Six years into writing this blog, we are more encouraged than ever about the state of our sport. This year is turning out to be one of the most remarkable in recent memory. We thought that we would give you a status report on the show season’s first 100 days.
Already this year we have seen two major records broken. First the Portuguese Water Dog, GCH CH Clair Creek’s Impression de Matisse, set a new record for career BIS won by a Working Dog. To date, Matisse has gathered 127 all-breed titles. The Miniature Pinscher, GCH CH Marlex Classic Red Glare, followed, establishing a record for Toy Dogs with 130 Bests In Show.
Much of our focus this year has been on the remarkable race between Matisse, our current Number One Dog, and the Number Two Dog, the Old English Sheepdog, GCH CH Bugaboo’s Picture Perfect. The two have given us a dazzling display of showmanship this year, racking up BIS at a rate unprecedented in out tenure. Matisse has been awarded the big rosette 32 of the 44 times he has stepped into the final ring. The OES, Swagger, started his career in 2013 by taking the very first Reserve Best In Show offered by the Westminster Kennel Club. This year Swagger leads our “With RBIS” rankings with a record of 19 BIS, nine RBIS, and 40 Herding Groups.
The above chart shows the Top Twenty Dogs All Breeds as of 07 April 2014. As much fun as it is watching our Top two Dogs, the most satisfying thing we have witnessed this year is the overall level of competition. A look at the above chart shows that the balance of our Top Twenty are incredibly close to one another, with only a few points separating each dog from the dog in front of him and her. At this point in the season less than 1000 points separate the Number Ten Dog, the English Springer Spaniel, GCH CH Telltale American Ride , and the Number Twenty Dog, the Chinese Shar-Pei, GCH CH Shine’s Deck the Halls. While the Working and Herding Group leaders may be difficult to catch, we expect the rest of the groups to be highly competitive throughout the year.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the call names of our current Top Twenty Dogs, we provide the below crib sheet.