Long Island was once home to prestigious shows and equally prestigious exhibitors, as this vintage photo attests.
Fri, 05/31/2024 - 9:50pm

Editorial: May 31, 2024

Food for thought as June is busting out all over

Where has the first half of 2024 gone? Wasn't it just yesterday we were celebrating the New Year and all the hope and promise that come with that time of the year? Now here we are on the cusp of June: Grayslake Terrier Show, Great Western Terrier, Long Beach, Shoreline, Greenwich, Longshore Southport and a host of other shows that either have moved off their traditional dates or suffered the loss of entries that seems to have plagued many shows around the country. Once again, these pages would suggest that the American Kennel Club reassess the dog-show calendar as it pertains to club dates, the pairing of companion shows, locations and need for back-to-back dog shows that make four- and five-day weekends the norm instead of the exception. These weekday shows have poor entries, and the exhibitors have reached their limit with the cost and time required to show a dog. That old excuse of “You don't have to attend a dog show” is for the naive and the excuse makers. It would be a laborious job to rearrange show dates and try to protect shows from competing events, but that time has not only come but is long overdue. If in fact the mission statement of the American Kennel Club is to assess breeding stock and promote the sport to the public, how can one justify the clustering of so many shows in one location? Our home on Long Island, New York, was once the bedrock of purebred dog breeders and exhibitors, with some of the most prestigious dog shows in the country. Now it’s just a ghost of the past, with clubs deserting Long Island yet keeping their kennel-club names. Is it not only confusing but also insulting? In these post-pandemic times, with the financial burden put on us all, we need to seriously address those shows that are no longer viable, whether from competition resulting in low entries, an aging membership or lack of new younger members. It is sad, and no one wants to see clubs cease holding events, but an honest and hard-truth evaluation must be made for the future. It is admittedly a hard decision for so many reasons. On reflection, we long for those big-entry special weekends that shaped the month of June and the start of the summer season of dog shows. We can’t go back, but we don't have to move carelessly forward. Food for thought this June.


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