What to Watch for at Westminster
The Hound Group
The Hound Group
The Hound Group will be judged by the most successful breeder/owner/handler in Westminster history, Patricia Craige Trotter. Pat won the Hound Group there an astounding ten times with her Vin-Melca Norwegian Elkhounds. You may remember her from the BBE final seven at AKC/Eukanuba National Championship where she and CH Vin-Melca’s Margretta represented the Hound Group.
One of the breeder/owner/handler’s we expect to see in the Westminster Hound Group will be Lisa Miller. Her American Foxhound, CH Kiarry's Reflections Of The Sun. Sunny was the best American Foxhound in 2008 with seven BIS and was the BOB at last year‘s show. This year he has won two BIS, including the one that stopped the Best In Show winning streak of the Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, at ten. He has also won the Hound Group at the Sand and Sea Kennel Club last week finishing ahead of the 2008 top Hound, the Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition. Sunny, bred and owned by Lisa, Donna Millman & Les Millman, co-owned with Harry Miller, Lisa's husband.
The aforementioned Harrier, Coda, finished 2008 with 22 BIS, but has not won a BIS yet this year. However, Judge Trotter has awarded Coda the top award in the past, though that is not a reliable predictor of success at Westminster. Coda, the top Harrier ever, was bred by Jeff & Barbara Fox, Linda Johnston, & Susan Lowder, is owned by Susan and Dr. and Mrs. William Truesdale, and handled by Kim Pastella Calvacca.
Less rare than the Foxhound or Harrier, but more ancient, is the Scottish Deerhound. The best Deerhound in 2008 and the number two Hound is CH Jaraluv Ouija. Ouija won 16 BIS last year, many of them coming as she competed with kennelmate CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit, the Giant Schnauzer, the number one dog in 2008. Ouija has been resting up after the 2008 campaign at home with breeders/owners Ray & Jana Brinlee (She is co-owned with Steven & Eileen Biles), but is entered. She would have to be on any Hound Group judge’s short list.
One other hound that has caught fire lately is the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, CH Rokeena Carte Blanche, an Australian import. CeeJay has already won three BIS this year. CeeJay, an Australian import, is the 2008 PBGVCA National Specialty Winner and a multiple BIS winner in Australia and the USA. This brilliant mover was bred by Robin Wallis of Gisborne, Australia, is owned by Robin and her, husband, Russell, and Jose, Yvonee, & Christina Herrera, and handled by Jane Alston-Myers.
Next up, a look at the Working Group.