Dasma follows in mother's pawprints

After Dasma was named the ADIHEX Saluki Beauty Contest best in show in her class it was revealed her mother had won best in show two years ago.

Dasma, right, and her mother Abla were reunited at the ADIHEX Saluki Beauty Contest.
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ABU DHABI // A reunion between mother and offspring, albeit of the canine variety, formed the backdrop for the final of today's saluki beauty competition at the Abu Dhabi Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition. After Dasma, a young saluki of unknown antecedents, had been named best in show in her class it was announced that her mother had won the best in show prize two years ago. When Jaci Wickham, an Abu Dhabi horse trainer, lost her first saluki to snakebite in the desert a day after taking part unsuccessfully in the 2008 competition, she was given a puppy by Hamed al Ganem, one of the founders of the saluki club. Ms Wickham never knew the provenance of the puppy that grew into the shy but beautiful hound that captivated the competition judge, Cathy Smith. As Dasma was being given the ribbon for best in show for her class, competition commentator Sumaya Viethen said they had a surprise to announce. "Dasma is a very pretty lady but today we will see her mother, Abla, who won best in show two years ago," she said. "Now Abla has seen her daughter, who is also the best in show." A handler brought out Abla, aged four and a half, and the two hounds met for the first time since Dasma was gifted to Ms Wickham, an Abu Dhabi horse trainer, a year ago. No overall best in show was awarded, with the winners in the four categories, based on sex in the feathered and smooth varieties, being named as Dasma, Barq, Gargash and Noasha. An extra award was given to the oldest dog in the show, a 17-year-old named Injaz. jhenzell@thenational.ae