Glen of Imaal Terriers.
There aren’t a lot of exhibitors near to Darlington and I thank everybody who made the trip. In view of what one spectator said to me today “do you realise you actually scratched your head when looking at class X?” it is time to come clean; my conclusion of today is that there are no easy answers for Glen of Imaal Terriers at the minute. They are one of the greatest breeds that ever lived but at the moment appear to be at a crossroads where some things are stalling. One thing that isn’t though is the “health” that everybody now has to be so aware of whether judge, breeder or exhibitor. There was only one front that I considered extreme and two shorter (not super short) upper arms; both things the bane of many achondraplasic breeds. Eye colours were all acceptable, jaws and teeth continue to improve and without exception strength was apparent in both throughout the entry. These things certainly appear to have been cracked but what about the actual breed? Where are things going?
The Best of Breed was 10 years old and the Best Dog was coming up 7 and both were an out and out credit to Glendom but is that a sign of the longevity of the breed (talking to exhibitors afterwards it was nice to see the look of disbelief on a newer persons face when they realised how mature the top senior winners were) or a startling example that younger Glens aren’t really cutting the mustard that well? I’m fully aware that it’s the entry on the day, just my opinion etc. etc. but certain things should be the hallmark of Glen of Imaal Terriers and they were missing in sround 50%. All judges interpret a standard slightly differently and some things are considered more important to some than to others, it’s why exhibitors keep going month after month, but there are things that should be sacrosanct so where’s the bone? Where’s the movement? Where’s the all over musculature? Where’s the fitness? Those things, particularly the last three, aren’t rocket science whatever the level of expertise of the owner but in quite a few of the dogs today they just weren’t there.
A judge, once they have gone over a dog, should have a pretty sure idea of what to expect in movement. Moving is used to confirm what the hands (and eyes) have already found, apologises in using another analogy, it should be the icing on the cake and it’s up to exhibitors as to whether the judge sees Royal or just a bit of jam slapped on. On decently cut, reasonably flat ground with an overall collection of good back ends and rather decent fronts, with hardly any straighter angles, some of the movement was rather a surprise and it lifted the old-fashioned road walkers up into a different league.
That may have caused head scratching but ribs didn’t. Two strange things to bracket together perhaps but an apt example of “the crossroads”. Movement in Glens used to be King but the frames being carried around were often poor in the rib department; slab sided, short and shallow often being found. Today the slab was gone, the shortness was gone and it was ticks mainly all round in that department.
There were ears, thankfully none of those high flyers currently fashionable in some countries, there were toplines that were basically where they should be. Exhibitors know their dogs and don’t want the list of nice this, nice that and good the other. They want to know why a judge placed their dog where they did and why they were above or below a particular animal; my reasons are below.
PUPPY DOG: 1) Alstead’s Golden Spurs. He’s a baby and he’s raw. He walks well then he throws his front everywhere. He has a topline then he hasn’t. He can stand balanced then he doesn’t know the meaning of the word. He handles well and has all the essentials in one so young. To use an old-fashioned term-a prospect. RCC and congratulations to his owner on turning a brindle coat out so well.
JUNIOR DOG: 1) Golden Spurs.
LIMIT DOG: 1) Howarth’s Donvaleset Liffy at Arkview. A longer length dog that appeared even longer due to his full coat. Underneath it all was excellent bone right through with the right amount of substance (not the fat that many Glens carry). Excellent drive from well muscled quarters but quite short in front reach and flatly refused to settle.
OPEN DOG: 1) Ashcroft’s Romainville Typhoon. This is a Glen of Imaal Terrier dog. He was shown under me in 2012 and the critique said “this brindle dog is often hidden in the ring by an over heavy, over long coat but today he looked the business. His strong head, nice turn of front, good neck, typical topline, drive and balance just shouted. If his owners could just get it all together this dog could be like many of the Glens throughout the years; gets older and gets better”. He got the Reserve CC then and since that show has rarely been hidden by coat so his virtues can be seen and appreciated. His owners have worked really hard and now he only occasionally changes his weight and leans forward at the stand so flattening his topline. CC and congratulations on your first Champion.
VETERAN BITCH: 1) Seall’s Ch Brockland Belle Bregorrey. My notes say “she’s still got it” which was the thought as she walked into the ring. Bone in proportion to size, excellent reach and drive, head, topline, jaw, balance, shape, it’s still all there and she knows it. The package was topped off with a tight, tidy coat of correct texture. Best Veteran, CC and BOB despite the change of handler at one point!
POST GRADUATE BITCH: 1) Baldock’s Ellerton Dusty Beauty. This bitch just doesn’t match on the move what examination tells you. Good body proportions, decent topline, nice angles front and back are on the table but on the move it’s a different story; reach and drive are a bit short and she flattens her topline…oh and why should she stand balanced? Read her sire’s critique for 2012.
LIMIT BITCH: 1) Ashcroft’s Romainville Moira. A plain looking bitch with her coat only just coming through; she was a revelation. There was an excellent outline and proportion, nice bone, good legs, good angulation, a body with shape and she moved out well with good reach and drive. Res CC.
2) Seall’s Bregorrey Madam Defiance. A smaller feminine bitch rather swamped by excessive feathering. Like the Post Graduate winner she moves differently to what the table examination tells you. Beautiful body proportions, correct angles front and back but on the floor moves a little short despite excellent rear parallel drive. Her topline, which handled well, didn’t look good on the move. She is actually a text book example of what happens to a natural tail when the set on isn’t quite correct-the slightly higher position alters the angle of the croup on the move and up goes the topline.
3) Hannington’s Romainville Uptown Girl. This bitch was “sort of” there. Nice angulation behind, parallel drive but stands a little straight. Balanced body shape but prefers to be long. Has a topline but then hasn’t. The handler did a great job but more experience may help.
OPEN BITCH: 1) Seall’s Bregorrey Lady Belleisle. This bitch is a showdog rather than a Glen that is taken showing. She is eyecatching and moves with balanced rear and drive. For preference she should have a little more bone just had to have this class despite her awful coat which was why she went no further in the challenge.
2) Rogers Jeonty Meme Fern. Feminine bitch of good type, proportion and outline. On the table has literally everything going for her but yet another that unfortunately failed on the move.
3) Baldock’s Ch Jeonty Maybe Daysee. A bitch that is easy to see as to why she carries the Champion prefix but one more that doesn’t quite match up to table assessment. Well muscled and angulated behind but moved rather short in front despite her well balanced skeleton. A profuse coat and solid body shape didn’t do her any favours.
Harold Gay (Judge)