SANDRA L. FREI BREEDER INTERVIEW BY ALLAN REZNIK STORMHILL AFGHANS
1. Where did you grow up? I am originally from Southern Califor- nia. I grew up in la Canada-Flintridge. 2. Do you come from a doggy family? If not, how did the interest in breeding and showing purebred dogs begin. Yes, my mother (Virginia R. Withing- ton) got her first Afghan Hound when I was around four years old. His name was Koh-I- Baba UD. He didn’t turn out to be a show dog, so she decided to turn to training him in Obedience. He became the first Afghan in the history of the breed to earn a Util- ity degree (UD), which at that time was the highest degree you could achieve in Obedi- ence. Her first Conformation dog, and the dog she began her Stormhill breeding pro- gram with, was Ch. Stormhill Silver Dream, a son of Ch. Taejon of Crown Crest. “Tae- jon” was a very influential stud dog in his time, and was bred and owned by Kay Finch of Crown Crest Kennels.
3. Who were your mentors in the sport? Please elaborate on their influence. My mother was my primary and most important mentor. She was friends with all the great breeders of the past who helped shape the breed into what it is today. These important breeders included Kay Finch of Crown Crest Afghans, Sunny Shay of Gran- deur, Bob and Babbie Tongren of ben ghaZi, Reigh and Dewey Abram of Dureigh, Lois Boardman of Akaba, Ned and Sue Kauff- man of Holly Hill, Pat Stephenson of Tajmir, Jim and Mary Nesbitt of Mecca, and Wally Pede of Scheherezade. Of course, over the years I learned a lot by training the dogs and going to handling classes, observing other great handlers in our breed as well as professional handlers, talking to people I knew in the breed, going to club meetings and seminars, etc. Back when I first started showing, which was in the early 1970s, Afghans were at the height of their popularity. There were a number of
pictured at top: Multi BIS & SBIS AM & CAN GCH Stormhill’s Sweet Dreams at Raffica, “Ella”
54 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 2022
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