Fri, 12/08/2023 - 9:19am

Editorial: December 8, 2023

Orlando or bust

By the numbers, more than 5,000 dogs will be exhibited at the upcoming AKC National Championship dog show presented by Royal Canin. Great numbers for the ever-growing American Kennel Club dog show and the cluster of shows that precedes it. These pages have long suggested that the AKC show be a stand-alone event, but it’s hard to pull away from the numbers that these shows attract. One suggestion is moving the AKC show up one week and moving those Florida shows with the shows in Orlando to the following week. We have also suggested that the AKC show be the first show to be held, while the dogs, judges, handlers and owners are fresh. It saddens us to see the grooming area empty out after the Saturday dogs are judged and people just are tired and want to get home for the holidays. The exodus is repeated on Sunday as those exhibitors pack up and leave after their breed judging and start heading home. After all, the AKC is the most important event of the weekend, and yet the first three shows enjoy a full complement of attendees. Notwithstanding that, it is a great weekend to see so many dogs in competition and see friends from near and far. With the exception of Westminster, this weekend truly brings us all together. On Sunday evening, Clay Coady will judge Best in Show. He will select one of the seven dogs in the ring. They will have been sent to him by Sporting Group judge Pluis Davern, Hound Group judge Charles Olvis, Working Group judge Victoria Seiler-Cushman, Terrier Group judge Harold “Red” Tatro III, Toy Group judge Rosalind Kramer, Non-Sporting group judge David Kirkland and Herding Group judge Carmen Battaglia. The sought-after Best Bred-by exhibitor final will be judge by Terry Stacy. The judges who will send him the seven finalists are Sporting Group judge Dana Cline, Hound Group judge Daniel Smyth, Working Group judge Rita Biddle, Terrier Group judge Kathleen Ferris, Toy Group judge Andrew Brace, Non-Sporting Group judge Robin Stansell and Herding Group judge Jon Cole. Rounding out the top of the panel are the Junior Showmanship judges: Best Junior judge Adam Stafford King and preliminaries judges Kasey O’Brien and Jennie Hynes. So, as you pack up and head to points south, travel safely. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando and wish you the best of luck at the show. May your holidays be filled with lots of ribbons. Because, as the expression goes (well, almost) … Orlando or Bust.


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