The 2nd Greyhound World Congress was held in Camberley close to Windsor Castle on 1st – 4th July 2022. This was combined with two UK Greyhound Club shows as well as Windsor Dog Show set in Home Park overlooking Windsor Castle, enabling visitors the opportunity to gain 3 CCs in one weekend.
The congress was opened by Chairperson Clare Boggia with reflections on the 2017 Congress in Norway, the first of its kind for Greyhounds and a great triumph.
Barbara Hargreaves (Mistweave), who now lives in Canada, talked about the different breed standards and the need to unify them. Bitte Ahrens (Sobers) gave a talk about assessing the movement in the show ring, this was followed by Heather Minnich from the USA who talked about the dual-purpose of Greyhounds, using lots of photographic evidence. Heather's talk lead perfectly into Sir Mark Prescott, who talked about running the Waterloo Cup for 17 years, until coursing was banned in 2005, this was entertaining, informative and gained much praise.
Mark Cocozza's talk was next titled, ‘How generous can you get?’ and spoke from an all-rounder judge's perspective. The British breed standard contains the phrase “of generous proportions”, which is not included in the American breed standard, emphasising the need to unify the standards.This was illustrated with some photographs sent to him by Bo Bengston of famous dogs from the past. This promoted lots of discussion but generally it was agreed that the word generous should indeed be included in the standard.
Geneviève Crop-Margueritat talked about her breeding program at the La Haultière kennel in France since 1968, this was then followed by a buffet lunch break.
Olaf Knauber (Happy Hunter, Germany) gave a constructive talk on ‘How to Promote our Breed for Future Generations’. All the Congress participants (nearly 100) were divided into small groups in order to suggest reasons you could give to newcomers for getting a show-bred Greyhound as a pet and (hopefully) as a show dog.
The end of the first day at the congress saw us all enjoying a lovely Gala dinner followed by a singer and a disco for the dancers amongst us. An auction was held during dinner, raising some funds
towards the congress expenses.
The next day saw a presentation by Barbara Kessler (Rumford, Germany) on the health of the Greyhound. Barbara is a veterinarian in research and pointed out that the genetic base for the show-bred Greyhound is very small. All dogs are more or less closely related, and the great stud dog of the 1950s, Ch. Treetops Hawk, is now several thousand times in almost all pedigrees. Hawk and the other early dogs we've inbred on for a long time were usually outcrosses, the results of breeding an unrelated bitch to a genuinely unrelated dog. Inbreeding and linebreeding on such individuals is often very successful for many generations, but ultimately the genetic base narrows.
Following was Julie Sadler talking about the ‘Tellington TTouch Training Method’, which demonstrated ways to train and calm Greyhounds. Lizzie Pratt joined via Zoom from the University of Nottingham with an update on the ongoing osteosarcoma survey in Greyhounds and Cathy Gaidos from the USA spoke on the Greyhound Club of America's health-related activities.
Before breaking for lunch and the afternoon's club show, Clare Boggia mentioned that there had been suggestions for a third Greyhound World Congress in the USA. We look forward to hearing more news about the next congress with a suggested date in 2025. The weekend was concluded with drinks and a BBQ on the lawn.
A most enjoyable weekend was had by all, and we thank you for the lovely feedback.
We especially thank Clare Boggia, Andrea Spurr and Liz Millward for all their hard work, sweat and tears in organising this weekend.