Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The 5th International Whippet Congress (Sweden part eight)

It is a great relief to get back to the Sweden trip, dear readers. Thank you for all of your kind thoughts and words and prayers. I talked to Molly and Deb, and they are both doing well, knowing that they had done all they could to bring joy to a deserving dog's life, and had received a ton of joy and love in return.

When we arrived at Kragga Manor we were immediately awed by the beauty of the place. It was situated on a lovely lake, with artfully gardened grounds, and graceful buildings. The Manor House was built in 1800, but there are archaeological findings on the property from the Iron Age. People recognized as early as 1100 BC that this was a great place to hang out!

Participants gather outside the converted stable and talk whippets, drinking Sangria (at 7 PM)

The Whippet Congress was held in a converted indoor riding arena/stable, though you would have not guessed its past. Every detail ensured the participants' comfort and enjoyment, from the delicious coffee and pastry breaks,
to the scented candles burning in the adorable rest rooms. There were more than 150 people from twenty-three countries attending, and luckily, the hosts were kind enough to speak English. (Thank goodness the rest of the world is better educated than we are.)

Presenters Bo Bengtson, Magnus Hagstedt, and Shirley Rawlings

Our Cary Grant-esque host, Magnus Hagstedt from the Swedish Whippet Club (Svenska Whippetklubben - how fun is that to say!), opened the Congress and then the fascinating programs began. Shirley Rawlings presented the newly adopted changes in the UK Standard, and drew a huge round of applause when she suggested that there be only one whippet Standard for all FCI countries, that of the Country of Origin.

the first American Whippet champion, CH Bay View Pride in 1902

This was followed by Bo Bengtson (from the USA and Sweden) who shared a wonderful slide show of famous whippets from history. One hundred and forty photos of whippets, which the gathering of whippet lovers studied with deep interest, the way you look at newly discovered photos of your own ancestors.

there's that handsome German judge again!

Next there was a panel discussion titled Looking Back... into the Future. The moderator was Goran Bodegard, a Swedish sighthound judge, and a psychiatrist. (Good idea for a discussion among dog people!) The panel was comprised of Mary Lowe (Nimrodel, UK), Thomas Munch (Flic Flac, Germany), Espen Engh (Jet greyhounds, Norway), and our own Bo Bengtson (Bohem, USA).

Two notable quotes, out of context -

Thomas Munch: "A good breeder knows exactly what faults his dog has. He does not need a judge to tell him." [applause]

Mary Lowe: "When you breed dogs just to please judges and win you can ruin a breed." [applause]

Lunch was a huge dinner, really, but not a morsel went to waste. And then we had tea and pastries during the afternoon break, after which we came back to a talk on the history of the Scandinavian Whippet.

to be continued ... HERE


  1. muzzer says..."way cool judge!" and we hope you are having a better day.


  2. I bet you had a ton of fun!
    We didn't see any whippets at all at the dog show. I think we were there on the day they didn't have any judgings.

  3. Ooooh--I like the quotes from the judges! (Though as the one and only corgador I don't need a judge to tell me my faults I AM the breed standard!)

    And I am intrigued by this whole Whippet Congress. Do you suppose we could have our Congress replaced by whippets? I have no doubt they would do a much better job.

    wally t.

  4. That place looks grand and I bet the food was DELICIOUS!

  5. OOh, we are thrilled to have found your blog, and we shall return!

  6. I like the term, "Whippet Congress"!

    I just read your post on Elsa/Shelby and my heart goes out to you all. What a wonderful gift of kindness your friends gave to her at the end of her life. What a sweet, beautiful dog she was.


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