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Judges Critiques

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Official Judges Critique

Judging: Gundog Group, Young Kennel Club Handling Classes

Young Kennel Club handling

There were some fantastic young handlers in these classes. Everybody was well presented and gentle with their dogs. A couple of handlers broke the golden rule, especially when returning to the line after their turn in the centre of the ring, and some dropped the end of the lead when stacking or showing the teeth – try and keep the loop over your thumb at all times. Finally, do remember to encourage your dog, especially when asking them to show their teeth.

6-11 years (8, 2) 

1st Rhys Duncan. A really natural young handler who got the best out of his 18-month-old spinone. Stacked his dog accurately and noticed that he needed to correct the feet when I moved one. He showed the teeth calmly without dropping the lead. Rhys kept a careful eye on the judge while still giving his attention to his dog. Flowed on the move, completing straight lines and making the most of the ring. I found out afterwards his sister was in third place and I’m sure they will swap places many times.

2nd Delphine Storey. Excellent handler who knew how to get the most from her 7-year-old WSS. She was quick to stack her dog and corrected the feet accurately when I moved them. She completed her patterns at the right pace, flowing around the corners, and stood her dog the correct distance from my feet at the end of the run. Sure she will go far.

3rd Layla Duncan

12-17 years (7, 1)

1st Ellie Steele. My notes say ‘paw perfect’. Really excellent young handler who knew how to get the most out of her WSS. She stacked her dog like it was second nature, keeping an eye on the judge but remaining calm and unassuming. Offered quiet verbal encouragement to her dog on the move and used every inch of space available. Her lines were straight and corners neat. One to watch.

2nd Gemma MacKenzie. Handling a flat coat is never as easy as showing a stacked breed but Gemma was fantastic. She knew how to get her dog standing to advantage and patiently moved him until he was standing correctly. She offered plenty of encouragement and showed the teeth cleanly. Moved her dog at the right pace but just wasn’t quite as neat with her corners as Ellie.

3rd Ellen Clarke, handling a goldie.

18-24 years (1)

1st Hunter Macdonald. Stood alone but could win at the highest level. A real masterclass in showing a cocker, especially on the move. They flowed around the ring together in perfect unison and completed straight lines and neat corners without the need for a tight lead. Stacked his dog accurately and made corrections seamlessly. The rapport between dog and handler was clear throughout the class.