2 points Dogs     2 points Bitches

It was a great honor to be asked to judge the Orange Coast German Shepherd Dog Club Show.  It is one of the clubs within my area, and a club where in the past I have been a member for years.  The facilities where I was to spend the evening and night before the show was fantastic, the food was great and the hospitality as good as I have ever seen.  Of course, thatís keeping in mind that I stayed home and my wife and I went to McDonaldís for a pancake
breakfast before the show.

 The handlers, exhibitors and ringside were extremely courteous and kind, but then that also can be explained by the fact that they all know I am an attorney and if they give me a bad time, I can always sue them.

 Junior Handling had three entries.  Originally I did not want to do Junior Handling, but the club convinced me I needed to do so, so that they did not have to bring in an extra judge.  The winner was Amy Kaser, who has won numerous Junior Handling awards, and has been handling at the National for years.  She is a real up and coming talent for our breed, and comes from a long line of handlers, exhibitors and breeders, starting with her grandparents, Phil and
Bertie Freidberg, her father Jack Freidberg and her mother, Debbie Freidberg.

 The first place 9-to-12 Dog was Condorís John Elway.  He is a long striding dog with a fantastic front, clean coming and going.  He can be a little long through the loin, but he carries a good strong back, which does not distort at any speed.

 The winner of the 12-to-18-Month Dog was Tanglewood Dark Star Jagan who is a son of Champion Tanglewood Dark Side Kengin by New Chance of Nordlicht.  This male shows his background, is a well-pigmented smooth mover, could have been a bit sounder on
that day, but is a young dog and I am sure will do well in the future.

 In the Novice Dogs, the winner was Rocknollís Adagio.  He is sired by Champion Caralandís Limited Edition by Champion Rocknollís Intermezzo.  After placing the dog, and when the show was over, I was pleased to see the breeding.  His mother, Mitzi, was always one
of my favorite dogs, and his father, of course, is a super star and remains so as can be seen by the results later in the day.

 The American Bred Dog went on to be winnerís dog.  It was Weichoís Flash Dance, a son of last yearís Grand Victor, Champion Mar Havenís Color Guard by Champion Weichoís Fire Dance.  Although this was in my area, I did not recognize Flash Dance, I believe I have only seen him one time before, when he won the Maturity under Rita Sandell.  He is a medium- sized dog, well pigmented with marvelous timing and a beautiful front reach with a strong, smooth underdrive.  He carries a perfectly level back at all speeds, is animated and has a beautiful head with dark eyes and an excellent ear set.  His temperament cannot be faulted, in
any manner, and over-all was the best class animal of the day.  

 In Open Dogs, the winner was Nike Clayfield Yanni.  Yanni is sired by Champion Rohanís Glass Palace TC by Champion Nike Clayfield First Love.  First Love is the bitch that led the specials for so long at the National, and the sire, Pal, is such a beautiful, dark extending dog, that it is not surprising to see Yanni has obtained many of his talents.  Yanni can cover the ground, has beautiful ribbing and style, and is one of the better looking sables being shown today.  He is a little close coupled, and that gets in the way of his movement, and does not allow him to extend and stretch as I would like.  However, it isnít fair to fault him on his side
gait, as he will cover the ground as well as anything else moving with him.  He could be a little better coming at you, but that does not distort his side gait, and he is a lot of fun to watch as he covers the ring at whatever speed you request.

 The Bitches, which had a larger entry, showed great quality as well.  The first place 9-to-12 Bitch was Tanglewood Lucy of Kengin, sired by Rohanís Glass Palace TC by Champion Nike Clayfield Loreal.  She is a bitch that could win easily in any class, strong mover, beautifully pigmented, and unfortunately on this day did not stand as sound as I would like, and will need more exposure.  She obviously will develop and as a young puppy it is very hard to know what the future will bring, but sheís certainly worth the effort and the time needed to make her more comfortable in the show dog arena.

 The 12-to-18 Winner was Nike Clayfield Giuliani, sired by Champion Rohanís Glass
Palace TC by Champion Nike Clayfieldís First Love.  This young lady is an absolutely stunning
bitch.  She is, of course, a full litter mate to the winner of the Open Dog class, which may be
some indication that the Open Dog is being pushed too hard for the class he is being shown in. 
However, ďJulieĒ as she is called, moves effortlessly, presents a beautiful type in motion, only
flawed by a coat fault, which was not enough to stop her from going Reserve Winnerís Bitch
from the 12-to-18 class.

 In Novice Bitch, the winner was Jaccar-Rivendellís Bacall, a daughter of Champion Rivendellís George Michael TC HT and Hawkís Nest Tanner.  I do not recall ever seeing this bitch before, she is a flashy black and red bitch, who covered the ground well, and moved effortlessly, at both ends.  She is young, and I expect she will mature into an excellent winner.

 The Bred By Exhibitor Bitch was Sinís Quote Unquote Vroom.  She is sired by Command Performance of Bob-lyn by Vroom-Sinís I Got Rhythm.  She won the class easily on her spirit and style, and presented that which we look so much for as the ďlook of eagles.Ē 
She sparkled in the class, and virtually ďasked for the ribbonĒ and won it.

 In the American Bred Bitch Class, the winner was Leemar Xzaret, a daughter of Champion Schokrest Frequent Flyer by Markelís Misty Magic.  This is a bitch that gave me everything I asked for at every speed.  She was placed in different positions in the class, and wherever she was, she continued to show as a stylish and classy bitch.  She is not the prettiest thing in the world.  For some reason people think because I have shown bi-colors that I like them.  Iím not particularly enamored with one color or another, but a bi-color seems to detract from the style of so many animals.  This particular bitch, while not being my choice in type, took less steps to cover more ground than anything else in the bitch classes that day.  She went on to be Winnerís Bitch, on her movement, her clean coming and going, her hard back and style.

 The Open Bitch Class was the only class that had any real depth beyond first and second, and actually had a number of bitches that could have gone Winnerís Bitch had they continued to work and show the style and ground covering movement as they started out. 
Perhaps because it was later in the day, a problem developed.  The winner was Jericho Monsville Luni sired by that fantastic and unbelievably fine animal, Select Champion Asgardís Big Deal of Encore, out of Savegeauís Crumpet of Jericho.  I have never seen this bitch before, although I have been told that I did see her as a small puppy.  She is a stunning sable with beautiful ribbing, strong head, iron back and flawless coming and going.  Her movement from the side is on and off, perhaps because this was one of her first times in the ring (so I was told after the show).  At times she showed a driving rear as good as Iíve ever seen, and a strong out-reaching front.  As she worked, she became more and more restricted in front, and at one time, when I had them walk, she began to re-open in the shoulder.  She maintained that beautiful movement to take the Open Bitch class.  When she came back in for Winnerís, unfortunately she had decided to no longer put forth the movement that she seems to have, and although I tried to work the dogs to see if it would come back, the American Bred Bitch just
continued to get better and better, and beat out Luni for the points.  However, I expect that her owners will work with her, develop her movement, and end up with a fine champion.

 Veteranís Bitch was Rocknollís Imagination, a daughter of Select Champion Houston of Wildwood, and Rocknollís Anastasia Von Ryan.  Although past her prime, this old gal was still in there giving her all, and seemed to have as much fun as anyone else in the ring that day.  At a little over 8-1/2 years old, she didnít have any trouble getting around the ring, and I had a feeling that she was willing to go all day, fortunately I wasnít, and therefore she won the class with ease.
 The Best of Breed competition presented an interesting but welcome problem.  There were six Champions, plus the Winnerís Dog and Winnerís Bitch.  The Champions included some of the finest bitches that are out there today, and I absolutely loved three of them in particular.  I thought the bitches of exceptional quality were Champion Ken-delaineís Dominique, Champion North Fleet Rimrock Allura, and Champion Marinerís Magic  Touch.  The most difficult thing to decide was which of those bitches, not considering the Winnerís Bitch, would be my winner.  I finally went with Champion Marinerís Magic Touch for Best of Breed, sired by Champion Nike Clayfield Andretti by Campaignerís Higlegh (I
believe that is a typo but directly from the catalog).  This bitch continued to shine, the longer she worked, the steadier she got.  She has an excellent outline and motion, reaching far in front of her head and traveling low to the ground from the shoulder, smooth and flowing drive from the rear, and although perhaps each of the other bitches had better ďpieces,Ē over-all Magic was the super star that day.  She actually went on to go Best of Breed over what I consider to be two extraordinary males. 

     The Best Opposite Sex Male was Champion Caralandís Unlimited, sired by Proven Hill Sport, the Adelgard, by Champion Caralandís Patricia.  Unlimited was #3 Select last year, and is one of the most massive, masculine, powerful, dark dogs of all times, or at least as long as I have been going to the dog shows, approximately 30 years.  He has a massive, dominating head, a temperament that is absolutely unshakeable, and moves with a ground covering fluid motion that you expect on a much smaller animal.  He certainly gives lie to the theory that a male cannot move as good as a bitch.  On this day he appeared a little overweight, and a little bit out of condition.  He is such a large massive dog, that it must be difficult to keep him in condition, but if you are looking for masculinity, substance, pigment and correct temperament, and do not want to give up an inch on movement, this is a dog to consider.  He was only beaten out by the bitch for Best of Breed, because of his condition on that day.

 The weather, as always in California, was fantastic, and as seems to happen more and more, although a small entry, the quality was extraordinary.  These are the dogs that I compete with day in and day out when trying to show my animals, and I was pleased to see that the next day, Dave Rinke gave Best of Breed to Champion Caralandís Unlimited, the same Winnerís Dog, Weichoís Flash Dance, and his Winnerís Bitch and Reserve Winnerís Bitch were two
bitches not shown under me, his Winnerís Bitch was a daughter of Champion Asgardís Big Deal of Encore, by Asgardís Jamboree (and a bitch that I co-owned for awhile) and his Reserve Winnerís Bitch was JPís Satin Silhouette, owned by Twyla Ann Miner, who co-owns
Champion Asgardís Lethal Weapon with me, and therefore, cannot show under me.

 As I said at the after-show dinner, these were the finest quality animals I have ever judged at a specialty show.  I am not sure how much that means, as this was my very first specialty assignment.  I did enjoy judging, I am pleased that the people chose to show under
me, even though I have not been quiet about what I like and what I dislike, and Iím looking forward to seeing them go on to even better things.

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