Central Kansas Collie Club
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Judge: Matt Stelter
This critique was originally published in the August 2017 issue of Collie Expressions magazine.
Thank you to the Central Kansas Collie Club for the invitation to judge at their 2017 specialty cluster, in collaboration with the North Texas and Central Oklahoma clubs. I remember making the 15-hour drive to exhibit at these shows over a decade ago, and it still remains a popular cluster for Collie fanciers to travel in for from across the country. I believe both coasts were represented at this year’s show. The facilities and weather were terrific, and it made for an enjoyable weekend. Thank you to all of the club members whose hard work allows these shows to go on.
Unfortunately, this assignment continued the disturbing trend of declining quality in Collie specialty entries. Recently, I haven’t been completing critiques following assignments because of the difficulty in writing about dogs that did not fulfill expectations. I’ve heard from many other judges who have stopped doing critiques as well. However, in the Collie breed, specialty judges are guardians of the breed as much as the breeders. Whether we like it or not, the dogs we select to put up at major specialties can have a direct impact on the breed. If there is no other feedback provided by us, it may be assumed that all of the winners earned the judges’ approval – which can potentially influence breeding decisions. We as specialty Collie judges need to realize the full extent of the responsibility that comes with our assignments and be ready and willing to express both our approval for high-quality entries, as well as our disapproval when we see the breed in decline, and substandard Collies being entered in competition. To my disappointment, this entry was the latter with a large number of mediocre specimens being exhibited.
A positive note from this show was that there were a few individual Collies who were of considerable quality, and it was an honor to reward them. I take this opportunity to describe the winners to the fancy.
Best of Breed/Best of Variety (Rough):
GCh. Aurealis Coldplay (Ch. Milas Aurealis Latin Samba ex Ch. Tartanside Brocade) Breeders: Deborah Falk, Maret Falk & Julianna Falk. Owners: Deborah & Lauren Falk
Class. This dog possesses that precious virtue that is so lacking in our breed today. He has a presence about him that would be evident to anyone. Correct size for a male with an arched neck, elegant outline and long body lines. The body boasts a deep chest, good bone and substance. He had a light headpiece with good length, clean on the sides with a cornered skull – virtues that are difficult to find in combination, particularly in a male. He had a round muzzle and a lipline that could have been drawn with a pencil. His ears were well-shaped and set-up properly on his skull. I have long been a fan of this dog and was pleased to have him walk in the ring.
Winners Bitch/Best of Winners/Best of Variety/Best of Opposite Sex/Best of Breed (Smooth):
Kirkhaven The Traveler Jade (Ch. Li’l Swiss Bailey’s ex Ch. Traveler’s Zee Talk of Zee Town) Breeders: Deborah Waters & Bree Ardizzone. Owner: Joan E. Kirkland
A simply beautiful sable merle puppy loaded with virtues. She had beautiful eyes and a correct expression at this age. Her headpiece was very nice, detailed in profile, tight lipline, full underjaw and a round muzzle. Pretty, flowing bodylines gave her an impressive picture when pulled up. This is a young bitch that will be interesting to watch as she matures. She had all the indications she could go on to even bigger things in the future.
Winners Dog/Best of Winners (Rough):
Cherann’s Cherokee On Sacred Ground (Ch. Wyndlair Cherokee Exclamation ex Cherann’s Luv The Contessa) Breeder/Owner: Cheryl Kobularcik
This young dog had incredible shape with a long, arched neck and balanced body proportions. His head was long, lean, and light with no depth, a tight lipline, good cutback, and full underjaw. His profile and skull are pretty good for this age on this type of head piece. Pretty eyes and expression. He had nice, correctly-shaped ears set well on the skull. Abundant coat with good color and texture. This is a ‘big picture’ puppy – with maturity and a little more confidence, he could become a truly impressive Collie. Someone mentioned he was reminiscent of Ch. Mainstay Sultan of Xanadu, and I’d say that comparison is appropriate. At a time when the breed is becoming common and ordinary, this puppy is loaded with class. He was indeed a highlight of the assignment.
Best of Opposite Sex/Best of Variety (Rough):
Countryview Classical (GCh. Westwood Aladdin ex Countryview I’ll Take Manhattan) Breeders: Dan Cardoza & Chenoa Braucher. Owner: Kathy Drabik
A very pretty expression, clearly showing there was some depth of pedigree behind her. She was quite refined in head, very feminine, and a wonderful show dog. A little more fullness of coat would complete the picture.
GCh. Chrysalis Costume Party at Mickey’s (Ch. C&J’s White Tie and Tail ex GCh. Chrysalis Ginger Snaps, RN, HT) Breeder: Debra J. & Robert Waelde. Owners: Tina & Larry Patterson and Debra J. Waelde
An eight-year-old bitch with a good expression, body substance and depth of chest. I have judged this bitch in years past and done more with her. From what I’ve seen of her previously, she was not in her prime on this day.
Select Dog: Not awarded
Winners Dog/Best Opposite/Best of Variety:
Tango’s Valley Park Magic Man (GCh. Fantasy’s Sunshine Superman ex Ch. Sassy’s Drama Queen) Breeders: Michelle Struble & Tandy Struble. Owners: Maria (Lily) Russell, Michelle Stuble & Tandy Struble
A young puppy dog that won the points on virtue of his length and lightness of head. He was notably leaner and cleaner on the sides than the rest of the entry. The expression was good, still needing to flatten in stop & skull at this young age. He was sound with some angulation, fore and aft.
Reserve Winners Dog:
Thorndale Starman (GCh. Cheviot Monet ex Thorndale Moonstone) Breeder/Owner: Vickie VonSeggern
This was a strong, athletic blue dog. He was masculine, possessing angulation, spring of rib and body substance, but having more head than the Winners Dog.
Reserve Winners Bitch:
Cyndella’s Candy Stix (GCh. Cyndella’s Pandamonium ex Ch. Cyndella’s I Candy) Breeder/Owners: Kelly & Caitlin Neeley
This blue puppy bitch possessed a light head and attractive expression. She was lacking a little finish, particularly in underjaw. She was light on her feet but I would like to see her cover more ground while gaiting. She had some soft body curves, however her neck carriage was an issue on the day. Time and maturity may serve her well.
Ceilidh’s Sculpted in Snow (Ch. Ceilidh’s Earl of Locksley ex Ch. Ceilidh’s Underneath Her Clothes) Breeder: Micha Ann Elliott. Owners: Micha Ann Elliott & Brendan Mincy
This was a balanced blue bitch with an attractive outline. Sound, compact, with just enough length of head and back to complete the picture. She had a detailed profile with round muzzle, full underjaw and straight lipline, but more head width than I care for. She was a little showgirl that presented herself well.
Reserve Winners Dog:
Chatham’s Chill Factor (GCh. Wyndlair Point Given ex Chatham’s Hugs and Kisses) Breeder/Owner: Debbie Ferguson
A visually striking blue dog having an abundant coat with the beautiful crystal blue, rich tan and bright white coloring that I highly value. His merling showed no trace of rusting, steeling or yellowing – so rare in a blue merle. He had a round muzzle, tight lipline, full underjaw and muzzle, but more head relative to the length. His topskull was smooth and flat. He had some length of neck, but struggled to carry it quite high enough to allow it to arch. The back was strong and level and he had a correct short hock, just needing a little more length and curve to his body lines to present the proud picture I look for.
Reserve Winners Bitch:
Valley Park Dramatic Entrance (GCh. Fantasy’s Sunshine Superman ex Ch. Sassy’s Drama Queen) Breeder/Owners: Michelle Struble & Tandy Struble
This young puppy bitch had length and lightness of head, relatively smooth on the sides, still needing some fill and detailing at this early age. Her eyes were on the smaller side. She had nice length of body, but she was still working to get a hold of her legs. This is another one that should benefit from time and maturity.