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Stay Classy, Brooksville.


These Show Dogs Are Counting On It. –by Anna Cooke and Jillyn Sidlo


The world of dog shows is a competitive sport, combined with an opportunity of seeing beautiful dogs. The American Kennel Club (AKC) approves and maintains the official records of more than 11,000 sanctioned and licensed dog shows each year. The events include conformation dog shows, field trials, obedience trials, lure coursing, hunting tests, herding trials, tracking and coonhound events. There are two types of conforma- tion dog shows: specialty and all-breed. Specialty shows are limited to dogs of a specific breed or grouping of breeds. All-breed shows are open to all of the breeds recognized by the AKC. Florida is home to one


of the biggest all-breed dog shows in the country, Florida Gulf Coast Cluster (formerly known as Florida Classic Cluster). It is actually one of the top events (dog shows or otherwise) in the Southeast, attracting competitors from all over the world during its two-week schedule, or Cluster of dog shows. After years at Florida Classic Park in Brooksville, the show


2013, the case was terminated between all parties, and planning for the 16th Annual show began, bringing it back to Brooksville earlier this year. About 160 breeds were represented at the outdoor show on


the property’s 50-acre park this past January. The venue, as always, was beautiful. The weather was perfect - cool Florida temperatures, over- cast many days. Spectators brought their dogs and took in the competition at various rings, seated on lawn chairs, blankets or in golf carts. On the perimeter of


the show rings were plenty of vendors, so the shopping was fun too. The best part of the


Junior Handlers - Competitors in the ring; friends always.17-year-old Chatham and Golden Retriever Apollo. She has been showing since she was eight. 16-year-old Kristen O’Brien and Ethan, her Dachshund. She has be showing since she was 10. 15-year-old Lucinda and Tiger, a German Wirehaired Pointer. She has been showing since she was seven.


had to move to the Ocala Kennel Club grounds for the 2013 event. It was a last resort decision, a result of ongoing legal issues between several kennel groups. Thankfully, by the middle of


event was the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes to watch groomers preparing the dogs for competition. There were plenty of oppor- tunities to interact with the handlers and even the judges when they weren’t in the ring working. Make no bones about


it - everyone is all business when it comes to competing. We overheard someone from Odessa say, “It’s a very relaxing venue. I’m glad to be back in Brooksville. The competition is tough as nails in the field. We love it.”


Giant Schnauzer, affectionately known as a Scottie on steroids. He received his championship by the end of the show.


Ranya is a five-year-old


Wirehaired Terrier. The blocks he is standing on are training tools to help him learn the proper stance (stack) for his breed.


Mister One Two is a 82 THE NEW BARKER


Jagger is a Border Terrier. The more their faces look like that of an otter, the better for the look in the ring. They are the most un-terrier of the Terrier group.


Inzyy is a Glen of Imaal Terrier, one of four Irish breeds. This


sporting breed is very much a big dog on short legs.


For more information, visit Florida Classic Park on the web at FloridaClassicPark.com


www.TheNewBarker.com


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