Our judge for the day Mr Espen Engh’s critique and principal winners
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Best in Show
Mutoko’s Lledwenau Lowri JW
Owned and handled by Philomena Nash
Res Best in Show and Best Puppy in Show
Owned and handled by Heidi Parsons
Best Veteran in Show
Ch Shingwidsi Tshelete Silk
Owned by Helen Mansfield and John Kirby,
handled by Helen Mansfield
Midland and Northern Rhodesian Ridgeback Club Championship Show,
July 21st, 2018.
I have been privileged to judge Rhodesian Ridgebacks on several occasions in the UK and was very pleased with the numerically big entry of more than 160 dogs, but with quite a few absentees. The atmosphere was simply lovely, and the great sportsmanship and dedication of the exhibitors was obvious which speaks well for the future of the breed.
This was a challenging and interesting entry, with a lot of variation in just about any trait, including proportions and movement, even more varying than on my previous appointments for the breed in the UK. Small and tall, bone and substance from Mastiff-like to whippety, short-coupled and long cast – in most classes the competition was very inconsistent, but with enough good dogs in the majority of classes to make up the placements.
On the positive side, the ridges, the crowning glory of the breed, are still better in the UK than anywhere else where I have had the pleasure of judging the breed.
Head qualities and types varied a lot, and there were many dogs that failed in the typical breed expression. Feet needs watching.
Temperaments unfortunately left something to be desired and was sometimes not acceptable in dogs which would otherwise have done very well. Of course you would accept that a Ridgeback does not great you with a smile, but there were more than a dozen dogs that I really struggled to go over.
Movement is another element that varies much, and there were unfortunately not many that impressed in this department nor enough dogs that were able to keep their outlines on the move.
All this being said, I was very happy with the main winners.
Minor Puppy Dog (1,1)
Puppy Dog (6, 3)
- Priorpark Jabari for Nzuri
11 months old, masculine dog, definitely the most balanced mover in this class. Head with pleasing proportions, beautiful eyes, he does not need any more stop than this. Well set ears. Strong neck, well set. A little short coupled in body, tending towards square. Balanced angulation both ends. He was smooth and supple on the move and quite parallel coming and going. Symmetrical ridge of good length.
- Veldtkamper Driving Me Wild
A tall, very masculine, dark red dog with a strong, masculine head. Ears could be smaller. Strong neck. Elbows could be closer to body. He is at a stage where he is rather higher behind, more so in movement than standing, but he covers good ground on the stack. Strong bone. Beautiful coat and colour and excellent symmetrical and long ridge. Needs to develop in forechest and could not compete with the winner in balance of movement.
- Carlincox What Comes Around
Junior Dog (10, 3)
A couple of dogs in this class would have done better with stronger temperaments.
- Jimanns The Doctor
Very well made dog, moderate and balanced all the way. Excellent head proportions, attractive expression from his dark and round eyes. Strong neck, could be somewhat longer. Well angulated in front and with a very good forechest. Deep chest, lovely underline. Strong thighs, well angulated behind. He was a no-nonsence mover, at all times keeping his balance on the move. Excellent legs and feet. Excellent coat and colour. Topline needs to firm up a little with maturity. Long and almost symmetrical ridge. Best Junior.
- Dellared Natural Mystic An eye-catching, strong and masculine dog who covers ground well. I would like his head less wrinkled and with smaller ears. Beautiful strong and long neck, well set. Excellent forchest and depth. Strong topline, well angulated behind. He carried a little too much weight on the day. A bit inconsistent in movement, but looked good when he got the grip of it. Excellent ridge.
- Diamondridge Catch A Dream
Yearling Dog (6)
- Ulwazi’s Born To Run First At Zsushaunna
A classical Ridgeback, well made. Typical head and expression. Flat skull, well set ears. Attentive expression. Strong neck, well set. Enough forechest for age. Deep chest, excellent underline. A bit long in loin which is his weak point. Strong bone. Excellent feet. He moved with soundness and precision, even if he could be a little more enthusiastic. Excellent coat and colour. Long and symmetrical ridge.
- Patemellian Shaka
An instantly attractice dog, dark red. Good flat skull, somewhat low-set ears. Beautiful eyes and ears. Long and strong neck. A bit short in upper arm. Strong topline. Well angulated behind. He could be more precise in his movement, especially coming and going, and tended to pace, but he has exceptional drive in his rear. Excellent, long and symmetrical ridge.
- Saadani Show Off
Novice Dog (1)
- Ulwazi’s Born To Run First At Zsushaunna
Post Graduate Dog (4)
- Carlincox First Impression JW
Well balanced dog, looking younger than his age, his body is not fully developed. Attractive head shape, flat skull, very good length of muzzle. His eyes could be darker, but it did not disturb his expression all that much as the eyes are of perfect size, shape and placement. Excellent ears. Long and strong neck. Moderate, but balanced angulation both ends. He is a very dynamic mover from the side, tending to side track a bit .Symmetrical ridge of acceptable length.
- Kiromol Kintsa of Inkosikazi
A dog that appealed for type more than for construction. Masculine head, could do with some more stop. Strong neck. Would prefer better layback of upper arm. Long and symmetrical ridge. Falling away too much over the croup and could extend better with his hindquarters on the move, but very enthusiastic and willing to show. Very good bone.
- Carlincox First Encounter
Limit Dog (15, 2)
- Diamondridge De Niro JW Sh.CM
A dog that appealed a lot to me for his type and proportions. Typical head and expression. Strong neck, well set. Could be stronger in pasterns, good return of upper arm. Excellent outline. Balanced angulation behind. Good bone. He moved exceptionally well from the side, could be more stable coming towards you. Beautiful coat and colour. Excellent long and symmetrical ridge.
- Kitoko Wherever You Go Eiko
A very sound moving dog, excellent coming and going. He looks younger than his age, and is not yet quite fully mature. Pleasing head, a bit low-set ears. Eyes could be darker. Very well made, all in moderation, he stood very well over his legs and feet. But I wish there was just a little more of him. Excellent symmetrical ridge. Expertly handled to get the very best out of him.
- Flying First Class Qwandoya with Kinabula
Open Dog (12)
- Sofala Joe the Lion
A big dog, definitely masculine, still has elegance and quality to boot. He very much impressed for his proportions and outline, and for me he was a cut above the rest of the males for true, classical breed type. Classical head with the most beautiful expression. Long and strong neck. Well balanced angulation both ends with moderation. Deep and capacious chest. Beautiful topline and underline. Excellent long ridge with symmertry. A clean mover coming and going, just above average from the side, he only has enough animation. Still did enough to win the CC.
- Kinabula’s Taking Chances
A younger dog, a really good mover from all angles. Masculine head, could do with less lips. Strong neck. Moderately angulated in front, he still needs to fill out in that department. Strong, firm topline. Deep and capacious chest. He really comes alive in movement. Excellent bone and feet. Well handled. Particularly parallel coming and going and has plenty of energy.
- Ndoki Highlander
Champion Dog (8)
- Pl.Nl.Int.UK.Ch. Villagedogs O’ Red October
Very well balanced liver coloured dog with excellent body proportions. His head is not his main fortune, rather wrinkled in skull and could have a stronger muzzle. Excellent neck into shoulders. Excellent forechest, just wide enough in front. Super outline, covering an ideal amount of ground. Well angulated behind. He scored heavily in movement from all angles, parallel and sound and with excellent drive from the side, very supple and totally in sync. resCC and Best Liver Nose.
- Hespa Henry Higgins JW
A strong ,masculine, very eye-catching dog. Well shaped head, his eyes could be darker. Strong neck, well set, excellent forechest. Deep and capacious body, he could be a little more graceful in his outline for my ideal. Strong thighs, very well muscled and in ship shape condition. Moved very well from the side and from behind, but not as accurate in front as the winner.
- Diamondridge Da Vinci JW
Veteran Dog (6,2)
- Rozelridge Who The Man
A beautiful dog of excellent, classical type and quality. Very well balanced and constructed. He combined substance with elegance and quality, excellent body proportions. Excellent head and expression. Long and strong neck, well set, excellent return of upper arm. His feet are longer than ideal. Excellent topline. Balanced angulation behind. He retains his shape on the move. Long and symmetrical ridge. I did not realize until afterwards that I have awarded this lovely dog a CC in the past, and he was in contention on this day as well.
- Kiromol Kubwa Mno JW Sh.CH
A much older dog, very much enjoying his day out. He has a strong, masculine head, a little too excessive lips. Strong neck, well set. Well balanced angulation both ends. Deep and capacious chest. Excellent long ridge. Moves with plenty of animation when he wants to, which was most of the time.
- Kelshanti Senator of Africaner JW Sh.CH
Special Veteran Dog or Bitch (10 years and over) (5,1)
Lovely class, Ridgebacks really can be such great lasters as demonstrated by these specimens.
- Bawadu Azima Ahadi at Tuleka
Dog of lovely type and outline, he combined substance with quality and stands so well over his legs and feet. Typical head and expression. He still has that sparkle in his eyes. Strong neck, excellent forechest. Deep chest. Strong topline with some arch of loin. Well angulated behind. He still retained his balance on the move from the side. Excellent long and symmetrical ridge.
- Sonstraal Chocolate Storm Sh. CM.
Another dog that is very well kept and in remarkable condition for his age. Beautiful head and expression. Strong neck. Longer in body than necessary. Well angulated both ends and can still show some of the youngsters how to move, energetic and efficient. Long and symmetrical ridge. In beautiful coat and general condition. Another that I have particularly liked in the past, it was good to see him look so well at such a great age.
- Multi Ch. Veldtkamper Assle Me Litely
Minor Puppy Bitch (5)
- Nuthouse Gwladys Ap Sofala
A very attractive bitch with lovely body proportions. She covers the ideal amount of ground and is already very shapely in her body. Excellent length of head, excellent expression. Long neck, well set. Excellent return of upper arm. Still has some growth to do as she has big knuckles. Well angulated behind. She moved particularly well from the side, still puppyish coming and going and needs to stabilize in her hindquarters. Excellent ridge.
- Nuthouse Queen of Clubs
A bitch of very similar type, but not quite the drama of the outline of her sister. Beautiful head and eyes. Long neck, good front. A bit shorter coupled, balanced angulation both ends. She made a very nice picture moving around the ring. Beautiful coat and colour.
- Leeurif Jukeba Mshangao Tatu at Suhuba
Puppy Bitch (8)
- Priorpark Pipsqueek
A very beautiful bitch of excellent type and quality, already quite a star at such a young age. Beautiful expression from her dark, round eyes. Flat skull, excellent length of foreface. Long, strong and well-set neck. Strong topline, just long enough, she still needs to drop a little into her finished balance. Deep chest. Well angulated behind. Excellent bone and feet. She moved extraordinary well from the side and from the front, so very supple, energetic and synchronized. Excellent long and symmetrical ridge. Surely a champion in the making. Res CC and Res BIS.
- Diamondridge Destiny Child
Another excellent bitch, unlucky to meet the winner. Another with an attractive expression from dark round eyes. Well set, strong neck. Well angulated both ends. Deep chest. Her coat on the ridge is quite long, standing out and disturbing the outline just a little, but she has a very good long and symmetrical ridge and a strong topline. Another who moved very well from the side and from the front, but needs to stabilize behind.
- Mutoko’s Blaze of Glory
Junior Bitch (10,3)
Another class with some temperament challenges.
- Negasi Celebrian
A houndy bitch with very pleasing proportions. Lovely head and dark eyes, well set ears. Medium neck. Moderately angulated in front. Lean body, a little too much tuck-up for my ideal. Long and symmetrical ridge. Well angulated behind. She is light on her feet and well coordinated in movement.
- Priorpark Popsicle
Elegant, feminine light wheaten coloured bitch of very pleasing type and quality. Quality head and expression. Neck with an attractive nape. Moderate, but balanced movement both ends. I would prefer her to carry some more ground standing, but she was very light on her feet and looked very nice indeed going around. Also sound coming and going and very well co-ordinated. Typical ridge. Excellent coat and condition.
- Sofala Kapachira
Yearling Bitch (12,3)
- Patemeliann Tara
Well made bitch, well balanced and of very pleasing proportions. Feminine head, could be dryer, rather big ears. Well set neck into shoulder. Balanced angulation both ends. Excellent length of body. Well boned and excellent feet. She outmoved her competition from the side. Excellent long ridge. Beatiful coat and colour. Very well handled.
- Nuthouse Some Like It Hot
A classical bitch, nothing overdone. Typical head and expression, excellent ears. Strong neck. Topline could be stronger. She moved quite parallel coming and going, but could use some more drive from the side. Excellent coat, colour and ridge.
- Maanhaar Primo-creatus Henriette for Rubiltra
Novice Bitch (5,2)
- Diamondridge Destiny Child
- Manhaar Primo-creatus Henrietta For Rubiltra
Rather square bitch, but quite well balanced within herself, she scores in elegance. I would like a stronger muzzle. Pleasing expression. Elegant neck. Moderately angulated in both ends. Strong topline, could cover some more ground. Moderate amount of bone. Good feet. She moved light on her feet and with energy. Excellent ridge.
- Ozubi’s Patience
Post Graduate Bitch (8)
- Umhlandia Phaphathekileyo
Elegant dark red bitch. Feminine and balanced. Attractive head, dark eyes, ears could be better. Medium neck and front angulation, balanced by her moderate hindquarters. Shapely body in both topline and underline. Sound legs and feet. Excellent ridge. Shown in top condition by a clever handler.
- Firedance’s On Her Terms
Elegant, upstanding, feminine bitch of quality. Attractive head and expression. Excellent ears. Elegant neck. Moderately angulated in both ends. I would have liked her to cover some more ground, but she stood well over her legs and feet. Sympathetically handled. Ridge with symmetry and lenth. Light on her feet.
- Sanbona A’frican Soul Daaci at Suhuba
Limit Bitch (18, 6)
Not an easy class to judge, several bitches that had a lot going for them, but they scored in somewhat different qualities. An outstanding bitch who could very much have troubled the best had to be excused by the owner for being lame.
- Colkeririn Face To The Sun JW Sh.CM.
Very much a classical, no-nonsense bitch, well constructed. She has a feminine head with enough length, excellent ears and a pleasing expression. Strong neck with an attractive nape. Well angulated in front with a pleasing forechest. Strong topline, ideal length of body. Moderately angulated behind, she could actually do with a bit more. She is very light on her feet and moved with excellent co-ordination and was perfectly handled to get the very best out of her. Single tracking from behind. Excellent ridge. Moderate bone. Excellent feet.
- Gunthwaite Tickled Pink JW
An absolutely gorgeous bitch of exceptional quality standing, she completely filled my eye, and is the one I would bring with me home from the whole entry. Lovely head and expression. Exceptional neck; long, strong and with a beautiful crest and set-on. Deep chest, lovely proportions, well angulated both ends. Lovely coat and colour. Long and symmetrical ridge. This is truly a top drawer Rhodesian Ridgeback. Unfortunately she impressed significantly less on the move as she lost quite a lot of her outline and moved with less than average precision. Still the one to remember and just impossible to overlook.
- Diamondridge Distant Beat of Kazembe
Open Bitch (12, 3)
- Mutoko’s Lledwenau Lowri JW
Very well balanced bitch with excellent construction and very hard to fault seriously. Feminine head with lovely, feminine expression from her round and dark eyes, excellent ears. Strong neck with a nape, well set. Balanced angulation both ends, she stood so very firmly over her front legs. For me she could be somewhat more up on legs, but this was more than compensated by her many qualities. Deep and capacious chest. Strong topline which she retained perfectly on the move. Correct underline. Excellent ridge; long and symmetrical. Very well boned. Most of all, she scored heavily on the move, such a powerful, purposeful, well co-ordinated and supple mover, she stood out in this respect. CC & BIS
- Sharufa Shadowing James
A strong bitch, still feminine. Very soundly constructed with balanced angulation both ends. Strong neck, good forechest. Deep and capacious body, she could do with a little less weight on the day. Another who looked her best on the move as she has strength, drive and precision in her movement. Excellent long and symmetrical ridge.
- Kinabula Young Gifted An Red.
Champion Bitch (6)
- Shingwidsi Tshadi Rose
Feminine, quality bitch with a lovely head and expression and excellent overall quality about her. Well shaped neck with a crest. Just enough forechest and very moderate lay-back of upper arm. Strong topline, excellent bone and feet. Excellent coat and colour. Long and symmetrical ridge. She stacked well, even if a little high behind. Scored in balance on the move and lightness of foot.
- Kiromol Midsummer Spirit JW
Three year old, in several ways an impressive bitch. Excellent length and width of skull and muzzle. Strong neck, good front. Deep chest. Strong topline, even if a little high behind, especially on the move. Her underline was not her fortune on the day. Excellent ridge. A dynamic and energetic mover, very well handled.
- Kamili Comes and Goes JW
Veteran Bitch (7)
- Shingwidsi Tshelete Silk
En elegant, feminine bitch of generally high quality. Feminine head, not the longest, but with beautiful expression. Long neck. Moderate front angulation. Excellent feet. Strong topline and with a matching underline making an attractive outline. Balanced angulation behind. By far the best mover in the class, effortless and keeping her outline on the move. Excellent ridge with symmetry and length.
- Keshanti Jamila Urbi
Strong bich, well constructed, Strong head, yet feminine enough. Strong neck. Well angulated in front. Deep chest, plenty of volume. Carrying slightly too much weight on the day. Excellent ridge. Kept her balance on the move, but not as light on her feet as the winner.
- Kitoko Mabel
Espen Engh, Norway (judge)