There are few sites that evoke the glamor of yesterday like the Empire Polo Fields in Indio Ca, home of the Kennel Club of Palm Springs.   Though today was just the opening salvo of limited breed shows & local breed specialties, the sheer expanse of the site impresses with privilege & purpose.  The entire facility is surrounded by ten foot high stucco walls, dramatically spotted with lush plants & the ubiquitous palm trees.

The first thing you notice when you exit you vehicle is the horse  friendly hard packed dirt surface.  Then you get a whiff of the pungent presence of the ponies.  It’s not an unpleasant scent, just one alien to most of us urban/suburban folk.  By the time you have made your way to the show grounds proper, the scent has become a part of the scenery, seamlessly melded with the vast expanse of green lawn, encased by a palm tree perimeter, against a mountain background. Mother Nature smiled on today’s festivities, providing cloudless skies accompanied by cool, but not cold, temperatures.  Suddenly you begin to feel very lucky to have chosen dog shows to pass your recreational time.

However, it is a dog show and eventually your attention is soon turned to the large numbers present in every ring.  The excitement was heightened by the presence of Swedish    judge Britta Roos-Borjeson, bringing in a a fresh perspective to the first dog show of he year.  However, the day ended with a familiar pair taking two of the three limited breed titles.  Bill McFadden took home the first place trophy at today’s Desert Empire Terrier Club of Southern California, while his wife, Taffee McFadden, topped the Sand to Sea Non-Sporting Association of Southern California day one even.

You return to your hotel, tired, but refreshed by having spent one of the best dog show days you will have all year, and there are still three days left to go.