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March 30, 2014 Judges Critique Regular Classes

Garry Newton (Judge)

It is a privilege and pleasure to be asked by oneís peers to have the honor of judging their dogs. It is that much sweeter when those canines are THE KING OF DOGS. I would like to thank everyone associated with the Richmond Afghan Club for allowing me to be one of their judges.
The ring size was large enough (and double matted) so that each Afghan was allowed to showcase their attributes. I was especially pleased that when I gave each exhibitor a chance to move and showcase their canines, exhibitors moved at a face pace allowing their dogs to step out but did so without the wild flailing speed of an exotic racecar on a wet track at Le Mans . In fact, I was highly impressed with so many of the Afghans exhibiting that light effortless movement giving one the impression of great style and beauty. At times over the last few years, I was concerned that this wonderful breed specific movement was being lost. It was especially gratifying to observe this proper movement in so many of the entries, but especially in the puppies of both sexes. The overall quality of the entry was excellent.

There was a very strong entry in the Dog Classes.
The 6-9 puppy class was especially strong. The winner of this class was an effortless exhibit on the day and edged out the others in the class with fluid movement and wonderful balance. If this Afghan continues to mature with the potential seen this day, he will be a force in the breed. Mahali Windfall Rumor Has it at High Kaliber was bred by Lynne Schanzle and Cathy Rodgers and owned by Neva and Jay Johnson .

The 9 -12 month entry was Ziv Hiiís Blue Flame Cruze bred by Carla Helm and owned by Stephen Williams. He was a very good exhibit with balance and very deserving.

First in the 12-18 month class was Jolie Soothsayer bred by Jennifer and Jason Taylor and owned by Alexandra Treadway. He was my Reserve Winners Dog on the day. This was a class of three, each was very good but at times they were their own worst enemy (as young Afghans sometimes will be).

The Bred By Exhibitor class was outstanding. This was a showcase of excellent Afghans. I have no doubt that each and every one of these hounds will obtain their titles. Correct standing and moving, they were a joy to watch.

The Open Dog Class was a class of one. Good outline and conformation on the stack. Good balanced movement but on the day was just not as strong as some of the other class winners.

My Winners Dog was the Bred By Class winner, Paladin Let the Music Play of Spice Hill bred by Michael Liss, Teri Tevlin, Anthony Saia, Floyd Gale and Lex Robertson and owned by Claire Satloff, Jeff Bedrick, Teri Tevlin and Michael Liss. During both the Bred By Class and the Winnerís Class, I could not help but keep coming back to this stallion of a hound. He defined in those moments the meaning of both exotic expression and eyes gazing in memory of ages past. He was also awarded Best Bred By Exhibitor on the day.

As strong as the Dog Classes were, I was even more impressed with the fairer sex on the day. The class bitches were both lovely jewels and athletes at the same moment.

My 6-9 month Puppy bitches excelled both on the stack and on the move. I could have stood in the middle of that ring and watched them move for hours. Logic and common sense prevailed and I simple let the young girls showcase their talents. The winner of this class was Jolie Palindrome bred by the owners, J & J Taylor and S. Krupp. This wonderful young lady was also my Best Puppy on the day.

The 12-18 month Bitch class was a showcase of Afghan talent. Correct outline, excellent fronts with balanced rears and wonderful Afghan movement that one dreams of. The winner of this class was Diamonds In The Sky of Meadow Valley bred by Ria and Toni Wagner and owned by Mary Jane Szezurek and Janice Buttler.

While the Bred By Exhibitor class was not one of quantity, it was one of excellent quality. Again, outstanding conformation manifested itself in wonderful movement. Kasban Wildest Dreams bred and owned by Laura Mauldin was the winner of the single entry but was also my Reserve Winners Bitch.

The Open Bitch class was also a showcase of Afghan talent. Once again it was a matter of splitting hairs between excellent examples of the breed. These ladies were wonderful under the hand and pleasing to the eye on the move. The Open Bitch class was won by A-Merís High Society bred by Michelle Friesen, Christine Pinkston and Tracee Elwess.

The Winnerís Bitch class is one that I will fondly remember. Each was given the chance to showcase their talents and each performed with beauty and athleticism that was fun to behold. It was an honor to award the Junior Bitch, Diamonds In The Sky of Meadow Valley, my Winners Bitch on the day. She then continued her performance and was awarded Best of Winners as well.

After a short break, it was time for the Best of Breed exhibits to enter the ring. It is rare that one has the opportunity to watch, let alone be in the ring, with this quality of Afghans. It was a pleasure to feel the structure of these hounds under magnificent coats. It was pure admiration to watch them move with such grace and beauty. Each Special was an aristocrat and each was truly ďa King of DogsĒ. My Best of Breed was GCH Criston Enchanted bred by C. Pinkston, M. Friesen and T. Elwess and owned by Christine Pinkston and Nancy Shaw. While this Afghan is a thing of beauty, I could not help but admire the natural athletic grace and functional attributes of this magnificent hound.

My Best of Opposite was GCH Pahlavi Itz Not My First Rodeo bred by Wagner and Klosson and owned by Karen Wagner. Each and every Special was strongly considered for the top award, especially my Best of Opposite, Selects, and Awards on the day. Sometimes the hardest job for a Judge is deciding which piece of coal will be used on a given day and sometimes the hardest job is deciding which flawless diamond will be selected for the crown. This day was a diamond jubilee.

Respectfully,
Garry Newton

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