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Virginia Beach 26-28th October 1997
Show Report #2 David Frei
"Afghan Hounds and a special lady - Afghan Hound Club of America"
(Reprinted from "Dog News" with the author's permission).)

AHCA Board Member, David Frei
offers a suggestion during one of the club
meetings. (Photo Rose Marston).

Record entries and wonderful performances by Afghan Hounds shared the spotlight with a very special lady at the Afghan Hound Club of Americas National Specialty held the last week of October in Virginia Beach.

Judy Felltons many years of devotion to the breed was manifested in her tireless work as founder and longtime chair of our national rescue program. For that, she was honored by the AHCA at its 61st National Specialty, Obedience Trial and Lure Coursing Championship.

The AHCAs first-ever Rescue Parade was dedicated to her. Judys unstinting devotion to our breed has earned her the affection and respect of all who have worked with her, read the club proclamation. Judys love and commitment to the welfare of the Afghan Hound, and the changes she inspired in our national club will be everlasting. She defended and spoke for the unwanted, the abandoned, the neglected and the abused.

She was presented with a beautiful statue created by Afghan fancier and artist Cynthia Byington, and received a rousing, lengthy standing ovation at the annual dinner. It was truly well-deserved.

Ironically, the AHCA also dedicated the show to Judys late husband, Herman, who passed away last spring. Herman and Judy were certainly one of the First Families of the breed.

Judys presence, and Hermans memory, were among the highlights of a wonderful week presented by Show Chairman Nancy Leuba and her committee. Heres how it went.

SUNDAY -- It seemed somewhat fitting that the National Specialty kicked off with a record entry of 100 competitors in the AKC Coursing Champion Trial and the American Sighthound Field Association Lure Field Trial at the nearby Naval Air Station Oceana

A large and hardy band of lure coursers -- both dogs and people -- braved the rain and dodged a Navy F-14 jet parked in the middle of the course to enjoy an exciting day in the field under the watchful eyes of Judges Scott Moberly and Gary Runyan.

When it was finally over, first place in the ASFA trial went to FCh UCh Forevers Sterling Sabra and first place in the AKC Trial went to FCh Sabra Gypsy Wind LCM, who were both owned by Greg and Rita Breitbach.

The dogs are littermates, pretty amazing in itself, but making it even more so was the fact that this was a repeat win by each dog. Last year, Gypsy won the runoff between the two for BOB, but this year, Sterling beat his sister in the final runoff between the AKC and ASFA winners.

Later, back at the Pavilion Convention Center, Education Chair Lila Wadsworth and several AHCA members presented the annual seminar for prospective judges.

Sweepstakes competition got a late afternoon start, with Judge Harry Bennett drawing the assignment for a record entry of 140. His selection for Best In Sweeps was Calais Sunrise at Stormhill, owned by Rick and Denise Schwebke and Stormhill Kennels, handled by Sandy Frei. BOS went to Abaca Sha-Cone Golden Jubilee, owned by Abbe Shaw and Terry Chacon.

MONDAY -- The typically lively annual meeting of the AHCA started this day off, with attendance bolstered by a complementary continental breakfast.

First up in the competitive events was the Obedience Trial, and Jeanne Ohmann judged the 13 entries. The story of the winner was altogether fitting for the show which honored its longtime rescue chair.

Twyla Twist SC MX, a happy, exciting performer, scored 198 1/2 from the Novice B class to capture High In Trial honors. Trained and shown by well-known trainer Diane Bauman, Twyla had been rescued from a shelter in New Jersey at the age of 12 weeks. Diane eventually decided to keep Twyla for herself, and because of the breeds reputation for challenging trainers, Diane accepted the challenge.

The results have been nothing less than spectacular. Twyla was the highest scoring hound at the recent Agility Nationals, and later demonstrated for the television crew in attendance her talents in the Open and Utility exercises, as well.

And as a footnote to it all, it was noted that Diane had assisted in the rescue of seven of Twylas littermates from the shelter, as well.

Next up was conformation competition, and breeder-judge June Boone took over the ring to take a look at 132 class dog entries. When it was all over, Mrs. Boone handed the purple ribbon to the same dog who had captured Best In Sweeps, Calais Sunrise at Stormhill, owned by Rick and Denise Schwebke and Stormhill Kennels, handled in the 12-18 class by Sandy Frei. RWD went to the Open Class winner, Cobra Chrome Red Cruiser, owned by Lynn Roth and handler Brigitte Crowe. Interestingly, both the WD and the RWD were sired by the same dog, Ch. Myriad Not a Cloud In The Sky.

That was it for the day, although Internet junkies who participate in an Afghan Hound bulletin board gathered (with guests) to share in a collection of microbrews hauled in by exhibitors from around the country. It was a fun evening, as mailing list screen names like dragondog, maxmero, obafghan, waggin1 and zoosdad were put together with faces. Among the highlights was the fact that 23 different bottles of beer which were checked in baggage made it all the way from Seattle intact.

TUESDAY -- Competition started with Junior Showmanship judged by Dr. Al Bianchi. Two entries -- it was a school day, after all -- competed, and Kathryn Gray was chosen as Best Junior.

134 class bitches were next up, and breeder-judge Carol Reisman was equal to the task at hand. Her WB was True to the Heart of Grandeur, owned by Roger Rechler and Cathy OConnor, handled by Michael Canalizo in the Open class. Reserve went to the runner-up in Open, Artistry Adrienne, owned by Jay Hafford and Gayle Irwin, handled by Jay.

WEDNESDAY -- A little bit of everything today, the final day of competition. First up was the Parade of Veterans, a sentimental look at a number of our beloved senior citizens. It always brings more than a few tears, and this year was no exception, especially when we heard that two of the absent entries had passed on a couple of weeks before.

The first ever Rescue Parade, in honor of Judy Fellton, was another event that tugged at our heartstrings. Dedicated owners shared their wonderful rescue dogs in a special exhibition, and it inspired us all to work harder to keep these situations from happening, and doing everything we can to help when needed.

Mrs. Boone came back to the ring to judge 70 specials, and the depth of quality was truly impressive. Her BOB winner was Ch. Mithra Gabriel of Etrigan, a lovely cream dog owned by Phyllis Roe, Bobbi Kinley-Blewitt and Kathleen Williams DVM. Bobbi handled, capping an impressive week for her which began by handling the BOB winner at the Akita National.

BOS was Ch. Cobra Copy Cat, owned by B.E. and G.H. Crowe, handled by Brigitte Crowe. Awards of Merit went to Ch. Desirees Tobias, owned by Dan Lineweber, Doug Wisecup and David McMullen; Ch. Rings True of Grandeur, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Roger Rechler and Bill Rechler; Ch. Casbar-Mezra Color Me Bad, owned by Frank and Linda DiSanto and Kevin and Barbara Cassidy; Ch. Tifarahs Hi-Flying Victory, owned by Janis Reital; and Ch. Beachbrook Diamonds R Forever, owned by Anthony Saia and Floyd Gale.

Best of Winners went to the Winners Dog. Best Puppy was Wynsyr After Dark, owned by Michael Wright and Daniel Ford.

Its also of interest to note that the Internets impact was everywhere, as AHCA members Kelly Ray and Warren Cook fed the results virtually as they happened to the Afghan Hound bulletin board for those surfers who couldnt make it to Virginia Beach.

At the annual awards dinner that night, the top dogs from the year in competition for 1996, and the winners at the National were all recognized, with judges providing their perspectives, as well.

Among the many awards was one unofficial award given to Ken and Kathy Hudson, whose dog Jubares Talisma Syah, SC FCh was the only competitor to enter all three events -- lure coursing, obedience and conformation.

At last, our week in Virginia Beach was over, and as my Aunt Caroline always wrote in her letters, a good time was had by all. Well gather again for the next National in Tucson in fall of 1998.

From: Dave Frei (425) 788-4794 or (206) 953-5577

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