AHA holds regular events, educational seminars and judging exams.
A First for the Afghan Hounds – an Online Breed Appreciation Day and Multiple Choice Exam
On Saturday March 20th the great online adventure began. A team drawn from the Afghan Hound Association and the Southern Afghan Club worked very hard and together with our expert speaker, Jill Cross (Gilari Afghans) we delivered our fist Breed Seminar followed by our first Multiple Choice Breed Exam. The day exceeded our wildest dreams. Using Zoom we had an attendance of 78 people. The first 20 minutes was spent whilst friends spotted each other and chatted, with many comments about lockdown hairstyles. It was a happy reunion for a lot of us after many months with little activity in the dog world. We were then treated to a professionally delivered and comprehensive breed lecture by Jill with many great images and some stunning videos. Then with the wizardry of the 21st century we managed a well-filled question session to round off the seminar.
Following this we said goodbye to the majority with a cheerful wave and 23 candidates remained to sit our first online Multiple Choice Breed Exam. This required them to have two devices, one with the Zoom meeting for the purposes of invigilation, and a second to access the exam in Microsoft Forms. This took a little while to achieve but again everyone was very patient. Once underway the exams were completed and returned to me. Due to the popularity of the event we also ran a second session of the exam the next day using a different paper. Results were therefore sent out 2 days later together with Certificates for successful candidates.
This event took a lot of work to organise and we were lucky to have three highly expert computer people to help overcome teething trouble. We also took the time to practice our sessions beforehand and to meet through Zoom with those who were very nervous to iron out problems. The whole event was a great success and we have learned a lot about the advantages of this format with attendees from Lands End to John o’Groats without moving from their homes !
On 21st April the AHA hosted another successful Hound Day event – this time entitled Memoirs, Mentors and Mayhem. An excellent turnout with just over 60 attendees and a full committee on top packed the Hall to capacity. This was a fun filled sunny day which started with historic archives on display. Next our speaker, Roberta Hall (Saxonmill), led a super and sometimes riotous interactive session on “What makes a Good Mentor.” There were some excellent discussions and feedback activities. Then a chance to go over some dogs that you might not have looked at before – an Afghan, a Silken Windhound and a Standard Wire Haired Dachshund were our willing models with their expert owners to explain the finer points.
Then to the usual fantastic lunch prepared by our AHA Bistro Team. After this we spent the afternoon on the field. Melinda Hitch who had an extremely busy afternoon arranging the fun classes and getting the exhibits in to the ring. This gave an opportunity for mentees and mentors to put in to practice some of the ideas from the morning. Alongside, we had our Obreedience competition expertly run by Muriel Boydell (Warrenoak). After much fun and laughter – Team Blue Girls must be congratulated on becoming our Obreedience Champions 2018. A good day was had by all and our sincere thanks to the committee and our helpers for all their hard work and to all those who supported the day, some who are now ‘regulars’ at this annual event. See you next year!
The Afghan Hound Association (AHA) held a very successful marathon day on 28th October 2017. The day started with a short introduction by our Chairman, Susan Rhodes, as to how the breed has developed over the years even before Afghan Hounds were first introduced into this country.
This was followed by our main Seminar speaker, past Chairman Mark Cocozza. Mark gave the attendees a very in depth view of what to remember about Afghan Hounds and how to present them in the best light in the Show ring. He also gave some definite no-no’s as to coat presentation! Following Mark’s lecture, attendees had an opportunity to ask questions.
There then followed a ‘Hands-on’ mentoring session led by a number of Championship show judges. As the AHA are part of the pilot trailing the new JCF we then held a Breed specific Multi Choice exam. We also welcomed some CC judges in other breeds and they all enjoyed their day and were very complimentary. Following lunch there followed a Breed Assessment exam where we had seven candidates. Of those seven, four passed and they are: David Bell, Michaela Hills, David Knights and Cindy Wilson, so congratulations to them. We would like to express our thanks to all who took part in making such a success of the day, especially our guest Mentors Roberta Hall, Dee Milligan-Bott and Liz Millward and also our Breed Assessment panel of Monica Booth-Thompson, Jeff Bunney, Mary Davies, Mary Fisher and chairman Susan Rhodes.
It turned out to be a long day and thanks also has to go to all the committee who attended and helped. It is amazing that we have such a loyal and hard working group of people. Last and by no means least, without the presence of several Afghan Hounds acting as exhibits for the mentoring session and Breed Assessment exam we could not have held these events. So many thanks to their owners and handlers for bringing them to our education day.
On Easter Saturday the Afghan Hound Association repeated at Newbury their popular Spotlight on Sighthounds event, this year featuring Borzois, Deerhounds, Greyhounds, Afghans, Salukis, Azawakhs, Pharoahs and Cirneco dell Etna. A full house enjoyed a morning of short talks, a splendid lunch and plenty of time for discussion. The afternoon on a windy field featured a very homemade Fit for Function Fun Rally course with such tests as the Snow Leopard test, the Mountain test and the Aloofness test. Unfortunately the Tunnel test did not survive the wind long and was blown flat. Most hounds present had a go and were joined by a few ‘pretend sighthounds’. It provided a lot of laughs but also plenty of chances to see the dogs move around the course. Eventual winner was an Afghan, runner-up a Border Collie and Effort Prize to a Cirneco. This event has been successful in allowing people to make connections between breeds and hopefully many new friends.
Aloof Afghan Aloof Azawakh Dead Snow Leopard
Spotlight on Sight-hounds
In Chieveley on Saturday 5th April the Afghan Hound Association broke new ground by holding a day for Sighthound enthusiasts to explore the essential characteristics of their breed and to discover the unique differences between them. A panel of experienced guest speakers gave an insight into eight sighthound breeds, Irish Wolfhounds, Borzois, Sloughis, Whippets, Greyhounds, Afghan Hounds, Salukis and Ibizan Hounds with a guest appearance from a veteran Cirnec o Dell’Etna having a day out. The support surpassed all expectations with over 70 people attending from just about all over the country.
The day was packed, with speakers managing to cover the essentials before lunch and the audience very kindly holding their questions for the afternoon. Most of the speakers touched on the vexing question of exaggeration in conformation, resulting in a separation between working and show specimens of their breed, both in appearance, structure and ability to function correctly. The use of scent as well as sight when hunting was also explored by Pam Marston-Pollock with her Ibizan Hound.
After an excellent lunch the speakers and their hounds moved outside and everyone was able to look at distinctive movements, compare outlines, and get close up to all the hounds. A measure of the success of the day was that despite the rather ‘soft’ weather and after thanks had been given to the speakers it was at least another hour before most people decided to depart.
My personal thanks go to our guest speakers, to all the AHA Committee for their hard work and to all the people who turned up with their hounds to add to the day. I was grateful to everyone for their kind comments as they left. Susan Rhodes
9 September, 2012 – joint AHA / SAC Breed Lecture, Hands-on and Judging Exam
Culverstone Community Centre, Culverstone, Kent DA13 0UJ link
Breed lecture by Mary Pascoe (Sarakhan)
31 March, 2012 – Fit For Function Fun Rally
Twenty dogs took part in our first Fit For Function Fun Rally: 18 Afghans, 1 Azawakh, and 1 Silken Windhund. All hounds and all their handlers deserve special thanks for their good humour. We hope everyone enjoyed themselves.
Best in Rally – Terry & Zephir (Silken)
Best in Agility – Lyn & Marcus/Kye (a tie)
Best Dressed – Tracey & Fleur
Best in Showtime – Tracey & Jai
Best in Fit for Function – Julie & Ozzy
Overall Best in F4F Fun Rally – Vanessa & Lola
Reserve Best in F4F Fun Rally – Heather & Poppy
Judges Award for Special Commendation– Debbie & Ziggy (the singing Afghan)Judges prizes for Special Effort– Paul & Cartier, Lilly & Roxy, Dennis & Kazbek, Debbie & Ziggy
2 April 2011 – Breed Club Event
“Grooming and Presentation of Your Afghan Hound” talk by experienced handler and groomer Mariella Van Der Heyden (Belgium), followed by “Handling Your Afghan Hound in the Ring” class with championship judges and breeders Audrie Vansteelant Benoit (Belgium, Sayadeena), Liz Millward (Alouann) and Mark Cocozza (Freeloud)