About Abbaio Ibizan Hounds
My name is Sarah Murphy, and I began showing dogs in 2001 when I was eleven years old. I bought my first Ibizan Hound in 2002 from Elaine Ferguson of Serqet. Over the years, I co-owned and showed several dogs with Elaine and others. In 2009, I met a bitch named Klementine whose dam was Harmony, a bitch I had owned with Elaine who was sold to the Browns of Serandida, and she set the course for Abbaio.
At the age of 19, I began working as a professional handler's assistant which continued for five and a half years, during that time I attended about 150 dog shows per year. I learned so much while I worked for Margery Good and can never thank her enough for all of the knowledge she shared with me, not just about grooming and presentation, but about breeding and raising beautiful and healthy dogs.
With the guidance of Susan St John Brown of Serandida, I leased Klementine in 2011 and my first litter was born on March 19. I chose the name Abbaio because of my background in the study of the Italian language. It literally means "I bark", and while my hounds are not exceptionally vocal, I thought it was a fitting name for a breed known for "hunting by tongue". That first litter produced 7 puppies, and while we unfortunately lost one at an early age, the remaining 6 have gone above and beyond with 5 American Champions, 1 Canadian Champion, 3 AKC Grand Champions, 1 AKC Dual Champion, 1 Canadian Dual Champion, 5 with lure coursing titles, 2 with agility titles and 1 with a rally title.
Over the years, I have been fortunate to present some amazing Ibizan Hounds to the fancy. I have won Best of Breed at Westminster Kennel Club four times (Elin in 2012; Magnolia in 2014 & 2015; Iris in 2018), Best of Breed at IHCUS National Specialty (Iris - 2018), Best of Breed at AKC National Championship (Iris - 2018), several Select and Award of Excellence at AKC National Championship, multiple supported entry Bests of Breed, multiple Hound Group 1st, the first Ibizan Hound in history to win an AKC Reserve Best in Show, Bests of Breed during the National Specialty and Beezerfest weekends, several National Dog Show Bests of Breed, and the first Ibizan Hound to win Best of Breed at the prestigious Morris & Essex Kennel Club (Klementine in 2010) and recently the second (Magnolia in 2015).
Outside of my handling, Abbaio Ibizan Hounds have excelled in dog shows around the world. In 2015, one of my homebred Ibizans, "Fora" was Junior World Winner at the World Dog Show in Milan, Italy and Junior European Winner at the European Dog Show in Oslo, Norway. In 2016, "Fancy" won a Best in Specialty Show in California, "Tiger Lily" won a Best in Show at a sighthound specialty in Denmark, "Fora" was World Winner at the World Dog Show in Moscow, Russia, and "Primo" won an NOHS Best in Show in Virginia.
Abbaio Ibizans have also done very well in several other venues. "Elin" has won Best of Breed at the IHCUS National Specialty AKC Field Trial twice (2011 & 2013) as well as 7 all-breed Bests in Field. Her daughter, "Ivy", has 3 Bests in Field to her credit in just a few starts as well. "Stella" won her open stake at the 2014 IHCUS National and finished her field/dual championship with a Best in Field. "Audrey" recently became a third generation Best in Field winning dual champion. "Frances" became the youngest Ibizan Hound (at the time) to win a non-conformation title, which was a Rally Novice at the age of 7 months. She also acquired her Rally Advnced and 4 agility titles before the age of 2 years.