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L.K.A. Championship Show 2013 Critique

For me the LKA , with its indefinable atmosphere of warmth and festivity, has always been the precursor to  Christmas, in consequence I felt both honoured and delighted to be invited to the NEC to judge the breed dear to my heart which has formed a significant element of my life for more than thirty years now. I am deeply appreciative, and positively ‘blown away’  by the size of our entry, and by the numbers who travelled considerable distances to compete on the day. Thank you all. Not least I’d like to thank my stewards who unobtrusively worked  a long day and kept things running seamlessly.

Hounds especially, must be seen to be fit for function. I recall a period, thankfully a while back now, when a number of our consistent winners whilst being perfect statues, were barely able to trot around the ring. Thankfully we’ve long since moved on from there. Today quite a number of hounds whilst moving acceptably well in profile, lacked parallel action were inclined to be close  and sometimes a little uncertain behind.

When it comes to flexibility and the essential ability of a hunting dog to be able to control turns at speed, sufficient length is important. I was therefore surprised to encounter, especially amongst the bitch classes, some exhibits who at first sight, appeared to be unnaturally long, closer examination  revealed the front leg/shoulder assemblies being set too far forward resulting in a lack for fore-chest, such imbalance would severely inhibit optimum performance in the field. Amongst both sexes there were still a number of poor (either long or flat) feet, although hopefully fewer than I have encountered previously. Tails were generally well carried and good.

MPD  (2). 1 Girling,  Pyefleet Tarka. Showing great composure for a seven month old making his first appearance. Nicely constructed, well boned already with a good spring of rib. Well laid shoulder and low set hocks. Will be interested to see how he develops.
2 Barter, Ehlaradawn Rune. Another charming 7 month old baby, this one being at the leggy stage; of good length. Moved with drive in this new and exciting environment but at this tender age has yet to acquire the back  action of the winner

PD (1) 1  Girling, Pyefleet Timothy.  7 months old and a litter brother to the winner of minor puppy dog. Stood alone. A rather longer cast than his brother. Well laid shoulder, with  signs of a promising breadth of hips. At this stage his young feet are not  his fortune and his hocks could be tighter but this should come right with maturity

JD (4,3a). 1 Day & O’Brien, Celticmoon Shadow Warrior. Stood alone. A tall lad nearing 18 months in age. An attractive head with neat ears. A promising type with good length. Needs time to fill out and mature. Moved with reach & drive.

PGD (3.1a).  1  Anderson, Gentiehun Desert Orchid. A mature hound well balanced both fore and aft, with a good breadth of hip. A typical and pleasing deerhound head with a dark eye. Strong neck flowing  nicely into a well laid shoulder. Full textbook coat, with low set hocks. Reasonable action.
2  Taylor, Kilbourne Usher to Ormanstar.  Attractive face with a far away expression, dark eyes and small neat ears. Well laid shoulders and good forechest. A tall hound of  strong bone, with pleasing topline,  slightly high in the hocks. Seems almost too long I would prefer more apparent strength at back end to balance his forehand construction. Couldn’t quite match the action of the winner today. Well presented.

LD (7,2a). 1 Peach,  Nimloth Bilbo of Kilbourne. A stylish but pleasantly understated dark coated hound of a little over 18 months of age. An attractive typical head with a dark eye and small high set ears . Well balanced fore and aft. with a good lay of shoulder and neat feet. Although ideally I would prefer slightly lower hocks, nevertheless his movement was easy active and true and the best of this class. I was pleased to award him the RDCC and willl be interested to see  how he matures.
2  Helps,  Beardswood Quinlan. A hound with presence. Strong, fit and of good type, with attractive head and face furnishings. Straight front  with tight well knuckled feet, despite an adequate forechest I would have liked to see a little more angulation in the shoulder and upper arm. Good topline flowing nicely into  the fallaway. Good side action, moving slightly close behind.
3  Parsons & Mckinnon, Claonaiglen Lochan,

OD (7,1a).  An interesting class and my first and second being closely matched and on another occasion might easily change places.

1 Morton & Morgan, CH Cotherstone Shot and Steel. A well balanced eye catching very masculine dark and elegant hound of good length and substance. Gentle far away expression. Strong, well muscled with curves in all the right places.Tight strong feet.Moved lightly, smoothly and easily with perfect parallel action. Left me in no doubt that he could do the job.CC & BOB
2  Spence & Heathcote, CH Hyndsight Riddick. Challenged the winner very closely. Another impressive, substantial. muscular and  well made hound with good spring of rib, strong
coupling  and great breadth across the hips. Good angulation with appropriate length from hip to hock. Lovely typical head and expression with neat ears. Correct full coat. Whilst he moved with enthusiasm and purpose, on this particular day he didn’t quite match the parallel action of the winner.
 3  Peach, Greyflax Taylor Made for Kilbourne.

VD. (3). 1 Seymour-Jackson, Ghiltan Hero. A typical substantial masculine 7 year old, shown in full correct coat. Strong neck, good fore chest and depth of ribbing. Nicely flowing topline across across great breadth over the hips. Strong pasterns. BV.
2  Edwards, Brackenland Ran. Another full bodied, masculine 7 year old, in full coat. Good bone. Really strong neck easing nicely into a well laid shoulder. Deep body and decent breadth across the hips. Not making the best of himself on the move today, maybe he’d been waiting around too long.
3 Bain,  Rosslyn Oskar.

MPB (3,2a). 1 Edwards, Greyflax Mustang Sally of Brackenland. A very feminine 7 month old baby. Stood alone. Leggy as one would expect at this age. Not much sign of a forechest yet, and as a result her body currently appears slightly over long. Hard coat. Kept her topline on the move. Confident easy action. BP.

PB 1. 1 Bain,  Hillmorton Holly. Another leggy youngster, this time 10 months old. Attractive gentle expression. typical head. Low set hocks. Good topline and fallaway Easy side action. Promising. Stood alone.

JB (6,3a). 1 Sharp, Erewhon Mystic Beauty at Ashtonbrook. About 15 months old. Feminine. Even though well balanced fore and aft, she is slightly upright in the shoulder, would benefit from a bit more forechest the net result being that this tends to make her look marginally overlong.  Good first and second thigh. Kept her topline on the move.
Good side action. Needs time to mature
2 Grimshaw,  Lodhainn Bennbeheula to Jamalison. Whilst marginally older than the winner in calendar terms, she has yet to acquire  it’s relative maturity. A sweet and attractive face., with beautiful neat ears. Very shapely with a a nice flow of topline and a good back end. Slightly upright in the shoulder.
3   Stuart & Holt, Lairigefyne Garron at Ollandsheart.

PGB (12,5a). Close competition amongst all my award winners this class which included some fine examples of classic conformation when stacked, but ultimately the quality of their movement on the day, played  it’s role in  my decisions. I suspect that on a different occasion the sequence might change, especially if they were to meet in an outside ring.

1  Bailey, Greyflax Just Peachy. A lot to like here. An elegant and attractive bitch of good type, yet to achieve maturity. Nice head and lovely far away expression, with a dark eye and neat high set ears. Strong neck. Pleasing flow of topline, broad hindquarters, and good length from hip to hock. The picture could be even further improved a touch more depth of brisket.  Moved easily and truly both coming and and going. RCC
2 Helps, Beardswood Quintessence. Challenged closely. A very typical head with a dark eye and gentle expression. Strong neck. Deep brisket, Lovely topline  flowing smoothly over the fallaway with good breadth of hip. Combines femininity and strength. In profile moved with both reach and drive.
3 Constantine, Gentiehun Adelaide of Kaleginy.

LB (14,4a). Another closely fought class with a quality entry.

1 Lewis, Greyhawks Romanie Rakli to Luckhurst. Combined femininity with the impression that she would have no difficulty in doing a full days work. Pleasing head with gentle expression. A long strong neck leading down into what was one of the best laid shoulders in our ring today. Good spring of rib, wide loin and excellent breadth of hip; the  accumulated  result achieving an excellent balance between fore and aft. Nicely bent stifle and good second thigh. Textbook topline. Lovely flowing parallel action with both reach and drive from every direction. CC. BOS.
2  Pursglove, Stranwith Aria at Roguesmoor Sh CM. Beautiful and typical head, with gentle expression, dark eyes and small neat ears. Strong neck easing strongly into a well laid shoulder. Good spring of rib and topline flowing down over strong, wide hips with a nice bend of stifle. Shown in correct full coat. One can easily visualise her out on the hill but today she couldn’t quite match the action of the winner, on a different occasion they might change places.
3 Smith, Rosslyn Pollie of Nimloth.

OB (8, 2a). Another closely contested class, and again my comments in the introduction to PGB class apply.

1  Parsons & Mckinnon, Claonaiglen Fionnelighe. A mature and well balanced bitch of strength and substance. Attractive face with gentle expression and typical head, well set onto a strong yet graceful neck, which eases smoothly into a good front assembly and an excellent lay of shoulder. Well boned, straight front legs with the correct slope of pastern. Lovely body width throughout with powerful hindquarters and good second thigh. Pleasing topline. Moved with ease and drive whilst maintaining consistent parallel action.
2  Morton & Morgan, Cotherstone Duchenne. An attractive bitch combining and substance and femininity. Classic deerhound head, with a dark eye and high set ears. Reasonable shoulder and front angulation with a good depth of brisket, a strong coupling and great breadth across the hips. Textbook flow of topline and fallaway. Whilst her movement in profile was purposeful and challenged closely, on this day she didn’t quite match the parallel action of the winner.
3 Moonie, Ir Ch Rosslyn Quartet.

VB (2,1a). 
1 Wilson, Killoeter Lurag for Hamiltonhill. Typical head and attractive gentle expression. Of good length and well balanced fore and aft. This is a fit, well muscled 8 year old whose textbook action belies her years and remains easy active and true. Stood alone.

GCB (1). 1 Wilson, Killoeter Lurag for Hamiltonhill. As above.

Christopher Arthur