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For the 39th year, the West Kootenay Kennel Club hosted its annual dog show Aug. 16 to 18, this time on the grounds of the Kinnaird Park Community Church in Castlegar.
More than 150 dogs from across the country convinced their owners that making the trek to the Kootenays for the All breed Championship Show, Obedience and Rally Obedience Trails would be a fun-filled event and they were not disappointed.
Show prizes and hospitality coordinator, Shirley Hubel, said dogs are entered into various competitions and rated for how well their appearance and behaviour conforms to a standard for the breed.
Purina is the main sponsor for the show and a large team of volunteers from the 28-member West Kootenay Kennel Club was on hand to help with the logistics of running the mini doggy-city.
“We couldn’t run a show like this without the help of our volunteers and the support of the community and sponsors,” said Hubel.
Hubel said she was proud when her dog Tux, a Shelty, came second in Rally Obedience at the Castlegar show. Rally Obedience is a series of 12-20 stations that the dog and handler have to go through. Though it’s a timed event, the speed is used only to break ties. Tux lost by just one point after scoring 94 and 92 out of a possible 100 points.
“She won the championship last year,” said Hubel. “So I’m going to give her a nice rest this weekend. She did great.”
The grounds of the former schoolyard at Kinnaird were filled to capacity, with attendees paying just $5 per day to park their recreational vehicles close to the action. The show program, filled with a long list of community businesses helping to sponsor the event, revealed guests from as far away as Bellevue, WA; Fort St. John, B.C.; Grand Prairie, Alta. and many other cities in Western Canada.
“Correction Matches” give dog handlers a chance to put their pooches through their paces and receive tips and comments from judges and other owners before the big events like Best In Show start.
The winner of the Best Puppy in Working Group was six-month-old Ridley, a Newfoundland who made the trip from Logan Lake, B.C.
Ridley’s handler on Saturday was 14-year-old MacKenzie Grouhel. She and her mother Christine are part of a family run business that breeds the large, bear-like dogs. Ridley’s show name, by the way, is “Mostabear’s Riddle Me This” and was extremely patient while having an official portrait taken with the photographer on the podium. (But then, this is old hat for Ridley as she won a Best Baby Puppy in Group award when she was just four months old.)
With three on-site vendors supplying a wide-range of dog-related items, a Saturday night “Bring Your Own Meat” barbecue and the camaraderie that comes from spending a weekend with other dog-lovers, it appeared everyone had a great time.