SESSS Championship Show - 24th February 2007 Judge: Carolyn Muirhead (Shipden)

'My thanks to the club for an enjoyable day and also the exhibitors for a very representive entry. I was pleased to be able to find a fair number of exhibits that fulfilled my interpretation of the standard. As I had not judged the breed at this level for more than 6 years, I realised that standing ringside or in a class with them is very different to actually getting one's hands on. Heads varied considerably and eye colour and shape varied from superb to not nice. The lovely soft expressions were very few and far between, but this has been a problem for sometime. Confirmation generally was reasonable, but one my biggest worries was hind movement. The placings in many classes were won or lost on hind movement. The ESS is a working dog and as such needs to move soundly to be able to do its job of work. Of course, not too many of these dogs are fortunate enough to be able to work, but I would find it quite awful to watch some of these dogs moving away during exercise or just moving about the home and garden all day every day with their cow hocks, close movement with legs nearly touching, narrow quarters with no second thigh or very wide movement with no drive. I`m sorry but a puppy a few weeks old should be sound. Presentation in most cases was good, but I was horrified to see at least a dozen dogs with badly stained coats. I worry that, if this is the state of the dogs being shown, in what condition are those left at home and not being shown.
I was pleased to find some very high quality black and whites which more than held their own against the livers, which is as it should be. Also the standard asks for racey in build and many are anything but.'