I hope that everyone returned from Orlando safely and that all enjoyed the holiday with loved ones. It seems our break between shows gets shorter and shorter, doesn’t it?
Sincere congratulations to Team Preston for an outstanding circuit in Orlando and a stellar year. When you think about it, “Preston” racked up more points in Florida than most dogs get in an entire show year. It is not without a lot of blood, sweat and tears that a dog is kept in this kind of condition and showing so well week after week. Congrats to breeders, owners and handlers for a job well done.
Watching the Best Bred-By competition truly warmed my heart. I was so thrilled for the professional handlers who had the opportunity to get out there and show dogs THEY bred. It is a gift to be able to earn a living doing what one loves to do, but to receive the recognition for dogs they bred is certainly icing on the cake! Congrats to all.
There was a lot of Judges Education going on in Orlando: Many breed clubs conducted seminars, including hands-on experience, and there was a lot of ringside mentoring happening. As an approved breed mentor, I received many requests for ringside mentoring and I have to say that I could easily put my ringside mentoring experiences in Florida in two different categories: 1) those individuals who truly were interested in learning about the breed and 2) those who wanted my signature on their form to satisfy the judge’s approval process.
Currently there are two schools of thought on the state of judging in our sport: 1) the current judges approval process does not appropriately qualify individuals to adjudicate the quality of dogs being presented and should be more stringent, and 2) there are so many shows today, and not enough judges, so the process needs to be more lenient in order to satisfy the demand. Personally, I am in camp #1 as I feel that if we continue to go down the road of quantity vs. quality, it is going to negatively impact the quality of the dogs being exhibited thereby negatively impacting the quality of our sport. I, for one, will be selective in the judges under whom I enter my dogs. While I may give the new judges a chance, one negative experience and I will not go back, as opposed to the ‘three strikes I’m out’ rule that I formerly exercised.
I enjoy mentoring. I enjoy sitting ringside chatting about the breed I care so deeply about and I welcome the opportunity to sit and “talk dogs” with other interested fanciers. There are still some out there that want to learn and want to do right by the breeds they adjudicate. These are the folks that I sincerely hope move forward and keep up the good work. I hope that those that are just there to get the box checked learn from these other folks and recognize how important it is for the health of our sport to learn, not just check the box! I hope show chairman hire those that are sincere about learning their craft. I welcome the opportunity to “talk dogs” with all of you!
Kim and Angela Booth are off on their annual photo safari to Africa. I cannot wait to see the photos and videos when they return! Melanie and Jack Steele and Rindi Gaudet and Billy Ellis are enjoying time in Thailand; from the photos it looks as if they are having a wonderful time!
Birthday wishes to Linda Williams, Andy Linton (are you ready for another push-up contest my friend??), Carol Spritzer, Kim Hansen, Jessica DiPerna, Bobby Schoenfeld (by the way, welcome back, Bobby!), Melanie Steele, Andrea Glassford and Lisa Arnett.
I will start off my show year in Palm Springs – please stop by the Purina booth and say Hi!
I wish the best of luck to all of you in the coming year. Have a happy, healthy, safe new year and hug your dogs – you never know what can happen!
Let me know about special holiday trips, etc.… Until next time…
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