Describing Pembroke movement


This has been a good year for the number of Pems winning group places and Driffield saw our fifth different dog score at this level when Christina Chapman gave G2 to Tracy and Kath Irving’s dual CC winner Born To Be Your Salt Dog at Twinan (Hung/Rom/Greek/Mac Ch Born To Be Your Sparticus di Pi Et Ra ex Int/Rom Ch Twinan Colour Me Red). I’m sure his Hungarian breeders were as thrilled as his owners.

We had a specialist judge for the non-CC classes, Margaret Hoggarth (Whitebarn) and BB went to Hilary and Ray Wyer’s Brisam Mokka at Cottivy (one CC, Ch/Rus/Ukr Ch Ermyn Snow Knight ex Brisam Maserati)

The same teams took the reserves: the Wyers’ tri dog Cottivy Mozart (Ch Corrogs Young Whistler ex Cottivy Prejudice) and the Irvings’ Twinan Tight Squeeze (Twinan Dip Yer Butty ex Debsanna’s Promises Twinan) who was also BP, and went on to third in the junior stakes under Sue Pollock-Yule.

Britain’s Jeff Horswell (Drakesleat Dachshunds etc) judged the breed at the Royal Melbourne Show in Australia and it was a double for Di Baillie. BOB was Gr Ch Dygae What A Feeling (Ch Dygae Flash Dance ex Ch Dygae Tommie Girl) and BOS her son Dygae Make It Happen (by Ch Brookehaven Trade Secret). RBOB was another bitch, David Smith and Ray Barwick’s Anwyl Leavn Onth Midnite Train (Ch/Am/Can Ch Caamora Gandy Dancer ex Ch Anwyl Leave The Light On Forme JDX).

Congratulations and good wishes to Moya and Bob Wood (Mysweet) who celebrated their diamond wedding last week. They have worked so hard for the breed down the years.

That news came from Joanna Hayward and it would have been a poignant day for her mum Maureen Millar as she and her late husband John would have celebrated their own diamond wedding the very same day.

Jo also tells me that the East Anglian sub-section is hosting a Corgi day out on Sunday October 14 from noon to 5pm at The Fountain Public House, Tuddenham St Martin, Ipswich IP6 9BT.

This week sees the PWCCA national specialty and for those of us who can’t be there but would like to see the judging it is once again being videoed. See the show website or visit www.showdogvideopros.com/PembrokeWelshCorgi/ for details.

Does anyone know much about a Pembroke called Hickathrift Pippa, better known as Susan? Although not the royal family’s first Pembroke, she was the foundation of the Windsor line of Pems which survives until this day.

She was bred by the Taylor family of Wisbech St John, Cambridgeshire – A E Taylor was a well known breeder of Bullmastiffs around that time and also bred a few Pems. She was born in 1944 by Glamourous Knight (Formakin Braan ex Tessa of Welney) ex Bowhit Bonne (Bowhit Primo ex Bowhit Bluebell). Both Tessa and Bonne were bred by Nellie Bowler of the famous Bowhit kennel in Haverfordwest; Braan by the famous dog trainer John Holmes..

The transfer to Princess Elizabeth (now the Queen) is not recorded until 1948, not long before she produced the litter by Ch Rozavel Lucky Strike that began the Windsor line. But it wasn’t the Taylors who transferred her to the Princess but a Mr Hall. I suspect the royal family actually obtained her some time before 1948.

So who was Mr Hall? The story goes that Pippa/Susan was a gift from a farmer after the royal family had lost Jane, the last of their original Corgis. It has always seemed rather strange that they didn’t get their next Pembroke from Thelma Gray who had supplied their earlier dogs, especially as their future breeding was done in close co-operation with Rozavel. Perhaps she didn’t have any puppies at the time during the difficult war years and their immediate aftermath, or was Susan indeed simply a gift from a farmer local to Sandringham? It would be fascinating to know.

Continuing our look at the breed Standards, the UK requirements for gait/movement are: “Free and active, neither loose nor tied. Forelegs move well forward, without too much lift, in unison with thrusting action of hindlegs.”

Movement gets more prominence in the American Standard and is specifically mentioned in the general appearance clause: ”Movement is especially important, particularly as viewed from the side. A dog with smooth and free gait has to be reasonably sound and must be highly regarded.”

The actual gait clause in the US version is quite detailed: “Free and smooth. Forelegs should reach well forward without too much lift, in unison with the driving action of the hind legs. The correct shoulder assembly and well-fitted elbows allow a long, free stride in front. Viewed from the front, legs do not move in exact parallel planes, but incline slightly inward to compensate for shortness of leg and width of chest. Hind legs should drive well under the body and move on a line with the forelegs, with hocks turning neither in nor out. Feet must travel parallel to the line of motion with no tendency to swing out, cross over or interfere with each other. Short, choppy movement, rolling or high-stepping gait, close or overly wide coming or going, are incorrect. This is a herding dog, which must have the agility, freedom of movement, and endurance to do the work for which he was developed.”

Interesting that the British Standard says absolutely nothing about how the breed should move coming and going. Perhaps that explains why many judges used to say that the breed’s worst point was its hind movement, with all too many toeing in behind. I’m not sure that is so widespread nowadays but it’s still strange that the Standard is so silent on this important aspect.

The Americans are much more specific and in general their Standard gives a good picture of the desired gait which British judges and breeders might do well to study.

Having said that, what do you think of their description of movement as seen from the front? I think we would all agree that the top half of the front leg is moulded round the chest, so obviously that half of the leg doesn’t move in exact parallel planes. However the bottom half of the leg should surely be straight and perpendicular to the ground, so I’d have thought that at the moderate speed we use in the show ring, that half of the leg would move parallel. Yes, long legged breeds may well tend towards ‘single tracking’, but not a breed like a Pembroke, surely. What do you think?

SIMON PARSONS

The Welsh Corgi League