Page 210 - ShowSight, March 2020
P. 210

                We couldn’t have been more excited when our dogs got their first points, and moving on to earn Best of Breed, winning the Sport- ing Group, Best in Show, winning Specialties, and a Group 4 at Westminster. And this all coming from dogs that have also earned advanced field titles. It’s been a thrill of a ride.
Kate DeSanto lives with her hus- band of 13 years, Kendall, and their two sons in a house run by Sport- ing Dogs. A nurse by education, she works as a nurse liaison in the Healthcare Design field. Her cur- rent hospital project is 1.5 million square feet which is scheduled to open in 2021. She is the AKC Del- egate for the American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association and
the Past-President of the Southern New Jersey Cocker Spaniel Club. I live in Voorhees, New Jersey. I started in dogs 23 years ago. Outside of dogs, I’m an avid reader, Politics Junkie, and a wanna
be gourmet chef!
The current overall quality of the Group? I think there are many
breeds in the Sporting Group that consistently show a depth of quality. Some have come a very long way since I started in dogs. For example, Spinone are consistently better with each generation. I am a huge student of the rare breeds, the breeders of those breeds have shown how smart and invested they are. That’s amazing to watch.
How do I think Sporting Dogs have adapted to living indoors? I’m very proud that our main breed, the Wirehaired Pointing Grif- fon, finds itself as one of the few breeds that consistently has most, if not all, top five dogs with titles in the ring and the field.
The breeds, of course, have adapted. Without a dedication to conditioning and training, the breeds will see a decline in their overall health, both mentally and physically. We have found that our Griffons enjoy having an outdoor job to do; whether it’s hunt- ing, hiking, biking, or exploring the trails at the lake and nature preserve near our home. Sporting dogs are smart, inclined to work, and can get bored. I’d encourage every Sporting dog owner to get out and be active with their dogs!
Any particular challenges Sporting Dog breeders face in our current economic/social climate? I think every breeder faces threats from the AR Groups, a lack of understanding of what purposefully bred, purebred dogs are, and why they are important. It’s vital to educate as many people as possible about the reality surrounding the importance of what great breeders do.
Specific to Sporting Dog breeders is the anti-hunt mentality and the anti-work mentality for dogs. There is a lack of understanding of the joy that a hunting dog exudes when doing what they were bred to do!
Economics have definitely changed. It is very difficult to find hospitable, affordable space to have a functional large scale kennel, especially in the Northeastern US.
What makes a Sporting Dog the ideal companion in these 21st-century times? We love the trainability of the Sporting dogs we share our lives with. They incorporate into our family, which is active and always going. Our dogs have always been a part of that, and they are quick learners who love to please.
What advice would I give a newcomer to the sport? Never, ever stop learning. Never be afraid to ask questions, and ask them from a variety of people. Join your breed’s parent club and get involved!
Volunteer and spend time with others who share the love you have for your dogs!
The largest health concern facing my breed today? The Wire- haired Pointing Griffon has enjoyed relatively low popularity. This is changing. We have, in the past, due to the small demand and a fairly tight-knit Group of breeders, been able to work together to share health information and keep our dogs very healthy. As the demand for our breed increases, we are faced with folks who are obtaining dogs with little information and are not testing them before breeding. This is of huge concern and I am hoping it doesn’t harm the breed in the future.
Any trends I see that I believe need to continue or I’d like to see stopped? You know, I love that AKC has designated 2020 as the “Year of the Breeder”. I think efforts to educate as many people as possible should always continue. I’m a huge fan of AKC TV, and the appeal it has to not only current dog fanciers, but to those looking for their own dog, and those looking to learn what dog might be the right fit for them. I love that the dog world has gotten smaller in the past two decades. How wonderful it is to be able to watch shows from all over the world! I’d really like to see retail rescue be a thing of the past.
Who do I owe the most to? Oh, gosh. Without a doubt the per- son I owe the most to, who taught me the most, definitely didn’t always tell me what I wanted to hear is Bonnie Pike, Silverhall Cockers. Bonnie is a source of truth and one of the people in dogs I can always trust.
The biggest pitfall awaiting new and novice judges? Unkind exhibitors. I say that seriously. There are not that many, but when it happens, it’s cringe worthy. We can all be kinder, even in spite of disappointment or disagreement.
The most amusing experience I’ve ever had at a dog show? That’s just not fit for print.
I have had a passion for dogs all of my life, owning a Corgi type mix when I was ten years old until her passing when she was 19 years old. I have been involved in American Kennel Club events since 1978 (41 years). I have shown several breeds in the past, trying to decide what I wanted to stay with. Those included Cocker Spaniels, Rottweilers, Man- chester Terriers, Whippets, Brussels
Griffons, Golden Retrievers, Poodles, Afghan Hounds, Vizslas and Wirehaired Vizslas. I have exhibited smooth Vizslas since 1985 (34 years), and Wirehaired Vizslas since 2002 (17 years). Memberships with AKC All-Breed accredited clubs over the years include Arkan- sas KC, Augusta Georgia KC, Piedmont KC in Charlotte NC, and Oconee River KC in Georgia. I have served as newsletter editor, trophy chairman and hospitality chairman in the Arkansas KC, and Program Director in the Oconee River KC in Watkinsville/Athens, Georgia. My specialty club memberships in the past included the Tara Afghan Hound Club of Georgia and the Metropolitan Atlan- ta Whippet Club. I was a member of the Vizsla Club of America, from 1985 to 2005, and the Vizsla Club of Metro Atlanta, from its inception in 2002 to 2018, where I served as secretary for the club’s first two years. I am a current member, since 2007, on the BOD and Web Master of the Vizsla Club of the Carolinas, and a charter member since 2006, past President and VP, past AKC Standard Committee member, and current Director and Judges Education Committee member of The Wirehaired Vizsla Club of America. I have judged in seven all-breed matches, two Specialty matches,

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