SGRC Championship Show 31 May 2009
Critiques by Jeffrey Pepper (USA)

Let me begin by expressing my thanks to the members and exhibitors of the Southern Golden Retriever Club, first for inviting me to judge your show and, second, for showing me your lovely dogs on a day with such awful weather. Everyone was pleasant and seemed to enjoy the show, despite the weather. With the weather as “interesting” as it was, I was amazed that there were so few absentees!

Overall, I was quite pleased with the quality of the entry. There were a number of dogs with beautiful heads, properly shaped and sized eyes, and that typical Golden expression. Temperaments were uniformly good with just one exception and many of the dogs greeted me with tails wagging. Conformation showed some of the same virtues and faults that are common to Goldens world wide. Many dogs moved fairly well, especially considering the slippery conditions. In general, backlines were stable with much less of the rolling side-to-side motion I often see in American style Goldens. As is true with American Goldens and Goldens I have seen worldwide, too many dogs suffer from a lack of correct angulation in front, with upright shoulders and short upper arms. As a result, movement is not as balanced and fluid as desirable. I feel that, while movement coming and going is important, correct movement and balance is best seen when viewing the dog moving from the side.

For those who were wondering if an American judge would be concerned about color, (especially a breeder whose own dogs tended toward the medium gold color) I was not. In all the years I have been judging the breed in countries all over the world, I cannot think of a time when my final decision as to which dog would win was determined by the color of that dog. For example, first and second placements in the Open Dog class went to half brothers, one of whom is quite light and the other a more medium shade of Gold. The decision between the two was made on movement and body length. I never gave color a thought until I looked at the lineup to make notes for the critique.

Correct, well-balanced movement is important to me as I feel that a Golden should look like he can do a full day’s work in the field with being overly tired. I feel that movement can best be assessed by watching a dog gait from the side, as this viewpoint allows me to see how the parts of the dog fit together in a harmonious and balanced whole. I am certain you noticed that I moved each class around the ring several times to find the dog of correct type that moved the best. When making my final decisions regarding placements, I first consider overall type as it conforms to the requirements of the breed standard, and, second, the balance and movement of the dogs whose type I most prefer.

Best of Breed and Best In Show was the Open Bitch, number 66, Arangold Turn Back Time, bred and owned by M. Hean. This is a medium colored bitch of correct size and make and shape, with a very correct silhouette showing good proportions. She has a wonderful headpiece, with that soft Golden expression that is such an important part of correct type and temperament. She has a compact body with good forechest, correct  angulation front and rear that is well balanced and evident from her stable topline as she gaits around the ring. She won over the dog for Best in Show based on her superior head and melting, soft, very typical Golden expression.  Her breeder/owner also won the Reserve Best Bitch, making for a good day for Arangold!

Reserve Best in Show and Best of Opposite Sex was number 31, Ch. Riverstone Autumn Gold, breeder/owner B. Kramer. This mature, medium colored dog is of correct type and has a very good head, well balanced angulation front and rear, strong level backline, good length of upper arm, very good body proportions. He is an excellent moving dog, looking athletic and balanced when going around the ring, showing a proper stable topline with head carried just forward of the body and tail out behind. He makes a very pretty picture going around the ring and was a pleasure to go over standing.

My class-by-class comments follow:


Class 1 (Baby Puppy) 3 entered

1.    Number 1, Riverstone Hot Todde – Nice head, well balanced puppy with a slightly better front and forechest than his brother. Best Baby Puppy.

2.    Number 2, Riverstone Dawn of A Dream – Good head, balance and movement, gives a bit away to number one on topline.

Class 5 (Junior) 7 entered, 1 absent

1.    Number 8, Goldkoru Mexi Nacho – a pretty dog with good front, topline and head. Appropriately immature for his age, could be a bit shorter in loin.

2.    Number 4, Lorgair Ace of Diamonds – Good head and front, a bit too much rise over the loin, could use more bone.

Class 6 (Intermediate) 2 entered

1.    Number 11, Ch. Tammara The Band Played On – Pleasing head and outline, with good forechest and topline. Could use a better layback of shoulder. Best Intermediate.

2.    Number 12, Inniscroft Pacific Skipper – pleasing head and topline, front not as good as in first place dog.

Class 7 (Limit) 3 entered

1.    Number 13, Banbury Call of the Wild, Nice head and outline, proper forechest and depth of chest, well balanced front and rear angulation with solid topline both standing and moving. Looked very good going around the ring despite the conditions. Best Limit.

2.    Number 15, The Times of Inniscroft – Nice head, forechest and topline, front not quite as well angulated as the rear resulting in movement a bit less smooth than number 1. A bit longer in loin than first.

Class 8 (New Zealand Bred) 5 entered

1.    Number 18, Ch. Winterlea Mac’s Gold QC – A well put together, balanced dog with a pretty head and expression, good neck into shoulder, balanced angulation and correct level topline. Placed first on his better movement going around the ring than second place.

2.    Number 16, Ch. Trinnetee The Entertainer CDX QC – a bit smaller dog with a pretty head and expression, good forechest and topline. Good going around the ring but not quite as smooth as first place dog.

Class 9 (Stud Dog) 1 entered

1.    Number 21, Rivermoy The Ridge of Moorfield – Nice head with good depth of muzzle, front a bit upright in shoulder and therefore less angulation than present in the rear, which effected movement. Best Stud Dog.

Class 10 (Veteran) 5 entered

1.    Number 23, Shannongold Claim to Fame ADX – Lovely head and expression with the typical, soft Golden expression, good neck into shoulders with good forechest and topline. Well balanced front and rear angulation resulting in good movement going around the ring. More compact outline that I prefer in a Golden. Does nothing to betray his 9 years of life. A worthy Reserve Dog. Best Veteran.

2.    Number 22, Hawkwood Havarti – a 10 year old who still shows what a Golden should look like. Nice head and forechest, balanced angulation front and rear holding a good topline when moving. A bit longer cast dog than number 1.

Class 11 (Open) 5 entered

1.    31, Ch. Riverstone Autumn Gold – A well balanced medium colored dog with a very pretty head and true Golden expression, good forechest and balanced front and rear angulation with nice layback of shoulder and good return of upper arm. Good bone without being coarse. Compact dog with good length of ribcage and short loin. Strong, stable topline both standing and moving. Nice, athletic and effortless movement that was very pleasing to watch going around the ring. Best Dog. Reserve Best in Show.

2.    Number 28, Ch. Inniscroft Diamonds ‘R’ Trumps – another well balanced dog with very pretty head and expression, good forechest, balanced angulation front and rear, strong topline and good movement. Slightly longer cast than number 1. A quite light colored dog, he is a half-brother to number 1, having the same sire.


Class 1A (Baby Puppy) 3 entered

1.     Number 32, Riverstone Bold N Beautiful – Nice head with lovely pigmentation and pleasing soft expression. Nice forechest and adequate angulation of the forequarters, though not quite as well angulated as the rear. A bit longer cast than ideal.

2.    Number 34, Shannongold Turn The Page at Tammara – Nice head, a bit short on neck as a result of a bit less layback of shoulder and angulation than number 1, though a bit more compact in body than first place puppy.

Class 2A (Minor Puppy) 2 entered

1.    Number 36, Kavandale Angeleyes – Lovely head, good bone, balanced angulation front and rear with good shoulder layback and topline. Good depth of chest for age but could use a bit more forechest. Very easy on the eyes both standing and moving. Best Minor Puppy.

2.    Hawkwood Lilly Pilly – pretty head and expression, a bit lacking in forechest and front angulation in comparison to angulation of the rear, a bit light in bone in comparison to body. Looks more immature than number 1 at this time and may improve with age.

Class 3A (Puppy) 1 entered

1.    Number 37, Kavandale Just Like That – Nice head , neck and topline, good front and rear standing, making a pretty picture, but tends to move closely behind. Perhaps a bit more exercise would help improve this. Best Puppy.

Class 5A (Junior) 6 entered

1.    Number 38, Arangolds National Velvet – Good head and expression, good forechest, shoulder layback and topline and well balanced with rear angulation, resulting in best movement in the class. Best Junior.

2.    Number 42, Tammara Heavens Secret – nice head, not quite as good in front as number 1 with less forechest and somewhat less angulation. A bit longer cast than class winner.

Class 6A (Intermediate) 4 entered

1.    Number 44, Benlea Isla Rose – Nice topskull but muzzle lacking a bit in strength. Good forechest, good topline, nicely balanced front and rear angulation resulting in good movement.

2.    Number 47, Blairsgold Elphame Fae Queen – Bit better head than number 1 but not as strong in front with somewhat less angulation in front than in rear, and so placed second.

Class 7A (Limit) 5 entered

1.    Number 48, Banbury Sandpiper at Moorfield – Acceptable head, balanced front and rear angulation with good forechest and backline when moving, resulting in very good movement, which put her to the front of the class.

2.    Number 51, Springlands Tussock – nice skull and muzzle, ears perhaps set a bit high, good backline but not as well angulated as number 1.

Class 8A (New Zealand Bred) 4 entered, 1 absent

1.     Number 54, Ch. Arangold Jazzmania – Very appealing head with soft Golden expression, good topskull and properly sized and shaped eyes. Good forechest, good shoulder layback and length of upper arm, all well balanced with the rear. Strong backline both standing and moving. Excellent mover.  A very worthy Reserve Bitch.  I note that she has the same sire as my Best Dog, though a different dam. Best New Zealand Bred.

2.    Number 55, Ch. Lady Kaatje of Riverstone – Another pretty bitch, with good head, good forechest and balanced angulation front and rear combined with strong level topline. Compact outline with strong, short loin. Another very good mover.

Class 9A (Brood Bitch) 2 entered, both absent

Class 10A (Veteran) 5 entered, 2 absent

1.    Number 60, Regency Noble Princess – an 11 year old bitch that certainly carries her years well. Pretty head, well balanced body with balanced angulation and strong topline even at her age. A good mover as well.

2.    Number 59, Brackwood Pretty Women CDX – a 13 year old who still carries herself extremely well, though she showed her age a bit more than first. Nice head with appealing expression and good topskull. Good strong topline that defies her age. She moves well, but shows her age a bit more going around the ring.

Class 11A (Open) 5 entered

1.    Number 66, Arangold Turn Back Time – This bitch’s head captured my heart the first time I looked at her. Wonderful outline with good forechest, correct layback of shoulder and good return of upperarm and well balanced angulation both front and rear. Strong, level backline both standing and moving. Lovely tail comes correctly off the backline. Shows the correct compact outline I look for. Moves strongly and smoothly around the ring with an athletic pace that makes her look like she could move all day without tiring.  Best Bitch and Best in Show.

2.    Number 68, Midastouch Spunky Sasha – A lighter colored bitch than first, with a good head, forechest and topline. Well balanced angulation with very good movement. Not quite as freely moving as first.

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