Judge Portrait Richard Gardiner:
Born in Somerset in the UK in 1954, I was not raised with dogs, except one pet Rottweiler/Doberman cross. I obtained my first show dog, with my ex-wife, an Old English Sheepdog. We had a reasonable amount of success in the show ring with these – although it was my wife handling. On separation from my wife in 1985, I obtained a Japanese Akita puppy, which were then a very rare breed in the UK, and built up a kennel of ten. Again I had a reasonable amount of success with the Akitas and judged both Akitas and OES at Open Show level. My “Heronsview” Kennel Name was granted to me by The Kennel Club in 1987.
In 1993 I obtained my first two Tibetan Mastiffs from Greta Critchlow, Kangchung Chempo and Khangchung Me-To, the following year I obtained two more from a repeat mating, Kangchung Winston and Kangchung Lady Cleo. Winston gave me my first Best Of Breed at Crufts in 1999. Lady Cleo went on to become my first brood bitch and can be found in the pedigress of many TM’s in the UK. She herself won Best In Show at the TM Club Show. The “Heronsview” Tibetan Mastiff kennel has gone on to become the most successful TM kennel of all time in the UK, and have been top breed and top exhibitor kennel in the UK every year since 1998 (except two). Heronsview Downtown Boy holds the record as the top winning UK bred TM in the UK and his litter sister Heronsview Blue Chuba At Sobarna (owned by Andy Briggs) is the top winning bitch of all time in the UK.
I am approved by the Kennel Club to judge the breed at Championship Show level in the UK and judged the breed at Crufts in 2009.
I was Chairman (President) of The Tibetan Mastiff Club Of Great Britain, for 13 years, standing down in 2012. I was elected a member of The Kennel Club in 2006.