The three Orlando all-breeds have wrapped up, and today AKC/Eukanuba has begun! Whether or not the results at the Wednesday through Friday shows are a preview of what will happen on the weekend remains, of course, to be seen.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend was the reappearance of the 2011 Top Dog of all breeds, Black Cocker Spaniel Ch. Casablanca’s Thrilling Seduction. I’m certain that, although he won two Groups and Best in Show and defeated more than 3,500 dogs at these shows, they were just a warm up to AKC/Eukanuba, where he is easily the favorite to win the Sporting Group and certainly has at least a sporting chance – no pun intended – of going Best in Show. Group judge Terry Stacy, a Cocker breeder himself, hasn’t hidden his opinion that this is one of the best Cockers he’s seen.

‘Beckham’ is handled by Mike Pitts, and is a Westminster Group winner, among other prestigious awards. He was Best in Show at American Spaniel Club in both 2010 and 2011. It was at Spaniel Club 2009 that Mr. Stacy discovered him, when he was just 8 months old. He was Winners Dog under Terry from the 6-to-9 Puppy class. Although he hasn’t been shown full time this year Beckham still holds the post of Number 3 Sporting dog, although it’s worth noting that he is more than 47,000 points behind Peyton in Number 2.

The 2011 Number 1 dog of all breeds, GCh. Casablanca’s Thrilling Seduction, came back to compete in Orlando and was Best in Show on Friday. Photo by Jefffrey Hanlin.

Naturally there will be many other contenders for the top awards at AKC/Eukanuba. The two dogs still duking it out for Top Dog of all breeds will no doubt be elsewhere. I’m told that at the start of the five days in Florida, ‘Oakley,’ the German Wirehaired Pointer, and ‘Peyton,’ the English Springer Spaniel, were in the neighborhood of 2,,400 to 2,800 points apart, with the Pointer in the lead. As you know if you’ve followed Billy Wheeler’s commentary, they competed day one in Orlando, Oakley won the Group and Peyton was second, but as he was not BIS Oakley earned just three more points than Peyton.

Both dogs then went to Cleveland, where on Thursday Peyton won the Group and Oakley was second, but Peyton had to settle for Reserve BIS, so made little progress in the points department. On Friday Peyton pulled off a Best, still in Cleveland, earning around 1,275 points. So the race is still on, but I predict it will play itself out in Cleveland and Allentown, Pa., rather than in Orlando.

Many of the other top dogs have been in Orlando and have been the big winners, some not winning as much as they’d have liked. Top Toy GCh. Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, handled by Ernesto Lara, won two Toy Groups and was Best in Show Wednesday. ‘Joey’ is owned by Tina Truesdale and Mieke Cooymans. Number 2 Toy, the Min Pin GCh. Marlex Classic Red Glare, was second on Wednesday and Thursday, and first on Friday, handled by her owner Armando Angelbello. ‘Classie’ is co-owned by Leah Monte.

Number 1 Hound GCh. Kiarry’s Pandora’s Box won all the Hound Groups and was BIS on Thursday. She’s handled by her breeder, Lisa Miller, who co-owns her with Ellen Charles. Number 2 Hound, the Harrier GCh. Downhome Hi-Tech Innovator that is handled by Susie Olivera, was second in the Group on day one.

Our Number 1 Working dog, the Doberman bitch GCh. Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici, didn’t have an ideal day, going fourth in the Group. Akita GCh. CR-Wicca’s Trade Secret was the winner, handled by Heather Bremmer for owners Thomas and Ann Bavaria, Joann Charnik and Carla Burke.

America’s Number 1 Toy, Affenpinscher GCh. Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, was Best in Show in Orlando on Wednesday, handled by Ernesto Lara.

Number 1 Terrier GCh. Afterall Painting The Sky won all three Terrier Groups, handled, of course, by Gabriel Rangel for owners Victor Malzoni, Torie Steele, Diane Ryan and Scott and Mary Olund. The Number 2 Terrier, Scottie GCh. Lomondview Clementina, who is handled by Ernesto Lara for owners Daphne and John Eggert, was not entered the first two days. Will she compete at AKC/Eukanuba? We’ll have to wait and see.

Number 1 Non-Sporting dog ‘London,’ GCh. Jaset’s Satisfaction, is of course the defending AKC/Eukanuba champion. Owned by Michele Molnar and Jamie Danburg, he won the first two Non-Sporting Groups. In case any rumors are floating around, London, who I believe has a rock solid temperament, didn’t want to be examined in the Best in Show ring on Wednesday by Mrs. Janet Nahikian. Some thought it was her flowy pants that bothered him, while others thought a rather large and possibly somewhat noisy necklace startled him. Either way, she excused him from the ring.

But this is a dog that has, to my knowledge, never given his handler, Ann Rairigh, a second’s trouble, and who comes from a pedigree of good, solid temperaments. Any dog can have an off day, or be put off by something unfamiliar now and then. He came back on Thursday and was his usual self, showing like nothing ever happened. He seems to have taken the day off on Friday, perhaps to give him a chance to rest up, as the weekend will be a full one for him. He is scheduled not only for the regular judging but also to compete in the World Challenge, which means he has to be in the preliminaries, the opening ceremony and, hopefully, the final.

The Number 1 Herding dog, German Shepherd GCh. Babheim’s Captain Crunch, also had a less than stellar day on Wednesday when he went Best of Opposite to the bitch shown by Clint Livingston, GCh. Lonestar’s Margarita Rose, owned by her breeders, Kathy Hand and Jorge Olivera, with Sheryl Hand and M. and N. Ebertin. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, GCh. Riverside Get Over It, won the Group, owner-handled by Deb Shindle.

On Thursday our top Hound, ‘Jewel,’ was Best in Show, the Cocker won the Sporting Group, Number 1 Working dog ‘Fifi’ won her Group, ‘Sky’ the Wire won Terrier, Joe the Affen won Toy, London won the Non-Sporting Group and GSD ‘Cappy’ topped the Herding Group. How’s that for a pretty textbook – or ratings system anyway – day? I’ll also mention that Number 2 Hound, ‘Chet’ the Harrier, showed up in Cleveland Thursday and went Best in Show.

Top Hound GCh. Kiarry’s Pandora’s Box was the Best in Show winner on Friday. Photo by Carla Viggiano.

As mentioned, Beckham was BIS on Friday. The Wire was again first in the Terrier Group and went on to Reserve BIS. Jewel won the Hound Group. The Min Pin won the Toy Group this day, with the Affen settling for second. These two Toys have both had spectacular years, and in fact are Number 5 and 6 of all breeds, separated at the end of October by just 2,000 points.

On Friday the Working Group went to Boxer Ch. Hi-Tech The King of Sherry Shoot JP, bred in Japan by Shinryo Tergaki and owned by Mrs. Jack Billhardt and Sergio Tenenbaum, who also owned his sire, Ch. Capri’s Woods End Spellcaster. He’s handled by Diego Garcia, who showed Spellcaster. This dog’s dam, Ch. Dramatic Story of Sherry Shoot JP, was campaigned by Dr. and Mrs. Bill Truesdale in 2008, handled by Kim Pastella Calvacca. She was a daughter of their Ch. Hi-Tech Johnny J of Boxerton, the Number 1 Boxer in the U.S. in 1998 and 1999, and the Number 3 dog among all breeds in 1999, also handled by Kim.

But I digress. This year’s Number 2 Working dog, the Kuvasz GCh. Szumeria’s Wildwood Silver Six Pence, was second in the Group to the Boxer. Our top Working dog Fifi was beaten in the breed by GCh. Tiburon Ariel Bella Dona, handled by Esteban Farias for owners Melinda and Tommy Moyer, who was then third in the Group.

As mentioned London took Friday off, leaving the Non-Sporting Group open, and Number 4 in the Group, Schipperke GCh. Dante Fire When Ready, took the blue ribbon, handled by Erin Roberts for owners Sandra Middlebrooks, Michael Jameson, Patrick Allison and John and Amy Gossman. The Number 5 Non-Sporting dog, Bichon GCh. Vogelflight’s Honor to Pillowtalk, was second.

Our Number 1 Herding dog Cappy was the Herding Group victor, with Number 5 Puli GCh. Cordmaker Rumpus Bumpus second, Number 4 Cardigan Corgi GCh. St. Aubrey’s Tails of Mystery third and Number 7 OES GCh. Lambluv Gambolon Blue Thunder fourth.

That’s just an overview of some of the winners from the first three days, and no doubt there will be many surprises, and even some upsets, today and tomorrow. That’s the way it is with the big events. But it will be exciting no matter what happens. Stay with us at Best In Show Daily for all the results!