A Group Show With DOGS BY BO BENGTSON | PHOTOS BY ALAN WALKER T Top: The County Showground in Stafford. Above: Best in Show at Houndshow 2016, Whippet Ch. Nothing Compares To You at Crosscop. 56 his summer, I traveled to England to judge at Houndshow 2016 and, guided by Mark Cocozza, a frequent visitor to US shows, I visited the new building that houses The Kennel Club, founded in 1873, just 11 years before the AKC. I also talked to the KC Chairman Simon Luxmoore (an interview with him will be published in a future issue of Dogs in Review). The Houndshow is by far the largest Group show for Hounds anywhere in the world, hosted by The Hound Association. It was held on August 6 at the County Showground in Stafford in the West Midlands of England. The judges panel almost entirely consisted of foreign visitors from 15 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland and the United States were represented. Frank Kane, a past Crufts BIS judge, was the only Brit ofﬁciating; Saluki specialist Francis Broadway and I were the only Americans. The entry of almost 2,000 dogs (1,985 to be precise) was an increase of about 300 from last year. Even though I was judging Best in Show and Best Puppy, there were no restrictions for me to move around during the day, socialize with exhibitors and watch breed judging. This would not have been the case everywhere, but I checked with DOGSinREVIEW.com a KC representative and was told, “We are not a police state! Just use common sense.” I found this rather refreshing after being exposed to a much more restrictive attitude in some other countries. Entry Numbers at the Houndshow Breed judging took place outdoors in large, beautiful grass rings. Some breeds that we see in the US (Coonhounds, for example) were nowhere to be seen, while others that we don’t have at AKC shows attracted quite large entries. There were 41 Bassets Fauve de Bretagne, 29 Grands Bassets Griffons Vendéens and 17 Swedish Hamiltonstövare. There were also 19 entries in the “Imported Register” class: seven Azawakhs, five Bassets Bleu de Gascogne, five Griffons Fauve de Bretagne and two Bavarian Mountain Hounds. The biggest breed entry, as usual, was Whippets with 266 entries and two judges, one for dogs and one for bitches. They could not agree for BOB, and because I was judging BIS, I was called in to referee, as is the custom in such cases. Other breeds with good figures included Afghan Hounds (143 dogs entered), Basenjis (57), Basset Hounds (69), Beagles (121), Borzoi (84), Scottish Deeerhounds (78), Irish Wolfhounds (71), Norwegian Elkhounds (49), PBGV (47), Rhodesian Ridgebacks (102) and Salukis (70). Dachshunds almost deserve their own chapter — they accounted for 461 dogs, which means that more than one dog in five at the show was a Dachshund! Miniatures and Standards compete as separate varieties; there were 57 Standard Longhairs and 107 Mini Longhairs, 67 Standard Smooths and 117 Mini Smooths, 59 Standard Wires and 58 Mini Wires.