CH Cottoncove Moonlite Breeze of Smithvale "Blue" and her litter sister, CH Cottoncove Sea Breeze of Smithvale "Sandy"

Corinne and Andrew Smith from Midrand, South Africa. Our kennel name is Corandy. We have a 15 month old son, Kyle, and he simply adores the Whippets. Together Andrew and I have been in Whippets since January 1995 when we were given our first two Whippets, Blue and Sandy, by Andrew's parents. (We had to wait until we were marrried and had our own house). Their dam was an English import, SA CH Savilepark Soft Breeze and sire SA CH Smithvale Venture of Merlanjo. Andrew literally grew up with Whippets since his parents run one of the top SA Kennels, Smithvale (for over 20 years). It was therefore inevitable that I would get involved in the showing scene. I can still remember just before I met Andrew's parents he told me that they owned Whippets. I asked "What are Whippets?". Well, I immediately fell in love with them and know there is no other dog for me. Whippets just get under your skin. You can't just own one, that is true, and now we are owned by 6 of them. They are amazing dogs and truly deserve to be loved and spoiled.

"Blue" Our Foundation Bitch

My mentor from the beginning and today is still my mother-in-law, Rosemary Smith. She has taught me everything I know, and will continue learning from her. She is very knowledgeable and has the breed at heart. I like the type of Whippet that Smithvale breeds. In South Africa Whippets are still relatively unknown, and I think it is the way to keep them, the best kept secret. Unfortunately we don't have coursing in South Africa, otherwise I am sure there would be more Whippet owners - showing isn't for everybody. I have just started a little Agility with one of the Whippets, and she is loving it. This is also a new sport in South Africa, so I am hopeful it will catch on, especially with Whippets. Another influential kennel in our pedigree is Cottoncove Whippets. Bryan Kelly has done a lot for the South African Whippets with his English Imports.

Left is Smithvale Star Magic of Corandy "Nikki" and right is CH Smithvale Star Attraction of Corandy "Patch" (Nikki's litter brother)

In 1997 we bred a litter from Blue back to her grandfather (SA CH Smithvale Galaxy) under the Smithvale Kennel name. We kept a bitch "Nikki" to start our own line, and the 2 dogs we kept became Champions. Due to an injury, Nikki could never be shown. We bred Nikki in 1999 to another of Cottoncove's imports, UK CH Dumbriton River Rhapsody. We kept two bitches, Scarlet and Saige, who have been doing exceptionally well in the ring while still in Puppy. Scarlet has taken 7 Best Puppy Certificates with 3 Group 1st, 2 Group 2nd and a Group 3rd, and 5 CC's to boot. The highlight was definitely her Best Puppy on Show in July 2000. We are thrilled with our first "Corandy" litter.
Every day is wonderful living with Whippets and it is just memorable watching them playing tag outside, rough housing, running around like zombies and then curling up on the couch. They all have their own little "quirks" that make them special. I think we will always have fond memories of the days we take the dogs to the beach and let them run while away at shows. They so enjoy it. There is no way to describe the feeling you get from watching them run.

Sandy and Blue on the Beach

The best show memory we have, besides each time one of our Whippets become a Champion, was definitely Scarlet's Best Puppy on Show. It was wonderful, especially knowing we bred her ourselves. Another great memory would be when we entered a photographic competition with Blue and Sandy and won first prize - a video camera. We now have wonderful memories on video, to keep and cherish.

Top is Sandy and Blue's winning photo
Left is Corandy Country Girl "Scarlet" and Right is Corandy Cover Story "Saige"

We try not to have favourites, but I think our first two Whippets, Sandy and Blue, will always be the most precious. They are the ones who introduced us to the breed, sleep in our bed, eat on our bed and are the real owners of the house. You can't deny them anything. Blue is the "talker" and arm biter, and Sandy is the cuddle-bundle. Sandy shares your pillow and the bed with you, while Blue kicks you out of it. They certainly beat electric blankets in winter.

Left is Blue eating her breakfast in Winter and right is Bed sharing with Whippets

There aren't a lot of breeders in South Africa, and I feel the Whippets are generally good. We need to take special care of shoulders and more emphasis must be put on movement. There are also a few "bigger" Whippets in the ring at the moment, but hopefully this will not become the norm. I think that breeders need to always have the breed at heart. We need to breed Whippets that are sound in conformation, mind and athletic ability. We mustn't forget what they were actually bred for in the beginning. I would like to see more activities for Whippets in South Africa (but not commercial racing as this leads to horrific lives for the dogs). The vast difference between the say "American" and "English" Whippet worries me. We need to get back to the breed standard and penalize the faults that are creeping in before they hurt the breed even more. We need to keep our breed genetically sound, and leave all the politics at home.