Critique from The Whippet Club Championship (Bitches) by Bo Bengtson
It was a pleasure to be back among Whippet people in England once again. My history with The Whippet Club goes back all the way to judging the club’s Open show in the early 1970s, and awarding a dog CC at the championship show a decade later to Ch. Novacroft Madrigal, who was ultimately BIS on the refereee’s decision. He is no doubt far back in the pedigrees of some of today’s winners. In the interim I have had the privilege of judging the breed many times in the U.K., most recently at the Hound Association five or six years ago.
Both numbers and quality were fairly comparable with that show, but Whippets have changed a great deal since my early days, mostly for the better. The breed standard’s most important requirement remains the same as it was: the wonderful General Appearance phrase sums up a quality Whippet so well: “Balanced combination of muscular power and strength with elegance and grace of outline.” I have frankly seen more of that during recent visits than in the past, and there are also fewer exaggerations in most respects than we used to see. Size remains something of a problem, but the best judges always compromised on height if they felt a dog was really outstanding otherwise, and I hope we’ll continue to do so. Some of the heads, eyes and ears looked a little plain to my now Americanized taste, but this is emphatically not a “head breed,” and it’s refreshing to see that you do not focus on heads and “big beautiful eyes” to the extent that some U.S. breed specialists do, in my opinion incorrectly.
There were a great variety of types, which is somewhat surprising in view of the relatively small area that all these dogs exist in; if anything there were more differences than in the U.S. Perhaps this is because the breed is so much more popular in Great Britain than it is in America. Probably it’s healthy that everyone marches to their own drummer, but it’s therefore also difficult to generalize about virtues and faults. One thing I’m pleased to say I saw a lot less of than in the U.S. were the horrendous fronts with straight pasterns and toes turned inwards that have become quite common in America. Once they creep into your line they are more difficult to get rid of than almost any other fault, so please watch out.
Another thing that’s happened in recent years is that the influence of imported dogs is much greater. In the distant past it was pretty much unheard of for anyone to import a Whippet into England; in this show’s catalog I noted imports from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Holland and Poland … and I may have missed some countries. The U.S. influence was much less prevalent than it used to be just a few years ago, however.
Thanks to the club officers and ring stewards who took such good care of me, even taking snapshots with my iPhone of all the class winners. My handwriting is typically illegible, so without the photos I would pretty much be lost!
MINOR PUPPY BITCH (17)
- Cobyco Classic Act. Dark brindle with white trim, classic type, so well put together, excellent substance and movement. Very much like her BIS dam, just a baby and only needs to mature. Best Puppy Bitch.
- Gwendariff Thanks A Latte. Very well balanced fawn, so feminine and attractive, just not the movement of above.
- Ipanema Mockingjay Over Mannerpool.
PUPPY BITCH (13)
- Danluke Lady Foxtrot at Zenobia. Fawn wh/trim, very well balanced, hard muscle and shiny coat, sound mover.
- Palmik Kandalama Dusk Till Dawn. Particolour, excellent substance and good proportions with correct length over the loin, good bone and feet.
- G Thanks A Latte.
- Shiny Sensations Smooth Foxy Lady at Aarminias JW. Light brindle with white trim, one of the finds of the day, just needs maturity to go to the top, beautiful outline, so smooth and stylish, excellent mover.
- Palmik Wish Me Luck JW. Darker brindle with some white, extremely sound, good body and legs, excellent mover, could use a little more length of neck.
- Coynachie Crazy For Love.
MAIDEN BITCH (7)
- I Mockingjay Over Mannerpool. Red fawn/wh, very elegant and stylish, immature in movement but promising, needs to develop in body.
- Collooney Tartan Tease. Very glamorous, well balanced, excellent substance.
- Oakbark Magic over Windfly.
NOVICE BITCH (3)
- Ipanema Girl On Fire. Fawn wh/trim, pleasant type, just a baby, quite attractive but flattens in topline.
- Danluke Lady Helen at Sinope. Fawn wh/trim, also immature but well balanced, a little straight in angulation.
- Erinnis Lily of the Valley.
UNDERGRADUATE BITCH (11)
- R Raining Kisses. Feminine fawn and white. Pretty head with a soft expression. Really nicely put together. Good angulations front and rear. A really nice, free mover.
- Loroli Lost My Stripes. Fawn wh/trim & black mask, good size and proportions, excellent angulation, a little soft.
- Starswift Siouxsie Sioux.
POST GRADUATE BITCH (29)
- Shalfleet Amber Nectar at Meandi. Very attractive type, excellent balance, good length of loin, very feminine and very sound, beautiful expression.
- Kaymark China Rose. Darker brindle with white, very stylish, a little stronger all through but should go far, excellent balance.
- Spyanfly Say I’m Sexy.
MID. LIMIT BITCH (8)
- Crosscop Me and My Girl at Edenwhip. One I would have liked to take home, so well balanced and appealing, dark brindle/white.
- Mulcair Meercat Marble JW Sh CM. Very feminine and lovely, just not as good in hindquarters as 1st.
- Danluke Dance Diva of Lolani JW.
LIMIT BITCH (20)
- Penbriar Duchess. Brindle with white trim, not glamorous but so sound and a lovely mover, excellent topline and proportions.
- Pasharif Play It Again. Fawn/white, very appealing, a little larger but excellent proportions and substance, good bone and angulation.
- Bluestreak Blonde Ambition.
OPEN BITCH (24)
- Ch. Tylko Cobyco Paranoia. Won decisively but narrowly, very close to the ideal as she manages to be both powerful and elegant, great presence and well presented, ideal proportions with great length of loin and a beautiful, sweeping topline, good bone and angulation, excellent front and hindquarters, lovely mover, expertly presented.
- Ch. Shalfleet Sugar Frosting JW. Extremely feminine and very appealing, very stylish, another one by Ch. Shalfleet Simply A Lord who sired the previous two class winners.
- April Showers at Crosscop.
SPECIAL VETERAN BITCH. 7-9 years (14)
- Ch. Palmik Magical Whispers JW. Br/wh of ideal type and balance, all quality, stunning outline with long neck, good mover and beautifully handled. Tremendous star quality. Fully deserved Res. CC and pushed the CC winner hard.
- Ch. Tannis Bay Sophie’s Choice with Spyanfly. Solid brindle, so sound and all quality, excellent angulation front and rear, very difficult to fault, a very sound mover but not quite the long, sweeping line of 1str.
- Stormburst Winter Sparkles for Citycrofts Sh CM.
SPECIAL VETERAN BITCH. 10 yrs + (5)
- Norcairn Out Of The Blue. Well balanced and correctly put together, very sound.
- Mulcair Mon Amie. Fawn with excellent sidegait but not the outline of winner.
- Moonlake More Of A Splash.