Showsight Presents The Rhodesian Ridgeback

“RIDGEBACKS WERE NOT BRED TO KILL LIONS BUT RATHER TO HAVE THEM TRACK THEM.”

physical soundness as well as character and showmanship. An untypical Ridgeback that is sound is useless. A typical Ridgeback that is sound is priceless! ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Barbara Rupert’s interest in dogs began in her native Germany where her parents raised Dachshunds. After marriage in the United States, the first family dog

The Ridgeback must possess good feet with thick pads, sloping, strong pas- terns for shock absorbing—splayed or flat feet are taboo in this breed. Color should be immaterial as long as it falls within the light wheaten to red wheaten color. While white should be kept to a minimum, white sox on an otherwise quality Ridgeback is a nonfunctional fault and is to be judged accordingly. The same goes for some occasional black bibbing. There should be no preference to overall color. While there are no size disqualifica- tions, we need to reward the dog that is close to the prescribed standard. The gait needs to be smooth and effortless, exhibiting power, strength coupled with agility and covering ground efficiently. Topline must remain constant, while legs converge toward single tracking at a fast trot. True breed type demonstrates an effortless stride enabling the dog to go all day. We must try to put emphasis on the positive points rather than fault judge and not dwell on the short comings. The standard is the blueprint, the breeder is the builder and the judge is the building inspector. We must also recognize that success in the breed depends to a large extent on proportion, balance symme- try coupled with motivation, tempera- ment, character and showmanship. Ridgebacks were not bred to kill lions but, rather, to have them track them. keep them at bay and wait for the hunter to come and do his job. The gait of the Ridgeback is methodical, smooth, never cumbersome or racy. He is confident, alert, proud, maintaining an enthusiastic attitude without being exaggerated in body or obnoxious in spirit. The winning combination is a team between dog and handler. The out-standing Ridgeback in the show ring possesses all of the above men- tioned attributes including mental and

GCh. Oakhurst Fruit of the Vine (Fiona) # 1 Ridgeback for 2011

was a Smooth Standard Dachshund. Rhodesian Ridgebacks followed in 1970 and Whippets were added a few years later but Ridgebacks remain the primary breed. Careful breeding under the Oakhurst prefix produced gratifying results in the whelping box and show ring. Oakhurst’s breeding program is widely recognized for both outstanding conformation and tem- perament, having produced close to 100 champions with many achieving the highest honors, including 10 All- Breed Bests In Show, three dogs that earned #1 Ridgeback in the country. The most recent one, a bitch for 2011. Barbara has been chairman of the Standard’s and Elaboration Commit- tee and serves on the Education Com- mittee for the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the US. She has developed and presents Ridgeback Seminars through- out the US Barbara’s AKC judging license was granted in 1985 and is cur- rently approved for the Hound Group and Best in Show. Her assignments have taken her all over the world including All Breed show assignments in Australia, Canada, Mainland Chi- na, Hong Kong, Macau, Russia and South Africa. Her most memorable assignments included judging the Ridgeback National in the US twice (most recently in 2012), the World Congress in the Netherlands as well as the Australian, French, Swedish and Brazilian Nationals. Life after dogs include grandchildren, classical and jazz music, reading, gar- dening, cooking and friends who like to share new adventures. Barbara and her husband Dick share their south- ern California home with several Ridgebacks, a Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund and a co-owned Whippet.

7-year-old male: BIS GCh Oakhurst Gamble on Me.

GCH Oakhurst Rocky Road (Rocco)

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , S EPTEMBER 2017 • 297

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