– By Patrick Ormos
|As I begin another stint as Chair of the Judges’ Education Committee, it might be a good idea to introduce myself to some of the newer people in the Cardigan Welsh Corgi fancy.
I was introduced to dog shows in the early 1960s in Montreal, Canada. I bred my first champion, a German Shepherd, in 1968. Since then, I have bred, co-bred, or finished about 175 champion show dogs in various breeds including National Specialty winners in the USA, Canada, the UK, and across Europe. I am best known for my partnership with Cathy Ochs-Cline in the Phi-Vestavia Cardigans. Together we bred more than 100 Cardigan champions. I judge several herding breeds.
Over the years, I have seen many different philosophies about judges’ education. Here is mine.
Judges’ Ed belongs to the breed, not the breed club.
All breeder-judges are considered mentors by AKC, whether approved by the parent club or not. With this in mind, I have invited every breeder-judge to be part of the mentor group. Our goal is not to control the mentors but rather to educate them by presenting a common set of emphases and goals for the breed. Any breeder who would qualify as a judge for AKC can ask to be included in the mentor list. All mentor and potential mentors are invited to attend the Judges’ Ed presentation.
About the Judges’ Ed presentation at the 2023 National Specialty
We will work to differentiate among what the breed standard says, what we understand as the unwritten parts of the standard, and interpretations of the standard that pertain to style rather than type. For example, the issue of proportion of muzzle to skull (3:5) is a question of type. A head with incorrect proportions is a “foreign” look for the breed and thus represents a loss in type. Do you prefer a head with more or less chiseling under the eyes? That is a question of style. A head with big ears versus one with medium ears is also a question of style. “Small cat ears” is a question of type.
In his seminal book, Solving the Mysteries of Breed Type, Richard G. Beauchamp suggests five specific areas that judges must understand: Head, coat, movement, breed character, and silhouette. I would add temperament. Given these considerations, we will focus our Judges’ Ed presentation on these areas and will also conduct a hands-on section.
This piece is the beginning of a series about judging Cardigans that I will contribute to upcoming issues of the Bulletin. I welcome your questions and feedback and encourage you to submit them.Contact Patrick Ormos