It’s only the second week of the season and already we have reaffirmed a dog show axiom. Size matters. Five of our first week’s Top Ten Dogs All Breeds attended last weekend’s Kennel Club of Palm Springs shows. The interesting part is that only one of the five, the Wire Fox Terrier, GCH CH AfterAll Painting the Sky, scored a Best In Show. The other four rode into the top rankings on the strength of group placements. Two of the five, the Harrier, GCH CH Downhome Hitech Innovator, and the Bloodhound, GCH CH Quiet Creek’s Kiss and Tell took advantage of the better than 2000 Hounds that gathered on the polo fields in Indo CA last week.
It is in that context that we look at next week’s Rose City Classic in Portland OR. The distribution of the nearly 10,000 entries is very different than in Palm Springs. Hounds were 20 percent of the entry in Palm Springs. They are 11 percent in Portland. The Sporting and Working Groups each were 16 percent of the competitors in Palm Springs. In Portland they each will have a 21 percent slice of the pie. The Herding Group will also enjoy a bump up in numbers from a ten percent to a 15 percent share. Terriers, Toys, and Non-Sporting dogs will all see a small reduction, coming in at 11,11, & ten percent respectively. What I take from these numbers is that a Sporting Dog or Working Dog could get a substantial bounce from Portland without winning a BIS or even a group. Four group placements will suffice.
Another dog show axiom is that all dog shows, like politics, are local. Despite the fact that much is said about our top competitors jetting around the country, most entries at shows, even at major shows, are drawn from an area within a tank of gas away. Note that a third of the entry at Westminster this year is from New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania. The Rose City Classic will draw a major part of its entry from exhibitors that did not wish to travel 1100 miles to Palm Springs. Not only do I expect to see many dogs from Washington state and Oregon, I expect a substantial group from British Columbia. Last week Indio was the only dog show site west of the Rockies. Next week, many of the Palm Springs competitors will opt to stay in southern California for the Channel City Kennel Club, the San Fernando Kennel Club, and the Ventura County Dog Fanciers Association shows in Ventura.
In Palm Springs, the Sporting, Hound, Terrier, Toy, and Non-Sporting Groups all enjoyed an advantage over the Working and Herding Groups who had to rely on a good performance at one of the two all breed shows. There is but one limited breed warm up, Wednesday’s Terrier Association Of Oregon show at next week’s Rose City Classic. With under 300 Terriers entered, the limited breed show will offer a minimal advantage to that group.
All of this will play out in the context of our other major January event, the Florida Marathon, a twelve show, 17 day test of endurance. The first leg of the Marathon begins today in Ocala FL and runs through next Tuesday. Exhibitors will take a break before resuming for an additional three days. The final leg will begin the Thursday, January 24th and finish up Sunday, January 27th.
Dog Show Poop and Best In Show Daily will be the first to bring you the numbers and the analysis on all of the January shows, so stay tuned.
And that’s today’s Back Story.