Judging in Jamaica, mon!
Jamaica GSD Specialty
Sept. 2002


Author:

Revised December 2011.

Every day seems to be summer in Jamaica, and since I retired from regular hours in the chemicals business, every day is like Saturday or a summer vacation to me. Still, when the Jamaica GSD club called me to fill in for an ill judge, I had another judging job I was committed to. As it turned out, they could not get a last-minute substitute, so they changed the show date and when they found I was available for the second proposed date, it was a deal. I would come to judge in Jamaica for the third time. The first was a GSD-only specialty, the second was an all-breed show with GSDs making up nearly half the entry, and this time the three largest clubs cooperated in putting on a 3-breed show: GSDs, Rotties, and Dobes. Gerard O’Shea, an Irishman living in Sweden, did the other two breeds while I evaluated the Shepherds. Bo Nyman of Sweden (breeder of the beautiful Triumph’s Gucci, who now lives in the U.S.) was originally scheduled to judge the GSDs, but his precarious health took a serious downturn quite close to the show date.

I thought that I would be very familiar with the bloodlines and even many of the dogs, but not so — there were so many recent imports that it was a whole new ball game. Jamaica has probably the most stringent and unreasonable quarantine and import systems in the world. They can only import from the U.K., and only dogs born in the U.K., to boot! So, it becomes like a county or shire in jolly-ol’ England in respect to bloodlines, but without the opportunity to compete with the rest of the U.K. So there were many new names to me, and many imports of all ages. Because of the change in dates, and the inability to secure as many corporate sponsors, the show was not well advertised and was smaller than at my previous visits.

A two-year-old dog bred by Dave Hall of the UK was first in Novice Class: Gayville Italo at Altel is a son of German-born Hinnerk Kiemoor and Aika Fuerstenburg. It was not explained why he was still in Novice. Italo was the sire of the 1st-place Puppy Dog, Zeeke of Altel, owned by the partnership of Azan, King, & Campbell, oddly and inadvisably known here as “AKC”. The Gayville connection was evident also in the Junior Class, as the imported winner Zentrum Fimmo at Jadsville was the product of Blerio Reflection and Gayville Zandra. Owned by Jalil Dabdoub, this excellent young dog is of no more than medium size, has much black color, and excellent anatomy and gait. He has firm ligaments, and as you should know, “dry and firm” is an important thing to look for in the working dog, and von Stephanitz said that the GSD is nothing if it is not a working dog. I considered him for Reserve to the Best Male in the challenge class. In the next male class, called “Limit” because dogs are limited to one Challenge Certificate there (another one and they have to move into another class), the winner was the eventual Best Male (including the Challenge Certificate) and Reserve BIS, Jutone’s Hijack at Altel, owned by Alfred Campbell and imported from Tony Trant of southern England. This was a son of Held v. Susannenhain (Mark Haus Beck son). I say “was” because tragically he died that very night. Bloat was suspected. The Reserve Challenge Certificate, also bred and exported by Trant, was Jutone’s Vito at Kendrew.

In bitches, another “AKC-bred” (Horrors! not what it looks like!) took the Puppy Bitch class: Altel’s Nadine, another Italo daughter ex a Gayville’s bitch. The Junior Bitch class was the only disappointing one on the day; the winner was U.K. export Gayville’s Lira at Rothsville sired by Rafaye Igel at Shotaan, a well-known English champion. In Novice bitches, a Jutone’s Vito daughter was 1st, bred by Azan-King-Campbell. Second was a Held Susannenhain import daughter named Gutsi and bred by Trant. She is the dam of the 3rd-place Novice as well as the 2nd-place Puppy Bitch. A nice home-grown bitch took Mid-Limit Class, but the only thing I recognized about her was the Frienden kennel name on the sire.

A class that is strange to non-British-Empire people is the Special Yearling, and that was won by Kerlford’s Lushus Lena, sired by Natz of Hychas and born to Kerlford’s Honey Hildegard. Owned and handled by M. E. Beckford. A number of things were of interest about this excellent example of the breed. One is that she is the product of many generations of Jamaican breeding, rather than an import or the offspring of imports as most dogs here are. Another is that she was handled to perfection by her “older” owner who asked me, when I stopped the class, if they had to run any more. I had already decided on the placings, but kidded her by asking if she really wanted to. If the photo accompanies this article, you will see her standing behind the ring ropes when the photo was being taken. Her husband (who had handled the 3rd-place bitch in that class) got to be in the picture even though she was the one who did the work. Lena was awarded Reserve CC.

Limit Class bitch winner was another of Trant’s U.K. breeding, Jutone’s Ghandiat Altel, owned by Alfred Campbell. The Open Class and Challenge Certificate winner was Ch. Rothsville Hella of Altel (In the U.K. system, champions compete on equal footing in the open class, not in a “Specials” or “Champions” class as we see in the U.S.). Now on this one, I did recognize the sire’s name. He was Frienden’s Pirol, to whom I had awarded Best In Show on a previous assignment here. Hella was bred by Campbell and is owned by Anthony Rothery.
Because of the hurry-up arrangements and the smaller size of the show, I did not have as long a stay or visit the number of attractions that I have before, but the hospitality and camaraderie were at their usual high and enjoyable level. I stayed in a German-owned Four-Seasons hotel where delicious food, a veritable forest of flowering trees and shrubs, the delightful and fabulously beautiful national bird, a hummingbird called The Doctorbird, made it a pleasant stay indeed.

Click on a picture to view full size.

Jam. Res. BISS
Hijack & Alfred Campbell
Jam. CC & Res. CC-
Owner MrsBeckford in center
Jam. CC Hijack
& Res. CC VitoWithKennethKing
Jamaica RBIS
Jutone Hijack

Jam. Jr. Dog
Fimmo & Jalil Dabdoub

Jam. BISS
Hella & Tony Rothery

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