THE VIRTUAL SPECIALTY
Both of our judges for the first S.F.A.A. Virtual Specialty are founding members of the Sloughi Fanciers Association of America and veteran sighthound enthusiasts. Gisela Cook-Schmidt, judging our puppy classes this year, first began her love affair with dogs as a young girl in post-World-War-I Germany where her father was a breeder of Great Danes, using the Reckendahl prefix which Gisela still carries today. During her life-long interest in dogs, she has been an admirer, student, and owner of different breeds, but most especially the Salukis and Azawakhs which she bred for many years under the Reckendahl prefix. She was the breeder of the first Azawakh litter in the Western Hemisphere (subsequent to their recognition as a breed fully separated from the Sloughi), and is the current President of the American Azawakh Association for which she was also a founding member. Gisela also continues to be a member of the German sighthound organization, Deutscher Windhundzucht- und Rennverband, and she currently lives in Arizona with her granddaughter and a young Saluki, still also enjoying her work as an enamelist.
Jack McGuffin, judging our virtual adult classes, also began his passionate interest in dogs when only a young child, with his immediate family having been involved with working Sporting Dogs (Brittany Spaniels and German Shorthaired Pointers), and his paternal grandfather also a breeder of Boxers. He became more seriously captivated by hounds when he first visited with his uncles in Oklahoma in the late 1950’s, where they had kept working packs of Greyhounds and Foxhounds since the 1920’s. Over the years, he has owned and co-owned several Sloughis of Dutch/French descent, most notably the lovely Jaaram Nubia, for whom the perpetual S.F.A.A. field trophy, the Nubia Memorial Cup, is a legacy. He has also owned and bred many Salukis under the Jaaram prefix, as well as owning an Azawakh, Italian Greyhounds, and a beloved Whippet among other breeds. He continues to be a student of the hound, and is currently the Vice President of S.F.A.A.; also a member of the American Azawakh Association, the American Saluki Association, the Saluki Club of America, and the Primitive and Aboriginal Dog Society. He periodically enjoys judging Salukis at matches and desert-bred critiques when asked, and he presently resides in California where he is a teacher and is owned by a young American-bred Sloughia of Tunisian/German/French lineage and his only remaining elderly Saluki.
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