This is a continuation of my photo-blog of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championships
After learning that we will be blogging in full view of an international television audience (especially during the Eukanuba World Challenge), it was time for me to find a suit coat. I brought shirts and ties, but only a casual jacket - really not proper attire for the cameras. So it was off to the Casual Male XL for a proper jacket, then back to the hotel to rest up for a bit before heading back to the Hyatt for a pre-show cocktail party, then off to Long Beach Arena for the first night of the show.
Pink was the color of the night of course, and they had a wide selection of appetizers and wine spritzers. Definitely helped calm the nerves before heading out to the arena under the lights. Well, it calmed Jen's nerves - I'm used to being under the spotlight since I've played music on TV and on stage for over 40 years.
For those of you not familiar with dog shows, here's a quick primer on how dogs work their way through the event. First, each breed or variety must win their class. The class judging was held in the convention center earlier in the day.
Hank and Lorie being judged in the Smooth Collie event. The eventual winner is just to her right - a beautiful smooth collie named GCH CH Bit O Heavens Sorceress.
The winner of the Best Of Breed or Variety makes their way to their "Group". There are 7 groups:
* Sporting (examples - Pointers, Retrievers, Setters, Spaniels)
* Hound (examples - Afghans, Beagles, Greyhounds, Whippets)
* Working (examples - Akitgas, Shepherds, Mastiffs, Huskies)
* Terrier (examples - Bulls, Foxes, Scottish, Welsh)
* Toy (examples - Chihuahuas, Italian Greyhounds, Pekingese, Pugs)
* Non-Sporting (examples - Bichon Frise, Dalmatian, Poodle, Tibetan Spaniel)
* Herding (examples - Australian Shepherd, Belgian Sheepdog, Collie, German Shepherd Dog)
One representative from each group will be chosen to move to "Best Of Show", and one lucky dog (no pun intended) will win the show.
For each group the dogs and handlers are issued into the ring, then around to the back where they wait their turn to be judged. Another person is permitted just outside the back of the ring with combs, grooming supplies and other items so the dogs can be prepared for their turn with the judge.
When the next dog is called forward, a line of light appears on the carpet where the dog is to be lined up (staging for TV), and the judging begins. For smaller dogs, a table is available so the judge can stand while examining the animal.
GCH CH Bit O Heavens Sorceress preparing to be judged in group as the judge watches the prior dogs gate around the ring.
The judge will inspect the dog to see if it meets the breed standard.
The judge then sends the dog down the arena and back to watch how the dog moves.
Upon returning to the judge, the animal is to "free stack" correctly so the judge can render a final evaluation before sending the dog around the arena.
After all of the dogs are judged, they are then stacked again so the judge can make a final decision on 1st through 4th.
Next up - The Eukanuba World Challenge