The Breeder's Showcase at Santa Barbara

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The glamorous Santa Barbara Kennel Club show weekend, Aug. 27-30, was once more the setting for the second Annual Breeder’s Showcase sponsored by Purina ProPlan. Tweaks had been made to the event but its purpose has not changed.  This was a celebration of dedicated breeders and their commitment to excellence, with great ones represented from across the nation and beyond.

On Saturday afternoon, after a moving tribute to the much-admired Corky Vroom and then the judging of Best in Show, it was time to prepare for the Breeder’s Showcase. Down in the horse show arena, the oval field had been reconfigured into two large rings, with dining tables set up at either end. Attendees enjoyed an elegant complimentary dinner, thanks to the generosity of individual sponsors who were named in the catalog. Dogs were entered in pairs as “breeder’s teams,” with the only stipulation being that the same breeders had to be listed on both dogs. There could be additional co-breeders listed on either dog, and breeders did not need to be owners. The event drew 146 entries (292 dogs). This year, there was no early pre-judging of the teams. Groups would be judged two at a time, with four placements and four possible Awards of Merit. Unlike last year, Best in Show would be judged after Groups that same night, not the following day. The judging panel was made up of AKC-licensed arbiters, field reps and we

ll-respected professional handlers of the past, all with particular expertise in the Group they’d been assigned: Sporting, Michael Faulkner; Hound, Bo Bengtson; Working, Carol Grossman; Terrier, Michael Buckley; Toy, Sue Vroom; Non-Sporting, Joe Waterman; and Herding, Colorado’s Douglas Johnson of Old English Sheepdog and Bouvier fame (not to be confused with Doug Johnson, breeder of the renowned Clussexx Clumber and Sussex Spaniels in Indiana, who was a co-judge of Best in Breeder’s Showcase).

Prize money was generous: $500 for Group 1; $400 for Group 2; $300 for Group 3; and $200 for Group 4. Breeder’s Showcase Best in Show earned $1,500 with $1,000 going to Runner Up Best in Show.

The club had also commissioned artist and member Terry Chacon to create seven oil paintings, a different Variety Group represented each year, against the backdrop of the Breeder’s Showcase. Terry began with the Hound Group this year, as she is an Afghan Hound breeder and judge. The painting was reproduced on the cover of the show catalog, and posters were made which Terry was on hand to sign. The original painting was auctioned off by SBKC. Robert Fratkin of Washington, D.C., had the winning bid and felt strongly that his sister — Abbe Shaw, president of SBKC and an Afghan breeder-judge — should own this painting.

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