Caption: Judge Nev Jackson (left) presents the Best In Show trophy to This Time Sara’s owner Errol Marschke.
By MIKE HILL
“This Time Sara was a worthy overall winner,” says judge Neville Jackson.
A greyhound owner-trainer in his own right and a show judge for almost five decades, Jackson said it was a privilege and honour to judge last month’s Ipswich Racing Greyhound Sweepstakes at the Ipswich Showgrounds.
The Sweepstakes were originally scheduled for May as part of the three-day Ipswich Show but had to be postponed due to bad weather.
“The hospitality and sportsmanship shown went a long way towards making the event the success it was,” Jackson said.
A member of Dogs Queensland, the governing body of the show dog world, for most of his adult life as well as being a highly-respected international judge, Jackson has been an All-Breeds judge for 15 years.
And over the years he has been honoured with life membership for service to Dogs Queensland, the Mackay Greyhound Racing Club and the Rockhampton Greyhound Racing Club.
Jackson, who admits canines have played a huge part in his life, said the Errol Marschke-owned bitch This Time Sara had been a worthy winner of the Best in Show title.
Turning two this month, the red fawn bitch (Zambora Brockie-This Time Reba) also won the Pre-race Bitches and Best Bitch categories.
“She is a very worthy specimen of the breed,” Jackson said.
“She possesses a nice head with good mouth, muscle and skull on the same plane, nice ears and ear set, good reach of neck set into well-laid shoulders, straight forefront, nice level topline with not too deep a chest and a moderate tuck-up.
“A nice mover with good confirmation, she also has strong hindquarters with ample turn of stifle and good feet , with the correct set of tail and carriage.
“During the day, I was asked on several occasions how I went about judging exhibits, especially if there was only one in the class and I had nothing with which to compare.
“I would like to take this opportunity of explaining that I was not judging one exhibit against the other but was comparing each exhibit against my interpretation of the breed standard.
“It’s a summary of what the breed should be covering, everything from top of nose to tip of tail.
“The breed standard is, in fact, a judge’s bible and although judges may differ in their interpretation, the basics should remain the same.”
Jackson said the greyhound standard was first published in the eighteen hundreds.
“And although it has had a few revisions, there has only been a few minor changes,” he said.
“It represents what the greyhound is – and that is one of the oldest domesticated breed of canines known to man.
“The exhibits, in general, were of sound type, however, there were a few minor faults such as bad mouths, incorrect ear and tail settings, chest and other minor issues that unfortunately, in some cases, effected their placings.
“However, my job was made a little easier as most handlers were novices and not trained in the art of covering a fault.
“Their sportsmanship and way they accepted my decisions helped to make the day the success it was.”
Jackson said the Best Dog of the show, All Torque, presented by Nikki Peters, was a very sound type, well presented with good movement.
“The dog showed very little rise and fall when moving with its head held on the right plain allowing for the breed’s much needed feature (good sight) to be unobstructed,” he said.
Jackson also congratulated the junior handlers who presented dogs at the sweepstakes.
“While I compliment the three placegetters in this category, my heart went out to the young five-year-old old who handled a dog twice his age.
“I have to commend the youngster for having a go and the wonderful gesture of the winner (Hayden Bloomfield) in giving his trophy and sash to the little boy.
“It received the round of applause it deserved and goes a long way towards restoring my faith in the world of dog showing.
“Overall the event was a great success.“Although its postponement from earlier in the year may have robbed it of the coverage it deserved, it was a step in the right direction and that is to present the greyhound to the public first and foremost as a canine breed that is one of the oldest domesticated breeds known not only as a racing animal but also as a family pet.”