The Virtual Game Fair Charity Terrier, Lurcher and Whippet Championships organised for Charity by the Mourne Sport Dog Club and sponsored by FEEDWELL, Barbour, Irish Country Sports and Country Life magazine and by Jim & Sharon Dalton who have donated prizes of €50 each to the top lurcher and terrier.
Judges were supplied with hard copies of the entries all of which had been given a number.
The Whippet Championships judged by Jim Fletcher
First of all, I would like to thank the organisers of the Game Fair for asking me to judge the whippet class at their virtual show, and I’m looking forward to using my gift when we ever get back to some sort of normality
I received photographs of the dogs to choose from, it is hard to judge a dog of any breed let alone a sight hound from a photo alone as its impossible to see how the dogs move, and to feel for muscle and coat condition, I had no idea who the dogs are or who the owners are
So to the top four
1st was number 7, a pale fawn male who looks to be of a good size without any exaggeration lovely head and eye, good length of loin, he seems to be in fit condition
2nd, number 1, a pale brindled parti bitch it was close between the 1st and 2nd, she again is un-exaggerated without the over angulation we see in the breed now, she is good in the front with correct pasterns again one with a nice head with neat ears,
Highly Commended number 10, and Commended number 5, it was close between these two solid brindle bitches, both have good length and correct fronts and look like they are fit for purpose a close decision and could easily change places in real life
Champion Whippet Owned by Darren Gallagher
Res Ch Whippet Owned by Amy Chaytor
The Lurcher Championships judged by Davy Rodgers
It’s an honour to be asked to judge the lurchers at this year’s virtual Game Fair and a real pleasure to view such beautiful animals. As always, there must be disappointment for those who don’t make the top of the list even though the standard of all entrants was high. However for me the two standout lurchers which really impressed me most are numbers (1) and (9).
Both these fine animals appear structurally sound, well made all round without exaggerated features.
Number (1) particularly catches the eye due to his hard condition and appearance of speed however in the end I opted for number (9) because of that hard to define quality which I can only describe as “balance”. The job of a lurcher involves more than just straight line speed…..stamina, co-ordination, drive and balance all topped off with strike accuracy are the things that put game in the bag and number (9) displays a good workmanlike structure including a good reachy neck for ease of pick-up on the move. So as far as it is possible to assess a dog on looks alone my winner is number (9) with number (1) a close runner up (pardon the pun).
Highly commended is number (8) (which recalls the Cape hunting dog with his unusual colouration) but actually every entry deserves credit and is obviously well cherished and cared for by the owner.
Stay safe everyone!
Champion Lurcher Owned by Rebecca Dalton Res Ch Lurcher Owned by Amy Edwards
The Terrier Championships were judged by Ian Heslip
From a good range of nice terriers of all types I picked the black n tan Lakeland as winner. He had a nice square type head was short looking on the back stood well on lead with tail up without holding it looked spannable and had a nice wire jacket.
My runner up was a nice type of smooth Russell.
Champion Terrier Owned by Jen Foster
Res Ch Terrier Owned by Grace Hilditch
Overall Champion was judged by Kieran Young and Albert Titterington
From three fine examples of their breeds the judges agreed that the lurcher should be overall champion.
All winners & Runners Up qualify for the Five Nations Championships at the Irish Game Fair, Shanes Castle Antrim 26/27 June 2021.
Special prize awarded by Albert Titterington: ‘ The Dog I would most like to take home not in the awards’: Patterdale owned by Odette Foster
The Colette Gannon Memorial Award for Sportsmanship
In association with the VGF show Kieran Young decided to award the Colette Gannon Trophy for sportsmanship in the working dog world.
This year’s winner is Lisa Beggs not only for her obvious care and conditioning of her dogs but also for her sporting demeanour when competing at shows.