Soaring temperatures on the weekend failed to supress the energy and enthusiasm of over 200 entrants at the 31st edition of the Nicola Valley Kennel Club’s dog show at Voght Park.
The three-day event actually consisted of four separate shows — one on Saturday, one on Sunday and two on Monday.
“I don’t think the heat was too much of a factor,” said one of the show’s organizers, Linda Carmichael. “Most of the people came well-prepared with air conditioning, tents and water sprayers. The dogs are the priority.”
Carmichael went on to say that the show’s schedule was tweaked a bit as a result of the hot weather.
“We moved the start time up almost an hour each morning, and went right through the lunch break. On Saturday and Sunday, we were finished by 1 to 1:30 p.m.”
By the time Monday’s doubleheader rolled around, some intermittent cloud cover and occasional breezes brought welcome relief to the participants.
The four local entries in this year’s competition did extremely well.
Leading the way was Carmichael’s 10-month-old West Highland terrier Kosmo (Ch. Windacre Cause and Effect). The wee Westie won All Breeds Best Puppy in Show three out of the four times on the weekend.
Kosmo is the leading puppy in the country right now with no fewer than 16 all breeds wins this year, and 29 victories in his Group 4 category. He has accumulated 1,090 points, almost double the next nearest puppy.
Carmichael explained that there are seven different groups of dogs recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club. Group 4 is all terriers — from the large Airdales down to the small Westies.
Carmichael was able to show Kosmo herself on Monday and pick up one of his three weekend wins. The other two came with professional dog handler David Gignac from the Lower Mainland on the leash.
Kosmo’s time as a puppy is coming to an end, as the youngster will age-out at 12 months. Carmichael plans to give her star performer a well-deserved rest.
“He probably won’t show at all next year as a two-year-old,” she said. “He’ll be given some time to mature and fill out, and maybe make some babies. Most adult dogs don’t show until they’re three.”
Carmichael will continue to be busy at her Windacre West Highland breeding facility.
“I have several up-and-coming dogs,” she said. “One (Ch. Winacre Ready to Rumble) has just returned from England. He is the first Canadian Westie to get an English championship. It’s very difficult over there. There might be 80 to 90 Westies at every show, and they only give out two challenge certificates — one male and one female.”
In the Group 1 class for sporting dogs, Merritt’s Elaine Gill did extremely well with her three-year-old black Labrador retriever Allie (GCh. Graegill’s Always in Trouble). Despite being away from the show circuit for the last year and a half, Allie picked up three points for a Best in Breed group placement on Saturday and earned her CKC Grand Champion title in the process.
Gill explained that dogs first earn their Champion status by acquiring 10 points in shows during their career, and the Grand Champion title by going on to achieve another 20 points — no easy feat.
Allie had a tremendous start to her career before going into temporary retirement — acquiring her Champion title in less than a year, and 19 of the necessary Grand Champion points in her first 18 months.
Fellow Merrittonian Lori Jacobson showed two dogs on the weekend — both bull terriers.
Her “big guy” is two-and-a half-year-old Cash (Rootn Lozoe Hit the Jackpot). Anybody familiar with the heart-warming literary and film classic Incredible Journey is instantly reminded of the irrepressible terrier Bodger.
Cash picked up a fourth in group placing on Monday in a very competitive terrier division.
Jacobson’s second dog is a recently-acquired, beautiful, young miniature bull terrier by the name of Lola (Kingsmere’s Rootn Red Hot Riot). The bundle of energy and verve is just 15 weeks old, and showed for the first time this weekend.
Rounding out the field of local entries was Andrea Barnes and her Rhodesian Ridgeback Rocket (TopoftheRock’s A Friend in Me) in Group 2 — Hounds. Rocket picked up a third in group on Saturday, a second on Sunday and a fourth on Monday.
Entries for this year’s Nicola Valley Dog Show came from throughout B.C., as well as Alberta and Washington State.