Judge's Critique - Jane Jantos Sheppard

Carolina Afghan Hound Club
Sunday October 20,2013

It is always my hope, that when asked to judge the Afghan Hound in other parts of the country, that I experience the joy of judging dogs that I have never touched before.  To me, it’s like opening a gift and finding the most wonderful surprise inside. The Carolina Afghan Hound Club provided me with just that experience. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to judge your Sunday Specialty.  The day was nothing short of spectacular and the graciousness and hospitality of the members was memorable.

Dogs
The quality of the entries was excellent and in the classes, the ”boys’ had a slight edge over the “girls”.

The winner of the 6-9 Puppy Dog class (Ziv Hii’s Great Ballz of Fire) was a striking brindle youngster, totally full of himself and with an easy gait that matched his attitude.  He had a lovely head and dark eye, nice angulation front and rear which with maturity he should grow into.  It will be interesting to see this youngster mature.

9-12 Puppy Dog (Thaon’s Sanjaya)  was a handsome black masked red, nice shoulder placement and balance of movement
The single entry in the 12-18 Junior Dog class (Sharja Sorcerer) was a stunning cream dog with a beautiful head and of proper size. He possessed wonderful angulation fore and aft, a strong, level topline, both stacked and on the move.   He was at his best when he self stacked into a lovely square silhouette.  Balanced in gait, he was equally clean on the” down and back”.

The Bred by Exhibitor Dog Class was quite a challenge for me since the overall quality was excellent.
My first in this class( Ziv Hii’s Element of Fire)  was a stunning brindle with a gorgeous head and eye, wonderful natural muscling and wonderful shoulder assembly..  He covered ground very well in addition to a nice gait on the down and back.
Second place (Aloof Llacue”s Top Hitter) was given to a beautiful black-masked red dog with wonderful presence and floating gait.   Again, this dog also had a very nice shoulder set and beautiful rear angulation.  If he had, in my opinion, a bit more arch to his elegant neck, he might have taken this class.
Third place (Sharja Sands of Time) was awarded to a very balanced moving cream dog. He could have been a bit more set-under and used more bend in stifle.
Fourth place (Nopera’s Jaguar at BaJa) was an elegant and beautifully angled male of proper size with a striking long, expressive head, beautiful topline and low hocks.  Although he moved correctly on the “down and back”, he lacked balance on the profile due to the shortness in back.

Open Dog
1st Place (Sharja Share the Wealth) was awarded to a well balance, naturally muscled cream male with a striking head, excellent pigment , nice shoulder and upper arm, level topline and strong rear assembly.  True coming and going and nice side gate complimented this lovely dog, who was a picture on the self-stack.
Second in Open Dog (Kasban Get Smart)   was the type of hound that is hard to forget.  A truly athletic dog with a “stallion-like” presence.  Balanced front and rear, nice topline and the low hocks we seem to be losing in the breed.
Although  this dog possessed a many qualities that are important to me, 1st place had a more pleasing expression and was slightly more set under.
Third placement (Mihdian’s Move Like Jagger Zahara) was a very nicely balanced dog, true on front and rear movement  but without as much reach and drive as the other two placements..

In the Winner’s Dog competition, I was presented with five lovely hounds, all possessing beautiful angles and balance. In seeing the group move together, all appeared to cover the ground beautifully and efficiently.  Each took their turn to stop without handler intervention and “show their stuff”.  In my final discussion, the young 12 to 18 month dog (Sharja Sorcerer) positioned each foot perfectly.  His correct topline together with the front and rear angulation completed the overall picture.
Reserve Winner’s Dog (Sharja Share The Wealth) went to the striking cream Open Dog.  I was to later find out that WD and
RWD were Father and Son, RWD being the proud Sire.

Bitches

6-9 Puppy Bitch
1st  Place (Taji Even  Flow) went to a beautifully balanced black masked red bitch with presence beyond her tender age.  Lovely head and expression and, nice layback of shoulder and well set under.  Level topline  and nice depth of brisket.  She moved effortlessly on the profile.
2nd Place (Kominek’s by Fire and Blood) This young black masked red bitch excelled in shoulder and front assembly with a nicely angulated rear.  Somewhat high in the rear, she will hopefully outgrow it.

9-12 Puppy Bitch
1st  (Kasban’s Sand, Surf and Sun Royal at Wesan) Cream bitch a lovely front and hindquarters.  She moved with nice control.  She could have used a tad more length of neck, but certainly not objectionable.

12-18 Bitch
Both of these young ladies were very evenly matched.  The self-masked red bitch was a bit leggier, had lovely length of neck and a smooth effortless gait.  The cream bitch, more my preference in size, and smoothness of the shoulder into the topline. 

Bred By Exhibitor Bitch
1st place (Kasban Wildest Dreams) This dark blue brindle was a joy to go over with every part of her smoothly flowing to the next.  Solid in structure, yet feminine. Lovely bow to her rear and nice  gait.
2nd place (Sharja Stratosphere) a striking masked silver bitch, was a very close contender to win the class.  She possessed an exquisite head with a wonderful  expression and dark eye.  Nicely balanced, this bitch moved very well, covering ground effortlessly.  On any given day, first and second could have been reversed, however on this day the brindle girl had the “edge”.
3rd place (Elsto Khariz Divine Design) went to a very sound blue bitch.  Although she had very nice reach and drive, she moved slightly high in the rear.

Open Bitch
1st Place ( Kasban Vengeance of Jolie) was an athletic and very feminine bitch that when I first laid eyes on her, I became somewhat emotional.  She reminded me of a female version of one of our old Champions.
She possessed a striking head, front legs set well beneath her and the most beautiful rear with proper angulation and low hocks.    One can only imagine that this girl could perform on the coursing field as well as in the conformation ring.
2nd place (Elsto Khariz Dandelion Wine)  was a lovely red/blue brindle bitch that again was a pleasure to go over. Nice shoulders and lovely rear.   Very balance gait, but moved slightly high in the rear.
3rd Place (Kingsleigh Pigalle)  was a pretty oyster brindle bitch with a lovely head and expression.  Not quite as controlled on the “down and back”. 

Winner’s Bitch  (Kasban Vengeance of Jolie) was the Open Bitch.  Again, I was so taken with her athleticism and correct balance.  To me she exemplifies the essence of the Afghan Hound.  It would be easy to envision her on the sands of Afghanistan thousands of years ago.
Reserve Winner’s Bitch  (Taji Even Flow) came from the 6-9 Puppy class. It will be interesting to watch this lovely girl mature. 

Best of Breed Competition
Again I was presented with a lovely group of quality dogs and bitches.

BISS”  CH Agha Djari’s Eye Candy of Sura   My eventual winner was a very balanced oyster brindle bitch that never failed to stop herself “spot on”. Upon evaluation she was a symphony of smooth and flowing curves from the layback in her shoulder, depth of brisket, true front and nicely angulated but not overdone rear.  Moving on the profile her topline remained totally level. 

Best of Opposite:  GCH Jolie Paparazzi  was a wonderful, athletic oyster brindle male with balanced reach and drive.  True movement coming and going, he possessed nice depth of brisket and natural muscling. 
Select Dog :  GCH Tell’s  Caught Ya Lookin was a striking red brindle with extraordinary reach and drive.  His long expressive head, with beautiful eye was lovely.  Although I would have liked a bit more width to his front assembly, he presented a lovely picture of an exotic hound.

Select Bitch:   Ch Zen Pahlavi It Ain’t All Glitz N’ Glam was a lovely red “showgirl” who owned the ring.  Exceptional reach and drive and a pleasure to place you hands on.  Although I would have preferred a bit more “set under” and rear angulation, she used what she had remarkably well.

AOM
GCH Jolie Orion   Powerful, stallion like cream male with fluid, easy side gate.  Although he could have used a bit more rear angulation, he possessed  a sound front and rear, evident by his gait coming and going.

GCH Llacue’s Aloof Red Diamond   Gorgeous red bitch with lovely shoulders and topline.  Free and proper movement both on the profile and down and back. 
Kasban Vengeance of Jolie (WB)     Need I say more!

- Mrs. Jane M. Jantos-Sheppard

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