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National Specialty 1978 Report and Results

(By Steve Tillotson)

The 1978 National Specialty was held at the Statler-Hilton hotel in New York in February. This would be the penultimate year for the tradition of the National always being held in New York. The first and second "Regional National" specialities had been held in California and Texas in 1973 and 1977 respectively and from 1979 the National would rotate around the country.

1978 is significant for another event also - the loss of Sunny Shay (Grandeur). Nancy Leuba wrote in 1978 "The year had a very sad note when the incomparable Sunny Shay, died of a massive heart attack in June. Like Marna Dods (Horningsea, UK), Sunny died at a dog show. She had taken winners dog with her class dog and she was taking her Ch Boy Blu Of Grandeur in the ring to compete for Best Of Breed when she collapsed.

The respect for Sunny Shay worldwide is epitomised by the response to her death in Brazil -- Zarona Bielovic - (Afghans of Stenara, San Paolo, Brazil) writes on her website - "Regularly, from 1978 to 1984, then in 1989 and just a few times after that, Brazilian show scene was enriched by a series of Specialty shows named "Sunny Shay Specialty Cups". For her respect and love dedicated to the dogs, her extraordinary perception as breeder, and her great contribution to the improvement of the breed, Brazilian enthusiasts of Afghan Hounds decided to create those cups in her honour, to be given for both Specialty Best in Show and Opposite Sex. The Sunny Shay Specialty Cups ended soon after 1989. Unfortunately I (Zarona) have no registers of those further cups, but one of them was won by a Chaman y Dega Afghan, coming from Peru especially for that show.". What a wonderful tribute from our

Brazillian friends.

As regards Regional Breed Clubs, Nancy Leuba also wrote in 1978 "There are more than 35 Afghan Hound clubs around the country approved to hold specialty shows with championship points and nearly two thirds of "clubs in formation", the mind boggles".

Back to the National Speciality 1978, we have only a little detail at this stage, but will update this page as we uncover more detail. The breed judge was Mrs William H Withington who gave BOB to Ch Zuvenda Renegade Of Esfahan, owned by Karen Wagner and Karen Usry.

(Karen Wagner has an impressive record of wins at the National. Her Ch Zuvenda Razcym took BOB in 1981, Her Ch Pahlavi Smokin N' The Boysroom took BOB in 1986 and her very famous Ch Pahlavi Puttin On The Ritz ("Taco") won BOB in 1989/1990/1992 very nearly equalling the three-in-a row record set by Rajah Of Arken way back in 1944. Rajah's record survived until 2012 when Gch Thaon's Mowgli equalled it by winning BOB's in 2009/2010/2011)

A major event of the year at the national level was The Afghan Hound Symposium entitled "A Day With The Afghan Hound Club Of America". Expecting maybe 60-70 participants, AHCA was surprised and delighted to find nearly 200 enthusiasts from all over the country attended. Aimed primarily at novice exhibitors and breeders the agenda covered topics such as Interpreting The Standard, The Afghan Hound Heritage, Conditioning the Afghan Hound and Interpreting The Role Of The Judge. A keynote speaker was William Schmeck, VP of The American Kennel Club. and the primary organizer was Ed Kauffman

Results Summary

BOB Judge, Mrs William H Withington

Ch Zuvenda Renegade Of Esfahan, (owners Karen Wagner and Karen Usry)

Article to be continued when further details are available

Steve Tillotson, Dec 2011

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