The USA Sieger show was held in Bakersfield California and hosted by the Sunland Schutzhund Club under the direction of Johannes Grewes and Guillermo Santiso. Both men are veteran conformation exhibitors with this club hosting the 1993 USA Sieger show as well. That show was taken on by the club with only a few short months notice. This time around they had plenty of time to prepare. Because of the change in ownership of DSM and a decision not to cover national events, and because I just plain do not like Southern California, I didn't go. I have to thank Show Chairman Grewes for FedExing a marked show catalog a few days after the show to help put together this story.
After the allegations of undue influence after the 1996 show there were concerns that this show would not be a repeat offender. It clearly was not. There were a few surprises in store however. USA administrator Paul Meloy told me that this year the quality of the protection work was very high. He said it is becoming clear that the conformation people want beautiful dogs, but they want the to work well too. He said that every evening after the show was finished, thirty to forty conformation people could be found on the training field doing serious bite work with their dogs. In one case an exhibitor admonished a helper to be stronger with his dog, he didn't want the dog given quarter, he wanted the pressure and the dog in defense, no prey.
Senior judge at the show was German citizen Lothar Quoll, breeding German Shepherd Dogs since 1974, Herr Quoll is a co-founder of the Orttes Gruppe Horand Graffrath. He was the judge of the bitch classes at the 1994 Sieger show in Washington DC. A judge since 1988 and koermeister since 1994, Herr Quoll breeds under the kennel name Vom Agilolfinger. The judge for the females was Herr Eduard Hoffman of Switzerland. A member of the Swiss German Shepherd club since 1953, he joined the SV in 1964. He became a Swiss judge in 1966 and an SV judge in 1972. He is a past president of the German Shepherd Dog Club of Switzerland. American USA judge Floyd Wilson judged the working portion for both sexes. Helper work was done by north Carolinian Robert Britt, the helper on the cover of the February DSM and new Englander Ralph Scala. Both men were complimented by everyone I interviewed as talented and fair, but challenging to the dogs. Meloy commented that more pressure was put on the dogs at this trial then previous shows and, for the most part, they handled it very well.
In the adults with titles class this year the judge was presented with an impressive selection of top quality dogs. VA-1 1997 USA Sieger was awarded to Lasso vom Neuen Berg SchH3. 6 year old Lasso is co-owned by Kurt Maier of Germany and US Schutzhunder Steve Miller of Sun Prairie WI. Other participants that I interviewed subsequent to the show said he is a spectacular dog and was an excellent choice for the Sieger title. Steve's wife Connie tells me that the dog will continue to live in Germany until after the Welt Sieger and then he will come to the USA to live with Steve. Connie Miller told me that Lasso is bred to Larissa V. Bad Boll SchH3 with pups due in late March. VA-2 was awarded to Larry V. Grapenhof SchH3, a young dog from Mechanicsburg, Pa. and owned by Jerry Mace and Martha Melville. I have not seen him in person, only in ads, but he looks like a classically beautiful masculine male. A Lasso son, Kastor V Amur was VA-3 owned by Californian Rosie Westerman. VA-4 was awarded to AMERICAN BRED Lars V. Wilhendorf, a Jello son out of Hilla v. Hassenborn and bred by John Henkel. This handsome youngster, now 3 ½ years old was last years VA-5 dog in Dallas. Lars is out of what has proven to be one of the most successful litters ever produced in the USA with sister Lussi going VA-2 Vice Siegerin and Leah SG-1 and Lassa SG-3 in the adults without titles.
The Adult females with titles class also presented fine dogs to judge Hoffman, VA-1 and 1997 USA Siegerin was Wanni VD Wienerau SchH3. Wanni's mother Vanta VD Wienerau died just last month and Wanni is considered by many to be a vital link to her valuable genetics. A Jello daughter, she was the house pet of the renowned breeder Walter Martin and was purchased by Cynthia McMahan by importers J.E. and J.M. Henkel, who co-own the bitch. Cynthia, just back from a trip to Argentina told me that Wanni is member of the family, sleeps on the bed and is the best companion that she could have imagined. Herr Martin died last year, and while his wife Renee' may carry on the line, having this bitch here in the states was an important contribution from Walter to the USA bloodlines before his death. Her first litter here in the states produced the VP-1 9-12 puppy male, Lasso v Wilhendorf. She is being bred on her spring season and pups are expected by early summer. You can contact John E Henkel at Wilhendorf@aol.com, Cynthia McMahan at GerShepDog@aol.com or by telephone, Henkel at 860-354-4139 (English or Deutsche) ( We may talk about the Argentinian German Shepherd Dog World in a upcoming issue.)
The Henkel family took home a plane load of trophies with Gusto v Wilhendorf, a Jello son, winning the Youth Sieger title and for the forth year in a row the kennel group award and Jello winning the Stud Dog class. Youth Dog females 18-24 months and Youth Siegerin went to veteran competitor Jane Steffenhagen with American bred Pandora v. Steffen Haus.
When I called Johannes for a copy of the catalog, he said he was very well pleased with the show, he said everything ran smoothly with no allegations of impropriety or undue influence. I have spoken with several friends at the show and they all described it as an unqualified success.
If you didn't go, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of the show catalog. When the FedEx arrived I was amazed at the job they did producing this catalog. It is on a quality level of the architectural digest. Top quality glossy paper stock, beautiful full color photos and ads and photos of the past USA Siegers and Siegerins. Most of my old catalogs are in file cabinet in the office, this on you could leave on the coffee table for friends to admire. Johannes tells me that you can buy a catalog with the complete results sheet for $15.00 plus $2.00 shipping. I would recommend that purchase to anyone with a love of or interest in the breed. To get yours contact Johannes at:
Sunland SchH Club
Bakersfield Ca. 93312
Or call (805) 589-4931.
'98 WUSV World Championship Decoys
Decoys, don't forget to let the USA offices know if you are interested in being a decoy at the 1998 WUSV World Championships in Boston. Paul is looking for 10-12 top decoys for the WUSV from which to choose. The tryouts will be in the Spring of 1998 in Boston, with 2 decoys and two alternates being chosen.
USRC June Show
At present, it looks like Alana Lee Hill will be hosting a USRC Rottweiler show in Boston the 21 and 22 of June. Their last how was a lot of fun and Massachusetts is beautiful in the early summer. Call Alana at 508 839-0211.
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