Thursday, April 1, 2010

Back from the National Specialty

Okay, so I'm a little late posting from my trip to the Bedlington National specialty.

It's taken a week and a half to recuperate, and gather my thoughts together!

The drive out was uneventful, and the weather quite nice, something I always worry about, driving back east, during our Spring months. Total time to drive to Louisville was just about 19 hours, including potty stops for humans and canines.

The dogs couldn't have behaved better on the drive out. We took Freddie, Tori, the two puppies; Cammi and Scarlett, and of course Trevor, who just can't be left anywhere. They were all wonderful on the way out, especially the puppies whose longest car ride prior to this trip was about 45 minutes.

We stayed in Shelbyville, which is about 15 minutes from the fairgrounds in Louisville. The Best Western in Shelbyville couldn't be more accomodating. From making sure we always have a ground floor room so that the dogs can be taken outside quickly, to upgrading the room for us. We really couldn't have asked for more.

The first day, Wednesday, the Bedlington Terrier Club of America put on several seminars. There was a grooming seminar that was used as a fund-raiser for the club. For a fee, you could have an extremely talented groomer groom your dog, while explaining what they were doing and why. There was a great turnout for this seminar, with people moving from grooming station to grooming station to watch the various groomers work their magic and ask questions. I took advantage of this, and had Scarlett groomed by Malin Eriksson from Sweden. In a word, the grooming job was exquisite! I could only hope to groom that well.

After the grooming seminar, there was a handling seminar. This was actually broken down into three separate groups, new exhibitors, exhibitors with new/young dogs, and junior handlers. There was quite a good turnout for this. Trevor actually got to play in the ring for the seminar with Cheryl, Gus' owner. I suggested that she use Trevor, since he's fairly easy to work with, and she wouldn't tire out Gus since he had several days of shows coming up. I don't think Trevor was too thrilled, I believe he much prefers to be a couch potato...

After the handling seminars, the club hosted a illustrated breed seminar that was wonderful. There was a working terrier judge, a conformation judge, a US breeder and a Swedish breeder on the panel. It really gave us food for thought, and the working terrier judges perspective was extremely enlightening.

After three events, I was exhausted, and went back to the hotel. Time to start getting dogs ready to be shown the following day.

Thursday I showed Scarlett in the 6-9 puppy bitch class, with an entry of eight. She went second in a very tough class. Tori was also shown in BOB. An easy day with only two dogs to prepare and show.

We took Friday off from showing, and went to the Louisville Slugger museum/factory tour. What a tour. You actually go through the working factory. The only baseball bats now made there are the bats for the major-league players, the rest of the bats are manufactured at another site in the US, or overseas. Tons of history and memorabilia were in the museum, and we each got a miniature bat.

Saturday was the Bedlington floating National Specialty; we had Cammi, Scarlett, Tori and Freddie entered. In sweepstakes, Scarlett won the 6-9 puppy bitch class, and Cammi went fourth. Freddie was entered in the breed, but I wasn't happy with the grooming I had done on him that morning, so I didn't show him.

Sunday Cammi received a 3rd in the puppy bitch class. Gus Henry won his class on Sunday, then went on to take Winners Dog for a 4-point major! He now has both his majors before his 8-month birthday. His owner does an incredible job of grooming him, and is making good progress in handling him.

We left after showing Sunday, for the long drive back home, getting back to Colorado on Monday morning. Thanks to Michael's ability to drive for REALLY long periods of time. If i'm not driving, I'm rather useless, since I fall asleep in record time in the car.

Overall, it was a wonderful event-packed, educational week. I love the shows, but am glad we only do the trip once per year! I do wish we would get some Bob Evans restaurants out this way though!