Championship Show − 7th May 2000

Judge Leonard Pagliero

It gave me a great deal of pleasure to judge this show and I felt highly complimented by the splendid of entry of 120 (132) which is the largest number of this breed I have ever judged at any show.

The organisation was most efficient and the venue of the Catherston Stud is a good one. The exhibitors were clearly dedicated and enthusiastic and the whole atmosphere of the show was happy and friendly. The officials of the Club looked after me extremely well and my two stewards were excellent
There were some outstanding hounds but, as it seems to me, the breed is becoming divided into two types. The first is a strong, well-built, powerful hound of medium size, steady temperament and great nobility. The second is equally sound in construction but rather longer on the leg and more racy in appearance. Both were evident at this show. I prefer the first and it was this type I favoured as I judged as, in my opinion, they more closely demonstrate the working qualities of the ridgeback, as I believe they should be

Handling on the whole was satisfactory, presentation excellent and temperaments sound. Ridges were uniformly good. However I was critical of heads which should be a distinctive feature of this breed. The head – as it says in the standard – should be broad between the ears, flat in the skull, with a reasonably well defined stop, and a long deep powerful muzzle. The expression should be firm and intelligent. As it was I found many heads more like those of the Labrador and certainly not typical of the Ridgeback this disappointed me

Puppy (7-1 absent)
1 & BPIS - Craigie's Imbali Kipenzi. This one, just a year old to the day, caught my eye as soon as he came into the ring. He stood at the head of the line and remained there. He is outstanding and in my view will inevitably gain his title. Sound in construction, perfectly balanced, thoroughly typical of the breed, easy and correct in movement and, although he is not yet fully mature, already commanding attention for he has a strong presence and personality. His litter sister, who won the bitch puppy class, is equally striking. What satisfaction for the owner to have bred two of this quality in a litter!
2 - Maitland Jones' Mtwapa Kirafiki. Smaller hound, only 7 months old and immature, but well constructed and showing promise with plenty of scope for improvement. Head could be stronger.
3 - Hedger's Lionrock Smoky Quartz

Junior (7-1 absent)
I was somewhat disappointed with this class as one dog backed off and did not want me to go over him, and another was apprehensive. These are defects not characteristic of the breed.
1 - Imbali Kipenzi.
2 - Davis & Warren's Imola Isa. Quite good in type. Strongly built but at only 13 months still has to come to full maturity. Gaited satisfactorily. Shows a lot of promise.
3 - Gander and Cunnane's Sofala Sawabona

Graduate (10-1 absent)
1 - Morris' Shabani Santuru. Strong upstanding 2 year old dog. Excellent in outline, with a nice head, well set ears and deep muzzle. Sound in front with good straight limbs, firm body, well muscled quarters and correct easy gait.
2 - Brownlee & Griffiths' Saragwe Modari Jambaro. Well balanced and proportioned 2'h year old of a good type who showed himself well. Strong bone, firm muscle, sound body and moved correctly.
3 - Slater & Young's Lord of the Fields

Post Graduate (8-2 absent)
1 - Pasley's Matabelle Merlot. Nice type of hound put down in hard condition. Keen and active and well up on his toes. Pleasing head, dark eye, broad skull. Strong straight forelegs, deep chest, firm body, muscular quarters, moved well.
2 - Mansfield's Nallim Unquaza. Well made hound of good type but he showed without animation and did not make the most of himself. Pleasing outline, sound in structure and gaited correctly.
3 - Lord of the Fields

Mid Limit (5-2 absent)
Not an inspiring class
1 - Nolan's Keo wa Harambee. Fair type of hound but very reluctant to show. Reasonable outline, good bone. Moved satisfactorily.
2 - Wallis & O'Hara's Mata belle Crusader. Strong dog with good bone and muscle. Somewhat long in body. Moved badly both in front and behind. Loose pasterns.
3 - Hector-Jones' Diamondridge Devil's Gold

Limit (9-1 absent)
1 - Clark's Azuli Ajax. Well constructed 3 year old, good in size, proportions and balance and presenting a pleasing outline when standing. Nice head, flat skull, deep powerful muzzle. Correct front, well angulated shoulder, sound throughout and covered the ground with a good fleeting gait.
2 - Firth's Otavo Chobe. Another nice hound, strong and well muscled, looked good in silhouette. Soundly made throughout. I would prefer a deeper muzzle which would give a stronger head. Moved correctly.
3 - Thorne's Kwekwe Kibu

Open (7)
This was a strong class and my first three were outstanding hounds, splendid examples of the breed and the order in which to place them was a real problem
1 - CC and BIS - Regler's Ch. Vizara Shemesh of Shabani. Typical specimen of the breed, quietly handled, presented in hard condition and showed himself splendidly. Elegant in appearance, ideal in size, proportions and balance, symmetrical in outline with strong bone and firm muscle. Good head, broad skull, deep muzzle, well-set ears and intelligent aloof expression. Nice front with good straight legs, well-laid shoulder, deep chest, strong body, correct ridge, muscular quarters and excelled in movement
2 - RCC Piehl's Matabelle Messenger. This 5 year old was another good one. Put down in equally hard condition he showed splendidly and did not falter for an instant. In silhouette he presented an excellent outline and in construction he is thoroughly sound and looked altogether muscular and active. Above all he gaited with a strong powerful action giving the impression that he could maintain it indefinitely.
3 - Selby's SA Ch. & Zimb. Ch. Rekaylahn Jabulisha of Clachan. This is another outstanding hound of great quality who deserves special mention. Splendid in every way, I understand that this was his first time in the ring since coming into this country from Africa. He was well in contention to win the class but he did not seem to me to settle down well enough to give of this best and he had to give way to the other two who were at the top of their form. However, I have no doubt that in due course he will add another title to the two he has already achieved

Veteran (5-1 absent)
Four splendid oldies all of them in splendid condition for their years especially the 2"d at over 12.
1 & BVIS Piehl's Matabelle Mozart - almost 8 years
2 Regler's Ch. Shabani Kana - 12 year
3 - Crunden's Imbali Inkosi of Voortrekker - 8 years

Puppy (9-1 absent)
1 - Craigie's Imbali Azizi. Like her litter brother in Puppy Dog a splendid hound. Maturing excellently and exciting prospect for the future. An easy winner in this class.
2 - Parke's Mangwe Just the Ticket. Pleasing 7 months old baby very immature but showing lots of promise. Feminine with a kind intelligent expression and sound throughout.
3 - Thorne's Kwekwe Kyusha.

Junior (7-1 absent)
1 - Barnes's Diamondridge Dejĺ Vu. I liked this well balanced youngster very much. Only just out of Puppy but developing well and already showing a great deal of promise. Head, ear placement, eyes, reach of neck all good. Body sound, correct ridge, muscular quarters and moved with a correct easy gait.
2 - Parke's Veldkammer Blitz. Only 7 months and very immature but showing up well against her older sisters in this class. Attractive with a typical but feminine head and expression, sound body and a good mover. Plenty of potential for the future.
3 - Gilfillan's Itimpi Inkosi

Graduate (8 -1 absent)
1 - Moore's Rocksham Rio of Kylini. At 2 years of age her maturity gave her the edge over 2. Excellent type of hound, alert and intelligent in expression, a happy dog who responded well to her handler. Structurally sound and covered the ground well.
2 - Diamondridge Deja Vu
3 - Itimpi Inkosi

Post Graduate ( 11 - 3 absent)
1 - Craven's Hespa Hebe. Daughter of my BIS and built on the same mould. Like him an attractive sleek, dense red coat, and altogether presenting a typical Ridgeback in appearance. Strong head with a broad skull and absence of wrinkles. Correct front, muscular neck, firm body, good quarters and moved well. Already has her junior warrant and should go on to great triumphs.
2 - Maitland-Jones' Mtwapa's Kumbe. Nice 3 year old bitch well made throughout with good bone and muscle, symmetrical outline but I would prefer firmer topline. Sound on move¬
3 - Scott's Belstone Stephanie

Mid Limit (4-2 absent)
Only 2 and somewhat disappointing
1 - Burgess' Kwekwe Kerry. Average sort of 3 year old presented in good condition and capably handled but nothing special about her.
2 - Thomas' Trendsetter Wajibu of Ahluka. Another average type of hound but spoiled her chances by moving badly both in front and behind.

Limit (12-1 absent)
1 - Clark's Azuli Aylish. Nice well made 3 year old bitch of a good type. Pleasing intelligent feminine expression, good head, correct front, adequate reach of neck moulding into a firm topline, deep chest, well sprung ribs, muscular quarters, gaited correctly with an easy powerful stride.
2 - Fuller's Nyuki Golden Fizz. Similar type of hound, sound but more finely constructed than 1 with lots to like about her. Moved excellently.
3 - Cahane's Exhurst Shiana

Open (15-2 absent)
This was a strong class with some good hounds and a pleasure to judge.
1 & BOS - Firth's Ch Mwenga Mgeni. This one I placed 3`d behind two fine champions at the Hound Show of Scotland in 1997. She has come on splendidly since then and looks well worth her title. Now 6'h she is a handsome hound with plenty of feminine charm, strong, well timbered and muscular she looks every inch of what a good Ridgeback should be in construction and outline. Steady in temperament, presented in hard condition, moving correctly and sympathetically handled she well deserved her win and it was a pleasure to award yet another CC. 
2 - RCC - Simper's Ch Matabelle Mercedes. Another one I judged at the Scottish Hound Show in 1997 when I placed her 2nd in Limit. Well deserving champion, thoroughly sound and gaiting splendidly she showed to perfection expertly handled by her highly experienced owner/breeder. She pressed the winner hard but today had to be content with the RCC.
3 - Diamondridge Royal Gold

Veteran (4-1)
As with the dogs 3 splendid oldies, all round about 8 years of age. I liked them all but they could not all be ls` so I had to place them. A credit to their owners.
1 - Edward's Matabelle Moondance at Bruet
 2 - Craigie's Imbali Kamili Khala
3 - Scott's Belstone Simba