COMING TO A SHOW RING NEAR YOU: THE BLACK/BLACK & WHITE GSP
& white dog by the name of WS Ciro v Bichtelwald. “Ciro” is still known as one of the most influential GSP sires, yet he would have been disqualified in the show ring here. More than once in the past several years, the GSPCA was peti- tioned by members seeking to align the AKC Breed Standard with the rest of the world in terms of accepting black as an allowable color. Each time, it inched closer to the required two-thirds major- ity but fell short. Finally, in response to a petition that was present- ed to the Board of Directors of the German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America in March of 2022, a vote ensued that not only achieved the two-thirds, but an overwhelming 75 percent major- ity. The change was approved by the AKC Board at their October 2022 meeting, published in The Gazette , and will become effective on January 1, 2023. Yes, indeed, black and black & white GSPs are coming to a show ring near you! “While black and black & white GSPs had been accepted in much of the rest of the world, they have been considered taboo here in the US by show breeders. The concern was that black and black & white GSPs were the result of cross- breeding with field Pointers and Setters by field trialers seeking a bigger-running dog. However, folks truly interested in the performance aspect of our breed took an interest in the purebred black GSPs of Europe and began importing and breeding them many years ago.”
In 1926, the first documented import to the United States was a heavily ticked and patched liver bitch from Austria. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930 and a Breed Standard by the National German Shorthaired Pointer Dog Club was accepted in 1935. That Standard, stating the black coat or tri- color as a fault, appears to have been loosely translated from the 1902 German Standard, which, of course, was several years before black was re-introduced. So, this seems to be a reasonable explana- tion for the omission of black. While black and black & white GSPs had been accepted in much of the rest of the world, they have been considered taboo here in the US by show breeders. The concern was that black and black & white GSPs were the result of cross-breeding with field Pointers and Setters by field trialers seeking a bigger-running dog. However, folks truly interested in the performance aspect of our breed took an interest in the purebred black GSPs of Europe and began importing and breeding them many years ago. It has not been unusual to see black GSPs in Field Trials, Hunt Tests, Obedience Trials, and all other Performance events. As a matter of fact, a solid black bitch was the GSPCA Open Gundog of the Year in 2011 and then won the GSPCA National Gundog Amateur Championship in 2012, and a black & white bitch was High in Trial at the National Specialty Show in 2000, 2003, and 2006! Black has been listed as a color choice on registration applications for many years, even though it has been a disqualification for the Conformation show ring. For me personally, I encountered my first black GSP some- where around 1990; a lovely girl imported from a well-known Aus- tralian Kennel. Things, of course, were much different then, with no social media to expose us to anything other than what we expe- rienced locally. So, I became aware that there was a whole world of GSPs beyond my local show rings and I was truly intrigued. Around that time, import KS Int. CH Zobel vom Pregelufer, a handsome liver & white dog, was making a name for himself here in the States. He quickly finished his AKC show championship and became very prominent as a stud dog. Trace many of today’s top show lines back several generations and you will find “Zobel.” How ironic it is that Zobel was sired by a world-renowned black
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jim and Denise Avery purchased their first German Shorthaired Pointer shortly after they were married in 1985. Drawn to the breed for its beauty and versatility, Denise has always had equal interest in both the conformation and the hunting ability of GSPs. In addition to actively showing in Conformation and working their dogs in the field, the Averys dabble in Rally, Obedience, Dock Diving, and FastCAT. Denise has a bit of an obsession with proving the breed is still the all-purpose gundog it was intended to be. Breeding under the Windheim prefix since 1994, Denise finds great joy in sharing her dogs and her passion for the breed, and the knowledge she has gained over the past many years, with those new to or interested in GSPs.
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2022 | 311
Powered by FlippingBook