The biggest shows of this past weekend took place in Atlanta at the Cherokee Rose Cluster from August 23 to 26, 2012.

Thursday at the Griffin Georgia Kennel Club, from an entry of 1,591, judge Judy Daniels chose GCh. Allaruth Just Kidding v Sole Bay for BIS. In from California, the Miniature Schnauzer is bred and owned by Billie Phelps and Ruth Ziegler. We don’t often see Miniature Schnauzers today in the top of the Group rankings, in part because it’s a difficult breed to keep in coat year around. But if anyone can do it, Bergit Coady Kabel is more than capable. ‘Justin’ has now won five BIS this year and at the end of July was the Number 6 Terrier.

The alliance between the three West Coast ladies has been very successful over the past few years. In 2010 GCh. Allaruth Solebay Chipothegoldblok was Number 1 Miniature Schnauzer with 13 Group Firsts. It’s great to see that their hard work in the whelping box and in the grooming room is paying off with Justin’s success.

Reserve BIS on Thursday went to the Pug, GCh. Caper’s Sirius Endeavor, handled by Linda Rowell. Last year ‘Rufus’ was the Number 1 Pug, leading by nearly 13,000 points, and the Number 5 Toy.

The current Number 1 dog of all breeds, English Springer Spaniel GCh. Wynmoor Champagne Supernova, was in Atlanta for the cluster, but was second in the Group on day one. First went to English Setter GCh. Lochlomond’s Wrapped Up in You. Although he’s been knocking at the door the past two years, this looks like the first Group First for ‘Beau.’ He comes from a quality pedigree. His paternal great-grandmother, Am. Can. Ch. Reidwood Poetry in Motion, was the lovely orange belton bitch that won the Canadian National Specialty in 1997, then the American National in 1998. To top off that great 1998 National Specialty win, at the same show her daughter, Reidwood Symphony in Motion, was Best in Futurity. In between, Poetry in Motion was an all-breed BIS winner, and for a number of years she held the record for specialty wins by an English Setter bitch. She was bred and owned by Iris and Clifford Reid and their daughter, Nancy Warner, who handled her.

English Setter Ch. Reidwood Poetry in Motion.

Three of the Hound Groups in Atlanta were won by Greyhound GCh. Grandcru Orion with Mistweave. Bred by Rindi Gaudet and Melanie Steele, ‘Buster’ is a son of the incomparable brindle bitch GCh. Grandcru Clos Erasmus, Number 4 Hound in 2010 and Number 5 Hound in 2011. ‘Era’ was handled by Rindi.

The story of Buster begins when Melanie Steele acquired a bitch, Ch. Helicon Madrona, from Joni Lovci of At Heart hounds. After winning multiple Groups herself, ‘Maddie’ was bred to Eng. Ch. Ballalyn’s Foggy at Mistweave, the top dog of all breeds in Scotland in 1999 and top Greyhound in the U.K. for five years in a row. ‘Foggy’ was bred in England by Mac and Lyn McMillan and owned in Scotland by Ian and Barbara Savage, handled by Ian.

This breeding produced nine American champions, one U.K. champion, a Crufts CC winner, four multiple all-breed BIS winners and one National Specialty winner, including Era’s sire, Ch. Grandcru Talisker Atheart. When, in a classic breeding, Era was bred back to her grandsire Foggy, Buster was among the results. It will be fascinating to see how this story plays out.

Ian Savage with Eng. Ch. Ballalyn’s Foggy at Mistweave.

The first three Working Groups in Atlanta were won by the Diana Wilson-handled Kuvasz, GCh. Szumeria’s Wildwood Silver Sixpence. There’s a lot to be said about ‘Tanner,’ but let’s start with the fact that until he came along, no Kuvasz had ever finished the year among the Top 10 Working dogs. He had a great rookie year in the specials ring and in one system finished among the Top 10 Working dogs. Then, in 2011, he was Number 2 Working dog and Number 9 among all breeds, and this year he’s again Number 2 in his Group. He’s shattered all the records for the breed.

Back to the Group winners on Thursday…

The blue ribbon in the Non-Sporting Group went to Bichon Frise Ch. Pink Paw’s Golden Nugget, whose pedigree includes both English and American lines. His grandsire, Ch. Risgae’s Rock My World, goes back twice to the BIS winner Ch. Risgae’s Wild Bill. ‘Billy’ went to England for a year, in 2006, and thanks to his offspring there became the top Bichon sire in the U.K. in 2008 and 2010.

Winning the Herding Group on Thursday was Puli GCh. Aust. Ch. Cordmaker Rumpus Bumpus, owner-handled by Jackie Beaudoin. ‘Ziggy’ has a litter brother, Cordmaker Topsy Turvey, and a litter sister, Cordmaker Hurdy Gurdy, in Australia, where he’s from, who are multiple Best in Show winners. He’s already won the National Specialty twice, in 2010 and 2011. Sue Huebner’s Cordmaker Pulik have won more than 300 Best in Shows around the world.

On Friday at Sawnee Mountain KC, the entry was over 1,800, and Springer ‘Peyton’ was Best in Show under judge Chuck Trotter. Standard Poodle GCh. Jaset’s Satisfaction won the Non-Sporting Group and was Reserve BIS. ‘London’ is another one whose winning comes naturally if pedigrees mean anything, and obviously they do. His grandsire is the 2002 National Specialty and two-time Westminster Group winner Ch. Ale Kai Mikimoto On Fifth. One grandsire, Ch. Lake Cove That’s My Boy, was Number 1 among all breeds in 1998 and 1999, and is the top Best-in-Show-winning Non-Sporting dog of all time. Another grandsire, Ch. Whisperwind’s On a Carousel, won more than 100 Best in Shows, including Westminster in 1991.

Wendell Sammet at Poodle Club of America with Ch. Ale Kai Mikimoto on Fifth.

The Terrier Group winner on Friday was the Finnish-bred Skye Terrier, GCh. Of Skyline Captain Hook. His sire, multi-Ch. Finnsky Xcalibur, called ‘Walter,’ won National Specialties in the U.S. and in his home country of Finland, and was the Number 4 Terrier in the U.S. in 2001, handled by Scott Sommer. Walter’s sire, multi-Ch. Finnsky Oliver, was a two-time American National Specialty winner and topped the Terrier Group at Westminster in 1996, owner-handled by Gene Zaphiris.

Skye Terrier Ch. Finnsky Xcalibur. ‘Walter’ was America’s Number 4 Terrier in 2001.

Rufus the Pug won the Toy Group again on Friday. In the Herding Group, the winner was Australian Shepherd GCh. Myshara’s Dream Girl. Her dam, Ch. Briarbrook’s I’m Too Sexy, was a seven-time all-breed BIS winner, handled in 2004 and 2005 by Ken Murray.

At the Lawrenceville KC show on Saturday, from an entry of 2,124, Dr. Rene Echevarria-Cofino of Puerto Rico selected the Number 1 Toy, Miniature Pinscher GCh. Marlex Classic Red Glare, as BIS. Peyton, the Springer, was Reserve.

‘Classie’ the Min Pin, who won her first Toy Group when she was just 6 months and 4 days old, is from a Best-in-Show-winning sire, Ch. Marlex Mr. Chips. I’m told that she is just a couple of wins away from becoming the top BIS-winning Min Pin bitch of all time, a record held since the mid-1970s by Ch. Jay-Mac’s Impossible Dream, who was handled by Joe Waterman. The top BIS-winning Min Pin overall is still ‘Little Daddy,’ Ch. Rebel Roc’s Casanova von Kurt, owner-handled by E.W. “Tip” Tipton in the 1960s. ‘Impy’ was a Little Daddy granddaughter, Top Toy in the U.S. in 1975 and 1976, and won the Group at Westminster in 1975. No Min Pin has even come close to her record until now.

The Hound Group winner on Saturday was Rhodesian Ridgeback GCh. Camelot’s Ventura Adventure. His sire, Ch. Camelot’s Code Red, was the 2004 Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of America Top 20 winner and the National Specialty winner in 2005, handled by Frank Murphy. Mike Szabo handled him to all-breed BIS wins.

The Kuvasz, Standard Poodle and Miniature Schnauzer all repeated their Group wins on Saturday. The Herding Group winner was German Shepherd Ch. Karizma’s Ike of Edale, handled by Lenny Brown and only exhibited on the weekend. ‘Ike’ won the Canadian National Specialty in 2011, while his dam, Ch. Karizma’s Liberia v Loar, was the Maturity Grand Victrix at the German Shepherd Dog Club of America in 2005.

The Atlanta shows wrapped up on Sunday with the Conyers KC of Georgia and an entry of 2,053. London, the Standard Poodle, was Best in Show under Loraine Boutwell, with the Min Pin RBIS.

The Springer, Greyhound and Miniature Schnauzer all took home Group First ribbons on Sunday, as did Ziggy, the Puli. The only new Group winner came from the Working Group in the black Great Dane bitch, GCh. Longo Miller N Lore Diamond Lil. Both of her parents, sire Ch. Sasdania-Vitag’s Frozen Asset and dam Ch. Longo’s Starry Studded v Miller, were all-breed and specialty BIS winners. On her dam’s side, in fact, she is the fifth-generation to take top awards in both arenas: granddam Ch. Longo’s Alana Fontana, great-grandsire Ch. Longo’s Primo D’Aquino and great-great-grandsire Ch. Longo’s Chief Joseph have all won specialty and all-breed Bests.

You can learn what happened at all the other shows around the country on Billy Wheeler’s Dog Show Poop blog. See you next week with more details about all the winners!

This article was amended on 10/8/12 to correct Skye Terrier Ch. Finnsky Xcalibur’s name in a caption.