Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567

World's Top Dogs Come To Long Beach, CA Dec. 3 - 4

NEW YORK (October 1, 2003) - What do you get when you combine 1,500 of the world's finest show dogs, more than 500 lightning-fast agility dogs and nearly 150 of the most well-behaved obedience dogs? You get a lot of tail-wagging, heart-pounding, nonstop canine competition at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship this December at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center.

Tickets go on sale today at Ticketmaster -- or 213-480-3232-- so don't miss your chance to see history be made! Adult admission for the three-day event is $15 and $13 for children (children under 5 are free) and seniors. Group sales are available through the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center.

Dogs from across the globe will compete in the 2003 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship (Dec. 3) for $225,000 in cash prizes and the coveted title of National Champion. In addition, this year's competition marks the first time the event will be held in conjunction with the AKC National Obedience Invitational and AKC National Agility Championship (finals of these events will be held midday on Dec. 4).

"This event is the equivalent of canine Olympics," said Maggie Heile, group manager, influencer marketing, The Iams Company. "For the first time ever, we will have the world's top show dogs, leading agility dogs and obedience front-runners competing in their respective disciplines under the same roof. There has never been a dog event like this one."

The show will be taped by cable television's Animal Planet for broadcast Jan. 31, 2004. Last year's airing of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship was the sixth-highest rated show in Animal Planet history.

Last year's Best in Show winner and National Champion, Ch. Torums Scarf Michael - a Kerry Blue Terrier commonly known as "Mick" - was awarded the top prize of $50,000. This year's National Champion will again walk away with $50,000, along with a 2004 Suzuki XL-7 and the prestigious National Champion title. To receive an invitation to the 2003 National Championship, dogs must be ranked in the top 25 of their breed or have received an all-breed Best in Show win at an AKC show held this year.

"We are thrilled to continue showcasing and rewarding top dogs and dedicated breeders in 2003. This event continues to set the stage for an exciting annual tradition for those highly involved in the sport, as well as for dog lovers in general," said Ronald H. Menaker, AKC/Eukanuba National Championship show chairperson.

International Competition
The National Championship will be open to international competitors for the first time in 2003, with nearly 50 countries invited. The top-ranked dog in each AKC-registered breed will be invited from those countries around the world with registries that issue pedigrees acceptable for AKC registration.

In addition, dogs awarded Best of Breed, Best of Opposite or Award of Merit at the 2003 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship will be qualified to enter Crufts 2004, the world's largest dog show, which takes place each March in Birmingham, England.

AKC National Agility Championships and Obedience Invitational
Not only will the top show dog be crowned at the National Championship, but two other exciting champions also will be named over the course of the three-day event - the National Agility Champion and the National Obedience Champion.

Agility events, the AKC's fastest-growing canine sport, allow dogs to demonstrate their agile nature and versatility by overcoming a challenging course of different obstacles. This year, over 500 dogs and their handlers will race as fast as they can through the obstacle course, toward the title of National Agility Champion.

In the sport of obedience, the dog and handler are judged as a team. The performance of the nearly 150 teams will be judged on how closely the dog and handler match the "perfect picture" of teamwork as they execute a series of specified exercises.

Meet the Breeds
The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship will highlight responsible dog ownership with "AKC Meet the Breeds." The event is an excellent opportunity for the public to meet members of the canine fancy who will share their insights and expertise on the breeds' unique qualities and characteristics. Breed clubs will have adult dogs and puppies from over 135 AKC breeds on display. "AKC Meet the Breeds" will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Dec.3 and admission is free.