Showsight Presents the Whippet

THE WHIPPET

National AOM Ch. Marial’s Padneyhill Illusion, C.D., ARM. Louis was the top racing Whippet in 1979. Photo by Phoebe Booth.

Submitted by Donna Lynch

Submitted by David Samuelson

No preference to color or markings. My priorities: Shape/Type, Bal- ance, Athleticism, Soundness.” “I prioritize traits that make the breed a beautiful athlete. My ideal has its parts fitting together in a harmonious way, not looking like they were put together by a committee. My ideal has a smooth outline in profile, from above, and from head on. It has a flexible topline that does not drop off steeply or have an accentuated arch. There is depth of body with a pronounced curve of underline, a fit body with adequate length of loin; broad thighs in profile that carry down the second thigh; true moving down and back with low, effortless and balanced side gait, but not TRAD.” [ed. Note: TRAD = “tremendous reach and drive.”] “First look is for correct outline as without this the dog is not a good Whippet. Then I look for overall fitness and athleticism… overweight, soft and flabby is the only thing I have ever withheld a ribbon for! Movement is easy to assess as there is no coat…but there may be color and markings that create illusions. Soundness with reach and drive that is not overdone is what I want. Finally, I look for the ‘icing’ features: a good head, nicely made with a strong underjaw; large forward-placed eyes (dark eyes are pleasant, but one must learn about eye color of the dilutes as well); a broader backskull and a nicely-set, crisp rose ear. I also want a good, sound foot as this is a running hound and foundation is critical. Thus overly long or splayed, flat toes (or conversely) a very small cat foot is not desir- able. Since ‘all forms of exaggeration should be avoided,’ I desire a foot in between a cat foot and a hare foot. One feature I ‘split hairs’ with is tail carriage on the move. Whippets with higher tailsets will often carry their tail too high, breaking the horizontal plane of the topline—this distorts the outline that I desire in a Whippet.” “For me, my priorities when judging the Whippet is shape, which includes topline and bottom line, continual flow from a well arched neck, smooth neck into shoulder, a flexible loin, and finished off with a powerful rear. Not correct is the one that peaks in the middle of the back and falls off fast. At first glance, the Whippet should impress the judge as an athlete. On the move, wasted motion would alert that there will be a reduction in speed.” “I look for a moderate package with correct outline/underline, properly conditioned. A Whippet should move effortlessly, without wasted motion. Not always easy to find…” “Conditioning is very important to me and I carefully evaluate muscle when judging.”

(Merci Isle), Donna Lynch (Hamrya), David Samuelson (Dashing), Cindy Scott (Brookwood), Harold “Red” Tatro (Redglen), and Denise Tatro (Redglen). HERE ARE SOME OF THEIR COMMENTS WITH REGARD TO JUDGING THE WHIPPET: 1. Do you think that the Standard adequately describes the Whippet? “I think our General Appearance section says it all. I refer to it first when someone I am mentoring asks me about Whippets.” “Yes. It defines the key characteristics, medium size, elegant and fit…a graceful outline balanced with muscle, powerful gait and elegance is the Whippet. The best line: ‘all forms of exaggeration should be avoided.’” “When educating judges or judging the breed myself, the gen- eral appearance of the Whippet Standard is always at the top of my mind. Great thought is given to the three main considerations: ‘Symmetry of outline, muscular development and powerful gait are the main considerations; the dog being built for speed and work, all forms of exaggeration should be avoided.’” “Since the publication of our Illustrated Standard, I have heard many compliments from non-Whippet people that it is outstanding and I agree. It really spells out what a Whippet should be.” 2. Would you add anything to the Standard? “In my opinion, I think it’s fine as it currently reads…I do wish there was an easy way to drive home the phrase, ‘form follows function.’” “I would address the correct head shape and eye. I would change words. I do not like the wording about ‘barely perceptible stop.’ This has allowed for fill between the eyes and some almost down- faced Whippets to be viewed as correct.” 3. Please comment on your priorities when judging. “My priorities while judging/breeding for our breed is foremost: type, shape, and balance. Athletes! Our Standard describes a ‘medi- um-sized athlete.’ I then look at conformation and structure. All of these aspects will lead to whether or not the dog is sound and how he will carry himself on the move. While moving, I want to see the shape of the dog to remain present with a correct topline. The side gait should be easy, without big effort, showing reach and drive. The head is the last thing I consider…I do love a beautiful expres- sion and face with a long strong neck, but barring any faults, I will not put a pretty face over a better dog. And color is immaterial.

150 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2020

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