Collie Club of New England
February 12, 2010
Judge: Matt Stelter
This critique was originally published in the August 2010 issue of Collie Expressions magazine.
It was an honor to be asked to judge the 2010 Collie Club of New England specialty in Bristol, Connecticut. I have always viewed the Connecticut specialties as one of the finest gathering of quality Collies each year. The Clarion Hotel provides a terrific show site and the hotel ballroom was truly a wonderful setting to enjoy a quality entry of Collies.
Smooth Winners Dog:
Special Watch Out For Wet Paint (Ch. Special Sharp Dressed Man ex Ch. Special Society’s Dixie Chick)
This was an impressive tri dog with a big neck and presence to burn. He was a mature entry and he was obviously there for one purpose. To win.
Smooth Reserve Winners Dog:
Traveler Sarita’s Jeep Laredo (Ch. Overland In Suspense ex Ch. Travler’s Good To Go)
A young puppy dog with a pretty profile, defined stop, a pleasing expression and level back of good length.
Smooth Winners Bitch/Best of Winners (to finish):
Ch. Marchello’s Penny From Heaven (Ch. Barksdale Lochlaren Liaison, ROM ex Ch. Marchello’s Angel In Disguise)
This was a classic Collie bitch with a pretty expression, a quality headpiece and good proportions. She also had a maturity that complemented her virtue package. The win completed her well-deserved championship.
Smooth Reserve Winners Bitch:
Kirkhaven Fanciful Rose (Ch. Timeless Golden Warrior, ROM ex Ch. Kirkhaven Rave On)
A pretty smooth bitch with a nice expression and profile.
Smooth Best of Variety/Best of Opposite/Best of Breed:
GCh. Provenhill’s Dance With The Devil (Ch. Orion’s Sundance ex Ch. Provenhill’s No Angel)
A wonderful tri smooth dog that topped a full ring of specials. He had a long, light, clean head and pleasing expression set on a long, strong crested neck. A refined, yet masculine dog – a hard combination to achieve. It was easy to let my eye settle on the picture he presented.
Smooth Best of Opposite Sex/Best of Variety:
Ch. Traveler’s Liberty Sport, ROM (Ch. Signet’s Twice Is Nice, ROM ex Ch. Traveler’s Altima)
A quality tri bitch with some virtues not always easy to find. She had a long, light head, pretty expression, and correct length of back with nice angulation front and rear.
Rough Winners Dog/Best of Opposite/Best of Variety:
Countryview Give My Regards (Ch. Countryview Back To Broadway ex Ch. Countryview Rased Gratitude)
A simply tremendous class dog that grabbed my attention as soon as he stepped in the ring. He had a type, style and presence that was reminiscent of some of my favorite Collies of the past. On closer inspection, he had beautifully shaped and set eyes, with a full round muzzle, and an attractive profile. His head was clean on the sides and he had a flat skull with corners. His neck was long and strong, and he had a wonderful deep chest with good ribspring. A pretty, yet masculine sable merle dog.
Rough Reserve Winners Dog:
Kirkhaven Gold Strike (Ch. Marnus Lucky Strike ex Ch. Marnus Make Believe)
This puppy dog was in wonderful bloom and was loaded with virtues. He had a pretty, soft expression, round muzzle, nice profile, particularly in the foreface where it was straight the tip of his nose, with no bump or fall-off. A very interesting puppy dog who should have a lot of success down the road.
Rough Winners Bitch/Best of Winners/Best of Variety/Best of Breed:
Limerick’s Make Me A Star (Countryview Rased Replica ex Ch. Limerick Celebrity)
I had the pleasure of giving this exquisite sable Collie bitch a 5-point major reserve last year when she was just 6 months and a blink of age. It was so satisfying to see this bitch still have the exquisite virtues that previously captured my respect. While she was not in full coat and bloom, her eye, eyeset and expression were on par with the finest I’ve had the privilege to judge. She had a light headpiece, pleasing neck and outline, moved well and sparkled her way to a big win over an impressive entry from the classes.
Rough Reserve Winners Bitch:
Twin City Lofty Aspirations (Ch. Barksdale Lochlaren Liaison, ROM ex Ch. Twin City Breath of Heaven)
A lovely, mature tri bitch that was dripping in coat. She presented a beautiful picture with long, sweeping body lines. She had a clean head and beautiful profile. This bitch is a difficult entry to beat.
I must say my favorite moment of the show was during Winners Bitch, having the two winners above pulled out at the front of the class, along with the Bred-by Exhibitor class winner, Countryview Rased On Stage, and the 6-9 Puppy class winner, Milas Cando Anything. As a breeder-judge, those are the moments you wish would last forever. On another day, any one of them could have taken the win. I would be ecstatic to have any of them in my breeding program.
Ch. RachLen’s Gypsy Of My Heart (Ch. Lisara’s Magic of RachLen ex RachLen’s Heartbreak Sonara)
A pretty veteran entry whose quality has endured the test of time.
Best Junior Handler:
I’ve had the opportunity to judge this Open Senior handler in the past, and she continues to improve. It was her seasoned polish and presentation that held off a strong push from the Open Intermediate class winner, Kelly Reppert.