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Afghan Hound Club Of America National Specialty
San Diego, California, 1995

Report compiled by Steve Tillotson

Editor Note - I did not attend the 1995 speciality, but I had many conversations with friends in the UK (where I then lived) and I made notes of those conversations, from which I compiled this retrospective report. One thing in particular I remember in all these conversations was that my English friends were very impressed with the dog show, and of more importance, impresesed with the quality of The American Afghan Hound seen at San Diego. Some Brits at that time, held a sterotypical view of American Afghan Hounds, based mainly on a limited knowledge, probably confined to reports and photo's they had read/seen in breed publications, and thast perhaps was their only experience/knowledge of USA Afghan Hounds. To my surprise at the time, without exception, every Brit visitor to San Diego I spoke to enthused about the organziation and glamour of the event, and how "stunning" individual Afghan Hounds were and of the high quality of exhibits and the very high standard of presentation throughout .

Putting some context on the above. The early 1990's saw a great stride forward in terms of countries around the world becoming more aware of other countries Afghan Hounds. The Internet had a lot to do with this, but there was a lot more going on in that era. The distribution of "Taco in a bottle" (as I light heartedly refer to the distribution via AI of Taco's genes all over the world), The major event of an American Bred Afghan Hound (Ch Tejas Conquistador) winning breed at Crufts and dominating the Crufts years of 1996. 1997, 1999, 2000). "Riot" (her call name) is still the current bitch CC record holder in the UK and is further evidence of this change.

It was also the era of "congresses" There were around 6 Afghan Hound World Congresses held all around the world in the decade of the 90's. This had the great benefit of bringing together people from different nations to discuss their common interests.The Afghan Hound World Congress for 1995 was held in.... San Diego.

After I moved to the USA permanently in 1999, I remember going to National Specialties and bumping into Brits I never imagined would ever cross the pond to attend. Some of these Brits being (or so I thought) die-hard Brit Afghans only type enthusiasts. Over the years not only have I seen these people over and over at the American National, several have since imported USA stock to improve and develop their bloodlines. So overall, I think 1995 San Diego came at the best possible time, in an era that saw significant changes in the International Afghan Hound Arena with a greater appreciation and understanding of each others Afghan Hounds

The list of overseas visitors to Sand Diego included - Mark Cocozza, England. Erika Rodde, Germany. Christobel Holmes, Scotland. Jillian Knight-Messenger England. Roberta Posa, Switzerland. Ulf Jorgensen, Denmark. Espen Engh, Finland. Monica Booth, England. I am sure our regular Australian friends were in attendance, and many more I didn't record in my notes. I noted that reports of the time stated there were several hundred overseas visitors from around 20-25 different countries. This surely was the most internationally attended breed show ever.

The Afghan Hound world not only experienced an increase in the International "people" interactions and movements in this era, but also the dogs exhibited included exhibits from overseas. I understand that 20 plus overseas Afghan Hounds were exhibited at the National coming from 13 different countries. Again I think San Diego set the mark here. My notes state there were exhibits from South America, Canada, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Spain. Unprecedented number of International exhibits, how wonderul that must have been to be able to compare all these different and famous bloodlines.

On hindsight, we perhaps didn't realise at the time (the 1990's) just how "small" our Afghan Hound world was to become, and has since become and how strangers have become friends.

The entry in Intersex was nearly 100 (98 to be precise I believe). Can you imagine that today? With the lower entries today and lower registrations etc, that is more exhibits than in an entire speciality. How things have changed in the 15 years since San Diego.

RESULTS (Judges - Robert Stein dogs and intersex, Ed Kauffman bitches)

BOB Ch Tryst Or Grandeur
BOS Ch Tifarah's High Flying Victory
BOW Desiree's Tobias
WD Desiree's Tobias
RWD Scothills Final Edition
WB Myriad Jovan Red Sea
RWB Boxadan Alexis The Bitch

Not only was this a special show, but a very special winner. Tryst was top dog all-breeds in 1995. She eventually became the winning-est hound of all time, winning over 161 BIS's and 25 Specialty BIS's before she retired. Tryst went on to win the breed at Wesminster 95, 96, 97. I believe the entry under Bob Stein at San Diego is a record entry for a Speciality in the US. Tryst had some fantastic competition at this show, consider this - she had to compete against Buena Vista Khabadar 1994 National BIS, Regency who would go on to win the 1996 National BIS, Tifarah's high flying victory who went on to win BIS at the 1998 National, Xandali Isabeau Of Boanne, who became National winner 2000, 2002. So Tryst had to beat the previous years BIS winner as well as three other hounds who would go on themselves to win a total of 6 National BIS's. Tryst's win at San Diego was surely something special

The whole "everything" about this National was superb and outstanding. Palm trees, sunshine, great Californian cuisne for the overseas visitors, combining the National Speciality with the World Congress, bringing all those interested in our breed together in the happiest and enjoyable of environments, privelaged to be able to watch and enjoy so many wonderful Afghan Hounds performing, along with their owners and handlers. The 1995 Specialty will always stand out as THE National Specialty to be remembered, and it will surely be a hard act to follow.

Steve Tillotson, January 2012


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