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Table Talk · February 7, 2024

This year marked my return to the Indy Winter Classic after a hiatus of several years.  When Westminster was held on its original dates in February, the shows held on the same weekend of this cluster had poor entry numbers. In an effort to combat this problem, they club was pro-active and moved the dates to the first week of February–their current dates.  This year, they added a fifth show on Wednesday.  This was the Hoosier Kennel Club’s first show since allowing women in the club.  (Yes, my friends, there was still a club that disallowed women prior to this change).

In my humble opinion, the Indy Winter Classic cluster was almost unrecognizable this year with so many wonderful additions and changes.  This was the first year the cluster was sponsored by Purina Pro Plan.  The club did a phenomenal job putting their sponsorship dollars to work.  The Hoosier Kennel Club celebrated their 100th Anniversary in style by providing cake for exhibitors during group judging on Saturday.  This was another demonstration of their outstanding hospitality and appreciation of the exhibitors.  The attention to every detail was second to none!

The cluster used social media to reach out to the public and exhibitors throughout the weekend.  The consistent updates to the Facebook page helped bring in a big gate.  I say, “Job well done” to everyone involved!  Thank you for your hard work.

As I watched the groups on Friday, I could not help but notice the individual announcing.  The gentleman had the perfect voice for the task at hand and was doing a great job giving a short description of every breed.  I then noticed that he was not reading anything!  As it turns out, Chris Nelson has memorized the entire Complete Dog Book and recited every description from memory!  For a girl who cannot even remember her hotel room number, I was in awe!!!!  Hiring the announcer was an amazing addition to the Indy Winter Classic cluster and was a great vehicle to educate the public that attended.

If you have room in your show budget for an announcer, I highly recommend Chris Nelson!  He is a kind man with a passion for our sport.  You can reach Chris at the_dog_expert@comcast.net.

I have great news for handlers who have been longing for the opportunity to train their puppies in the 4-6 puppy competition!  The AKC Board is reviewing a proposal to amend the regulations governing the 4–6-month competition to allow handlers to show in the 4-6 month puppy competition for exhibition only.  I urge everyone to write to the AKC Board in support of this change!  If approved, the change will be effective July 31, 2024.

I think allowing handlers to participate in the 4-6 puppy competition show signs of progress by AKC.  Unfortunately, the Golden Retriever community has taken a step backward, in my humble opinion.  The Golden Retriever Club of America has voted to disallow handlers in sweepstakes.  If the dog is SOLELY owned by the handler, they will be allowed to show their dog.  As an example, a handler couple breeds Goldens, and both their names are on as a breeder and owner.  This dog cannot be shown by either of them in sweepstakes.  The dog would have to be owned by one or the other.  If a breeder or owner is disabled and unable to show their own dog, sadly, they will not be able to exhibit their dog in sweepstakes.  One can only hope that GRCA will reconsider this change.

The Harvest Moon Classic in Northern California to be held in October has outdoor rings available for specialties on October 16, 2024.  If your club is interested in holding a specialty in conjunction with this cluster, please reach out to Betty-Anne Stenmark at ba@kingsmtndandies.com.

The Kentuckiana Cluster is right around the corner!!!!!  There is a modest fee for grooming this year.  Please get your grooming reservations in as soon as possible.  Grooming can be paid for at www.executivedogshows.com.  If you have any questions about grooming, contact Nina Fetter-Galarneau at louisvillegrooming@yahoo.com. The reserved grooming form can be found in the premium list at www.infodog.com.   I will be onsite to bring you Table Talk Live again this year!  Be sure to stop by the Canine Chronicle booth and visit.  Please reach out to me at deb.cooper@caninechronicle.com if you have ideas for a segment.  I would also like to chat with as many as of you as possible regarding your thoughts on multiple-judge panels for group and Best In Show competition.

Congratulations to Jim Moses and his new bride, Karena, who recently tied the knot.  Best wishes to the two of you for many years of happiness.

Fanciers celebrating birthdays this week include Chris Margeson, Luiz Abreu, Pam Bruce, Larry Cornelius, Janet Harner, Allan Brown, Erika Busby, Heidi Hartman, Michelle Michael, Ryley Beckwith-Kirkland and Jamie Clute.  I hope you all have a great day celebrating with your favorite people and canines.

Here’s my advice to all:  You are not everyone’s cup of tea, and that is okay.  The world is filled with people who, no matter what you do, no matter what you try, will not like you.  But the world is also filled with people who will love you fiercely.  The ones who love you, they are your people.  Be who you are!


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