This past weekend, from August 25 – 28, 2016, both “Lucy” and her son, “Vinto” were shown in the renown Santa Barbra dog show cluster. Photos follow, as do their owner’s, Mai Ozeki Hirai’s, words describing these spectacular events:
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Mai Ozeki Hirai
The four-day Santa Barbara weekend ended today with the Borzoi GCh. Belisarius JP My Sassy Girl, informally known as Lucy, winning Best in Show at Los Encinos Kennel Club under Australian Sighthound specialist (and Greyhound breeder) John Palmer.
In addition, Lucy took BIS at Santa Barbara KC on Saturday under judge Ann Ingram of Ireland. Most importantly — from our perspective, at least — Lucy also won the “Sighthound Spectacular,” an unofficial competition that’s unique for SBKC (Santa Barbara Kennel Club) and limited to the day’s winners in the various Sighthound breeds. A total of 24 Sighthounds that had won BOB, BOW and BOS (and Selects in specialty-club supported entries) competed for trophies — including one from Sighthound Review — and prize money ranging from $1,000 to the winner to $500, $250 and $125 for second, third and fourth, and $100 each to four Awards of Merit. The judge was Sighthound authority Eugene Blake.
The Borzoi was bred in Japan by Kyoko Ozeki (who was at ringside with her daughter Mai to watch Lucy win) and owned in the U.S. by Michele Molnar, Jamie Danburg and Minoru Kato. Valerie Atkinson (Please note – the sire of this bitch, “Lucy” – was none other than Blyss of Majenkir Magnus, “Magnus”, the puppy of Blyss Kennels’ “Mikhailya”, co-owned with Karen Staudt-Cartabona! L.C.)
Lucy didn’t have it all her own way. The Saluki GCh. Starlite’s Made of the Best Stuff On Earth, JC, RN (“Snapple”) won the Hound Group at both Simi Valley KC on Friday and Santa Barbara KC on Sunday. Snapple is co-owned by breeders Tina Turley-Kocab and Mark Kocab with Sandra Middleburg and handled by Erin Roberts. Both Snapple and Lucy, incidentally, have graced the Sighthound Review covers: Snapple in the Fall of 2015 and Lucy the Summer 2016 issue.
A full report from the Spectacular will be published in the Fall 2016 issue of Sighthound Review. We are also working on an in-depth interview with Gene Blake that promises to be really interesting.
Below is a head study of Lucy, and one of her with Shota having a private moment before BIS judging today.
A private moment for Lucy with Shota Hirai
There is really nothing more I can add to these outstanding accomplishments, other than to express my gratitude and appreciation to Mai Ozeki Hirai and her family for the wonderful care they provided to “Magnus” after they acquired him. They had both the means and the desire to develop “Magnus”, my “Mikhailya” puppy, after they acquired him from Karen Staudt-Cartabona, Majenkir Borzoi, And to Karen, too, I express my full and heartfelt appreciation for her role in “Magnus’s” development after I turned him over to her. I remember seeing his greatness at birth and remember telling her of it in an email almost immediately! I wrote, “….he is the kind of borzoi male you like to bring in the ring…… he looks like “Michael” (Mikhailya’s sire whom she greatly favored in his day.)! She obviously concurred, and certainly saw it herself when she acquired him several months later. I have always said that having “Mikhailya’s” litter was among the happiest times of our lives. I cherish those memories as if they were heaven. It was a time of enormous bliss for Bob and me. And to see “Mikailya’s” get do so well today overwhelms me with pride and joy.