Rottweilers were a great disappointment and despite a large entry I did not award one excellent as type and movement were just not good enough.
I finished the day with Affenpinschers and BOB was a cracking male, Ch Mambo Jambo v Tani Kazari, who had been my reserve BIS winner at Jyvaskyla last year when he would have gone all the way had he not down-tailed at the last minute. In Laukaa he was firing on all cylinders. Saija Juutilainen judged group 2 at Laukaa and clearly shared my enthusiasm for some of my BOB winners as she had Mambo Jambo winning ahead of the Newfoundland and the Leonberger.
Hans Lehtinen judged BIS and he had the Affenpinscher standing second behind the lovely young Lhasa Apso bitch, Ch Chic Choix Cleopatra Eurydice. I remember making her BOB in Oulu last year when she was just 13 months old, and predicting she would have a rosy future. She is by a son of Ch Kutani Reckless out of a Reckless grand-daughter and is another bred by the supremely clever Juha Kares who recently judged the breed at Blackpool.
On the subject of Finland’s senior all-rounder Hasse was telling me that when he comes to judge at the Houndshow this year he will be celebrating 50 years of awarding CCs in the UK, quite an achievement.
Full marks to Jill Broadberry and her team for getting through the East of England show despite the attempts of the British weather to sabotage the event. I was there just for the one day when I judged Irish Wolfhounds, all of whom were new to me. From an interesting entry I felt that a standout BOB winner was Ch Bokra Tudor, an upstanding curvy male who really filled the eye. He went on to take G2 under Brenda Banbury behind the fabulous Jilly who went on to clinch another BIS. RCC in males was Driftcot Billy Elliot, another handsome male who just couldn’t quite match Tudor in outline on the move.
In bitches I had a real battle between the limit and open bitches for the CC, with the nod eventually going to Ch Hibeck Bathsheba, who just had the edge in reach and drive over the very imposing Ravenbeech Valeria. BP went to a precocious male who apparently already has two CCs, Mascotts Lowry, who had to get past a beautiful bitch, Glengail Nniamh, to do so. Had she not had a large bursa on one elbow he would not have had it all his own way and I am sure when it goes down she will have a very successful career.