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One Man’s Opinion

Taken from the archives of The Canine Chronicle - August, 1999

One Man’s Opinion

by Ric Chashoudian

I went out to California to have a good time at the Great Western Terrier Shows and Beverly Hills Kennel Club all-breed show. My partner, Kathy Reges, was judging Fox Terrier Sweepstakes, so I didn’t bring any of mine out from Baton Rouge; I went to watch great dogs. I enjoy these shows because it is like an old home week; I swap tales with my old friends.

The shows this year were the best venue they have ever had. The weather was superb. Beverly Hills finally got together with the powers that be, and after all of those fiasco years at impossible locations, they now have a first-class venue. A couple of years ago, a handler came out from the East Coast with Terriers for the first time for Great Western and Beverly Hills. Sunday morning, he was trying to get his dogs into this place that Beverly Hills held their show. It was a hot and dusty place, and at 6 a.m. he was wheeling his dogs in on a dolly. I was walking past him. He turned to me, knowing I was from California and said in this exasperated voiced, “do you mean to tell me that this is the great Beverly Hills Dog Show that I have waited so long to come to?” I said, “I am afraid so,” and he said, “This is one of the biggest disappointments I have ever had; it is terrible.” I had to agree with him. Things seem to be ironed out now, and maybe the Beverly Hills show can gradually climb back to the show it was when I used to attend every year and show dogs a hundred years ago. It was a major show to win then, and so was Santa Barbara. When the Stephensons ran it, it was ONE of the BIG THREE. It was Westminster, Chicago International, and Santa Barbara. You won Best In Show at one of these, and you considered yourself having a great year. A venue makes or breaks a show.

We used to have big-time shows in California, the old Harbor Cities show in Long Beach, Los Angeles Kennel Club put on by Mrs. Bagshaw, and Beverly Riviera in Santa Monica, The Santa Barbara show and Beverly Hills show, the Golden Gate show held right in the center of San Francisco. THESE WERE TOP SHOWS THAT HIRED GREAT JUDGES. The romance is gone out of our dog show scene. Big business has taken over. It’s too bad.

As they were held back-to-back, the Great Western Terrier Show seemed strange to me, why do back-to-backs? The Beverly Hills Show, Best In Show was won by a Pomeranian, and it was judged by the great Australia judge, Graham Head.

Next week I was off to judge in Mississippi. There were four shows in 4 days, a little Brussels Griffon won 2 of the 4 Best In Shows, one given by me. This is not an easy breed to win a BEST on. A Griff has to be very good to win. I know this breed as I had thirty-two of them in my kennel for Mrs. Breed, Barmere Kennels, including the great little guy called Barmere’s Mighty Man.

I am writing this article on the way back from three shows in Vermont, the Green Mountain Dog Club, the Champlain Valley Kennel Club, Inc., and the Woodstock Dog Club, Inc. I was on the panel with Dr. Berndt, Marge Patterson, and Bob Moore. This area is about as pretty as it gets. The hospitality was second to none. The lodging and food were top drawers. It got hot and then rainy at these shows, but when you hold an outdoor show in the summertime, it’s the old luck of the draw on the weather front.

Bob Moore, who I personally consider at this time to be one of our premier judges in this big country of ours, put Best In Show a new Wire Fox Terrier on the scene. This dog was bred in Ireland by one of the premier Wire Fox Terrier breeders in the world. Mr. Harry O’Donoghue of Blackdale Kennels.

I judged this dog, shown by Harry, in Ireland at the ST. PATRICK’S DAY SHOW. When I got back from Ireland, I called a friend to chat with him, and he asked me about this dog who won Crufts a year before. I told him that he was a dog that I would love to own, but I knew Harry’s price would be beyond my means. I was sure that Harry would sell this dog to Italy or somewhere for big bucks, so I put him out of my mind. The next thing I know, my friend had bought him for a top breeder of Wire Fox Terriers.

  The next time I saw him, I said to him “What’s the matter with you? Don’t you trust your old pal anymore? You went out and got this dog that I loved so much, and you wouldn’t even tell me you were getting him?” He got this little boy grin on his face and said, “I’m sorry Ric.”

This goes to show you when it comes to a good dog, you can’t even trust your friends. I’ll get even with him someday.

I judged Best In Show the second day and put the dog Best In Show over a top field. The field had every great top-ranked dog in my Best In Show lineup; with first-class judges, the show ran smoothly like a well-oiled can.

This was also the weekend of the tragedy of John Kennedy Jr., his wife, and sister-in-law. I was at the show all day on Saturday and did not hear a word about it until I called home that night. That goes to show you how isolated we get at these dog shows. The world could end, and we wouldn’t hear about it until it was too late. I was sickened by this tragedy as most others were.

Till next time,

Ric Chashoudian

Ric’s Tips: Often, but not always, the professional handler can earn a Championship and Grand Championship in less time and at a lower cost than the average owner-exhibitor.

Taken from the archives of The Canine Chronicle - August, 1999

Short URL: https://caninechronicle.com/?p=198779

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