(Photo by Robert Young © AKC)
For some time now we have believed the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship to be the perfect way to end the show season. The AENC has become increasingly the most satisfying experience on the calendar.
For exhibitors, the week offers opportunities galore to gain points and titles for your dogs. Grooming spaces are generous and ring sizes maybe the largest around. For spectators it is the one show where you can see not only quality specimens of every AKC breed, but breeds from around the world. One of the most interesting things for us was the opportunity to see AKC breeds from countries outside the United States. While we are still getting used to Old English Sheepdogs with tails, we found several Yorkshire Terriers with tails to be highly impressive.
Fanciers interested in seeing the top dogs around the world were well rewarded this year. 63 of this year’s Top 100 Dogs All Breeds were in attendance, including nine of the Top Ten. We were also treated to a couple of “Ghosts from Christmas Past”. 2012’s Number Three Dog All Breeds, the Doberman Pinscher, GCH CH Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici, represented the United States in the World Challenge. The faceoff between this year’s Number One Sporting Dog, the Irish Water Spaniel, GCH CH Whistlestop’s Riley on Fire, and the Top Winning Sporting Dog of all time and 2011’s Number One Dog All Breeds, the Black Cocker Spaniel, CH Casablanca’s Thrilling Seduction, was a highlight of the competition.
It is conventional dog show wisdom that exhibitors don’t get a look at marquee shows. Such was not the case this year. Both the Number One Toy Dog, the Miniature Pinscher, GCH CH Marlex Classic Red Glare, and the Number Herding Dog, the Old English Sheepdog, GCH CH Bugaboo’s Picture Perfect, failed to make it out of their respective groups. Ten of the 28 group placements went to dogs not in the Top 100 Dogs All Breeds.
Like most fanciers, we paid our own way at this year’s AENC. We have to count it money well spent. Look for us in Orlando next year.