My start in the (Dutch) sighthound scene was in 1970, when I bought my first Afghan Hound. It was, as we will see during this congress, the time where a number of great Dutch breeders were still active as exhibitor or judge, e.g. Eta Pauptit (Oranje Manege) and Han Jüngeling (Barukhzy's) and their influence and love for the Ghazny-type was well felt in our region. I bred a few litters in those early days based on old Dutch and German lines but due to a very busy, international job, I did not really pursue the breeding part of our wonderful hobby.

I obtained my first international judging license in 1978 for the Afghan Hound, ending up as group judge for the FCI sight hound group 10 and also licensed for the so called Mediterranean breeds of FCI Group 5 which as well resided in Group 10 until the end of last century.

I judged, until now since 40 years and mainly in Europe, many prestigious national and international Afghan Hound shows. Judging the other sighthounds as well keeps one nicely focused on the differences with related breeds like the Saluki.

I have always been very busy in board- and representative functions. Did in the past century, as example, 10 years in the board of the Dutch Oriental Sight Hound Association 'NVOW' (with the Afghan Hound as a major breed) of which 7 years as president and am, since 2010, again in function president. I was also involved in oriental breeds sighthound racing, lure coursing and show organizing.

Quite regularly I was invited for lectures about different aspects of the Afghan Hound (Germany is very active in this field) and write articles in our club magazine. In a broader sense, I do similar things for the other sighthound breeds.

Trust this 10th congress will be a success and hope that all participants will enjoy the Netherlands.