By Kathleen Knowles
If you love dogs, and most of us do, the place to be on Saturday and Sunday this past weekend was the Goodells Fairgrounds in Goodells, Michigan, where the St. Clair Kennel Club held its annual Dog Shows.
Sanctioned by the American Kennel Club, 1147 dogs of all shapes and sizes in 105 different breeds strutted and competed in the two-day event against one another, first beginning with Breed judging, followed by Group judging and ending with the highlight of the day, the coveted “Best in Show.”
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Motorhomes, campers and fifth wheels started rolling in Thursday night in preparation for the Kennel Club’s annual shows. Exhibitors traveled from all over Michigan and out of state to attend. The goal for most…..to win the points for their breed and sex towards his or her championship. Others brought their champions to compete for Group placements and Best in Show.
The weekend began with the two Specialties on Friday, September 14th. The Fort Detroit Golden Retriever Club had a specialty with 70 dogs including sweepstakes entries. Winning the top prize of Best of Breed in the Specialty was My Buddy’s Gun N’ Roses owned by Leah Schwanger, DVM and Cyndi Heiden of Lenox, Michigan, under Judge, Miss Collette Jaynes.
The other specialty held was the Great Lakes Toy Dog Club, which consisted of Toy breeds only. Prevailing and winning the specialty under judge Mrs. Lydia Hutchinson was the Chinese Crested, GCHB Lolishan Kang Well-Being, owned by Jade Soon of Madison Heights, Michigan.
Though small in size, all of these breeds make excellent pets; most of them not needing much exercise, but some of the long-hair breeds do require daily grooming.
Following the specialties, a puppy match was held. Unlike the championship shows, there are no points awarded. Breeders show their puppy hopefuls in “practice shows,” in order to get them ready for championship competition.
All kinds of vendors could be found lined up and selling everything you could possibly purchase for your dog’s needs, from shampoo, grooming equipment, bowls, leads, pens, as well as novelty items. There were also vendors for food for the humans!
Saturday, September 15th kicked off the first of two days of AKC All-Breed Dog Shows. Judging began at 8:00 sharp, with indoor rings (for smaller dogs including Toys, Terriers and Non-Sporting breeds. The larger breeds were judged outside. (Working Herding, Hounds and Sporting).
Exhibitors were busy, under the cover of tents or setups near their cars and campers, brushing and grooming their dogs to perfection while keeping a close eye on the clock. Exhibitors and dogs alike reported to their rings for breed judging. In each breed, one dog (male) was selected for winners dog and one bitch (female) was selected for winners bitch. They were awarded points toward their championships. They then went back into the ring to compete with the champions and grand champions for Best of Breed. The winning breed dogs would go on to compete in the groups.
The working group is made up of dogs that were bred to do a job. Many of them were bred to be guard dogs. Others such as the Saint Bernard was bred to find people lost in the Swiss Alps. The group was judged by Mr. William Sahlof of Swanton, Ohio. His choice for Group 1 was a Newfoundland, GCH Top Shelf’s Love Hangover, owned by Allyson Hurst, Deb Wigal and Becky Reynnells of N. Ridgeville, Ohio.
Rottweiler, GCH Cammcastle’s the One and Only General of Valor was one of the dogs in the group.
“Patton” is handled by Kim McDello. He has multiple group placements and is in the top twenty Rottweilers, having only gotten started as a special this year. Kim handles Working and Sporting breeds and has finished numerous Cavalier King Charles Spaniels from the Toy Group.
Kim pointed out Rotts are excellent house dogs that are naturally protective and make excellent watchdogs as well. She recommends to pet owners to go to a show breeder rather than a pet breeder, as they screen their dogs for possible health problems. She stated all show breeders will have pets who don’t quite come up to show standards, and due to the diligence of the breeders, there is a much better chance of purchasing a healthy puppy.
Incidentally, “Patton” placed third in the Working Group.
Ms. Denny Mounce, from Round Top, Texas judged the group and chose the American Eskimo, GCHS Anana’s Rhinestone Cowboy as her group winner, owned by Susan Caltrider & Stephanie Strunk from Clinton Township, Michigan.
The Terrier Group was judged by Ms. Denny Mounce as well. Her choice to send on to Best in Show was the Smooth Fox Terrier, GCHP Hampton Court Broxden What in Carnation, owned by Victor Malzoni, Amy and Phil Booth of Fowlerville, Michigan.
Once again Ms. Denny Mounce judged, this time the Hound Group. She chose Ibizan Hound, CH Serandida & Sikora’s Diva from the competitive group to advance to compete for the top award.
Mr. Darryl Vice, from Palm Springs, California got the call to judge the Toy Group. He chose an English Toy Spaniel, CH Clussexx Paddington of Flivverway, owned by Douglas Johnson, Jamie Hubbard and Adam Lucas King of Bloomington, Indiana.
The Pekingese which won the breed and showed in the group, Ch Diaquiris Indiana Jones hailed from near Toronto, Canada.
“Indy,” as he is known, is a young dog who is just starting his specials career. Owner and breeder, Cynthia Dyson has bred approximately forty champions with several group placing Pekingese, including eight Best in Show winners. Cynthia comes from a family that has been showing dogs for years. Her mother bred Poodles. Even her great-grandfather bred Bulldogs, and received Winners Bitch at Westminster in 1923!
Cynthia intends to campaign “Indy” this coming year.
Sporting breeds were bred for hunting, but make wonderful pets. Today, the group boasts two of the most popular breeds, the Golden and the Labrador Retrievers.
On this day, the Golden Retriever would prevail as Judge, Mr. James Frederiksen of Knoxville, Tennessee awarded Ch Kingslanding’s Dream in Pink Mansion the Group 1. The dog is owned by David Cai and Peng Jiang of Fowlerville, Michigan.
The final group of the day was judged by Mrs. Barbara Dempsey Alderman. She chose the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, GCHS Coventry Bring on the Reign.
The German Shepherd Dog, Treu’s Rommel Autographed By Q (Owners, Christine Morgan and David Fones) will be featured in a program on bluewaterhealthyliving.com. He is pictured above. Don’t miss it!
Best in Show
With the group judging completed, the moment everyone was waiting for had arrived. Mrs. Barbara Dempsey Alderman entered the ring to examine the seven winners of the groups. She instructed the handlers to take the dogs around the ring after examining each of them individually. Judging each dog against it’s own breed standard, she was charged with the task of deciding which dog came closest to its breed standard.
Mrs. Dempsey Alderman awarded the ultimate prize to the Smooth Fox Terrier with the Reserve Best in Show going to the English Toy Spaniel.
With one show behind them, the St. Clair Kennel Club did it all over again on Sunday! Both days included Obedience, Junior Showmanship and Best Owner Handler Groups and Best in Show.
Thank you to St. Clair Kennel Club for bringing the world of dogs to the Blue Water Area and allowing Blue Water Healthy Living to showcase their events.
Haven’t gotten enough of the canines yet? Check out this video by GBS Media on the St. Clair Kennel Club! Click here to view.
Kathleen you did an amazing job on this article!! The photos are outstanding, wonderful work!! Sonya Francis