We still have one more show to complete in this week’s set, today’s Scottsdale Dog Fanciers Association event in that Arizona city, but this numbers nerd can’t escape the feeling that this week was very different than previous weeks’ offerings.
First, there are far fewer shows and entries than the week before. The current iteration, which spanned five days from last Thursday through today, saw just 18 all-breed shows in seven locations on the mainland, drawing a mere 18,389. Last week had 21 shows in six locations and drew 23,059 entries. That’s a 20 percent drop in one week. Another way of looking at it is there are more entries at this week’s Crufts show in the UK than there were in the entire United States this week.
Even more interesting was the distribution of the entries. Forty-two percent of the entries were in one location, the Fiesta Cluster in Scottsdale AZ. No doubt, that was a reflection of the fact that the venue was the only one west of the Rockies this week. Last week’s West Coast entries were 41 percent of the total US entry, but were split between Albany, OR, and Del Mar, CA. Three of the seven locations this week struggled to stay above 500 entries a day with eight of the 18 shows drawing fewer than 550 entries. All of these shows were in the Southeast. The only rationale I can come up with for the small entries in my part of the country is the lack of airline access. The farther away from Atlanta, the one major airline destination in the south, the less likely you are to draw a big entry.
One venue east of the Rockies consistently draws respectable entries: the Purina Farms complex, near St. Louis, MO. This weekend’s Belle-City Kennel Club shows drew about 1,200 dogs each day. One dog, the Border Terrier, GCH CH Meadowlake Simply Sinful, made the most of that stop, by picking up back2back BIS and setting a new breed record for career BIS. Our congratulations to breeder/owner/handler Karen Fitzpatrick, co-breeder Tracy Van Niel, and owners Kiki Courtelis, Joyce Wilkinson & David Fitzpatrick, DVM. The win comes after taking a Group Three at last month’s Westminster Kennel Club show. That’s a pretty good start to any year.
Also getting respectable numbers this week was the Detroit Kennel Club which drew almost 2,900 dogs to its two shows. Saturday’s show saw the spectacular debut of another European import, the Swedish Wire Fox Terrier, Crispy Legacy. Five-year-old Sparky opened his US stay with a Best In Show from the Open Dog class. Sparky had a multi-BIS career in Europe before coming to the US. Congratulations to breeder Agnetta Astrom, owners John & Daphne Eggert, and handler Ernesto Lara. Ernesto also showed the Eggerts’ Scottish Terrier bitch, GCH CH Lomondiew Clementina, who finished 2012 as the US’ Number Two Terrier, with 10 BIS and a phenomenal 85 Terrier Groups. I suspect Sparky will be a major player this year as well.
That’s today’s Back Story. Check back with us Wednesday for a look a the numbers from the upcoming Ketuckiana Cluster in Louisville.