Greetings again from sunny Orlando! As the first day of the Royal Canin AKC Championship wraps up and we head into day 2, I would like to extend my most sincere congrats to all the winners. So many folks from all over the world have come to get that very special win. Let us not forget that a big win for one may be significantly different than a big win for someone else. I get so happy, teared up in fact, when I see someone get so excited over a win that they tear up, jump for joy, and demonstrate pure elation!
Such elation was experienced yesterday when Lauren Hull from LeRoy, New York was awarded Best Junior out of an impressive field of 120 juniors. She had very talented competition and demonstrated such professionalism and talent. I believe that Lauren also was Best Junior at the 2015 finals as well. Congratulations Lauren on a job well done!
There was concern on the part of many exhibitors about show entry procedure prior to the start of Saturday’s show, however, things went smoothly and no one was turned away! The procedure was handled differently thanwe are used to, thus some were concerned. With change comes challenge, but when we turn that challenge into opportunity, all is good! Bar coded entry credentials were emailed to each exhibitor. The show superintendent happily printed those bar coded sheets for those who did not print them or wished to use their cell phones .
The day’s activities moved to the Hall on the opposite end of the complex for the evening group competition, but it was well worth the walk: Royal Canin, AKC and all involved did a lovely job putting together the venue that would become the FIDO televised group and awards festivities for the evening. The photo area was simply stunning and good consideration was given to the dogs.
I would also like to congratulate AKC’s Breeders of the Year Alan Kalter and Dr. Chris Lezotte of Happy Legs Bullmastiffs. Alan and Chris have been breeding and campaigning Bullmastiffs for over 30 years.
It was great to catch up with Vicki Seiler at the groups, who was looking stunning as always. While not in the same capacity as in previous several years, Vicki is helping out and I am sure that her participation is most appreciated. It was great to see her.
Saturday evening ACE awards for Search and Rescue and Service Dog were awarded. Congratulations to Amy Lavoie and her dog, Bodie, for receiving the Search and Rescue Award and to Krystal Greco and her dog, Teddy, for receiving the Service Dog Award. It is very emotional to see these awards presentations, as the bond between human and dog are so evident and it reminds me of why I do what I do.
The Owner-Handler finals were also held Saturday evening and judged by Paula Nykiel. Best In Show was awarded to GCH Love that Jimmy Fallon, a beautiful Miniature American Shepherd owned, bred and exhibited by Jeanie McAdams. Reserve was awarded to GCH Kudlas Hubba Hubba Hubba from Pebbles Run, a stunning Samoyed owned, bred and exhibited by Heather Hubbard.
The Toy Group was first in and was won by the Brussels Griffon shown by Susie DePew. The Hound Group followed and was won by the Whippet shown by Amanda Giles. Next up was the Non-Sporting Group where the blue ribbon was awarded to the Bichon Frise shown by Bill McFadden. Finally the Sporting Group was judged and the Clumber Spaniel shown by Erin Myers was awarded top honor in that group. All detailed group results and a good majority of the breed results can be found here on our website!
A word of friendly caution to my friends: with the addition of the live stream option on Facebook, you never know when you are being caught on video. This “live stream” has caused some problems for people in the form of bench hearings. It may make sense for all to wait to get back to your set up before making negative comments, threatening words, etc. We all think negative thoughts at times, but use your inside voice! It seems as if the number of bench show hearings is increasing, sadly, and I think the heavy use of cell phones, cell cameras, and Facebook live streaming is adding to this issue. Please keep this in mind in the future.
Weather everywhere but where we are is horrific and all should keep this in mind when trying to travel home. We want everyone including canines and humans to stay safe.
To all our exhibitor and judge friends who will be travelling back home, both here and internationally, be safe and we will see you again soon.
Be safe, be happy, hug your pooch, and GOOD LUCK! Until next time…..
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