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Pointer best at ‘Invitational’


WITH ALL eyes on the seven group winners and the TV cameras rolling, it was the job of Dr Robert D Smith to make the final judgement. Escorted, some would say 'marched', to the centre of the ring by AKC chairman Mr Ron Menaker, Dr Smith raised his arm and the big ribbon was awarded to the Pointer bitch Ch Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, a three-year-old orange and white bitch owned by Sean & Tammy McCarthy and Helyne Medieros of New York who went home with a cheque for $50,000 (£34,000).

The breeders of BIS won £10,000 and, in a separate competition, the Best Bred by Exhibitor overall also won £10,000. The Crufts best in show gets £400. Here the entry was 2,300 against Cruft's 23,000 - it's surprising what a difference the odd '0' can make!

This was dog showing stateside and with a prize money fund of $225,000 (£153,000) over the two days it’s hardly surprising that those invited to show at the event usually don't turn down the chance!

The cavernous halls of the Long Beach Convention Centre played host to a jamboree of five days of dog showing. In the run up to the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship the usual 'Dog Hair 'n Eggnog Classic' cluster event preceded the weekend show, now in its eighth year. Three west coast kennel clubs each held a one-day show.

The parking area at the back of the Long Beach Arena became a mobile home 'village' with handlers and owner alike setting up camp to look after their charges for the duration of the shows. Additional tenting close to the hall also made grooming and drying easier for exhibitors, some of whom were in the ring at 8am each day. Hotels close to the centre were also geared up to cope with the influx of visitors with dogs. Golf carts ferried people, dogs and boxes from the Hyatt to the centre; exercise cages full of sawdust sprung up on the lawns and courtesy buses lined the access roads at the back of centre.

Depth

The AKC show is recorded for later broadcast by Animal Planet and this year the Eukanuba World Challenge was a large part of this in the main arena ring. The 'challenge' has given the event an even greater depth, with many of the competitors also entering in the breed classes at the show.
Arriving at the airport two days before the show, I was weary after 11 hours in the air from the UK. This was nothing compared to my fellow passengers in the relay minibus who had just taken 26 hours and three changes of plane from Cyprus. Similarly, competitors had also travelled 15 hours from Australia. It was a remarkable testimony to the temperament of the dogs involved, all of which took it their stride.

Over from the UK and judging each day at the show was Mrs Zena Thorn-Andrews. Representing the Kennel Club at the tri-partite meeting between the AKC and the FCI was vice chairman Mr Bill Hardaway and on the Crufts stand at the show was Roadshow manager Mrs Sue Sampson who went straight from this event to four days at the Horse of the Year show at Olympia. Also helping out on the stand was Jacqui Easton Registrations Executive, from the Aylesbury office and reporter Heidi Hudson.

It was also good to meet next year's best in show judge, Mr Peter Green, who was seen keeping a close eye on the terrier judging.

Eukanuba's Mike Bloxsome was over for the show and was much in evidence back stage in the arena.

The Meet the Breeds section, like our Discover Dogs, was as busy as ever and the effort that so many of the supporters and club officials had put in to their displays was truly amazing. One of the favourite sights at the end of the last day was that of a Bouvier in full harness pulling a cart loaded with his breed's stand display!

Add to all this the breed judging, obedience, agility and dock diving, where dogs compete in distance jumping in to a water tank - then it’s easy to see why there is a good public gate over the weekend days.

Next year the AKC is promising even more special events in what will be its 125th anniversary year. With its close ties to such a generous major sponsor there is little doubt it will continue to be a major draw in the national and west coast holiday season calendar.

Sporting
1st Place - Pointer, CH COOKIELAND SEASYDE HOLLYBERRY
2nd Place - Golden Retriever, CH RUSH HILL RUN'N AMUCK AT ABELARD OA OAJ OAP OJP NFP
3rd Place - Welsh Springer Spaniel, CH ROYAILES HASTA B A CUT ABOVE
4th Place - Brittany, CH RJ'S SIERRA EDITION SH

Hounds
1st Place - Scottish Deerhound, CH JARALUV OUIJA
2nd Place - Whippet, CH OXFORD TOBELL FIRE AND ICE
3rd Place - Basset Hound, CH TOPSFIELD VISION SILVERNOODLES
4th Place - Borzoi, CH PO DUSHAM ROYALIST

Working
1st Place - Alaskan Malamute, CH SILVERICE DANCING IN THE DARK
2nd Place - Akita, CH MOJO'S ROCK'N YOUR WORLD
3rd Place - Newfoundland, CH FLEUR DE LIS PLATINUM GRANDEULR
4th Place - Tibetan Mastiffs, CH SHANG-HAIS SACHI

Terrier
1st Place - Sealyham Terrier, CH EFBE'S MERCI POUR LE POIVRE
2nd Place - Scottish Terrier, CH ROUNDTOWN MERCEDES OF MARYSCOT
3rd Place - Irish Terrier, CH FLEET ST. FENWAY FAN
4th Place - White Bull Terrier, CH ACTION CHAOS AND CHARISMA

Toy
1st Place - Brussels Griffon, CH CILLEINE MA SQUERADE
2nd Place - Toy Poodle, CH SMASH JP MOON WALK
3rd Place - Affenpinscher, CH TAMARIN TUG
4th Place - Pug, CH TUPELO SHOBOAT TU CHINA TU

Non Sporting
1st Place - Standard Poodle, CH RANDENN TRISTAR AFFIRMATION
2nd Place - French Bulldog, CH LEBULL'S MIDNIGHT CONFESSIONS
3rd Place - Chow Chow, CH EASTERN-MAGIC CHANNEL BEAUTY
4th Place - Tibetan Terrier, CH PLAYERS PROTOCOL

Herding
1st Place - Pembroke Welsh Corgi, CH COVENTRY VANITY FAIR
2nd Place - Puli, CH LAJOSMEGYI SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
3rd Place - Cardigan Welsh Corgi, CH TELLTAIL RORAGYN
4th Place - Briard, CH K' INSTANT SUCCES MORAVIA CAMPANELLA



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