The Independent Voice of the Afghan Hound Breed
45th Year Of Publication

National Speciality Winners 1940 - 1998
(Steve Tillotson Our Afghans, November 1998)
(With a few updates/additions, December 2011)

(Page 1)

The AHCA National Specialty has of course evolved over time. From 1940 to 1973 it was always held in New York. Then in 1973 the first "Regional Specialty" was held in Arcadia, California in addition to the New York Specialty. After that it continued in New York until 1977 when again there were two AHCA Specialties, the second one being held in Dallas, Texas. Then it was back to New York again until 1979, another dual speciality year, this time New York and Louisville, Kentucky. Since 1979 the Specialty has been held in different locations each year. Wha a momentous decision it must have been after 35 years of AHCA Nationals in New York to move them out of the City and around the country. Certainly in the early years the logistics and cost of travel must have put the National beyond the reach of many enthusiasts. There was one other occasion when the AHCA held two Nationals, which occured in 1948 when both were held in New York, one in February, the other in September.

I remember well my visit to the 1996 National held in Racine, Wisconsin. I was surprised to learn that exhibitors had traveled amazing distances to attend. (I come from England, where the longest drive would be South England to Scotland - a drive of a few hundred miles. This compares with the "thousands" of miles that USA exhibitors routinely undertake). A good example of such travelling involved the case of a Junior handler who's father had driven for 19 hours to transport her to the National so she could compete. I spoke to him about the drive, he declared it was no big deal to drive for so long.. The combination of event and location, involving regional support, attracts a unique gathering of enthusiasts and their Afghan Hounds, which includes a growing number of overseas visitors.

When I first studied the AHCA Roll Of Honors that Ruth Weddle sent me to work on for this Special Edition of Our Afghans I was surprised to learn that it was as late as 1940 that the first AHCA Specialty occured. In fact, it was the Midwest Afghan Hound Club that held the first US Specialty in October of 1939, the BOB being a red bitch, Ch Garrymhor Pearie, imported from the UK. Pearie's pedigree involved blended UK bloodlnes, whereas in the US at this time, some unblended imported UK lines still existed. I was also surprised that the important kennel of Prides Hill did not appear in the AHCA Specialty Role Of Honor. However, looking at the first AHCA BOB Ch Tanyah Sahib of Cyann, my nostalgic curiosity was satisfied. Tanyah was the product of first/second generation Pride Hill bloodlines via Ch Amanullah of Kandahar x Kali Of Prides Hill. To me this is very fitting as the foundations of the US breed involve these very bloodlines. This was the first and last BOB winner carrying pure Prides Hill bloodlines. All subsequent BOB winners pedigrees involved a blend of bloodlines, and/or later imported lines. Ch Rajah of Arken, whose pedigree contained Shahzada and Afroz lines, won the National in 1942, 1943 and 1944, a tremendous feat. (Update December 2011. Rajah Of Arken held that record for the next 70 years, it is only this year (2011) that Gr Ch Thaons Mowgli has equalled Rajah's record by Mowgli going BOB at the 2009/2010/2011 National Specialities.

Back to Prides Hill - we should note that Q A Shaw Mckean (Prides Hill) was president of the AHCA from 1938 through 1941. So Prides Hill made a huge impact both in terms of the breeding/establshing/promoting the breed from its foundation days in the US but also via Mckeans tireless efforts on behalf of the AHCA and its members in his role as Club President.

Go To Next Page of Specialty Winners

Related Content
About OA
Our Afghans Home
AHT/OA Whats New Page
Email Ruth Weddle at OA - oaruth@webtv.net
WEDDLE PUBLICATIONS, 22235 Parthenia Street, West Hills, CA 91304-1348, USA.