David Hintson of Rain Tree Kennels in Vicksburg, Mississippi, has owned whippets for 28 years. "I was showing great danes when I met Debbie Butt. I would hang around her at the shows and became very attached to her dogs, especially Ch. Sporting Fields Strider, I had been admiring Ch. Sporting Fields Clansman for a couple of years (I think he was one of the most beautiful dogs to walk. So when Debbie kept saying that I needed a whippet, my answer was "only if I can have a strider son or daughter", so her gift to me was a wonderful Strider son, Ch. Sporting Fields ET, and then the most wonderful one of all, Ch. Sporting Fields Alexis. After those two I was hooked and stopped breeding danes, and so there you have the story, or a condensed version of it!!!

When I began showing whippets, I turned to Mr. James Butt, as he loved the breed and had no doubts as to what he liked. Then I began racing, and when I did, there have been so many people that assisted me. Merril Wolf has been wonderful, and Bill and Ann Macmath, Lynne Underwood, Gloria Globel, Cheri Boutell, and I can't forget my old friend Scott Ekblad who had tried to get me interested in racing years ago.

Raintree's Risky Business "Buzz"

My favorite memories with whippets include many, Raspa's first win after my really owning him is right up there at the top, Alexis first back to back Group One's at 9 months old, Carrington's first Best in Show, and Tennessee's first Best in Show. Even with all of that, the best of all is the first time I hold a new born pup in my hands and smell its breath!!!

Raspa Flying High at the AWC National in Dallas

On the subject of where I see the breed going forward, it is a very sticky question, have you got a few days??? My opinion is that the performance bred dogs on the whole are in great shape, wonderful structure, moderate, sound, great toplines, beautiful shoulders. However, my feeling is that the show bred dogs are sadly in not good shape. Long, flat, over angulated rears, to big, way to many dogs/bitches that hitch in the rear, this is getting to be a universal problem, awful toplines (rise anywhere from the shoulders to non existent). Not taking anything away from the winners, but I think it speaks volumes when two years in a row over 10 year olds win the breed at a national specialty with such large entries. My feel is that one of the worst things to happen to the breed is separation of the performance and show dogs. There is much good in the performance dogs and certainly there is much that is desperately needed in the show breds. We all need to open our minds and our hearts to the breed as a whole, for its betterment. I f eel strongly that the whippet is the most wonderful breed in the world, and we should strive to keep it that way. Whippets are a constant learning experience, have made my life full, and have introduced me to some wonderful humans, and have now opened up a whole new world of performance that I am enjoying as much as anything I have ever done.

Spock.....again doing the dog paddle!

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