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Hempstead Plains – Scene of America’s First Real Dog Show

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156 – April, 2021

By Amy Fernandez

It looks like outdoor shows are headed for a renaissance. They’re nice, but let’s face it; the drawbacks can be substantial – regardless of the season. Wind, rain, heat and bugs are just a few of the existential factors that constantly threaten our careful plans. So many aspects of the experience are unpredictable, but one bit of preplanning is always a safe bet – set up the show on a nice smooth, flat piece of turf. Exhibitors of Toys and coated breeds know precisely what’s at stake. “Take them around” has a whole new meaning if you are dodging potholes and tumbleweeds.

Therefore, choosing a clear, level chunk of land remains a top priority of every show committee. In that case, you probably won’t be a bit surprised to learn that America’s very first real dog show took place at one of the few spots east of the Allegheny Mountains that can claim to that rare topographical feature. (Believe me, I live in Forest Hills and it got that name for a reason). The 40,000 acres of prairie land that later became known as Hempstead Plains was an enticing spot long before anyone considered it from the vantage point of dog shows.

Yes, it’s true, Crystal Palace, Madison Square Garden, blah, blah blah. However, we got our game going with no frills in a great big, windy field. On October 7, 1874 the first truly legit dog show in America took place in Mineola, which now belongs to Long Island. Reinforcing the general historical view of its official status was the much publicized fact that it was conducted under Kennel Club rules (which had come into existence less than one year earlier). Entries were limited to Pointers and Setters, which was typical back then. However, that entry restriction did not imply that those breeds owned the patent on documentation and selective breeding. America would shortly discover that plenty of purebred beauties were waiting in the wings. Mostly, the Pointer/Setter crowd had the resources to showcase their handiwork.

Click here to read the complete article

156 – April, 2021

Short URL: https://caninechronicle.com/?p=199484

Posted by on Apr 17 2021. Filed under Current Articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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