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Author Liz O'Connor (UK Renza Afghans)

(Sweepstakes classes are for "puppies" up to 18 months and are split into dogs and bitches, at LeHigh the classification was 2-4 months, 4-6 months, 6-9 months, 12-15 months, 15-18 months. There is an award for Best In Sweepstakes and Best Opposite. Regular Classes were 2-4, 6-9, 9-12, 12-18 months, with awards for Best Puppy In Show, Best Opposite Puppy, Best In Show and Best °pposite In Show. There were also classes (non-competitive) for Major Pointed Dogs/Bitches, a Parade of Veterans and Junior Showmanship.)

The setting for the show was beautiful, with a large ring adjacent to the lake, flowers decorating the ringside, plus a table near the ring laden with an array of prizes for winners. One of the prizes on offer was decided by raffle for a pastel drawing of your Afghan by Elizabeth Harvey Treharne, a well known artist who has been involved with Afghans for a considerable number of years.

The hospitality extended to me and Terry was second to none; the show committee were to be congratulated on their organisation, and the exhibitors were attentive, polite and friendly. The entry (I am told) was exceptionally good and I had a great time, but I think my "British" ring control was very different to what they expected! As I said they are very attentive, and it took no time at all for them to realise my method of judging.

The politeness of exhibitors to each other deserves to be mentioned - they each gave one another plenty of space for themselves and their dogs, no-one running up the back of another, and if you ask them to move, the first exhibitor (AT EVERY SHOW WITHOUT FAIL) turned to the next and asked if they were ready to move their dogs.

A litte brother and sister won Best Puppy and Best Opposite- BEACHBROOOK'S FlRE AND RAlN (Major pointed) and BEACHBROOK'S STORMY WEATHER. A lovely pair of black and tans, who have lots of style and are destined for greater wins. This was a super litter with three others winning under me. My Best In Show was BEACHBROOK NICK OF TIME, a Taco grandson, who moved with spring, lift and suspension, add to this acres of ground cover and you'll know why he appealed so much! Best Opposite to him was ELITE'S SILVER FEATHER, she was joined in my line-up by three of her littermates! I found her exquisite, so feminine, and she used herself well on the move.

Before the ususal photocall, I was presented with some beautiful gifts - a bud vase, notelets and kitchenware, all depicting the same Afghan's headstudy

Back at David's and MaryAnn's, it was a great opporrtunity to talk with exhibitors and owners, and hear their points of view regarding our breed. They were a very friendly crowd and I had good discussions with them. I had a lively chat with Joe Kluchinsky, owner of the Bokhara affix who has been involved with the breed for nearly forty years. I was keen to listen to his views on the breed today in the USA, but l think my observations regarding tails gave him food for thought!

Having had the opportunity to talk with them and understand their beliefs and concerns for the breed in America, it grieves me to see the scathing attacks they are subjected to in the British Dog Press, by those that think they know so much about the breed in the USA, and yet they obviously know next to nothing. I talked to many breed enthusiasts, and believe, in general, their only difference to British enthusiasts is emphasis on different breed points; that said, they love the breed passionately and are all aiming to adhere to their Breed Standard (which, incidentally, used the British Breed Standard as its blueprint, and has seen far fewer changes than ours has). I see no reason to criticise them for that.


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