Saturday, December 27, 2008


In the end of the year frenzy around the race for number one, we have neglected to draw your attention to the upcoming shows the first weekend of the new year. I’ve never been able to understand exactly why the Kennel Club of Palm Springs draws such a huge entry. Sure, the weather is just about the best on the planet, a perfect 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of winter. Sure, the place exudes celebrity glamour, still haunted by the ghosts of Sinatra and the Rat Pack.

But a Mecca of dogdom? That eludes us. The actual show is at the polo field in Indio CA, some 125 miles due east of Los Angeles. However alluring the setting, it’s still out of the way for most people. Nonetheless, the counts are in and it looks as if Palm Springs may hold onto it’s number one ranking as the US’ largest dog show venue, with 3,131 dogs entered in the regular classes on Saturday, 3 January and 3,097 on Sunday. The entries are down substantially over the last two years, but we are still impressed. And you will be too if you decide to make the drive. Do you know how Californians tan the backs of their ears? They put the top down and drive away from the sun.

St. Paul MN in Winter

There are smaller, but substantial, entries in Florida, Minnesota, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas. There’s the Florida New Year Classic, a four day cluster beginning Friday in Deland FL hosted by the Greater Daytona and Jacksonville Dog Fanciers' Associations and a three day cluster, the Northern Ohio Winter Classic, in Tallmadge OH, sponsored by the Columbiana and Rubber City Kennel Clubs. There are two day shows in St. Paul MN, Glen Rose TX (about 75 miles SW of Dallas), and Pendleton SC. The Land O’Lakes Kennel Club (MN) shows will be the largest with entries of 1804 on Saturday. The Clemson Kennel Club (SC) shows will be the smallest with 1120 on Sunday.

And we will be here reporting it all, with new rankings and lots of new dogs to showcase!