Sun, 11/06/2022 - 1:13pm

Totally Terriers

Desi Murphy recaps Montgomery weekend 2022

It is very hard to put into words what the Montgomery County weekend means to Terrier people from all over the world. I have been attending Montgomery for 60 years, and each year my excitement is as strong as ever.

Even if you are not a Terrier fancier, it is a show all dog people should experience. It is considered the greatest Terrier show in the world! Hundreds and hundreds of foreign visitors and exhibitors come each year. Montgomery attracts more foreign visitors than even Westminster or the AKC show.

Montgomery Kennel Club, which this year was held on Sunday, October 9, is licensed as an all-breed show but only offers classes for Terriers. It is not even like a group show; instead it is more like a gathering of national specialties. Twenty-three breeds held their nationals at Montgomery this year. An additional four parent clubs held supported entries. There were 1,307 Terriers with 1,632 entries.

Earlier in the week, the Hatboro Dog Club had an entry of 1,725 on Thursday, October 6, and 1,826 entries on Friday, October 7. Devon Kennel Club on Saturday, October 8, only had an entry of 1,486, which for a Saturday all-breed show was not much larger than Montgomery the following day. A lot of Terrier folk do not go to Devon. Several breeds hold their sweeps at the host hotels or right on the Hatboro/Montgomery grounds. For years people have pleaded with Devon to hold their show with the other clubs. Often I do go over to Devon to see some of the breeds. This year, the Santa Barbara Kennel Club had a meeting at 1 p.m. right on the Montgomery grounds. A large portion of the Santa Barbara members are always at Montgomery and several of the ladies help, shopping the day before, selling catalogs and stewarding.

We were extremely lucky with the weather this year. What a difference a day — or several days — makes! Leading up to the first day of Hatboro, we had four days of heavy rain. Even the day before, on Wednesday, we had light rain. Luckily, this part of the country had been in a drought for several months, so the grounds were able to absorb a great deal of water.

If the days of heavy rains had come a couple of days later, it would have been very difficult for the shows. We all remember when Montgomery was a “Sea of Mud”! Hatboro had some bad days and Devon had to be cancelled several times. I would think Devon would try to find a different date and hold a two-day show. It would be more economical. At one time Devon was a very large, prestigious show. So many shows are not what they used to be. Santa Barbara has been able to make a comeback. Now we are seeing the great International Kennel Club of Chicago on the road to a great comeback. I just heard one of the largest shows that used to be 3,500 is going to be 1,400 on the largest day. We have very few shows that have 2,000 dogs any longer.

The most unique aspect of Montgomery is certainly that it is a show made up of so many nationals. What also is so unique is the Bred-by competition. Montgomery and the AKC National Championship are the only two shows that feature this competition. A lot of shows have a Bred-by competition, but the dogs have to come from the Bred-by class. Montgomery and the AKC allow the champions or other dogs to compete. It is so interesting to note that of the 1,307 dogs competing, 694 were entered in the Bred-by competition— 53 percent of the total dogs entered. I wish more clubs would feature the Bred-by competition. I know that all breeders wish more emphasis would be given to breeders. The competition for the Bred-by Group is always super-strong. In many breeds, the Bred-by winner is also the Best of Breed winner. The Scottie that was competing in the Bred-by group was a Veteran dog that was BOS. This dog won the Terrier Group several years ago at Crufts. Several of the top Terriers in the country were competing in the Bred-by group.

Many aspiring judges attend the weekend because over the four days they can collect paperwork on many, many breeds. Where else can you find 23 nationals in one day? It is a great opportunity to see large entries of some of the rarely seen breeds.

When the competition is so strong in all the breeds, it is always rare that any great winning dog wins the breed all four days. This year I believe the Sealy and the Lakeland were the only two to have won the breed all four days. Several of the top-five Terriers won the breed two days. The Cairn bitch show by Gabe Rangel won three days, but one day she lost to a class dog of her breeder, Elizabeth Theodorsson of the Swedish kennel Hjohoo’s. This kennel dominates the breed quite often over the weekend.

Richard Powell judged Smooth Fox Terriers at Montgomery. It was interesting that the male he put BOB and the move-up BOS bitch were half-brother and sister. They both were bred in Australia, but are basically American breeding. I understand also that the BOW was of similar breeding. The world is getting closer and closer all the time. Although the Smooth entry has greatly dwindled in recent years, the depth of quality has continued to rise. I felt the depth of quality in Smooths was the strongest of all the breeds I watched.

This year the Miniature Schnauzers were in a far-off corner by themselves, so not a lot of non-Schnauzer people saw the judging. The day I watched the specials class I could not believe the strong depth of quality. I spoke to the “old-timers” like Gerri Kelly and Joan Huber, and they both agreed the breed is stronger than it has ever been. It is a great credit to the American breeders. In most countries of the world that are FCI, Miniature Schnauzers are in the Working Group. They win much more in FCI countries. In the U.S., a lot of Terrier judges do not consider them a Terrier. In 1955, a Schnauzer went BIS at Montgomery. In 1968, Mankit’s to the Moon went BIS from the classes and also went BIS in 1969. So now it has been 53 years since a Mini Schnauzer has captured Montgomery.

Montgomery is one of the very few shows that sells a tremendous number of catalogs. Some people buy several to take home to friends who could not attend. The show also has an area for “overseas visitors” with coffee, tea and snacks.



Bruce Schwartz is president and Ken Kauffman is show chair. They have a large team that starts working early Saturday morning setting up everything. The hardest part is dealing throughout the year with close to 30 different breed clubs. Montgomery now shares the tenting costs with the two days of Hatboro. This is a tremendous saving to both clubs. It is interesting to note that a show that has such a worldwide presence does not have commercial sponsors. Due to very careful planning, the show has overcome a few years of not covering all the costs. The catalogs this year were 388 pages. With the costs of printing, they have to charge $20. I myself only keep catalogs from the Garden, the AKC show, Santa Barbara, Poodle Club of America and Potomac Labrador, which I use for research.

The ultimate assignment for any Terrier judge is to do BIS at Montgomery — I think many would say even more than doing BIS at the Garden or the AKC show. This year Karen Wilson had the honor. Karen started in Irish Setters, but then for many, many years bred and showed Cairns. Judging Best at Montgomery has to be the most challenging of any assignment. You are faced with around 30 dogs of extremely strong quality. This year, many great dogs could not make the cut. I certainly did not envy Karen.

The Lakeland Ch. Hi-Kel Terrydale Nanhall Mizzconceived, the number-one Terrier in the country, was the final winner. Reserve Best went to the Sealyham Ch. Goodspice Efbe Money Stache, who went BIS at Devon and is the number-two Terrier. (Being that Montgomery is licensed as an all-breed show, there is a Reserve Best.) His owner-breeder Margery Good has gone BIS three times at Montgomery with homebred Sealys. She also went BIS with a Lakeland. Third went to the number-three Terrier, the Kerry Blue Ch. Bluecrush Freedom and Whiskey. Fourth was the Cairn Ch. Hjohoo’s Want It All, who was also Reserve BIS last year.

Great thanks to the committee, breeders, handlers, exhibitors and judges who made the weekend so memorable for thousands of us!



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