The Hovawart Club of Great Britain


A collection of articles regarding Hovawarts and dogs in general. If you have an interesting feature or article that you think our visitors would be interested in then please Let Us Know.

Crufts 2015 Results and Critique


It was a great privilege and honour to be asked to judge Hovawarts at Crufts

again, some 14 years after my first appointment at this show. It is heartening to see that several exhibitors attended both times. The entry is 50% up from then too, largely as a result of greater numbers from abroad, making Crufts a truly international affair.

I was very pleased with the overall temperament shown by the dogs in the ring, no growling and only one youngster letting both her and her handler’s nerves get the better of them. I do hope that this can be overcome, because she looked a most promising bitch. I must also comment on the excellent overall presentation of the exhibits. Very often, your hands can be black after a couple of classes, but here the dogs were all clean and tidy.

In my view, for a working dog to be fit for purpose, good movement is an essential ingredient. Disappointingly, there were a number of dogs at the show that would have struggled to keep up a day’s work, when our breed calls for effortless, ground covering gait, straight and true, with good reach and drive, meaning to me that action you feel could go on for miles. On a positive note, we should be very proud of our veterans, who always give a strong showing, as they did here. Sadly, there were no eligible puppies.

VETERAN DOG (3) an excellent class

1.Shone’s Minches Jet of Zwartbos

Difficult to believe this fine upstanding b/g boy has turned ten, as he powered round the ring , keeping a super topline, and using his good shoulders and well muscled hindquarters to good advantage. He has good markings, with a well proportioned head, dark eyes with a kind expression, good bone and a reasonable spring of rib. I would like a longer tail.

2.Stewart’s Ir.Ch.Fasskoleys Sallins Solo

A bit younger than the winner, at nearly 9, he has many of the same attributes, including a strong, easy and active gait moving round the ring. His tail carriage is a little too high for me, and he has insufficient gold marking on his head, but otherwise very little to choose between


3. Inches’ Minches Chief Riever

Making up a super class, and again very close up, this blond , who turns 9 in a month’s time, has benefitted greatly from his handler’s use of a motorised scooter, as the extra pace stretches his stride and he moves with real power now. His topline wasn’t quite as firm as the two ahead of him, and his hock could be more let down to advantage, but overall an excellent profile, with nice bone, and a well proportioned head and a kind expression. Three cracking veterans, really quite hard to separate.



1.Williams’ Driftingsky Arcus

Alone in this class, but very much worthy of his first prize card, this big blond boy, a couple of weeks past his first birthday, has really come on since I saw him a few weeks back. He has now got a bit of a chest, which improves his front, both structurally and in terms of his movement. He is by no means the finished article, but is well boned, with a good head coming, and a good coat in the making too. On the move, his topline needs to firm up, and a bit more drive will come with age and exercise. All in all, a very promising youngster.


1.O’Sullivan’s Castlemary Duke

A very solid dog, with a rather deep gold coloured coat, he has excellent bone, and good width to his chest, with strong legs, and as a result moved with drive, although his high tail carriage did spoil the outline. He maintained a good topline in motion, which certainly helped him win this class.

2.Woodger’s Hightimbers Tuppence

Unsurprisingly the type that I like, he is well marked with a good head, dark eyes and a kind expression. He is well balanced, with reasonable shoulders and adequate bone. He lost to the winner because he didn’t quite drive round the ring with as much power and purpose. Again, a high tail set spoilt his outline for me.

3.Unger’s Kaszper van de Hoevemeester

A three year old b/g that gives a balanced appearance, although a bit more length of loin would give him a bit more scope. Good markings and good head shape, with a kind eye and a super temperament, he has grown into a nice dog, but lost out today to the scope and movement of the first and second.

OPEN DOG ( 4, 1abs.) The class of the day.with three exceptional exhibits very hard to separate.

1. Gardes’ Nld/Bel/Lux Ch. Gotham des Iles du Lagon Bleu

I feel privileged to have him to judge. Last year, I think he lost out on a bit of maturity, but he is now coming 4, and in his full pomp. He has a masculine head, with a good stop and markings, strong neck going into well-laid shoulders, strong forelimbs, reasonable feet, giood body length, powerful quarter which he used to the full on the move as he flowed round the ring. BD BoB

2. Murphy’s Castlemary Druid

Another superb b/g male, very unlucky to come up against the winner today. Everything in the right place again, a really masculine head, but with a kind expression, good shoulders, better feet than the winner, but just lost out on that little bit of maturity, as he was conceding 16 months to him. Next year, it may very well be a different result. They matched stride for stride, and it was special to watch them go together.

3. Stolzenberger’s Bond vom Gut Grone

By no means disgraced by his placing, he was very close up to those above him, and would have won any of the other classes with some ease. A bit older than the other two, which may have affected his movement, just not quite as precise as theirs. However, he is a well balanced dog, with good bone, shoulder and hind construction, and like them keeping a good topline when moving. I liked him very much.


1. Stwart’s Ir.Ch.Fasskoleys Sallins Solo


1. Shone’s Ursine v d Romerwiede of Zwartbos

An 8 year old b/g bitch of good proportions, in excellent condition, she presented a really good image of the breed, and moving didn’t let herself down, keeping a good topline throughout, something that can be a bit of a problem for the older animal. She has good bone, and has good feet, and her coat is in lovely condition. There must be something in the Surrey water, because both veteran winners are in the same ownership.

2. Mooney’s Ir. Ch. Glenbower Karhu

My notes say “solid gold girl”, and that sums up this lovely deep blond 8 year old. She has excellent bone, is well muscled throughout and moved with drive, keeping her good topline and with a pleasing tail carriage. However, she has quite a short muzzle, and I would like a more oval eye.

3. Inches’ Minches Kees Killarney

At eleven and a half, she is quite the grand old lady now. Again, she has certainly been helped by her owner’s use of the motorised scooter, although unfortunately she got too close to it today, making her temporarily favour the run-over foot. After a few minutes, and a little judicious massaging, she returned to soundness, and moved well with a nice tail carriage. In the final analysis, her age did tell against her, but again the breed can be proud of such active longevity.


JUNIOR BITCH (5, 1abs)

1. Whitmore& White’s Driftingsky Alize

Litter sister to the Junior Dog winner, so just out of puppy, she is a very nicely constructed b/g bitch, correctly proportioned, but on the compact side. She has good bone and substance, with laid back shoulders and well muscled hind quarters, which she used well on the move. Her tail carriage did spoil her outline a bit for me, and I would like her head to be a little more feminine, nevertheless a worthy winner here.

2. Harrison’s Fibi Srebrne Pole

About six weeks older than the winner, but her rangier outline negated any of that advantage. Again b/g, she has come on greatly since I saw her back in the autumn. She has well constructed shoulders going into a good strong neck, and good hindquarters with a nice tail, carried well on the move. Her topline will settle with age, and hopefully she will fill out a bit, as she is a tad narrow at present. Her slightly overlong muzzle spoils an otherwise good head.

3. Scully’s Driftingsky Cloud

Another from the winner’s litter, she is at present completely out of coat, which did allow her good strong body structure to be seen. She is a well balanced blonde that could really be very striking, if that coat develops as it should, because she has nice bone, a pleasing head and expression and moves with drive and purpose. Certainly one to keep an eye on for the future, but not her time right now.


1.Dempsey’s Castlemary Truly Delighted

A blond two and a half year old with a lovely coat, with really nice shading and super feet, not something very many Hovawarts can boast. From the same litter that produced the male winner of PG, and a similarly compact type, she has a good front and shoulders well laid back, a strong neck and nice head with lovely eyes giving a sweet expression. She moved well, and kept her toplline throughout.

2. Mooney’s Metsahavdin Robin.

Nearly a year older than the winner, from the same sire, and the quality showed. There was not a great deal to chose between first and second, who is a little smaller, but equally well balanced, with good bone and nice angles. Another good mover, keeping it well together as she powered round the ring.

3. Shone’s Zwartbos Chale

On a par age wise with the second, but bigger and rangier in type, this black bitch had a good head and kind expression from dark eyes. She again moved well, but I would like a little more width in chest, as she is a bit close in front .Three nice bitches.


After such a good Open Dog class, I was excited to get to this point in the judging, and at first glance, this class looked good, but I was very disappointed by the poor movement I found in general.

1. Whitmore& White’s Driftingsky Mist

A good honest b/g bitch who is now just turned six, so is at her peak. She has always been there or thereabouts, because she has very little to criticise, being well balanced, well marked, forgiving the diminishing small white area, with a pretty, feminine head, kind expression, adequate bone, a good front going into well placed shoulders, good length of loin, nicely sprung ribs, hocks nicely let down, good hindquarters, well muscled, and with a reasonable topline and tail carriage on the move. Like your judge, she could shed the odd pound to advantage, and ideally I would like a bit more enthusiasm in the ring. Nevertheless a worthy BB and BoS.

2. Inches’ Fasskoleys Silkie

In many ways, a similar bitch to the winner, in that she is b/g, well put together, nicely balanced fore and aft, with a pretty head and kind expression, good shoulders, reasonable bone, good hindquarters, lovely tail carriage on the move, and could also benefit from a few less pounds. It seemed to me that she was rather detached from the proceedings, and could be quite something if she really wanted to be. RBB

3.Borroni’s Int.Sh.Ch.Aranka Creny Se

Coming up five years old, this striking bitch looked as though she might well be the winner here, as she has a lovely profile and good bone and curves, but when it came to moving her poor hindaction spoilt it all for me, and sadly she was by no means the worst.


1.Robinson & Brown’s Zwartbos Moet

Reserve in the Junior class. This b/g bitch is a good upstanding girl, with reasonable bone throughout, She could be better marked, especially on her head, where she needs more gold, but the basics are there for her to mature into a good sort. Her feet are a bit flat, not an uncommon feature in this breed.

John Sharpe (judge)

This article was posted on: 09-Mar-15