Cal Perry Interview 1979

The 2011 AWC Southern Specialty will honor Cal Perry this year. Here is a copy of the artwork done by Yvonne Sovereign which will appear on the plates for the winners and a great article from 1979 with Calvin interviewed by the Whippet Magazine.

Southern Specialty Plate

2011 Southern Specialty Logo

“Reprinted from The Whippet Magazine, by permission of the editor of the Whippet Magazine”

The Whippet Interview

Whippet: How long have you been involved in purebred dogs?

Perry: Well let’s see. I have been attending dog shows all my life. When I was about 12 years old I used to pay my older brother to take me to dog shows. It cost me a fortune. He used to wait 3 or 4 hours for me. I used to go especially to see the Afghans because at that time, which would have been in the early 50’s, Afghans were very exotic and down here in Florida we had only seen five or six per show. Mostly specials. They were very different in type, but they were very glamorous and exotic and it was really one of the rare breeds at the time, if you can believe it. And there would be two or three local dogs that were badly in need of grooming, and then these lovely specials of varying types.

I don’t recall ever seeing a Whippet until about the summer of 1952 which was the year that I finished with high school and I was at Harvard summer school and this young couple used to come in and exercise their very large fawn Whippet, I believe a bitch, in the Harvard yard. I thought it was the funniest looking dog I had ever seen. I had been very interested in Greyhounds before this growing up in St. Petersburg, Florida where the worlds oldest Greyhound track is located. We used to go watch them train and so forth and I had friends that had pet race Greyhounds that had been rejects from the track. I used to go visit one particular girl and take her dog to the beach. I didn’t really go to see the girl, I went to see her dog. We had this mad affair going (the dog and I) and this is really how my interest in sighthounds got started. So, this is why I am not opposed to people who get interested in sighthounds through race dogs because you have to be stimulated in some way and this is as good a way to get started or interested in sighthounds as any other, I think.

Pagebrook Donald

Ch. Appraxin Pagebrook Donald (Ch. Appraxin Mind Duster x Ch. MorShor's Fair Play)

Whippet: Did you have any other dogs?

Perry: I have had other breeds, yes, IG’s, Borzoi, Afghans, Japanese Chow, Smooth Fox Terriers and even a Bedlington champion. I think when I first started looking for show dogs very seriously I was looking for a Greyhound. And at the time I really could find none, I knew of Elsie Neustadt, but she had nothing for sale. So really as a second choice I fell in love with a Whippet called Ch. Whipoo’s Spatarib of Meander. He was a dog that Meander had bred that the Jacobs in Illinois had so I went to visit them for a weekend and bought one of his daughters and that was my first Whippet who turned out to be Ch. Whipoo’s White Lustre.

Whippet: What were her bloodlines?

Perry: She was by the Spatarib dog who was a Bob White son out of one of the Whippet bitches which I think was half meander, a quarter Stoney Meadows and a quarter Pennyworth. I used to be better at pedigrees than I am now.

Whippet. Was that the beginning of Appraxin?

Perry: Not really. I was already in to Borzoi and my first Borzoi was Trezur Appraxin that I got from Russell Everhart in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The dog went to about three shows and did very well and then contracted some rare disease and died. But I kept the kennel name Appraxin from. my Borzoi, as the kennel name for my Whippets. I never did have a litter of Borzoi. I tried.

The first Whippet I got was in about 1957, the Whipoo’s White Lustre from the Jacobs. She finished fairly easily that same year, later in the year I got Meander Town Topics from the Shearer sisters in Virginia. This dog was very near and dear to me, even more than the bitch. He had fourteen points in a very short time, and the week before he might have finished he was hit by a car. I lived way out in the woods, but somehow the dog was chasing another dog and got run over. It was very tragic and I was very upset about it. But later I went back to Meander and got another dog and so forth so my basic start was through this Meander dog and Whipoo bitch.


CH. APPRAX IN HOME JEROME (Ch. MorShor's Whirling Home x Meremites Jill of Craigwood)

Whippet: What was the first litter you bred?

Perry: The first litter that I had would have probably been about 1960. I bred Whipoo’s White Lustre to Ch. Stoney Meadows Red Fox. I finished one out of that litter who is Ch. Appraxin Reynard. He was the first champion that I had bred. His brother, Appraxin Snow Fox, CD, appears in some of my dogs pedigrees way way back even now through a dog that I acquired in the last few years Ch. Westgate’s DuBonnet who I got from Ann Wonson in Massachusetts. Also in 1959 or 1960, Doris Wear of Stoney Meadows fame gave me Ch. Stoney Meadows Sprint who won our National Specialty in 1960 and was a BIS winner in Canada and a Group winner in the states and had probably more best of breeds for a year or two than anyone else, mostly because I showed a great deal at that time. I was young and enthusiastic. He is still behind one of my brood bitches that I have that I got from Melody Howarth Gomes up in Rhode Island. It is interesting that a lot of our dogs don’t show Appraxin on either parent, but they go directly back to Appraxin breeding. And it is sort of the old story that other people have more of my own bloodlines than I do, lots of time, because I have sold dogs or placed dogs or have dogs out on terms. You see Appraxin in your pedigrees but it is not necessarily right up front.

Basically my breeding program stems from the brood bitch, Ch. Pennyworth Highstyle, who was a Courtney Fleet Foot daughter out of a Fleeting Falcon bitch. This bitch bred to my second Meander dog, Meander Shake Down, who proved very valuable for a stud dog produced Ch. Appraxin Mind Duster who we call Junior. He has been a very successful stud. He has produced several very good champions. Several group winners and I have liked the stuff that he has produced overall. They need certain improvements, but overall he’s probably been the best producer I have had.

During all of this time, starting about 12 years ago, Dianne Horton Bleecker (Morshor) and I have been in somewhat of a partnership and we have either been very close neighbors or under the same roof for alot of this time and our dogs overlap a great deal. Of course, her basic line is Stoney Meadows combined with Highlight which are Mrs. Hodges dogs, especially through Whirlaway who was a inbred Barn Dance son. So we have had a lot of Barn Dance breeding with an infusion of Stoney Meadows again through the famous bitch Stoney Meadows Imp of Satan. Another dog that I think has contributed to my dogs is a Mardormere dog that I was very lucky to get. Skyrocket of Mardormere. I got him when he was about 9 or 10 years old and he was just a beautiful, very stylized typy dog (with faults) and he was very extreme. But we used him a couple of times. He was very hard to breed. We had a lot of fun outcrossing to him. He is behind some of my stuff too and we got some really outstanding heads and gorgeous bodies and lost a lot of movement with some of his progeny. He did have one very good son who was very sound too that the Bruce Bell’s in Massachutts have, Ch. Kapene Hemi who I think would be a very valuable stud dog if anyone would use him. He was bred by Dianne Bleecker and Barbara Collins of Florida.

Junior Miss

CH. APPRAXIN JUNIOR MISS (Ch. Appraxin Mind Duster x MorShor's Cicada (Whirlaway sister)

Going back more to the earlier years, I never had a great deal of success in the first few years of actually breed­ing. We finished dogs, but lots of time they were only finished because we tried so hard to finish them. Sprint was never a great producer. He had two very good daughters out of a Pennyworth bitch, Ch. Black Orchid that Peggy Newcombe bred. But my bitches weren’t the right type for the dog. I had smaller bitches and this dog needed larger bitches. So really he wasn’t a huge success as a breeding animal, but he appears in some pedigrees and I loved him.

In the last 12 years we have had great success finishing the Whirlaway children. I think we finished 5 from a litter out of a Courtney Fleet Foot daughter, Ch. Pennyworth Golden Glory, of Peggy Newcombe’s breeding. Whirlaway combined well with the Meander line too. We took some of the bitches back like Whirlaway daughters or grandchildren back to the Meander Shakedown or the Mind Duster dogs. This brought in pigmentation, color, soundness, size and length of leg and so forth. It was combining the houndiness of the American type and the soundness of the American type with some of the style and quality of the English ones. That is what we have tried bascially to do. I think.

It is interesting that a dog I acquired after he was grown and partially finished, Ch. Westgate DuBonnet has had a recent influence on my breeding. He is a half brother to one of Cora Miller’s first basic dogs her Flying Machine, a lovely red dog. I suppose when you get back into the pedigrees of a lot of people that started around the same time, they are, of course, quite similar. Different individuals but the basic bloodlines being the same.

Whippet: Who was a contemporary of yours that started around the same time that you did?

Perry: Exactly at the same time was Janet Koch who lived in Massachusetts and later moved to Florida and who has recently passed away, Sheldegren Whippets. Joan Bartlett in Massachusetts started much the same time that I did. I am sure that alot of the California people did too. I don’t know the exact years, but I am sure that a lot of us started at pretty much the same time in the late 1950’s.

Whippet: In what features do your dogs excell?

Perry: Well, they are very loveable! Seriously, I like to have very sound, houndy, dogs. I like long tallish dogs. Very much in the order of a Greyhound in miniature as opposed to a shorter dumpier dog. I like soundness and elegance. Style and type all together. It is very important in our area to have soundness because we have so many all-rounder judging that without a sound dog it is much harder to win. Frankly, I like to pick a dog on type because without type what do you have? Not much! But if you can have both soundness and type, of course, you’ve got it all! We try to have lovely colors. I like the darker colors – brindles, orange brindle is probably my favorite color. I like dark pigmentation. I am a stickler on front movement. I don’t own a dog and haven’t for a number of years that didn’t move properly and really well in front. They must reach! It just can’t abide anything that even suggests hackney. I also don’t like bad ears and I try very hard not to have them. You get them very occasionally, but we don’t keep anything that doesn’t have a correct ear.

Banned in Boston

Ch. Appraxin Banned in Boston (Ch. Westgate's Dubonnet x Sporting Fields Ms. O'Brian)

Whippet: Mrs. Doris Wear mentions in “The Breeders Forum” that she feels the East Coast badly needs more breeder-judging. She feels the Pacific Coast is much more fortunate in this regard. Do you feel this way?

Perry: I am very much for breeder-judges. I think that we in the South get almost no breeder-judges. I feel that a knowledgeable breeder judge is the epitome of good judging. I think that all-rounders are very important and maybe keep us interested in breeding sound dogs, showy and eye catching dogs, but it is your breeders who help you cement type and reward “the look” which is the Whippet. Hopefully it would be a ‘purist looking at your product, I mean that their opinion would mean a great deal more than the average all-rounders opinion. Some all-rounders have been excellent Whippet judges, Alva Rosenberg and Winnie Heckman. There are several that are superior and certainly on a par with your best breeder-judges. Overall, I would prefer to show under a breeder anytime.

Whippet: How many litters do you breed a year?

Perry: Well, up until the past four or five years we probably have had 3 to 5 litters a year. Now we are down to one or two. One is really enough.

Whippet: When do you grade your litters? Do you have any color preference?


Calvin Perry judging. Stoney Meadows Queen's Flight (Ch. Stoney Meadows Royal Flight x Stoney Meadows Flighty Queen), winning BlSweeps at the A.W.C. Eastern Specialty — September 10, 1978.

Perry: I think you can evaluate them somewhat starting at eight weeks, but I am so often wrong and I am very im­patient and get rid of all the wrong ones so I am really not a good person to ask. Ideally you should keep them until they are 10 months to a year old, because you are much more apt to end up with what you really like. It is hard to keep that many that long and it’s not really fair to the dogs. It’s better to get them out even if you make an occasional mistake. Some of our most successful dogs have been dogs that we have let go early that people have made a great deal out of or have done alot with them which, you know, if they had lived with us until they were a year old they might not have been quite as charming and successful later. I prefer the darker colors, the deep colors, the brindles. I try to like white and brindle because that is all we get. I like fawns and reds very much but we almost never see them. Color is of secondary importance — for sure!!

Whippet: How many dogs do you keep in your kennel?

Perry: We have about 10 or 12 adults and usually a litter on the grounds and maybe a teenager or two also who must live in the house.

Whippet: How do you feel about culling?

Perry: It is very necessary I think. I have been very lucky in the last four or five years in placing dogs. I work in a large office and can often place them rather well. But, I much prefer putting one to sleep than placing it indiscriminately and especially a bitch. I think we have to practice euthanasia but hoepfully not very often anymore. Whippets are fabulous pets!

Whippet: At what age do you start showing your dogs?

Perry: We usually get a puppy out a few times when it is very young. And sometimes they finish from the puppy class or come very close to it. Some dogs just don’t catch on until they are a year and a half or more. We try to take them to matches alot when they are babies. I start my dogs out when they are pretty young, but I don’t put them in Open. Either in Puppy or Bred By class until they are well over a year old.

Whippet: How is the Whippet interest in Florida? Has the Whippet population grown?


Left: CH. APPRAXIN MIND DUSTER (Ch. Meander Shakedown x Ch. Pennyworth High Style) and Right: CH. MORSHOR'S MISCHIEVOUS IMP (Ch. Pennyworth Would You Believe x Ch. Stoney Meadows Imp of Satan)

Perry: I started showing in Florida about 15 years ago after showing in the New England area for 4 years previously. When I started sometimes there would be no other Whippets. Sometimes Janet Koch would have a special or a class dog and then Reagan Meadows from Columbus, Georgia with Jaduli Whippets would appear and he often had a special shown or a special of his breeding would be shown. So, really for the first 3 or 4 years in the sport in Florida we were the only three showing at all. Then through the years Peggy Newcombe moved here with her Pennyworth Kennels, Dianne Horton Bleecker moved here with. Morshor all in a very close area. Barbara Collins started breeding. Elaine Usherson breeding some very nice Whippets in south Florida and the Miami area. The Stan Wilson’s moved to Florida with Flippet Whippets so we really had a hot bed of Whippets and then in the January shows we were very honored with Cora Miller coming down and Doris Wear and we get alot of the biggies down here and have a lot of fun. The Butts winter in Florida and add to the excitement and quality. We have very good entries. Most of our shows are major shows. We don’t have to have quite as many to make a major as they do on the West Coast, thank goodness! Some of the Spring and Fall shows are smaller but almost every show is at least two or three points.

Whippet: Do you have much problem with heartworm in this area? And how do you fight it?

Perry: Oh yes, we have to give Sterid Carorcide from the first meal of the puppies for the rest of their lives. So it is no problem because we medicate every day.

Whippet: Do you race or course or participate in any obedience?

Perry: I have never been into obedience but we do course and do have two coursing champions who are also Group winners.

Whippet: Is coursing pretty popular in Florida?

Perry: Yes, I think so. It is fun to do on Sunday afternoons.

Whippet: Now let’s talk about Monorchidism.

Perry: I have gone for three years with a litter or two each year and have not had one monorchid or cryptorchid and then in one year maybe raise one male puppy that is complete. They are all basically the same breeding or even sometimes the same dogs so it is just such a fluky thing. We just laugh and say it is something in the water. But it is a problem in the breed. I don’t know how we will ever get over it. It is one reason to cull. It is heartbreaking because very often your best puppies are monorchids.

Whippet: What do you think about the recent survey that was sent out allowing neutered and spayed dogs to race?

Perry: I am not familiar with the survey, but I think letting them race is a good idea. It gives them something to do. It keeps them off the streets.

Whippet: How would you say the Whippet has improved or regressed over the years?

Perry: Oh, I think, that there has been real improvement. There are far more attractive Whippets than there used to be. Individual specimens are very outstanding in the past but there has been a great improvement overall. There is a great deal more elegance in head and neck. Much more uniformity in size. I think that a great deal of that has to do with the Barn Dance, Whirlaway progeny who were among the first stud dogs you could breed to and get any consistency in your litters. Before you would get great big ones and real small ones all in the same litter. I think that there is much more consistency as to size and type than there used to be.

Whippet: What do you feel is the worse problem in the breed today?

Perry: Walter Wheeler in Massachusetts has always said this and I completely agree with him. The trademark of the Whippet is their topline. Many of our dogs have lost it. We are getting table tops or sloping tops like Shepherds and I think that this is a very serious fault because if you saw a Whippet at a distance the identifiable trademark is their outline. And, I think, Whippets should have a nice natural arch and definitely not a flat back or a sloping topline.

Whippet: There has been a lot of controversy about the topline. Would you describe what you feel is correct.

Perry: Well, it is really to describe what isn’t correct actually. A topline with a dip or a completely level topline is wrong. I like a very natural arch (people immediately think when you say arch they think of the McDonald’s arch). I would almost like to have too much rather than not enough because I like a rather stylized animal. But, of course, this is contradictory to having your long lean hound. I think that there is a correct, happy median. The Whippet should be level and smooth across the shoulders going back into a slight moderate rise and then falling away over the loin with great follow through of rear — good rear angulation. If you have a very short angulated dog behind, it is going to give him a slapped ass look. Or the dumpy look, or a shorter look. If you have great rear angulation and follow through it’s going to balance your dog out with the correct topline I’m hoping we’ll have.

Whippet: How do you think that the breeders are doing today? Do you have a favorite?

Perry: Well, I think that the competition is much stronger than it has ever been before. I think that there are some lovely dogs around. Doris Wear would certainly come first to mind as a great breeder. She has had some beautiful animals right on through the years. And her stock has contri­buted a great deal to everyone elses or at least to a lot of the successful American breeders. Also Mrs. Peggy Hodge with Highlight Whippets. Her breeding has contributed a great deal to others and the perfection of others’ breeding programs and dogs. I think that both of them have been very valuable contributors to our breed and deserve our graditude.

Whippet: Do you breed dogs to satisfy yourself or the judges?

Perry: Well hopeful! both but, I am an egotist and I try to please myself first and hope that some judges will like them. (Let’s all read the Standard together, Amen!)

Whippet: What is your opinion on breeder-judges who exhibit?

Perry: Well, unless you are infirmed or dying of old age, I think naturally your interest is going to continue in breeding and owning dogs and just because you judge isn’t going to make you a bad breeder and just because you breed isn’t going to make you a bad judge. Hopefully the two would be complimentary. I think that you could certainly do both.

Whippet: Are you an AKC licensed judge?

Perry: No.

Whippet: You recently judged the Eastern Specialty Sweepstakes. Would you like to tell us something about it?

Perry: Yes, I enjoyed it very much. It was at Westchester which is a beautiful fabulous show. The weather was fantastic. I was very thrilled. Some of the dogs were just outstanding. I remember especially the adult bitch class (I think we had 18). There were at least six that were just wonderful and you know only have four placements, but there were at least six that I liked very very much and they were high class. I though, overall the movement was quite good. The front movement was pretty good on almost all of them. A few of the rears were weak. I think that alot of people don’t run their dogs enough and I don’t think that it is necessarily bad breeding, it’s lack of conditioning. Maybe the dogs aren’t free to run as much as mine are and other peoples dogs that have really strong rears. Probably a lot has to do with weather and the way dogs are raised in the North where they don’t run growing up as much as they could. One fault that did disturb me were heads that seem to be to large for the dog. There were a few that were not only heavy headed (what we might have called bucket heads in the old days) they had very long snouts but they were not balanced properly and the eyes seemed to be small and set in the snout almost. They were very strange heads and I found very untypical of the breed. A few of these that had this type of head also had very yellow eyes. This is one criticism that I had of some of the dogs. Some of the others had just gorgeous heads and were very typy.

Whippet: Are you a member of the American Whippet Club?

Perry: No, I was for a number of years and was Secretary for four years but I have so many other obligations that I just wasn’t really free enough to contribute when I was a member. But I love to go to their specialities.

Whippet: Do you feel that there is more quality in dogs than in bitches or bitches rather than dogs?

Perry: Well, in Florida right now, there is much better quality in the dog classes than in the bitch classes. The bitches are amasingly weak right now, but in previous years the bitches historically in Whippets have been superior to dogs and often our top specials have been bitches.

Whippet: What do you think of only having three specialty shows?

Perry: Well, specialty shows are a lot of work and they should be special. I think that probably three are enough. Different areas can have any number of sponsored shows if they like and these have a lot of the interest of a regular specialty. I think probably keeping it at three keeps the value of the specialty high. We don’t want specialties every other weekend I don’t think.

Whippet: You have been to all of the specialties. Which one is your favorite?

Perry: Well, I am more concerned with the Eastern Specialty and I suppose it is sort of the mother specialty, but all of them are very outstanding. I have enjoyed them all very much.

Whippet: Do you think that there is a lot of politics on the breed level?

Perry: It’s hard to say what is political and what is just poor judging. Life is made up of spheres of influence and I think we just have to contend with that in dog shows, it is just one of the facts of life. I don’t think that it is particularly noticeable – politics that is.

Whippet: What area of the country has the best Whippets in your opinion?

Perry: There are outstanding dogs in every part of the country. The East has always felt that they were way ahead and maybe they were in the past. But, I think, that California has come a long way in the past few years. There have been some lovely dogs from California. The East isn’t doing badly, either.

Whippet: Do you think that there is a difference in size in different parts of the country?

Perry: There is a difference in size everywhere. I think that possibly in Florida our dogs are pretty uniform. But, you know that there is a big variation allowed in the standard so I don’t think that it is particularly alarming. I just think there are all sizes everywhere.

Whippet: Is there anything in the Whippet standard that you would change?


CH. WESTGATE'S DUBONNET (Bismark of Frisia x Westgates Heather Mist)

Perry: The one thing that has always bothered me about the standard is that I don’t think that the ears are adequately described. It says semi-prick ears. Semi-prick ears are like Collie ears. I think we should describe it as a Rose ear as it is described in the Bull Dog standard. I think that it would be much clearer to everyone if we demanded a Rose ear.

I think that there is alot of confusion about feet. The standard calling for a hare foot as opposed to a cat foot which would be a rounder foot. I find a cat foot more aesthetically pleasing. I think that they all can run, but I think that most judges and me as one breeder prefer a foot that may not be described adequately in the standard – a different type of foot than is described in the standard.

Whippet: Would you name some Whippets that you feel in your opinion are great?

Perry: Well, I think that Doris Wear described it perfectly in the last THE WHIPPET. It is and has always been Winterfold Bold Bid. She would be the one I would remember if I could only remember one Whippet. Another one that I like very much that goes way back would be Ch. Stoney Meadows Snow Queen who was behind a lot of Doris’ breeding and was a terribly attractive, lovely animal. And, of course, I always loved very much Ch. Pennyworth’s Merri Xmas that I got from Peggy Newcombe.

Whippet: Do you think that dog shows are like they should be fun?

Perry: I think that dog shows are still fun, or we would stop going. When you start out they are probably more fun, but it is just because you are new and everything is more fun when you are younger. I still enjoy it very much.

Whippet: Are there any other sides of you like artistic, hobbies or crafts?

Perry: I wish I could give you a substantive answer, but Whippets have always been the consuming passion of my life and I really haven’t had a lot of energy for much of anything else, except making a living.

Whippet: Could you summarize your outlook on the breed today?

Perry: I think that the breed is in very good shape. I think that it is reflected by the fact that Whippets do very well in Group and BIS competition. There are alot of people doing some very interesting and good breeding. I think that one of the most important aspects of Whippets is that it has attracted a very interesting group of people. Really, when you get down to it the best thing about showing and exhibiting and having Whippets are the people you meet and it opens whole new worlds for you. The dogs are important and we enjoy them very much, but I think that the people in Whippets are really what keep me in it. Besides, what else would I do on weekends?

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Stoney Meadows and Doris Wear

“WEAR” It All Began

An interview with Doris Wear, Stoney Meadows, by Sharon Sakson.

“Reprinted from The Whippet Magazine, by permission of the author Sharon Sakson.”

Doris Wear first champion

The first Stoney Meadows Champion, Ch. Stoney Meadows Masquerade, winning Best American Bred In Show at Far Hills, N.J. in 1950 (Saddle Rock Deed 'e Does x Meander Topaz).

For anyone interested in Whippets, Mrs. William Potter Wear simply does not need an introduction. She started in the breed 42 years ago, and has exhibited, bred, and judged Whippets ever since. And, although she likes to joke that her main accomplishment is outlasting everybody else, those of us who own Whippets know that her contribution has been so much more. In any collection of Whippet pedigrees, her Stoney Meadows prefix will appear amazingly often. Not so amazing, perhaps, when you consider the high quality of the Whippets she has bred over the years. Many of us are deeply indebted to Mrs. Wear for improving the breed, upholding the standard, judging consistently and fairly, being a model sportswoman, a good critic, a loyal friend, and a kind of patient teacher to those of us who are new in the breed and have come to her with questions. Many of you who will read these words may look through your own pedigrees and realize, that without Mrs. William Potter Wear and Stoney Meadows, you would not have those beautiful Whippets that grace your life today.

Mrs. Wear lives on Enterprise Farm, on Maryland’s quite Eastern Shore. The farm is tucked away beneath oak and pine trees. The Sassafras River winds down one side, providing a spectacular view and a natural boundary which neither the resident angus cattle, Fox Terriers, nor Whippets can cross.

Across from the house are the kennels and the home of the kennel manager, and beyond that, the barns, where Mrs. Wear once kept her horses. Things are much the same here as they were in 1961, when the Wears together built this house.

Mrs. Wear and team

Mrs. Wear's top winning Team, Boston, February 23, 1955. Stoney Meadows Rascal, Ch. Stoney Meadows Fairy Tale, Stoney Meadows Evening Star, Ch. Stoney Meadows Bedtime Story.

“After Potter’s heart attack, I wanted to get him as far away from the city (Philadelphia) as I could. He needed peace and quiet, and I made sure he got it. First we moved to Cambridge, farther down the bay; then we bought this place. Potter was very active, he had the bank, and the newspaper. Here, he had his Angus cattle and his Fox Terriers.”

William Potter Wear, respected Fox Terrier breeder and judge, died in May, 1985. His Stoney Meadows Fox Terriers are still very much in evidence. Mrs. Wear shows a Fox Terrier bitch she bred from her husband’s stock.

The kennel is a wooden building with wire fenced runs. You enter into a main reception area— “This was envisioned to be my office,” says Mrs. Wear. “I was going to have a big desk and file cabinets, and sit in the chair and put my feet up. Instead, you can see what happened.”

What happened is that the Wear’s dog collection over-flowed from the two kennel wings, nicknamed “Terrier Town” and “Whippet Town,” and now dog crates and grooming tables occupy the space. Behind the office is a kitchen, where every morning, Mrs. Wear cooks the dogs’ food.

“I’m a health food nut, you know,” she says. “I get up early in the morning, and by seven I’m down opening the kennel. It’s me and one other girl— even my kennel manager isn’t up yet. I put the dogs out.”

Snow Queen

Ch. Stoney Meadows Snow Queen in December, 1957 winning Hound Group under Judge William Kendrick. (Stoney Meadows Epic x Ch. Snow Flurry of Meander

The dogs sleep in stacked kennel cages. “I don’t believe in these no- care kennels, where the dogs let themselves in and out. We pick the dogs up and look them over at least twice a day.

“Then I get to work in the kennel kitchen. My dogs eat natural foods and meat. Fresh meat is very important. All these prepared dog foods have too many preservatives in them. I don’t want my dogs eating that.

“I use Mother Hubbard’s Kibble. It comes from Boston. It’s all natural. I get a delivery truck here with it every two weeks. I make a soup of carrots and onions and meat. Then raw meat goes on top.”

We tour the kennel cages, where the dogs have been put in for the night. Mrs. Wear figures the number of dogs on the place, including all breeds, (which means, in addition to Whippets and Fox Terriers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Norwich Terriers), to be about 50.

“At one time, in the ’60s and ’70s, I had upwards of 75 Whippets.” She laughs, and opens a gate leading back to the house so that a small herd of dogs, who have been following us, can get through. “I like a variety of breeds around. But if I had to have only one, it would be Whippets.”

Stoney Meadows Volare

Ch. Stoney Meadows Volare in October, 1970. Winning Best Of Winners under Mrs. Lynwood Walters. (Ch. Morshor's Whirlaway x Stoney Meadows Hell's Angel).

I ask about several dogs I’ve just seen who do not appear to be typical Stoney Meadows show specimens. “Charity cases,” says Mrs. Wear. “In one case, I sold the girl the bitch. Then her life fell apart. She got divorced, lost her home. I took the dog back. I’m a lot more hesitant to take the needle to them now— now that I’m approaching my own death.”

We settle into the sitting room, with tea and a collection of Whippets around us.

“Mrs. Wear, how did you get started in Whippets?”

“I got into dogs through my sister and brother-in-law. Before that I thought dog shows were silly. I was into horses. I went to horse shows. I thought dog shows were for the birds. I had an English Cocker Spaniel, the same breed that my sister showed. She was trying to finish one of her own dogs, so she told me to take it to a show, as a favor to her, just to make a major. My daughter showed it— and the dog won the points!

“After that, I liked showing dogs, and we went around to the shows with English Cockers. Potter didn’t mind; he liked dogs. But he said, “If you’re going to get serious about this, at least get a dog that won’t bring the whole farm in on his feet!”

Heir Apparent

Ch. Stoney Meadows Heir Apparent in 1982. Nottie is the sire of the current reigning housedog, Stoney Meadows Prince of Wales.

“I wanted to get a Greyhound, but i decided they were too big. I wanted something that wouldn’t knock over my children and friends. So I thought I would get a Whippet. I wanted to get my feet wet with a slightly older one, so I would be able to see what I was getting into, which you can’t do with a little puppy. I asked around, who had Whippets for sale? And I was told there were two big Whippet kennels in the East: Mrs. Anderson, Mardomere Kennels, on Long Island, and the Shearer sisters of Virginia, who had Meander Kennels. Well, I was surprised to hear that, since I already knew Judith and Julia Shearer. They used to judge the pony classes that my kids rode in.

“I talked to the Shearers on the phone; Mrs. Anderson would not part with any of her dogs. She had a ‘closed door’ policy. The Shearers agreed to sell me Meander Topaz, sight unseen. She was 11 months old.

“Would you believe at that point they used to ship dogs by train? She arrived on New Year’s Eve, 1946-47. Of course I loved her immediately. I started showing her, but it was tough. I had six tries, and didn’t win anything. Julia Shearer said, ‘Hmph! What makes you think you can show a Whippet?’ She blamed me, not the dog.

“So I took her to obedience. That was a success, we got her C.D., and she would have had her C.D.X., but unfortunately, she went racing down the drive one day, around a blind corner, at the same moment the gardener was driving in. She broke her neck. It was very sad. I still miss her.

“But I had two litters from her, and that’s how I got my first champion. I didn’t know who to mate her to, till I found out a woman who lived nearby, Mrs. Hoops, had a Whippet— Saddle Rock Deed ‘e Does. I mated Topaz to him, and the funny thing is, it turned out to be good linebreeding! But I had no idea when I did it. In that litter I got one bitch and seven dogs, including my first Champion, Stoney Meadows Masquerade.”


Ch. Stoney Meadows Magnific winning Best Of Breed under Alva Rosenberg, in the early '60s. (Stoney Meadows Royal Venture x Ch. Stoney Meadows Fair Fox.)

“Stoney Meadows was the name of the farm we lived on, in Pennlyn, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. I had five kids—”

I gasped. “Mrs. Wear, how did you manage to raise five children, and have the success you’ve had for all these years?”

She laughed. “Those were the good old days! I had help. I had a nanny, of course. I wouldn’t want to try to do it nowadays; you have a hard job to get kennel help, anymore.”

“How did your family react to your getting involved in dogs?’

“My husband and children loved the dogs. They were all a great help. It was lot easier to get the young Whippets trained, my kids were always putting leashes on them and dragging them around. Potter and my daugher Nancy got the first Fox Terrier. Nancy showed in Junior Handling. All my children are married now, and they all have dogs as pets. Only Nancy has maintained an interest in show dogs. She still has Fox Terriers.

“I always liked to ride, and up until five years ago, I had a horse here. I took the Whippets with me; that’s how they got their exercise. Potter liked to walk in the field with his dogs; I liked to ride. Sometimes we’d meet. The two packs of dogs would mingle with each other. Potter would say, ‘I’m going to check on the cattle,’ I’d say, ‘Okay, I’m going to ride towards the house.'”We’d separate, and the Whippets would come with me, and the Terriers would go with Potter. People used to say. ‘How do you manage to get the right dogs?’ We never managed the dogs, they managed themselves. They knew which breed they were!”

Pay Off

Stoney Meadows Pay Off, six months old, winning Best Of Breed under Ellsworth Gamble in 1973.

“When did you have that first Whippet litter?’

“January 19, 1948.”

“And that was the litter from which you got Masquerade?”

“Yes! I don’t know how I had enough sense to pick him out of the litter! He just got to me, so I kept him. I sold the rest for fifty dollars or so, or gave them to friends. I called him Toni. He was fawn, with a black mask. He won Best Of Breed at the Garden, AND, went 2nd in the Group, THREE CONSECUTIVE YEARS! He also won a Best In Show. He was a very good dog. He won so much, so fast, I thought, ‘Hey, this is easy.’ ”

“In other words, you got a Best In Show Whippet from your very first lifter?”

“Yes! You can call it beginners luck, or whatever. At the time, Julia Shearer said to me, ‘Hmpf! It’ll be many years and many dollars before you get another! And that turned out to be true.”

“Masquerade was typey, and also sound. At that time you had two types in Whippets: Mardomere was fancy and pretty; the Meander dogs were houndy. Even though Mrs. Anderson did not sell any dogs, I did get a Mardomere dog, through Percy Roberts, Mrs. Anderson’s handler. That was Fashion of Mardomere.

“I bred her to Masquerade. I kept a bitch out of that litter called (Ch.) Stoney Meadows Make Believe. I thought that she would never come in heat. It was two weeks after her fourth birthday before she came in season. Make Believe produced Stoney Meadows Epic, who became a famous racing dog for Barbara Eyles, and won the sweepstakes at the specialty. His litter brother was Ch. Stoney Meadows Marathon. I kept him.

“Then the next good bitch, the one that really started my present line, was Ch. Snow Flurry of Meander. I really wanted her, but the Shearers sold her to Harry Bridge.

“At the time I had two good bitches bred from my Mardomere bitch, Ch. Stoney Meadows Platinum, and Ch. Stoney Meadows Quicksilver. Harry Bridge called me; he wanted Platinum. I said, “Well, Harry, I really want Snow Flurry.” So we traded.

“She was the mother of (Ch. Stoney Meadows) Snow Queen, who was the mother of Bold Queen and (Ch. Stoney Meadows) Beauty Queen.”

“Mrs. Wear, I’ve heard some people say Beauty Queen was the most beautiful Whippet bitch they ever saw. Why did you sell her?”

“I don’t know! In a weak moment, I sold her to Cora Miller. Of course she did a lot of good for Cora, and for the breed. I kept Bold Queen, who produced (Ch. Stoney Meadows) Elegant Queen, (Ch. Stoney Meadows) Royal Flight,and (Ch. Stoney Meadows) Royal Fortune. Royal Fortune ws a wonderful dog. Bob Hastings showed him.”

“In the early ’60s, there was one year when I had five lifters. That was when I was not active in showing. I used to have upwards of 75 Whippets here,”In those days, we jumped up and down with excitement if we had 50 dogs entered in the Specialty! Now, there are 300 dogs entered in the National Specialty. I think having one big National Specialty is a good idea. Nobody dreamed it would be as successful as it was. But it gives a chance for all Whippet breeders from all over the country to get together.”

“What would you say has been the highlight of your showing career, so far?”

“Probably in the late ’50s, when I was showing Snow Queen. I was doing a lot more winning then, because the entry was small, Nowadays, there’s a lot more dogs, and a lot more variety in type for the judges to sort through. Back then I had the lovely black and white dog, (Ch. Stoney Meadows) Magnific, he had a lovely shoulder and neck. (Ch. Stoney Meadows) Winston, by (Ch. Stoney Meadows) Red Fox, he was something. He was small, but beautiful. Beauty Queen, Snow Queen, Royal Flight, Royal Fortune, all of them were fun to have in the ring.”

“I used to judge my own dogs from horseback. I could see how they moved, how they handled themselves. Sometimes, one would have a gorgeous outline, but he’d move and I’d say, ‘I wouldn’t want to ride that one downhill!’ because there might be a roughness to the shoulder action.”

“Of course, what I like in a show dog has changed, over the years. I like to think I’ve grown in the breed. The Shearers liked big dogs– with them, it was ‘the bigger, the better.’ They were very giraffe-y dogs. But not so good behind. The Mardomere dogs were fine and elegant. They did have hind ends. I don’t think my dogs were as easy to dismiss, for one fault or the other. Laguna Leone made the difference in my kennel. She put on the hind ends, long and flowing.

“I was always flattered when someone said, ‘That looks like a Stoney Meadows dog.’ They’re not so easy to distinguish now, when there are so many more dogs around. I started with the Shearers, then I trained myself to like the better hind ends. I liked putting my own stamp on my kennel.”

“Was your husband always” supportive of your Whippet activities?”

“He loved the Whippets. Potter loved all dogs. When we first married, we went to the SPCA to get our first dog. My daughter was ten years old when we got our first purebred English Cocker.”

“Potter” was the kind of man who liked the dogs to sit in his lap and walk with him. But he was not a real ‘dog’ person in the sense that I am. He left all the kennel management, the feeding and the paperwork, all of that, to me.”

“Potter was also extremely adaptable, which I was not. I think he would have been happy living in the city. But he realized that I would never be happy there. So we lived in the country.”

“How do you feel, when you see someone else’s dog in the show ring, and realize that it comes from your line?”

“I’m thrilled! Particularly if I like the dog. If I don’t like it, I say, ‘Must be another breeder’s fault.” She laughs.

“I love going to shows. I always handled our own dogs, as much as I could. It was only when I started judging, that we had to get a handler. Back when I started, there weren’t as many shows. It was more fun then. As spring came, we’d start to get excited. For instance, we’d say, ‘The Bucks County show is coming up!’ You spent a lot of time getting ready, looking forward to it. In the winter, there was only one show— the Garden. So it meant a lot. Nowadays, there’s a show every weekend, sometimes three or four shows a week. So one show is not as important.”

“Let’s talk about your career as a judge. When did you start judging, and do you enjoy it as much as showing?”

She smiles. “You get this idea that you know better than anyone else. Of course, you don’t. But that’s why you decide to do it. I got my license in 1952. I did my first Whippet assignment at the Garden in the mid-50s. That was quite a thrill. I thought, ‘Here I am, judging in the Garden! This is the tops!’ Then I moved on to get Greyhounds. Then Fox Terriers. Now I’ve got all Terriers and all Hounds, half the Sporting Group, and some breeds in Toy and Working.

“I love to judge. I do it for my own pleasure— why else would anyone do it? And for my education. When you judge, you always learn. You always see new things. You get to travel. Next weekend, I’ll be in Atlanta. The weekend after that, Troy and Albany, I just jump in the Queen Mary— that’s my big white van— and take off.”

“Best of all is the specialties. I wouldn’t care if I never judged anything else. It’s a big responsibility. It’s not to be taken lightly. But to see all those beautiful animals, all the best animals in the breed— I do enjoy it.”

“I’ve heard that you give all your judging fees to charity.”

“That’s right. The University of Pennsylvania Veterinary College, the Dog Writers’ Educational Trust, Friends of Small Animals, and the American Dog Owners Association.”

“What are you proudest of, from your years of showing, breeding, and judging?”

“My most exciting moment in judging, was judging the first National Specialty last year. I’m proud of the Certificate of Achievement from the American Whippet Club. I’m proud of my dogs. But I’ll tell you the nicest thing about it— the friends I’ve made. I think Whippet people are some of the greatest people in dogs. I don’t know people in every breed, but from what I’ve seen, in Whippets we have less cattiness and infighting. People are more willing to talk things over and help each other. I love that. And so many show their own dogs, which I think is good. A lot of families come out. I’ve been very fortunate, in the wonderful friends I’ve made.”

“I keep thinking back to the Shearers, who were the only people I knew when I started. They were characters. They were very gruff. They didn’t mince words. Julia used to say, ‘All I know is, the faults reproduce quicker than the virtues!’ That was her theory on breeding— and now it’s mine, too.”

“They couldn’t stand blue Whippets. If they saw a blue puppy come out, right down in the bucket it went. They were tough. All monorchids went right down. They would never raise more than four puppies in a litter. But when a dog became their housepet, they got all mushy about it.”

“Julia Shearer used to say that blue was a color for mice, not for Whippets. One time I was standing with her at the ring at the Garden. A man went in, showing a blue Whippet. I was just waiting to hear what she would say, because I knew she was furious about it. Julia said, ‘Hmph! If you put a mousetrap down, that dog would run right in.’ ”

“Is there any advice you give to new Whippet breeders?”

“I would never presume to give anyone any advice about breeding Whippets. Every litter is an experiment. You never know. You know what you HOPE to get. I’ve heard Poodle breeders say,’I’m going to breed this to that, and I’ll get good heads and necks.’ I think, how great, to know what you’ll get! A lot of people think that all you need is a pedigree with a lot of fancy names. But that’s no guarantee of success— you must know the individuals. You must know what they look like. And before I breed to an outside dog, I want to know what he’s produced.”

“What has been your favorite— showing, judging, or breeding?”

“Each time I’m showing, I like that best. When I’m judging, I like that. When I’m breeding, that’s the most fun. I like all of it. There’s no part I don’t like.”

“Is there any dog over the years that was your favorite?”

“There are so many. Masquerade slept on my bed till his last days. There was a dog named Leander, Ch. Stoney Meadows Royal Flight, my house dog . I miss them. Ch. Stoney Meadows Moon Moth, I called her Peggy, I miss her. Olga was a great favorite, Ch. Stoney Meadows Elegant Queen. I don’t have a Whippet on my bed now— a Whippet in bed has eight legs. They sleep in their own beds.”

We took a tour through Mrs. Wears house, a lovely home displaying many pictures and statues of Whippets and other breeds. In the sunroom, Stoney Meadows Jessica let us play with her five week-old puppies. Mrs. Wear was enthusiastic about the litter. “For a long time I wanted to breed to Davin (Ch. Morshors Majestic Dell). When Jessica came along, I kept her. I love her. I don’t show her. I just thought, right from the beginning— this is the bitch to breed to Davin.”

Jessica went outside, which gave us a chance to look over the lovely water view, as the sun set on another autumn Eastern Shore evening.

Adding a short article on Champion Stoney Meadows Royal Fortune

Gridley winning Veterans Class

.... Gridley won the Veterans Class at Santa Barbara, I forgot what year. I believe he was 12 or 13 years of age."

Champion Stoney Meadows Royal Fortune A Profile by Joan Frailey – Terrace Hill

From the moment “Gridley” arrived from the Stoney Meadows Kennels, the mutual feelings of love and respect were born. We purchased him without ever seeing a picture. We had no idea what he looked like because our friend and handler, Bob Hastings, made all the arrangements for us. He was handling our Boxers at the time and we had just lost our dear ten year old and was in the market for a new breed. When we arrived at the Hastings kennel to pick Gridley up the day he arrived, I asked, “He’s beautiful, but is he any good?” I really didn’t know the breed, and Bob replied, “You better believe — he’s sensational.” To say a dog with a silly name of… Gridley, changed our life is an understatement. If he’s lucky, every breeder has in his life­time, that one “great dog” that offers all one can desire. Gridley had it all. He was a wonderful companion, a house- dog, excellent breed type coupled with a “show dog” personality. Boy, did he ham it up. He loved applause, travel­ling in the motor home, and everyone knew when he was out in the exercise pen at the shows. He talked to everybody.


Gridley in perfect form.

Upon his arrival here in the West, he completed his championship in less than 30 days, undefeated, by topping the breed over the Specials at four consecutive shows with Group placements.

To quote Dick Beauchamp’s, KENNEL REVIEW article on Gridley back in 1968, “He’s a dog whose quality is respect­ed not only by his myriads of loyal fans, but by his competi­tors as well. Proof of the later is the fact that in both 1966 (this just a few months after his career began!) and 1967 some 250 licensed handlers, residing in the West, singled out this outstanding Whippet as one of the FIVE BEST HOUNDS in the West for the annual KENNEL REVIEW Awards.”

Gridley’s show record consisted of 5 all breed Best in Shows, over 60 Group placements of which 21 were Group Firsts. Further adding to his accomplishments were his BOB win at the largest American Whippet Western Specialty ever held at Santa Barbara, 1967 (of course they are larger now), where he also won the Stud Dog class and sire of the Winners Bitch and Reserve Winners Bitch.

It was a genuine delight to see Gridley’s most competent handler, Bob, remove his lead, step back and away and present him to the judges “as is.” As the record indicated, it was truly a team. They travelled successfully coast to coast, no competition unchallenged. The year 1966 ended with a Group 1 at Lancaster, California, 1967 ended with a Group 1 at Worcester and 1968 began with back to back Group wins in Florida, and he retired on his 100th Best of Breed in early 1968 to make way for his illustrious young daughter, Ch. Hollypark’s Honey Bee owned by Dr. and Mrs. Patrick Baymiller. She was handled by Bob to numerous Best in Shows, specialty wins and Number 1 Whippet. And, to see her at the 1979 AWC Specialty at Santa Barbara capture the breed from the Veterans class handled by Dorothea Hastings was great joy coming through the tears.

Many of his progeny have made their marks in the breed, as he was Number 5 Sire of AKC champions and also tied for Number 6 sire of sons which sired ARM winners. He was a stud who serviced his mates in just the proper way. Unfortu­nately, at his peak as a producer, he suffered a severe ailment and we retired him from being used. We realized much later that was our mistake. When he was 11 years old we used him on a few selected bitches and offsprings from those breedings are being seen in the ring today on the East Coast, West Coast and in Canada.

Gridley Head Shot

Great Head Shot of Gridley

Our comfort at that heart breaking time was in knowing that he left many children, (over 35 champions from the limited breedings), grandchildren that inherit his true Whippet temperament, his beauty and his love of life. He way layed to rest here at home where he loved and was loved everyday of his life. Gridley, as my first BIS winner and Number 1 dog in my life will never be replaced, but he did provide us with two of his delightful sons that are our companions, Ch. Pathens Terrace Hill Snowman and Ch. Terrace Hill’s Royal Image. They both are carrying on in the Gridley tradition along with our current exciting young bitch Ch. Terrace Hill’s Black Lace.

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Dog Breeds of the World Part III

Dog Breeds of the World
by Freeman Lloyd

Something About Their Development, Origin, and Uses throughout the Ages

(continued from June Issue)

By FREEMAN LLOYD from the American Kennel Club Gazette July 1935. “This will be article one of three published by Freeman Lloyd in 1935. I will post the second next week. These articles have been donated by Don Frames from the scrapbook collection of Gertrude Hooft.”


Freemanor Racing Rayanell, bred and owned by Felix Agnus Leser, Baltimore, winner of $250. Southern Maryland Handicap, 1932. Time: 12 2/5 seconds. Shown with Floral Horseshoe and Silver Cup. For several years, Mr. Leser has been a patron of the sport

SAVE in size, everything is so alike in the whippet and the grey­hound, there can be small wonder that similar greatnesses and like weaknesses have been and will be seen in both breeds. A debility, or lack of devilment, may happen because of too much in-breeding or the closeness of the strains – relationship of the sire and dam of the young stock.

About a century and a half ago, the old style of bull-baiting dog was used to cross with the finest-bred of the coursing greyhounds of Merrie Eng­land.

THE chief propagandist for this style of mating was the celebrated Lord Orford, who, although looked upon as an eccentric nobleman, was very “wise” in regard to sport and the production of greyhounds fitted for the purpose of coursing.

He believed that the introduction of the fighting bulldog blood would put more steam and killing desire into the greyhound breed; besides, in those days, the bulldog was not the cloddy, close-to-the-ground, heavy shouldered, short faced and kink-tailed sort of dog that he is today. For the purposes of bull-baiting and pit-fighting, the bulldog or bull-and-terrier dog had to be an active and aggressive creature: one of good stamina, wind, and quick­ness.

In breeding, Lord Orford introduced every possible experimental cross. He strongly indulged an idea of a cross with the old-fashioned bulldog, from which he could never be diverted.

IT is written that after patiently persevering for seven generations, he found himself in possession of the best greyhounds ever known up to that time. These greyhounds, which pos­sessed more or less bulldog blood, had the small ear, the rat tail, and the skin almost without hair, together with in­nate courage which the high-bred grey­hound should possess, retaining which instinctively, he would rather die than give up the chase.

F. S. ( Jack) Davies, born at Ponty­pool, Monmouthshire, England, son of a five-times Mayor of that famous old town – where the Indian game of polo was nurtured by the Herberts was, along with Felix Leser, of Baltimore, Maryland, among the first men in America, to use the fighting bullterrier cross on to the pure-bred whippet breed. Davies is one of those men that appear to be made up of horse, as well as dog, fancying ambitions; in­deed, few have had more experience in stable and kennel, on the race tracks, and among ordinary bench show sur­roundings. Practical in everything, he was mainly in charge of the transport of between 28 and 30 thousand horses overseas in the 1914-17 times of the World War.

As you stand by and observe him stripping or trimming a Sealyham or Scottish terrier at Dr. Stark’s New York Veterinary Hospital, while a bevy of young and older ladies of the Park Avenue sets look on, you may hardly imagine that the poodle clipper and dog racer of today, has faced untold dan­gers in times of carnage and subma­rines—mostly on the high seas!

UT it was Felix Leser and Jack Davies who had read about the celebrated Lord Orford who so sucessfully produced the coursing grey­hound-bulldog cross. So they set about putting more devil into the whippet breed by introducing the Yankee or fighting bullterrier blood into the pros­pective veins of the smallest of the American dog racing kind.

Maryland track

Maryland Whippet Club Track at night. Grandstand, and betting ring. Photo taken from the Trig Mark

The bull-and-terrier was of the brin­dled color sort—a much sought after whole or part marking in greyhounds; indeed, it has been said that the sign of brindle in the shade of a dog’s hair, signifies “pluck.”

As we know, the racing dog requires not only great courage, but the keeping up of that quality until the very last inch of the 210 yards event is decided. The additional 10 yards, of the 200- yards affair, is the distance covered to the trig mark before the dog is enabled to grab the towel ten paces beyond the winning line. He should pass the post at his fullest speed.

As will be seen from the picture of the dog on this page, the first cross from the fighting bullterrier and whip­pet might have passed for a fairly well- bred whippet and mustered as a straight-bred race dog, in the eyes of perhaps 90 per cent of persons not en­tirely acquainted with the physical pro­portions of the working man’s race­horse!

The whippets—the racing whippets of the past—were not always registered at the A. K. C., so a strict purity of blood was not called for. But, to a certain extent, the full blood was expected.

ON the other hand, no secret was made when a racer was a mongrel: there was no covering-up the particulars regarding the experiments the breeder had made: far more impor­tant was the happy result or otherwise of such hazardous experiments.

The pit or bullterrier being usually a rat-tailed dog, there need not be any fear of producing cross-bred whelps with screw tails; but the bull terrier- whippet cross-bred youngsters certainly possessed the coarser skulls and larger ears of the fighting dog side of the kennel.

Dancing Spray

Dancing Spray, a white-and-brindle bitch, 20 pounds, half bullterrier and half whippet. An interesting picture

Anyhow, what Lord Orford did in the 18th Century, Davies, a Baptist minister’s son, helped to accomplish in the 20th cycle. Crossing coursing or racing dogs with fighting bullterriers, was merely a matter of history repeat­ing itself. Felix Leser and Jack Da­vies were its new preachers.

One of the bullterriers used as a stud dog to cross with whippets was a dog named Kim, owned by Mr. Leser, who was convinced that some of the Maryland and other whippets re­quired a little more “heart” in them. Moreover, a dash of the pit blood would make the progenies grow into better finishers: they would be “game” to the last. Nor was Kim turned to an ordinary whippet bitch, but to none other than Mr. Leser’s Ch. Broadway Admiration, a silver-fawn in color and weighing about 16 pounds.

THIS experiment was started by Mr. Leser and finished by Mr. Davies. The final result from these unions was the black bitch, Try Me, a seven-eighths-bred whippet, unquestionably one of the very fastest of her kind – including the straight-bred whip­pets – ever seen in the United States.

One of the half-breeds – half bull­terrier and half whippet – was Dancing Spray, a white and brindle bitch weigh­ing 20 pounds. She was quite fast on the track, but inclined to fight. As we know a scrapper or “slapper” – the technical or slang name for a savager in a race – will upset everything: so Dancing Spray had to be withdrawn from the cinder and grass courses. The brindle of her markings might have denoted an over-dose of the fighting dispositions of the “bull” side of her ancestry.

To return to Try Me – she of the seven-eighths whippet blood. She scaled 18 pounds, and as fast as the wind. She had the disposition of a terrier rather than that of a whippet; was ex­tremely peppy at all times, and lively as a cricket. Try Me was race-crazy, and as stout a finisher as any whippet ever seen. She defeated every other good dog in Massachusetts, New Jer­sey, New York, and Maryland. She raced against the best, and won in easy fashion the first, and the second Mary­land Derby.

Freemanor Racing Ravanell, a blue dog, was perhaps the fastest whippet ever bred by Mr. Leser. In the pic­ture on the first page of this article, Ravanell is shown with a silver cup and floral horseshoe these signifying his winning of the Southern Maryland Handicap in 1932.

THE purse was $250. Time for 200 yards, 12 2/5 seconds. Ravanell, still living, was sired by Ch. Freemanor Galloping Ghost, his dam was Ch. Freemanor Aggravating Blues.

Among the prominent supporters of whippet racing in the suburbs of Bos­ton, are Bayard Tuckerman, Jr., and Bayard Warren. On an occasion of a visit of Edward, Prince of Wales, to Boston, the heir to the English Throne was part time a guest of Mr. Tuckerman, master of foxhounds, and a coun­try squire dear to the internationally distinguished young man’s heart. So between refreshments, dances, and mu­sic, what better than a little whippet racing on the Tuckerman lawns!

As evidence that the Prince was greatly impressed with the beauty and racing qualities of the whippets, he commissioned a Boston jeweler to make a dozen ladies’ bracelets, fashioned in miniature, of the models of whippets, in 18-carat gold. Also, a like number of stick or breastpins for the cravats of men.

THE revelation of this “royal command” came about or was disclosed in a somewhat peculiar way :

This writer has many callers: pho­tographs of dogs, birds, fishes and what not in their forms of domestic or wild creatures, are often desired by designers, modelers, artists, and others. So it happened that, one day, a young lady – a daughter of one of our Man­hattan’s celebrated sculptors and min­iature modelers – called and asked for a picture of a leaping tarpon, the gam­est of the larger game fishes that swim in tropical waters.

And, just to demonstrate, as it seemed, that her respected sire was a master in his art, the damsel produced a small case of elegant and little plas­ter casts of dogs, birds, butterflies, and fishes. There were the miniature forms from which the moulds were made for the reproductions of the plain or after­wards bejewelled exquisites of the goldsmith’s and gem-setter’s arts.

Indiana racing

Before a start of a race at Brooklandville, Indiana, in 1929. Jack Davies is in white

Among the little milk-white models there was one of a whippet!

“So you have a whippet?”

“Yes: Father designed and made that one for the Prince of Wales.” “The Prince of Wales?”

YES, when the Prince was in Bos­ton, he gave a large order to a local jeweler for bracelets and stick pins. He visited the goldsmith and begged of him to have the dogs modeled after the photograph of a galloping whippet, the Prince produced from his pocket: it was a Boston-owned dog, he said. So my father was commissioned to make the model: the one you now admire: it’s a duplicate of the cast. The design for the bracelet was a chain of golden and jewelled whippet dogs connected by links.”

So, whenever whippet jewel-conceits adorn the elegant wrists of beautiful ladies, and whippet stick pins glisten on the breasts of gallant gentlemen, everyone will be delighted to learn that it was the dog-racing on the Tuckerman acres that inspired the British Heir, with an idea that the miniature forms of whippets would be as beauti­ful as they would be unique. For were they not as swift-like as the swallow, and persistent as the lover!

Incidentally, it may be here written that one of Mr. Tuckerman’s best and home-bred whippets was Ch. Black Prince, famous as a show and racing dog. He was in his prime between 1920 and 1924. Prince was a black dog, and one of the fastest whippets of his time in America.

In 1928, whippet racing commenced on the Island of Bermuda. Electrical­ly controlled starting boxes were used. The dogs were mostly supplied from the United States, several of the run­ners being sent by Mr. Leser and his friends. The dogs were in charge of Jack Davies and Wil­liam J. Kelly, who raced the dogs during the whole of that year.

While on the subject of elec­tric starting boxes, it is the opin­ion of more than one well-informed whippeter that the hand-slipping mode, as employed for releasing dogs in a race, is about a second faster than the electric box action. It is now conceded the difference is only a fraction of a second. Perhaps, it is better to put it in this way: hand-slipping is from three to five yards faster than that from electric boxes.

THE laying down of a track is a most important matter. It will be well, it is thought, that the methods of the Baltimore Club be followed. A valued correspondent, who has raced his whippets in this country and Can­ada, over all surfaces – sand, dirt, turf and cinder – has the following to say :

“I have yet to see a better or faster surface than that at the Maryland Whippet Club. This, as you may re­member, is composed of a mixture of clay, rotten sand and oak-sawdust in approximately equal parts. The ground for the track was first leveled and rolled. Sideboards, about four inches high, were installed the complete length on both sides of the track.

“The rotten sand, clay and sawdust was then dumped on, and thoroughly mixed by laborers with rakes. When it was lairly leveled and about four inches deep, it was then soaked with water and rolled. This makes an ideal, springy surface, and with ditches on both sides, very little water ever re­mains. The only care this needs is a light raking once a week, with a heavy one-man roller of the tennis court type. In very dry weather, a light sprinkling of water may be necessary.”

It is believed that the above method of whippet race-track making, was first put into practice by Mr. Leser whose present address is Riverside Drive, Saranac Lake, New York. It is almost superfluous to mention he will always be found ready to give advice on the most important matters concerning made tracks or courses. Severe frost, as we know, plays the dickens with ce­ment and other composite race paths.

Finish line

Finish of second running of the Thornley W. Martin Memorial Handicap at the M.W.C. grounds, May, 1930

Although my maternal uncles, Isaac and Benjamin Lloyd, of Trevallen, near Pembroke, West Wales, were well-known amateur jockeys at hunt meetings, they could not have antici­pated that a steeplechase for dogs would be named for a nephew. Yet Baltimore has had its annual “Freeman Lloyd Steeplechase!” But, in truth, it has been a flying or hurdle race, with here and there a water jump. In Mary­land was held the first whippet steeplehase in America, if not in the world. As we know, greyhound steeplechasing is now one of the most spectacular of the dog-racing sights where thousands of men and women enjoy the sport.

THE first race over obstacles took place under the auspices of the M.W.C., on April 27, 1930, and was won by Freemanor Flying Slim. The other five entries fell and failed to finish. Time: 16 seconds for 200 yards. Harold S. Cahn’s black dog, Nero, was well in the running when he came to grief.

Mr. Cahn, a Baltimore-New York banker, is a keen patron of dog-racing, besides being a big-game hunter in South America and other of the wilder and least-known lion, tiger, jaguar and boar countries.

The jumps at Baltimore – four for each dog – were at first painted white, but apparently, the visibility was bad, causing all to fall. Immediately after the first jumping race, the top bars of the hurdles were painted with black, red, and white strips, and this improved steeplechasing immensely. Very few tumbles were recorded after this. The running times also were greatly im­proved. The record, it is believed, was 14 seconds for the full distance of 200 yards. It must be added that steeple­chases are very popular with the pub­lic, and at least one event is run at each meeting. Most of the dogs en­tered are generally of the heavy order: 24- to 28-pounders.

One of the leading and best in­formed of Canadian and American whippet racers is Alfred Lowenstein, formerly of Toronto, and now of Brooklyn, New York. He must have been breeding and racing whippets for close on 30 years; he is a worthy man­ager of race meetings, a competent han­dicapper, and quick thinker and direc­tor when called upon for advice either at the starting or finishing end of the track.

He saw most of the earlier meetings held in the Queen City of the Domin­ion, where, undoubtedly, the greatest outdoor and indoor exhibition of farm livestock and other products are to be seen. It were almost needless to write that the annual exhibition at Toronto is referred to, and after having visited all of the greatest of the agricultural shows within the British Empire, it is to declare that the huge spectacles held on the shore of Lake Ontario are far the best and most wonderful.

IT is there, among all the glory of the products from the prairies, the manufacturies, and the mineral wealths, the home and foreign breeds of horses, dogs, cattle, sheep and what you have, that whippets may be seen. The Mother Country’s sport flourisheth exceedingly in a new land where her children’s children foregather.

Mr. Lowenstein brought his Cana­dian whippeting experiences to the United States, and America has bene­fited accordingly. One of his best whippets must have been Hasty Daisy, a rough-coated, red-fawn bred by her owner. Daisy was one of the fastest of the Canadian -breds from 1919 to 1923. Whenever a rough-haired red whippet is written about or discussed, the memory runs back to Freebooter, a dog of that description, and one which did a good turn and a bad turn for his connections, at one and the same time.

It was way back in the very late ’90s of the last cycle, when the Durban Whippet Handicap was run off on Lords Grounds, the noted recreation resort for this, that and other attractions at the beautiful city of Durban, Natal, South Africa. This writer had been called upon to handicap the dogs entered for the great event. It was a sweepstakes, each subscriber drawing a slip from a hat on which the name of a whippet had been written. The sub­scription list lacked one subscriber: there were 30 dogs in the hat, but only 29 persons had come forward to take a chance. The handicap had been made: the programme was in the hands of the printer.

The sweep could not be drawn unless it was fully subscribed for: a dog could not be “scratched” for any other rea­son than its unfitness. So what was to be done? Couldn’t the handicapper take a ticket? Wasn’t the handicap in the possession of the committee? Wasn’t it a game of chance where any one might draw a good or a bad pros­pect? There could be no wagering un­til particulars of the figures of yardage allowances were published? Finally, wasn’t the handicapper’s money as good as that of any one else?

“Yes” came the reply to all these interrogations.

At the end of the racing day, the flag went up for Freebooter running in the nomination of the wife of the handicapper!

ALAS! That was a direful moment. How could the public be expected to be aware about what had hap­pened at the drawing of those fateful slips? Obviously, the swindle was as plain as the nose on your own face. The handicapper had favored his spouse’s dog so that it might not only win the Cup but a goodly sized pot of gold as well.

Gosh! The Freebooter vic­tory did appear a shady one. Never was a goblet and cash so reluctantly accepted. More­over, the very name of the dog, Freebooter, seemed to bear a double meaning – an insult as well as an injury to good sportsman­ship. Couldn’t the red whippet’s name be made analagous with spoiler, pil­lager, shark, bushranger, Bedouin, brigand, bandit, buccaneer, pickpocket or common thief? That indeed, would be the opinion of the general public! The stewards or race committee alone held the secret; and, in due course, they would explain everything. In the meantime the man on the street corner had to be left with his own belief.

The Durban Cup never graced the handicapper’s sideboard. There al­ready had been warning and reproof enough. It is indiscreet for any pro­fessional official to have anything to do with a dog’s running at a race meeting with which he is connected.

THERE used to be some good whippet racing on the show grounds at Wissahickon, Chestnut Hill, near Phil­adelphia, Pennsylvania. This was espe­cially so at the great and joyous kennel gatherings held under the superin­tendence of the late James Mortimer. For the Devon man from England was fond of sport—especially that of the racing kind. So when there were no horses to back, Jim, the billiard spe­cialist, liked to have his fling of a dol­lar or two on a mere dog. Atlantic City, New Jersey, Rhode Island, all had their whippet races which were well patro­nized. The Canadian dogs owned by George Gooderham, the distiller, being among the runners.


Mr. Leser, at Brooklandville, 1922. The whippets were Slippery Elm, Bonnie Boy, Mint Julep, Galloping Dominoes, Dancing Spray, Broadway Admiration, and Glencoe Supreme

An ideal grass track is to be found running alongside one of the boundar­ies of the famous polo ground at the Meadowbrook Club, Hempstead, Long Island, New York. This course is a natural one with a building on the one side that is suitable for weighing the dogs and other official matters.

WHIPPETING is a pastime that may be enjoyed by all : the “Four Hundred” as well as the Dicks, Toms, and Harrys of the sporting tribes. As before remarked, jumping races are spectacular and therefore very popular. With the new circular tracks and ar­tificial electrically propelled “hares” or “rabbits,” the new style of whippet racing is bound to become more and more important. The drawback to whippeting has been the smallness of the runners: it is hard to see a 16-20- pound dog from a distance of 100 or more yards, when he is running on a straight-away track. On the other hand, when miniature greyhounds – as whip­pets may be called for the purpose of this explanation – are running around a circular track of much less area than the full-sized greyhound course, the under-25-pound racers can be identi­fied, admired or otherwise.

Herewith is given the figures for making a handicap for dogs and bitches of unknown or unobserved speeds. The table – abridged – is taken from my “Whippet, or Race Dog,” published by Upcott Gill, London. It has been used throughout the world, as a guide for amateurs. Its heading is retained. It reads:

Starts required by dogs of different weights in a 200- yards handicap so that each dog will be on equal terms.



With the building and furnishing of the new and min­iature circular whippet tracks, a new era is surely in store for the splendid sport of whippet-dog racing.

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Dog Breeds of the World 1935 Part II

the walk
Whippet parade to the starting post at the Columbus, Ohio, Whippet Track. Alfred E. Bland leads the way

Dog Breeds of the World
by Freeman Lloyd

Something About Their Development, Origin, and Uses throughout the Ages

(continued from May Issue)

By FREEMAN LLOYD from the American Kennel Club Gazette June 1935. “This will be article one of three published by Freeman Lloyd in 1935. I will post the second next week. These articles have been donated by Don Frames from the scrapbook collection of Gertrude Hooft.”

THE Whippet For Sport and Play” might well be used as a title for a treatise on the diminutive greyhound; a clog which may be used for rabbit hunting and coursing, as well as a gambling medium for racing purposes. Or if we cut out the public tracks or courses, much amusement, recreation, and healthy pastime may be enjoyed on the home meadow where races of 150 to 200 yards might be arranged for an afternoon’s party for dog-loving friends and neighbors.

It has been already written that the whippet makes an ex­cellent dog for the house or apartment. He is of a nice size for the domicile; clean and smart in appearance, while his upkeep in the way of food, does not amount to anything expen­sive. Moreover, it is seldom a whippet grows into fatness or grossness; his coat is too short to harbor fleas, while his small feet do not carry street or coun­try road dirt that might injure expensive carpets.

It was the affection of a whippet that caused a book to be written on this breed as a racer; a work that has remained the vade mecum for whippet dog racers during the last 40 years!

It was Alice Tatham, a black, 16-pound bitch, whelped in or around Rochdale, England, which gave the idea for a book on whippet racing which proved to be the precursor to the dawn of the era of greyhound racing, which now, seemingly, has tak­en possession of the earth— from Florida to China; from England to Australia; from east to west; and from north to south. Greyhound racing is now carried on wherever long dogs exist, and wherever sport and speculation remain parts of the recreations and diversions of men; and women, too.

Alice Tatham had been brought to London by John Ar­thur Tatham, a member of the well-known family of iron mas­ters, of Rochdale, Yorkshire.

THE Tatham sons had a passion for sport, and, in the case of John, a liking for the pen in its sport-writing sense; an inclination to put in print the thoughts and conclu­sions of a man who had studied horses, dogs, natural history, and much of that musing which develops the brain of the thinker and the naturalist who likes to look upon a dog as something other than a mere creature with four legs, a head, a body, and a tail.

Rather than look upon a dog as a fancy creature, Tatham into a large run some 25 feet wide and 75 feet long.

ADAM and her litter occupy each side of the little house.

Surrounding this house is a broad, wooden porch upon which mother and puppies may sun themselves when the surface of the run is damp.

At the time of my visit, Ch. Nan­da von Loheland, a beautiful fawn bitch, was living on one side, and Puma von Loheland, an equally nice brindle bitch, was in the adjoining apartment. Both had puppies, Nanda von Loheland’s being by the great Warrendane show and stud dog, Ch. Jamas von Loheland.

The second of the smaller buildings is a puppy house, 10 x 10 feet, which is used for litters after weaning. It sits in the middle of a large grass run.

Mr. and Mrs. Warren experimented considerably with feeding when they first organized Warrendane, and it took a little time before they settled upon the present daily schedule of feeding. At the present, the grown dogs have two meals a day—a breakfast and a dinner. They have breakfast the first thing in the morning. It consists of oatmeal, raw eggs, and a quart of fresh milk, or twice-baked bread made of either rye or whole wheat flour.

The dinner is the main meal, and it is served about four o’clock in the after­noon. Meat is the principal item on the menu. Each grown dog receives from 3 to 4 pounds of either cooked or raw meat every day, alternately. The shins of beef, cut into cubes, has been found the best for them. Brown rice is used as a filler when the meat is put into the kennel stew, and crackers or shred­ded wheat also is provided when the meat is fed raw.


Photo by Tauskey Here is a utility kennel that may be used for isolation purposes during the show season, or for some of the younger stock of Warrendane.

Leafy vegetables supply roughage. Spinach and lettuce are favorite vegetables. No root vegetable other than the carrot is fed.

FREQUENTLY tomatoes are put into the stew, and sometimes tomato juice is used. Ch. Jamas von Lobeland has a somewhat special diet, and besides the regular food, every day he gets two extra quarts of milk.

The weaning of puppies starts at the third week. Two Guernsey cows are maintained to provide plenty of rich milk for the youngsters; and at the starting of the weaning process they have two meals. At 11 A.M., they have milk and a raw egg. In the afternoon, they have cooked hamburger and broth. Besides that they receive cod-liver oil, calcium glucanate, and orange juice. Calcium glucanate is to build bone. The number of meals for puppies increases up to the fourth week, when they have five a day. But by the sixth week this has been cut down to four meals, and by the seventh or eighth week they have only three a day.


The four runs on this side of the main kennel building are principally for puppies. They open into a long indoor exercising room.

The Warrendane dogs certainly re­flect their excellent feeding and exer­cising. They seem to be everything that a finely bred Great Dane should be, and are as trim as terriers. The king of them all, of course, is that grand brindle specimen, Ch. Jamas von Loheland, which the Warrens started at the Long Island K. C. show in 1934, shortly after his importation. He went first in limit, and then reserve winners. He duplicated this at the Ladies Kennel Association of America show; and then, beginning with the Ridgewood K. C. show, he began collecting points, going winners and best of winners.

Ar Bryn Mawr and at Devon he went up further to best of breed.

He was winners at Troy. At Lehigh Valley lie went all the way from the would try and find out whether it was instinct or thinking that was responsible for a dog being able to find his way home from a distant part; discov­ering its route without being able to read the signs on finger posts, or asking for the right road to, let us say: Tatham’s Iron Works at Rochdale, as important in its way as that of Henry Ford at Detroit, is now. So no one could be surprised when “Master Jack” put a good deal of money into the production of the kennel publication, The Canine World, and came to London, to edit that weekly.

WITH the arrival of The Canine World, in the British metropolis, there was launched a whippet racing campaign; a bigger and better dog rac­ing amusement for what was styled “a superior class of people.” On the de­mise of The Canine World—from the ruins of which sprang The British Fancier, which in turn gave birth to Our Dogs—one of the most successful kennel publications of all time, Mr. Tatham gave the whippet Alice to me, as I had been a columnist and dog show reporter on his staff.

Long Island Whippiteers

Long Island Whippetters. Jim Sharkey (brother of Tom the fighter), left, and James Worthington

“Lloyd, I want you to accept Alice, all the pictures on the walls, and the books on the library shelves.”

And so it was that the “wreck” of a doggie journalistic enterprise became a ladder on which I was destined to ascend.

Pictures, books, and a beautiful black devil in the form of a show and racing whippet! What more might a Fleet Streeter pray for, save money for rent, cakes and ale!

With the stoppage of a salary that had been regular, and another unex­pected collapse of a publication, there was felt a shortage of ready cash: the needful for the household! So sitting at my writing table, looking out of the window, the while striving for a solu­tion of the near- broke problem, Alice Tatham sprang on the desk, licked the face of her new owner, and supplied a sugges­tion that might bring forth the rent.

“Right O’, Alice ! I’ll draw up a synopsis of a book on whippets, and offer it to Mr. Upcott Gill in The Strand!”

FORTHWITH the headings and -11-. proposed “guts” of 16 chapters were jotted down, and taken to the old office of The Bazaar, and delivered at the business counter. It was at once sent upstairs for Mr. Gill’s inspection and the caller asked to wait. Those were anxious moments !

“Yes,” was the verdict! “Ask him if he wants any money ?”

And so I was advanced the sum of 30 golden sovereigns ($150), and asked to call on the following Monday, to sign a contract that incidentally is drawing a royalty until this day! What is more, the handicapping suggestions, as printed in The Whippet or Race Dog, have, for 40 years, been used throughout Christendom and beyond it.

starting box Ohio

At the starting line. The doors are electrically controlled. Scene at Columbus, Ohio

Alice Tatham, the whippet, provided a nest egg; the books and pictures helped to complete a stock-in- trade: part of the merchandise of a journalist !

The book was a success. It was its powder that set a-travelling, dog rac­ing where dog racing hitherto had not been known.

IN the foregoing chapter of this se­ries on whippets, it was mentioned that straight-away tracks or racing courses were essential for whippet racing. In these go-ahead days, other methods and forms of tracks are being utilized; indeed, my old friend and dog racing enthusiast, Felix Agnus Leser, who, thank goodness, has become hale and hearty after five years of residence at Saranac Lake, in the Adirondacks, New York, informs me that a brand new electric circular track was installed, last year, for whippets at Riviera Beach, Maryland. This, it is believed, is the first time that a public course of the kind has been built, especially for the whippet breed. It is, of course, patterned on the greyhound track with its electric hare; but everything is done on a smaller scale.

William J. Kelley, formerly profes­sional trainer at The Maryland Whip­pet Club, Baltimore, says that he had little or no trouble training former straight-running dogs for the circular track. In fact, he had serious difficulty only with two dogs out of sixty-odd; and after three or four schooling races, had them going nicely.

This type of racing is the latest idea, and in time is likely to supersede straight-running. Circular racing is much more spectacular, and allows a better and closer view of the dogs at all times. It also has the added advan­tage of doing away with human run­ners-up. Many would-be whippet owners have hesitated from taking up the sport on account of the robust ex­ercise it demands.

There is every reason to anticipate that the Marylanders’ innovation in the way of artificial hare or rabbit coursing with whippets will become general, pretty well everywhere.

IT will be what galloway or pony racing is to full-height thorough­bred horseracing, in the Sport of Kings. Moreover, the small dog-racing may be carried on at much less expense when whippets are trained at home, or at least in private quarters.

The racing will be much more open and not so liable to be permeated with questionable practices or procedures, as when all the dogs are trained in the same kennel or under one management. It stands to reason the owners of tracks or their trainers are well-advised as to the merit or otherwise of almost each and every dog, in the club’s ag­gregation of racers. Consequently, in the important matter of wagering, the “big shots” should be in a position to get inside information, and act accord­ingly. It is in such instances and under such circumstances, that dog-racing be­comes a racket, which in time kills any sport.

As the whippet is a small dog, he may be kept in a small place. Thus the poor man will return to his “race­horse.” It may be predicted we are on the eve of a come back or reorganization of whippet racing; and, for that we have to thank the sportsmen and sportswomen of the state that gave Am­erica the Chesapeake Bay retriever dog.

WHILE artificial hare or rabbit whippet racing may be looked upon as new, it will be well to remember it was no other than Phineas T. Barnum who introduced into England, circular or “round-the-arena” whippet running. It was ‘way back in the ’90’s, after the Olympia, London, had just been opened, that the Connecticut Yan­kee crossed the Atlantic with his greatest show on earth to receive the plaudits of another nation. I was present on the opening night. In the same box sat Mr. Tatham.

inspectionInspection of the dogs before going to their starting handicap marks. Score board above.The Barnum whippets raced around the oval-shaped arena: the dogs were as used to the sawdust track as were the “wild horses” in the Mazeppa act.

IT was a magnificent entertainment with Imre Kiralfy’s “Fall of Rome” as the spectacular event; while the skel­eton of the giant elephant, Jumbo­’ once the children’s pet at the London Zoo—stood gaunt and grim as a re­membrancer that an Indian pachyderm had become among the best known beasts in the Old and the New Worlds.

Later, Frank Perley, the show’s press-agent, introduced the London dog racer to the mighty showman from the Nutmeg state. Barnum was pleased to learn that his form of dog racing was novel to the English people.

Probably not one per cent of that vast audience had before seen a dog of the whippet breed: it was a North of England dog; but it was Barnum who carried coals to Newcastle, and demon­strated to Britishers what their own dogs could and would do in the way of racing in a circle.

There can be little doubt that the “Greatest Show on Earth” suggested dog racing to the Cockney millions, and in a measure popularized a sport among the Westenders, that hitherto had been only practiced and enjoyed by lowlier members of the sporting fraternities of the remote, and it might have been not over respectable, parts of the capital. Here the dog racers were of ten too poor to buy leather straps to be used as dog collars. So they rigged up old-shirt neckbands with the buttons as buckles, to lead their “race horses” to the dismal, low lying tracks on the Essex marshes. There the bookmakers would not turn away your three-penny bit (6 cents) bets.

The March of Time sends us many changes. Great oaks from little acorns grow. The chronicler of today may live to write of the changes—vast changes—of the fu­ture. What Barnum did, the Riviera of Maryland is making a thousand times more colorable. The make believe circus act has grown into a hundred times more thrilling actual­ity!

Although the whippet is a “saint” about the home or house, he is often a very “devil” after being trained to run to a towel, and taken out for a run on a cinder path or grass track. The very sight of a rag excites him. He has not a savage disposition-mind you; but his is an instant inclination to run and fasten on to the fabric.

THIS run-and-grab disposition was in the blood of his greyhound and terrier ancestry. He de­sires to run after and lay hold of some object that he has become to look upon as a bloodless enemy: something to worry something on which to use his teeth.

Therefore, if the whippet is so dead-in-earnest when he runs after anything that neither smells nor tastes of blood or flesh, what demon­ical  devil he must possess while coursing a good imitation of a “live” hare or rabbit ! If the circular track does not take away from the whippet’s ordinary speed on a straight-away run, then, it is likely a 22-pound dog or bitch will be likely to cover more than 16-17 yards, in 12 seconds of time.

One of the most peculiar traits ever observed in any dog, was in the in­stance of a wire-haired, red-colored whippet bitch named Beauty. She was owned by an elderly cousin, named John Lloyd Thomas, of Crickmail and Carew Farms, Bosherston, Pembroke, Wales. John, in his younger and wild­er days, had seen much of the world; he had been among those who followed the “Forty-Niners” of the California Gold Rush; indeed, he used to love to tell of his experiences in the Sierras, these stories being doubly interesting to his kinsman who had already visited two of the greatest of the world’s gold camps.

Always, as we went to count his flocks of sheep on the downs o’er looking the broad Atlantic, we took Beauty; for, truth to tell, rabbits were almost as plentiful as the guillemots that lit­erally covered the far-famed Eligug Stack Rocks—one of the greatest of onithological sights in Great Britain.

Beauty was not only fast enough to run down and kill a rabbit on her own ground; but she owned a good nose. She could wind a rabbit in its form on the top of a bank or hedge, from a distance of ten or more yards. Walking, and not actively hunting, along the road to Bosherston, Beauty would now and then come to a halt, when she winded or scented the sit­ting bunny. Instinctively, she would run down the highway, leap through the bars of a gate, and return to where she evidently thought the rabbit would bolt when driven out by her human companion. The game would be like­ly to break away, cross the field, and find sanctuary in some bury or burrow. But, if the break-away was favorable for Beauty’s purpose, that rabbit’s mo­ments were numbered.


Score board and the pari-mutuel betting booth as provided by the Columbus Whippet Racing Club

THE strange thing about this bitch ­was she would play with a rabbit half grown, while she was wickedness itself in the case of an adult. No one may anticipate the size of the rabbit hidden, as it sits in its closely-protected thorn-and-grass concealed form. For all the hunter knows, the object of the dog’s attention might be a seven or nine pound hare. All is game for the net until the animal shows itself.

So it often happened that a young rabbit was driven out by the beater: and the course was on! What, it was wondered, passed through the mind of the red-haired Beauty, as she actually played with the not fully developed rodent; while a full grown rodent was – as a zebra is to a lion – a toothsome meal to be caught and instantly killed!

Did Beauty pity the young and hate the old? Anyway, her concern for the young bunny was so great that she would carry the live, almost uninjured creature to her master or his friend. In the case of an older buck or doe, Beauty, if left alone, would crunch every bone in its body.

It is confessed that this lower ani­mal “psychology,” is beyond my powers to explain, especially after looking up the word and finding that the dic­tionary -explains “psychology” means “pertaining to the human mind or soul and its operations.”

The question, however, seems to be: does “instinct” suggest to the dog sort that young rabbits be kindly treated and allowed to attain full age and size, before being ruthlessly destroyed?

Here, it may be mentioned, it takes a very smart dog to catch an European wild rabbit on its own ground; and what is more, a fast whippet is more suitable for this short and swift form of coursing, than a dog of the size of a greyhound. The greyhound is too long in the leg, and high off the ground, to always be capable of stooping enough to reach the fleeing rabbit, which, because of its comparative smallness, is much closer to the ground than is the seven pound hare. So the greyhound fails where the whippet suc­ceeds.

To illustrate the different heights of the hare and the rabbit, it may be men­tioned that about the first lesson given to the young person while learning to set rabbit snares, is that he place the lower part of the wire off the ground, at a height of the closed fist placed sideways: approximately 3 1/2 inches. For a hare-set, the thumb is held up­wards which may give 2 to 3 inches more height off the ground, for the snarer’s silent instrument. Thus, it will be gathered, a greyhound has to stoop 3 inches lower to catch a rabbit than a hare – a performance the long- legged coursing dog often fails to ac­complish.

ON the other hand, the whippet, if sufficiently speedy, seldom, in a long course, fails to catch and kill a rabbit.

When the whippet is used for the dastardly pastime of enclosed coursing: a captured wild rabbit being turned down on a strange field, and two dogs slipped at the unfortunate creature, the whippet is called a “snap dog.” The ordinary rules of greyhound coursing do not apply. There are no points allowed for the faster or better dog in the run-up, the wrench, the turn, and go-bye. The one and only point that counts is the “snap” or kill. The winner in a greyhound trial between two dogs, need not be the killer: the ver­dict goes to the faster and cleverer dog. Snap dog rabbit coursing should be reported to the police or other officers of the law. The pastime is not only unsportsmanlike, but a disgrace to civilization. The rabbit has no chance.

When the black or negroid races of South Africa, first saw the white men’s whippets, they expressed the greatest delight in speech and deportment: they clapped their hands, and jumped off the ground, in their joyousness. In the case of the Zulu, Kafir, and Hottentot, these mannerisms were almost similar, although Zulus, as became the head of the Bantu race, appeared less excited.

Had not their Zulu forefathers dwelled in Egypt of old: a land that had, down through the misty ages, taken great pride in its greyhound-like dogs, as the traveller to the ancient City of Thebes shall bear witness? For there he has seen the sculptures and bas-reliefs—those undestructible pic­tures in stone which tell their own illus­trated tales of how the ancient Egyp­tians enjoyed the sports of hunting and coursing!

IT is true the Zulus of the ’90s of the last century had, hitherto, not seen the little racing dogs; but they at once anticipated their speed and capa­bilities.

“Good for catching blue bucks,” they said: the little antelopes the circumferance of tobacco pipe sterns; and the smallest of all the horned and cloven-foot­ed creatures.

The whippets were not big, strong and long­winded enough for run­ning down and holding the next larger antelopes such as the steinbok and duiker, said the Zulus; and those sons of Ham were right! Here was practical knowledge ex­pressed by those noble Ethiopians than whom none may be better informed regarding the more suitable dogs for running down native game. It was their pleasure to give advice to the pale-faces from across the “big rivers.”

If Richard Crosby-Wade had only been with us as an interpreter—for he is a master of the tongues and dialects of the Zulu, Kafir and Bushmen – then, indeed, there surely would have been much interesting and first-hand matter to write about.

As kennelmen, race-track attendants, runners-up, and slippers, the colored natives were successes. They gloried in the sport of dog racing, and when a dog received a flesh cut or suffered from sore feet, these boys gathered herbs growing on the veld, pounded them into a pulp, and with the vegetable paste dressed the injured parts, and healed the wounds. Here was dog- doctoring in the raw.

SOMETIMES, it is thought, I may pay a return visit to Natal so that the proffered and honored services of my old friend, Major Crosby-Wade, the sugar planter near Ifafa Falls, Natal, might be accepted. And with him as interpreter—and a famous judge of terriers at that—what might be learned from his dog and big-game sporting friends, the Zulus in Zulu­land! For, in the years of his youth, did not Dick Wade supply the famous John Dunn, with greyhounds: and was not Dunn at the right hand of that mighty monarch, King Cetewayo?

CA whippets

Several famous racing and show whippets owned by Freeman Ford at Pasadena, California

What strange and romantic stories might be unearthed and retold for the benefit of a new generation, regarding the young sportsman, John Dunn, who, so impressed the ruler of Africa’s most powerful impis (regiments of war­riors), when the white man killed four out of the six lions that passed over a ridge during a hunt that Cetewayo bade him welcome among the Zulu people.

IS Dunn waxed older and richer, the King allowed him to wed 64 lawful wives that gave to the white chief 133 children, 93 of whom are said to be still alive. All of John Dunn’s off­spring were educated according to the colonial custom. Moreover, his well built homes had greyhounds as dogs for sport, companions, and “fancy.” The small greyhounds were destroyed. Consequently there did not arrive a race or family of whippets. His na­tives alone lived in kraals.

Could there have been any wonder that the Zulus who gave the white men’s whippets the “once-over” knew what they were talking about as they classed such dogs as useful for this, that or the other purpose of sport? For the legends and traditions of the blacks may be as trustworthy as the written words of the whites. As we know, the catholicity of coursing dog-ownership is undeniable.

R. C. A. Samuelson in his “Long Long Ago” (Durban, 1829) tells, that in 1879, after Cetewayo had been taken prisoner, he was incarcerated at Capetown Castle, and subsequently at Oude Moulin, Mowbray, a suburb of the capital. At both places, the King’s dogs were maintained as companions. For a part of their diets, the Government allowed and paid for the upkeep of two cows. On the other hand, the fallen monarch’s private attendants, includ­ing old-time Zulu nobles and ladies- in- waiting, had to be con­tent with a canned lacteal of the condensed kind.

As foreigners we in­troduced dog-racing to Africa, and it was in Jo­hannesburg, the famous commercial center of the South African Republic, that the totalizator or pari-mutuel betting or wagering machine was first used in connection with whippet-racing.

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Dogs Breeds of the World 1935 Article

By FREEMAN LLOYD from the American Kennel Club Gazette May 1935. “This will be article one of three published by Freeman Lloyd in 1935. I will post the second next week. These articles have been donated by Don Frames from the scrapbook collection of Gertrude Hooft.”

Nomad Nancy

Beautiful example of the show and racing whippet. The loins are not too arched. Ch. Nomad Nancy of Oxon. photo by Tauskey

THE whippet, in shape, is a miniature greyhound, and should weigh less than 25 pounds. He is the most  speedy of all dogs of his weight or height, and is used for rac­ing and rabbit coursing purposes. A nice height for dogs is 18inches, and for bitches, 17 inches. The larger ones are fast enough for running wild rabbits on their own ground, but are too slow for the European hares and American jack-rabbits. Whippets are both smooth haired and wire haired, but the coat does not affect their speed: that is to say, one kind is as good as the other when they are extended at full speed. As a bench show dog, the smooth coated whippet may be looked upon as the more beautiful since his elegance of form is more discernible when the silk-or satin-like, well-groomed hair sets off the lovely contour of the body. As a smart and sensible dog about the house, or as lady’s companion for the outdoors, the whippet is well suited. They live in amity when kennelled to­gether in large numbers; they are not aggressive but friendly in the fullest sense; in short, whippets are desirable dogs for play as well as for sport. Al­hough keenly interested in whippets for many years, I have been unable to discover the origin of the word “whippet.”


Fastest A. K. C. registered whippet of his day. Freemanor Racing Ravanell, winner Martin Memorial Handicap, 1930. Breeder and owner: Felix Leser

DERIVATION might have been “wappet,” an English provincialism meaning: small, yelping cur. When the small greyhound-like dog was being taught to run to a rag or towel waved by one man, while the excited puppy or older dog was held by another per­son, the dog would become noisy, and wap or yap: hence wappet, which in time became whippet. AS whippet racing originated in the north and northwest of England in Northumberland and Lancashire, to be precise-the word whippet may be considered an English one, and now has become worldwide in its use. The breed name is acknowledged and tabu­lated in the stud books of all countries where kennel registers are kept and valued. From Britain, whippet dog racing has extended to both hemispheres; and from whippet-racing has grown greyhound racing, the latter sport—or per­haps it had better be called “pastime” —being far and away the most popular of all four-legged racing, except horse racing, among the nations. WHILE the whippets’ distance or course is about 200 yards or less in length, the greyhounds cover longer courses or tracks. While the whippet runs a straight race, the larger grey­hounds cover greater distances, and mostly around circular or oval-shaped courses.

Race Wrap

Box muzzle and clothing used for racing whippets. They are kept heavily sheeted before and after their running on tracks Photo by Levick

Some day, greyhounds may be run on a straight-running artificial hare or rabbit, provided that a means is found for keeping half a dozen greyhounds from converging on the one object of the chase. It is well known that if you let loose six greyhounds to course a fleeing hare, they will fail to catch her, for the simple reason all will con­centrate their killing desires on the single quarry; and, in their attempts to do so, will charge and bump into one another. Thus the six greyhounds become a muddled heap of useless dogs. ON the other hand, while a brace, or two greyhounds, course a hare, the one gains where the other fails; in short, a single greyhound is fairly useful, a brace of greyhounds is satis­factory; while a leash of three greyhounds which hinder one another, be­come practically useless as a coursing combina­tion. In which way was the greyhound reduced in size so that the offspring might approximate that of a 16-25 whippet? Probably by the use of terrier crosses — several of them ; and then the further crossing of the progenies that favored the greyhound type in all points save those of large size. In this way, the grey­hound-form type — the personification of speed and beauty of outline— was accentuated and preserved, while the sturdier type of the terrier—what­ever its breed or variety—was de­stroyed save and except in the grab­bing, tearing, and aggressive tendency possessed by the terrier, a worrying disposition that might be found more in a dog’s head or tem­perament, than in the form of his body or the length of his legs. It would surprise many to observe how fast a whippet- foxterrier-bred dog can travel. Years ago, a white and black marked terrier that re­sembled a foxterrier more than a whippet, could hold his own against the pure-bred whippets on the London tracks; the half-breed could beat many of the pure-breeds. He was entered as a half-breed, and appeared as such on the race cards. Moreover, the presence of the mon­grel was not objected to. It was a case of let those come which might. There was no “color” or breed lines. In my experience, I never saw any other terrier, save smooth foxterrier cross-bred race-dogs, run in a handicap. Possibly on account of his being half-bred, the mongrel mentioned was given an ad­vantage of about 3 yards in a handi­cap in a race of 200 yards. It is, however, not advisable to use a terrier cross while breeding whippets, for the reason no one will desire to lose the racing lines—the elegance of the greyhound—while producing them. But, as before written, a little or a great deal of the terrier “devilment” is often required in the racing whippet. The ideal of gracefulness may be allowed that sort of temperament that, in the human, might develop into the grabbing spirit of hair-pulling! The whippet that hangs on to the towel is always a good finisher. A rag-shy dog or bitch lacks the dash required during the last moment of the race. The whippet has been called “the poor man’s racehorse,” and very likely the description is an apt one. It is true that whippet racing has long become a fashionable sport; but it has had its ups and downs among fashionable people here, there, and everywhere. Still, in the case of the miners and cotton mill workers of Lancashire and Yorkshire, the colliers of Northumberland and Durham, the pastime has remained the same: a Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning diversion. The same remarks apply to the whippet dog racers of London. IN the United States, the Rhode Islanders and the cotton operatives of New England, gener­ally, maintain their keen­-as-ever interests in whip­pets and whippet-racing. High class clubs have come and gone, chiefly because of the publicity their race meetings have been given. There has, and perhaps ever will be, the much discussed legal question regarding wagering. As a consequence, the Law has stepped in while the whip­pet has had to step out: an innocent victim of the eternal conflict as to what constitutes right or wrong. So the affluent have been pounced on, while the working-men sports, holding and running their dog handi­caps in some hole and corner out of the way, have been able to carry on their amusements, while the more spec­tacular and “respectable” gatherings have been dispersed. In countries where horse and dog racetrack betting is legalized, whippet racing is among the well patronized out-door entertainments; and will con­tinue as such. Some writers have thought the Italian greyhound cross was used to produce the whippet, but bearing in mind the high-stepping action of the smallest of the greyhound kinds, there is reason to believe that such a cross would be unadvisable. The high knee- action of the hackney horse is of no avail as a galloping organization, against that of the thoroughbred horse—which travels closer to the ground. So for the sake of speed it were better not to employ the Italian grey­hound as a stud dog or a brood bitch for the production of whippets that might be required for racing pur­poses. THERE has been little change in the formation of whippets during the last half a century or more, al­though since the photographs of hand- posed dogs of this breed, have appeared in publications devoted to dogs seen in the bench show judging rings, there has been a noticeable inclination to pro­duce whippets with greatly arched loins—a lamentable procedure, it is thought. It is the shortness or compactness of the loins that denote strength ; the loins form a strong middle piece that con­nects the forequarters to the hind ­quarters. Here is the mighty hinge on which the framework, or body, of the dog swings and works. It is the link on which much depends. There also is a tendency to admire the arched loin of the show greyhound; but if the reader care to look at the backs of the 64 greyhounds entered and run in an English Waterloo Cup, he or she will find that almost every one is inclined to be relatively flat along the loins. There will be found a slight rise in the loin formation; but nothing approaching that of the arched loin of many bench show greyhounds. Therefore, if the one be right, the other must be wrong. IT is obvious that the “long dog,” with a naturally arched loin, will not cover so much length or space, as will the dog with an inclined-to-be-flat loin. The one that covers the most ground, is supposed to have the longest stride. If this be so, the longer strid­ing dog, will be found the speedier; and, as the old saying goes: “the race is to the swiftest.” So, perhaps, a great mistake is being effected when an attempt is made to make a whippet appear as if he possess abnormally arched loins — a practice that is common in the show rings of all countries. Very likely this custom has been brought about because of posed pic­tures of prize dogs. Such will prove misleading — especially for novitiates who might not be well-versed in the anatomies of dogs, and what those makes or shapes portend. “The poor man’s racehorse,” as often as not, has been the poor man’s friend. As in the instance of some of the older varieties of toy spaniels and toy terriers, the breed of whippets would long have died out, had it not been for the working men of Brit­ain, and, in a lesser sense, those of New England and Pennsylvania.

california whippet

Scene in California: The late Mabel Normand, motion picture star, with some of Freeman Ford's Arroyo racing and show whippets. They were among the first racers on the Coast

WHIPPET racing and exhibiting have long been among the greater outdoor pastimes of the great and oth­erwise of Hollywood, California, while the best arranged of all the model race­tracks was that at Green Spring Valley, Baltimore, Maryland, where Felix Agnus Leser and friends were re­sponsible for truly sporting events. These were carried on in the best of sporting ways: in short, here was the sport of whippet racing conducted by gentlemen for gentlemen. There was an absence of everything that might have been considered unseemly: it was a model course midst glorious sur­roundings and the ease and quietude of responsible respectability. “Then what caused its downfall ?” There was a little wagering through the agency or an honest-to-goodness totalizator—an unheard of wickedness, it seemed, according to the beliefs of some people. So the curtain had to be rung down on the best managed whippet race track that could be imagined. How­ever, I am glad I witnessed a Baltimore whippet race, if only for the reason, that I am enabled to write that there was observed one of those quiet and sedate, yet truly sporting, meetings that might be compared with a Hunt Club steeplechase meeting of the horse- racing kind. At Baltimore was witnessed the realization of a dream; an imagination of one that had a deal to do with the introduction of whippet racing into different parts of the world. The old, and by many the still preferred way, for starting whippets in a race, is to hold the dog with one hand by the scruff of neck, and the hind quarters with the other hand—and throw him into his stride, at the flash or sound of a pistol shot, the gun being held by the starter. The scratch dog should run the full 200 yards. The dog crosses the winning line, at full speed, while 10 yards beyond he seizes the towel waved by a shouting, encouraging runner-up. Pre­vious to this, the runner-up had, at the trot, traversed the full course, all the time waving the “rag,” whistling or otherwise encouraging his dog to follow. As may be well imagined, the five or six dogs held on their respective handicap marks, make no end of a noise as they bark their desires to reach their callers. A runner-up may be a stranger to the dog, but the whippet will run to him. It is, of course, preferable that the man be known to the little racer. Still the whippet is keen, and in his excitement, he is game to follow his “flag.”


A fair start! Whippets released from electrically controlled boxes. All are off from the same mark. Scene: The Columbus, Ohio, Whippet Racing Club

On many modern whippet race tracks, the racers are secured in stall- like boxes with apertures in the door ways, through which the dogs may see all that is going on. With their eyes, they follow the actions of the runners- up. When the men are about to cross the winning line, the starter fires his pistol and simultaneously releases the electrically controlled doors of the box stalls. In this way, the dogs are dispatched on their journey. This method is considered fair for all the dogs and their owners, and, very likely, such is true. The art—bad as well as good—of the slipper is done away with : there can be no holding or restraining a dog on his mark, when, because of monetary or other consider­ations, it is not desired or politic for the dog to win. Once a whippet is on his way, there is no slowing him. He has no human jockey on his back. The dog is out to win if it be possible for him to do so. So, the destroying of a dog’s winning chance is in the hands of the dishonest slipper. Even a delay of a fifth of a second on the starting mark may mean somewhere about 3 yards difference in the speed of a whippet that may cover 200 yards in the remarkable time of 12 seconds. Needless to write there often is much that is dishonest in all forms of racing from pedestrianism to classic horse racing. And when all is so soon over —the race run and won in so short a time as a fifth of a minute-money sometimes is the inducement that does not fail to attract the avaricious. The poor man’s race horse also is his medium for money-making. One day he may wish his dog to win: on the next occasion, it might be best for his pocket, that the dog lose. SOME people have found fault with the noise and shouting at a whip­pet race meeting. But they forget the dogs have been trained to run to the loud voices of the towel carriers. The bang of the gun gets on the nerves of others, but to ordinary frequenters these ebullitions of excited men and dogs surely appear as parts of the programme. So it happened that the tamest and least exciting whippet handicap ever witnessed was run off in 1895 before the Prince of Wales—after­wards King Edward VII of England —at the Ranclagh Club, Barn Elms, London. The “First Gentleman In Europe” was accompanied by the Prin­cess of Wales, and their three daugh­ters. It was a great and grand day when whippet racing, under such dis­tinguished patronage, was seen in the country where dog racing had its ori­gin. And wouldn’t it be a pretty sporting dish to set before a King? Yes and no! Everything was beautiful and never before or since has been seen such a galaxy of human beings of high station and estate at a whippet track. The managers of the meeting decided on what they thought would be a better way to conduct dog racing in or near the metropolis. At that time, whippets were not considered as highly desirable dogs to own: they were on a parity with fighting bullterriers or the “business dogs,” so- called, of the dog-pit variety.

close race

A close race. A result of good handicapping. Five dogs usually run in each heat. Sometimes six are engaged. Whippets: 16 and 17 appear the fastest

For the royal fete, no London whip­pets were considered reliable enough for that gala day on which occasion the more or less ragged and unsohisticated East Enders could have no place. So several whippets of renown, their Lancashire owners, slippers, and runners-up, were brought to London. The men were instructed how they should act in the presence of Royalty ; the runners-up might not even shout loud encouragements to their dogs; the men, dressed up in all their Sunday- best, might not even loudly pipe their whistles within hearing of the august personages. As for firing a fully pow­der-charged pistol that would be en­tirely out of place. The bang of an exploded cartridge might frighten the guests and stampede the vast assembly of fashionables that thronged both sides of the 200 yards grass track on which the little sprinters were to run. So it was, almost silent runners-up trotted down the course on the well- mown lawn. It is true the shrill barks of the excited whippets could be heard; but to the old-timers it seemed the race was on and half over, before the people were ready for it. “It must he a false start!” they cried. But it wasn’t! ONLY a percussion cap had been exploded on the nipple of the pistol: the sound of discharged powder would cause a panic! Who could wonder when some of the whippets ran off the course! The dogs couldn’t hear the longed-for voices—the usual calls and exhorta­tions of the men whose waving towels they had been used to seize; and oft allowed to tear to ribbons, as rewards for the dogs’ strenuous endeavors. It can be imagined that the event was far from being successful. After the racing was over, one of the owners was asked why some of the dogs had run off the course. “Oh,” said he, “our dogs have not been in the habit of seeing so much finery; all the dresses of the fine ladies and gentlemen. An’ there was the Prince of Wales! When they couldn’t hear our voices, they were all at sea! Dog racing without a noise can be no good. The excitement keeps the dogs keen. Royalty or not it’s rag-waving, whistling and shouting that urge the dogs to do their best. Even the wise from the bettors and the onlookers help the game along.” Whippet racing from that 1895 day on became an acknowledged sport among the better classes of the South of England. It had been patronized by members of the Royal Family, and for English men and women that was sufficient guarantee that the pastime was a worthy one. Of course, there was no public betting at the Ranclagh Club meeting, although wager­ing is a part and closely con­nected with all forms of rac­ing. It was a top-hat, kid- glove event of the garden party order. The hub-bub of the bookmakers’ rings—as had been usual at the previous and large metropolitan dog racing at Kensal Rise—was unheard on the field of aristocratic Ranclagh. Sometime in the early ’90’s whippets were first exhibited in Holland. The show was held in lovely park-like grounds, close to the sea at Schevenin­gen, the fashionable watering place, about three miles or so from The Hague. A few Eng­lish owners of show dogs made entries, among these being George Nutt, of Pulborough, Sussex, England. He was noted for his rough-haired beagles—a very sporty class of small hounds—a variety that has yet to be seen in Amer­ica. Distinguished in appearance, gentle­manly and courtier-like in manner, Mr. Nutt was a popular figure whitherso­ever he travelled. Above all, he was full of fun, or mischief if you like; but his practical jokes were unharm­ful: they always had happy endings. So it was at Scheveningen that the Pulborough or Nutt whippets made their bow to a Dutch gathering of dog- lovers. The show days were Saturday and Sunday. On the latter day, the Burgomaster, his lady, and party were to attend the show of the afternoon kennel fete. The visiting Englishmen were apprised of the coming vi sit of notabilities, and asked to prepare their dogs for a grand parade before the chief magistrate of the Capital. Yes: and if Mr. Nutt would “race” his little whippet dogs, wouldn’t that be some­thing entirely new for everyone to see! THERE was an exhibition of arts IL and merchandise on at the same time; and to this building that housed it, Mr. Nutt and his friend wended their way on the Sunday morning. Nutt wanted to purchase a few trifles to take home for his daughter, the whippet owner said. After much trouble, Nutt seemed satisfied when he had bought the larg­est and costliest silk handkerchiefs on which were embroidered the entwined flags of the kingdoms of Holland and Great Britain. There was presented a true emblem of the hands-across-the­sea sentiment that existed between the two countries. What better! And so arrived the afternoon of a glorious, early-summer day, when much of the beauty and chivalry of The Hague, followed their burgomas­ter to the dog show at Scheveningen! Truth to tell, I had never before ob­served such a well-dressed assembly at any of the British and Continental events of the dog show sort! So it was that my mind ran back to what I had read about the affluence and solid re­spectability of the old East and West Indian Dutch merchants, who opened up the trade channels to previously un­settled and unexploited lands! Had not much of the gold of the Indies been theirs; had not many of the capes, bays, and promontories on the world’s map, been named after their mariners and navigators! There on the Scheveningen sward was re­flected, as was thought, the staid, solid, and unostentatious respectability and wealth that must have partly accrued from the successful adventures of those old-time and splendid Dutch “Plough­ers of the Deep!” Half a dozen whippets com­posed the Nutt entry: ALL of them were true run­ners to the rag. Just to demonstrate that two of his little dogs would run to any kerchiefs, the silver-haired, clean shaven, clear and ruddy complexioned, handsome Eng­lishman, bowing low, approached the Burgomaster’s party, and begged for the loan of a handkerchief from the chief guest and his wife.


Ran 200 yards in 12 seconds. Slim, wire-haired whippet, 221/2 pounds, winner of a Maryland Derby Stakes. This speed is equal to 16 yards, 2 feet per second. Owner: Jack Partridge

These were willingly en­trusted to Nutt, who in turn handed them to two runners-up who already had been instructed what to do: to run up the course, whistle and wave the handkerchiefs: the dogs would do the rest. The whippets raced up to the amateur runners-up, and seizing the handkerchiefs. tore them into shreds. What a scene! The English had insulted the Dutch! The Burgomaster’s handkerchief had been wilfully cast before a foreign dog so the foul creature could de­stroy it ! Like all, save one person, I was afrighted and ashamed. The one man to keep his nerve and play his brave if impudent part, was George Nutt, who advancing towards the outraged parties, apologized for the “unthoughtful­ness” of his dogs. With one knee on the ground, he begged that the great gentleman and lady accept the proffered gifts of silk handkerchiefs, with their emblems denoting a lasting friendship between the glorious Kingdom of Holland and England! Immediately a change came over the scene. Where had been hissing and cries of hate and derision, there arose a mighty cheer! Nor was that all! Half an hour afterwards, every English whippet at the show had been purchased, and to remain in Queen Wilhelmina’s Realm. And from that date—early in the ’90’s— whippet racing, as a sport, became popular in Holland.

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First American Whippet Club Newsletter 1956

A special thanks to Terry Schwartzman of Travlin’ Whippets for the Historic contribution.

Louis Pegram was an outstanding spokesman for the whippet breed during his life. He was never known as a famous breeder but a gentleman who did so much more for the breed with his other work. I am adding a photo here of Mr. Pegram from the scrapbooks of Mary Beth Arthur who collected many items regarding Louis over his life.


Louis Pegram did a great job at assisting the AWC for many years and published the first AWC Newsletter which continues today.


by Louis Pegram

At the last meeting of The American Whippet Club on March 30, 1956, it was the majority opinion of the members present that a bi-monthly bulletin was needed to stimulate interest in the very versatile Whippet as a pet, show dog and race dog. In order to get this publication on the road, it was agreed that all members would send in any and all available information on Whippet activities in their particular section of the country.

The Whippet News is sponsored by The American Whippet Club, copies of each edition of The Whippet News is free to all Whippet owners or those interested in Whippets whether they are members of The American whippet Club or not. All articles for publication in future issues of The ‘Whippet News’ and those Whippet owners who wish to add their names to the regular mailing list, should write to Louis Pegram, THE WHIPPET NEWS, Route 2, Box 190, Kankakee, Illinois.

For the good of the breed, and those people who breed, show, race or have Whippets just for pets, we are interested in receiving constructive information on the following topics: Important show and race news; new imports; puppies for sale; information on disease, diet, grooming, etc.; changes in standard; new faces in the sport, etc. The field is wide open as long as it deals with “Whippets and their care only.” In short, this little publication is your “Whippet News.” With your full cooperation, I am sure it will be a success.


Doris Wear reports that The American Whippet Club will hold their fall Specialty Show in connection with Somerset Hills Kennel Club, Far Hills, New Jersey on September 8, 1956. This is an unbenched Foley Show with entries closing at noon on August 28. At the time Mrs. Wear started negotiations with the Somerset Kennel Club, they had already invited Mr. William Ross Proctor to judge the breed.

In a letter to Mrs. Wear, Mrs. G. G. King, Secretary of the Somerset Hills Kennel Club, said their club would make the following offer:

1. The Somerset Hills Kennel Club will offer a sterling silver trophy for best of breed.

2. The Somerset Hills Kennel Club will offer a sterling silver trophy for best of opposite sex.

2. The Somerset Hills Kennel Club will give the Specialty Club $50.00 if there are 50 or more dogs entered, and $100.00 if there are 100 or more dogs entered.

4. The Somerset Hills Kennel Club will give one free luncheon ticket to each officer and each exhibitor member of the Specialty Club, providing the Specialty Club secretary notifies the Somerset Hills secretary three weeks before the show the number of tickets necessary.

While the Spring Specialty Show of The American Whippet Club at Chicago in March of this year is past history, it will long be remembered as one of the very best in the history of the club. Cooperation by members of The American Whippet Club was outstanding as an entry of 56 Whippets with 14 Specials would indicate.

While this was not the largest entry in the history of the club, it is my opinion The Chicago Specialty did more to unite Whippet owners from all sections of the country than any other Specialty ever held by The American Whippet Club. For years there was a dividing line between racing and show groups. This line is no longer in existance. Today, members of The American Whippet Club are in a position to promote their breed to its best advantage whether it be in the show ring or on the race track.


By Doris Wear

Mrs. Margaret Ritchie, Pennyworth Kennels, Box 14, Hampton Bays, L.I., New York, one of the most successful Whippet owners in America, also owner of the English and American Champion Wingedfoot Field Spring Bryony, an all-time great show Whippet, reports only one litter of Whippet puppies through June of 1956. This litter, born in January, consists of two male puppies by Pennyworth Sunset out of Champion Strathoak Glamour Girl and, while a small litter, both look to be quality individuals. Mrs. Ritchie has also done quite well with her latest import, Wingedfoot Ringmaster, who is now a confirmed AKC champion having won his title in five straight shows.

Mrs. Kistler writes that they have a new litter, whelped June 7, out of Quarry Lillian (by their Silver Streak, and, ex Garden City’s Dancing Mouse). The sire of the litter is The Baron of Birdneck Point, a newly acquired dog by Ch. Picardia Fieldfare ex Ch. Bonnie of Birdneck Point. There are in this litter, five dogs and one bitch, all fawns, but three have white about their heads, necks and feet. One, a runt, they are dropper feeding on an egg and milk mixture. Mrs. K. expresses doubt of the worth of this procedure (trying to save runts) but is experimenting, having once before had fair success and another time, failure. I wish you luck, but have long since given up any such attempts myself.

The new members this year whom I would especially like to welcome are: Mr. & Mrs. Chase Arnold, Mrs. Mark Selway (who comes from England, but who is here with her husband on diplomatic duty) and Mrs. W. C. Marvin.

You might mention that two old members have re-joined the club, namely, yourself and Mrs. Fell. Mrs. John A. Griswold, West Valley Road, Wayne, Penna., still has several Whippets and, spurred on by her daughter Sara’s interest, still breeds an occasional litter. Her last, whelped in August 1955, is out of a bitch called Princess de Anna, who is a litter mate of the famous Ch. Garden City’s Sleepy Mouse. Her puppies are by my dog, S.M. Madrigal who is a son of my Ch. S.M. Masquerade ex Pocon Lucratia Silvia. The latter carries straight Meander breeding. Mrs. Griswold still has two bitches from this breeding and I have one. Hurrah for Sara Griswold for keeping her mother at it and, incidently, congratulations to her also for her good wins in Junior Showmanship classes where, always handling a Whippet, she has qualified for the Garden competition and we will look forward to seeing her there next winter

Mrs. James Ellison, formerly of Penllyn, Penna., now living at 1001 West Drew St., Fort Worth, Texas, would certainly enjoy hearing from other members of the club in regards to their Whippet activities. Mrs. Ellison took four of her Whippet bitches with her to Texas and they have created quite a lot of excitement in the Lone Star State.

Now some news from Stoney Meadows Whippets: Our oldest puppies are two dogs, one black, one white and black, whelped Nov. 19, 1955, by Ch. S.M. Masquerade ex S.M. Evening Star. Unfortunately, the two bitches in the litter were lost in that “plague” that hit us early last winter. These are big pups, real small greyhound type, and will be slow developers.

Two bitch pups, also one black and one black and white, whelped Jan. 5, 1955 , by Night Extra of S.M. ex Ch. S.M. By-Line. This is a brother-sister mating and the first inbreeding we’ve tried. It’s too early to tell, but right now the black looks good. By-Line and Evening Star are litter sisters younger than Night Extra.

Litter whelped April 1, 1956, five dogs and one bitch by S.M. Marathon (9 points, both Majors) ex S.M. Goldfinch who is from the very first litter by Ch. Meander Bob-White. In this litter there are 1 parti-color, 2 brindles, 3 fawns.

Litter whelped May 8, 1956, four dogs, three bitches, by S.M. Epic (litter brother to Marathon) ex Ch. Snow Flurry of Meander. She is also the dam of Boldfinch, so these last two litters are out of mother and daughter by two litter brothers – interesting! This bunch are all flash, one pure white, one solid brindle and the rest broken colors.

Last (so help me) is a litter whelped May 13, 1956, two dogs and five bitches out of Ch. S.M. Fairy Tale by her own sire, Night Extra of S.M. I wanted a concentration of black and got it! Five blacks, one white and black, and one red fawn. These inbreeding’s are purely experimental but should prove educational!

Mrs. Theodora Pedersen, Garden City Kennels, Towson, Md., before leaving for Europe greatly reduced her outstanding kennel of Whippets. Those owners buying most of her choice stock were Commander Timmons, Albany, N. Y.; Dr. Dery, Montreal, Canada; Miss Way, Brooklyn, N. Y.; and Yrs. Norman, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.


By F. Julia Shearer

Donald Hostetter, Cobham, Va., has a bitch safe in whelp to Bob White. She is by Metallurgist out of his Ch. Joktan O’Lazeland. I really don’t know her registered name, call name is Myrtle. Mr . Harry T. Peters, Jr., President of The American ‘Whippet Club and owner of Windholme Kennels, has just purchased the Whippet bitch Ch. Bo Peep of Birdneck Point from Mrs. Theodora Pedersen.

Ch. Meander Bob White continues his winning ways, going Best of Breed at Inter ­ national Kennel Club Show, Chicago, Ill.; Morris and Essex, Morristown, N. J.; Richmond, Va.; Charlottesville, Va.; Baltimore County Kennel Club, and was a group winner at Hartford County Kennel Club, Bel Air, Md. (Ch. Meander Bob White is, in fact, building a record that will place him in the list of all time Whippet greats – L.P.

Meander now has three litters of small pups:

Three males and three females by Ch. Meander Robin out of Ch. Dizzy Blond of Meander. These are full brothers and sisters to Ch. Meander Bob White.

Two dogs and two bitches by Ch. Meander Metallurgist ex Caniston Carlotta of Ivandon.

Two females and two males by Ch. Meander Robin ex Meander Elsa.

By the tine you receive this issue of The Whippet News, there should be another litter by Ch. Meander Kingfisher ex Ch. Happy Talk O’Lazeland. (Kingfisher is a litter brother to Ch. Meander Bob White.)

Of special interest to those Whippet owners around Baltimore is that the bitch Gar ­ den City Field Mouse in whelp to Ch. Meander Metallurgist was purchased from Mrs. Theodora Pedersen of Garden City Kennels, Baltimore, Ed.


by Mrs. George Anderson

Ina most interesting letter to Mrs. Wear, the following is reported by Mrs. Anderson, owner of Mardormere Kennels.

“We are leaving July 3rd on the Caronia for the North Cape cruise, arriving in England August 3rd, and will stay in London about three weeks, arriving home on August 28.

“All this has nothing to do with whippets and I am afraid I have very little “Mardormere” news. We just have three litters in the puppy house which we have weeded down to nine, and out of that remaining group, we have three that I am excited about. One in particular, a blue and white dog out of Ch. Starglow and by the English dog Fawn Dandy, who is filling out a gap nicely for us by giving us more substance, deeper brisket and stronger pasterns.

“We also have a white bitch by Fawn Dandy with a fawn spot on her back, who is a charming character, and at the present time hard to fault, but as the old saying goes, time will tell.

“As far as immunization in our kennel, we have had luck in giving both distemper and hepatitis shots to our puppies. Then they contract both these diseases at the same time, which will sometimes happen, it is usually fatal.”


Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Jacobs

The Whippet population of Illinois received quite a boost when Whipoo’s Silken Elegance, C.D., bred to Ch. Meander Robin gave birth to a litter of eleven pups. All of the litter were normal in every respect, but it was decided to raise only nine. Mrs. Jacobs said a number of these outstanding pups are for sale. There are six females and five males left in the litter that may be the largest litter in the history of the breed.

Whipoo Kennels showed a very outstanding bitch at the Specialty, named Whipoo’s Silvery Duster. This Whippet on June 9th won the Hound Group at Kalamazoo, Mich. The following day, a full litter mate, Whipoo Wild Honey, placed second in the Hound Group at South Bend, Ind.


In talking with many members of The American Whippet Club, almost without exception their number one problem and fear seems to stem around virus outbreaks in their kennel. Losses from Distemper and Hepatitis annually take a terrific toll in lives and the Whippet and Greyhound seem to be a prime target for such virus diseases.

For some time now, Dr. John W. Bernotavicz, Director of Gaines Research Kennels, Kankakee , Illinois , has been collecting information on virus diseases. It was my thought that the following articles might be highly valuable to Whippet breeders in order that they might see the outstanding work being accomplished by the veterinary profession in their work against dogs’ most deadly enemies.

Dr. R. L. Ott, State College, Washington, Pullman, Wash., has a paper entitled, “The Differential Diagnosis of Canine Distemper and Infectious Hepatitis,” in the Proceedings of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 232, 1954.

This paper points out that because of wide variation in symptoms of the two diseases, they may easily be confused and this difficulty is enhanced as the two of them may occur simultaneously. Distemper usually occurs in dogs three

to nine months of age; infectious hepatitis us no respecter of age. In kennels, hepatitis spreads slowly but distemper usually spreads rapidly. Distemper is rather slow in onset and is characterized by moderate diphasic temperature curve (103° to 104° F), with a prolonged course. The onset of hepatitis is rapid with pronounced temperature rise (104° to 106° F) and short clinical course. The fatal form of hepatitis starts with fever, circulatory lapse and death within 12 to 24 hours.

Based on 218 replies to a questionaire circulated among the members of the American Animal Hospital Association, by Drs. Kendall K. Firth, V. G. Crago, Lawrence E. Green, Bennett J. Porter and Charles C. Rife, the following is taken; “Recent experimental data indicate that no distemper vaccine, either life-attenuated or killed, will produce lifelong immunity against canine distemper unless the animals are regularly challenged by dogs with the disease or are given additional vaccine periodically to boost or renew the immunity. Does your experience find this true? Or False? True, 84%; False, 13%; No answer, 3%.” 86% of the respondents advise booster vaccinations for distemper; 14% do not.

Carl Mayer, Skokie, Illinois, reports on the age for distemper immunization. Both potent killed vaccines and modified live-virus vaccines are offered commercially and both have advocates among the practitioners for distemper immunization. Failures often have been charged unjustly when infectious canine hepatitis or leptospirosis was responsible for a distemper “break.” Nevertheless, distemper does sometimes occur in vaccinated dogs, and then it may be in the encephalitic form. Recently, it has been shown that distemper encephalitis can occur as much as six weeks after vaccination from an earlier contact with distemper.

The period of greatest danger from distemper is agreed to be the first few months following weaning . The recent findings that pups can be vaccinated successfully at six to eight weeks offers hope for preventing many distemper “breaks” of the type referred to. Present thinking, based on experience, also favors giving one or more booster injections later on in life. The concept of absolute life-long immunity to distemper has been questioned.

Dr. Wayne H. Riser, Skokie, Illinois, has a paper entitled, “Observation on Canine Distemper,” in Veterinary Medicine for April 1956.

This paper quotes, “R. O. Ott and J. R. Gorham, reporting their experience indicate some doubt as to whether many vaccinated dogs, regardless of the immunization product used, could stand distemper virus challenge after a lapse of a few months, providing there is no additional challenge to bolster the antibody production in the interim.” He also reports that Dr. G. B. Schnelle, in an abstract of his paper given at the AVMA meeting at Minneapolis, said, “It has been proved that chicken embryo virus vaccine, tissue vaccine, and ferret-adapted vaccine do not uniformly confer durable immunity against distemper. Such failure to protect appears to be in a higher percentage than hitherto reported.

“It is suggested that a re-evaluation of the problem of satisfactory immunization against canine distemper is needed and that a more honest acceptance is needed of widespread failure of vaccination which would be in the interests of the canine population, the dog-owning public, and the practicing veterinarians.”

In his own practice, because of the reports as published in the literature and because of break through’s in distemper vaccinated dogs, all dogs confined in his hospital receive additional distemper protection unless they have been hospitalized within the past 60 days. This protection consists of a regular dose of killed-tissue vaccine in the previously vaccinated dogs and homologous serum in the unvaccinated dogs.

Dr. Riser states that the question is asked, “What is the illness exhibited by these dogs?” He has no way of knowing the cause of these “breaks” but when dogs do “break” under their care they show one or more signs of distemper. These include: (1) hyperkeratosis of the pads, (2) tonsillitis, (3) influenza-like septicemia, (L) kennel cough, (5) vomiting, diarrhea, and enteritis, (6) pet shop enteritis, (7) encephalitis, and (8) chorea.

Dr. Riser states that it takes an animal a period of fourteen days to produce its own neutralizing antibodies when stimulated with an antigen. On the other hand, if that animal has been stimulated previously by a specific antigen, subsequent stimulation by the same antigen takes only a matter of hours before neutralizing antibodies are produced again.

The fastest acting antigen is killed-tissue vaccine. It is produced by making a 10% emulsion of finely ground organs, usually spleen, liver, lung and stomach, from a dog which is infected with the virus of Carre l plus a variety of bacterial invaders, that have been made chemically sterile.

Killed-tissue vaccine will produce immunity when three doses are given. The immunity is of short duration unless there are frequent challenges with live virus or with a subsequent renewal of the antigen stimulation at frequent intervals. A big advantage is that killed-tissue vaccine causes no untoward reaction if the dog has low resistance. Egg-adapted live-virus vaccine produces active immunity against distemper by producing the disease in a sub clinical form. If the vaccinated animal has subnormal resistance, undesirable reactions, particularly of the nervous type, are likely to appear.

Another point of interest is that distemper virus is perishable and is preserved best by lyophylization, which is a quick-freeze dehydration method. Gorham, reporting at the AVAA meeting in 1955, said that in his experience many commercially packaged vaccines, particularly those nearing the expiration date, were no longer viable.


by Louis Pegram

In order that we might increase our mailing list of those people who are interests; in Whippets, five (5) extra copies of THE WHIPPET NEWS are being sent to each member. We will also have available some 100 extra copies of this issue should you need them, for future reference. If possible, I will continue this program until a satisfactory mailing list has been completed.

We are most fortunate in having within the ranks of The American Whippet Club a large group of members who are good, sound, basic livestock people. They understand the problems that go with the raising and exhibition of livestock; thus, there is a wealth of material available within our present membership. These talents and information should be used to an advantage in future issues of THE WHIPPET NEWS. Issue #2 of THE WHIPPET NEWS will be in the mail sometime during the first week in September. It would be greatly appreciated if all material for this particular issue would be in my office no later than August 15 .

You will note from this issue the very excellent cooperation from major Whippet breeders from all sections of the country. I am especially interested that the September issue covers activities in and around Baltimore, Maryland. This, for many years, was the largest Whippet center in America, and I am sure there are still many Whippet owners and breeders in that section of the country.

It is my understanding that Mrs. Theodora Pedersen, owner of Garden City Kennels, Towson, Maryland, is in Europe for the summer; thus, she will be unable to give us reports on activities from this area. I would be delighted to have reports from such old-time Whippet breeders as William Bergtold, Mrs. Mary Quante, Calvin Weiss, Buddy Rosenheim, William Kelly, Dr. Jay Knoblock and Betty Lee Hinks.

Since the death of Frank Tuffley, who did so much in promoting “the Whippet” in and around Cleveland, Ohio, I have had no word of activities from that section of the country for some time. If there are still Whippets in the area, we would certainly be interested in any news of your activities.

It might seem that we have neglected the West Coast, a very important factor in today’s Whippet activities both in the show and race field. This neglect is all my own fault as my business has been such in the past six weeks that it has been impossible to contact those good breeders on the West Coast for news. I do hope, however, the next issue of THE WHIPPET NEWS will be “topheavy” with information from California.

In closing, I wish to express my appreciation to GAINES DOG FOODS, Kankakee, Illinois , who were kind enough to furnish the art, secretarial and reproduction work in making this first bulletin possible.


Mr. & Mrs. George A. Anderson — Glen Head, Long Island, N. Y.

Mr. & Mrs. C. Chase Arnold – 4676 Violet Road, Toledo, Ohio

Mrs. William O. Bagshaw 9501 Gloaming Drive, Beverly Hills, California Mrs. Pearl Baumgartner – 223 Alder Ave., Sumner, Washington

Mr. & Mrs. W. W. Brainard, Jr., — Far Hills, New Jersey

Mr. Harry T. Bridge – 225 Bogue Street, East Lansing, Michigan Kr. Walter Denning — Stokes Road, Medford, New Jersey

Mrs. James Ellison — 1001 West Drew Street, Fort Worth, Texas

Mr. & Mrs. Ralph G. Eyles — Box 248, Route 1, Waukegan, Illinois

Mr. & Mrs. James A. Farrell — Darien, Connecticut

Mr. & Mrs. Donald Frames — 1604 Glenwood Drive , Bakersfield, California Is. John A. Griswold, Jr. — West Valley Road, Wayne, Penna.

Mr. & Mrs. Parker Harris — 1 Milton Ave., Camillus, New York

Miss Gertrude Hooft — 332 Woodside Road , Redwood City, California

Mrs. Wendell T. Howell — 2100 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, California

Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Jacobs — Mahomet, Illinois

Mr. & Mrs. William A. Kistler — R. D. 5, Bloomsburg, Penna.

Mr. Edward Nash — Charlottesville, Virginia

Mrs. Winthrop Neilson — Lloyd’s Neck, Huntington, Long Island, N. Y.

Mrs. Theodora Pedersen — 8651 Oakleigh Road , Baltimore 14, Maryland

Mr. Harry T. Peters, Jr. — 17 Battery Place, New York 4, N. Y.

Mrs. Margaret P. Ritchie — Pennyworth Kennels, Hampton Bays, Long Island, N. Y.

Dr. Samuel Scott — Route 3, Box 13 , Natchitoches, Louisiana

Misses F. J. and J. R. Shearer — Locust Dale, Virginia

Miss Susan Sim — East Norwich, Long Island, New York

Misses Barbara and Josephine Steinberg — 2329 N. Palmer St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mr. C. Douglas Todd — Colewood Farmhouse, Thanet Way, Nr. Herne Bay, Kent, England.

Mr. & Mrs. Wear — Covey Point Farm, Cambridge, R. D. 3, Maryland Mrs. D. F. Whitwell Kirkholme, Great Ouseburn, York, England

Mr. Donald Hostetter — Cobham, Virginia

Mr. Ronald W. Bachmann — 2631 Forest Road, Lansing, Michigan

Mr. Louis Pegram — Route 2, Box 190, Kankakee, Illinois

Mrs. Mark Selway — 3154 Highland Place N. W., Washington, D. C.

Mrs. W. C. Marvin — Cedar Lane, Remsenberg, Long Island, New York

Mrs. Phillip S. P. Fell — 805 El Molino Street , Pasedena, California

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1902 Popular Monthly Article

Frank Leslie

Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly Cover

From Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly, May, 1902

Thanks Yvonne Sovereign for sharing this great article with the whippet world.


To perhaps nine-tenths of magazine readers the name “Whippet” means nothing. Many people have heard the name applied to a human being, the tone suggesting that the term conveyed with it a strong tinge of reproach. “He’s a regular whippet of a fellow,” may be intended as a crushing sarcasm, yet it is extremely unlikely that the speaker rightly understands the meaning of the term he uses.

The true whippet is a dog—a cross-breed, yet having the best of blood on both sides. He is a game, swift and by no means unintelligent small chap, a pride and joy to his owner and an exceedingly interesting canine to those who understand him and his mission.

To put it briefly he is a bantam greyhound and what might be called the poor man’s coursing dog, not because only poor people have anything to do with him, but because he makes sport for a host of worthy people who are possessed of the sporting taste, yet lack the means of gratifying it in the more pretentious and exceedingly expensive direction of true coursing.


Waiting for the handkerchief to drop

To the man of limited means the owning, training and running of even one high-class greyhound is rather a serious problem. To enter such an animal in a number of important fixtures, to get and keep him fit for the high-class company which he must meet, and the necessary traveling and other expenses, means an outlay of a considerable sum of money, which, of course, is thrown away unless the dog happens to win some important prizes. Then it is no common thing for the owner of but one good greyhound to capture an important fixture. Such a man is always in the position of the man with the single race horse—i. e. , if he happens to win a fat prize at the outset of his racing career, and the usual wagered money at good odds, he is able to go on and develop his horse’s possibilities on the money the animal has earned. Should, however, things go wrong during the first few attempts, the man, as the talent terms it, ” goes broke,” and has to sacrifice his good thing and all its future possibilities, owing to the prevalence in his immediate vicinity of that too common and exasperating disease diagnosed as a ” lack of the ready.”

The whippet is the safety valve of the man possessed of the coursing appetite and the walking income. The small dogs are cheap, the expenses connected with their training and running are trifling, while the sport they afford is full of that dash and go so necessary to satisfy the craving of those whose veins are full of sporting blood.


Winner of the 1900 championship. Record 200 yards in 12 1/2 seconds

While the majority of whippet breeders and runners is apt to include those individuals who usually are classed as “the fancy, ” yet a healthy minority of the lovers of the small dogs are college men and well-bred fellows, whose sole lack is an elastic bank account. The parson ‘s and the doctor’s sons, etc., and not infrequently the professional gentlemen themselves breed their bantam fliers, match, back, and run them with all the keenness of the wealthy backers of candidates for the Blue Ribbon of the coursing world. And in justice to the dogs it is only fair to state that they have afforded many an exciting dash and thoroughly enjoyable and perfectly harmless bit of sport to men who otherwise would find scant measure of fun in the deadly routine of toil.

As was only natural, the whippet originated in Great Britain, where the man of limited means must make his training greyhounds and the securing of the absolutely necessary extensive area for their work is a problem which the people of this country of magnificent distances and vast unoccupied interspaces can hardly understand. Hence, while a few poor men can readily secure the control cm the short course required for the whippet’s racing, anything fit for greyhounds is a rather mastodonic proposition for such purses. To meet the conditions, expense, dog and course had to be dwarfed, and when this question had been solved—lo! The whippet and whippet racing.


A courser of the best type

There are whippets and whippets. A popular and excellent type is a bantam greyhound— a pocket edition of the true, graceful and amazingly swift hound. To get animals of the required small size, undersized greyhounds are sought for, and by careful selection the dwarfed progeny and progeny’s progeny produce the bantam. The cross with the small, delicate Italian greyhound, while it at once reduces the size, seldom is resorted to, owing to the fact that the Italian dog is merely a toy, lacking the wiry sinew and the stoutness of heart which a good whippet must possess.

Another method is to mate the smallest obtainable true-bred greyhound with the Irish terrier. Pat frequently is a leggy, wiry brute, stout of heart, intelligent and game to the last gasp. He can run a bit, too, and while of course lacking the A whippet whirlwind speed of the hound, he furnishes the strength, courage and hardiness which very small greyhounds are apt to lack.

While the breeding of the whippet is important, the real problem confronts the owner after his puppies have attained their full size and have become sufficiently strong to stand the ordeal of training. Before this all-important stage there are bound to be many disappointments. For the same reason that you cannot tell by the rings on a cat’s tail how far it can jump, you cannot tell by looking at a baby whippet how fast it ultimately will run. A puppy which at three months may look like a world beater may six weeks later be absolutely worthless except for a pet. A faint heart or some hitherto unsuspected fault of conformation may develop, or some at first trifling fault may increase to a serious importance, and so blast your fond expectations of future winnings. Only an animal modeled upon proper lines, and embracing within his small anatomy the best of bone and muscle, and having inside his narrow skull quite the proper amount of gray matter, can hope to outstrip the clever, stouthearted and wonderfully trained fliers which are certain to meet him.

The races are for canine gladiators, not for pets, for the frequently fancier are desperate struggles to be won only by a nose, backed by that wonderful last resolute effort which only a game man, horse and dog are capable of making. The usual course is 200 yards, and the small fliers cover this distance at an amazing rate. So fast do they go that their slim legs are merely a blur, and their narrow bodies hazy with speed.


A whippet fancier

The speed records in this country are unreliable. Even when the timing is carefully done, which seldom is the case, the coursing grounds here and in Canada never are officially or accurately measured. “About” 100 yards, or “about ” twice that distance is near enough for the ordinary whippet racer. The time is a matter of no importance, because only in a special race against time could it have any practical value. Hence, the owner of a whippet seldom bothers himself over a fraction of a second. So long as his dog leads the other dogs at the finish the owner is perfectly satisfied. The pace of the small fliers requires no evidence by stop watches. Perhaps no other four footed creature can run so fast for a short distance. Possibly, one of the small antelopes or gazelles might equal the electric dash of the racing whippet, but the ‘odds would be in favor of the dog. Even that king of all racing dogs, the greyhound, has no license to beat the whippet over the latter’s distance. The small fellow gets to the top of his speed so quickly that the much larger and really faster hound is beaten before he can get into his stride. Of course at any distance much greater than 200 yards the greyhound stands without a peer. The best of our sprinters do the 100 yards somewhere between nine and ten second’s, but the sprinting canine is able to do almost two yards to the athlete’s one. For example, Rosette Radnage, one of the fastest whippets that ever won the Crystal Palace Handicap, ran 200 yards in twelve and a half seconds, which means that she probably did the middle 100 in the phenomenal time of a trifle less than six seconds. About thirteen seconds is considered excellent going, but there are a dozen of the best whippet’s to-day which can consistently shave a fraction off that figure. In Canada the fastest authentic record is thirteen and three-fifth seconds, made at Toronto, in 1894.

The training includes a special diet of muscle-building food, along with carefully regulated exercise, perfect grooming and trials over the proper distance. What puzzles most people is why the dogs run so. What makes them race to their utmost effort? This incentive is furnished by the training. In the first place the trainer secures the confidence and affection of his young charge by kind treatment. He instills into the dog’s brain the idea that he (the trainer) is something closely akin to the dog’s god—somebody to be worshipped and implicitly obeyed—a superior being whose comradeship is the crowning honor of a dog’s life.

When the trainer has accomplished this much he proceeds to develop the dog’s racing qualities by means of what is termed “the rag.” This is a rag a bit of strong canvas or cloth—with which the puppy is encouraged to play. Being a puppy he requires scant inducement to make him seize the rag in his teeth and hang on and worry at it when an attempt is made to take it from him. Soon he will leap at it and hang on. When he shows wild eagerness for this sort of play his trainer shakes the rag in plain view, but a short distance from the dog, which in the meantime is held by an assistant. When the dog is frantic to get to his plaything, he is released and at once darts forward, grips the prize and begins to shake it. So far it is great fun, and the puppy is always keen for more. Then the trainer goes further and further away, by easy stages, until the puppy will dart at top speed for the rag from a distance of perhaps fifty yards.

After this the schooling rapidly progresses until the puppy will go 100 yards at top speed. Then the trainer starts from the 100-yard point, and shaking the rag with one hand runs as far as he can before the puppy overtakes him and seizes the prize. Then another and older dog is called into service, and the youngster and the veteran race in their chase of the rag.


Mansfield Frivolity, winner of 158 prizes

When the two will go at top speed for 200 yards the puppy is fairly entered upon his career. These dogs, like race horses, soon get to love the sport, and will race desperately from end to end. When the young dog becomes too fast the older dog is given a handicap, which is increased as circumstances warrant, until the very best speed of the young one has been brought forth. With this training he is got into the pink of condition, and presently goes to a real race to measure speed with the best.

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The History and Operation of the American Whippet Club

by: Louis Pegram, Secretary

Published with permission of Lynne Underwood from the 1970 Whippet Yearbook

Louis Pegram

Louis Pegram, from the Mary Beth & Doug Arthur Scrapbooks

The American Whippet Club is a member of the American Kennel Club, The American Kennel Club membership consists of approved breed clubs, show-giving clubs, and dog training clubs. The American Whippet Club is the “parent” club for all Whippets registered with the American Kennel Club. The Constitution and By-Laws of the American Whippet Club, as well as the Whippet Standard of the Breed, are approved by the American Kennel Club. Any changes made in the Constitution and By-Laws or the Whippet Standard of the Breed must be first approved by the necessary majority of the Board of Directors of the American Whippet Club, then forwarded to the American Kennel Club for approval before being sent to the membership of the American Whippet Club who must also give a 2/3’s majority vote of those responding to the recommended changes. This same policy applies to all “parent” clubs who are members of the American Kennel Club.

The first available records on American Whippet Club activities start with 1930. Records during the period 1930 through 1934 are extremely vague with very high turn-over of officers and membership. Total membership at that time was less than 20 members.

1935 through 1945 saw the American Whippet Club operating effectively as a small group under the leadership of Miss Julia Shearer, Miss Judith Shearer, Mr. Harry Peters, Jr., and Mr. Edward T. Nash. Numerous members and officers during this period were prominent in pure-bred dog activities but their actual interest in Whippets was extremely limited. Major emphasis by the American Whippet Club during this ten-year period was the operation of one major specialty show held in a location most convenient to the majority of Whippet owners living in the East.

1946 through 1953 marked a period of close association between the American Whippet Club and the Greyhound Club of America. Mr. William Brainard and Mr. James A. Farrell, both extremely active in Greyhounds, acted as officers of the American Whippet Club at times during this period. These two parent clubs often held joint specialties. Membership grew only slightly during this period with major emphasis on one major eastern specialty each year and donations to certain worthy causes. Better known member Whippet owners who were active with the breed during this period were Mrs Theodore Pedersen, Mr. Frank Tuffley, Mrs, George Anderson, Mr. Donald Hostetter, Mr. Louis Pegram, Mrs. Margaret Raynor Newcombe, and Mr. and Mrs. Potter Wear.

1954 through 1960 was the period when the American Whippet Club began actively moving from an eastern organization towards recognizing the needs of the Whippet on a national, basis. During this period, the Board of Directors was increased from seven to nine members, and Board members included individuals living other than in the eastern portion of the U.S.A. The annual eastern specialty concept was expanded so there was an American Whippet Club specialty held in the East, Midwest, and on the West Coast. The Constitution and By-Laws were also slightly altered to better cover the constant increase of Whippet population and ownership in all parts of America.

1956 saw the start of the Whippet News under the editorship of Louis Pegram who after one year turned the responsibility over to Mrs. Eugene Jacobs. Whippet racing again became a major factor with many members of the American Whippet Club. The first successful race meeting since the 1940’s was held at the International. Kennel Club Show, Chicago, Illinois, with Mrs. Wendell T. Howell representing the California group and Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Jacobs heading a small group from central Illinois. The American Whippet Club Board of Directors was divided for several years in recognizing Whippet racing, as the American Kennel Club does not support racing of any type. Most of the people racing Whippets at this time were members of the American Whippet Club. After three years, the Board of Directors approved Louis Pegram to draw up Rules and Regulations for National Whippet Racing, leaving the supervision of these rules to the various groups who wished to race Whippets.

Additional Whippet owners taking extremely active parts in American Whippet Club activities during this period were Mrs. Philip (Betty) Fell, Mrs. Wendell Howell, Mr. Calvin Perry, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Jacobs, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Eyles, and Mrs. Pearl Baumgartner.

1960-70 was the true expansion period of the American Whippet Club. The membership at the end of 1970 exceeded 200 members. New Constitution and By-Laws were drawn up and approved by the American Kennel Club. The program of approved shows were expanded to three sectional specialties of equal importance and nine American Whippet Club supported entry shows. The Whippet News moved to California under the editorship of Mrs. Christine Cormany, a long­ time member of the American Whippet Club and the daughter of Mr. James Young, one of the true pioneers of Whippets used for show and race purposes in the United States and Canada. Whippet owners new to the membership of the American Whippet Club and extremely active in the operation of this organization are Mr. Victor Renner, Mrs. Clare Hodge, Mr. William Schmick, Mrs. Dorothea Hastings, Mrs. Joan Frailey, Mrs. Mary Beth Arthur, Mrs. Day Backman, Jr., and Mr. Joseph Pinkosz.

Membership in the American Whippet Club is open to all Whippet owners endorsed by two members of the American Whippet Club in good standing and ap­proved by the Board of Directors. The American Whippet Club welcomes all sincere conscientious Whippet owners as members, but recommends that they first thoroughly read and digest the following objectives of the American Whippet Club before requesting membership:

a. to unite those people interested in the breeding, showing, racing, coursing and generally improving the breed of Whippet for the purpose of exerting effectually a combined influence upon all matters affecting the breed.

b. to urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed as approved by the American Kennel Club as the only standard of excellence by which Whippets shall be judged.

c. to promote and maintain a high standard of conduct in the transaction of all business connected with the breeding of the Whippet.

d. to conduct sanctioned matches, obedience trials and specialty shows under the rules of The American Kennel Club.

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Ashley Whippet Part II

The second half of the article was shared with me by the owners of Ashley Whippet and are preserved here and–reprinted courtesy of “TODAYS ANIMAL NEWS“.


Ashley flying high

The following is an exclusive inter­view with a canine who has become a legend in his time. Ashley Whippet who has become synonymous with the Frisbee.

In fact, the world series of flying discs has now become known officially as the Ashley Whippet Invitational in honor of the three-time world champion. News stories and press releases about the famous Frisbee fetcher would fill volumes. Ashley is even represented by a New York public relations firm. But we weren’t really interested in the usual “canned” press hand-outs. We wanted to know firsthand (first-paw?) what it was really like to be a real celebrity. And so with the help of a translator (Alex Stein).

TODAYS ANIMAL NEWS: Ashley, thou ­ sands of dogs owe the popularity of Frisbee catching to you. How did you become a star?

ASHLEY WHIPPET: Well, really by accident. As a puppy I was given to my owner and trainer, Alex Stein. And I grew up as his constant companion. He didn’t have a wife or kids or anything so I sort of became like a son to him. Like I went to school with him and waited outside the classroom until we could go home together. And for fun and exercise we’d play with the Frisbee together. You should know that at that time Frisbee catching was pretty much a sport just for humans.

TAN: That sounds pretty ordinary. How could that lead to stardom?

AW: Well, you gotta remember that Alex is really a Frisbee freak. The more we did it the better we both became. And, in all modesty, I’m pretty darned good. When we’d go to the park or someplace we’d draw quite a crowd. People hadn’t seen a dog that could run 35 miles an hour after a disc and jump nine feet in the air to catch one. So one day Alex got this crazy idea that almost sent both of us to the slammer. And it also almost darned near split us up for good!

TAN: You can go to jail for catching a Frisbee?

AW: Only if you do it right. Like trespassing, and a few other charges. They were playing this big important ball game at Dodgers Stadium, and Alex figured that if a few people in the park liked our act, the crowd at the stadium would go crazy over it. So he smuggles me into the stadium and at the start of the ninth inning he goes running out onto the field, past all the guards, and we start doing our Frisbee number. Well, he was right about them going crazy over it. He figured we’d last about a minute before the fuzz caught us. But the crowd went wild. Even the ball ­ players liked our act, and we were out there in front of thousands of fans, and on national TV for eight minutes. We got more applause than the winning home run that night.

TAN: How long ago was that?

AW: Oh, that was about 1974, and that was really the start of the whole thing. But it was also darned near the end of it all, too. Alex saw that we had overstayed our welcome and started to (you should pardon the expression) high-tail it out of there. But the cops nabbed him and in the confusion I got separated from him. They hauled him downtown to book him and I just ran around, not really knowing what to do. All I could think of was that they’d probably slam me in the local pound. But I’ve always been a lucky dog and a nice 1 5-year old boy from Long Beach took me home with him.


Ashley and Alex enjoying the moment

TAN: Did Alex actually go to jail for that? AW: No, they just kept him a few hours and a good friend named I r v Lander posted $250 for bail and a fine. But now Alex didn’t know where I was, and I thought I’d never see him again. By the time he got back to the stadium it was about three in the morning and the clean-up crews were cleaning up the mess. I guess he was just about frantic. He kept asking around and nobody knew anything. Finally he talked to some sportswriters and they thought it was kind of a good feature story idea and ran it in the newspaper. And lo and behold the boy saw the story and contacted Alex and he gave him a nice reward and we got back together again. By now we were sort of famous, in a small way. And talk about coincidences! This I r v Lander was promoting competitive events for human Frisbee players. So he had us appear at a couple of them as a sort of novelty attraction to show humans what a Whippet could do.

TAN: How did the human Frisbee players like your act?

AW: Not much. You see, none of them could jump nine feet in the air to catch a flying disc, or turn flips in the air at the same time. It made what they were doing look sort of tame. But the crowd loved it, so we kept appearing more and more often. Well, you can guess the rest. So far we’ve had about 3,500 dogs in competition in some 1,200 cities. We’re even thinking of maybe inviting some human Frisbee players to appear at one of our competitions. As a sort of novelty attraction, you know.

TAN: So this has been your whole life for the past eight years?

AW: Yep. We got lucky. Some Los Angeles disc jockeys got together and sponsored something called the “Fearless Fido Frisbee Fracas”. Awful name, but it got the whole thing started. Irv wrote the first set of rules and, with a few modifications, we still play by them. Now I’m on the road most of the year, between our contests and appearances at rodeos, and on TV, and at race tracks, and that sort of thing. I’ve done shows with Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas and even Zsa Zsa Gabor. But the one that was really fun was when Jimmy Carter was president I taught “Grits” (that was Amy Carter’s dog) how to play Frisbee. I even got a nomination for an Academy Award for a live action short short called “Floating Free”.


Ashley Whippet Poster

TAN: It sounds like you’ve had a lot of miles and a few years of this. Do you ever think of retiring?

AW: Once in a while. You know I travel over 60,000 miles a year on my American Express card. You did know that I have my own American Express card, with my own name that I sign with a paw print, didn’t you?

TAN: No. I don’t even have one of those for myself. Let’s change the subject.

AW: Okay, don’t get touchy about it. I’m ten years old and in very good condition. I work out several times a week and watch my diet. I figure that I have three or four good years before I quit. My good friend Hyper Hank (who started his career by winning the Fearless Fido Frisbee Fracas) is already retired. But he’s about 13 and his eyesight isn’t as good anymore.

TAN: You look pretty trim and healthy, Ashley. What kind of a diet do you follow? AW: Good grief! I forgot to mention that? I am on a straight diet of Cycle Four. Cycle is made by General Foods who sponsor me and I should have gotten in a few plugs for it before now. But that really is my diet and it does help to keep me fit.

TAN: You mean that really is your diet? You don’t slip in a few goodies here and there? AW: Well, I have to admit I indulge myself in an ice cream cone once in a while. Did I tell you that I have an Ice Cream Parlor named after me? It’s at Yale University. And I really am fond of ice cream. Oh, and of course, I get a complete physical checkup at the veterinary hospital at least twice a year. In fact I just had my teeth cleaned a few days ago. Aren’t they pretty? Good dental health is important for Frisbee players, you know.

TAN: So what happens to the Frisbee world when you retire?


Ashley leaping high above the competition

AW: Oh, we’ve already planned for that. I have several youngsters, sired by me, that are already in training. One, Ashley Whippet, Jr., is already started. And I have a daughter named Kyra that shows a lot of promise. Her timing is still a bit off, like she is so enthusiastic that she jumps so high that she jumps right over the top of the Frisbee sometimes. But she’ll get it put together in time.

TAN: It sounds as though you expect this kind of competition to continue for a while. AW: Actually, it gets bigger every year. For many people it’s a chance for fun and fame that might never happen any other way. Did you know that three of the world champions were originally dogs from animal shelters? People came and chose them just to have a Frisbee competition dog. The dog may just be a mutt, but it’s an opportunity for a dog and owner to achieve something great together. I will always remember a contestant arriving for the first time at the Rose Bowl and kneeling down to kiss the ground. He was actually crying, and said to his dog, “Josephine, never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that you and I would wind up in the World Championships at the Rose Bowl”! That’s sort of touching.

TAN: What suggestions would you have for someone who wanted to start a dog out right to be Frisbee champ?

AW: Well, we start our hopefuls out by always feeding and watering them right out of a Frisbee. This helps to build a positive mental conditioning. And when we start them catching Frisbees they learn to do it for the satisfaction of doing it well. No treats or things like that. And, of course, we use the accepted tournament quality Frisbees.

TAN: You mean that there is a difference in Frisbees?

AW: You bet your can of cycle (that’s a plug) there is. Proper ones are less rigid and have an outside rim that is not as deep, and so is easier to get into the mouth of a dog. The folks at Cycle even have their own tournament Frisbees manufactured just for them by Wham-O. And, naturally, it is very important for the human to learn to toss one properly. This is a team effort, you know.

TAN: Well, if retirement is down the road for you, what do you plan to do then? AW: Oh, there are lots of things planned. We have a series of dog food commercials being tested now. Instead of some overstuffed Old English sheepdog or bulldog, they portray a lean, hard Whippet. Guess who?

TAN: Well, Ashley, it sounds as though the life of being a celebrity really agrees with you. Anything in particular that turns you on?

AW: Actually, I love the whole life. Meeting interesting new people. Performing. Sometimes, when I arrive in a new city and get to the stadium or park or whatever, I just can’t help barking with excitement. I like ice cream and television. Whenever Alex leaves me, like to go to dinner, he turns on the television. So I watch a lot of it. Sports are good, and Boomer, and I always enjoy watching myself on the tube. TAN: Okay, so what turns you off?

AW: That’s easy. Flies, I hate flies. I once ate a fly in the middle of a TV interview. I don’t like the crowds at airports. And the hot lights when we are filming on TV bother me.

TAN: Is that all?

AW: No. One other thing really bugs me. The dumb questions that interviewers ask me!

TAN: Well, I guess that wraps up this interview, Ashley.


Ashley Whippet's Pedigree

And the final article on Ashley Whippet posted from “The Whippet Magazine” 1982 with permission by publisher.


ashley invitational

From the 1982 Ashley Whippet Invitational

The makers of Cycle Dog Food will sponsor the Ashley Whippet Invitational in 10 major cities in 1982, the Gaines Dog Care Center has announced. Ashley Whippet is the famous Frisbee-catching Whippet seen at many shows.

The event is an extension of the Cycle Catch and Fetch events held in the last few years and is designed to offer all dog owners an opportunity to showcase their pet’s all- round athletic ability and skill at catching a flying disc.

The format has been changed to allow each team a total of two-and-a-half minutes. The one-minute first round will stress speed and consistency. One point will be scored for any catch inside the 15-yard circle, with two points awarded if the dog makes the catch outside the circle and 3 points catching it with no paws touching the ground, beyond the circle.

In the second round, the dog and disc thrower will stage a free-flight performance for 90 seconds. Judges will award points for teamwork, leaping ability in relation to size and weight, style and agility, and variety and novelty of throws and catches.

Scores for both rounds will be added to get the grand total with the winners qualify­ing for the National Final in Chicago on September 12.

“Cycle is sponsoring this athletic activity because we believe that feeding Cycle helps keep dogs in peak condition,” declared A.S. Willett, Director of the Gaines Dog Care Center. “The new rules stress fitness and teamwork and are designed to make the event more exciting to watch.”

The remaining host cities and dates are: Los Angeles, July 3; Chicago, July 10; San Francisco, July 17; Kansas City, July 31; San Antonio, August 7, Atlanta, August 21. In each city the community Recreation Department is a co-sponsor with Cycle dog food.


(by Colonial Acres King of Clubs x Fantasey Spring). Pictured above is 'Ashley Whippet" shown with Amy Carter at the White House. Ashley Whippet is owned by Alex Stein of Sierra Madre, California.

For further information and the guide­lines for the 1982 Ashley Whippet Invitational sponsored by CYCLE, you can call a toll free number outside of California, (800123-3268), in California (213) 995­4260 or write the Ashley Whippet Invitational, 4521 Sherman Oaks Ave., 2-G, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403.


It was a hot summer night back in August 1974 when Ashley Whippet made his nationally-televised debut and bid for great­ness.

Before millions of viewers, the future canine celebrity and World Frisbee disc Canine Champion dashed onto the field of Dodger Stadium during a crucial game against the Cincinnati Reds and showed the world how it’s done.

The stadium crowd of 50,000 cheered wildly as Ashley gracefully leaped through the air to catch the floating disc tossed by his owner and trainer, Alex Stein. The 22-year-old Stein was arrested for the unscheduled stunt and Ashley was lost for three days. The rest is history!

Since then Ashley has developed quite a following. He gave an encore performance — this time by invitation — in New Orleans during half-time at the Super Bowl XII with his canine pal Hyper Hank, and at the last College Football All-Star Game to be played. He was even an honored guest at the White House, where he and Hyper Hank performed for Amy Carter.

Born October 2, 1971, Ashley is not a pup anymore — by human standards, he is 58 years old. Stein, who has been breeding and training Whippets since he was 19, attri­butes the canine hero’s peak physical con­dition to regular exercise and to his high quality, nutritionally balanced dog food diet. Ashley is still outshining younger dogs with his outstanding feats. Running at 30 miles per hour, he has held the record for long distance catches at 106 yards and has leaped nine feet in the air to catch a flying disc.

Ashley’s performances have delighted audiences for years. His credits include appearance on the Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Wide World of Sports and the Mike Douglas and Mery Griffin Shows.

Perhaps his most notable performance was as the star of an Academy Award-nominated documentary. The movie, “Floating Free,” was filmed at the 1977 World Frisbee disc Championships at the Rose Bowl, where Ashley was declared champion of the canine competition for the third consecutive year.

When not performing, Ashley leads a quiet personal life. He exercises daily, sleeps at the foot of his master’s bed and enjoys Frisbee disc play with his offspring, whose ranks include one-year-old daughter Kiyra and four-year-old son Go-fer.

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Ashley Whippet

This will be Part I of II parts of this story featuring the history of Ashley Whippet, the most famous Frisbee dog of all time. There are several people who contributed to this article, including the breeder, the owner, and the founder of the Ashley Whippet Museum. I will run Part II tomorrow.

All information on this page provide by Lisa McLaughlin Schneider, Breeder

If you have questions about Ashley Whippet, visit Lisa’s Web site at Jule Too Border Collies

Ashley Whippet

Ashley Whippet October 1971- May 1985

It all began in the 1970’s when a new sport caught the fancy of Americans. The sport combined athleticism and grace,and began what would become one of the most popular dog sports ever. It involved running at speeds up to 35 miles per hour and catching an object ten feet in the air. The greatest athlete who ever played sport was the first to popularize the event, which today has grown far beyond the imagination of those who began it over thirty five years ago.

At the age of six months, Ashley Whippet was already attracting crowds on the Ohio State University campus. He became the creator, and the most accomplished practitioner, of his chosen sport. He became the Michael Jordan of his sport and established a standard that will most likely never be achieved again in his event. Ashley performed at the Super Bowl, at the White House, on television, and was featured in a movie. Upon his death, he received a glowing tribute in the pages of Sports Illustrated.


Ashley flying through the air

Ashley Whippet was bred by the Lisa McLaughlin, whose family who had owned whippets since the 1960s and was born on June 4, 1971. Lisa met Alex Stein, an Ohio State student who was friends with Mike McLaughlin, her brother, and who was in the same fraternity. Alex began dating Lisa and she gave Ashley to Alex. Rumor has it that Ashley got his name because of his cigar-ash color and also in honor of Ashley Wilkes, one of the characters in Gone With the Wind. Ashley’s coloration would later change to black and white, and the dog would go on to change Alex’s life.

Frisbees were popular objects on college campuses in the early 1970’s and no doubt other Frisbee fanatics taught their dogs to catch the whirling discs, but no other dog possessed the artistry, grace and sense of drama that Ashley was to display.

Alex, a sophomore at Ohio State University, introduced Ashley to Frisbees as a puppy by using them as dishes for Ashley’s food and water. Ashley must have been born to play Frisbees, because by the age of six months he was entertaining hundreds of people on the OSU Oval with his acrobatic catches. Ashley loved to perform in front of a crowd,” said Stein. “He’d jump up and twist and contort his body on a catch because he knew that’s what people liked.”

Ashley and Alex

Ashley and Alex

As Alex began to realize the gifts that Ashley possessed, he decided to pack up and move to Hollywood. Alex began contacting agents, telling them about his dog that could run 35 mph, leap high into the air and catch Frisbees. He did not get the response he expected. One scout at a famous agency hung up. Others said they didn’t handle animals. Calls were not returned, and Stein realized he needed to find another way to get some attention for Ashley.

Upon hearing that the Los Angeles Dodgers would be hosting the Cincinnati Reds on NBC Monday Night Baseball, Stein suddenly got an idea. On August 5, 1974, just before the Dodgers came to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning, Stein and Ashley Whippet dashed over the wall separating the fans from the players and raced into centerfield. Alex would throw the Frisbee, and Ashley displayed his ability to make twisting, leaping catches, closing his jaws on the Frisbee at just the right moment to bring cheers from the crowd. NBC trained its cameras on Ashley for several minutes as he raced under throws as long as 90 yards and hauled them in like a canine Lynn Swann.

When Stein and Ashley came off the field there was confusion and bad news. Stein was arrested for trespassing and subsequently had to pay a $250 fine. Even worse, in the commotion Stein was separated from Ashley and feared he would never see his dog again. Luckily, the news began to get better. After three days, a Long Beach youngster who had taken Ashley home read an article in the paper about the incident and returned the animal to Alex Stein. Another call came as well but this one from the Los Angeles Rams’ halftime coordinator, who eventually signed Alex and Ashley to perform at two games that fall.

Ashley Performing

Performing at a packed stadium

Ashley’s popularity began to rise, invited to appear at the World Frisbee Championships (at that time for humans only), as well as on the Tonight Show and as a guest of Merv Griffin. As Alex and Ashley’s message was spread on Frisbee, countless dog owners began training their pets to emulate Ashley.

The World Frisbee Championships inaugurated formal Catch & Fetch competition in 1975. The object of Catch & Fetch is to complete as many throws as possible in a two-minute span. The throws must cover at least 15 yards, and extra points are awarded if the dog has all four paws off the ground during a catch. Ashley not only had sure jaws and ample hang time, but also possessed the discipline to return swiftly after each throw, allowing his master the opportunity to make more throws. Other dogs rivalled Ashley in athletic talent but lacked the requisite discipline to rise to the top.

Ashley reigned as world champion from 1975-77, appeared on Wide World of Sports, and was featured in an Academy Award-nominated documentary, Floating Free, filmed during the 1977 nationals. He got to rub noses with the rich and famous, playing with Amy Carter’s dog Grits on the White House lawn. There were appearances on Monday Night Football and at halftime of Super Bowl XII.

By 1980 Ashley was no longer competing, but he still toured the country and was capable of seemingly impossible feats. One occurred at the Rose Bowl, when he ran the entire length of the football field and made a great catch of a Frisbee just before it was about to hit the ground. “Call me crazy, but I swear that Ashley took a bow, acknowledging the well-deserved tribute from the huge crowd in the stadium,” wrote Irv Lander in his biography of the dog, appropriately entitled Ashley Whippet.

Magazine cover

Magazine Cover of an animated Ashley

Ashley served as spokesdog for the Gaines dog food company and spent time with his family of 60 sons and daughters and 12 granddogs. One of the daughters, Lady Ashley, went on the road promoting Gaines products.

Recognized as the creator of his sport, Ashley lived long enough to see the national Catch & Fetch series officially renamed the Ashley Whippet Invitational in 1982. Ashley laid the foundation for the disc-dog sport and led an active, athletic life until his death March 11, 1985 at the age of 14. The disc-dog event attracted more than 15,000 dogs over the last few years. Loved by everyone, and universally acknowledged as the greatest Frisbee-catcher ever, Ashley Whippet lives on today in books and on web sites.

A copy of Irv Lander’s official Ashley Whippet biography can be found at his link if you have interest in purchaing the book about this great athlete:

While there might be some wonderful dogs out there in the world of Frisbee catching, there was only one Ashley Whippet, and he remains the standard against which all others are measured. The legend of this star athlete will continue to inspire others for years to come.

Ashley Video

A short video of Ashley Whippet performing

In late 1999 USA Today recognized Ashley Whippet
as one of the Great Athletic Animals of the Century

The article went on to say: Ashley Whippet

At a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game in 1979, Ohio State student Alex Stein and his dog dashed uninvited onto the field between innings.

Stein tossed his Frisbee long distances. His dog, Ashley Whippet, ran it down at speeds up to 35 mph and leaped 9 feet in the air to catch it in his teeth.

Fans cheered. Stein was fined $250. A star was born.

Ashley Whippet would go on to perform at the Super Bowl and at the White House.

“I was blessed to have him,” says Stein, who now operates a delicatessen, Deli on Rye, in Hudson Village, Ohio.

He and Ashley Whippet won the first three World Frisbee Championships from 1975-77 at the Rose Bowl. The tournament, now 25 years old, is still held in his honor in Washington, as the Alpo Canine Frisbee Disc World Finals.

Ashley Whippet died in 1985. Stein has the cremated remains in an urn.

Ashley Athlete

Ashley Whippet the Animal Athlete

Doggone Flying Saucer

If a cow can jump over the moon, a dog can jump over a tree — and that’s what this agile whippetseems to be doing. Ashley is anacrobatic dog who has performed at the White House and the Super Bowl. He’s also the world championFrisbee-catching dog — he can leapmore than eight feet in the air to snag one of the whirling disks. Whippets are considered among the fastest domestic animals andhove been clocked at 35 m.p.h.

You might want to visit the Ashley Whippet History website here:  Ashley Whippet History Page

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