with three-generation pedigrees ful fi lled the dream by inheriting the color and other characteristics of the Vizsla while at the same time passing along the somewhat heavier bone structure and wiry multi- layered coat of the German Wirehaired Pointer. Th e fi rst Wirehaired Vizsla to be shown was Dia De Selle, in 1943. By 1944, there were 60 dogs registered. But WWII brought the near extinction of both the Vizsla and the Wirehaired Vizsla in Hun- gary; dogs were killed and kennels were dis- persed or nationalized under the communist regime, while records and stud books were destroyed or lost. Because of the upheaval of the Second World War and the post- war years, the breed’s development in that period is di ffi cult to trace. We rely on anec- dotal information, hand-written pedigrees and oral history. We know that there were some outcrosses to other breeds in addition to GWP; Pudelpointers and Wirehaired Pointing Gri ff ons were certainly used, and possibly even a Bloodhound. A handwritten pedigree for one dog goes back, eleven gen- erations on the sire and ten generations on the dam, to an Irish Setter which was bred in a total of four times “for speed.” Eventually, after many ups and downs, the Wirehaired Vizsla was recognized by the FCI in 1966 as an independent Hun- garian breed, Drótsz ő r ű Magyarvizsla (Wirehaired Hungarian Vizsla) under Standard #239. With the fi rst imports to North America, the UK and Western Europe fromHungary and Czechoslovakia in the 1970s, the Wirehaired Vizsla began gaining popularity around the world. Although recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1977, the Wirehaired Vizsla remained unrecognized in Amer- ica as the result of a sort of “identity cri- sis.” Author and literary editor, Charles Newman discovered the breed in his vis- its to Hungary in the 1960s and imported
his fi rst Wirehaired Vizslas in 1973. But Newman called them “Uplanders” from their origins in the uplands of northern Hungary, believing the name would help distinguish the breed from its smooth cousin, the Vizsla. He formed a club in Virginia with the aim of gaining sup- port for “Uplanders” among American sportsmen and applied for recognition with the Field Dog Stud Book and the American Kennel Club. However, there were far too few in the country for rec- ognition and, because the breed was not recognized by that name anywhere else, AKC and FDSB refused to recognize the breed as the “Versatile Uplander.” Still relatively unknown in the US, the early e ff orts to promote Wirehaired Vizslas as “Uplanders” died out and few records remain of them. A handful of dedicated hunters in Can- ada and the U.S. persisted in their e ff orts to preserve the integrity of the purebred Wirehaired Vizsla through importing purebred registered European stock for their breeding programs and testing the dogs’ versatile hunting ability. NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Assoc.) tested the fi rst WV in 1974 and formally recognized the breed in 1986. Th e WV can be registered in the Field Dog Stud Book through NAVHDA. By 2003, a total of 181 WV, includ- ing those in Canada, had been registered in NAVHDA and the Wirehaired Vizsla Club of America was formed for the purpose of breed rescue and to develop a breed network in the US. By January 2006, over 350 Wirehaired Vizslas had been registered in NAVHDA and the WVCA organized its fi rst board of direc- tors. Also that year, the breed was recog- nized by the United Kennel Club as the Hungarian Wire-Haired Vizsla and the United HWV Association was founded.
Since then, the breed’s numbers have increased much faster. In 2007, the WVCA applied for the Wirehaired Vizsla to be admitted in AKC’s Foundation Stock Service (FSS) and was accepted, e ff ective Jan. 1, 2008. Th e WVCA began collecting pedigrees and applications for its fi rst packet of registra- tions. Th e breed became eligible to com- pete in AKC Companion and Performance Events on Jan. 1, 2009. Th e WVCA was named the AKC parent club in 2010, sanc- tioned to hold hunt tests and given per- mission by AKC to collect a second packet for registrations. Th e Wirehaired Vizsla and the WVCA have continued to grow together in AKC and the breed was admit- ted into the Miscellaneous Class on Jan 1, 2011. Although the UHWVA disbanded in 2012, many continue to show and com- pete in UKC events as well as AKC events and NAVHDA ability tests. Th ere are now over 330 Wirehaired Vizslas registered in AKC-FSS with three-generation pedigrees. Earlier this year, the WVCA applied to the AKC Board of Directors for the breed’s recognition in the Sporting Group and the AKC Board voted in favor of the request. It will be e ff ective July 2, 2014. Th e Wirehaired Vizsla has survived incredible challenges, from wars and near extinction to an American identity crisis. Th e breed keeps growing and improving, thanks to its wonderful qualities that win our love, admiration, and determination to preserve it. Although there are only several thousand —fi ve thousand at most, found worldwide, dedicated kennels and fanciers all over the world work together to protect and preserve our wonderful Wirehaired Vizslas. For more information about the Wire- haired Vizsla and the WVCA, visit http:// www.whvca.org.
“The Wirehaired Vizsla has survived incredible challenges, FROM WARS AND NEAR EXTINCTION TO AN AMERICAN IDENTITY CRISIS.”
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