American Kennel Club dog shows coming soon
HUNTINGTON -- The Big Sandy Superstore Arena is going a little red, white and pooch this holiday weekend.
The July 4th weekend gets shared with man's best friend as the Huntington Kennel Club will have its 95th and 96th American Kennel Club dog shows in Huntington from 8 a.m. until Best of Show (usually about 4:30 p.m.) on Saturday, July 5, and Sunday, July 6.
Admission is $5 adults; $3 for seniors; children 15 and younger are admitted free with a paying adult. The dog shows will bring in about 500 dogs and owners from as far away as New York and Texas and from more than a dozen states.
Kyle Fisher, a Huntington Kennel Club member for 46 years, said the show is a lot of fun for area dog lovers to come check out since they can watch about 100 different breeds of dogs strutting their stuff.
Fisher, who first gained recognition back in the 1970s with her bulldog, Nugget, said the back-to-back shows have a great economic impact on the community. In fact, the American Kennel Club did a study about six years ago that said a show the size of Huntington's pours about $2 million in economic impact over a weekend run.
One thing that Fisher said should prompt folks to come out is to get to see some of the European breeds now sanctioned in the U.S.
"We want to encourage the public to come out, and we are trying to build interest in pure breed dogs in the Huntington area," Fisher said. "Come out and see some of the new breeds that have been approved like the Cane Corsa. They are huge, and when they move the good ones look like they are floating. It's like that same thrill I get when I see the Clydesdales and the full hitch."
In addition to the Cane Corsas, Fisher said there are also several other unique breeds coming like the Leonberger.
Another cool part of the show is that there will be half a dozen pet merchandise vendors who travel the national circuit of dog shows, usually with unique items that are hard to find in local stores, Fisher said.
"They are people who are traveling the circuit and carry a lot of items that the general public can't find anywhere else," Fisher said. "For instance, my daughter has a Tibetan Spaniel, they are a relatively new breed, and probably most people in Huntington wouldn't know what they are, but last year I found a really cute rug with a Tibetan Spaniel on it and bought it for them for Christmas."
Fisher, who is judging the Best in Show Puppy, as well as the Best In Show Bred By Exhibitor, said the latter category is a new one that gives a nod to the breeders across the country who are also showing some of their dogs.
"That is a fairly new thing that's come about in the last four or five years," Fisher said.
Fisher said with so many different breeds of dogs, there's a breed for everyone, of all ages, to come out and watch some of the best dogs of those breeds in the country.
"We invite the public to come and look up their breeds and watch them show or the breeds they don't know," Fisher said. "We have chairs around the rings so they can watch all the different breeds being shown."
To kick off the weekend, at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 4, the Magic Valley Kennel Club out of Charleston will be having a puppy match. That is open to the public as well to come and watch.
"That is where people bring puppies and they are judged like the regular dog show," Fisher said. "The purpose is to train the puppy (must be a year or younger) as well as the people who are training the puppy how to show and how to behave around other dogs. If you just have a puppy raised around you and me to love on it, it doesn't know what to do at a dog show so this is a way to integrate them early into the world of show dogs."
Find out more about the event online at www.bigsandyarena.com and click onto events.
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