Best in Show Magazine USA April/May 2022

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WE ARE

Best in Show

In our 10th edition you will be able to read some great interviews such as interview with Christian Manelopoulos - Professional Dog Handler and one of the world’s famous Poodle breeder and handler; Sei-Ichiro Ishimaru - Dog Show judge from Japan, judging at many shows accross America including Westminster; Fan Yu - world’s famous Artist from China living in USA; Ariella Harris - Junior Handler etc. Articles that our team have prepared for you are Living Legend - Taffe McFadden, story about one of the most famous dogs of all the time Matisse, Two Icons - PCA as well as report from Crufts 2022 and interviews with one of the most famous Whippet breeders. I am grateful for a wonderful magazine, and forever thankful to our amazing team who work hard to bring us all these great stories, beautiful candids, and lovely designed ads. Until New York. Stay safe.

JOVANA DANILOVIC

Chief Editor • info@bismagazineusa.com

CHRISTIAN RANGEL Marketing Director

MARY MARSHALL, LEE GROGAN Contributing Writers

BISCREATIVE.COM Art Department

BONNIE GUGGENHEIM bonnie@bismagazineusa.com • Sales Representative



CONTENT INTERVIEW WITH HANDLER

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CHRISTIAN MANELOPOULOS

LIVING LEGEND

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TAFFE MCFADDEN

CROWNED 100

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MATISSE, THE

PORTUGUESSE WATER DOG

INTERVIEW WITH JUDGE

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CONTENT INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST

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FAN YU MEET THE BREED

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WHIPPETS BOHEM TIVIO MERCI ISLE ROSEIRA BRAVA SHASAM

INTERVIEW WITH JUNIOR HANDLER

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ARIELLA HARRIS TWO ICONS

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POODLE CLUB OF AMERICA, NATIONAL

SPECIALTY

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CHRISTIAN Manelopoulos

I N T E RV I E W W I T H H A N D L E R

Chris, thank you for taking time for this interview. How did you become involved in the dog show world? My family in Australia had always had Toy Poodles when I was growing up, so I always had an interest in purebred dogs. We didn’t show our Poodles, but we’d watch the Poodles being shown at the Melbourne Royal show. I started showing dogs around age 15; my family lived across the road from a large park where the local Croydon obedience club would hold lessons every Saturday. I would go and watch the dogs being trained. I fell in love with Irish Setters and bought one. I started competing in obedience, but I wasn’t very good at it, so I progressed to conformation. Eventually I began to handle dogs for a couple of prominent dog people in Australia--Lynn and Peter Watson, Robyn Wallis, and Bev Watt. That led to an opportunity to come to Los Angeles in 1992 and work as a handler’s assistant to one of the biggest handlers in the United States, Joe Waterman. A lot happened after that working as an assistant for nine years. I worked for Joe for four years, and then five years for Tim Brazier.



With your busy schedule showing, do you currently

our breeding program a few years later with some

find time to breed dogs at home? Where did you get

new bloodlines because of handling dogs and some

your foundation dogs, and what breeders (if any) do

health issues with my early dogs, which taught me

you work with today?

several valuable lessons. You can’t be afraid to start

We usually have one, maybe two litters a year, but we’ve had as many as three litters some years, which is challenging. So, I’ve had a couple of starts with breeding Poodles. My first foundation Poodle was Ch. Halcyon Hallelujah bred by Mark Shanoff and Danny Augustus. Hallie was a gift from John and Julie Seeley. I bred Hallie to BIS CH Rembrandt Rising Star in 1997, that was the first Tarquin litter. Hallie had a couple of litters and produced four champions. In her second litter (sired by Ch. Ravendune Bon Jovi), I bred a white bitch that I sold to a young guy from Japan named Toshi Omura of the now-famous Smash kennels. Gina was a multiple Best in Show winner in Japan. I also sold a black male to Elizabeth Drake of the famous Swedish kennel Harbovi. Unfortunately, I had to reestablish

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over, and that health is equally as important as beauty. I have none of my original dogs in my lines today. In 2003 I restarted breeding Poodles with ‘Tasha’ BIS CH Cotion Style and Splash. I bought Tasha from my friend the late Debbie Cozart in Australia. Tasha was backed by a fabulous client and friend Zuleika Borges Torrealba of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Zuleika, Rachel, and I bred dogs together for 15 years. Zuleika was a fabulous person, obsessed with breeding and improvement. When we started showing and breeding with Zuleika, we agreed that she would finance the breeding endeavor in exchange for Zuleika’s name on the marquee, so we were never listed as breeders of the Canil da Maya dogs. However, we planned the breedings, whelped the litters, selected the puppies,


I N T ERVI EW W I T H HA ND L ER · CHRISTIAN MANELOPOULOS

raised them, showed them, and repeated the process.

for multiple generations in Miniature Poodles and

It was all possible because of Zuleika’s generosity

Karmen Kelher Margon in Slovenia. We have used

and friendship.

stud dogs from all over the globe, often importing

We discussed and strategized the careers and breeding with Zuleika, so it was a collaborative effort. Zuleika suffered some personal health issues

semen and exporting dogs and semen. Today there’s a significant amount of our breeding in Australia and New Zealand from dogs we’ve exported.

and stopped breeding and showing in 2018. We

Who was your mentor when it comes to Standard

continue breeding today with a variety of breeders

Poodles?

from around the world. The last few years, we’ve been co-breeding with our friend Missy Galloway of Hightide Kennels, Missy is our main client but also a good friend. Together we’ve bred a couple of Best in Show winners and PCA winners together. We’ve also bred litters with Barrie Drewitt-Barlow of Piedmont Kennels. We co-own BIS GCH Tarquin

Our late friend Debbie Cozart was a significant influence on us. Debbie probably is the most powerful influence, but we take advice from all the people we’ve co-bred with and often seek their advice. We constantly seek counsel from great minds. I pick up the phone and ask people for advice all the time.

Huffish Piedmont Starboy, Barrie and I coordinate

You are world-famous as a breeder and handler of

on his breeding plans.

Standard Poodles, but you also have Russells. What made

L’Dyne Brennan and Anita Carter of Brighton Kennels,

you fall in love with them?

who we bred PCA Best of Winners and Best Bred By

I had grown up seeing Jack Russells in Australia at

together, I showed several of L’Dyne’s early Brighton

shows years ago, so I had some knowledge of the breed.

dogs, so we’ve always had a good relationship. We’ve gone back using frozen semen of L’Dynes early males too. Gail Wolaniuk and Joan McFadden of Unique Kennels we’ve bred a few litters together, producing Best in Show dogs, they’re great friends, and we enjoy working together. We also bred a few litters with Scott and Mary Olund of Cabernet Kennels. We have had good success with breeders from other parts of the world. We’ve bred several litters with Charlotte Sandel of Huffish kennels and produced some beautiful dogs that have had a significant impact around the world. Doris Backe of Splash Kennels has long been associated with great success

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Our friend Lotta Sandel helped us there. Her mother Madeleine bred Russell’s for years and produced Ch. Goldsand’s Columbus. Lotta helped us get Billan, BIS GCH Goldsand’s Billie Jean. Her temperament and personality are ideal. We’ve been fortunate to have now bred Best in Show winning Russells, but we’ve found it to be a difficult breed. There are health issues and temperament issues. While we haven’t had to restart our breeding program with Russells, we have removed large numbers of dogs from our breeding program because of issues we felt were unbecoming. What handlers inspired you when starting your profession as a handler? Was there a particular moment you saw a dog and handler and wanted to duplicate their style and skill? When I started to show dogs in Australia, I would go to the library. I constantly read about dogs and pedigrees, which I still do today. When I was in the KCC library, I saw a photo of Frank Sabella showing Ch. Trenchant Annabelle to Best in Show at Santa Barbara Kennel Club in Kennel Review magazine. I was mesmerized by that. I thought one day I want a dog like that. One day I want to show like Mr. Sabella. Later we became friends with Frank, and he was a significant influence in our careers. Over the years, we’ve taken influence from several people and become good friends with many handlers. You can always learn from the top people. When we first went out on our own, the most significant influences were Gina Weiser (a former handler, AKC representative and judge), the late Mary Ellen Fishler, Maripi Wooldridge, Jennifer Stevens, and Ellen Roberts. They were all former professional handlers and know

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I N T ERVI EW W I T H HA ND L ER · CHRISTIAN MANELOPOULOS

the struggles; without those ladies, our success would

that does well right from the start but for most people

have taken much longer to achieve. Early on, Mrs. Clark

a career is built over time with multiple dogs and a lot

and I became friendly; she and I would call every couple

of hard work in the end, it will be worth it! There will

of weeks and chat. She helped and gave me advice and

be many times that you want to give up, there will be

guidance early in our careers.

many times that you think this isn’t for me but if you

Later with the help and guidance of our friends David

persevere the rewards will be greater.

Fitzpatrick, Gail Wolaniuk, Kaz Hosaka, Terry Meyers,

What qualities do you look for in an assistant, and what

and Chris Terrell. All these people have always been

do you hope to teach an assistant during their time with

willing to help or offer advice; we call on all these people

you?

for advice on various things to this day. As an assistant, I received a lot of guidance from the people I worked for.

Assistants are vital, anyone can be good, but greatness is in the agency of others. Without wonderful assistants,

Growing up in Los Angeles, I can thank Gretchen Schultz,

none of this would be possible. The care and custody

Leslie Boyes, Sue Vroom, and Bergit and Clay Coady.

of the dogs is the most critical thing you can teach

Their work ethic and assistants was a level above, which

an assistant, but there’s so much more than that. The

is apparent as many of their assistants have achieved

hours are very long, much more than most jobs; the

great success.

travel is hard for many young people. The desire to

I pick up things from people knowingly and unknowingly. I watch Kellie Fitzgerald, Mike and Linda Pitts, and others to see how they do things. Their level of professionalism is a cut above.

learn, dedication, and accountability is vital in a good assistant. We’ve been fortunate to have many good assistants over the years. Invariably they all have those qualities. There are always kids that like to show and are interested in going in the ring; they usually aren’t

What advice would you give to aspiring professional

the best assistants. Kids who want to learn about dogs,

handlers?

animal husbandry, grooming are generally better. The

We’ve been fortunate to have guidance from some great dog people. If you want to become a professional handler plan on spending the next ten to 15 years of

kids with little experience but a hunger to learn are often the best. We have experienced young people from around the world as assistants they can be outstanding.

your life working 16 hours a day seven days a week. You

Desire is perhaps more important than natural talent.

will neglect relationships with family and friends, you

The in the ring part of being a handler is about 30% of

will miss birthdays, weddings, and all kinds of things

the work, the care of the animals, working with clients,

like that, because your career is important to you.

and so forth are equally important, and many kids don’t

It will take you at least ten to 15 years of hard hard work to really establish yourself as one of the top handlers. There are people who get lucky, and they have a dog

realize that. There’s a famous quote, “Careers are born in public, talent is born in private.” This is true for assistants.

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Rachel is a much better teacher than I am. She can get

When it comes to Poodles, which size is your favorite to

the assistant to understand the reasonings why we do

groom and which one to show?

things whereas I am like just copy what I do. Rachel is a better educator. I learned the business side, running breeding programs, working with clients, working with judges, and picking shows to go to. These are all important things that few kids understand. They take a long time to learn; helping for a summer or a few weekends is nothing. It’s the day in day out grind that

Well, minis are probably the easiest to groom as they often have good coat texture, and their size lets you be quite creative. Toys often lack hair texture, and their diminutive size makes them harder to trim. Standards are fun but more work. Standards are easily my favorite to show.

builds character and skill. Often with coated breeds like

Last two years, you have been doing fantastic with

Poodles, once a young person can groom to a decent

Relic the Azawakh. Please tell us something about your

level and can handle, people try to get them to handle

experience with this rare but fascinating breed?

their dogs. The temptation is to go out of their own, and seldom are they ready to do that. Still, the bright lights of fame and fortune are hard to resist.

About 15 years ago, Frank Sabella called me and said, “I saw this incredible Azawakh bitch at this kennel in Italy, you need to have Zuleika buy it, and you’ll be top hound

We always hear we need to encourage young people,

next year!” I told Frank that the breed isn’t recognized

which is valid, but not if you encourage them to

in the USA, so that might be an issue. He said, “Get it

take on tasks beyond their capabilities and training.

over here, start showing it in Miscellaneous, and the

Encouragement with proper training is vital.

Azawakh breed will be recognized in no time.” Skip a couple of years, and I eventually met Patrizio Palliani and Francesca Zampini on Facebook, and we would message. I met them in person at the World Dog Show in Helsinki 2014, and we stayed at the same hotel, so we spent the week talking and looking at dogs. Our friends Patrick and Pippi Guilfoyle were there too and entranced by the breed. A couple of years later, when the world show was in Milano, we stayed a few extra days in Italy and went to Azamour kennels with the Guilfoyles. It was a fantastic experience seeing all the dogs at the kennel and learning about the breed. Through this relationship is how Relic came about; it wasn’t overnight; it was years in the making. The things Chris Terrell had taught me about Afghans also ran true with Azawakh. His insight was invaluable.

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What is your proudest achievement so far in your career with your own dogs and a client’s dog? I am the proudest about the total accomplishment and dedication to the Poodle breed. Rachel and I have finished over 500 Poodle champions shown over 20 different Best in Show winning dogs. We have handled 15 dogs to winners’ dog or bitch at the national specialty—some of our own, but most were client dogs. I’m honored to say I’m tied for handling the most Poodle Club of America Best of Breed winners of all time and tied with Richard Bauer, Bud Dickey and Tim Brazier is truly an honor. I am one of just a few people to handle the Best of Variety winner in all three sizes at PCA too. We’ve won multiple Group First at Westminster and numerous placements. I’m proud that we have bred numerous Best in Show winners and very honored that we have helped many of our clients and friends with their breeding programs. Whenever people ask for advice on breeding, we’re always willing to help. You have shown at many dogs shows around the world. How do they compare to showing at American shows? I quite enjoy going to shows around the world as they all have subtle differences. The shows in South America are a little more self-evolving; Crufts is more regimented.

Would you like to see the FCI grading system introduced

The Scandinavian shows I enjoy. European shows are

at AKC dog shows, where only dogs graded excellent can

competitive. I try to go to World Shows in cities I’d

compete for points and the breed?

like to visit, and hopefully, they have judged whose opinions I care about. They’re a great way to see dogs and lines I don’t usually see and what others prioritize in the breeding. There are some lovely dogs around the world. I enjoy going to the shows and talking with dog people, going to dinner, talking dogs with great minds, and visiting kennels. I don’t necessarily go to show dogs.

I like the idea of critiques, but the systems are relatively irrelevant. The quality of the judges is more important. Do I care if a bad judge gives me an excellent critique? No, I don’t. I’ve been doing this long enough to tell you why it may be interesting to read these critiques; there are some judges around the world that I would want or value their critiques. So, the system of judging is less

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critical than actual judges. I can see how a new exhibitor

see low leg dogs do surprisingly well, and dogs racing

could provide insight on their dog or the competitions,

around the ring poking their heads forward do well

which would be valuable to them, so I guess it’s a net

just because they run fast. It is not correct, and it is

win if we had grading and critiques. Perhaps it would

ugly to my eye. Poodles are dignified and have a square

help to require judges to put in writing the reasoning

appearance; they should appear high on leg because of

for their placements.

the proportions of leg and depth of chest to the elbow.

Would you rather show at specialties or all-breed shows? Please give reasons for your preference.

I see far too many Poodles with short front legs doing well. It’s wrong. Mrs. Clark would always say it should have the correct outline and proportions first; if they

I like both but showing at PCA is my favorite thing

don’t, the movement doesn’t matter. There are other

to do; then, once again, it’s dependent on the judges.

things, but those two are most important

An all-breed Best in Show under judges you value is equally rewarding as a specialty Best in Show under a breeder. I like that Poodle Club of America is a standalone showcase; there are no sweepstakes, futurity, or other specialties. It goes back to the idea of perfection under pressure, on that day and under that judge. When many people think about a Poodle, they think hair. What qualities of a Poodle do you wish judges paid closer attention to when judging the breed?

The purpose of dog shows was and is to evaluate and “show off” breeding stock. Do you think for some breeders and owners, it is becoming more about ribbons and rankings? Without question, it’s only about rankings and numbers for many people. There’s a deterioration in quality and values throughout our lives; it’s not just dog shows. People want to get a special to beat someone else because of some perceived grudge.

The square up on leg appearance is essential, and

Someone told me a particular handler was the best

high head and tail carriage are vital. Too often, we

Poodle handler in the country because they’d finished more champions than anyone else this year; I said to them that means nothing when determining the best. We’re all competitive. That is why we do this but winning alone has become more important than showing off a superior specimen. Zuleika always would say to me, “it is better to have a moment of greatness than a lifetime of mediocrity.” The lesson is that we must strive to be better and rise above the ordinary. I want to win, but I want to win with a great dog. I’ve never shown a Poodle for longer than 16 months. Some people show for two, three or four years. The rankings aren’t important.

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Please list three dogs you have never shown that you wish you could have. I’ll give you a few Poodles and a couple of other breeds. Ch. MVP of AHS (Gary Wittmeir’s Toy Poodle): Ch. Evak’s Watermark (Russian Toy Poodle), Ch. Bon Jovi Bacchante (Jean Missen’s Miniature Poodle), Ch. Afterglow the Big Tease (Mike Gadsby’s Standard Poodle) and Ch. Ale Kai Mikimoto on Fifth (Wendall’s Standard Poodle). For some all-breed dogs: Ch. Kakibs The Challenger (Pepsi - Chris Terrell’s Afghan), Ch. Protocol Veni Vidi Vici (Fifi the Doberman) and The Akita Inu Jagger, Ch. Crown Royale’s Get Off My Cloud, Ch. Altana’s Mystique (Jim’s GSD). There are a lot of dogs I love, Charmin the Sealyham, Wasabi the Pekingese, JR the Bichon, Peggy Sue the Scottie, James the Springer, Prestons the Puli and so on. When you are considering taking on a new dog do you look at the type of the dog, how sound it is/ showmanship, or does it differ depending on the dog? Type is the single most important thing; if it doesn’t look like a beautiful Poodle when it comes out of the crate, it’s all over. Then factors like movement, temperament, and showmanship come into play. But quality and type obsess me. The client is often important. At this point in our careers, we’re able to pick and choose clients, so that is a consideration too. Is this client someone I want to invest my time and talent with? The financial compensation doesn’t equal the investment I put into the dogs, so we wish to work with good clients who appreciate that effort. We’re fortunate that when we do see an outstanding dog, sometimes we’re able to have a good client promote that dog,

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Where do you see the sport of showing purebred dogs ten

My career as a handler is coming to an end in the next few

years from now?

years, but I’ll continue to breed Poodles and enjoy the

Kind of where they are now, the great unknown, some people harp on the good old days, others say it’s never been better. I’m somewhere in the middle. The challenges purebred dogs face aren’t peculiar only to our sport and they exist in all aspects of life. They require us to be proactive in our future and not passive.

breed I love. I will probably judge more; it’s something I’m coming to enjoy more. The tricky thing for me is that judging doesn’t present the same excitement as exhibiting, but I appreciate the enjoyment differently. I want to promote and preserve the Poodle breed so people will come to learn how great Poodles are!

We must address the fancy’s shortcomings and be

None of this would’ve been possible without Rachel,

proactive in their elimination or correction. For as long

she is a great influence on me as she counterbalance to

as I’ve been in dogs, people have been saying this sport

many of my ideas, plans and personality flaws. Rachel is

will be over in ten or 15 years. I heard that 35 years ago.

the grounding force in our lives and our careers, and we

Do you have any future goals/wishes in the World of pedigree dogs or life in general? I have many goals and plans, some small, others large.

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are very fortunate to have her to bring a sense of reality and guidance. So going forward we would like to find a balance to our personal life, where we can spend more time doing the things that we enjoy together.


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L I V I NG L E GE N D

TAFFE McFadden Taffe McFadden is one of America’s most accomplished and beloved professional handlers. She is also a co-breeder of world-class Havanese at the La Tierra kennel including 2019 Westminster Kennel Club Reserve Champion MBIS MBISS GCHP Oestes in the Name of Love “Bono” who was America’s top dog that year and winner of the toy group at Westminster in 2020. A Canadian by birth, Taffe was born in Scarborough,

“Honey and I bred English Setters. She was much more

Ontario and raised in Tsawwassen, British Columbia.

successful than I was in that breed. From there I have

Her first experience in the show ring was anything

bred Standard, Miniature, and Toy Poodles, Shih Tzus, and

but extraordinary. In fact, it could have easily

Havanese.”

deterred a young person from pursuing it any further, but her mother provided some good words of advice. “The first time in the ring I showed a Golden Retriever for a friend of the family under judge Forest Hall,” Taffe recalled. “He was not very kind about the quality of that dog I was showing, and it broke my heart. When I came out of the ring my mother asked me ‘Are you going to let this man break you or is this going to be a defining moment?’ Well, here I am! I was addicted from the beginning.”

While growing up in Canada, Taffe worked for several handlers including Jim Campbell, Larry Ingalls and eventually Susan Hillman. She met her husband Bill McFadden while employed with Mrs. Hillman. “I worked for Susan for five years and during that time I had met my husband, Bill McFadden, at shows in Victoria, BC,” said Taffe. “He was from Washington state showing his Cairn Terrier and traveling with Stella and Bill Newbie. I decided that I was still young enough to change my career if being a professional wasn’t going to work out. I decided to go out on my own and give it five years to see if I could

Honey Glendinning, Taffe’s sister, introduced her to

survive. Bill and I got married in 1984 and we moved to

the breeding side of the business.

Campbell, California.



This was a very exciting time for me. The competition

working for Susan for several years before I married Bill

in the U.S. versus Canada was profoundly different.

and moved to the states. Susan was like Pat Tripp, she

Although Canada has great dogs, the sheer number of

showed all breeds, whereas Tim showed mostly Poodles

dogs competing and the number of shows in the States

and a stunning Kerry Blue Terrier.

was quite a draw for me, let alone the number of my idols in the handling world who were also living and showing in the United States.”

I would say that Susan Hillman was my first mentor in this sport. She was such a force in so many people’s lives that went on to great success in this sport. I would defy

Taffe had many mentors early in the sport, including

anyone to find a flaw in this woman. She was one of a

Pat Tripp, but credits Mrs. Hillman as having had a

kind. She introduced me to so many people that I think

unique influence on her career.

shaped me in my early career. Mark Shanoff was like a

“Pat Tripp was the one that started it all. Susan Hillman and Tim Brazier both worked for her, and I would say that they were the ones that sealed the deal. I ended up

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big brother to me later, as well. I would sit and watch him trim dogs, talking about why he did what he did. He gave me a beautiful Miniature Poodle Ch. Halcyon Heiresy, who I won the Variety with at Poodle Club of


L I VI NG L EGEND · TAFFE MCFADDEN

America with twice. She was a very special dog in my

favorites. Three additional favorite show dogs of all

career.”

time that I did not show are Matisse, the Portuguese

Her first Best in Show win came in 1990 with a white Poodle on windy, rainy day in Yakima, Washington. “My first Best in Show was with a white Miniature Poodle Ch. Braelane Bugsby. It was a horrible windy day, and we were all wearing jeans and rain gear. Not the win photo I was hoping for! I believe it was 1990.”

Water Dog, Louie, the black Afghan Hound, and Claire, the Deerhound.” The graceful Deerhound along with the English Setter are two of Taffe’s favorite breeds to show, but understandably she has many favorites including her incredible Havanese.

Taffe’s handling career partnered with husband Bill, has reached many monumental achievements including handling two amazing dogs to over 100 Best in Show wins individually. “There have been so many incredible achievements so far in my career,” She said. “My husband and I have been given so many beautiful dogs to pilot. I would have to say that reaching 100 Best in Shows with two separate dogs, Giant Schnauzer, Ch. Galilee’s Pure Of Spirit and Havanese, Ch. Oeste’s In The Name Of Love, would be right up there. It is a small club to be a member of, though it is growing every year. I think the most precious wins for me would be the ones that you don’t see coming. Reserve Best in Show with Bono knocked my socks off, winning the group with Ten, the Bedlington, at the Garden, I never saw that one coming, and Spirit’s 100 BIS was so emotional for me. She was a part of my soul. She always gave me 100% and made me look like I knew what I was doing. I merely held up her armband. I would rather show at any show where the quality is deep. I have been in Best in Show line ups that were goosebump worthy, and specialties that breeding programs were born from. Either way, those are my

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L I VI NG L EGEND · TAFFE MCFADDEN

SPECIAL QUOTES A plate of delicious potato bacon salad, a smile that always warms heart, a joke that not only makes us laugh but following by the birds chirping happily, a movement that shines every single dog in the ring. To me she is mom, senior, friend, mentor, and icon. I always expected to have some luck after I met her, because I think I was

There are very few people I feel deserve to be described as

so lucky to know her in my life.

extraordinary. There isn’t, however, another word I feel better

-- Fan Yu

describes Taffe McFadden. Her knowledge of dogs is vast, and her dedication to the sport of purebred dogs is honorable. It doesn’t matter how many dogs she showed in a day, or what she has

Having worked and lived with Taffe and Bill for many years we feel very fortunate to have them as mentors, role models, and family. Our years at Bold Oaks were some of the most influential and formative years of our lives, and we could not be more

left to do, she will always take time to help someone, especially someone new! She brings so much class to this sport, and I’m lucky enough to call her one of my best friends! -- Daniel Chavez

grateful. Regarding Taffe, there are not enough to words in this world express how much she means to us. Through kindness, love, patience, and a talent for teaching she filled an important role in

Taffe is elegance personified. Watching her present a dog,

our lives that was very much needed. Often thought the mother

regardless of size or type, is like watching a well-choreographed

of many, the dog show world and we are so very lucky to have

dance - fluid & synchronistic from the moment it begins. Outside

her in our lives.

of the ring she is a loyal friend & a fiercely protective wife, mother

(P.S. We love you too Bill!) -- Rachel Adams & Alberto Montila

& grandmother. She is filled with a world of love for those close to her. Taffe’s dedication to the sport can be defined not only through her tenure & continued success, but also in an unparalleled work ethic, kindness & support of her fellow exhibitors, & the legacy of excellence in a number of young handlers who have gone on

It is hard to condense it into a couple sentences but basically, I’m

to become very successful themselves - who had an opportunity

a very lucky guy! She’s special.

early in their careers to work with she & Bill.

-- Bill McFadden

-- Olivia Hodgkinson

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L I VI NG L EGEND · TAFFE MCFADDEN

Special quotes Taffe is one of Americas most beloved dog handlers - for a myriad of compelling reasons. While her accomplishments in the show ring speak for themselves, what truly makes her a standout is the beautiful bond she creates with the dogs in her charge. From the sidelines, it translates as poetry in motion…. a special kind of magic. That, combined with her gentle nature and kind spirit, it’s impossible not to admire her. -- Ethan Coye

How can I possibly sum up all the wonderful things there are to say about Taffe McFadden? Icon, leader, friend. As a little girl in dog shows Taffe was an idol that I looked up to, she was talented, beautiful, and conducted herself with such grace. When I grew up and got to know her, she was in fact all of those things both in business and in her personal life. Taffe represents all that I believe this sport is and should be - she mentors’ people in all aspects to include breeding, the husbandry of dogs, sportsmanship and presentation. Her connection with dogs is truly special, you can see their connection and feel the love she has for them. She shares this love and care with the people around her, whether it be her good friends, people new to the sport or the random spectator. She makes me strive to be a better person and competitor in this sport, not only professionally but in my day-to-day life as well. I truly think the world of her which cannot be adequately expressed in a simple paragraph, and yes, I’m a fan girl of Taffe McFadden if you couldn’t tell!! -- Tiffany Skinner

Taffe. As a young junior handler growing up in British Columbia in the era of Susan Hillman there were always her hard working, glamorous, winning, funny, dedicated, and generous assistants. The two in my days as a junior handler were Taffe Walker and David Gignac. They were the best. They made everyone (especially me) want to be better. They worked so hard and seemed to love what they did. When Taffe and David went to move on from being assistants it was first David and then Taffe that really encouraged me to work for Susan and that decision changed my life and really afforded me so much career wise. I could speak about David as well, but this request is for Taffe. She inspired me. She helped me when things were tough. I was there when she and Bill married and, in their house, when they brought their first child home. I have cheered from the sidelines and cried when things were at their worst. Taffe’s granddaughter, the gorgeous Evelyn, is my great niece (it’s complicated). Taffe is proudly Canadian. Always a mentor to those around her. The words to describe her are simply not here as I write this because she is more than words, more than a handler, mother, mentor, friend, grandmother, businesswoman and icon. She has won and lost some huge battles but through it all she has still also been the strength. No one is like her, perhaps no one will be again. But for me I feel privileged to have been guided by her light. -- Allison Alexander

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a traveler--that is my husband’s passion. I love the fun involved with the Woofstock shows, and I really enjoy the music and the groovy vibe. Of course, Westminster and Montgomery are the standard answer.” There are many challenges involved in showing dogs, including grooming, travel and trying to define that certain something that makes a dog stand out—even if it isn’t apparent from the start. “I think that part of the challenge of show dogs is learning the different coats and breed specific trimming,” said Taffe. “I enjoy learning about something new, but I sure wouldn’t turn down a smooth coat either in my later years! I think that when you are starting a new dog, there are so many different components that come into play. If the dog is a good one and the temperament is there it is so fun the mold them into a future star. When we first saw Spirit, the Giant, you could see she was sound and typey. She had something about her that was not quite there yet. I showed her for a year before she really “I love showing so many breeds it is hard to narrow it down. I would have to say Deerhounds make my heart happy, but English Setters make me feel like I’m home,” she said. “I think the hardest breed I have ever shown were Min Pins… it takes such patience to show them. I admire anyone that can do it. I always say they are like showing a mosquito.” While husband Bill enjoys the traveling associated with being a professional handler, Taffe is more content to show in Canada and the U.S. “I have never shown dogs anywhere other than Canada and the United States,” said Taffe. “I am not much of

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took off. I knew she had that special quality, but it just wasn’t happening. She was beaten by every dog in the ring. Then it just happened, she just exploded and never looked back. I think when you see something special about a dog, you just must believe in them along the way and make them the best they can be. Don’t give up.” Taffe credits her assistants, many who have become successful handlers as well, as an integral part of team McFadden. “We would be nothing without our assistants,” she said. “So many of the incredible people that shared their early years with us have gone on to be the best of the best


L I VI NG L EGEND · TAFFE MCFADDEN

today. Not only did they work their tails off learning and loving this sport, but they also became family to us. This is not easy work. I joke that I would love to go back to those days of being an assistant and not have to answer phone calls, deal with office stuff and shouldering all the responsibilities of being the one in charge. I know for one my body could not do it. The hours are long, and the life is hard, but the result is worth it if you love dogs and want to do this for a living, seriously. If I were to make a list of the most important things to learn from a handler, it wouldn’t be how to win. It would be to be ethical, honest, patient, and communicate with your clients, and love your job. Your dogs will do anything for you if you ask them the right way. Bill and I have been together so long that I can’t remember what it was like before. I think it works so well for us because we have never been competitive with each other. We are very much the team mentality. I think we get along so well because we each have our own things outside of our business. So far, so good as they say!” Taffe offers positive advice to the younger generation who may be considering a career as a professional handler. “Work for the best handler you can find. Learn from the bottom up and realize that no that no job is too small and go to school for a backup plan. Education is the key in life and will offer plenty of opportunities which ever career path you decide to pursue. You have to have goals and a positive outlook--short of winning the lottery and spoiling my Granddaughter to excess my goals are simple--good health, lots of laughter, happiness and another beautiful dog!”

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Crowned 100

MATISSE M B ISS M B IS GCHP Clairc reek Imp ression De Matisse Written by Mary Marshal Matisse’s breeder Donna Gottdenker, of the famed Claircreek Kennels in Arthur, Ontario, approached

M

breeders Milan Lint and Peggy Helming of Pouch atisse the Portuguese Water Dog led an exemplary life by most canine standards. True to his aquatic working heritage, he

Cove PWDs about breeding her female Ch. Claircreek Femme Fatale to their exceptional male GCH Pouch Cove Caribe.

enjoyed romping in the fishpond, stretching his legs

While all the puppies in the litter were outstanding,

on long bicycle rides, chewing on treats, and sleeping

there was something exceptional about Matisse from

on his back with his feet in the air. At one time he

his early days in the whelping box. Gottdenker, who

received a holiday card from the White House from

is also an artist, named the puppy after the great

his “cousin” Sunny who was the family pet for

impressionist painter Matisse.

President Obama and his family.

“He was such a beautifully balanced individual,

Most dogs like to roust about and get dirty. Few dogs

and you couldn’t take your eyes off of him,” said

get a Christmas card from the White House. Matisse,

Gottdenker. “He was a real eyecatcher from the

officially known as MBISS MBIS GCHP Claircreek

beginning. I am an artist, so I have an eye for balance.

Impression De Matisse, accomplished what no other

He had that quality when he was only a few days old.

dog has ever done—he won 238 Best in Show titles

You try not to get your hopes up. So many things can

over 2 ½ years to become the top winning PWD and

go wrong, but nobody could have ever fathomed how

male show dog of all time.

far this dog could go.”


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In addition to his history-making accomplishments, Matisse won the Westminster Kennel Club Working Group three years in a row in 2013-2015. He was Best in Show at the 2013 AKC Eukanuba National Championships, and twice at the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America National Specialty among his notable accomplishments. Matisse retired in February 2015 as the top winning PWD and male show dog of all time. He became the only working dog to garner three Group 1 victories at the Garden. “Matisse was sheer perfection,” said Gottdenker who has bred Portuguese Water Dogs for 25 years. “In a single weekend he won four Best in Show titles. Judges determine the best dog based on the breed standard, and might say this dog is close to perfect, but we wish his muzzle was a bit longer, or his angles a bit stronger. With Matisse they would say, this is just a perfect dog. No one in the dog world could have anticipated what he accomplished. He was a one in a million.” Lint, who co-owned Matisse, was quoted as saying that although the PWD standard is open to interpretation, Matisse is as close to the epitome of the breed standard as they get. “I think a lot of folks would say that he’s as close to the standard as any Portuguese Water Dog they have ever seen,” Lint said in a newspaper interview. “It is a combination of his near perfection and ingrained sense of self. There are a number of very handsome, high-quality dogs, including PWDs, but the unique combination of conformation and acting the part are what make Matisse special.” Matisse also passed on his exceptional qualities as a prolific stud dog for generations to come. His grandson

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Claircreek Pure Art recently won at Crufts and resembles

stay in peak condition. Matisse lived with Scott and his

his famous grandsire.

wife Michelle while on the show circuit.

“Matisse had it all,” recalled Gottdenker. “He was

“Michael and Michelle took absolutely wonderful care

beautiful, balanced, and had this incredible movement

of Matisse when he was with them,” said Gottdenker.

with long reach and drive. His coat was stunning; he was

“Truly, when Michael and Matisse were in the ring

a curly coat, and most people were showing wavy-coated

together, they were absolutely a sight to behold—they

dogs at the time. Do I think he changed the breed? Yes,

simply floated around the ring. I have never seen

and for the better. Like Matisse, they now have more

anything like it before, and probably never will again. It

bone, balance, muzzle, type, and better movement. I can

took my breath away.”

always tell when a dog is related to Matisse by the way they move, and a certain look they have.

The PWD has a long and storied history as a working dog. They developed along the coast of Portugal where

Barbara Alderman loved Matisse. She was judging a

the breed was prized as a devoted companion, necessary

specialty and put up all these Matisse offspring, without

work mate and guard dog for the fisherman. They lived

even knowing that he had any connection to them. I said

on the boats where they were taught to herd fish into

something to her about it and she seemed embarrassed,

nets, retrieve lost tackle, and to act as a courier between

but obviously knew what she liked!”

ships. These duties required that the PWD had to be an

Keeping Matisse in athletic condition when he was being shown was a task that was left up to handler Michael Scott. The stunning black Matisse would run for about an hour a day with his handler on a bicycle to

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excellent swimmer with exceptional intelligence and retrieving drive along with the qualities that made them a wonderful companion for the lonely fisherman who spent days and weeks at sea.


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A working dog without a job can become bored, so Gottdenker made sure that Matisse had plenty to keep him occupied in retirement. The hard driving retriever with the competitive spirit enjoyed a game of fetch with the other Claircreek PWDs, but needed something more. “Matisse had a very sweet personality, but he also had a very high working drive,” recalled Gottdenker. “He was a calm dog but loved competition—in the show ring and out. He also loved the water. I would take three or four dogs out to play fetch in the pond, and he would always be the first one to bring back the bumper. We tried obedience, but it wasn’t much fun for either one of us, so we decided to try rally instead. Matisse really enjoyed it and did end up earning his rally novice title.”

Matisse, well known with fans world-wide as the beautiful coal black Portuguese Water Dog with the commanding presence, helped to put the PWD on the map in some unusual places. “Michael Lint was on vacation in Cambodia, and boarded a boat to cross a river,” said Gottdenker. “He looked up and saw that there was a picture of Matisse posted to the inside of the boat! What are the chances of that occurring? It is touching to know that Matisse is so well known and has been such an inspiration for many—even on a tourist boat in Cambodia!” Matisse passed away at 10 ½ years of age in February 2022. With over 1,000 condolences from friends on her Facebook page Gottdenker knows that the beautiful black dog touched the lives of many. “I truly believe people want to hang onto something good and positive in their daily lives,” Gottdenker reflected. “Losing Matisse has been unbelievably hard, but the outpouring of love and kindness following his passing has shown me what a difference this dog made in so many people’s lives throughout the world. It makes you realize the impact that one special dog can make.”

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I N T E RV I E W W I T H J U D GE

SEI-ICHIRO Ishimaru Please tell our readers how you got involved in the world of pedigreed dogs. Tell our readers about your first dog and what breed did you show initially? I’ve loved dogs ever since childhood, so throughout my life I’ve owned a variety of breeds such as Beagles, Miniature Pinschers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Long Coat Chihuahuas. They were for pets, but my parents and I got our dogs from top breeders since we wanted them to be beautiful. My very first show dog was an Italian Greyhound that we got as a family pet. What breeds have you owned and shown throughout the years? It’s been just about 30 years since I got my first Italian Greyhound. Since learning about dog shows, I’ve exclusively shown Italian Greyhounds. What is your kennel name and please tell our readers how you decided on this name? My kennel name is Flash Shower Italian Greyhounds. I chose the name to symbolize how my dogs attract attention, as if they were a “shower of flashing lights.”


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I NT ERVI EW W I T H J UD G E · SEI- ICHIRO ISHIMARU

What was the greatest advice you have been given in

we got from Mr. Matsumoto was a big part of why our

your time with dogs?

family got more immersed into the world of shows.

Ever since I first participated in a show with my pet,

Do you feel dog showing has changed since you first

I’ve continued participating as an owner- handler so I

started showing?

don’t have any experience engaging with a teacher or expert. Around the time I first started out as a handler with my Italian Greyhound in shows they were an extremely rare breed. The yearly number of registered IGs only totaled a few dogs. The judge Mr. Midori

When I first got into showing, it was extremely rare to call judges from abroad compared to these past few years. I also remember that there weren’t so many owner handlers.

Matsumoto approached me and taught me all about IGs

Since then, it’s become more common for judges from

and sighthounds. He encouraged us to start breeding

abroad to come to shows in Japan, and more Japanese

at home, and even asked us to create our own specialty

handlers go to participate in shows abroad while

club in the future.

Japanese judges are also more often invited abroad. I

I succeeded as an IG breeder and was able to establish the only IG specialty club in all of Asia. The encouragement

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feel like the community has become very international. An increase in international exchange opportunities


I NT ERVI EW W I T H J UDG E · SEI- ICHIRO ISHIMARU

has positive effects in many ways, so I hope we see further development in the future. What are some of your proudest wins in the show ring? In Japan I participated as an owner-handler in every show I was in. In total, I’ve received around 100 Best in Show awards as an owner-handler. Every victory was filled with joy, and they’re all engraved in my memory. However, out of all my victories, the ones that left the biggest impression on me were winning my first ever Group 1 at the FCI Osaka International Dog Show, and then winning my first ever Best in Show at the Club Show the month after. When did you first begin judging? I’ve had my judging license since 2007, but there’s a rule in Japan that JKC judges can’t handle dogs when judging in Japan, so I didn’t judge for several years. The first time I judged a dog show was in Australia in 2013. What have been some of your most memorable judging assignments over the years? Regardless of the size of the show, I feel nothing but gratitude when I’m invited to judge, and all of them are deeply engraved in my memory, so it’s extremely hard to narrow it down. However, If I absolutely had to choose, it’d have to be the 2021 Westminster Kennel Club, my first ever show as a judge at the 2013 Sighthound Association Show in Australia, and my second experience as a judge (first in America), at the 2015 Kennel Club of Palm Springs. Do you have a favorite country you like judging in? I’ve judged in a lot of countries, and they’re all wonderful in their own way.

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morning of the show. I do my best to be completely prepared so my approach to judging is the same. I like the beauty of all-breed shows, and I love the enthusiastic atmosphere of the people at breed specialty shows where they specialize in a single breed. Do you have a favorite breed you like to judge? My original breed is IGs, so I like judging breeds connected to IGs, being sighthounds and toys. Is there a breed you find particularly intricate to judge? When judging certain breeds with an emphasis on coat quality and colors, as I don’t have experience with breeding that breed it can be difficult since I lack the proper knowledge about how the coat quality and colors change with age. In those cases, I think it’s important to have discussions with breeders of that specific breed. Could you please share with us some of your favorite dogs that you have judged over the years? I’m still actively judging breeds globally, so I’ll avoid mentioning breeds I’ve judged recently. I first fell in love with dog shows after seeing a gorgeous show in America, so I think judging in America fits me personally. Do you prefer judging at all-breed shows or breed specialty shows? People often ask me, “Isn’t it tough judging at breed specialty shows since you need a deep knowledge of the breed?” Even if it’s an all-breed show and the breed I’m judging is my original breed, I check the standards of all breeds I’m in charge of the night before and the

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A few years ago in Poland, there was an IG that I chose as BOB, and out of all the IGs I’ve judged in Europe it was by far the most impressive and moving. How do you find the FCI grading system and would you like to see it introduced in the USA? A: In my opinion, the FCI grading system is good. The basic concept of a dog show is to find the best breeding stock, so I think it forms a decent guideline for exhibitors when judges attach grades such as excellent, very good, and good for each dog. Depending on the country, the FCI has a rule for writing a critique for each dog.


I NT ERVI EW W I T H J UDG E · SEI- ICHIRO ISHIMARU

While that is a bit difficult at an all-breed show when

For people who want to judge in the future, I’d advise

considering time constraints, I also think it’s quite

them to master a single breed first. There is no end goal

interesting at a breed specialty show.

in breeding, so you’re always learning, but if you start

You made history by becoming the first judge from Japan to judge at the Westminster Kennel Club in the USA. How

judging without mastering a breed it’s easier to run into a wall.

was the experience and what did it mean to you to judge there? I went to watch the Westminster Kennel Club show with my parents, and I was amazed by the gorgeous and highquality dogs present, which made me more enthusiastic about shows. It’s a special show that has sentimental value to me. Being invited to judge there was an irreplaceable and moving experience. Regardless of the show, I always judge in good faith, so I tried to judge to the best of my experience and knowledge. That experience connects to my confidence. Also, judging there was my dream, so I felt that all my determination up until that point had paid off. I’d also love to be able to be in the same position again at such a wonderful show. It helps to keep me on my toes and makes me want to continue being a fair judge all over the world. Dog shows in Asia have a shorter history than those in the West. However, dog shows in Asia are continually developing and the skills of judges are getting better by the day. I hope that more and more judges from Asia can judge all over the world. Do you have any advice for those wishing to begin judging or those currently judging that wish to progress into other breeds/groups? I’m still young and don’t have nearly as much experience as veterans, so I can’t say anything too great.

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For people who want to get a license for a new group or breed, you should talk to an expert of that breed. Go and see their dogs, touch their dogs. I think that’s the best. Everyone starts somewhere, so there’s nothing wrong with asking questions until you get where you want to be. Talk to experts of each different breed. That’s the best way to learn, and it gives a wealth of experience. Considering that, I think the AKC judge license program is extremely ideal. Do you have any future goals you would like to achieve in the world of dogs? I don’t really have an end goal. I love dog shows and judging. I’m very happy and lucky to receive judging opportunities from a lot of clubs. If someone reaches out to me, I want to go there and participate in judging as much as I can. Also, I always try to judge at my absolute best when I’ve accepted an offer. The standards sometimes get modified, and you have to constantly learn, or you’ll be left behind. I try to make sure that I study every single day. Do you have any pastimes or hobbies outside of dogs? My

hobby

is

collecting

watches.

Nowadays

smartwatches, with the Apple Watch leading the way, are becoming the popular trend. However, I prefer mechanical watches, and I enjoy wearing different watches every day. I also love eating delicious food. I love it so much; I even travel by plane just to eat delicious food. I often go to eat steak while I’m in America. If I ever meet you at a show, please let me know about any great restaurants you know of!

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FAN YU

I N T E RV I E W W I T H A RT I S T

Fan, thank you so much for taking the time to interview for Best in Show Magazine. I know that our readers will enjoy getting to know the talented breeder, owner handler, and artist that is Fan Yu. Please share with our readers how you got involved in the world of pedigreed dogs and dog showing?

I want to say thank you very much to Best in Show magazine for this interview, I’m very excited to see and answer all the following questions. I have loved animals since I was a kid, especially dogs and horses. I

“I loved watching the old masters work and would absorb so much useful information into my mind and my work”

took my very first dog handling class in Beijing in 2002. It was a sevenday class taught by my mentor Mr. Fuli Tang who is a professional dog handler from Taiwan. I learned so much from his class and found the direction of my life. I started showing some dogs for my neighbors after that class and won my very first puppy best in show with a cream-colored Afghan hound at the 2003 Beijing Kennel Club Dog Show judged by Mr. George Marquis. That show was the spark that ignited my career as a professional dog handler.


I NT ERVI EW W I T H ARTIST • FAN YU

You live in Los Angeles, but you are originally from China. What was that transition like and did it affect your art at all? My wife Amy and I formally moved in Los Angeles in 2020. The transition was not huge to me because I have been traveling from China to the US since 2010, but the environment here does affect me a lot not only for my art but our life and minds. What is your artistic training and what brought you to sculpture? I loved watching the old masters work and would absorb so much useful information into my mind and my work, because they were working with no internet or social media. They had such clear and pure mind, heart, and spirit to make their art simple, sacred, and magnificent. The thing brought me to sculpture was also dogs as they stimulate my creative instincts. Bill and Mick are the ones who have really gotten this journey started. Do you have a favorite piece you have made? I love every piece I have made but some of them are even more special to me. It is very hard to make the choice. I think the Afghan Hound Finn “Moon Walking” bronze could be my favorite piece. This piece was commissioned by one of Finn’s owners Jamie Souza Bartlett at the auction during the Take the Lead 25th anniversary party in October 2018. This piece, in honor of Paul Jeynes, of the 106th Allied Artists Annual Exhibition in 2019 Salmagundi Club, New York, was also part of the final selection of the Royal Society of British Artists 303rd Annual Exhibition in 2020 at the Mall Gallery, London.

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I NT ERVI EW WITH ARTIST • FAN YU

Do you have a studio and what does your creative space look like? Do you listen to music while creating?

What people and dogs do inspire you the most? Bill and Mick of course they are always the first

I don’t have an official studio, but I have a 7’x7’ working

answer as they inspired me into this journey and have

space in our living room right by the glass window so I

continually inspired me every time when I got a bit lost

can see the back yard greens which is quite a sweet spot

whether in sculpting or living.

for working.

Nick Bibby is another one who provides so much

I do listen to music especially the life concert album,

inspiration to my sculpture. He is the best sculptor

because usually the time of a whole concert is between

in this age. His animal or human sculptures are just

two-to-three hours. It is a perfect time to really pay

unbelievable and full of deep power and fine details, and

attention to sculpting and then take some relaxation

you can always see the limits of art from his work. He is

when the music is finished. It’s kind like my alarm clock

also such kind and humble man who loves to give me so

for sculpting.

much encouragement and motivating power.

What process during sculpturing do you like the best?

What are different stages in your production? What

Every step is so much fun to work on, but the roughing

materials do you use?

clay process probably is the step I really enjoy because

There are many different stages from the clay to

I only care about the whole forest not the single tree.

bronze. Making the wire and wooden armature from

That can make me feel very relaxed.

the actual scale blueprints is the first step as it will give

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the sculpture a correct structure underneath. Then sculpting with the clay for the object, usually goes through the adding and roughing clay, correct the measurements of each body part, adding details and textures, and then the finishing touch after everything is completed. After the photograph and video of the finished sculpture, I use the silicone and plastic-paste to make the rubber and mother mold for the original sculpture to get the resin copy. The resin has way better hardness and toughness than clay which is very safe to ship to the foundry. Then I clean and fix the resin copy for the next molding and bronze casting process for the foundry, which will using the lost wax method to transfer the wax to bronze. The foundry makes the mold again from the resin copy, then pour the liquid wax several times into the mold until they get a hollow piece of wax sculpture. Then they will use the liquid ceramic wrap around layer by layer after the wax been checked and fixed. After the ceramic shell is dried naturally, they will put them into a huge oven to heat up to melting and draining all the wax away from inside of the ceramic shell, and then melt the bronze to liquid at same time. Then the foundry will pour the bronze liquid into the hollow ceramic shell and wait for it to cool down, then break the shell to get the rough bronze. The next process is the cutting, welding, and chasing process to make the bronze looks exactly like the original sculpture on each part that has been touched.

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After everything has been checked, they will sand blast the bronze to get a smooth and even surface. The patination and wax seal are the last stage of the whole process, and it will take the bronze to a new high level to become a piece of fine art. The material I use for sculpting most is the wax-based clay because it’s easy to handle and never dry or crack. Do you have a favorite breed to work with? Do you find some breeds more challenging than others? I love to sculpt either flowing or short haired breeds. I love the challenge to present my imagination into reality but keep both the art and academic ways intact. The most challenging breed is a short haired breed such as the Whippet. They are full of anatomy but not much as an Azawakh. The relationships of the bones, muscles, skin, and the thin fat underneath the skin are so complicated and so hard to sculpt correctly. How would you describe your style of art? I would like to call it “Fantique” style because I do love to add classic art elements into my work to show my respect and salute to the old masters. I would like to

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What other artists work do you admire throughout history? Michelangelo, Auguste Rodin, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Not only do I admire, but on my knees. What is your most famous sculpture you made so far? “Moon Walking” Finn the Afghan Hound, “Tsunami” the Doberman Pinscher, “Wind Watching” Bourbon the Whippet. Do you have some other passions in your life? A lot! I wish that I had eight hands to do more. This might be the reason why I love to eat octopus. How cool it would be to be an octopus man grooming dogs, showing dogs, playing the drums, guitar, riding a trials bike, cooking, and singing. I am always joking that, “A sculptor don’t cook, and must be a bad singer.” What does word masterpiece mean to you? To me it is the beginning of design to the finish of the whole process that makes me want to put eyes on it again and again, and viewers having the same feelings when they see it. show my art with more deep thoughts when people see them, not only an animal-like statue. Are there any breeds of dogs that you would like to work with in the future? Many of my friends knows that the Bloodhound is my heart breed. I would like to sculpt a bloodhound in the future, a real 3D sculpture, because I have done a relief sculpture of a Bloodhound head last year.

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Masterpiece means to me all the souls who viewed it stopped by to appreciate it, that is the proof and gives the piece an own spirit to eternity. Why do you think art is important in everyday life? I believe the fig leaf of Adam and Eve were more than just a cover, and those leaves were how the arts are becoming today. Art does spring from life, but never over life, but it is in our life every day.





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Talking about

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BO BENGTSON BOHEM WHIPPETS

100 JOHN & TRACY HITE TIVIO WHIPPETS 108 IVA & JEFFREY KIMMELMAN MERCI ISLE WHIPPETS 120 PAULO COELHO ROSEIRA BRAVA WHIPPETS 128 PHOEBE J. BOOTH SHAMASAN WHIPPETS



With Multiple SBIS winner GCh. Counterpoint Painted at Bohem, SC, 2010.


type of Whippet than they had in Sweden then,

MEET THE BREED

but Leader produced a lot of champions. Together with my later imports — Int. & Eng. Ch. Fleeting Flamboyant, Int. Ch. Badgewood Mark Twain and Int. Ch. Shalfleet Starbuck (all with Laguna background) — they, according to the English dog newspapers, raised the level of quality of Whippets in Sweden

WHIPPETS

considerably. But in 1980 I moved to California, and

BO BENGTSON

lifestyle when I was young. There have also been three

BOHEM whippets

that’s where I have lived since then. Bohem is supposed to allude to my rather bohemian champion Afghans and a dozen or so Greyhounds long ago, but for the last 40 years there have only been Whippets. Where did you get your foundation Whippets and what breeders (if any) do you work with today?

Please tell our readers how you got involved in the

See above. I was lucky to work for two summers at the

world of pedigree dogs, the Whippet and dog showing.

Laguna kennels in England and learned a lot there.

(Please mention your kennel name, its meaning and

Of course when I moved to the U.S. in 1980 I had to

any other breeds you are involved with.)

un-learn much and learn some new things instead …

I’ve beem involved in dogs a LONG time! In the late

sometimes unwillingly.

1950s I saw a stunningly beautiful photo of Ch. Laguna

I will work with any serious breeder of Whippets.

Lucky Lad, the first Whippet to win the Hound Group

Since I have basically quit breeding myself I’m happy

at Westminster. That photo had somehow found its

to act as advisor to anyone who asks.

way to Sweden where I was born. I decided then and there that I would have a dog like that! I got in touch with Lucky Lad’s breeder in England, and in 1961 I got Laguna Locomite; in 1963 I got Laguna Leader. When

Did you have a mentor when first starting out, do you currently have a mentor or network of other breeders you can discuss future breedings with?

they arrived both were two-month-old puppies;

No, I did not have a mentor when I was starting out. It

Leader was actually out of Lucky Lad’s litter sister, so

would have helped a lot, but since I didn’t much like

I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven … Both became

the boring, ugly little Whippets they had over there

International Champions and BIS winners. Locomite

then it’s not really surprising. Now I discuss potential

was primarily a wonderful ambassador for a different

and future breedings with pretty much anyone.

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based her breeding entirely on Laguna dogs they were VERY different from them. I once bought a puppy from Anne Knight that was so inbred that she was almost her own mother … but she never came into season, perhaps because she was so tightly inbred, so Bohem has no Dondelayo ancestors. There are so many current Whippet breeders whom I admire that I’d rather not mention anyone in particular. This breed is very lucky to have so many BIS Ch. Bohem Of Thee I Sing, 1996.

Which Whippet breeder/breeders do you respect most, anywhere in the world (past or present)? I admire any breeder who sticks to his/her guns and does the practical, dirty work that’s unavoidable when breeding dogs. I’ll just mention two from the past. One is from Sweden and not known to most people: Catharina Östring spoke hardly any English and I don’t think she ever traveled abroad. She had the difficult-to-pronounce Gårdsjöns prefix and would still be with us if she had not died prematurely around 2000. She had a genius for getting the best from my English stud dogs and bred on for several generations from her homebred champions without any lack of quality. The other breeder was Anne Knight of the famous Dondelayo Whippets in England. She died in the

sensible, talented breeders! With the invention of social media, the internet and multiple dedicated dog-related publications available to use as research, where in the world do you believe your breed is currently strongest? There are beautiful Whippets all over the world now, even in countries where they were almost unknown 10 or 20 years ago. England has some very sound, workmanlike Whippets that I like a lot, and there the breed is much more popular than here, but nowhere are there as many beautiful Whippets as in the U.S. You won’t believe me if you look at the average entry at most AKC shows, but please go to the AWC National Specialty. It’s amazingly impressive, but frankly you wonder where they all hide otherwise … What in your opinion makes a respectable preservation breeder?

late 1980s just before she was due to judge Whippets

I’m not really sure that Whippet breeders are really

in the U.S. for the first time, at Santa Barbara. She

“preservation” breeders in the true sense of the word.

inbred tightly and was one of the few of ANY breed

When I look at Whippets from the past it’s obvious to

to develop a consistent type. She wasn’t heavily

me that the dogs are SO much better constructed now

into particolors, which is one reason only a couple

than they were … so we have actually improved on

of Dondelayos won BIS in the U.S., and although she

the past.

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How have Whippets changed since you first started showing/breeding? This can be in quality and or presentation. Do you think the breed has changed for the better or worse? As should be obvious from the above, I think the Whippets are so much better today than they ever were. I look at some dogs that I really liked in the 1960s and ‘70s and wonder what the big deal was. Especially toplines, fronts and movement have improved. Presentation has gone a little over the top, at least in the U.S. What is your proudest achievement (so far) in the

Ch. Whippoorwill Bohem Aria, ROMX, in 1990.

world of Whippets? Somewhere I counted the number of puppies that I’ve bred and that have gone to new people that they have then finished largely on their own: it’s something like 40 or 50. That makes me very happy. Also that in the past in many countries Bohem dogs helped improve the local Whippets. But the greatest source of pride of course comes from the many dogs I have bred that may never see the inside of a show ring but are still the focus of their owners’ lives. Please mention some of your most successful dogs, owned or bred by you (show ring, litter box and/or stud). Most of the dogs I bred in Sweden would not impress today. Int. Ch. Bohem Filipin is one of the few that might still look good, and Int. Ch. Bohem Mome Rath was one of the best I’ve bred, ever. I wish we had realized how good he was at the time, but he was way ahead of his time and little used at stud. Of the dogs I have bred and/or owned in the U.S., SBIS Ch. Bohem Judging in England 2009, BOB (and BIS) Ch. Courthill Cast A Shadow.

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With BIS & SBIS Ch. Bohem Moonshine Lullaby, BIS & SBIS Ch. Bohem Delacreme Demoiselle, SBIS Ch. Whippoorwill Bohem Aria and BIS Ch. Bohem Of Thee I Sing, 1992.

All About Eve, ROMX, was the most popular, certainly

I walk around, watch different breeds, and always

the sweetest and a wonderful brood bitch; her son

come away with fresh enthusiasm. Of course the

SBIS Ch. Bohem Three Ring Circus was probably my

American Whippet Club’s national specialties are

favorite male - such a gentleman and so funny! BIS

unique for allowing hours of uninterrupted breed

& SBIS Ch. Bohem Delacreme Demoiselle won more

watching, but there is too much socializing for my

than anyone else, partly thanks to her handler

taste. That’s why a lot of people go, I know, and that’s

Phoebe Booth. BIS & SBIS Ch. Bohem C’est la Vie was

OK, but I guess I’m not terribly people-oriented.

probably the best I bred but remains best known as “the Whippet that got lost at JFK after Westminster.” SBIS Ch. Whippoorwill Bohem Aria, ROMX, may have been even better than Vivi but was never shown

Do you judge? (If not, please comment if you would like to in the future.) Who is the greatest Whippet you have ever had the pleasure of judging/seeing?

much. I won’t comment on my current champion

I used to judge a couple of times a year ever since my

bitch, although she’s largely retired, but I have to say

first Open show in England in 1967 until December

I am VERY grateful to have something as close to my

2019, when I gave a Whippet the Group at the

ideal, type-wise, at this point in my life.

international show in Stockholm, but I’m basically

What is your most favorite show to attend, anywhere in the world and why?

done now: I think the World Congress in Italy in May 2022 will be my last Whippet assignment. The best Whippet I have judged won’t be a surprise, as in 2006

I’ll be very unoriginal and say Crufts and Westminster:

I gave Ch. Brushwood’s Moxi of Endeavor one of her

they are very different but both are a shot in the arm.

three AWC National Specialty wins: I had seen her

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MEET T HE BREED · WHIPPETS

many times before and always knew she was good,

Whippets come in a menagerie of colors and markings.

but I can still remember the thrill she gave me when

Do you think some judges are influenced by colors and

I judged her, more than 15 years later. I have never

markings? If yes, please elaborate.

judged GCh. Pinnacle Kentucky Bourbon but would give a lot to see her come up against Moxi …

I don’t think a real breed specialist cares about color at all, but allrounders certainly do, at least in the U.S.:

I also want to mention three dogs that I haven’t

there is a reason such a high percentage of the winners

seen so often but who impressed me a lot when I

are “perfectly” marked brindle-and-white or red-and-

judged them: Ch. Valanti Alberta at the Swedish

white — colors that incidentally I liked very much

national 2012; GCh. Snow Hill Onyx at Stoneledge at

even before they were popular. I wonder if this might

the Canadian national the same year, and Ch. Tylko

change after the fawn-and-white Pinnacle siblings’

Cobyco Paranoia at the Whippet Club championship

success over the last few years? A Whippet just can’t

show in the UK in 2016.

be a bad color or badly marked! This is the perfect

The best males I have ever seen are Bourbon’s litter brother Whisky, the Crufts BIS winner 1992 Ch. Pencloe Dutch Gold and an American-bred dog in Australia that I wish I had bred (I nearly did!): Ch. Statuesque Extortion (by Ch. Starline’s Reign On x Ch. Bohem Critic’s Choice).

breed for those of us who are nearly colorblind: I can seldom remember what colors I’ve put up when I’m judging, and I get very tired of hearing that so-and-so is a “dilute” color … Who cares? (Not to mention that a dog who is clearly particolor blue-and-white may these days be called just “blue”!).

If you could go back in time and use one dog at stud (that is no longer alive), who would it be and why would you use him? Of my own I would breed “everything” to Int. Ch. Bohem Mome Rath, born in 1974 and wasted at stud, by myself and almost everyone else. In England I wish I could breed to Ch. Deepridge Mintmaster (b. 1966), and in the U.S. I would love to breed just the right bitch to Ch. Misty Moor’s Chalmondoley (b. 1971). A bitch I owned was actually inseminated with frozen semen from him in the 1980s, but she missed — A.I. was then still in its infancy. I also very much wanted to breed to “Buoy,” the great Ch. Sporting Fields Clansman (b. 1975), but he was already old and sterile by the time I had a bitch for him. With SBIS Ch. Bohem All About Eve in 2000.

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Although Whippets are a smooth-coated breed, it doesn’t make them very easy to judge. What do you wish all judges knew before stepping into the ring to judge the Whippet? That this is not primarily a “pretty” breed — showmaship and glamour are a nice bonus but not the most important thing in a top quality Whippet. Its real beauty comes from the gentle curves of the outline and the exquisite balance between elegance and power — too much of one and you get a weedy caricature of a Sighthound, too much of the other and you get a clumsy carthorse. (But if you have difficulty making up your mind, always remember that this is a running athlete, not a fragile piece of art!) The purpose of dog showing was (and should still be) to evaluate and “show off” breeding stock, do you think for some breeders/owners it is becoming more about ribbons and rankings? Judging Westminster 2009, BOB Ch. Sporting Fields Glory Bound.

For owners/exhibitors, yes — for breeders, no, not if they are real breeders. But I don’t think that’s a new development: there have always been people who only care about the winning. We tend to idealize the past, but the more I see of times gone by, the more I realize that people have always been the same. The most glaring difference now is that everyone seems to have a platform on Facebook … What are your future goals/wishes in the sport of pedigree dogs? Personally, after more than 60 years in dogs, I don’t have any future goals to speak of. But I hope those who got involved after me, and those in the future, will have an equally enjoyable time in dogs as I have had!

BIS & SBIS Ch. Bohem C’est La Vie with Lee Canalizo, handler Paul Lepiane and Michael Canalizo in 2005.

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Caroline, wining Best in Futurity at the 2016 AWC National with “Felix” GCH Tivio’s Mr Right, BCAT


dog and searched to find a purebred Whippet. My

MEET THE BREED WHIPPETS JOHN & TRACY HITE

TIVIO whippets

Mother was interested in showing. They were referred to local breeders Phil-Allen Whippets. With their guidance, they purchased a Whippet from Greycott Whippets, Scott Thompson, and Greg Comstock. My mother was a nervous wreck in the ring. At the time, I was very involved in the AQHA horse world. One of my mother’s friends suggested she ask me to show the dog since I showed horses. I agreed to give it a try. I won the first time in the ring and was hooked. Our kennel name is Tivio. It was chosen from one of my favorite cutting horses, who had the Tivio bloodline in her pedigree. Over the years, we have enjoyed showing and cobreeding Rhodesian Ridgebacks, as well as owning and showing both a Beagle and a Harrier at different times. Where did you get your foundation Whippets and what breeders do you work with today? My first Whippet (Ch. Skeedoodle’s Banana Banshee,

Please tell our readers how you got involved in the

“Nanny”) came from Karen Flint of Skeedoodle

world of pedigreed dogs, the Whippet and dog showing.

Whippets in San Angelo, Texas. Nanny was a great

Growing up we had several purebred dogs – Doberman Pinscher, Shetland Sheepdog, Yorkshire Terrier and Siberian Huskies. My mother became an avid sled dog racer when I was around eight yrs old. She owned a few purebred Siberian Huskies from Jan (Church) Stadler of Midnight Sun Kennels. Jan would show and finish the dogs, while my Mother would race them. That was my first introduction to dog shows. I was introduced to Whippets as a teen when my parents adopted a dog from the local shelter and were told it was a Whippet. It was not! But they loved this little

dog and she is responsible for my true love of this breed. At the time, I had a horse farm in Colorado and Nanny would walk down the barn aisle every morning to greet each horse, who would lower their heads and nuzzle her. She was a natural show dog and taught me a great deal about showing. Her litter sister, “Shirley” Ch. Skeedoodle’s Shirley Temple, was our foundation for Tivio. Karen graciously allowed us to have Shirley for a litter and she produced our first homebred champion Am/Can Ch. Tivio’s Sagehill Dancer, ROMX.

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There are many who have continually produced dogs past and present that I admire – Snow Hill, Ableaim, Surrey Hills, Brushwood, Nasusa, Delacreme, Starline, Saxon Shore, Chelsea, Tajaen, Nevedith, Sobers, Merci Isle, Cherche – to name a few. Many dogs from these Kennels have gone on to be the foundation for some of the newer breeders who are having great success today. With the invention of social media, the internet and multiple dedicated dog related publications available Lucia - MBIS/MBISS/BIF CH Tivio’s Fallingwater, SC,CGC, FCH

Did you have a mentor when first starting out, and do you currently have a mentor or network of other breeders you can discuss future breedings with?

to use as research, where in the world do you believe your breed is currently strongest? Although I admire dogs from many other countries, I have to say I think the United States has some of the

I was referred to Karen Flint by local breeders Phil

best Whippets in the world. If you look at Whippet’s

Hedges and Allen Odom of Phil-Allen Whippets.

pedigrees around the world, you will find many with

Karen, Phil and Allen were invaluable mentors in the

American bloodlines.

early years of showing and our breeding program. I will always be grateful to them all. They retired from Whippets years ago, but gave us a strong beginning with which to go forward. Over the years, we have conferred with many breeders for advice and discussion of different dogs and bloodlines. I love talking candidly with other breeders. I feel there are always new things to learn. Which Whippet breeder/breeders do you respect most, anywhere in the world, past or present?

What in your opinion makes a respectable preservation breeder? A breeder who focuses on producing a dog that continues to reflect the form and function of the original true purpose of the breed. A breeder, who prioritizes health, type, temperament, and physical soundness. A breeder, who focuses on quality, not quantity. How have Whippets changed since you first started showing/breeding? This can be in quality and or

There are so many! Two breeders with whom I have

presentation. Do you think the breed has changed for

worked and who have contributed to a great deal of

the better or worse?

our success are Debbie Butt of Sporting Fields and Carol Harris of Bo-Bett. Both of these women were always very generous to us.

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I came into the show scene right after the presentation of Whippets was changing. Whippets were free stacking and baiting. This meant temperament was


MEET T HE BREED · WHIPPETS

having a big influence on producing show dogs. I

Tivio’s Mr Right, BCAT. My husband loves to jokingly

see both pros and cons to this evolution. However,

say “we are the breeders of both the dog and handler”.

most breeder judges today do not demand ears and showy attitudes to award a great Whippet. One of my most successful Whippets, who really put Tivio on

Please mention some of your most successful dogs, owned or bred by you.

the map, was a bitch that did her job in the ring but

Zoey – AM/CAN CH Tivio’s Sagehill Dancer, ROMX

was never particularly showy – MBISS AM/CAN Ch.

(AM/CAN BISS CH Allerei’s Rodeo Drive x Ch

Tivio’s Allure, ROMX. She went on to produce many

Skeedoodles Shirley Temple)

amazing Whippets for us. In quality, I think Whippets are in very good shape as a breed in general. In July of 2021, I judged an entry of more than 130 Whippets in Ohio. I was really overwhelmed with the depth of quality in this entry. There were Whippets from all over the United States

Allie – MBISS AM/CAN CH Tivio’s Allure, ROMX (AM/ CAN CH Nasusa’s Polo Of Taymarc x Zoey) Chief – BIS/BISS/BIF CH Tivio’s Chiricahua, FCH (AM/ CAN MBIF/MBISS/BIS

CH Sportingfields Jazz Fest

x Allie)

and Canada, so a wide range of breeders and bloodlines

Lucia – MBIS/MBISS/BIF CH Tivio’s Fallingwater, CGC,

were represented. I walked dogs out of classes that on

SC, FCH (AM/CAN MBIF/MBISS/BIS CH Sportingfields

a different day could have been awarded with a major

Jazz Fest x Allie)

win. So, I am happy to say I feel our breed is doing well with a bright future. What is your proudest achievement in the world of

Olivia – MBISS GCHB Tivio’s All Rights Reserved (NBIS/BIS GCH Winfields I’d Rather Be Right, JC x CH Tivio’s Canella Del Oro at Trurun)

Whippets? I have been very fortunate to have had many successes over the years with our dogs. Two wins come to mind – Being the breeder/owner/ handler for my first AllBreed BIS with “Chief” BIF/MBISS/BIS Ch. Tivio’s Chiricahua, FCH. That weekend his litter sister, “Lucia” BIF/MBISS/MBIS Ch Tivio’s Fallingwater, CGC also went BIS being handled by Mary Dukes. The other was watching our daughter, Caroline, win Best In Futurity at the 2016 AWC National, under Judge Graham Miller (Longlesson), with “Felix” GCH Chief - Best in Field. Handled by my husband and my son Pierce

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Whippets over the years. If I had to pick one, I would say “Tawny”, Ch. Sporting Fields Bahama Sands. I had the pleasure of awarding her Best of Breed at the MAWA Specialty from the 9-12 class. It finished her championship. I feel she is exactly what a Whippet should look like – form and function.

If you could go back in time and use one dog as a stud (that is no longer alive.) who would it be and why would you use him? Morshor’s Majestic Prince – he stamped type and Chief - BIS/BISS/BIF CH Tivio’s Chiricahua, FCH

style.

Lane – MBISS GCHB Tivio’s Lightning In A Bottle (GCH

Whippets come in a menagerie of colors and markings.

Tivio’s Mr Right, BCAT x Ch. Tivio’s Eye Candy By

Do you think some judges are influenced by colors and

Orion)

markings? If yes, please elaborate.

What is your most favorite show to attend, anywhere

I do not see color being a big issue with judges, but I

in the world and why?

do think judges can be influenced and even deceived by

Westminster Kennel Club. Nothing can compete with the history, atmosphere and pure love of dogs and our sport that radiates with everyone. Palm Springs runs a close second. I hope to someday attend the both the World Show and Crufts, which perhaps may change my opinion.

markings both positively and negatively. For example, a well marked parti-colored Whippet with a wide white collar can appear to have more angulation in the front with a well set on neck. And a dog with a poor marking over the top line can appear to have a dip or unfortunate rise. When I mentor new judges, I always encourage them to look at both sides of an unusually marked dog

Do you judge? Who is the greatest Whippet you have ever had the pleasure of judging and seeing?

to ensure they are getting an accurate view. Although Whippets are a smooth coated breed, it doesn’t

I have been given the

make them very easy to judge. What do you wish all

privilege to judge the AWC National Specialty, many

judges knew before stepping into the ring to judge the

of the AWC regional specialties and a good number of

Whippet?

Yes, I am an AKC judge.

independent specialties. I have had the pleasure of judging many beautiful

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Our breed can be very difficult to judge. We typically have great variation in “style” and size of Whippets


MEET T HE BREED · WHIPPETS

in the ring. Some can be square, while others are a bit

As long as breeders are not sacrificing type, health and

more rectangular. Some are lower on leg while others

temperament, this should not be a problem.

are up on leg. Then you can have one in a class that is at the bottom of our height standard and one at the top. All these dogs can be correct, but these variations can

What are your future goals and wishes in the sport of pedigreed dogs?

be intimidating to a non-breeder judge. Many Judges

With all the legislative changes happening in our world

want a black or white option for our breed, which is not

of showing, performance and breeding, I hope we can

possible. Judges need to remember that every Whippet

continue to protect our purebred dogs. We will strive

should have Whippet type. Not like IGs or Greyhounds.

to continue to produce healthy, happy, high-quality

Balance is crucial. They should have a continuous flow

Whippets.

of curves, whether square or rectangular. Start at the top of the neck with smooth lines until the hock. The hock should be the only hard angle. Watch the dogs on the go around. A well put together dog should trot easily around the ring while maintaining their shape. Our standard describes the Whippet as a “medium sized athletic hound” – emphasize form and function. The height range in our standard has not changed since it originated. I hear people say Whippets are bigger now, which I totally disagree with. In my 33 years in this breed, there have always been big males and tiny females. I think most fall in the middle as they always have.

Lane - MBISS GCHB Tivio’s Lightning In A Bottle

The purpose of dog showing was and still should be to evaluate and “show off” breeding stock. Do you think for some breeders and owners it is becoming more about ribbons and rankings? I definitely think many breeders, owners and handlers are focused on what will win and not always on what is best for our breed. I think most purebred breeds go through this as a normal evolution and progression - sometimes for the better and sometimes not. But honestly, we all go to dog shows to try to win, so to be successful one has to consider what will help your dogs win in the ring. Zoey - Am/Can Ch Tivio’s Sagehill Dancer, ROMX

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Ch. Merci Isle Sunburned Country, FCH (byerley jay dillon at merci isle~ch. merci isle i could watch you 4ever) Shown winning BOB at the ASFA Reg 8 “Mantle” is a littermate to “Darling” and Hotz”


color and had the biggest black eyes. She charmed me

MEET THE BREED WHIPPETS

in no time with that typical Whippet devotion to people and looking at me like I was some sort of God. A few years later, I was given a grandson of Peggy. My kennel name is Merci Isle after the town of Mercer Island, in Washington State, where Verdi and his sister Pandora were born. Where did you get your foundation Whippets and what breeders do you work with today?

IVAN & JEFFREY KIMMELMAN

Marie Talbot, who was my employer at Royal Acres

MERCI whippets ISLE

Although he was never part of my breeding program, his

gave me my first Whippet, Verdi of Merci Isle who was a grandson of Peggy.

sister “Pandora” Widget’s Pandora, was my foundation bitch. I work with two protégées I have found over the years, but now they are pretty much on their own, as they

Please tell our readers how you got involved in the world of pedigreed dogs, the Whippet and dog showing. I discovered Whippets in the early 1960s and then I saw the Life magazine with “Ricky” Eng/Am Ch. Courtenay Fleetfoot of Pennyworth gracing the cover. In 1967 I went to work for a very fancy kennel called Royal Acres, in Woodinville, Washington where I met my first Whippet in person. Her name was “Peggy” Ch. Pennyworth This One Is Mine and she was a daughter of Ricky. Irony didn’t stop there for me. I made so

have learned what I think they need to go on without me. Ironically enough, they both came from horses. I learned by doing and I encourage them to do the same. Hillary Frank, Whip Hill Whippets and Cricket Potter of Willowtree Whippets. I hope their experiences with me will serve them as well as my experiences with decades of just “doing it” served me. Did you have a mentor when first starting out, do you currently have a mentor or network of other breeders you can discuss future breeding’s with?

many amazing connections via that job and Whippet.

I had so many mentors. Isabell Speight, John Shelton,

I thought she was quite strange looking, but I realized

Bo Bengtson, Pat Speight, Susan Vargas, Michael

sometime later how good she really was and wished I

Dougherty all had strong influences on me and set the

had taken pictures of her. She was fawn brindle parti

stage for how to raise Whippets correctly. Especially

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Merci Isle Rabbit Proof Fence, FCH. “Darling” is shown going BOB at the ASFA reg 8 Invitational

Isabell and Michael. They taught me more about husbandry than actual breeding. Susan Vargas really taught me a great deal about putting dogs together to get good results. It didn’t hurt that I purchased a dog

breeders do it. Which Whippet breeder/breeders do you respect most, anywhere in the world?

from her (Ch. Westgate The Sorcerer) and used him to

In the USA I have vast respect for Karen Lee (Surrey

create greatness with my own bitches. And his litter

Hill) Linda Larson, (Plumcreek), Susan Hughes (Snow

sister, Ch. Westgate The Sorceress is also behind all my

Hill) Lori Lawrence, (Starline) Cydney Pettit (Kalina).

current dogs.

There are lots of others, but these people are good

Of course, it is all about pedigrees, especially back then. No real breed purists just bred to the winner of the day (popular stud syndrome). The people I was exposed to talked and talked about pedigrees. I was so lucky to live

examples of how to use pedigrees to make choices. Cydney is especially important as she is young and is the future. I expect great things from this young woman. Her mentor is someone I admire a great deal, Gail Boyd.

when and where I did, in Washington State and then

I may not have the same vision on type they do, but they

later, Southern California. These people who welcomed

are good at what they are doing, and they have a look to

me into the fold, sought out pedigrees that looked like it

their dogs that pleases them.

made sense. Like me, they learned by doing.

In Australia: Byerley Whippets, Ryeford Whippets,

Breeding top winners to top winners is futile at best,

Ridgesetter Whippets and Taejaan Whippets to name

but sometimes it seems that is how many modern-day

just a few.

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MEET T HE BREED · WHIPPETS

In the UK: Palmik Whippets, Barnesmore, Shalfleet,

care of their dogs and consider their comfort and brain

again, to name several.

stimulation (not living in crates most of their lives) than

In the past: Peggy Newcombe, Isabell Stoffers, Pat Pettit was very important to Merci Isle. With the invention of social media, the internet and multiple dedicated dogs related publication available to use as research, where in the world do you believe your breed is currently strongest? Whippets are insanely popular now, which is quite a change from the decades I bred them, and you couldn’t give them away. I credit social media and media in general for the public discovery of “dogdom’s best kept secret”. However, I don’t like it. Now people are breeding just to sell puppies and there is no breeding program.

they shouldn’t be allowed to breed. Period. These are the people who the animal rights zealots get their fuel from. They damage all of us in the purebred hobby by this cruelty. Under this umbrella is honesty, only healthy dogs going forward and fixing faults in the whelping box, not with a knife. All the winning and production of top dogs is worthless if the dog’s live in filth, in cages, or live in kennels away from human contact, only to be tossed aside when they no longer have any use. Some of the top breeders across all breeds are the worst offenders. Being “devoted” to a breed is meaningless without loving care and concern for all dogs that are created. This includes who they sell

Although there are many very talented breeders who

their dogs to as well. They need to care where and how

are breeding correct type, I do see a trend that is

their dogs live when they leave their hands.

bothersome.

How have Whippets changed since you first started

The breed is very strong in sound movement. Sometimes

showing/breeding? This can be in quality and or

to the detriment of type. This is a galloping breed, not a

presentation. Do you think the breed has changed for the

trotting breed. Focus on side gait has come at a cost to

better or worse?

type. I see fewer and fewer Whippets with the proper wide back skull to accommodate the large round eyes called for in our standard. And it isn’t just the breeders. The judges need to penalize these flat, extreme movers who don’t look like Whippets in outline. If you can’t tell a Whippet by it’s outline and head, it lacks type.

Here is this irony again. Peggy Newcombe said for years, when I was just starting out, how the breed was getting too big, too long, and flat and extreme in movement. And I am now sounding just like her. It’s true. Whippets were created as a small affordable dog to be owned by people without a lot of money. I no longer consider the show

What in your opinion makes a respectable preservation

ring the only place to find breeding stock. The coursing

breeder?

and racing venues are just as if not more important. We

Animal husbandry. It starts and ends with that. Cruelty has no place in the dog world. If someone can’t take

are seeing too many Whippets with improper shape and lack of type.

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Presentation is strong and even a novice with a really

Hammer, FCH, ROM, and her daughter, Ch. Merci Isle

good dog, well trained and conditioned can win.

Dove Feather, FCH, ROM and her daughter, Dual Ch.

What is your proudest achievement in the world of Whippets? Too many to name over nearly six decades. However, finding the gorgeous “Face” Ch. Poppy Hill’s My Brave Face for Best of Breed at the 2003 National will

Merci Isle Jacaranda, LCM. Wow! This just must be the dream of a lifetime from a breeder’s standpoint. What is your most favorite show to attend, anywhere in the world and why?

never be topped. If I am lucky enough to judge another

My national specialty, and then Morris, Essex,

National, he will be my touchstone. Not only was he

Westminster and Crufts and any show in Sweden.

dripping in breed type, but he was also successful in

Australia is my current favorite country for Whippets. I

conformation, racing and coursing. The trifecta of

have imported three from the Byerley kennels. I owe so

Whippet perfection.

much to these dogs. Top quality Whippets!

On a personal level, I have bred two American Whippet

Do you judge? Who is the greatest Whippet you have ever

Club Futurity winners and two AWC National Breed

had the pleasure of judging/seeing?

winners.

Yes, I judge Whippets and JR’s. I am too lazy to apply

My bitch, Dual Champion Merci Isle Jacaranda, LCM

for Afghan Hounds, Greyhounds and Saluki’s, the other

won the AWC ASFA lure coursing trial in 2014. That was

breeds I adore. I had Afghans before I owned that first

just amazing.

Whippet.

Her sister, Eng/Am Ch. Merci Isle Magnolia is the only

I loved “Face” so much, I think I will have to stick with

American bred Whippet to have both AKC and UKC

him.

titles.

The best bitch I had the honor of judging was the

These are the things dreams are made of. So, few really deserving breeders ever get even close to what I have done. I am so lucky and humbled by all of it to be honest. Please mention some of your most successful dogs, owned or bred by you. Ch. Merci Isle Hot Flowers, FCH, her son, NSBIS Ch. Merci Isle Meridian, ROMX, his daughter, Ch. Merci Isle A Distant Mirror, FCH, her daughter Ch. Merci Isle Dreamy Draw, FCH, her daughter, Ch. Merci Isle Velvet

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spectacular “Bourbon”, Ch. Pinnacle Kentucky Bourbon. If you could go back in time and use one dog at stud who would it be? NSBIS Ch. Merci Isle Meridian, ROMX Whippets come in a menagerie of colors and markings. Do you think some judges are influenced by colors and markings? If yes, please elaborate. I have hard this argument for marking over and over.


MEET T HE BREED · WHIPPETS

From my perspective, I breed for solid-colored dogs

should fill the eye, with no lumpy places stopping your

and try to avoid white. However, when I judge I always

vision. A drop of water put on the top of the head,

seem to put up parti colors, because I am looking at

should be able to roll down to the tip of the tail. You

conformation and don’t notice the color. I think this

can indeed have a uber fit Whippet and still have that

must be true for most judges. Certainly, knowledgeable

smoothness of outline.

judges!

The purpose of dog showing was to evaluate and “show

Although Whippets are a smooth coated breed, it doesn’t

off” breeding stock, do you think for some breeders/

make them very easy to judge. What do you wish all

owners it is becoming more about ribbons and rankings?

judged knew before stepping into the ring to judge the Whippet? That Whippets are athletes. Please reward fitness over fatness. They are not a trotting breed. Moving them over and over is silly. They are not GSD! Then we get to the real problem. There are too many different toplines seen in the ring. View our illustrations in our illustrated standard please. The balance and proportions pictures are very good and very helpful. The general appearance section of our standard should guide judges to certain images in their mind. The dogs

I view the ring as a breeding stock exercise and always have. Then I chose what to breed on with if they also course well. There was a day when the show world wasn’t so rankings crazy, but those days seem to be gone. One way to end this ranking craziness is to abolish groups. Judging ends at the breed level. I have never specialed a dog, on principle, even though I have had several good enough. Good enough to be approached by top handlers with backers. I have my own money

Ch. Merci Isle Sunburned Country, FCH

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Every good thing in my life, including my husband and my many friends has been due to that first Whippet that caught my heart all those years ago. Did you have a mentor when first starting out, and do you currently have a mentor or network of other breeders you can discuss future breedings with? I was referred to Karen Flint by local breeders Phil Hedges and Allen Odom of Phil-Allen Whippets. Karen, Phil and Allen were invaluable mentors in the early years of showing and our breeding program. I will always be grateful to them all. They retired from Whippets years ago, but gave us a strong beginning with which to go forward. Merci Isle Rabbit Proof Fence, FCH. “Darling” is shown going BOB at the ASFA reg 8 Invitational

to promote my dogs, but I don’t care to compete in groups. If I win a breed under a judge I really admire and respect, I will stay for the group. I have won a few 5pt majors that way. What are your future goals/wishes in the sport of pedigreed dogs? If only it was a simple answer. The world has changed, and it won’t change back. Young people need to love dogs enough to want to breed

Over the years, we have conferred with many breeders for advice and discussion of different dogs and bloodlines. I love talking candidly with other breeders. I feel there are always new things to learn. Which Whippet breeder/breeders do you respect most, anywhere in the world, past or present? There are so many! Two breeders with whom I have worked and who have contributed to a great deal of our success are Debbie Butt of Sporting Fields and Carol Harris of Bo-Bett. Both of these women were always very generous to us.

them. They need to see the joy of creation. It really is art

There are many who have continually produced dogs

to breed fine, healthy purebred dogs. I know there are

past and present that I admire – Snow Hill, Ableaim,

lots of people out there who would like to breed dogs,

Surrey Hills, Brushwood, Nasusa, Delacreme, Starline,

but for one reason or another, it just doesn’t happen.

Saxon Shore, Chelsea, Tajaen, Nevedith, Sobers, Merci

I hope somehow young people, like Cydney Petit has, will discover the joys of breeding great dogs. It is so fulfilling on so many levels.

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Isle, Cherche – to name a few. Many dogs from these Kennels have gone on to be the foundation for some of the newer breeders who are having great success today.


MEET T HE BREED · WHIPPETS

With the invention of social media, the internet and

as a breed in general. In July of 2021, I judged an

multiple dedicated dog related publications available to

entry of more than 130 Whippets in Ohio. I was really

use as research, where in the world do you believe your

overwhelmed with the depth of quality in this entry.

breed is currently strongest?

There were Whippets from all over the United States

Although I admire dogs from many other countries, I have to say I think the United States has some of the best Whippets in the world. If you look at Whippet’s pedigrees around the world, you will find many with American bloodlines. What in your opinion makes a respectable preservation breeder? A breeder who focuses on producing a dog that continues to reflect the form and function of the original true

and Canada, so a wide range of breeders and bloodlines were represented. I walked dogs out of classes that on a different day could have been awarded with a major win. So, I am happy to say I feel our breed is doing well with a bright future. What is your proudest achievement in the world of Whippets? I have been very fortunate to have had many successes over the years with our dogs. Two wins come to mind –

purpose of the breed. A breeder, who prioritizes health,

Being the breeder/owner/ handler for my first All-

type, temperament, and physical soundness. A breeder,

Breed BIS with “Chief” BIF/MBISS/BIS Ch. Tivio’s

who focuses on quality, not quantity.

Chiricahua, FCH. That weekend his litter sister, “Lucia”

How have Whippets changed since you first started showing/breeding? This can be in quality and or

BIF/MBISS/MBIS Ch Tivio’s Fallingwater, CGC also went BIS being handled by Mary Dukes.

presentation. Do you think the breed has changed for the

The other was watching our daughter, Caroline, win

better or worse?

Best In Futurity at the 2016 AWC National, under Judge

I came into the show scene right after the presentation of Whippets was changing. Whippets were free stacking and baiting. This meant temperament was having a big

Graham Miller (Longlesson), with “Felix” GCH Tivio’s Mr Right, BCAT. My husband loves to jokingly say “we are the breeders of both the dog and handler”.

influence on producing show dogs. I see both pros and

Please mention some of your most successful dogs, owned

cons to this evolution. However, most breeder judges

or bred by you.

today do not demand ears and showy attitudes to award a great Whippet. One of my most successful Whippets, who really put Tivio on the map, was a bitch that did her job in the ring but was never particularly showy –

Zoey – AM/CAN CH Tivio’s Sagehill Dancer, ROMX (AM/ CAN BISS CH Allerei’s Rodeo Drive x Ch Skeedoodles Shirley Temple)

MBISS AM/CAN Ch. Tivio’s Allure, ROMX. She went on

Allie – MBISS AM/CAN CH Tivio’s Allure, ROMX (AM/

to produce many amazing Whippets for us.

CAN CH Nasusa’s Polo Of Taymarc x Zoey)

In quality, I think Whippets are in very good shape

Chief – BIS/BISS/BIF CH Tivio’s Chiricahua, FCH (AM/

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Hotz - Merci Isle 110 In The Shade At Whip Hill, FCH.

CAN MBIF/MBISS/BIS

CH Sportingfields Jazz Fest x

World Show and Crufts, which perhaps may change my

Allie)

opinion.

Lucia – MBIS/MBISS/BIF CH Tivio’s Fallingwater, CGC,

Do you judge? Who is the greatest Whippet you have ever

SC, FCH (AM/CAN MBIF/MBISS/BIS CH Sportingfields

had the pleasure of judging and seeing?

Jazz Fest x Allie)

Yes, I am an AKC judge. I have been given the privilege

Olivia – MBISS GCHB Tivio’s All Rights Reserved (NBIS/

to judge the AWC National Specialty, many of the AWC

BIS GCH Winfields I’d Rather Be Right, JC x CH Tivio’s

regional specialties and a good number of independent

Canella Del Oro at Trurun)

specialties.

Lane – MBISS GCHB Tivio’s Lightning In A Bottle (GCH

I have had the pleasure of judging many beautiful

Tivio’s Mr Right, BCAT x Ch. Tivio’s Eye Candy By Orion)

Whippets over the years. If I had to pick one, I would

What is your most favorite show to attend, anywhere in the world and why?

say “Tawny”, Ch. Sporting Fields Bahama Sands. I had the pleasure of awarding her Best of Breed at the MAWA Specialty from the 9-12 class. It finished her

Westminster Kennel Club. Nothing can compete with

championship. I feel she is exactly what a Whippet

the history, atmosphere and pure love of dogs and our

should look like – form and function.

sport that radiates with everyone. Palm Springs runs a close second. I hope to someday attend the both the

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If you could go back in time and use one dog as a stud (that is no longer alive.) who would it be and why would


MEET T HE BREED · WHIPPETS

you use him? Morshor’s Majestic Prince – he stamped type and style.

top of the neck with smooth lines until the hock. The hock should be the only hard angle. Watch the dogs on the go around. A well put together dog should trot

Whippets come in a menagerie of colors and markings.

easily around the ring while maintaining their shape.

Do you think some judges are influenced by colors and

Our standard describes the Whippet as a “medium sized

markings? If yes, please elaborate.

athletic hound” – emphasize form and function. The

I do not see color being a big issue with judges, but I do think judges can be influenced and even deceived by markings both positively and negatively. For example, a well marked parti-colored Whippet with a wide white collar can appear to have more angulation in the front with a well set on neck. And a dog with a poor marking

height range in our standard has not changed since it originated. I hear people say Whippets are bigger now, which I totally disagree with. In my 33 years in this breed, there have always been big males and tiny females. I think most fall in the middle as they always have.

over the top line can appear to have a dip or unfortunate

The purpose of dog showing was and still should be to

rise. When I mentor new judges, I always encourage

evaluate and “show off” breeding stock. Do you think

them to look at both sides of an unusually marked dog

for some breeders and owners it is becoming more about

to ensure they are getting an accurate view.

ribbons and rankings?

Although Whippets are a smooth coated breed, it doesn’t

I definitely think many breeders, owners and handlers

make them very easy to judge. What do you wish all

are focused on what will win and not always on what

judges knew before stepping into the ring to judge the

is best for our breed. I think most purebred breeds go

Whippet?

through this as a normal evolution and progression

Our breed can be very difficult to judge. We typically have great variation in “style” and size of Whippets in the ring. Some can be square, while others are a bit more rectangular. Some are lower on leg while others are up on leg. Then you can have one in a class that is at the bottom of our height standard and one at the top.

- sometimes for the better and sometimes not. But honestly, we all go to dog shows to try to win, so to be successful one has to consider what will help your dogs win in the ring. As long as breeders are not sacrificing type, health and temperament, this should not be a problem.

All these dogs can be correct, but these variations can

What are your future goals and wishes in the sport of

be intimidating to a non-breeder judge. Many Judges

pedigreed dogs?

want a black or white option for our breed, which is not possible. Judges need to remember that every Whippet should have Whippet type. Not like IGs or Greyhounds. Balance is crucial. They should have a continuous flow of curves, whether square or rectangular. Start at the

With all the legislative changes happening in our world of showing, performance and breeding, I hope we can continue to protect our purebred dogs. We will strive to continue to produce healthy, happy, high-quality Whippets.

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Roseira Brava means wild rose, also called dogrose,

MEET THE BREED WHIPPETS PAULO COELHO

R O SEIR A BRAVA

whippets

after the Romans called it ‘rosa canina.’ It is a beautiful flower you can see wherever you go in most parts of Portugal, so it looked rustic, simple, and suitable for our dogs. Whippets came into our lives in 2006. Being used to the terriers, I must confess it took the little girl about a year to conquer me. Eventually we both connected in a unique way, and I started understanding how special the breed is. I bought all the books, read everything I could find, and started studying the bloodlines. I went to different countries just to watch the breed at dog shows and started making connections and friends in the breed. We soon found out Whippets were easier to keep than the Parsons and better suited to our working lives. Where did you get your foundation Whippets and what breeders do you work with today?

Please tell our readers how you got involved in the world of purebred dogs, the Whippet and dog showing.

The first Whippet we had was a dark brindle bitch bred by Zoran Sordjan in Slovenia, out of Lorricbrook Star Appeal, sired by Nevedith Eefa Empra, My

Just before two thousand my partner at the time and

Camelot Mirage, and we called her Pisca. She made

I fell in love with the Parson Russell Terriers. We

an impression on the show scene of the breed, as

moved to a small village near Lisbon, Portugal, so we

she was an impressive mover with beautiful flowing

could start a breeding program, where we could give

lines. Pisca had excellent critiques at shows from

the dogs a good life with a big garden and long walks

sighthound specialists, which made us believe we

in the woods and along the cliffs near the sea. Our

had a special Whippet on our hands. Her pedigree

first dogs were UK imports and later from the USA.

had different strengths on both sides. When the time

We showed them with success in Portugal and abroad

came to think of mating her, I decided I needed help.

and made some good friends. Most of the dogs we

I contacted respected people in the breed around the

imported were champions and some of those we bred

world. Following my gut, I decided to line breed on

and sent abroad became champions. I consider our

Pisca’s sire.

biggest achievement in the breed winning the RCC at the Club Show in the UK with a junior dog. That was a special day!

I met the Newtons at Crufts and visited their home and the Nevedith dogs in May 2008 convinced that I

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must make decisions. I was lucky enough to have the chance to visit the Newtons frequently and spend time with Edith going through pedigrees, year books and having her opinion on my ideas. I will never forget sitting next to Nev at shows and discussing the dogs. Both Nev and Edith were especially important in my life in the world of dogs. I will never forget their and Editha’s hospitality and generosity. These days I keep learning every time I have the chance to discuss the breed with other breeders. When I must decide, I always like to hear the opinion of Bart was going to buy a dog. But then I saw this beautiful

(Boxing Helena’s) and Thomas Münch (FlicFlac), as

7 months old fawn bitch and we both fell in love

they understand me. It is also interesting to see how

with each other in fleeting time, Nevedith Pfa

my dogs blend with other lines, which expands my

Pollyanna, Polly joined us. We visited the Newtons

possibilities in the future.

again in 2009 to breed Pisca to NutChip of Nevedith. From this litter we kept Leia, I Wannabe Princess da Roseira Brava that we mated to Barnesmore

Which Whippet breeder/breeders do you respect most, anywhere in the world?

Celtic Tiger. From this litter the outstanding dogs

I would choose the Nevedith Kennel for that: they

were Latin Lover da Roseira Brava, Lucky, and La

bred dogs that had a major impact in the breed.

Belle Hélène da Roseira Brava, Ella. Ella moved to

Also, I learned a lot from them, and they are close

Belgium when she was a puppy to Bart Scheerens

to my heart, so this is also an emotional choice. I

of Boxing Helena’s kennel, who has become a friend

do respect a large group of breeders who are also

and someone I share my thoughts and breeding

consistent and left a distinct mark in the breed.

plans with. I usually breed one litter a year, so it is difficult to say that there are breeders I work with. Some of my dog’s owners abroad ask for my opinion sometimes and include me somehow in their success, which is nice. Did you have a mentor when first starting out, do you currently have a mentor or network of other breeders you can discuss future breeding’s with?

With the popularity of social media, the internet and multiple related dog publications available to use as research, where do you believe your breed is currently strongest? I have judged all over Europe and have seen genuinely nice dogs in various places, but I cannot answer this question, as I have never been outside Europe. There are breeders in various parts of Europe, however,

Breeding dogs is a hobby, I want to do the best job

breeding and showing consistently dogs of excellent

possible, so I usually follow my gut feeling when I

quality.

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What in your opinion makes a respectable preservation

Please mention the most successful dogs owned or bred

breeder?

by you.

To become a respectable preservation breeder,

I have mentioned Pisca and Polly my first two

one needs to know and understand what must be

Whippets. Lucky, Latin Lover da Roseira Brava. Apart

preserved. It is necessary to learn what is important

from his achievements in the UK, he was also BOB

in the breed, trying to keep the good and avoiding the

in Donaueschingen, with his daughter as BOS in the

bad. Health tests are important because no one wants

same year. He has collected more titles in his career

to perpetuate avoidable diseases. Learning about the

as a show dog and has produced some nice progeny.

lives of the dogs in the pedigrees, how consistent they

La Belle Hélène da Roseira Brava, Ella, Lucky’s litter

are in type, temperament, and health are imperative.

sister, became a star as soon as she started her show

It is important to recognize that it is better to work

career with Bart Scheerens. She was BIS Puppy at the

together than isolated, this way we learn more and

World Show in 2013, World Winner in Milan, 2015,

improve the breed.

apart from a lengthy list of other titles, including BIS.

How have Whippets changed since you first started showing and breeding? This can be in quality and or presentation. Do you think the breed has changed for the better or worse?

She has produced nice Whippets in Belgium and some of her kids are following her. In 2016 she came and stayed with us for a year. I handled Ella to her PT CH and Donaueschingen winner titles just after she had a litter sired by Night Flyer da Roseira Brava, Oscar,

What strikes me as the biggest change since I started

who, after his Portuguese CH title moved to live with

is the importance given to size: sometimes the best

Joanne Boudreaux and has been doing well.

dogs are penalized for being a bit over size and inferior dogs are put up. I am happy that the FCI changed the standard regarding size saying that the height at withers indicated is ‘desirable.’ We want the dogs to fit the standard in size, of course, but with flexibility. What is your proudest achievement in the world of Whippets? I would say it was to win the CC at Crufts with Lucky out of 221 dogs in 2015. What great memories I treasure from that day! I went to the UK, and he became a champion, and then he won his 9th CC in the UK, second at Crufts, handled by Molly Head.

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there four times as an exhibitor and once as a judge: the atmosphere of a big sighthound family coming from all over Europe was unbelievable. I am also looking forward to going to Westminster and to the Whippet National in near future. Who is the greatest Whippet you have ever had the pleasure of judging? I became a judge for Whippets in 2014. I judge the sighthounds, terriers and two Portuguese breeds. I have been judging the sighthounds and Whippets around Europe. I have been lucky enough to put my hands and eyes on some outstanding dogs. Sobresalto Out of Oscar and Ella’s litter we had a few stars. Four of the six boys are in different parts of the world making their mark in the rings and as studs: UK CH

XXX, West Chelan Quick Look at Me and Tylko Ty Rook come to my mind and the memories of them make me smile.

Promised You a Miracle da Roseira Brava, owned by

If you could go back in time and use one dog at stud

Molly Head, Demerlay Whippets, SE CH Purple Rain

who would it be and why would you use him?

da Roseira Brava, owned by Mia Winroth, Aaniston Whippets ,BIS AU CH Please Please Me da Roseira Brava, owned by Molly Rule-Steele, and multiCH Poker Face da Roseira Brava, owned by Marta Kostusiak in Poland. The two girls I kept from that litter are CH Penny Lane da Roseira Brava and Bart

It would depend on the bitch I would consider. I do believe, however, finding the right mix in English and American lines is the best option in breeding, I would choose Sportingfields Jazz Fest: a beautiful dog from what we can see in photos, small, fitting FCI standard.

kept BIS JWW’17 Multi-CH Proud Mary da Roseira

Whippets come in a menagerie of colors and markings.

Brava.

Do you think some judges are influenced by colors and

What is your most favorite show to attend, anywhere in the world and why? My favorite show in the world is Crufts: you can see lots of dogs of different breeds over four very intense days and you meet friends coming from different countries. And then I must mention the Donaueschingen Sighthound Festival - I have been

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markings? If yes, please elaborate. We all have preferences, and it is understandable if, in similar circumstances, the eye falls on a favorite color. I believe AKC and FCI standards describe the same dog with slight differences, namely the size and the pigmentation, which can make the subject of color a difficult one. I do believe the best dog should win, whatever his color, if it fits the standard.


MEET T HE BREED · WHIPPETS

Although Whippets are a smooth coated breed, it does

I do hope we all can convince them they are wrong,

not make them extremely easy to judge. What do you

so we can go on. In terms of breeding, my plans are

wish all judged knew before stepping into the ring to

to have one litter a year, so I can keep up my work

judge the Whippet?

with the breed and to preserve my lines. I will keep

The first thing that comes to mind is balance: balance between muscular power and elegance. This suggests an easy, economical mover, covering a lot of ground with little effort in long, low strides, holding

showing my dogs from time to time, so I do not forget how it has done. I also like the adrenaline of judging, so I will keep going, slowly adding new breeds so I can learn along the journey.

the topline. We should look for a gracious, curvy outline with flowing lines. Exaggerations are usually obvious, as they will have a negative influence on the movement. Details may be important, but the whole picture is what counts. The purpose of dog showing was to evaluate and show off breeding stock, do you think for some breeders and owners it is becoming more about ribbons and rankings? Dog showing only makes sense to me with the purpose to breed better dogs. We write critiques on each dog at shows, and they should be honest and taken in consideration. No dog is perfect, as we know, and our aim should be the same: to breed better dogs that we can feel proud of and that we can show off. The definition of a good dog is how close he is to the standard, not the length of his list of titles, rosettes, ribbons, and rankings. Titles are not the first thing I look at when considering a stud dog. What are your future goals and wishes in the sport of purebred dogs? I do hope there is a future for our sport, as we are beginning to have very restrictive laws designed by people that do not understand what we do and why.

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Blue bitch is BISS Ch Shamasan Flame ‘N Queen ARX DPCX RN TRP CR JC ROMX WVetW08 “Nellie” Black dog is BISS Ch Shamasan Hound Hill Body & Soul JC “Handy” Red dog is Ch Shamasan Hound Hill Cherokee ARX DPCX RN TRP ROM “Chili”


successful professional handler and I jumped at the

MEET THE BREED WHIPPETS PHOEBE J. BOOTH

SHAM ASAN

whippets

chance. I worked for him for several years gaining much practical knowledge. At that time, he showed a few Whippets, one of whom was the Group winning Ch. Winterfold Image from the kennel of Martine Collings in Canada, and I knew then I would have a Whippet of my own someday. Along the way, I also began showing a couple of Bedlington Terriers, which are not unlike Whippets, except for the ring preparation time. It became clear that working for a professional handler and trying to show Bedlingtons, was much too time consuming. It was then in the early 1970s that I came up with my kennel name to honor my first three show dogs: Shadow, my first Dalmatian, Major, my first champion, and Sandy, my first Ch. Bedlington: “Shamasan”-- it was a made-up name so I thought it was unlikely that anyone else would copy it. Finally, when I went out on my own

Please tell our readers how you got involved in the world of pedigreed dogs, the Whippet and dog showing. Where did you get your foundation Whippet’s and what breeders do you work with today? The first dog show I attended was in 1965 when I accompanied my aunt and uncle who were showing Beagles at the time. I was a schoolgirl, and they told me if I saved up my money, they would help me buy my first show dog. Although I admired Whippets at

in the mid-1970s, I acquired a champion Whippet from Susan Vargus (Westgate) to campaign for a client, and she became Ch. Westgate the Enchantress ROMX, a Best in Show winner, Top Ten, and dam of 12 champions. I fell madly in love with “Amy”, and I bought her from the client upon her show retirement. Did you have a mentor when first starting out, do you currently have a mentor or network of other breeders you can discuss future breeding’s with?

the time, my first purebred was a Dalmatian, because

Early on in my Whippet showing endeavors I met Mrs.

they knew a breeder who would help me get a puppy.

Doris Wear of the famed Stoney Meadows Whippets,

I had some success with the Dalmatians, winning BOB

and through her Mrs. Cora Miller of Hound Hill. They

at Westminster in 1969 with my first champion and

became my mentors, clients, and very close friends

I was hooked. I discovered that I could make a living

until their passing. I was privileged to show some

as a professional handler here in the US. During my

of their dogs, use their bloodlines in my breeding

college years I was offered a job apprenticing with a

program, and soak up so much knowledge about the

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BIS Ch Stoney Meadows North Star ROM “Timmy” / photo credit: Lloyd Olson

breed from both of those great ladies and influential

With the invention of social media, the internet and

breeders. I miss them both.

multiple dedicated dogs related publication available

Which Whippet breeder/breeders do you respect most, anywhere in the world. There are so many wonderful breeders of Whippets, and I have made many friends all over the world. I would rather not name any current ones, since I would not want to leave anyone out, but for those no longer with us or no longer very actively breeding, the aforementioned Mrs. Wear, Mrs. Miller, Anne Knight (Dondelayo), Dennis Meakin (Oakbark), Ian Doherty and Terry Crowley (Martinique), Mrs. McKay (Laguna), Nev and Editha Newton (Nevedith), and

to use as research, where in the world do you believe your breed is currently strongest? I haven’t traveled too much lately. Covid has seen to that, so it is difficult to form an opinion about where the breed is strongest. I believe that Whippets are in excellent shape throughout the world. Surely with the advent of social media, the ability to ship frozen semen, and events like the regularly held world congress our breed has become so much more international, and dogs from all over the world have had a positive impact on our progress.

Doug and Mary Beth Arthur (Marial) are a few whose

What in your opinion makes a respectable preservation

names come to mind, not so much for the influence

breeder?

many of these kennels had on the breed (and some had massive influence), but for the unmistakable look they stamped on their dogs. They were (are) all breeders with a vision which was readily identifiable.

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I think a respectable preservation breeder is one who always breeds with an eye to improving their stock in one way or another, regularly health tests every animal incorporated into their breeding program


MEET T HE BREED · WHIPPETS

and devotes as much attention to temperament and

standard, and our dogs are better for it. Now we

trainability as they do to conformation. Not all our

are seeing many dogs that blend the symmetry and

puppies are destined to have shown careers and

balance and smooth curves which are the hallmark

show careers are short, so we must always try to

of the breed with the well-muscled fitness of our

breed sound and healthy companions. In addition, a

great canine athletes. It is difficult to achieve the

responsible breeder will stand behind every dog they

harmony between the elegance and athleticism that

produce and try to encourage and educate all our

the standard describes, and I think we are more

puppy people, because that’s where the future of our

successful now than we have ever been.

breed lies.

As far as presentation is concerned, generally that

How have Whippets changed since you first started

has improved as well. Most dogs now stand squarely

showing/breeding? This can be in quality and or

and confidently in the ring, and we rarely see shy or

presentation. Do you think the breed has changed for

shaky dogs anymore. I do think though, especially

the better or worse?

here in the US, our methods of handling have become

I can only address the state of our Whippets in the US, and I believe that the breed has changed for the better overall. I think this is clear since so many breeders all over the world have incorporated American dogs into their breeding programs with great success. Our Whippets are more balanced, they are sounder, and fronts have greatly improved since I started in the early 70s. We spent too many years with the American

far too exaggerated with way too much emphasis on ears, flash, and speed. I’d like to see a return to a more understated method of presentation where we ask our dogs to look more like sighthounds and less like terriers or Dobermans: less baiting, loose leads, and more subtlety. I’m afraid that ship has sailed through since now too many judges expect the overthe-top presentation and showmanship.

attitude of “if some is good, more is better”. A few

What is your proudest achievement in the world of

decades ago, Whippets went from compact and curvy

Whippets?

with poor fronts and unsound movement, to bigger, longer, and flatter to accommodate the extreme and exaggerated side gait that saw great success in the Hound Group competition under judges that rewarded more “flash and dash”. Drama ruled: Necks were overlong, rears were over angulated, and dogs were raced around the ring. It seems we went from one extreme to another.

There are several personal achievements of which I am proud: I was fortunate to have been able to handle Whippets for several fine clients. I handled asix different Whippets to multiple Best in Show awards. I handled the #1 Whippet in the US back in the eighties (Ch. Bohem Delacreme Demoiselle), all while establishing my own breeding program. I don’t even know how many Whippets I handled to

Fortunately, in the last decade or so, we have seen

top ten or top twenty rankings. And in this age of

a return to the moderation that is called for in the

specialization, I am proud that so many dogs of my

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breeding have been able to compete successfully in

breeders who have enjoyed huge success with their

all facets of Whippet competition. My dogs are known

black Whippets (and to a lesser extent blues), and I

for their versatility.

am glad to have been a part in promoting the idea

These

achievements

pale

regarding

the

two

contributions I have made that I believe have

that a good Whippet of any color can compete evenly with the flashier particolors.

benefited the breed most. In 1995 I was the person

Please mention some of your most successful dogs

who made a motion at the AWC Annual meeting that

owned or bred by you.

all dogs entered in our National Futurity must be from litters where both parents have a current normal eye examination by a board-certified ophthalmologist. This was controversial at the time, and the membership wisely passed the motion. It led to more focus on the health of our breed, it encouraged more breeders to do health testing, and I think that the breed has been the beneficiary.

With reference to the above comments, I am proudest of my Nellie, and her sons, Handy and Chili. Nellie was a solid blue bitch by the name of Ch. Shamasan Flame ‘N Queen ARX DPCX RN TRP CR JC ROMX WVetW-08. She is the only solid blue Whippet ever in the top ten rankings. She is the only year-end top ten Whippet with an ARX racing title. She is the only solid blue Whippet ever to win Hound Groups,

The other achievement I am proud of is my dedication

and she is the only solid blue Whippet ever to win

to the improvement of Whippets of color, specifically

an American Whippet Club Specialty show. She also

the blacks and the blues. When I started, blacks and

attended the World Show in Stockholm and was

blues were not very highly regarded, and quite frankly

awarded Best Whippet Veteran, and she was Select

it was mostly because they weren’t very good. I loved

or Award of Merit at six AWC national specialties.

the less popular colors and made a concerted effort in

In addition, she was the dam of 13 Champions and

my breeding program to improve balance, soundness,

six ARX winners. There have been bitches that have

and type. I long believed that it wasn’t the judges’

produced more champions and bitches that have

fault that blacks and blues didn’t do more winning,

produced more ARX’s, but I don’t believe any other

and I felt that a good Whippet of any color could

single bitch has a record of producing that many

enjoy show ring success. I never bred specifically for

in both endeavors. Her sons, Handy (Ch. Shamasan

color, but I certainly kept the best ones to continue

Hound Hill Body & Soul JC), and Chili (Ch. Shamasan

with, and I believe that my efforts were rewarded

Hound Hill Cherokee ARX DPC RN TRP ROM) were

here in the US. It took some quality dogs, some good

memorable dogs as well. Handy, because he was

advertising, and the support of my client and dear

also an American Whippet Club Specialty winner,

friend Joan Fisher, for whom I also handled some top

and the first solid black Whippet to win an all-breed

winning Bulldogs, to put enviable records on a few

Best in Show in the US, and he was Best of Opposite

Whippets of color, and now I believe most American

Sex to Moxie at the 2006 AWC National Specialty.

judges are truly color blind. Today there are many

Unfortunately, Handy was unable to reproduce, (we

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MEET T HE BREED · WHIPPETS

never found out exactly why, though we certainly

What is your most favorite show to attend, anywhere

consulted several repro vets) so the responsibility to

in the world and why?

the next generation fell upon his solid, black-masked red brother Chili, who had finished his championship easily and his ARX racing title in a total of three race meets. Chili produced several Whippets with both champion and racing titles and became an asset to several other breeders. A couple of other Whippets of which I am proud are Reba, GCh Shamasan Island of Imagination DPC SC PR2 TRP, --Homer, GChS Shamasan Bohem Breezing

The shows I look forward to the most are of course, the American Whippet Club National, and the Westminster Kennel Club, and any Whippet specialties where breeders meet to show off their best and compare notes. But nothing beats those two shows for anticipation and excitement. Do you judge? Who is the greatest Whippet you have ever had the pleasure of judging/seeing?

Up FCh PR DPC CGC BN, --and my lovely Australian

I have only been judging for a few years, and because

import George, Ch Beauroi Proud As Punch FCh.

of my selection to judge the national this year for

Reba was a Top Twenty Whippet, a Group winner, who earned several ARX points, though she didn’t finish that title due to maternal duties. She was also Award of Merit at the Whippet National in 2015, and Best of Opposite Sex at the 2016 National.

which I am flattered and grateful, I have not been able to judge Whippets here in the US for over a year. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to mention any Whippets who are still alive and/or currently being shown, but I am glad to mention those dogs that I was fortunate to see and who I considered to be

Homer was a Top Twenty Whippet, an ASFA Field

some of the best I’ve ever seen. At the top of the list

Champion, Winners Dog at the 2013 National

must be the inestimable UK Ch. Pencloe Dutch Gold.

Specialty, and BOB winner at the Northern California

Dutch was ten when I saw him at the Whippet Club

Whippet Fanciers Association Specialty. Finally, George was a welcome addition to my household. I acquired him from Toni and Jenna McNeill (now Moorby) of the Beauroi kennels in Australia, and he finished his American championship by winning winners dog at the 2016 AWC National Specialty and finished his ASFA field championship in 2021, which we believe makes him the first Australian import to earn an ASFA field championship. He combines both Australian and European bloodlines and he has been an asset to my breeding program. BIS Ch Westgate the Enchantress ROMX / photo credit: Don Petrulis

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Centenary show, yet he still took my breath away. At

Lazeland, Pennyworth, Whipoo), and combined those

the same show I was fortunate to see another veteran

with some of the most influential UK bloodlines at

who was instantly one of my all-time favorites,

the time (Laguna, Ravenslodge, Brekin, Allways). He

Timothy, UK Ch. Spyanfly Say No More. Both dogs had

was a Group winner in Canada and produced speed

superb breed type, smooth curves, and totally correct

and sound temperament pretty much whatever he

Whippet movement. Alongside these two memorable

was bred to. I did breed to his sons and grandsons.

dogs was UK and Aust Ch. Dondelayo Statue, a dog

I would love to be able to go back in time and breed

who exuded quality and who put his stamp on the

one of my good bitches to him today. He produced

Australian dogs for years. There are many more dogs

the very best Ch/ARM (the racing title that predates

that I have admired and felt that their contributions

ARX) Whippets ever and lived to a ripe old age of 15

to our breed have been invaluable, but you asked me

years old.

to name one dog and I have named three, so I’ll leave it at that. If you could go back in time and use one stud dog who would it be and why would you use him?

Whippets come in a menagerie of colors and markings. Do you think some judges are influenced by colors and markings? If yes, please elaborate. I think I addressed the issue of judges’ color

It is difficult to name just one dog that I would like

preferences in Whippets earlier in the interview.

to have used. I have used different dogs for different

Yes, it is easier to win with a particolor brindle or

reasons, and it would depend on what I was trying to

fawn Whippet in the US even to this day, but the

accomplish. I did import frozen semen from Timothy,

American Whippet Club has done a great job in

and sadly, Nellie missed. I have always wondered what

judges’ education to impress upon aspiring Whippet

that combination might have produced. I inquired

judges that Whippets come in all colors, and I think

about the possibility of importing semen from Dutch,

most of the judges are listening. Add to that the fact

but at the time it was just too difficult for Morag

that the quality of the rarer solid colors has improved

(Bolton) to arrange the collection and shipment from

tremendously here in the US, and I truly believe that

Scotland. He was such an influential sire in addition

an excellent example of the breed will get its due in

to being a great Whippet, he is probably the dog I

the showring pretty much anywhere regardless of

would most have liked to use. But if I was wanting

color. This is both refreshing and welcome.

to enhance the speed and performance aspect of my Whippets now, with a dog who had both excellent conformation and athletic ability, I would have to choose Am & Can Ch Marial’s King Arthur Am & Can CD ROM. He was a dog that possessed a 1960s

Although Whippets are a smooth coated breed, it doesn’t make them very easy to judge. What do you wish all judged knew before stepping into the ring to judge the Whippet?

pedigree with some of the terrific old and important

One thing I try to urge judges and aspiring judges

American kennels (Stoney Meadows, Meander,

of our breed is to read the General Description of

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BISS Ch. Shamasan Flame ‘N Queen ARX DPCX RN TRP CR JC ROMX WVetW08 winning the MidWest Specialty. Photo credit: Bonnie Gray

the Standard, and then read it again and again. It

In today’s world there are many people showing

describes a moderate dog that combines both smooth

their dogs just to win awards and bragging rights. I

curves and great muscular development. The two

think this has pretty much always been the case, but

most significant aspects of the breed are that marriage

the various ranking systems have exacerbated the

between the elegant and curvaceous outline and the

competitive race to the top. There are many people

fit and powerful racing and hunting hound. There are

who just want to own or breed to the big winner,

two dichotomies in Whippets: the physical attributes

and Whippets have often fallen victim to the popular

as described above, and that of his personality: a

sire syndrome. However, I do think that there are

sweet, affectionate, charming companion that can

enough devoted student breeders and fanciers that

turn into a bloodthirsty killer upon encountering a

the Whippet will continue to thrive, and we “old

quick and fuzzy creature. Both of those contrasts are

timers” can feel confident that the breed is in good

what I love most about the breed.

hands. Social media, for all its flaws, has helped a

The purpose of dog showing was to evaluate and “show off” breeding stock, do you think for some breeders/ owners it is becoming more about ribbons and rankings? I’d like to think that the purpose of all our competitive events is to test our dogs against other breeders’

lot. Most people that I communicate with love to see the old photos, learn about the pioneering Whippets and their breeders, and soak up the history. This is positive and good. What are your future goals/wishes in the sport of purebred dogs?

visions, whether the emphasis is on conformation,

As a handler, I met most of my goals. I showed

speed, or other measures, but I’m not that naive.

some good dogs, (and a few great ones) for some

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wonderful people and was successful enough to be

But as a breeder, I will never be satisfied, and that’s

able to retire comfortably. In addition to Whippets,

exactly how it should be. I am always studying

I was lucky enough to handle the first Cardigan

pedigrees, speculating on combinations, honestly

Welsh Corgi ever to win two Bests in Show at a

and ruthlessly evaluating my own dogs, and

time when they were still in the Working Group,

searching for that Holy Grail, the perfect Whippet.

and this dog also was a National Specialty winner. I

In my opinion the overall state of our breed has

handled several top Vizslas including the # 1 Vizsla

never been higher, but if perfection continues to be

in the country who was also the National Specialty

unattainable, and if I am able, I will be sitting in the

winner. I handled the top winning Bulldog bitch of

whelping box, eagerly anticipating the birth of what

all time who was also #1 Nonsporting dog with 43

I hope will be the Whippet of my dreams: a true

Bests in Show, and I was fortunate enough to win

sporting hound combining elegance and fitness,

all breed Bests in Show with dogs from five of the

speed, power, and beauty.

seven groups. I was happy with what I was able to accomplish with the generous support of many clients and friends.

Thank you for allowing me to write and reminisce about my favorite subject, our wonderful world of Whippets! BISS Ch. Shamasan Flame ‘N Queen ARX DPCX RN TRP CR JC ROMX WVetW08. Photo credit: John Ashbey

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I N T E RV I E W W I T H J U N IO R H A N D L E R

ARIELA Harris

Please tell our readers how you got involved in the world of pedigreed dog showing? There is a saying that goes around at the dog shows “horse people always go to dogs” which has been a true statement. I am a third-generation horse woman and a first-generation handler. I grew up showing in AQHA, APHA, and all-breed shows.

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Naturally, every horse girl needs a companion on the

help of the weekly conformation classes we became

ranch- when I was seven years old my first dog was a

successful in the 4-H junior showmanship ring. From 4-H

beagle mix named Bo. I did everything with that dog, the

I transitioned into AKC. Yiska was not so into the whole

list of his tricks were endless. I learned how to teach him

show dog thing, but she did it for me because of how

obedience and junior showmanship through our local

much she loved me. Yiska passed away shortly after I got

4-H club. I had no idea there was such a thing as dogs and

involved in AKC. After grieving her loss, I desired another

handlers running around in left-handed circles. I

still

Doberman in the house, and was determined to become

remember putting on a dog show in my backyard and

competitive in the sport. I did my research for reputable

having my parents judge junior showmanship competing

breeders and cleaned houses in hopes to buy a dog who

against my brother.

could change my life.

When I turned eleven my parents were ready for an

I was able to purchase my red bitch Ruska in 2017. She

inside pet that could protect the family. We had narrowed

has certainly changed my life. I started taking ringside

down our breeds and decided between a Rottweiler

advice, going to training classes, searching for a mentor,

or a Doberman. As we were going through the process

and finding someone who took me under their wing of

looking for our family pet, my grandparents had been

knowledge. Just recently in 2019-2021 I finally reached

given a black and tan male Doberman named Jack. He was

my goals in juniors that an 11-year-old girl dreamed of.

the first Dobie I had ever interacted with. As soon as I met Jack I was instantly in love with the soulful breed.

I have formed a close bond with my red bitch Ruska, becoming one as a team. One morning when I woke up

Two weeks later my parents purchased our first

to read the new stats in Canine Chronicle, I saw my name

Doberman. She was a black and tan bitch that we named

in the number one Doberman Junior Handler ranking. I

Yiska. I started off with 4-H Dog shows and with the

was overwhelmed with emotion; my challenging work

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I NT ERVI EW W I TH JUNIOR HANDLER

was finally paying off, from the times I have missed out with family, friends, parties, homesickness, the long hard days, and the tireless work was worth it. Ruska and I had achieved the number one Doberman Junior Handler of 2020 and 2021, number one Working Junior Handler of 2020, and the number six junior handler ranking overall in 2020. It has not been an easy road, but it has been most rewarding to myself that I can push through to get to the better parts of the success. What handlers have inspired you? Gwen DeMilta and Carissa Shimpeno. Not only do they present dogs to perfection and care for their client dogs as if they were their own pet, but these amazing women are also polite, professional, and have shown me and others kindness. Every interaction I have with them has left my heart with a smile and encouragement. They have such a huge influence on the history of my beloved Doberman breed.

What breeds have you shown? Through the years as an assistant, I have had the opportunity to show and experience numerous breeds that I would fancy to own someday. In 2018 I accepted a co-ownership to show the sweetest Pointer bitch in juniors, the presentation of the breed is elegant and precise. I have always enjoyed the fast and furious ring of German Shepherds; it is a breed where I can put my legs to use! How did you do at your very first dog show? Can you share a memory from the day that sticks out in your mind? My very first AKC show was at the 2016 Dallas show with my first Doberman Yiska. I was extremely nervous, my hands were shaky and fidgety, I recall I was in the lineup trying to keep composure. I did not hear the judge repeatedly calling me for third place in the novice junior class. The final day of the show, my grandparents came to watch as well as my dad. I was more composed than the

Do you work as an assistant for a professional handler? If

first day or so I thought. out of nowhere I slipped and fell

not, would you like to? For whom would you like to work?

running around the ring. I scraped my knee, my hands,

I have had the privilege to work for several professional handlers and soak up their knowledge from their lifetime experience in the sport. It has given me a unique perspective on life, it is constantly a test of my character,

and tore my hose. The judge was kind enough to stop the class, she came over to me to make sure I was okay and asked me if I wished to continue showing. To my surprise I won the class!

perseverance, and judgement. I have learned to be

Do you breed dogs? Do you see yourself as a future dog

independent and deal with unexpected issues. When

breeder?

I came into this sport with big dreams and goals it has taken me years to get this point, everything that I have encountered on this path; my acquaintances, breeders, mentors, my wins, and losses, has brought me to this point of attaining my goals. Working as an assistant has given me skills that money simply cannot buy.

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At the time I am not breeding Dobermans, however I have plans to establish my own Doberman breeding program soon. Do you have a mentor? I have a few mentors in the sport who have made an


I NT ERVI EW W I T H JUNIOR HANDLER

impact on my life in my journey of dog shows. My first mentor was Laurena Phillips who was my 4-H club leader. She has given me her knowledge in performance training and sparked my interest in the breed ring. Verjean Luenschloss took me into her loving arms and taught me the ways around the ring with my girl Yiska. To this day she is a big supporter in my circle. Ashlee Claggett took me under her wing of knowledge, taught me the art and skill behind handling the Doberman, trained my eye to the Doberman standard, trained, and supported me throughout my junior career. Ashlee Claggett increased my passion for the breed. Would you like to be a judge one day? If so, what breeds and groups would you like to judge? I would like to become a junior showmanship judge; juniors will always have a special place in my heart. I want to be kind and encouraging to the next generation of handlers. Do you find it difficult to balance schoolwork and dog showing? I was homeschooled my whole life, traveling frequently as an assistant with the choice to homeschool made it easy to keep up with my schoolwork on the road. The challenging part for myself was chasing my dreams and missing my life back at home. Looking back, I would not have changed my decision. I have traveled to places kids my age dream of, and it has allowed me to focus on other interests and hobbies. I have become more independent and grown as an individual. What dog from the past do you wish you could have handled? MBIS MBISS GCHP Protocol’s Veni Vidi CA DN MX MXB

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MXB MXJ MXJB ROM BFL -1 LC-12L, also known as the

fourth historical national win. It was exhilarating. I have

famous Fifi. Just imagine being on the end of the lead of

had the privilege to get to know her prodigy and play on

a bitch as special as Fifi. She showed her heart out every

the end of the lead of GCHP CH Protocol’s I came I Saw

time and her career was impeccable. I still remember

I Sparked, Sparkle, at the Doberman National. Sparkle

watching her win The 2018 Doberman National, as her

exudes her mother’s presence in so many ways, it was the

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I NT ERVI EW W I T H JUNIOR HANDLER

closest thing to handling the great FiFi. When you finish school, what career would you like to pursue? If not, dog related, do you hope to always find time for dog shows in life? Dogs have always been a big part of my life and always will be. I desire to own Dobermans and other breeds. I have goals to train my dogs for other sports to stimulate their intelligent minds. What is one of your most special memories in the ring?

few years in the sport. Now that I am aged out of juniors and my red bitch Ruska is retired from the ring, I am sad to see that part of my life ending. I have reflected on my time in juniors and realized how much it has shaped and prepared me for the intense breed rings. What other breeds would you love to learn how to present to perfection? I have always enjoyed showing breeds from the sporting group. If given the opportunity I would love to learn about the Irish Setter. It makes me laugh sometimes because

The AKC National Championship of 2021 was the most

they can be so silly and hardly sit still, but when they are

special to me, my Doberman Ronin. Ch. Starlaine Gone

in the ring standing so proudly, it is as if their silly side is

Platinum went WD\BOW\BOS for a five-point major

a secret.

finishing his championship under Mr. Bill Shelton. I have never experienced an intensity like it. The Doberman ring

What would be your dream win at a dog show?

was the hot topic of that day. It was crowded by people as

Westminster 2022 is one of my final shows as a junior

anticipation of the final line up was being made.

handler, to win Best Junior Handler at Westminster or

One of my proudest moments was being chosen as a finalist in the AKC National Junior finals in 2019. That day

even to make it to the finals with my personal companion would be an absolute dream.

is still fresh in my memory. I remember being picked for

Additionally, I have ambitions to make the Top 20 with

the final round and when I came out of that ring I was

my boy Ronin who has taken me to my first breed win and

swarmed with hugs and love from my friends, my mentor

group placement. I hope to have further accomplishments

Ashlee Claggett, and my mom. In 2021 I was chosen as a

with him.

finalist again with my boy Ronin, and to my surprise we were awarded as third runner up. Sometimes I think back to the time I was sitting ringside at my first trip to Royal Canin, just wishing I could have made it past the first junior round cuts and hoping to become as competitive as the juniors I admired. Do you find the transition from junior showmanship ring to breed ring difficult? Junior showmanship is all I had really known for my first

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Two icons

POODLE CLUB OF AMERICA NATIONAL SPECIALTY St. Louis • Missouri by Mary Marshall • Photo credits Bo Bengtson library

The Poodle Club of America’s National Specialty, known as the “Greatest Poodle Show on Earth,” will be held at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, Missouri, which is only a little more than an hour drive from St. Louis, the historic “Gateway to the West.” St. Louis is known for steamboats, the 1904 World’s Fair, the Gateway Arch, and its unique music scene. Breweries, baseball, sculptured gardens, museums, and historic landmarks make St. Louis a city with a rich past White Standard Ch. Nunsoe Duc de la Terrace of Blakeen, BIS at PCA 1934 and 1936.

and an exciting present.


White Standard Ch. Alfonco von der Goldenen Kette at PCA 1955 with handler Robert Forsyth and judge Mrs. George Putnam (Puttencove). Photo Shafer

All varieties of Poodles will be showcased at the

enthusiasts, but all dog lovers. It is a place to see dogs

prestigious PCA National from April 22-29. The hunt

and handlers that you have only read about, a chance

tests will be held on the 22nd-24th, agility featured

to experience a Poodle shopping mecca, enjoy watching

on the 25th, obedience and rally on the 26th, and

a wide variety of Poodle competition, and having the

conformation on the 27th through the 29th. There

opportunity to visit with not only one variety but three

is something for every Poodle enthusiast including a

within the same breed! It is a Poodle and dog lover’s

grooming competition, learner judge education, and the

paradise with a unique experience for everyone.

pageantry of a Poodle parade. The National Specialty is an educational experience for not only Poodle

“The PCA National has been held at Purina Farms since 2017,” said PCA member Leslie Newing, who breeds


and shows Miniatures under the Random Wind kennel prefix, “Purina built the facility strictly to host dog shows. The National is a spectacular event and so much preparation goes into it. Where else can you go to see beautifully landscaped show rings with green artificial turf, flowers, and the best Poodles and handlers in the country all in one place? It is an experience not to be missed.” White Miniature Ch. Tedwins Top Billing, handled by Frank Sabella to BIS at PCA 1963 and 1965. Photo Tauskey.

Due to the pandemic, the specialty did not have spectators in 2021 but will welcome them this year. “PCA President Dennis McCoy did a great job last year with the Covid-19 protocol,” said Newing, “This year we are very pleased to be able to have spectators at the show. It is good for the club, the Poodle, and the sport of dog showing to be able to give the public a chance to interact with the dogs, owners, and come to watch a beautiful show. We will have two rings going—one for Standards, and another for Miniatures and Toys.” The city of St. Louis is a great city to visit and offers a wealth of exciting things to do after the show—if you can step away from those beautiful Poodles.

Apricot Toy Poodle Ch. Peeples Red Head, BIS at PCA 1971, shown winning the Group at Chicago International KC in 1970 under judge Tom Stevenson, handled by Virnelle Kendrick. Photo Shafer. Black Miniature Ch. Aizbel The Aristocrat, owner-handled by Luis Aizcorbe, BIS at PCA in 1978. Judge Edward B. Jenner. Photo Gilbert.

In the early Twentieth century, St. Louis was a hot spot for ragtime and blues, which became the roots for modern jazz. Many downtown indoor and outdoor restaurants and pubs offer a wide array of musical choices with a unique “downtown sound” that will have you toe tapping at the table. Visit the St. Louis Art Museum, stroll through the parks, listen to a performance by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, visit the Missouri History Museum and explore the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. The best things to do in St. Louis with kids include the

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Magic House Children’s Museum, Grant’s Farm, City Garden, the zoo, and the Saint Louis Science Center. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or may require reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only, and hours or availability may have changed. The St. Louis Art Museum is in Forest Park in the Fine Arts building which finished construction in 1904 for the World’s Fair. The museum holds an extensive collection of 33,000 works of art that span five millennia and come from all continents. The collections on display are constantly changing and the museum often showcases

1968_1969 Miniature Poodle Ch. Tran White Miniature Ch. Wavir Hit Parade with handler Harold Langseth and judge Frank Sabella warding her Best of Variety. Hit Parade won BIS at PCA in 1983 and 1984. Photo Gilbert.hant Annabelle

special exhibits. The Saint Louis Art Museum continues to expand its collections – the recent addition was a gift from the late C.C. Johnson Spink and Edith “Edie” Spink, and it consists of 25 works of renowned American artists and 200 magnificent ancient Asian art pieces. If the weather is nice, combine a visit to the museum with a picnic in the lush Forest Park, which is the home to several popular attractions including the Missouri History Museum, art museum, St. Louis Science Center, and the St. Louis Zoo. It is located on Grand Drive in the western part of St. Louis. Forest Park covers 1,371 acres and has hosted important events such as the 1904 Summer Olympics and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904. The Gateway Arch, standing an amazing 630 ft. tall, is visible from anywhere in the city, and it is the highest man-built monument in the US. It is a symbol of St. Louis and a reminder of its role as the point through which early settlers traveled to move on towards the West. The arch is an architectural marvel and offers a bird’s eye view from which you can see the city and its

White Standard Ch. Valhalla’s Jacquelyn, handled by Dennis McCoy to BIS at PCA 1985 under judge Frank Sabella. Photo Ashbey. Black Miniature Ch. Bar King’s Shimmer of Wildways, handled by Barbara Humphries to BIS at PCA 1989 under judge Francis Fretwell. Photo Ashbey.


surroundings. It will take you four minutes to get up the arch in an enclosed tram. On top of the observation deck take advantage of the views that expand thirty miles in all directions. Looking to the west the famous St. Louis landmarks such as the Edward Jones Dome, Busch White Toy Ch. Alrich Halcyon Days, handled by Mark Shanoff to BIS at PCA 1991 under judge Henry Stoecker. Photo Ashbey.

Stadium, Old Courthouse, and the Ballpark Village can be seen. Looking to the east, you can see the mighty Mississippi River and five of its bridges. The pageantry and excitement of the Poodle Club of America National Specialty had its origins in the early part of the Twentieth century. In an article written by Flora M. Bonney and edited by William H. Ivens, “The Poodle in America Before 1929,” Volume I of Poodles in America, the PCA was inaugurated in 1931 when interest in the breed continued to grow throughout the United States. Prior to the creation of the PCA the primary variety of Poodle seen in the US was the entirely white German representative of the breed, which was considered the only correct color at the time. The PCA made the decision to sponsor the Anglo-French type of Poodle over the German. One of the differences between

White Standard Ch. Lake Cove That’s My Boy, shown by Dennis McCoy to BIS at PCA 1997 under judge Dr. Samuel M. Peacock, Jr. Photo Ashbey.

the two was the type of clip that was used on each. The German type of dog sported the corded Continental clip, while the Anglo-French was clipped with close curls in

Black Miniature Ch. Dassin Reignon Alexandra, handled by Joseph Vergnetti to BIS at PCA 1998 under judge Luis Aizcorbe. Photo Ashbey.

the English saddle style. The Curly Poodle Club of England allowed permission for the first standard and rules, and a steady flow of imports from England came into the US which changed the breeding and ultimately the popularity of the breed. The AKC approved and published the new PCA standard for the breed in 1932. The initial PCA Specialty Show was held on June 6,1932 with a total of 21 dogs competing. It was held in North Westchester through June of 1937.

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“Twenty-one dogs entered seems like such a small number by today’s standards—in 2019 we had 788 entries,” said Newing. “But imagine those first 21 Poodles who started it all! It is hard to measure the influence those first dogs and owners had on the first PCA National, and the popularity of the breed in the US

Black Standard Ch. Aleph Blue Skies Outrageous, shown by Tim Brazier to BIS at PCA 1999 under judge Betsey A. Leedy. Photo Ashbey.

as the breed gained more attention and notoriety.” In 1934 the AKC announced a very special Poodle champion by the name of Nunsoe Duc de la Terrace that helped to popularize the Poodle in the US. He was a white Standard who hailed from the famous Nunsoe kennels in England. He was a very special dog for any occasion that held three international titles prior to winning the 1934 edition of the PCA Specialty and Westminster. By the mid-1930s the Miniature Poodle was recognized,

The three Variety winners at PCA 2000: left, Standard Ch. Aleph Blue Skies Outrageous with Tim Brazier, center Miniature Ch. Penhurst Just Shoot Me (BIS) with Chris Manelopolous and right Toy Ch. Laurelbury Ziegfield Girl with Shelley Green. Photo Ashbey.

and during the remainder of that decade the Standard and Miniature would define the breed. In 1943 a group of Toy breeders came to an agreement with the PCA, and the third variety was introduced. Toys were allowed in all colors just like the Standard and Miniature varieties. The first independent PCA Specialty was held at Far Hills, New Jersey, with an entry of 142 Poodles. The show had a wide array of locations in the years that followed including Rye, New York, and being held as part of the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Show from 194345. The 1942 edition of the show was cancelled. The show was moved to Garden City, New York where it was held for many years. It was also held at Bryn Mawr Polo Grounds, Ludwig Corners, Pennsylvania, Upper Marlboro and Salisbury, Maryland prior to landing at Purina Farms in 2017. Specialty clubs with breeds of multiple varieties were

The three Variety winners at PCA 2003: left, Standard Ch. J.C. Pioneer’s Kaiser with Alan Waterman, Miniature Ch. Litilann’s Bold N’ Shameless (BIS) with Ann Rairigh and Toy Ch. Broad Bay Fast Break with Adriano Rocha. Photo Ashbey.

White Standard Afterglow The Big Tease, imported from the UK and BIS from the Open Dog class at PCA 2005. Handled by Michael Pawasarat under judge Richard Bauer. Photo Ashbey.


T W O I C O NS · PC A NATIONAL SPECIALTY

White Toy GCh. Smash JP Beauty & Beat, born in Japan and BIS at PCA 2015, owner-handled by Mitzuko Murakami under judge Helen Furbush. Photo Ashbey.

permitted to conduct their specialty shows within a

showcased the versatile Poodle in a multitude of events

specialty show and crown a Best of Breed award winner.

including tracking, retrieving, rally and hunting along

The rule changed on July 1, 1965.

with traditional obedience and conformation. The PCA

In other breeds, there were numerous Parent Clubs which served their breeders by holding regional specialty shows throughout the United States and were not locked in to one geographical area. After numerous discussions and the passage of several years PCA decided to hold a regional specialty event in addition to the annual Parent Club specialty show. This was held in Topeka, Kansas in 1974. It was hosted by the Poodle

also has a wonderful Junior Showmanship Program that encourages young people to become actively involved in the sport, learn good sportsmanship, handling, animal care, ethics, and training practices. The program also offers the Ann Rogers Clark Stipend Program which gives juniors the opportunity to apply for monetary travel assistance to attend the PCA National, Westminster or the AKC National Championships.

Club of Topeka and supported by other Poodle Clubs in

The PCA has 48 affiliate clubs nation-wide that sponsor

the region.

a wide variety of events, including regional specialties

The PCA serves the Poodle well and continues to work diligently through their foundation to help solve the issues surrounding heritable diseases.

They have

and educational programs. For more information on the PCA, Poodles and how to get involved with the PCA National Specialty visit www.Poodleclubofamerica.org.



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RINGSIDE click Crufts 2022 by

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WORKING GROUP Breed: Siberian Husky Name: Ch Siberiadrift Keep The Love for Zimavolk Owner: Miss J Allen

TERRIER GROUP Breed: Irish Terrier Name: Turith Adonis Owner: Mr J & Mr A Averis & Barker

PASTORAL GROUP Breed: Border collie Name: Etched in Sand by The Lake Owner: Miss Sólyom

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T HERI PEKI NGSGNES I D E CELICK · HISTORY • CRUFTS IN ENG LAND

UTILITY GROUP

HOUND GROUP

Breed: Toy poodle

Breed: Greyhound

Name: Ch Afterglow Agent Orange

Name: Ch Ina’s Fashion Desirable

Owner: Mr T, Mr J, Mrs S & Mr J Isher-

Owner: Mrs I Koulermou

wood, Lynn, Stone & Shaw

SPORTING GROUP

TOY GROUP

Breed: Siberian Husky

Breed: Yorkshire terrier

Name: Ch Almanza Backseat Driver

Name: Ch. Royal Precious Jp’s F4 Conan

Owner: Ms R & Mr P Ulin & Oware

Owner: Mrs Obana

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