A history of the VCGNY would be incomplete without a brief history of goings-on in Vizslas in this
area in the 1960’s and the nexus of the VCGNY, the Vizsla Club of Northern New Jersey.
In November 1960 the Vizsla and the Australian Terrier became eligible for AKC registration.
I wasn’t married at the time but Diane and I were engaged. Together, we regularly stewarded for
obedience trials held by all-breed clubs in and around Cleveland. One Sunday at the Old Chagrin
Valley Kennel Club show we were stewarding for Mr. Jack Baird who held “tickets” as a breed
judge and an obedience judge. A woman entered the ring with a golden pointer-type bitch and
Mr. Baird said, “Nice little Vizsla”, and then proceeded to award her 199/200 in Open A. We were
fascinated with the bitch’s work as well as her solid color. That was our introduction to the Vizsla
and it turned out that Jack Baird had been the first secretary of the VCA.
We didn’t know the handler then, but she was Mrs. Margaret Meminger, whose husband Dr. Bill
Meminger was instrumental in the organization of the Vizsla Club of America along with Mr. Baird.
Marge became a Vizsla and obedience judge and judged the breed at Westminster in 1974. After
that first introduction, we saw a few Vizslas at all-breed shows which, don’t forget, were almost
all benched shows in those days.
In 1962 we moved to New York and refused the offer of a Miniature Poodle from one of my
mother’s litters, just ‘cause we didn’t want a Poodle’ and were doing some bird shooting out on
Long Island. We really wanted a GSP but thought they were a little large for our three-room
apartment in Queens. One night on the phone, my Mom suggested a Vizsla and we recalled the
one we had seen with Jack Baird judging.
Diane’s Golden Karratz, from a pet breeding in Cleveland, became our foundation bitch. Karey was
entered in the first VCA sanctioned match ever held in July,1964. Mrs. Marjorie Siebern judged
and Karey won Best Puppy and Best in Match. We still have the pictures of that day and recognize
all the Vizsla “biggies” of that era sitting at ringside.
In October 1964, Ralph Wilson (owner of Ch. Wilson’s Pal Joey) called and said that a bunch of
Vizsla people (no one was really a breeder then) was congregating at the Friar Tuck Inn in Little
Falls, NJ. Would we like to go and if so would we give him a ride from Greenwich Village?
We agreed and were among the first fifteen or so who began the VCNNJ. Someone nominated me
from the floor as an interim president and no one opposed. Within three months, we put together
a constitution and by-laws and became AKC approved as the Vizsla Club of Northern New Jersey, I
was elected the first, real president.
Some of the new members who I can recall, who attended that first meeting were Dr. and Mrs.
Maynard Wolf, Ralph Wilson, Denes and Joyce Burjan, Joe Cunningham and John Strauss. The
Wolf’s won the Breed at the first National Specialty, Denes and Joyce the parents of Danny,
became the premier field handlers in the East, Ralph’s first dog Pal Joey won BOB at Westminster
and Chicago International three years running and Joe Cunningham and John Strauss wrote the
first Vizsla book. Their Glen Cottage Kennel was among the first Vizsla breeding kennels and Glen
Cottage is still in Vizsla pedigrees forty years later.
In 1968 Denes was elected the second president of the VCNNJ. About that time though, there
began to be some rumbles from Connecticut and Long Island fanciers about attending meetings
once a month in New Jersey. We counted at least twenty families who might form the inner circle
of a New York Club. Diane remembers addressing invitations out of dog show and Field Trial
running orders to attend the inaugural meeting of the proposed Vizsla Club of Greater New York.
In November 1968 about thirty people answered the invitation to meet at dinner at the Taft Hotel
in Manhattan to discuss our common thread and decide whether or not there was enough interest
in this venture. Jim Biddlecome was elected the interim president and Diane who was taking
minutes, continued on as secretary.
Some of the attendees at that first meeting included the Whitmans, the Magyars, the Habers, the
McCunes, Marion Coffman, and Richard Zappacosta. Rosanne Devergiles, Ralph Wilson and the
Jim Biddlecome became the permanent founding president a few months later and ran the club for
at least another year,
During that time, we held one or two fun matches, a ‘B’ match and a fun field trial.
In the meantime, David and Teddy Sirota, Pat and John Bolte, Bill and Arlene Boyd, Suzanne and
Larry Gray and current VCA Delegate Lynn Worth who then lived in Southport, Connecticut joined
When we thought we were ready to hold a Sanctioned ‘A’ Match, We applied to AKC and were
granted permission. Dr. David Sirota judged the match at the Staten Island Academy and it was a
resounding success except for the fact that I, in an effort to bolster the entry, entered our first
Bitch Karey, now a bench champion, stupidly unaware that the rules specifically prohibit entries of
dogs with major points.
Someone reported this fact to the AKC and when Jim Nolan, an AKC vice president, called to say
he was sorry but our ‘A’ match was disallowed because of a rules violation, I was mortified.
I was already a judge and was supposed to be knowledgeable about these things. Nonetheless,
that little chink didn’t dent our armor and we carried on with a repeat ‘A’ Match, which was
accepted and made us eligible for a Specialty Show. This was in 1972, a little more than three
years after our founding.
In 1973 the first rotation of the Vizsla club of America National Specialty was scheduled to begin in
the East. I was then on the VCA board and had been elected its first AKC Delegate. I had
proposed that the Nationals be rotated from East to Midwest to West every year. What was finally
resolved, after much debate, was that the Nationals would go East to Midwest to West to Midwest
Anyway, we were the first departure from the Midwest since 1965 and I was named to chair the
event. The VCGNY was the host club and we quickly made application to hold a three-day Specialty
weekend.. We were first on Friday, Northern New Jersey on Saturday and the VCA was third all on
the new Westchester Grounds in Tarrytown, NY. This had never been done and it drew over a
hundred Vizslas from all over the country.
(The Nationals didn’t put together bench, field and obedience till 1976 when we held the first
combined events at the English Setter Club in New Jersey.)
Ted Eldredge (of Tirvelda Irish Setters) judged the Greater NY Specialty and Larry Downey, from
Illinois, judged the VCA Specialty. The winner of that first Specialty was Suzanne and Larry Gray’s
Ch Dirigo’s Daring Gambler.
More to come when I can recall it.
Today the VCGNY club totals more than 86 families as members with many owning more
than one Vizsla. Every year the club holds social functions, supports dog shows, and hosts AKC
sanctioned field trials and hunt tests. We also support many other pointing dog clubs through
participation and hands-on work.
The VCGNY is a member of the American Kennel Club and Vizsla Club of America.
On this site, the club will publish the results of our shows, trials, and tests. Details of upcoming
events will be shared, as will information such as the club's history and Code of Ethics. Contact
information and an application for membership are also available on this site.
I am encouraging members to send me pictures and anecdotes. If you have something you
would like to share, please feel free to email me.
Please remember the VCGNY reserves the right to edit and reproduce your information and
Enjoy the site!
THE VIZSLA CLUB
OF GREATER NEW YORK
A Short History
By Bernard E (Bud) McGivern Jr