The first show on Wednesday turned out to be the highlight of the trip as far as ribbons go, with Thumper garnering a Select Male ribbon from Janet Nahikian (BOB went to Ch. Harmony Hills Money Talks aka Cash). The entry was 50-some dogs, mostly specials, and the entry increased daily. The Thursday and Friday judges made no cuts so hard to know if we were considered at all but we did not take any ribbons. Sunday was Eukanuba itself, and Thumper made the only cut Kenneth Buxton made before he selected his ribbon winners. Alas he was clearly lookng for something else so that was as far as we got. As always Maria handled him beautifully and I was most proud of him out there in the blue ring.
In years past Eukanuba was strictly an invitational show: a dog had to either have finished solely out of Bred By classes, or be in the top 25 for the breed for the Eukanuba year, or be a Grand Champion (a new development as the Grand Champion program only stated a couple of years ago). This year however, AKC opened the show up to allow any dog qualified to show in an AKC show. In other words, just another all-breed show. Clearly AKC saw the huge entries of class dogs at the 'pre-shows', or all-breed shows that took place at the same venue in the 3 days leading up to the Invitational, and decided the club needed to benefit financially from the interest in showing class dogs. Indeed the entry this year was over 3500 dogs, but I cannot say that guaranteed anything except , well, bigger entry. So now Eukanuba is just a really big all-breed show with very expensive entries (double the typical show entry fee), held in a huge venue with expensive and distant parking and limited loading docks. Word is the show will be at the other end of the building complex next year (where it was last year), reportedly not as well-lit and harder to navigate; and will return to this year's spot in 2014. Not sure abut returning, judge-dependent I think. But my dog showed well and has now gone on home with his handler to spend Christmas since there are ASCA shows right after Christmas and it just made more sense to let him go back with her.
|Dreamer with breeder Carol Swinney|
|Dreamer in the Group ring with Roger Hartinger|
|Judge Bill Shelton on the exam|
|Going for his Award of Excellence.|