JURY de la Nationale d'Elevage 2021

Conformité au standard

Classes Mâles et Femelles et CACS

Madame Glenda O'CONNELL

1. I got my first |Beardie in 1983, a slate bitch from the late Angela Hutchinson.

I showed her without much success. She was difficult to show and I realised that, although she was sound with a good coat and no real faults, she did not have the quality to make it as a show dog.

I had learned a lot about movement and construction from my time showing my Old English Sheepdogs in the 1970’s. I used to often admire the Beardies at shows and watched them in the ring all day at Crufts on two occasions before taking the plunge. When Lizzie cam to live with us we still had the last of our Bobtails, who lived to the grand old age of 15 years. Lizzie had our first, and her only , litter in 1988.

2. Showing them of course, but most of all, our morning walks in the country park, 7 days a week, rain or shine. We used to take our 6 Beardies away on our caravan holidays for several years, they were some of the best times too.

3. The worst part about breeding a litter, for me, is finding homes for the puppies. Hence, I have only bred 7 litters, as this really does put me off. It’s a big plus if the prospective owners have had a Beardie before, or at least owned a dog. You really have to go with your gut feeling about people in the end.

Glenda with Ch. Atherleigh Over the Rainbow JW and her two sons Atherleigh Red Alert and Ch. Atherleigh Mahogany Moon.

4. Have some experience in this breed before breeding your first litter. Its not something to be rushed into. Wait till you have observed many dogs, seen many litters and made some good friends in the breed. Take advice from people who own dogs you admire and have had success with their own breeding programmes. Wait till you have a bitch who has a lot to offer the breed and when the time comes, take advice from her breeder.

5. Temperament , I always say it’s not always your top winners you love the most. Health. Construction.

6. All of the above, of course. My ideal, I guess, is that she comes from a line of good producers on the dam’s side. That she has a certain type and quality about her and that long, easy, far reaching movement. Bitches like this will invariably produce something special.

7. One that not only has super type, construction, movement and coat, but has a real love of being in the ring and would do anything for their handler/owner. That indefinable thing called charisma.

8. It’s no secret. It is just hard work and dedication, a certain single mindedness. It’s ensuring your dogs are superbly fit and well conditioned, that they are happy. Nothing comes easy and everyone has set backs and disappointments. Watch all the successful handlers. Have a good friend and mentor. Obtain the best dog/bitch you can, and, most importantly, learn to be critical of your bitch, or you will never improve what you have.

9. There are many great ones to choose from and, of course, I must confine my choices to dogs I have seen in the ring. Ch. Tamevalley Easter Song of Potterdale, a truly lovely bitch, I remember seeing her go BOB at Crufts as a veteran looking superb, she contributed so much to the breed from her numerous Ch . offspring. Ch. Potterdale Philosopher, a do of superb type, who put his stamp on his progeny. Ch. Potterdale Priviledge who, for me, brought the breed standard to life. Once seen never forgotten. Ch. Ororas Frank, for his stunning type and movement and his great contribution to the breed. Ch. Potterdale Classic of Moonhill for her sheer class and charisma, if ever a beardie was aptly named it was her.

10. There have been many, but right at the top is winning my first ever CC with Ch. Potterdale Phorget-me-Not from the post graduate class at the BCC Club Ch. Show. Winning both CC’s at Bournemouth with the litter mates Atherleigh Venus and Ch. Atherleigh Rufus. Doing the double again, in the same year, at LKA with Rufus and his half-sister Ch. Atherleigh Rainbows End. Seeing relatively inexperienced owners making up dogs bred at Atherleigh. Our Lucy (Ch. Atherleigh Over the Rainbow JW) being BCC and Dog World top brood in 2008.

11. To carry on enjoying showing my dogs and perhaps one more litter. Who knows what the future holds.

12. To see a correctly made Beardie, of superb type, flowing round the ring with that breath-taking, effortless movement that sends tingles down your spine. Are there any around today? Yes, there are, but, sadly, they are few and far between, which, I suppose comes with smaller entries. Beardies don’t seem to be the extrovert characters they used to be in the ring. I guess some are just not allowed to show it

Glenda O’Connell
23rd March 2013

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