On October 13 and 14, 2012, the Black Mountain Kennel Club will celebrate its 25th anniversary with back-to-back all-breed shows at the Palace Station Hotel, Conference Center and Casino in Las Vegas,. On Friday there will be five specialty shows at the same location, including the American Toy Fox Terrier Club National Specialty, the English Springer Spaniel Club of Greater Las Vegas, Las Vegas Bulldog Club, Irish Setter Club of Las Vegas and the Shetland Sheepdog Club of Southern Nevada.

Black Mountain has a lot going on over the weekend. Overnight parking will be free for RVs and box vans, with reservations, and day of show parking is free too. Judging will take place in the conference center, and although there is no grooming inside, there will be space indoors for crating prior to and during breed judging, and a grooming tent will be available outdoors at no charge.

Special attractions will begin late Friday afternoon with the fifth annual Breeders Showcase Sweepstakes, which includes cash prizes. All entries must be shown by their breeders, although the breeder doesn’t necessarily have to be the owner or co-owner.

Winners will be chosen from four divisions: 6-9 Months Puppy, 9-12 Months Puppy, American-bred and Open. Winners of the Puppy classes will compete for Best of Breed Puppy, Puppy Groups and Best Puppy in Sweepstakes, and winners of the adult classes will go on to vie for BOB Adult, Adult Groups and Best Adult in Sweepstakes. The Best Puppy and Best Adult will then compete for Best in Showcase.

The entry fee for the Breeders Showcase Sweepstakes is just $12 per dog. Sixty-five percent of the entry fees will be divided among class and BOB winners, while the Best Adult, Best Puppy and Best in Showcase winners will each receive a $100 prize. Judges will be announced one hour prior to the start of judging, and Best in Showcase will be selected by a panel of three judges.

On Saturday the Sheltie club hosts an eye clinic, and Black Mountain offers a health clinic to include patella, cardio and congenital hypothyroid testing and microchipping. The International Canine Semen Bank—Nevada will be on site Saturday as well, and is offering a 10 percent discount on its services for the day.

The Saturday show also includes a Best Puppy competition from the breed through Best in Show levels. Cake will be served during BIS to commemorate the club’s anniversary.

I must say that I don’t know how difficult these shows would be for professional handlers to work, but for fanciers who enjoy a little gambling, this could make for a perfect getaway weekend. Room rates are more than affordable at the Palace Station. According to its website, rates start at just under $50 per night, and not only is there every imaginable kind of gaming available in the huge casino, there are multiple restaurants with a variety of cuisines, plus lounges, bars and pubs with live entertainment in the evening, at least two swimming pools and the hotel boasts “1000 luxury rooms and suites.” What a way to go to the dog show!

East Coast Clusters

If you can’t make it to Vegas for the weekend, there are several other clusters with good things going on. The Autumn Classic consists of two all-breed shows hosted by the Catonsville KC on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12-13, and a third hosted by the National Capital KC on Sunday. The shows will take place at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, Md.

National Capital sponsors a Canine Reproduction Health and Genetics seminar on Saturday, in the 4H Hall on the show grounds a half-hour after Best in Show judging is over. Dr. John Verstegen, a small animal reproduction expert, will conduct the seminar at a cost of only $10 for those who pre-register or $12 on the day of the event. The cost of the seminar includes pizza, salad and drinks.

But there’s so much more! On Friday and Saturday, Catonsville offers Best Bred-by-Exhibitor competition, and just before Best BBE Best in Show judging, the club will have a demonstration by Bella, the Baltimore County Police Department’s search and rescue Bloodhound. BCPD officers will provide a review of how Bella performs in rescue operations. The Catonsville KC donated funds that helped purchase and train Bella, and also contributes to her ongoing care.

The National Capital show on Sunday includes an obedience trial, with mixed-breed “All-American” dogs welcome, and a Best Puppy in Show competition.

Also on the East Coast, the Harvest Cluster will take place at the Sussex County Farm and Horse Showground in Augusta, N.J., on Friday, Oct. 12 through Monday, Oct. 15. Four all-breed shows and four obedience and rally trials will be hosted by the Palisades and Ramapo Kennel Clubs. All-American dogs are welcome in the obedience and rally trials.

A notable extra of the weekend is that Ramapo KC will be collecting donations of non-perishable food items for both humans and canines at the front gate, which will be donated to local food banks. I admire clubs that give back in this way. Sometimes we can become isolated in the dog show world, and collecting for local food banks, whether for humans or dogs, reminds us that there are people out in the world who can use a little help.

Friday’s Palisades KC show includes Best Veteran in Show and Saturday Best Puppy in Show. Ramapo KC will also have Best Puppy in Show on Sunday.

Cash prizes at Palisades for regular Groups and Best in Show are $50 and $100, respectively, offered on Friday by Applebee’s Restaurant and Saturday by Holiday Inn Express, both in Newton, N.J. Prizes on Sunday and Monday are just as good, with an iPod docking station with alarm clock offered by Ramapo KC for BIS each day, and monogrammed towels for all four Group placements in all seven Groups offered by various fanciers. When trophies aren’t good, they don’t matter so much. When they’re very useful, people notice!

The cluster is offering a New Exhibitor Briefing on Saturday, as well as Canine Good Citizen testing. Sunday will include a Meet the Breeds session for the public.

East Texas

The last events I’ll cover today are the North Texas Non-Sporting Association show and two Tyler Texas Kennel Club all-breed shows scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Oct. 14. The Xoloitzcuintli Club of America also holds its specialty show on Friday.

These shows are held outdoors under permanent cover. The site, the First Monday Trade Days grounds in Canton, Texas, is the location of what is billed as the “world’s largest outdoor trade days.” Having been there, I don’t doubt that. When First Monday is going on, most Thursdays through Sundays nowadays, there are more than 100 acres of shopping, like a flea market only a lot more interesting. Truth be told, if you can’t find it at First Monday, it might not exist! But back to the dog shows; the site provides a park-like venue with RV hookups on the grounds, nice restrooms with showers, and plenty of room to hold a nice show.

Included in the weekend will be Meet the Breeds on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. TTKC also offers a new exhibitor briefing on Saturday morning. Canine Good Citizen testing will take place on both Saturday and Sunday, along with a microchip clinic both days from 1 to 3 p.m. A health clinic is scheduled for BAER, patella and cardiac testing by Dr. Mike Freeman.

The club hosts an all-breed B match on Saturday evening.

Since I mentioned cash prizes at other shows, I’ll mention that Tyler offers $100 for Best in Show each day, along with a monogrammed director’s chair for both Best in Show and Reserve Best in Show. Very few clubs seem to be offering anything but a rosette for Reserve BIS, so it’s nice to see a club give the win more recognition.

As I’ve mentioned before, so many clubs today, especially those in smaller communities like the Tyler Texas KC, struggle to put on their shows, and I admire those that work hard to include the little extras that will help educate the public and also benefit, or just entertain, exhibitors.

If you’d like us to report on what’s coming up at your show, please email me at Christi@bestinshowdaily.com.