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Miss Eileen Snelling (UK Khorrassan Kennels)

Miss Snelling was a remarkable woman who had spent nearly 60 years in dog breeding and exhibiting. Whilst best known for her Afghan Hounds, Miss Snelling actually started with Wire Fox Terriers and Poodles in the late 1930's, and enjoyed great success in these breeds also.

Eileen Snelling

Miss Snelling (December 1912 - April, 1997) was born in Ealing, London, and as a young lady explored careers in commerce, singing, dancing and modelling before finally becoming a "companion" to her mother. When she acquired her first dogs, her mother refused to have them in the house and Miss Snelling slept with the dogs in the stables for two weeks before her mother relented.

Eileen Snelling at Welks Show in the 1950''s

Miss Snelling acquired her first Afghan Hound in 1943, bred her first litter in 1944, and made her first champion up in 1951. A decade after starting out, Miss Snelling's kennel housed 7 Champion Afghan hounds. Miss Snellings's kennel won CC's at Crufts five times, (twice going BOB), won both dog and bitch CC's at LKA in 1949, won a total of 41 CC's, 35 reserve CC's and gained 34 stud book entries and was a dominant influence throughout the 1950's. Miss Snelling exported her stock to several countries, including the USA, Canada,Argentina, Australia, Europe and India, many of which became champions overseas

In 1962 Miss Snelling disbanded her kennel in order to nurse her sick mother. When her mother died in 1967 Miss Snelling resumed breeding and enjoyed some success with her dog Khorrassan Socrates born in 1971. The last Khorrassan litter, born in 1990, was a half brother/sister mating, bred back to Socrates.

Eileen Snelling with Khorrassan Socrates, Crufts 1975
Eileen Snelling with Khorrassan Socrates PHOTO Crufts 1975

Throughout her career in dogs, Miss Snelling's hounds were renowened for their distinctive type, superb movement and beautiful presentation. Her Afghans have been featured on the front page of National newspapers, Pathe news reports etc. Her dog Sirdar of Khorrassan was on the cover of a Spratts Handbook for New Owners published in the 1950's.

Miss Snelling was active to the last - responding in her own inimitable style to a survey published by "Dog World" in December 1996 on the issue of whether Afghan Hounds had/had not improved over the years. Miss Snelling lived most of her life in the Reading area and her Khorrassan Afghans had achieved many wins over the years at her local show. It is fitting perhaps that one of her last public appearances was in attending this years show in her capacity as Honarary President of Reading DCS, a distinction of which she was very proud.

At the time of her death, Miss Snelling still had three homebred Afghans living with her and these will be cared for by a long standing Afghan Hound breeder-friend, in accordance with her wishes.

Steve Tillotson 1997

Update Feb 2012
Found some Pathe Newsreel Of Ms Snelling and her hounds, see below


Click here to view the British-Pathe newsreel clip
(2 minutes 36 seconds into clip)

Ms Eileen Snelling (Khorrassan). I'm pretty sure I know the names of the hounds too, but I need to check my files before adding their names, which I will do shortly

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