INTERVIEW: SANDRA L. FREI, STORMHILL AFGHANS
Sandy and Gini with CH Panjhet of Stormhill, BOB 1973 Afghan Hound Club of America National Specialty
GCH Stormhill’s Wish Upon A Star NAJ, ACT 2
Our Future: CH Stormhill’s Written In The Stars, “SJ”
“I WOULD SAY TEMPERAMENTS ARE MUCH IMPROVED. I THINK THERE ARE SOME NICE DOGS OUT THERE; HOWEVER, MORE ATTENTION NEEDS TO BE FOCUSED ON STRUCTURE. AFGHANS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SQUARE, WHICH MEANS THEY SHOULD APPEAR BALANCED WHEN STANDING AND MOVING. ALSO, THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE ATTENTION PAID TO SOUNDNESS.”
Today, most of the Afghan litters being bred are on the East Coast. Thus, their entries are larger at most shows and they are able to finish their dogs more easily than we can here. Many of the shows we attend have, maybe, one to six Afghans entered at any given show, if that. It’s near- ly impossible to finish a dog locally on a timely basis because of our low entries and lack of majors. At our most recent Ever- green Afghan Hound Club Specialty, we saw our first major in two years, and it was only in dogs. Sadly, the numbers in our breed are dwindling nationwide because breeders have either stopped breeding due to their age or a change in living condi- tions, or have switched to another breed, usually one that requires less maintenance. To tell you the truth, I am not sure how we bring newcomers into our breed. However, in the past couple of years here locally, we have had several newcomers to the breed who are showing their dogs in Conformation. All three have joined our local specialty club. Along with myself and other members of our club, we have made a
8. Please comment positively on your breed’s present condition and what trends might bear watching. I would say temperaments are much improved. I think there are some nice dogs out there; however, more attention needs to be focused on structure. Afghans are supposed to be square, which means they should appear balanced when standing and moving. Also, there needs to be more attention paid to soundness. 9. The sport has changed greatly since you first began as a breeder-exhibitor. What are your thoughts on the state of the fancy and the declining number of breeders? How do we encourage newcomers to join us and remain in the sport? This is a hard question. I think the pandemic, and now inflation and the price of gas, have definitely caused people to rethink their priorities about their involve- ment in the sport, and which shows or events they choose to attend. We are defi- nitely seeing a decline in the number of litters produced and the number of dogs being shown, particularly in the West.
point of introducing ourselves and answer- ing any questions they may have. 10. Where do you see your breeding pro- gram in the next decade or two? I fall into that category of aging breed- ers. Not sure where I’ll be. When I think about breeding, I do the math. How old will I be when they reach 12 to 15 years of age? 11. Finally, tell us a little about Sandy outside of dogs... your profession, your hobbies. I am retired. Truthfully, my hobbies now pretty much center around the dogs. I feel blessed to have met so many won- derful people through my involvement in the sport. Judging our breed has taken me to many corners of the world and allowed me to meet many talented breeders from other countries, as well as judge their beautiful dogs. In closing, I would especially like to thank Terri Vanderzee and her mother, Mary Offerman, for all their help, sup- port, and guidance, which has contributed to Stormhill’s continued success.
86 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 2022
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