Welcome to the July Sporting Group Issue. We were delighted with the support this Group feature generated and the eclectic content we have to offer this month.
You’ve told us our “Back to Basics” features are must reading and in this issue we’re pleased to present students of the Sporting Group with a golden opportunity to hear from three acknowledged retriever experts. Breeder, judge and author Jeffrey Pepper undertook the task of comparing the Golden and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, aided graphically by the accomplished Golden breeder-judge and artist Marcia Schlehr. Also contributing significant input and photos was “Mrs. Toller” herself, Alison Strang of Westerlea Tollers in British Columbia. Alison pioneered Tollers, helped put them on the map, wrote the quintessential breed book and travels the world lecturing on the breed to which she has devoted her life.
The breed feature in this issue is on English Cocker Spaniels. Breeder-judges and established breeders weighed in to remind us of great dogs of the past we must continue to honor for the legacy they’ve left us, and alert us to disturbing exaggerations and trends we must guard against to retain the unique qualities of the breed.
Collectibles expert Jerome Elliott introduces us to the artists and pieces available to Sporting Group enthusiasts. Some breeds remain virtually unchanged while others have undergone dramatic physical refinements over time.
Also in this issue: the start of a series on AKC rules and regulations; a fascinating interview with Wesley Smith, the author of A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement; and a report of Woofstock, the immensely popular Northern California show circuit that allows exhibitors and judges alike to cut loose, rummage through their trunks and relive the flower-power days of that well-remembered love fest.
Flash! This issue goes to press on the heels of the World Show in Denmark. Best in Show under Dane Ole Staunskjaer in an entry of almost 20,000 dogs was the Japanese Toy Poodle Ch. Smash JP Talk About, owned by the Omuras. Runner-up was the Affenpinscher Ch. Banana Joe v. Tani Kazari, owned by Bill and Zoila Truesdale of the U.S. and shown by Ernesto Lara. This dog recently won the American National Specialty under Chuck Winslow. BIS 3rd was the Miniature Smooth Dachshund Ch. Magik Rainbow Ordinar from Russia. BIS 4th was the black/tan Afghan Hound bitch Ch. Al Nacira Bint Roula von Haussman, born in Chile but Swedish-owned, and this year’s BOB winner at Westminster under Frank Sabella. Thanks to photographer Karl Donvil for the accompanying BIS photo. Look for full coverage of the World Show in the next issue.
Allan Reznik, Editor-in-Chief