Such a privilege to be invited to judge our breed in the historic setting of the beautiful Borders.

I thought broadly speaking the quality of the entry was good, particularly in bitches (like so many breeds today) with a number of different types evident. Type preference is subjective & open to interpretation from our word standard, so no one type can have the monopoly, it is a matter of opinion & that is what makes the result both varied & personally challenging.

A few things need attention: incorrect eyes in both shape & colour proliferate; some heads are lacking in what I shall call sculptural fineness with back skulls in particular too heavy; a number of hounds are upright in front pasterns &/or upper arm, often causing feet to flatten or, in some cases, knuckle over. These are faults that can only be corrected through breeding.

Having said that I think we can be justifiably happy with the state & health of our breed. Hounds in the top classes were very good & places could easily be reversed.

My CC winners were excellent examples & I felt could have held their own in any era. We stayed for the group & saw Gille produce a great performance to be shortlisted, so a nice end to the day.

PD (1) 1 Cartmell’s Cusidh Righ Innse Gall, well grown strong 9 months, nice head, eye & ear, good body & loin for age, plenty of drive from well angled quarters, happy attitude.

JD (1) A.

ND (2) 1 Foy’s Glenfoyble In The Gloaming, well made heavily coated youngster, sound going & coming, good angles, strong neck In good order but could be enhanced with a general sympathetic tidy up.

PGD (7) 1 Hawkins’ Kwaricott Asclepius, nice dog to go over, in first class coat & condition, good head & eye, strong neck into decent shoulder & well boned front, adequate depth of brisket & strong loin, moved soundly covering the ground. Just losing his topline when in motion; 2 Spencer & Rhodes’ Gentom Renown, tall dog, stunning outline when set up, very deep in heart, nice rise over loin into drooping quarters, lovely head & eye; 3 Peach’s Kilbourne Firechief.

LD (8) 1 Hall’s Canerikie Crocodile Cooler, pale grey of quality & distinctive style, classic head & eye, rangy deep body, good topline merging into croup & drooping quarters, nice angles, sweeping tail, a fine example of a type becoming more rare; 2 Trotman & Dockree’s Regalflight Princequillo of Penherald, well made dog, good head & eye, strongly boned, deep long cast body, nice loin, low hocks, very powerful quarters with great width & drive; 3 Taylor’s Lyart Yes Minister.

OD (3) 1 Helps’ Greyfriars Gille of Beardswood, tremendous ring presence, dark well made dog, in outstanding coat & condition making him a pleasure to go over, powerful well sprung body, great power in the couplings & fall into wide driving quarters, entirely masculine, so fluid & impressive on the move. To be critical a little strong in the skull but set onto a neck that exemplifies the Standard in strength & shape. CC & BOB; 2 Day’s Demerlay Dorian Grey at Celticmoon, in wonderful rich coat & condition, classical head & dark eye, very good neck into well laid shoulders, deep body & sweeping quarters with width & low hocks. Another fine animal now fully mature. RCC; 3 Spencer’s Gentom Orlando at Talgavar.

PB (5) 1 Platt’s Charbonnel Fliss, sweet feminine 11 months, very nice outline held on the move, pretty head & eye, well conditioned body & ribbing for age, good quarters & feet, mature & competent for one so young, really liked her & felt she had a lot of potential. BP; 2 Cartmell’s Cusidh Perchance To Dream, much more immature youngster determined to have a good time. Well boned & eye catching, standing over plenty of ground, good head & eye, strong quarters, lengthy well set tail, strong free mover, a nice puppy in a good class & will be interesting when she matures; 3 Foot & Crossan’s Cusidh Caol Muile.

JB (5) 1 Peach’s Brackenland Waltz at Kilbourne, dark bitch, lovely outline standing & moving, good front assembly countered by her sweeping quarters & low hocks, adequate body for her age & lovely balance in loin. Eye a shade light. Needs time but should finish well; 2 Taylor’s Brackenland Tan to Kilbourne, litter sister to 1 & similar in many ways but more mature & stronger at the moment. Not quite the hind angulation of 1 but sound & free on the move. Well boned. Two nice youngsters; 3 Trotman’s Stainlonan Kulang of Penherald.

NB (6) 1 McKinnon’s Moireach Treshnish, grey racy bitch of nice type & free ranging conformation, appealing head & eye, ragged well textured coat, moved with freedom & extension when she settled on well knuckled feet. The best shoulder placement & front in the class; 2 Day’s Celticmoon Dark Shadow, lovely typical dark grey in outstanding coat & condition, good head & neck, similar in conformation in many ways to 1. Just preferred outline of winner; 3 Foy’s Glenfoyble Filliberry.

PGB (11) 1 Peach’s Witchway to Kilbourne, striking dark bitch in rich ragged coat, all curves when standing & then moved lightly maintaining conformation & balanced composure. Very typical head & neck position on the move giving that characteristic Deerhound ‘slink’. Totally feminine, good angles. Just a shade light in eye but a first rate bitch. CC; 2 Taylor’s Guinivere Starshine from Kilbourne, winning sister combination, excellent condition & presentation, very good outline. Not quite the topline of her sister. Pleasing head & eye, good feet, well boned, moved freely. Two nice girls; 3 Macbean’s Killoeter Morven.

LB (7) 1 Girling’s Pyefleet Rokesby, well made, standing over the ground on good feet & bone, deep well sprung body with strength & balance in the couplings, quarters broad & sound, hocks set low complimented by a well angled front. A tad strong in skull but overall presenting a totally unexaggerated pleasing picture. RCC; 2 Reynolds’ Wickwar Lace, very nice bitch of different type, dark rich coat, very deep body & sweeping sound quarters, good lay of shoulder & return of upper arm, wonderful Deerhound head & eye. Neck a shade short; 3 Janson’s Nixophel Crystal Amethyst.

OB (4) 1 Janson’s Greyflax Lady Of The Lake to Nixophel, feminine, long cast, fully mature 6½ years bitch, in super condition & coat, very deep in body, very pleasing head & eye, good shoulder & return, nice cow hocks, quality exhibit.