Judge Eric Ringle
Best of Breed Competition

The first National that I attended was in 1970, so on a personal level this assignment felt meaningful and I humbly thank the membership for their confidence in me.
The overall quality of the competition, the venue - actually the entire experience- completely exceeded my expectations. Hats off to Show Chair Terri Holle and her hardworking committees for making everything just about perfect. I have been asked to offer a few general comments on the entry.

Quality was from good to very good to excellent throughout, which sometimes is not the case with larger entry shows. The vast majority of the entry could win the breed at shows throughout the country –It’s likely many have already done so. This kind of quality made the shortlisting process difficult at times, however it also added to the intensity as the day progressed.
Overall balance and soundness was very good – hardly any of what you might call “extreme” movement faults all day long. Heads were very good, which you would certainly expect at a National. Careful of missing teeth – there were quite a few ‘gaps’—generations down this can lead to a weakened mandibular structure. Fronts appear to be improving, which is very good news. Hindquarters were very good. These days we see so few of the weak rears that were more prevalent years ago – the kind that made you want to close your eyes when they started to move. Temperaments were good. I think that the breed is moving in a good direction. We are preserving breed type along with improving the general soundness and hopefully the health and longevity of our beloved dogs.

It was a great pleasure to have one good one after another up for their turn. I’m sure that I was probably smiling more than I normally do – it really was a delight. Ten groups -- approximately 11 in each. Again, it was hard asking good ones to leave the ring, but it was necessary. By the time the last exercise had been completed, I had seen each one of the exhibits in the final lineup four times during the course of the day. I realized that one in particular really ‘moved’ me each time. This was just one of the reasons she became the Breed winner. #610- Ch. Rojon’s Say Yes-- A stunner – exquisite head and expression – neck, shoulders, brisket to elbow – square, well angulated, clean and lovely going, coming and on sidegait. Just 21 months of age at the time, I think that time will be in this one’s favor.
BOS-- #307- Ch. Lobato’s Jitterbug Man -- very handsome and impressive. A sound dog especially when taking his great size into consideration—straight, level back , ideal tailset, good head and expression, and an attitude that speaks so well for the breed.
BOW – Davisdane Long Vue Abigail -- lovely Harle bitch sent by Mr. Thomas. Head that could be any coat color and be good. Well balanced, good substance and sound on the move. Finished here – not a bad way to do it!
Select Dog – #609- Ch. DRD’s The Revelation -- Powerful and sound mover because he is so well constructed. Impressive size and substance, without being coarse in any manner, and a good, clean, masculine headpiece.
Select Bitch –#508 –Ch. Rainmaster’s She’s a Showgirl-- elegant blue with good bone and substance. Again, a head that could be any coat color and be lovely. Sound on the move with a long, well- carried neck and a good show attitude.
AOMS, In no particular order: (BTW, there was a miscount – my apologies –I would have wanted to give out more, certainly not less)
#309—Ch. Sasdania’s The Prophecy --Handsome harle dog with quite a nice headpiece without being overdone. Very true coming and going – good reach and drive on the side. As it turns out, sire of the S.D.
#504-- Ch. West Coast JP’s Jenna Shut Maida --Brindle bitch—another stunning bitch – elegant, sound, good angulation and a beautiful headpiece. Lovely on the move. All the way from Japan (with multiple BIS) with the roots of her pedigree just a few hundred miles from the National.
#406—Ch. Rosendane’s Just Like Heaven --Fawn bitch – Another really lovely head on a square, sound body. Elegant with good leg length.
#400 Ch. Maitau Cosmic’s Star In Style --Fawn Bitch – Ditto! Same as above – head – square, sound and elegant.
(I believe I’m getting spoiled by all of this quality.)
#801=Ch.Double D Daynakin Party Brew --Fawn dog—Tall elegant, level and hard back good angulation and sound on the move.
#405-Ch. Elan’s Command Decision Reimroc--Fawn dog—Square, deep chest and brisket, sound moving in all three directions, impressive head. Sire of this years breed winner and two AOM recipients, and himself the Breed winner at last years’ National.
#517 Ch. Gracyn’s Valiant Warrior v Lost Creek--Fawn dog—another sired by above -- overall lovely – great topline and tail carriage – moved well – good head properties. Promising young dog.
#615—Ch. Raintree Erinwood Dixies Southern Outlaw --Fawn dog – square, good topline, sound moving with a good headpiece.
#411 –Ch. De Joie’s Tomfoolery v Lost Creek --Fawn dog, Good forequarters and hindquarters. Leggy, yet deep-- square. True coming and going, holding a good topline on the go around.

Thank you for bringing out such quality and thank you for the prevailing good sportsmanship which I think all would agree is befitting our regal and noble best friend. It was great to be a part of the 2010 GDCA National and I hope that you all had as good a time as I did.

Nancy M. Lerch


You can not imagine the tremendous sense of responsibility one gets when asked to judge one of the Great Dane Club of America National presentations. For me it was a dream come true and beyond any of my expectations. I was thrilled to accept with great pleasure and gratitude to those that placed their trust in me.
Since I primarily am a ‘bitch’ owner, I was very excited to be judging the dogs. I found, to my delight, many males that not only pleased my eyes, but showed true breed type and strength. We have all heard about the ‘problems’ currently being seen in the dogs, it was a pleasure to see that in most cases that is just ‘talk’. Our breed does appear to be in good shape. Wise breeding practices I think is what has overcome some of the problems that we were seeing in the recent past.
From the puppy classes through the adult classes I found great breed type. The puppies of course showing great promise and the adults revealing those promises became truths. In many of the classes it was difficult to make a final decision.
When I entered the Winners Dog class I was personally very pleased with the dogs I had placed 1st in their class. And I have to add it was quite a task to sort out what in my opinion was the best. The puppies showed great promise and I’m sure will make both their breeders and owners very proud, and the older dogs certainly did exhibit breed strength. The Winners Dog and Reserve Winners Dog made my heart smile…..I know a silly expression yet if you were to be honest with yourselves you would know what I mean.
I must congratulate South Central Division for organizing and presenting a wonderful National, to all of you, my most sincere congratulations.
I want to thank you all again for the privilege of judging the dogs, it truly has been an honor. In closing just a few words: remember all of you are winners as you own and are owned by GREAT DANES!

Robert Thomas

We spoke with Caroyln Thomas and at this time Bob is very ill and is unable to write any comments.  He wanted you all to know that it was a thrill and an honor to be asked to judge at such a prestigious event.

Chantel O. Johnson

Futurity Dogs, Futurity Best Junior & Best in Futurity

To say that I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to judge the Great Dane Club of America Futurity would be an understatement! What a delighted it was to learn that I had been selected to officiate at such an important event. I was honored that my peers chose me via their votes to evaluate some of the future of our breed. Great Danes have been a passion of mine for nearly 37 years. Judging the Futurity definitely ranks way up there as one of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences of my love affair with Great Danes, so far.

First I want to give a hearty thank you to Teri Holle and Karen Schuller and the hard-working committees of the South Central Division. As a former inhabitant of that region I know there are fantastic folks there who dedicate themselves to the task at hand. The division put on a terrific event in a location which proved to be just about perfect for a dog show as awesome as the Great Dane National. My sincere gratitude to Robyn Odell for the transportation of my family to and from the airport and hotel; to Nancy Ridgway for making sure everything was perfect with our stay at the hotel; to Norvel and Warren Benoit for the outstanding judge’s hospitality; to my excellent ring steward Steve Arnold; and to the entire division and everyone who made my experience and the whole show a grand one. My daughter Celeste said thank you for the macaroni and cheese!

At the Welcome Party my co-judge Joel Rosenblatt and I did a draw to see who would judge what at the Futurity. I drew to judge Dogs, Best Junior and Best in Futurity. Upon entering the ring on the first day of judging I felt absolutely confident and was not nervous at all. I had my ring procedure and The Standard in my mind’s eye and I was ready to see the puppies!

The first class was the 3-5 Month Puppy Dogs. This group made me smile. There were some baby boys which caught my attention. The puppy who I awarded the class to was a fawn named Fame’s Louis Vuitton. At this stage of his growth he was very square and balanced and moved cleanly. He was masculine with plenty of bone and substance. He was friendly and out-going and gave it his all. I liked the dark brindle puppy and the harlequin puppy in this class, as well.

The next class was the 5-7 Month Puppy Dogs. First place in this class was a brindle, Sundance N Maitau’s EZ Ride. This boy had a long, clean male head without excessive flews. His expression was pleasing. He stood well on his own and was quite true in front when viewed head on. He held his topline well when moving and was smooth going around the ring. I also very much liked the harlequin which placed second in this class.

The class to follow was the 7-9 Month Puppy Dogs. The winner of this class was a typey yet sound fawn boy with a pretty head piece and good substance. His name was Moredane’s Nothing But The Truth At Willow Bend. He had nice angles front and rear. He moved quite well coming and going and stood very true on his own, on four sound legs. The second place fawn puppy in this class was very different in style from the winner yet was quite balanced and his side gait was very good.

The final puppy class was the 9-12 Month Puppy Dogs. First place in this class was a stylish fawn named Double D No More Mr. Ice Guy. He was an elegant kind of dog yet was not bitchy. He had a good head with lovely expression. He had nice balance and square-ness and a firm topline. He had enough bone, substance and angulation. His movement coming and going was very clean and his side gait made for a pleasing outline. He never toed in or out front or rear whether standing free or hand-stacked. At the time of the show and that point in his growth he was very correct. I also liked the mantle and dark brindle which were in the same class.

For Best Puppy Dog I chose the 9-12 Month fawn. He held it all together and maintained what I saw and liked about him when I awarded him his class. He made a nice picture and I felt he conformed to the standard well. The Reserve Puppy Dog was the baby fawn from the 3-5 Month class. His square body, solid topline, substance and happy attitude carried him to this award.

The junior classes began with the 12-15 Month Dog class. This was the smallest class of only three dogs. All three were decent and each could have won it on any given day against each other. For the winner I chose a flashy, sound black dog who presented himself with assurance. His name was Ch. Longo-Miller-Noble Legacy’s Vito. This dog was very clean coming and going.

The next class was the 15-18 Month Dogs. There were a couple of dogs in this class which I liked quite a bit. My winner was the dog which kept making me look at him. He was the fawn Ch. Concord V. Don-Lu’s Ringside Gossip. His over-all unity, regal stance and fit musculature could not be denied. He was like a young, spirited stallion in his demeanor. Confident and friendly this dog kept it together every time I looked at him. His gait was forward and with power. He was masculine with out being coarse and exuded plenty of type without being over-done. His head was distinguished and expression lively and he carried the proper amount of lip. Upon physical exam he felt solid in my hands. He was not extreme in any way. He stood up well on his own with no twisting feet standing or moving. In this class I also liked the brindle dog and the black dog very much.

For Best Junior Dog I chose the fawn from the 15-18 Month Dog. And the black 12-15 Month Dog was Reserve Junior Dog because he was so solid coming and going. Next I chose Best Junior in Futurity between the Best Junior Dog and Best Junior Bitch. I ended up picking the dog for Best Junior.

Next was the grand finale where I had the privilege of selecting Best in Futurity. In the ring, standing before me, was the handsome fawn 15-18 Month Best Junior in Futurity and a beautiful harlequin bitch who had been chosen Best Puppy in Futurity. It was such a joy to have two superbly promising youngsters from which to make my choice. Either could have walked away with the win. The puppy bitch was not happy to meet me, though I thought she was exquisite. It had been a long day for her. Had she been fresh she may have let me see her better. I’m sure she has a bright future ahead as she matures. In the end the young yet dignified fawn male never let down his confident poise, he continued to look strong and lovely in silhouette and from the front or rear he remained true and solid. I was happy to award him Best in Futurity for 2010. At the National he stood behind his dam and helped her win the Brood Bitch class. I later learned he has a very interesting old pedigree and I will be curious to see what he might produce as a stud dog; if he will be as pre-potent as his sire had been.

Throughout the two days of judging I made note of a couple of things. I saw many different ‘styles’ in the ring, especially pertaining head pieces. Very few heads truly meet what the standard actually calls for though many are quite pleasing to look at despite not being entirely correct in structure. The other difference in style was that there were a few puppies with heavy bone, most with medium bone and some, too many in my opinion, with slight bone and not enough substance. I noticed some toplines which appeared soft some which were roachy. There were some weak rears, though not too many. Of the few I saw with poor rears the failing was pinched thighs with close hocks. The weakness may or may not have been due to age and current growth stage. Some neck sets did not flow well into the shoulders which themselves were a not as well laid-back as they could have been. There were some upper-arms which had less return than desired and/or were too short. I saw many east-west fronts though I realize this is quite normal in youngsters. However, judging on ‘the day’ this was something I noticed in several of the entries. There was one puppy in the little baby class which had drawn up his testicles and I could feel nothing there so I could not use him in the class. I was pleased to see that none of the males exhibited any shyness while in the ring and none balked during examination. For the most part the puppies were shown in good condition.

It was a wonderful experience and one I shall never forget!

Joel Rosenblatt
Futurity Bitches

Sorry as of yet we have not heard back from Joel Rosenblatt.