Alain Dumortier - France - "Graal Quest" Greyhounds
I think many of you will know who I am, so I will make it short.
I got my first greyhound in 1988 from Mr André Renard’s kennel ‘des Saintes Croisades’; that was D’Lutèce des Saints Croisades, a lovely black bitch, from whom all my dogs descend. This amiable Lutèce was unlucky in having to put up with my first handling steps! Nevertheless she brought home several CACIBs, among others that in Longchamps in 1992. She was bred to Ch. A’ICare des Saintes Croisades and there were only to puppies: Isis and Ipsos des Saintes Croisades, the elderly among you will surely remember them.
That was the first litter that was born here with me. Isis was bred to Solstrand Cold Standard and had fourteen puppies. All of them black, and several of them became champions. The most famous one is my unforgettable Graal Quest Now and Ever who got five champion titles, among them the British one, and went BOB and Reserve Best in Group at Crufts 2002. Now gave the first part of her name to the kennel name Graalquest.
Many others have prolonged our history and still do so, among them GQ Urostar (with Mrs Mueller in the USA), GQ Utter (with Mrs Belgherbi), GQ Unice (with Mr Renard), GQ Burbury, GQ Bikini, GQ Forever, GQ Héloise, GQ James Bond and GQ Just one more. In 2018 we had our tenth litter and Ornella, Oriel and Once look very promising.
In 2001 the CAGF (Club des Amateurs de Greyhounds de France) suggested I should go in for the course for judging, and in December I was appointed to judge. Since then I judge Group X and I also judge parts of other groups (III, V, VII and IX).
I was lucky to judge in about ten countries and especially at some National Championship Shows and National Breed Shows.
Judging is really a pleasure, especially when the breed of my heart is concerned. It is my habit to prefer dogs that are well balanced, well built and most of all have type.
Magnus Hagstedt - Sweden - "Signum" Whippets
I was in my pre-school years in the early 1960-ies when my mother took me to my first ever dog show – I never wanted to leave. In fact I have never left, but stayed in the wonderful world of pure-bred dogs. Friends of my parents had a prominent kennel of Yorkshireterriers where I spent as much time as possible. Through them I also got to know the Afghan Hound breeder Christina Jernberg (El Khyria) where my life-long relationship with Sighthounds also started. I have owned several Afghan Hound champions, but never bred them.
I got my first Whippet in 1971 and have now shared my life with Whippets for over 50 years, also breeding Signum Whippets on a small scale. My motto has always been ”Whippets for every reason”. This is most important for all Sighthound breeds. Form without function is not a matter of choice – all Sighthounds should honour their background and heritage. Apart from breeding Whippets I have also had a small and successful family of Chihuahuas. Some years ago I finally got my first Saluki in partnership with my friend Kjellåke Bjurström (Kajaal). I will not be a breeder of Salukis, but the time spent with them is valued credit to the dogs – the Whippets and Chihuahuas also love the Salukis, which is most important.
I have been a judge for all Sighthounds and the Mediterranean breeds in FCI group 5 since 40 years now. (I also judge breeds in two other FCI groups, 3 and 9). I have been fortunate to judge all around the world, at both small and big events, including ”The greatest dog show in the world” (Crufts).
Judging dogs for me is a way to give back to our community also with a thank you to all the breeders that have shared their knowledge and experience to me through the years since that very first dog show experience when I was a little boy in the early 1960-ies.
I am very much looking forward to be part of the Sighthound Festival at Donaueschingen in 2024.
Foto: Asa Lindhold