Steve judged at Western Districts Boxer Club Championship Show in Sydney, Australia and then we both judged at South Island Boxer Club Championship Show in Christchurch, NZ

On our return from a fabulous holiday on the Island of Kos in May 2011 I was delighted when opening my emails to find an invite to judge boxers at Western Districts Boxer Club of New South Wales Championship Show in September 2012. I immediately accepted and promptly forwarded my CV to the secretary Sina Castiglione. On approval of the appointment by the committee and the Australian KC I could now plan our trip.

In the mean time we were also invited to judge at South Island Boxer Club in New Zealand as they were aware that I was judging in Australia.

As the two of us were qualified to award CC's the committee of South Island Boxer Club asked us if we would both be prepared to judge, and if we agreed they would put on two Championship Shows back to back on the same day. What a fantastic idea, and we immediately accepted.

We arranged our trip through Worldwide Flights, gave them our itinerary and they did the rest, we were booked on Singapore airlines on their airbus A340. A friend of ours who has bullmastiff’s works at the Aerospace factory Broughton had told me that he worked on making the wings for all the A340 aircraft, so we felt quite reassured traveling on the first leg from Manchester to Singapore, then Singapore to Sydney, this being our first long haul flight knowing that Chris had made the wings. We had a two hour stop in Singapore and arrived in Sydney over 24 hours later at 8.30pm, Two days before I was to judge the show at Western Districts Champ Show. I can understand now why the club likes judges to arrive a couple of days early, so they have a chance to recover from the journey.  We were picked up at the airport and taken to the Chifley Hotel which is part of the Penrith Panthers rugby league club complex where we had a very enjoyable stay for 3 nights.  The next day we took a trip by train to the Blue Mountains and went to see the Three Sisters at Echo Point. The weather went from being warm and sunny in Penarth to ice cold, wind and rain in the mountains, many people being caught out arriving from Sydney in flip flops and shorts to face wintry conditions. The scenery was breathtaking and the views fabulous.

We were picked up the next day at the hotel by our steward Ernie Appleby and taken to the championship show which was held at the Bill Spilstead Complex, Erskine Park, and a purpose built dog show venue. The facilities were excellent, with a good sized outdoor ring which was flanked on both sides by exhibitors and their gazebos. The weather was lovely and sunny and approx 21’C. The committee and exhibitors were slightly concerned about us getting sun burnt; we allayed their fears by putting sun block on the next day and enjoyed the sunshine.

Ernie Appleby who was my steward on the day is a tremendous asset to the club; he is kind, courteous, well mannered and very helpful. His organisational skills were exemplary and he makes the whole judging experience that much more enjoyable knowing that he is part of the team.

I would like to thank the exhibitors for entering under me, the way they welcomed me, and the sporting way in which they accepted my decisions. Three of the main differences  between judging in the UK and Australia were that the exhibitors called you 'Sir' which was very nice, the dogs were only placed 1st to 3rd which unfortunately left some really good dogs unplaced, and the ribbons were blue for 1st instead of our red, and red for second place instead of our blue.

I found my BIS winner in Hobday & Downie's Sup .Ch. / NZ Gr CH Kadence Luv at First Sight (Imp NZ) this beautiful bitch comes with a big reputation and she didn't disappoint. It was love at first sight from me from the moment she strode into the ring. She has a square beautiful outline, feminine head, dark eye with a pleasing expression, a  lovely reach of neck flowing into well laid shoulders, she has style, elegance and is  totally well balanced throughout, she moved with pace and precision displaying all the qualities that make her one of Australia and NZ top boxers and top show dog all breeds. I was really pleased to be given the opportunity to judge this bitch.

Best In Show - Sup CH / NZ Gr CH Kadence Luv at First Sight (Imp NZ)

RBIS was  Crooks's  Ch Targeted by Newlaithe (Imp UK). This tall up standing top quality male of substance,  from the famous Newlaithe Kennel in Yorkshire England, has a masculine head, good mouth, dark eye, keen expression good reach of neck, plenty of forechest, pleasing outline, great condition and muscle tone, moved with ease around the ring overall shown to full potential.  

Reserve Best In Show - CH Targeted by Newlaithe (Imp UK)

BPIS,  McArthurs Saxonee Incite a Riot red & white dog, square in outline, beautiful correctly  proportioned head qualities, dark eyes, arched neck of good length leading onto correct shoulder placement. Good top line and well developed quarters used to advantage on the move, beautifully presented, coat in pristine condition shown in good hard condition. Pleased to award him BPIS and strongly considered him for the RCC, but I am sure with maturity his time will come and I will follow his progress with great interest. After the completion of judging, there was a presentation of the prizes to the exhibitors, and a short resume by myself as to what I had thought about the boxers I had judged. Overall the quality of my entry was quite high and I was pleased with my final winners.

Best Puppy In Show - Saxonee Incite a Riot

I would like to thank the secretary Sina and all her hard working committee for inviting me, making all the arrangements and making my day so memorable.

The following day it was Carol Schofields turn to officiate and it was my turn to relax and enjoy watching her judging.

After the show had finished we were taken by Graeme and Susan Langley to our Regis Hotel in Park Street in the heart of Sydney city centre near to Hyde Park. Carol and Nigel joined us at our hotel and for the next four days we were able to visit all the fabulous sights that Sydney has to offer. Everyone that we met was so friendly and helpful. The sights of the harbour bridge, the opera house etc. was breathtaking, and the trip to Manly was well worth doing. It is not surprising why the Australians love to promote their beautiful city. The next day we left Carol & Nigel at the train station in Sydney where we set off for the airport and they went to meet up with their friends.

Next it was a short three hour flight from Sydney to Christchurch, we arrived in Christchurch at 10.30pm picked up our hire car and set off for the motel in Papanui. The next day we visited Christchurch city centre and were totally shocked by the devastation caused by the earthquake in 2010.

We knew there had been an earthquake but did not realise the scale of the damage. We were greatly impressed by the ingenuity of the people, especially the shop owners who had converted shipping containers into shops and made a small shopping centre completely out of containers.

That evening we met up with a childhood friend who has lived in NZ for 17 years. We arranged to meet up with him after the show as we were staying at his house for the next few days.

The following day was the South Island Boxer Club Championship show which was held at McClean Island which is the Canterbury Kennel Associations showground. It is set in a lovely location surrounded by woodland. The outdoor ring was spacious and the weather was much cooler than Sydney, but thankfully the rain kept off.

We both arrived together, Marion was the first to judge and I was entertained in a room away from where judging was taking place in order that I would not be aware of her placing. Marion will now describe her winners.

I found my BIS winner in De Boers Ch Quasar Top Gun a beautiful substantial male in pristine condition, excellent proportion of muzzle to skull, good mouth, well laid shoulders into firm back, lovely front assembly with good width and depth, well developed quarters which he used to his advantage on the move, a great ambassador for the breed and shown to full potential a win well deserved.

Best In Show - CH Quasar Top Gun

RBIS went to De-Boers Sivad Inna Puzzle from the junior class. As soon as this bitch came into the ring I could not keep my eyes off her, I loved her beautiful square balanced outline, she was in prime show condition, good balance of skull to muzzle, pleasing expression, arched neck set onto correct shoulders, super front assembly, she moved combining  power and drive with elegance.

Reserve Best In Show - Sivad Inna Puzzle

BPIS De-Boer & O’Keefe Playing with Tricks 11mth lovely typical balanced head, lovely expression when alert, dark eyes, good width of muzzle, good length of foreleg, good front and depth of chest, well off for bone, overall a lovely puppy in tip top condition.

Best Puppy In Show - Playing with Tricks

I would like to thank Claire for stewarding for me and to the exhibitors for making my day so enjoyable, there was a lovely friendly welcoming atmosphere, the committee had worked very hard and the awards were phenomenal. The secretary Barbara Hawker explained that they raise money throughout the year to help finance the running of the shows. Also thank you to Barbara and her committee for all their hard work in organising such a successful show.

Now back to Steve. I found my BIS winner in  O'Keefe’s Ch Boxton Oh Me Oh My  Stunning in profile, her dark brindle coat  helping to  give off a sharp distinct outline, which is well balanced and square, pretty feminine head of correct proportions, eyes giving off a keen expression, beautiful reach of neck, set on correct shoulders, excellent front assembly with good width and depth, strode over the area with style and drive, covered the ground well with a good driving action.

Best In Show - CH Boxton Oh Me Oh My

RBIS De Boers Ch Quasar Top Gun,  BPIS De-Boer & O’Keefe Playing with Tricks.

Reserve Best In Show - CH Quasar Top Gun

I would also like to thank Barbara and the organising committee for all their hard work and their hospitality, you can see that this is a happy well run boxer breed club and it is a pleasure and an honour for both of us to be invited to judge. I would also like to thank the club for the beautiful gifts and for taking us out for dinner after the show. The following day we met up with our friends and for the next three days we enjoyed sightseeing in the Christchurch area.

The whole trip completely out lived all our expectations, everyone we met was so welcoming and it was a fantastic opportunity to judge some beautiful dogs in fabulous surroundings, which we greatly appreciated and will have fond memories  of for the rest of our lives.


Swedish Boxer Club Championship Show Vaxjo – Boxers
I would like to thank the officers and committee for inviting me to judge their boxer championship show at Vaxjo in Southern Sweden which I thoroughly enjoyed. We flew from Manchester to Copenhagen and then took  a 2 1/2 hour train journey to Vaxjo. The trip was really enjoyable; the train journey went really quickly and was very comfortable. The sights crossing the great Malmo bridge were amazing. This bridge is an excellent piece of engineering connecting Copenhagen to Malmo. It is (around 8 km) the train journey across the bridge from one city to another is in itself a great experience. It is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe. Once we arrived at Vaxjo we literally had a 5 minute walk to our hotel.

The show was held at Alveres Kennel Club showground on 7th September at a purpose built showground that contained a cottage style club house with facilities for various dog events it was set in beautiful woodland surrounded by trees. The committee did a wonderful job at organizing the show and it was evident that a lot of hard work and thought had gone into the presentation of the show by the committee led by the chairman Tobbe Johanson and the show manager Mia Ljung. It was clearly visible that they had a hardworking harmonious committee which helped to create a happy atmosphere at the show. Steve and I were made to feel very welcome and nothing was too much trouble.

This was my second overseas judging appointment but it was the first time I was to grade the exhibits. I was a little apprehensive at first but I was soon put at ease by my excellent ring stewards Joachim Andersson and Anne Christiansson who transcribed my critiques. Overall I found the bitches to be of far better quality than the dogs especially in construction. I found a lot of typical heads of correct proportion and mouths overall were excellent. I was surprised to find that all of the dogs were shown in their natural condition with none of them having even their whiskers trimmed. And the majority of them were shown in very good muscular condition complimented by healthy shiny coats. I did find that a lot of their boxers were not as highly show trained as our boxers in England which did make it quite difficult at times to assess them in profile,  the exhibitors making some of their dogs look roached when in fact when relaxed and on the move they held their top line correctly.

The show ring was extremely spacious with plenty of room for the dogs to move. I graded excellent to far more bitches than dogs. I noticed the show was sponsored by Royal Cabin and there were many other special prizes awarded that had been donated by various exhibitors and club members. I awarded my BIS to the dog CC winner Vilborg"s Honeybox Future Dream. I was really pleased to be informed that my BIS winner was top boxer in Sweden this year and also in 2012. He certainly was a great ambassador for the breed he was a typical substantial male of quality who loved to show himself off freely on a loose lead, a powerful male with plenty of attitude standing four square and so well balanced. He took my eye as soon as I seen him enter the ring, he had a typical well balanced constructed head dark eyes well padded muzzle good mouth, good reach of neck well off for bone. tight feet correct shoulder placement, moving freely around the ring with his proud owner and so very well schooled, a true showman. My bitch CC winner and RBIS was Kallgren"s All About Belle of the Ball overall a lovely bitch of quality in beautiful condition she had an appealing expression showing off her gentle dark eyes. good mouth lovely reach of neck well off in forechest, she moved elegantly around the ring holding her top line. The winner of my junior class winner was  a beautiful 10 month old very well constructed male whose head was beautifully chiseled which in time will mature into something I feel will be very special, he was Kjellander"s Coffers Klangen. B.P went to  Andersson's Fribox Hassel a promising young puppy who was very well balanced in profile when settled. lovely head and expression for a baby

Dog CC and Best in Show - Vilborg"s Honeybox Future Dream

Bitch CC and Reserve Best in Show - Kallgren's All About Belle of the Ball

To round off a perfect day we were treated to a special demonstration of the boxers working capabilities by the chairman Tobbe Johannsson and his dog Hausse Utah. This was a very special treat as we had not been privileged to see this live in all our years of boxer ownership. It was amazing to see just how a boxer can be trained to such a high standard and seeing how much the dog really enjoyed it.

One of the things that we were especially impressed with in Vaxjo was how environmentally friendly the place was. We had never seen so many cycles in one place and it was no surprise to find out that the city had been voted Sweden’s greenest city. We found the Swedish people extremely friendly polite and ever so helpful to the point that when Steve mentioned that seeing everyone cycling we would like to try it ourselves Mia the show manager immediately offered us the use of two of her bikes .The following day Mia and her partner Jonas collected us from our hotel and took us to her house were we picked up the bicycles and the four of us set off for a bike ride around the beautiful Vaxjo lakes. This kind offer all helped to make the judging appointment and holiday break that much more special. Thank you to the Officers and Committee of the Swedish Boxer Club for making this such a memorable trip.