Summer, Sweden and Sighthounds …
The Summer issue of Sighthound Review was mailed out in July as planned. Traveling to dog shows in France, Italy and Sweden in June and early July, we worried about not getting the magazine to the printer on time. Well, I managed, but we always forget that even when Theresa and I are "done" putting all the pages together, the printing process takes a few days and we are of course not able to speed up USPS delivery. However, we hope you will agree when you get it that this issue is worth waiting for!
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for copies of current or back issues to be mailed abroad. JUDGING IN SWEDEN
A lot of photos and show reports from the World Show in Italy and the Championnat de France are published in the Summer issue. When I was invited to judge in Sweden just a few weeks later I googled the location and figured this would be a small show: Wikipedia told me that Tvååker ("two fields") is a small locality not far from Gothenburg with a total population of just 2,534 inhabitants. I accepted anyway, because visiting Sweden during their short and and very beautiful summer is always a pleasure.
Well, I was wrong about the show. There were nearly 8,000 entries over the weekend, almost 4,000 dogs per day! This is, in fact, one of the biggest outdoor shows over there, held on a huge sports field with the most perfect smooth grass surface I've ever judged on. When it rains it's apparently a mess, but this time it didn't. The first day, when I didn't judge Sighthounds, it was pretty cold and windy, but the second day was warm and sunny.
There were more than 50 judges from many different countries. Among the biggest entries the first day were 58 Whippets and 47 Rhodesian Ridgebacks. The Sighthound Group judge was Åge Gjetnes from Norway, who has judged many times in the U.S. He chose the mostly black U.S. bred Whippet Multi Ch. Snow Hill Dakota Bad Sneakers as his winner. Group 2nd was the Skokloster BIS Borzoi Ch. Borscana Eurocub, 3rd the Saluki Ch. Dabka's Italy and 4th the Scottish Deerhound Ch. Necesse's Ars Amandi.
A few breeds that we consider Sighthounds are classified in the FCI "Spitz and Original Types" group. The Pharaoh Hound Ch. Vaskurs Jack Sparrow Qonjacson placed 4th in this Group.92 WHIPPETS
The following day I had the pleasure of judging nearly all the 92 Whippets entered: since that's more than you are allowed to judge in one day according to FCI rules the eight puppies were given to another judge, as were the Borzoi and Greyhounds I was also scheduled to judge. (Instead I got to judge a small entry of Greyhounds the previous day, where U.S. export Ch. GrandCru Newton won BOB pretty comfortably.)
The Whippets, as usual in Sweden, were of good quality. The Snow Hill dog from the previous day was Best Male, with another famous top winner, Multi Ch. Adagio Crowdstopper, close up as 2nd Best Dog. A black son of Sneakers won the CC. The beautiful class of 10 bitch champions was won by the showy and well-presented fawn Ch. Play A While Valkulla. For Best Bitch I preferred the CC winner, a brindle two-year-old named Let's Run Two Steps Ahead. She needs a firmer handler but was so well proportioned and moved so beautifully that I had to award her BOB as well. This was her second CC; I hope she will behave well enough to win her champion title! Her sire is of Swedish Adagio and Carmodey breeding; the dam is mostly U.S. bred from a lot of my own lines, which frankly I would not have guessed.
Later that day in the Sighthound Group I put up the handsome young Borzoi from the previous day, Ch. Borscana Eurocub, with Group 2nd to the 8-year old Afghan Hound from Chile, Multi Ch. Al-Nacira Bint Roula von Haussman (twice BOB at Westminster), 3rd to the Saluki Ch. Qirmizi Magnolia and 4th to the Whippet. The Borzoi then placed third in the BIS line-up (there are nine Groups at Swedish shows) under judge Espen Engh. Eurocub is not yet three years old and will no doubt improve even further with full maturity.
The "Spitz and Original Types" group was dominated by what many of us in the U.S. would call Sighthounds. Group 1st was a Basenji from Denmark, Ch. Kimwitu's Zolotaya, who is out of the U.S. export Ch. Jasiri Sukari Pup Music. The Pharaoh Hound repeated his 4th placement from the previous day, but the big sensation, at least for me, was that Group 3rd went to a Swedish-bred, very attractive Cirneco dell'Etna, Ch. Lex Murphy Bring Home The Bacon. I wonder if that breed has ever placed in this kind of competition outside its native Italy?UPCOMING EVENTS
Back home in the U.S. it's time for the Western Sighthound Combined Specialties in Lompoc in late July. Lots of rumors are swirling that this may be the last year, at least in that location, for these shows, but we'll enjoy the specialties for Borzoi, Greyhound, Irish Wolfhound, Saluki and Scottish Deerhound in Ryon Park while they last. Sighthound Review will be there in full force, of course!
Also while you're in California, don't miss the "Sighthound Spectacular" event at Santa Barbara Kennel Club the last weekend in August, and later in the year every dog show enthusiast in the country should make an effort to attend the fourth "modern" Morris & Essex Kennel Club show in Somerset, New Jersey on Thursday, October 1st. This was one of the biggest dog shows in the world during the first half of the 1900s, before being cancelled in 1958. In its new incarnation — the show is now held only once every five years: in 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 — it's a wonderful reminder of what dog shows at their best can be like. There are specialties or supported entries for 120 breeds, including most of the Sighthounds. We hope to see you there.
This is a lot about dog shows… Don't forget to let your dogs run also — on the beach, in the park, lure coursing and (wherever it's legal) in the open field.
Don't forget the DEADLINE for the Fall 2015 issue: August 15. More information below.
Enjoy your Sighthounds!
Publisher & Editor-in-Chiefsighthoundreview@impulse.net
Mailing address: SIGHTHOUND REVIEW
P.O. Box 10, Ojai, CA 93024, USA
P.S. Many of you know that a young Whippet I bred, Rosa, was diagnosed with cancer and underwent significant surgery in June. How Rosa and her owner Scot Northern have dealt with this and the treatment has been a lesson in how to turn a terrible experience into something that can benefit others. They have started a fund drive for cancer research with 100% of the proceeds to benefit the Morris Animal Foundation. If they reach the August 30 goal of $5,000 Scot has promised to shave off his hair… publicly, at the four-day cluster shows in Amana in Iowa at the end of August!
Go to http://morrisanimalfoundation.donordrive.com/team/TeamRosa for more information. Thank you for helping ALL dogs so they won't have to go through what Rosa is currently experiencing.
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The deadline for the next issue, Fall 2015, is August 15.
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