By Dan Sayers

A light snow greeted exhibitors Saturday morning at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ, for day two of the Meadowlands Specialty Association’s Combined Specialty Shows. This three-day event supports about 30 separate specialties, including the “Combined Setters” specialties that have been holding shows for over one hundred years.

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Mrs. Chris Walkowicz with a class of Irish Setters.

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Ms. Lisa Warren with a class of English Setters.

Originally located in Manhattan at the 12th Avenue and 49th Street piers overlooking the Hudson River, the New Jersey specialties were then part of a much larger event. According to Michael Canalizo, “Shirley Thomas, Viola Burgos and Don Snyder envisioned the show’s modern incarnation in the mid-‘80s as the Empire Combined Specialties.” The original breeds were the Setters, Boxers and Afghan Hounds. “This was the first attempt to bring together a significant amount of specialties,” according to Canalizo. Eventually, the organization grew to accommodate many breeds, including those of the Progressive Toy Dog Club.

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Mrs. Ruth Ann Freer-Godfrey with a class of German Shorthaired Pointers.

After 9/11, the city of New York needed the pier location to provide emergency services. Progressive stayed in Manhattan, and the large breed clubs crossed the Hudson into New Jersey.

Empire eventually became the Garden State Specialties and has since been reorganized to become the Meadowlands Specialty Association.

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Black Russian Terrier Sweepstakes Judge Mrs. Jacqueline Rayner, left, and
a spectator shares a moment with a Gordon Setter.

This year, 29 clubs are holding specialties, with 13 breeds and varieties competing today.

The total entry for the day of 946 is an encouraging figure. Some clubs are seeing entries holding steady while those that are part of a cluster have experienced a slight increase over last year. Trudy Kawami, chairman of the Dachshund Association of Long Island Inc. was delighted with the entry in her breed. “We’re up about 25 percent over last year,” she said. “I’m moderately optimistic,” she says of this upward trend continuing throughout the coming year.

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The trophy table of the Dachshund Association of Long Island Inc.

Dachshunds had the largest entry today with 140, followed by German Shorthaired Pointers, 127; Irish Setters, 118; Salukis, 101; and English Setters, 99. Other breeds competing were Vizslas, Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen, Bichons Frises, Doberman Pinschers, Black Russian Terriers, Pugs and Irish Red & White Setters. Sweepstakes classes were offered in all breeds except Dobermans and Irish Red & Whites, with Veterans Sweeps available for many.

Throughout the day, cheers erupted from ringside as each specialty winner was selected. The following is a list of those dogs, and the name of the specialty club:

  • *GCh. Zilya’s Chicago Blues Fusion At Runes, CD, RN; Black Russian Terrier Club of Northern New Jersey
  • *GCh. Kenshei And That’s The Way It Is; Delaware Valley Pug Club
  • *Ch. Jodell’s Boogie Back To Texas Of MNM; Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen Club of America
  • *Ch. Monkham’s Famous Grouse; Mid New Jersey Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen
  • *Ch. Sastya’s Twelfth Night By NCM; Gordon Setter Club of America
  • *GCh. Elessar’s Bush Bunny, JC; Saluki Club of America
  • *GCh. Dynadaux Redneck Fancy Boy MS (Smooth) BOB, Joyce Longfellow SW (Wirehaired),
  • *GCh. Jarbsy’s Born To Hand Jive (Longhaired); Dachshund Association of Long Island
  • *Ch. Saks Hamelot Little Drummer Boy; Bichon Frise Club of Northern New Jersey
  • *GCh. Jaybren’s Irish Star;Vizsla Club of Long Island
  • *Ch. Palisades B52; English Setter Club
  • *Sharjet’s Starr Catcher; Long Island Doberman Pinscher Club
  • *GCh. Mizen Duchas Dilis, JH; Irish Red and White Setter Association
  • *GCh. Stelor’s Royalty Remembered; Schulkill Valley German Shorthaired Pointer Club
  • *GCh. Northwind’s First Reign; Irish Setter Club of Long Island.

For a schedule of February 12’s specialties, click here.