Some shows are too important and too pretty to get rained on. That’s how members, exhibitors and judges feel about The Hound Classic, the elegant Group show put on by the Western Hound Association of Southern California in picturesque Oak Canyon Park, Silverado, Calif. So it was with no small amount of disbelief that we listened to ominous weather forecasts in the days leading up to the show weekend, April 14-15.
The independent specialties bore the brunt of foul weather on Friday the 13th, as pounding rain, hail and gale-force winds blew through the show grounds. Dog people are troopers so they took it in stride, even the judges who had travelled from as far as Australia, England and Paraguay. The show committee chaired by Lou Guerrero battled the elements through the day. On Saturday morning, other than muddy patches here and there, it was business as usual. The warmth and sun ushered a return to more favorable California weather; pink banners and hanging baskets of flowers made the park look festive once more and everyone was ready to celebrate a weekend of great hounds.
From an entry of 624 on Saturday, judge Debbie Petersen chose as her Group First the mahogany brindle Afghan Hound GCh. Thaon’s Mowgli, owner-handled by Jay Hafford. Group Second went to the Borzoi GCh. Aashtoria Wildhunt Hidden Agenda; Third to the Basset Hound GCh. Splash’s Riverboat Gambler and Fourth to the Rhodesian Ridgeback GCh. Kimani’s Time Honored. On Sunday it was Juan Carlos Vasconsellos of Paraguay who sorted through the Best of Breed winners. From an entry of 604 he selected the gold-and-white Borzoi GCh. Aashtoria Wildhunt Hidden Agenda owner-handled by Stuart McGraw to head his lineup. Group Second was awarded to the Basset Hound Desiree Acres Dozer; Third to the Irish Wolfhound GCh. Limerick Frosty The Showman and Fourth to the Saluki GCh. Srinagar Glory Hallelujah Ladyhawk.
Sweepstakes finals were split into Scenthound and Sighthound this year — great fun for the judges, exhibitors and gallery as it gave us all a taste of what Group Realignment would be like. On Saturday, Julie Wright chose as her Best Scenthound in Sweepstakes the Wirehaired Dachshund Kadell’s Rustic Gold W. Allan Reznik judged Best Sighthound in Sweepstakes and selected the Basenji GCh. Jasiri-Sukari Win Tin Tin. Debbie Petersen evaluated the two and awarded Best Hound in Sweepstakes to the Wire Dachshund. On Sunday, Sweeps honors went to the President of the AKC, Dennis Sprung, and his bride Susan. For Best Scenthound in Sweepstakes Susan went with the Black and Tan Coonhound Ch. Jazzman Know When To Hold ’Em. Dennis selected the Whippet Nysa Hill Timeless Tempo of Bohem for Best Sighthound in Sweepstakes. For Best Hound in Sweepstakes Mr. Vasconsellos chose the Whippet.