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Molly Sharpe
Chaman Afghan Hounds UK Page 13
(By Steve Tillotson October 2013)

A feature on the Afghan hound published in the UK Kennel Clubs magazine The Kennel Gazette in August 1989 looked back to 1939 in an article entitled "Fifty Years Ago - The Afghan Hound". This is quite an interesting piece because it documents the era leading into WWII, and it will be no surprise to learn that Molly Sharpe and her Chaman hounds figure prominently in this article. Below are some extracts from the article

"Fifty Years Ago - The Afghan Hound"
Jackie Ransom for The Kennel Gazette, August 1989

Jackie Ransom begins a series of articles which look back to 1939. First to be featured is the Afghan hound Cards from that era that give us an insight into breed type PHOTO Molly Sharpe Project

Kennel Club registrations for the Afghan breed rose steadily from 83 in 1934 to 204 in 1938, owever in 1939 the numbers dropped sharply to just 100. Nevertheless eight sets of Challenge Certificates were available between the begining of that year and september 2nd when, with the declaration of war, all Championship Shows were cancelled. At the Glasgow Championship Dog Show held on February 1st and 2nd (Hon Secretary Mr H C Sloan), Afghans were judged by Mr S Crabtree, an all rounder who in 1939 awarded CC's and Toy Groups. At this show Mr Crabtree awarded the dog CC to Champion Taj Akbar Of Chaman (his 3rd) bred and owned by Molly Sharpe (her husband David Sharpe was then Secretary Of The Afghan Hound Association). Molly Sharpe's Chaman prefix was and still is well known to all breeders in the Afghan world. Her first Afghan Int Ch Garrymhor Faiz-Bu-Hazid, born in march 1935, was the first of many Champions from her kennel in Scotland. One of the most famous being Ch Taj Akbar who having won nine CC's by the age of three, became the first Afghan to appear on television which he did in 1938.

(AHT ED note. That reference to Taj Akbar appearing on television is remarkable when you consider that TV wasn't invented until around 1929, and that The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) didn't debut the world's first television service with three hours of programming a day until 1936. So Molly was a TV pioneer as well as a Afghan hound pioneer!)

Molly Sharpe's Ch Taj Akbar Of Chaman's pedigree goes back to the famous Ch Sirdar Of Ghazni, owned by Mary Amps. Mrs Amps bought this dog from the British Lgeation in Kabul where her husband was stationed. Sirdar was reputed to have been bred in the kennels of King Amanullah of Afghanistan, although the Kennel Club Stud Book for 1926 gives the breeder as Afghan Shikari. This dog, born in June 1923 was reddish/fawn in colour with a black muzzle and was considered the finest Afghan seen in this country. A champion in 1938 he became the foundation of the Ghazni Kennel and the sire of several champions. Taj Akbar being his great grandson

The last of the pre-war Champions gaining their title during 1939 were Ch Westmill Purdil Khan, a fawn dog born in 1936 (Westmill Azadulla x Westmill Matta) owned and bred by Mrs M Wood winning at the LKA, Richmond and Kensington, and two bitches Ch Westmill Kariza, a brindle born in 1933 (Ch Westmill Ben Havid x Westmill Matta) also owned by Mrs Wood. Kariza won her third CC and title at the Kensington Show and lastly Faxhill Bathsheba born 1937, a fawn owned by Mrs Rhodes, bred by B F Hall (Faxhill Dost Hammad x Faxhill Kalana) who became a champion at Blackpool

"We owe much to these early breeders, especially Molly
Sharpe, who preserved the bloodlines through the war"

The last show of 1939 was held by the Harrogate Kennel Association on September 2nd, the dog CC was won by Rana Of Chaman, owned by Mr R Floyd, bred by Molly Sharpe, with the bitch CC going to Mansharaf Sirdani. The judge on the day was Mr Chris Houolker, a well known all-rounder

After the war the first CC's awarded were by Chaman Afghans, a son of Taj Akbar - Taj Of Chaman won the dog CC and Tajavia Of Chaman won the bitch CC, both becoming Champins. Ch Taj Of Chaman holds a record that in competition in the breed he was unbeaten - this I believe, still stands today.

Afghan racing, which has become so popular today was experimented with by Molly Sharpe as far back as 1937, when she organized a race meeting at her local Greyhound track. It is reported that chasing the hare the Afghans ran with great speed and considerable enjoyment. Molly's last Afghan Champion - Ch Taj Althea Of Chaman gained her title in 1960

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