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Ch. Bourntwyn In My Dreams, JW with her breeder, Mandy Bithell, by Lorna Dandy Handling & Photography, with many thanks.

My BCC winner and Best of Breed at my first championship appointment in the UK, for the Working & Pastoral Breed Association of Wales on the 16th of April 2016 in Builth Wells. A first to remember. Updated this post after my critiques have been published in Dog World (on 27.04.16), to add my detailed thoughts on this beauty that I was thrilled and honored to have in my ring. I had judged her at the Color Format show of the Midland & West of England Great Dane Club  in February 2012, before she was a champion, and she blew me away. I awarded her best bitch in color. She was my winner then and four years later the mature specimen thrilled me and became my winner again as I did not find one closer to the standard than her on the day. She is truly classic.

My critique reads:

“OB, 9 (0). Best class of the day, a real joy to go over such top quality bitches. 1st, Bithell’s Ch. Bourntwyn In My Dreams, JW. I have judged her 4 years ago & I loved her then, grateful to see the impressive mature picture. Classic black masked fawn; long well sculpted head of parallel planes, dry skull, medium size ear, excellent muzzle & lip, full jaw, beautiful eye, keen expression. Shapely & flowing from crested neck into withers & topline with the correct v. slight rise over the short strong broad loin for galloping power, excellent croup. Workmanlike boarhound model body profile, true front of correct breadth & depth, well filled but not overdone forechest, textbook shoulder & upper arm, lovely well-shaped quarters, broad upper thigh, correct angle at the stifle & perfect length of second thigh, the soundest of hocks, correct oval bone, pasterns & feet, optimal development of ribcage & chest without exaggeration, feminine, elegant, strong, well-knit & beautifully coordinated on the move. Sound as a bell & a perfect example of how a fine wine gets better with age. She outperformed every other bitch & pipped the dog on finished frame & polished grace. Beautifully presented & handled. Truly fine wines don’t have sell-by dates & real connoisseurs of functional beauty never worry about grey hairs or dare complain about the fullness of breasts that have been blessed by motherhood, especially when you can clearly see the perfect underline in place. The proof of the pudding for me is always the test of time. If we consciously want to preserve the breed & restore it to its former glory we should better serve our duty to promote longevity & excellence that is tested & proven by the best judge of all things – age. Pleasure to award her a most deserving CC – her 10th I’m told – & BOB. Like my DCC winner & reserves she is a Dane to be very proud of.”

Lorna Dandy took the stunning photograph of “Cruz” after the Great Dane judging. Thank you, Lorna, for very generously allowing me use this image in the blog.

Please visit Lorna’s website for more.

Thank you to the breeders-owners-handlers of this most deserving Great Dane champion, Mrs Mandy Bithell & Mr. Chris Bithell, Bourntwyn Great Danes & Briards, for giving me the pleasure to go over and evaluate their gorgeous companion. I believe she has an enviable record in the breed as previously Top Dane, Group Winner under renowned all-breed connoisseur Mrs Kari Wilberg and many other accolades, and is by my reckoning one of the select few with the time-defying quality to win CC & BOB again at almost 5 and a half years of age.

A very fine wine indeed and a very special memory for me, that I will always treasure.