Conformation: Hon. James G. Phinizy, Scottish Deerhound Breeder

Elin and I have owned and raised Deerhounds for well over fifty years, having gotten our first Deerhound in 1970 from Keith Allen, Dalmahoy Kennels, Santa Rosa. Our first two deerhounds were Ch. Dalmahoy’s Highland Specter and Ch. Dalmahoy’s Teann As an Rathad, by Ch Dalmahoy’s Liath Ian. We got Malachi first, before moving east to New Hampshire. Teann, his litter brother, came shortly afterwards. Our fate was sealed.

Being inherently lazy, we bred very few litters and actually preferred taking a stud fee puppy, including Ch Fang’s Wraith of Black North. “Snags” won the Specialty twice in the 80s and was the first Deerhound to place, owner handled, in the Hound Group at Westminster, behind a lovely, correct Foxhound.
I first started judging Deerhounds in Britain in the late 70’s and was put on The Deerhound Club “A” list by the 80’s and, by the mid 80’s, was approved by AKC to judge both Deerhounds and Wolfhounds.We were able to travel to Britain often and were fortunate to learn from long time Deerhound breeders such as Miss Noble, Ardkinglas; Miss Hartley, Rotherwood; Miss Linton, Geltsdale; and Miss
Bell, Enterkine.

Miss Noble became a dear friend. We would visit her, to go to shows or to attend the Dava Meeting. At one “Dava”, it was great to see a “Black North” puppy from our first litter compete. Often, we would back to Argyll, dead tired after an active weekend with a “boot” full of hare for the larder. Miss Noble was an excellent cook, and it was not unusual that hare was on the menu.

For the last 35+ years I have judged Deerhounds and Wolfhounds across America and in Britain, including shows such as Santa Barbara, Westminster (three times), the Hound Show in England, and the British “Breed Show” in 1988, and more recently in 2017.

I was really looking forward to judging Deerhounds at The Hound Show again and in Germany but, sadly, had to cancel both due to Covid travel restrictions. Having judged our Specialty in 1995 at Basin Harbor, Vt, I am very privileged to be able to judge the SDCA Specialty in West Virginia.

Björn took the photo of Jack, The Scottie; Rags and “La La” walking in the New Hampshire woods, when he brought over La La in 2017.


Sweepstakes: Mary B. White, Saluki Breeder


Firstly, I wish to thank the members of the Deerhound Club of America for their kind invitation to judge your 2023 National Specialty Sweepstakes classes.

Although I am already fully licensed to judge Scottish Deerhounds, my accreditation being with the Canadian Kennel Club, I am now wishing to apply for the sighthound breeds with AKC.  Sweeps judging is an integral part of that application procedure.

I have enjoyed judging Deerhounds and the entire Hound Group since 2003 and have seen and judged them in many countries of the world.

I was originally a Doberman breeder for many decades and was gifted my first Saluki in 2002   She was a wonderful start to the breed and she and one of her sons, bred by myself, were National Specialty winners. Salukis of my breeding have since won multiple awards at Nationals including BOB, multiple Top Twenty winners, Selects, AOMS and Winners

I look for a sighthound with grace and beauty, that stands proud and knows its worth.  Balance, moderation, and athleticism allow the hound to do the job for which it was bred for centuries.  Quality of coat, overall condition and lovely breed details complete the picture for me.

Thank you again for giving me this grand opportunity I look forward with great excitement to meeting you all and seeing your beautiful hounds.


 Obedience:  Anita Eisthen, Labradors

Anita’s love for dogs began as an infant, when her parents received a Toy Manchester puppy from her grandfather. She has had many rescues and mixed breed dogs as family pets over the years, including several Beagle mixes, a Doberman mix and Aussie mix. Her love of her current breed, Labrador Retrievers, began in 1991, when she rescued a pure-bred Labrador from the Houston SPCA. Her Novice A Dog, Casey, earned her Novice Obedience title in October 2003. Anita’s first pure-bred Labrador from a breeder, OTCh Sunhsine’s Hope MD Cotton UDX6 OGM VER RAE2 JH NA OAJ NAP NJP, came to Anita’s home to live and be loved, in February 2003. Anita has titled other dogs in various sports, including Obedience, Rally, Hunting Tests, and Scent Work. She currently has six Labradors, and all six of them are currently being shown in one or more dog sports. Anita is thrilled to be a part of the Scottish Deerhound Nationals.

Anita L. Eisthen, CFP, CPA, CFA



Futurity: TBA



 Coursing Judges:

 John Arvin:

My name is John Arvin and I’ve been owned by Rhodesian Ridgebacks since 1985. I currently have three RRs – Molly, Enzo and Vera.

I’m a conformation judge (RRs, Whippets, Borzoi, Saluki, Scottish Deerhounds and Pharaoh Hounds) and lure coursing judge licensed in both AKC and ASFA. I’ve judged six lure coursing National Specialties: Scottish Deerhounds (both AKC and ASFA), Pharaoh Hounds (AKC), Whippets (twice) (ASFA), Salukis, (AKC & ASFA), Borzoi (AKC) and Irish Wolfhounds (ASFA). In 2016 and 2019 I was also privileged to judge the AKC National Lure Coursing Championship (NLCC).

I’ve been a member of The Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States (RRCUS) since 1986 and am a founding member of the Greater Valley Forge Rhodesian Ridgeback Club (GVFRRC). I served three terms as a Director in RRCUS and have held various positions in GVFRRC, currently on my second term as Corresponding Secretary.

I am honored to be asked to judge for the SCOA Specialty again and consider it an honor and privilege.


 Paul Kytta II :

I began my lure coursing adventure when we got our first Rhodesian Ridgeback in late 2004. Although she appeared to have great speed and a promising future, chasing a plastic bag was just too much work Fortunately, our next RR, Nitro, had the drive to maintain a long and successful career. So, of course, we were hooked and during those early years joined three local lure coursing clubs (NCC, MGA and OKIGO) and began volunteering in many capacities. I learned by helping to set up and tear down the field and was soon an active hunt master. My wife, gravitated to the paperwork side and clerked, became an FTS, and learned to run lure. I have also chaired many trials and became an ASFA judge in 2010 and an AKC

judge in 2020. I am a founding member of LARK (Lorain Area Racing Klub) which holds LGRA events and ASFA lure coursing.

Nitro was eventually inducted into the ASFA Hall of Fame in 2022 as the #2 ranked ASFA Lifetime Ridgeback, BIF DC Rare Earth Top Fuel Eliminator, LCM7, VLCM4, GRC, JOR, MC, CD, CGC, HIC, TT, TDI, VC. Other successful dogs we have owned are “Voodoo” BIF Highveld’s Black Magic Of lmarika, LCM8, VLCM3, GRC, SOR, ORC, MC who is tied with Nitro as the #2 ranked ASFA Lifetime Ridgeback. Following in Voodoo’s pawprints, is her daughter “Jinx”, BIF DC lmarika’s Fashionably Late LCM6, LCX, MC, GRC, CKC FCh, CKC NC. Jinx was one of three Ridgebacks to be the first to earn a CKC lure coursing Field Championship (all on the same day) and is also on the ASFA Lifetime Top Twenty at #6. We have also bred two other top lure coursers, “Erzulie”, BIF DC lmarika’s Voodoo Goddess At Highfield LCM, CKC FCh, CKC NC, MC, NA, CGC and “Moshi” MBIF FC lmarika’s Smokey Topaz, LCM2, SC.


Tom Cigolle


 Ping Pirrung

I am truly honored to have been asked to be a part of the Scottish Deerhound Club of America’s National Specialty.  I am looking forward to seeing you and your amazing hounds.

I have been involved with lure coursing since I first learned of it around 1975.  This is a sport dear to my heart for so many reasons. I meet amazing people and dogs and at the same time spend time outdoors enjoying the company of like-minded people and their hounds.  There really is nothing like seeing your dog do something they really enjoy.

One could easily say that my life has gone to the dogs …. Or has always been there.  At no time during my life have I been without a dog of some sort.  My family always had at least two dogs and at times even got up to my Dad’s imposed limit of 4.  Even in college, my dog accompanied me to every class as well as up on stage to accept my diploma.

Borzoi were my beginning with sighthounds.  My husband, at the time, and I lure coursed, showed and bred Borzoi.  Lure coursing was a natural fit, as my favorite place to be is outside and active.  The athleticism along with the pure joy of watching the dogs do what they were bred to do is an indescribable thrill. 

We had two daughters who also went with us to almost all field trials with my second daughter practically being born on a coursing field.   At times I even ventured off coursing on my own.  There are some that remember me slipping dogs with a baby in a back pack and a camera in my other hand.  After the girls were old enough that they could be on their own during a trial, I became a judge.  This has afforded me the opportunity to see dogs lure course all over the country at the same time experience some amazing runs.  I am looking forward to bringing my grandsons to field trials in the near future.

Whippets came into my life when my daughters were young and since the late 1980’s I have had only Whippets.  I am now remarried to Dennis McCann who enjoys our growing family at Labyrinth Whippets.  Occasionally we will have a litter of puppies, which is the ultimate joy of owning dogs.  At this point we have 6 living at our house and enjoy every minute of it.  During the spring and fall almost every weekend is taken up with lure coursing or open field coursing.   During the week I spend a lot of time with the dogs either biking, walking or working on their skills.

I became an ASFA judge in 1985 and an AKC lure coursing judge when AKC began its coursing program. I have been the Field Trial Secretary for many of our club’s trials as well as several ASFA II’s.  At most field trials I love to help out in whatever way I can; I would rather be doing something other than sitting around waiting for our dog’s turn to run.  I am a founding member of Tri-State Sighthound Club in Western PA and have been President of the club for several years.   I was elected as the Corresponding Secretary of the ASFA in 2008 and reelected in 2010, which was a joy as it put me in touch with so many of the fancy all over the country.  I was elected President of ASFA in 2012 and reelected in 2014, Subsequently I was elected as the Recording Secretary for the ASFA.  My 4-year term ended this March 2022.  This past September I was asked by the ASFA Board to fulfill the term for Corresponding Secretary, which is probably my favorite position on the ASFA Board.  I also chair and serve on several committees for the ASFA.  I have embraced the challenges and enjoyed the work of maintaining ASFA as the premier lure coursing organization.

Safe runs and joyful competition to all attending the Scottish Deerhound Club of America’s Specialty.