Friday, August 17, 2012
By NICOLE PADEN
The Steel Valley Cluster’s dog show made its annual appearance at the Canfield Fairgrounds Aug. 2-5, filled with dog competitions each day.
About 20 years ago, the Fort Steuben Kennel Association, Columbiana County, Beaver County, and Mahoning-Shenango Kennel Clubs’ merged to form the Steel Valley Cluster dog show. Each day of the dog show, these groups took turns showcasing for the events.
Dogs participating had to be AKC certified and purebred. Puppies were able to compete, but they had to be at least 6 months of age at the time of competition. This year’s dog show brought more than 1,600 dogs and there were 7,000-8,000 entries. Each day, brought between 150-158 breeds of dogs. Participants came from all over the United States and there were even a few from Canada.
There are a variety of different competitions the dogs could participate in, ranging from best-of-breed to best-of-show and more. Prizes awarded to winners varied.
Points are used toward championships. The points are awarded based on the breed of dog or variety and how many they have defeated. When the dog earns 15 points, it is considered champion dog on record.
Sandra Smith, owner of Weimaraner, Ike, brought her dog all the way from Purceville, Va. He is halfway to grand champion and will be competing in junior hunter, land and water retrieve, and best of breed.
“The most challenging thing about a dog show is the preparation that goes into the event. They have been planning for a year and have meetings every month,” said show chairman Phil Thomas.
For some participants, competing is their livelihood and they travel from show to show. There are more than 1,000 dog shows in a year, covering 50 weekends out of the year.